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Inspirational Women in STEM: Belinda Li

Belinda Li quote

Environmental Engineer

Where are you from and where do you work now?
“I grew up in Windsor, ON and I work in Vancouver, BC.”

Why did you choose to work in this field?
“I like working to solve complex and messy problems.”

What is your favourite thing about your job?
“The people. I work in the solid waste sector and it is a community of people from different backgrounds who are working towards similar goals to manage waste in a sustainable way.”

What are some of the challenges in your job?
“Also the people. Waste can be a highly political topic since it involves a lot of decisions in the government, for example on deciding on how to change a waste collection program. People have lots of opinions and it can be hard to make everyone happy.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?
“I like to get out to the mountains and the ocean, either hiking, climbing, skiing, or paddling. I also volunteer with Girl Guides, and grow food in my community garden.”

Is there anything you wish someone had told you when you were in high school?
“You don’t need to be an outstanding student in math or science class to be a great engineer. What drives excellence is your interest, curiosity, willingness to learn, and practice applying what you learn. Engineering is about creative problem solving, not acing tests.”

In a nutshell, why are engineering and science AWESOME?
“There are lots of interesting things to learn, cool challenges to undertake, and you can make a difference in the world.”

Tell us a joke.
“Why was the chicken late for work?
She forgot to set her alarm cluck.”

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