A Day in the Life of Cory Vitt, P.Eng.

Cory Vitt wanted to be a great wizard when they were a kid, but ultimately decided on engineering. When you think about it, wizardry and engineering have some fundamental things in common. Both wizards and engineers take ideas and turn them into something tangible, or as Cory says, "A career in engineering is the pursuit of thought grounded in action."

Cory currently turns thought into action as an Approvals Engineer at the Office of Drinking Water for the Manitoba Government, which requires them to think and solve problems on a daily basis. The most rewarding part of their career? Seeing a finalized project - in real life - that had previously only been a discussion. Cory's most proud of the projects that have made a real impact to communities, such as creating a new water treatment plant to give a community access to drinking water. If that's not magical, we don't know what is.

Of course, there's more to the alchemy than their day-to-day. Cory values creative pursuits outside of the job that contribute positively to their knowledge and happiness. When they're not working, you can find them advocating for Queer rights, volunteering with a local sports community, engaging in fitness activities, and writing poetry.

What's your name and what do you do?

Cory Vitt, P.Eng., Approvals Engineer, Office of Drinking Water, Manitoba Government

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Earlier in my career, I frequently worked in the field on construction sites or within industrial facilities. As my career has progressed, my role has shifted to effective communications, management, and approvals, via office-based with occasional site visits. My typical workday involves thinking about technical and regulatory solutions for complex issues while handling multiple electronic files.

What made you decide to become an engineer or geoscientist?

As a child, I wanted to be a great wizard or astronaut. Really though, my family business was construction. My decision to pursue engineering solidified during high school.

What did the journey to your current role look like?

My journey to become a professional engineer went through an extended academic period (bachelors & masters degrees), overseas education (masters), working in private industry, then working in three departments within the federal and provincial governments. I also took additional university credits to upgrade my skills in my late 30s, and multiple moves related to various job roles. Working in different locations for different organizations provides great learning and helps you gain valuable experience.

What's the most rewarding part of your career?

The most rewarding part of my career is when I see, with my own eyes, a finalized project (in real life) that had previously only been discussions.

Is there a particular project you've worked on that you're really proud of?

I'm most proud of major highway re-alignment project, a sensitive and successful environmental remediation project, and a new water treatment plant to service a community with drinking water. These are the kinds of projects that highlight my career and give pride in work.

What do you get out of engineering or geoscience that you feel you couldn't get out of any other line of work?

Every day with engineering, I get the opportunity to think and solve problems.

Are there any books, videos, documentaries or articles you'd recommend about your profession, or about engineering or geoscience in general?

STEAM, which includes A = Arts alongside the other components, are all inter-connected. Creative pursuits, especially those outside of your paid work, contribute positively to your knowledge and happiness.

What do you wish people knew about the work that you do?

I have spent the last 10 years in different roles within government. Government employees are often perceived negatively by the general public, but the work performed everyday by civil servants is fundamental in maintaining and building a society with shared infrastructure and mutual interests.

What would you tell someone who was looking to get into engineering or geoscience?

"A career in engineering is the pursuit of thought grounded in action." Cory Vitt.

When you're not working, you can be found...

When I am not working, I can be found advocating for queer rights, volunteering with a local amateur sports community, fitness activities, and writing poetry.