Engineering Resources

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Engineering STEMforGIRLS Role Models

Shana Burgess

Mine Technician

Tacora Resources Inc.



Labrador City, NL

Current community of residence:

Labrador City, NL

Social Media Connections
  • www.linkedin.com/in/shana-burgess-4333814a
  • www.instagram.com /the_original_starseedz/
Education (Certificates, Programs, and School Names):
  • Earth Resource Technician Diploma, Sir Sanford Fleming College - Lindsay Campus
I consider myself to be:
  • Indigenous Person
What do you love most about your profession? Why did you choose this career?

I'm not sure that I could have found a job more perfect for me than this one is!
I love being outdoors a lot, I enjoy being always on the move, and I love the fact that I rarely sit at a desk.
For as long as I can remember, I've LOVED rocks! I'm also fascinated by the geology of Labrador.
I work independently and outside of an early morning routine I have the benefit of flexibility in the rest of my day.
I love using GPS and a drone in my daily tasks, both have always been interests/hobbies of mine.
The ultimate bonus for me was finding a job in my home town, I have a 10 minute commute!

What does your typical workday involve? Can you work remotely? (indoors/outdoors, office/plant, travel time, teamwork/solo work)

My day starts with several short meetings to get the day's plan in motion and by 8:30am I'm in my work truck driving out into the various pits. Usually I'm accompanied by the mine geologist and they will consult with the shovel operator while I'm picking up the gps points. In the morning tour, I'll also map the progression of our waste rock dumps, as they need to be engineered to certain standards and built a certain way. Depending on the weather, number of active faces, the morning tour can take anywhere from 1-2.5 hours. I bring the gps data back to the office and create an updated topographical map for our grade-control team, using 3-D mine-planning/geological modelling software - basically computer-aided design (CAD).
The rest of the day is then spent off on my own doing various surveying tasks - I'm in my truck FAR more than I'm at my desk. My job can't be done remotely yet. I am out in all kinds of weather and it can definitely get cold! I lay out boundaries and locations for mine infrastructure using the gps, I lay out stakes for drills, I snowshoe to lay out tree-mulching boundaries, I collect samples from blast cones, I fly the drone for both mapping and surveying jobs, and to record the blasts, which our department plans and executes. In the summer I also monitor dewatering stations and help with technical projects that need to be completed during summer months.

What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?

I'm creative by nature and have dabbled in pretty much every art-form! I love photography and flying my drone. I love being outside and exploring my surroundings. I am fascinated by nature and our world and I'm in a constant quest to capture it's beauty. I love to kayak, snowshoe, and hike.
Check out my Instagram profile! http://www.instagram.com/the_original_starseedz/

If you had a superpower, what would it be? And what is your real greatest strength?

If I had a superpower, I would be able to shapeshift and blend in with anything.
My real greatest strength is my resilience, it has picked me up and dusted me off too many times to count..
Ten years ago I would never have imagined in a million years that I'd be here, doing this, today!
Yet, here I am -- and I made it happen!

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series by Douglas Adams.
No other books have inspired my laughing to tears even after reading them many multiple times!
Such imagination, an amazing escape that makes me laugh and dream and wonder every time.

What advice would you give students who might be considering a career like yours? What advice would you have given your younger self?

My advice would be to not stress out about whether the career is right for you, having a tech background can lead to so many other career paths! I have finally just found my dream job at 55 years of age. A variety of jobs gives a variety of skills and knowledge and you'd be surprised how many transferable skills you pick up over time!
I often say that I wish my younger self had led me here much, MUCH sooner but the reality is that I resisted working in the small, remote town that I was born in. I often wonder how much different my life might be had I stayed here after high school instead of leaving. I know many people here in Labrador , who stayed after high school and have already retired with great pensions, others retiring soon, and I'm just beginning my mining career!
Then I remind myself that I am who I am because of my combined experiences - I led a varied and interesting life in other parts of Canada before coming home!
I'm grateful to have an incredible job right now, and I enjoy going to work.

Anything else you wish to share?

I cannot stress this enough - science and technology ROCKS!!!
Stick with it, the physics, the chemistry, the math, the biology - it's all incredible - and worth it!!


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