In 2017, Nekoda Daniels plans to become a licensed Ontario Professional Engineer. The designation will fulfill a goal Nekoda had set his sights on since immigrating to Canada from his native Trinidad and Tobago in 2007. That same year, Nekoda began studying in Seneca’s Civil Engineering Technology program as a mature student.
Not only was he transitioning to the unfamiliar surroundings of a new culture, but he was also adapting to a different form of education that included real-world projects on real-world deadlines. However, Canada quickly became home, and Seneca offered the practical learning setting Nekoda was seeking. He gained fundamental engineering principles, as well as the software knowledge needed to succeed in his field. His time at Seneca also taught him the importance of time management. Nekoda has created strong bonds with professors during his time at Seneca some of whom he still confides in today.
In year two of his three-year Seneca program, Nekoda caught wind of the College’s Degree Transfer Guide. Feeling confident in his abilities, he decided to pursue the transfer pathway with Lakehead University’s Bachelor of Engineering, which he completed in 2012 – the first in his family to accomplish such a feat.
“I always had a curiosity for knowing how things were built and I’ve always enjoyed solving problems,” says Nekoda. “My education gave me an ability to approach problems in a practical way, knowing that when proper engineering theory is applied, the work will translate into building something sustainable,” he says.
Prior to his next academic undertaking – a Master of Engineering at Queen’s University – Nekoda admittedly had reservations. But with his desire to learn more about his discipline, the obstacles in front of him became the stepping stones that helped launch his career.
In his current position as Structural Engineer II at CHA Consulting Inc., Nekoda brings projects to life by putting theory into practice. His most memorable project to date was as an Intern Structural Engineer with Hatch, working on a mine development in Saskatchewan containing one of the world’s tallest mining headframes at 374 feet.
“I’ve had an interesting journey to this point and one that I’m extremely proud of,” says Nekoda. “I’m confident with the decisions I’ve made, thoroughly enjoy my line of work and eagerly look forward to what the future has in store for me and my family.”