Connor McManus
 Coatings Technologist, Transcanada
Describe a typical day

I currently work with TransCanada’s Materials Engineering division as a Coatings Technologist and I am not sure if the phrase ‘typical day’ and my role really go hand in hand. In my role I am responsible for many different things. My department writes, edits, and maintains all of the coatings specifications for TransCanada and, because we own the specifications, we assist the project teams in utilizing them for the lifespan of each project. This means partaking in activities such as drawing reviews, running pre-production meetings, editing design basis memorandums, etc. We also assist in specification interpretation during construction and conduct audits when necessary. Essentially, we are a help desk for the projects in any capacity that industrial coatings may concern them.

If not found at my desk, I can also be found putting on training sessions at the office or for field crews, attending research and development meetings, conducting field assessments, or traveling to meet with a vendor to conduct an audit of their coatings shop. It is rare that I spend any one day like the one previous to it.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

The best part about this job is how multi-faceted it is. On any given day I could be out in the field conducting an audit, in the office editing company specifications, or sitting in a boardroom discussing the next big pipeline project. Because TransCanada does work with companies from all over the world, I have also been given the opportunity to travel throughout Canada, the U.S., and Italy.

I am a lover of puzzles and each day my role presents new challenges. Each new challenge is a test of my problem solving skills and is an opportunity to expand my knowledge base.

Another aspect of working at TransCanada that I am appreciative of is all of the extra-curricular activities the company encourages. Through organizations set up within the company, I have been able to study Spanish, take part in sports such as a hockey and participate as a member of the choir.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.
I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.A. in English literature. I had always wanted to explore the world beyond the borders of Saskatchewan and so, immediately after graduation, I moved to South Korea. I spent almost 3 years in South Korea teaching English and traveled to many different countries while abroad. I was terrified to leave everything that I knew but it was this experience of heading out into the unknown that really taught me what I can be capable of. I am a big fan of the phrase, “do something every day that scares you.” I am proud to have lived by this phrase and I think it is important that we strive to push ourselves to do new things as often as we can.
Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.
The coatings industry is currently in a very interesting period of flux. The use of protective coatings is certainly not a new idea but it is only recently that the importance of things such as specification development and trained inspection has been fully realized. It is sometimes a challenge to convey the importance of correct coating choice and application but this is something that is quickly changing. As awareness grows, there will be a greater need for more specialists in this area of expertise.
Current community involvement efforts.
For the past year I have served as treasurer for Calgary Women in Energy (CWIE).  CWIE is a non-profit that encourages community involvement through activities such as Soup Sisters and volunteer efforts throughout the city. I have recently stepped down from the board as treasurer but I look forward to continuing my involvement with this group.
Why YWE?
YWE offers an excellent forum to encourage communication between our peers. Through this communication, we can continue to support emerging talent in our respective fields. There is a growing gap in experience levels between those who are retiring and those who are just beginning to advance their careers. It will be difficult for us as the younger generation to gain the bulk of this knowledge before our mentors leave the workforce. Because of this, we also need to be able to interact with our peers to share what each of us has learned. Mentorship and networking with our peers in the industry is essential to growing ourselves, our careers, and our communities.
What are you reading?
I read many different kinds of books. I am currently reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and White Noise by Don DeLillo.