We had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our co-op students Georgia Rea, who is 12 months into her 16-month co-op term with Glotman Simpson. Georgia is currently pursuing her Civil Engineering degree at the University of British Columbia and is expected to graduate in 2024. She is also the recipient of Zonta Club of Victoria’s 2023 Women in STEM scholarship.
Georgia’s passion for Structural Engineering has been evident from a young age. As a child, she spent her days building houses out of cardboard boxes, envisioning her future as an Architect. Her knack for calculus became apparent in high school where a supportive teacher recognized her abilities, mentored her, and encouraged her to explore her mathematical interest further. It was during this time that Georgia discovered the world of Structural Engineering – one that fuses her aptitude for numbers along with her desire to create towering skyscrapers.
In a previous co-op opportunity, Georgia had the opportunity to meet some Glotman Simpson Field Engineers onsite where she learned all about the unique and innovative projects in the company’s repertoire. Now, as a co-op student with Glotman Simpson, Georgia has been able to work on a few extraordinary towers that are reinventing the Vancouver skyline: Fifteen-Fifteen, Alberni by Kengo Kuma, and The Butterfly. She has also had a hand in US building work through her design contributions to Olympic + Hill which is a 48-storey mixed-use tower located in Los Angeles, CA.
When asked about the most valuable lesson she has learned so far during her co-op, Georgia emphasized the importance of developing the skill of “figuring things out” (being resourceful and trying a few solutions) before confirming your thought process with an engineer. This skill demonstrates initiative and persistence – two great traits for team members. Georgia also encourages co-op students to ask questions. In an ever-changing industry, especially with regard to building code, it is natural to have questions, to ask for clarification, and to seek further understanding.
Georgia has found her co-op experience at Glotman Simpson to be incredibly valuable. From a technical standpoint, working on hands-on design projects has allowed her to witness the practical application of theories and concepts learned in lectures. But it hasn’t been all work and no play as has been able to get to know more of her colleagues through a variety of events such as Grouse Grind Monday’s and our annual Holiday Party. As well, she is very appreciative of the connections she has made within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry through her time at Glotman Simpson.
To all those interested in a career in STEM: Georgia encourages immersing yourself to as many relevant opportunities as you can. She also highlights the significance of having a role model or mentor who can help provide guidance and support in navigating the industry and opening doors to exciting and new opportunities.
The future is bright for Georgia, and we’re pleased to be a part of her professional journey.