Jessica Vandenberghe (2018)

Indigenous Community Consultant and Project Engineer, Urban Systems Ltd.

The 2018 Indigenous Resource Leadership Award is presented to Jessica Vandenberghe, Indigenous Community Consultant and Project Engineer at Urban Systems Ltd., in recognition of the extensive efforts she has undertaken outside of her formal work to promote understanding and education with Indigenous peoples, particularly Indigenous youth.

Raised as a farm girl in northern Alberta, Jessica Vandenberghe, P.Eng., M.Sc. obtained two engineering degrees from the University of Alberta – a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering Co-op with Computer Process Control specialization and a Masters degree in Chemical and Mining Engineering.

Working for just under 10 years in the oil sands industry as a Senior Research Engineer, Jessica holds several patents in bitumen extraction having worked on many pilot plants. She decided to pursue her passion for youth outreach and gender diversity by taking a position with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) in 2012 as the Director of Outreach and Product Services, later moving to the regulatory position of Director of Enforcement and Permits. She worked with the provincial government, other regulators, and nationally on many projects including the Managing Transitions document, the video game, the Legislative Review Project, and improved the Permit to Practice process, disciplinary process, and the compliance case work for title and license protection. Jessica has since decided to follow her passion for growing strong, vibrant communities and now works as an Indigenous Community Consultant and Project Engineer for Urban Systems Ltd., a civil engineering consulting company.

Her leadership helps any community, but primarily Indigenous communities, work through the governance, policy, legality, communication, and planning to help bring the community vision to fruition. She is a single mom of two children and strongly believes in diversity and inclusion, continual learning and works to be a positive role model and influence for the Engineering Profession.