Her command of Spanish proved to be an asset when Ana Villarreal-Escudero was assigned to work with TC Energy Corporation’s compression station projects in Quebec.
Originally from Mexico, Ana speaks fluent Spanish, a romance language that has many similarities to French.
“I was lucky enough to land a job at TC Energy six years ago (after graduating in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary),” she said. “It was easier for me to learn French than for the average English speaker.”
The Calgary-based engineer oversaw the design of an electrical compression facility in Quebec and her ability to pick up on French proved to be important.
Several years ago Ana and her parents moved to Calgary. Since she wanted to remain in the city, working in the oil and gas industry was the logical choice.
Ana believes her role as an engineer championing designs for low-emission sustainable facilities is vital.
She said she has been fortunate to work with skilled engineers at TC Energy and, as the co-chair of the Calgary Chapter of Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC), she has also benefited from being involved with her peer group.
That was fostered by her role in designing and executing YPAC x Avatar, a groundbreaking leadership empowerment program that brought 54 young energy industry professionals together for an eight-week virtual training in which they generated innovative solutions to the industry’s most pressing challenges.
The initiative attracted the attention of Sonya Savage, Alberta Minister of Energy, as well as Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister.
Despite the challenges faced by the Canadian energy industry, Ana remains positive about its prospects, largely because of the talented people she has interacted with in the sector.
In fact, she sees the difficulties faced by the industry as an opportunity “for those who can adapt to unexpected challenges.”
As someone who believes strongly in environmental sustainability, Ana says it’s important to embrace the energy transition that is occurring.
“To me the energy transition is happening and you need to embrace it and be a part of the solution,” she said.
In addition to her involvement in YPAC, she has embraced a sport that doesn’t exist in Mexico – downhill skiing – and has taught those with special needs how to become involved in a sport she has learned to love.
Ana is also involved in helping new immigrants adapt to life in Canada.
She is an optimist about the future of the Canadian energy industry, but Ana says it will be increasingly important for the industry to advance its command of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).
“Those of us in the oil and gas industry will have to step up our ESG game,” she said.
Ana sees herself continuing to champion the role of young professionals in the energy sector “to ensure we have a world-class industry.”
The 2020 Class of Rising Stars is brought to you by Fluor Canada.