Katie Burau

Project Manager, Mining

Stantec

Why a career in mining?

Why not?! No, really. It was completely happenstance. My background is in education and business administration, but I was referred to my current company, Stantec by a friend from university. After my first week in mining, I was so overwhelmed by the terminology that I felt as though I was working in a foreign language and wouldn’t last the month!  Eleven years and a new country later, I can’t imagine being in any other industry. I’ve stayed because of the opportunity and community––maybe that should be the industry’s new slogan! I saw so much opportunity to travel and see different parts of the world and also the opportunity to be a part of a positive change in the industry. As transient as this industry tends to be, it’s one of the more tight-knit, familial communities out there. It’s rare to attend a mining event where you don’t know anyone. To this end, I feel obliged to give back to the industry that has welcomed me with open arms. I am proud to volunteer as a board member for both CIM Sudbury and WIM Sudbury; Co-Chair CIM-MEMO 2022; supporting the WISE Science and Engineering Olympics; supporting the MECA Symposium; and a member of CIM’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC).

Why do I love my job?

The beauty about life as a Project Manager with Stantec’s Mining Business Line is that no two day is the same. I am still learning something new every single day, through experience and challenges. I love helping clients and our project team solve problems and the best days involve my team’s successes and achievements! I work with some amazing individuals who continuously blow me away with their talent, challenge me to sharpen my skills, and always be a better version of myself than the day prior. 

Benefits to a career in mining:

Aside from the fact that mining offers a wide range of lucrative careers, I also find it incredibly rewarding to be witness to innovations and initiatives that contribute to sustainable development as I feel a personal responsibility to a sustainable future for generations to come. We are at the cusp of major shifts in our industry: everything from changes in our workplace cultures to the use remote technology at the mine face for a safer operation. Progress is happening at an exponential rate. It’s an exciting time for mining. One of the reasons I volunteer for events like WISE Sudbury’s Science and Engineering Olympics is so kids (specifically girls) are exposed to careers in STEM/SETT fields and potentially picture themselves as future leaders in the industry one day. I’ll continue to be an advocate, whether it be within my own organization or on a more global scale with my work with CIM’s DIAC, for a more diverse and equitable workforce to position the mining industry for the best and brightest talent available.