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Case Studies

Dan GunnDan Gunn

So Dan, introduce yourself:
Hello, my name is Dan Gunn and I am a Project Engineer for IMV Projects in Calgary.

What did you take in school?
I’m from England and when you are 16, you specialize in three subjects. I chose to specialise in math, physics and Spanish. At University (Newcastle upon tyne), I took mechanical engineering.

What path did you follow when you finished school?
I didn’t intend to work in the oil and gas industry but shortly after finishing school a friend and I got a job for a company that makes high pressure manifolds for offshore oil rigs. It was there that I discovered just how much money you could make in the industry. I wanted to work in Canada and my original move was to Vancouver. I soon discovered, though, that the type of career I was looking for was a better fit in Calgary, so I moved to Calgary and found myself an engineering job.

What led you to a career in Project Engineering?
I got into engineering because I’ve always been fascinated with how things work. Besides being strong in math and physics, I loved to take things apart to learn the mechanics of what was making it tick (admittedly I didn’t often put it back together). I didn’t know I wanted to be a project engineer until my first job, when I realised the skills you need. It definitely helps to be enthusiastic and good at asking for favours!

What is involved in your day to day job?
I am the right hand man to the Project Manager. I coordinate several tasks from the various disciplines who are involved in the project. While the manager is responsible for the overall handling of the project, I am heavily involved in the day to day tasks to ensure that success. I quality check drawings, do status reports, take minutes at meetings and ensure that there is constant communication between the disciplines to ensure the project is going according to plan.

What do you like about working at IMV Projects?
It’s definitely the people. The people here are great. They’re intelligent, friendly and down-to-earth. It is definitely a “work hard play hard” mentality here.

What do you like about the industry?
The money is great! I can’t lie!

What advice would you give to someone considering a career as a Project Engineer?
Look for work experience at every opportunity. Even if it’s just for a few weeks shadowing someone at their company, you’ll learn so much more about the type of work they do and if it interests you. Ask as many questions as you can! 

What do you do in your spare time? i.e. hobbies and extracurricular interests?
Since moving here, I’ve been out snowboarding in the Rockies every weekend. I’d only tried snowboarding a couple of times before coming to Canada but I just love it. And if I hadn’t broken my shoulder, I’d been playing rugby. Watch out next year!

If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what do you like to be doing?
I would be a photo journalist for National Geographic. A few months ago I went to Thailand and quickly picked up some of the language. I’ve also got an eye for a good photo, so I’d love to have a job where I’m dropped in the middle of nowhere, told to go and immerse myself in the culture and snap photos documenting my experience.