A passion for engineering takes a load off Canadian soldiers in the field.
Even in the tumultuous years of high school, where students feel pressure from all sides to make decisions about classes, sports, friends or even where to sit at lunch, Vicky Mullaley knew one thing for sure: she loved math and physics.
She was good at it, and she had a hunch that in discovering engineering, she’d found something that would lead her to some unforgettable experiences..
Vicky wanted a career that would offer her as many opportunities as possible, and mechanical engineering was a perfect fit. It’s a broad field that encompasses physics, mathematics and materials science, and its applications are too numerous to count.
No two days are the same, and I’m constantly exposed to both research and product development.
Today – just four years out of university – Vicky is putting her skills to use at Solace Power in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador. She hasn’t strayed far from her roots, having grown up nearby in a small community.
“I wear many different hats at work,” Vicky says. “No two days are the same, and I’m constantly exposed to both research and product development. You don’t really have a choice but to learn something new every day.”
Vicky and her team help bring wireless power to Canada’s aerospace and defense Industries. Their innovative Equus™ technology can charge batteries, like in a GPS unit or a traditional radio, and can be integrated into mission-critical equipment used on land, at sea and in the air.
While Vicky is a project manager, she also uses her 3D modelling skills to help customers visualize how Solace’s wireless power systems can fit into their own project or prototype.
“It’s very creative work. I’ll either build the model from scratch digitally, or I’ll build onto an existing customer model, whichever the situation calls for,” she says.
In addition to being extremely dynamic, Vicky’s work is having a direct impact on Canadian troops at home and abroad.
“If you think of a soldier working in the field,” she says, “all the equipment they have to carry around — including large, heavy battery packs — it can affect their performance and safety. The wireless power technology we’re working on is beneficial because we reduce the number of cables used and the overall weight they carry. This can make a big difference to them.”
Drawn to the creativity and innovation needed to succeed in engineering, Vicky would call on anyone who likes to solve problems and invent unique solutions to consider pursuing a career in the field. “Those skills and that kind of mindset can take you to some really exciting places. The options are endless.”
And when it comes to girls in high school considering engineering or careers in STEM, Vicky hopes they’ll choose a similar career path to hers.
“There weren’t that many girls going into engineering when I was in high school, but as soon as I went to post-secondary, it was really encouraging to see the high number of women in my class — I’d love that to be the case for more girls in the future.”