For as long as I can remember, when I look at something, my first instinct is to figure out what it does and how it works. This led me to study mechanical engineering at McGill University where I was taught basic engineering problem solving and the sciences that support it.
In 1988, I joined Bombardier as a junior systems engineer on the clean-sheet CRJ aircraft development program. It was a perfect fit for me. The work was demanding, challenging and fun. I couldn’t get enough of it. Surrounded by super smart characters I was coached and mentored, and allowed to run with the ball. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to learn.
Since then, my role in the company has evolved. Over the years, I’ve broadened my technical expertise, worked on a wide variety of aircraft platforms and explored exciting innovative technologies. In 2012, I became one of 15 Fellows, a position of technical authority providing oversight and guidance to critical strategic decisions across all Bombardier aircraft programs.
“I love the challenges posed by the complexity of an aircraft and the engineering involved in its development. But that’s only half the equation. The depth of the organization and the diversity of people I get to work with complete the package.”
– Heather Beaton, Bombardier Fellow, Core Engineering, Product Development Engineering, Aerospace.
The work I do is as interesting as are the people I work with. My most memorable projects at Bombardier have involved collaborating with teams of bright people on difficult, complex problems with sometimes challenging timelines. These taskforces unite team members with a common goal, and build lasting bonds that strengthen our company. I’m very proud of our work at Bombardier.
Over the years I’ve developed a few operating rules that help me make choices:
- You have to like what you do each day
- If it’s easy, it’s probably not as much fun
- The best ideas come from listening
- Don’t work in isolation - seek the knowledge and talent of others, and help them be heard
- Work-life balance is critical - find the things that make you happy, then find a way to make it work