Melanie has completed a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is currently working towards her Master of Engineering at the University of British Columbia. Working in the mining and construction industry for the past 7 years, Melanie has been able to travel across Canada, growing a deep sense of Canadian pride and love for the uniqueness of each Province. Reflecting Canadian values, she is an advocate for embracing cultures, and for the cultural mosaic that is Canada, with herself being second generation Portuguese.
Anybody who knew Melanie growing up, would know her as the hilariously nerdy but loveable kid; nose in the books, listening to classical music with untamed hair and braces. Although, seeming lightyears away, some things never die, and her quirkiness and ability to dominate a chess match if given the chance are sure remnants of her illustrious past. Having experienced so much, and having multifaceted sides to her widespread personality, she can connect to almost anyone, and has developed a deep and genuine compassion for other people, including volunteering in an anti-bullying campaign. Melanie knows the importance of understanding history and culture and has travelled to over 20 countries around the world.
Working in a male dominated field, Melanie is proud to break the gender stereotype in engineering and loves to encourage young woman to pursue careers in STEM and support one another in any way possible. She has talked to high school classes about her experiences, and volunteers as a Waterloo alumnus to shed further light on her experiences.
Sustainable engineering, and incorporation of green energy into design are very important to her, and she is currently taking a course in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), so that these concepts can be applied in her practice. Additionally, she looks at sustainability at a global scale too, and is currently working with Engineers Without Borders to invest in communities of the developing world and provide them with tools to combat poverty. A famous quote in engineering, “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do”, shows the importance of providing responsible engineering practices to communities around the world.
Though she has never done a pageant, Melanie is as comfortable in her work boots as a pair of heels and is excited to embrace her femininity and generate meaningful discussions about important topics.