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Rashmi Rajendran, BEng '18

(Elec & Biomed Eng)

Engineering a better world

Rashmi Rajendran always knew she wanted to make a difference in the world.

The McMaster chapter of Engineers Without Borders showed her how engineers can do that.

“The organization introduced me to the concept of global engineering and made me aware that I can use my engineering skills to work on complex global issues such as sustainability, food insecurities, and energy accessibility,” says the 2018 Electrical and Biomedical Engineering grad.

“It showed me that engineering is not just about the technical know-how but understanding the underlying social, economic, political, and environmental factors that contribute to these issues.”

Rajendran designs power utility transmission and distribution systems as a Protection and Control Engineer-in-Training with Tetra Tech, a global consulting and engineering services firm.

While it isn’t the job she thought she wanted when she arrived at university, she says that elective courses and co-op placements developed her passion for power engineering and changed her path.

“Before coming into the energy industry, I found myself taking electricity for granted,” says Rajendran. “We are so privileged to have access to clean and reliable energy. Can you imagine not having electricity for a day? Or having extended periods of power outages?

“I pride myself in knowing that by going to work every day, I assist clients in providing safe, clean, and reliable energy.”

She says a recent site visit to an electrical substation in Northern Ontario helped deepen her understanding and appreciation of the tangible impact of her daily design work in AutoCAD.

Rajendran credits networking – both through Engineers Without Borders and other volunteer committees and mentorship programs at her co-op placements – with helping her get to where she is today.

“I not only expanded my network but had a better understanding of who I was as a person and how I would be able use my career to make a positive impact,” she says.