Top Engineer Honoured

6/19/2015

Top Engineer Honoured

Samantha Espley receives her Award

When Canada's top engineers gathered last month to celebrate their greatest achievements, our own Samantha Espley enjoyed a well-deserved moment in the spotlight. Espley, who heads up the Mines & Mill Technical Services at Vale's Ontario Operations, was presented with the 2015 Award for Support of Women in the Engineering Profession at the Engineers Canada Awards Gala in Calgary.

"I am humbled and grateful to Engineers Canada for recognizing me in this way," said Espley of this award that recognizes her accomplishments as an engineer plus her contribution to support women in the industry.

Espley views the prize in context of her profession's effort to attract the best young minds. "For me, the recognition is for the men and women in our workplace and community who have supported all kinds of young girls and boys to think about careers in engineering and science and mining - what it means to our economy and our community," she said.

Espley earned her degree in applied science and engineering at University of Toronto, and her Masters at Laurentian University. In her role at Vale, Espley leads more than 200 engineers, geologists, metallurgists and technologists who work across our Ontario Operations.

"I have a team of incredible professionals who do the day-to-day and long-term planning work - smart, wonderful people who do the work for six of our underground mines, our pits and quarries, and the mill. I have a central team as well, that looks after the governance," said Espley, who just celebrated her 25th anniversary with Vale.

Instrumental throughout her career in getting women interested in mining roles typically occupied by men, Espley assisted in founding the Sudbury Chapter of Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) in 1998, and helped start the WISE Olympics in 2000.

"My forte is coming up with ideas about how to get young girls enthusiastic about engineering and science - get them confident in their own skills," she said. "We don't have a lot of women in engineering and we still don''t have a lot in mining, in particular, so that's why I've been actively advocating for women to join."

In 2013, Samantha was awarded the Women in Mining (WIM) Canada National Trailblazer Award, which recognizes women who have taken personal career risks and helped to advance the careers of other women. That same year, she was one of three Vale leaders in the world's 100 most influential women in mining list by WIM in the UK. Her important influence is also felt within her own family: her two eldest daughters are currently in mining engineering programs at Laurentian University, her son studies at Cambrian College, and youngest daughter is finishing Grade 11 this year - all with a promising future ahead.

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Top Engineer Honoured