Employee Spotlight – Kerri Bascom

Kerri Bascom was born and raised in the Bahamas. Growing up surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean Kerri has always been fascinated by the dynamic nature of coastal and riverine environments and its ability to transform the surrounding landscape. In high school she participated in the Technical Cadets Corps Program which provided a pathway to encourage students to move into the technical sector. With support from a number of people along the way, this program help set her on the path to a scholarship at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Civil Engineering. The move from the sunny Bahamas to Eastern Canada was a huge change for her as she got to experience a true Canadian winter for the first time. Despite the cold weather, after completing her undergraduate and graduate studies, she decided to make Canada her permanent home and started her career with BGC directly out of school and is currently working towards her permanent residency.

How long have you been with BGC and what do you do here?
I’ve been with BGC for 1 year and 2 months and am currently part of the Surface Water & Pipeline teams as a Junior Civil Engineer.

How would you describe your job to a class of Kindergartners?
I work in a team which focuses on making sure that the structures we put in place years ago are ok to use now and potentially in the future.

What is your favourite thing about working at BGC?
The company culture. BGC really feels like a community. Besides connecting at work, I’ve had the opportunity to hang out outside of the office with my coworkers through activities like book club and that helps build the sense of community we have here.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to new hires at BGC?
Don’t hesitate to reach out. Nobody knows everything so when you don’t know the answer to something, reach out and ask. When I first started here at BGC I was hesitant to reach out for help but I’ve quickly realized that seeking others’ perspective and hearing about their approach to solve a problem has really helped me do my job better.

If you could switch jobs with someone in BGC, who would it be and why?
Someone from our Data Sciences team. In university I had the chance to learn a bit about coding and really enjoyed it. The opportunity to use scripting programs like Python has always interested me.

If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?
Time, sometimes I feel like there’s not enough time in the day to do all the things I want to do. And this is not a matter of being overworked; I really would love more time to explore other activities and interests that I haven’t had the chance to yet like obstacle course racing.

What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
When I first moved to Canada my friends took me to try deep fried ice cream. I was confused at first, how is it possible to deep fry ice cream? It’s now become one of my favourite deserts.

What fictional place would you like to visit?
I’m a proud to say I’m a nerd and I love anime. I’d love to visit the Avatar universe specifically from The Legend of Korra.

If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Tightrope by Janelle Monae. I also really love soca music.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t doubt yourself. You might not be right but don’t second guess every decision you make. Trust your gut and make an effort to be more decisive

Recent additions to #OneTeamOneBGC

We’re excited to announce a few of our recent new additions to the team here at BGC. These new team members help strengthen the breadth and depth of services and experience we offer our clients.

BGC recently welcomed two new senior members to our team, Dan Parker and Julio Portocarrero.

Dan Parker, P.Geo.
Senior Geoscientist
Halifax, NS

Dan graduated from Dalhousie University in 2000 and moved to Calgary where he worked for over 18 years in various technical, project management, and leadership roles, predominately focused on geoscience challenges within the resource sector. His work experience across the mining and pipeline sectors has taken him from the Canadian Arctic to the Middle East and from the Rockies to Kenya, providing him with tremendous professional and personal growth opportunities. Always having a desire to return to the east coast, he and his family returned to Halifax in 2018 when his twin girls started school, enabling Dan to reconnect with family, friends, and learn the local market. After 3 years as the Business Development and Geoscience Lead for an international firm based in Halifax, he is excited to be joining BGC and brings a unique combination of strong client relations, project management, technical capabilities, and business acumen skills to our projects and operation. When not at work, Dan spends time with family and friends, playing and coaching various sports, listening to music (hopefully attending soon!), and is currently the President for Geoscientists Nova Scotia.

Julio Portocarrero, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Senior Hydrotechnical Engineer
Vancouver, BC

Born and raised in Peru, Julio started his career in the construction and mining sectors before moving to consulting in 2010, where he worked as a water resources and hydrotechnical engineer for a number of large, multidisciplinary mining projects across Peru and Chile. In 2013 he moved to Vancouver where he provided his technical expertise on mining projects across North and South America and Europe. Julio specializes in the design of hydraulic structures, development of surface water management plans and baseline hydrology studies, hydrological and hydraulic modeling, water balance modelling, and dam breach and inundation assessments. He completed a master’s degree in Hydrotechnical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and he is registered both as a Professional Engineer in British Columbia and with the Peruvian Engineers Association. When not at work, Julio spends time exploring the West Coast of BC with his family and catching a soccer (football!) game with friends.

As BGC’s team continues to grow, we’re also happy to welcome a few other new employees to the company.

Top row from L to R

Aaron Brisbin, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Hydrotechnical Engineer
Vancouver, BC

Justin Kline, P.Eng., M. Eng.
Geological Engineer
Vancouver, BC

Colin Lussier Purdy, M.Sc., P.Geo.
Geoscientist
Toronto, ON

Sebastian Martijena
Water Resources Specialist
Vancouver, BC

Bottom row from L to R

Timothy Morton, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.
Geotechnical Engineer
Halifax, NS

Hazel Wong, M.Eng., P.Geo.
Engineering Geologist
Kamloops, BC

Corey Scheip, M.S., P.G.
Geoscientist
Golden, CO

Employee Spotlight – Hanchen Hou

Welcome to the first post of our Employee Spotlight series! Every month you’ll get a chance to meet a member of our #OneTeamOneBGC. First up, Hanchen Hou.

Hanchen moved from China to Canada in 2011 to attend university on a scholarship. He first lived in Ottawa and spent time at Algonquin College to work on his English language skills and then went to the University of Ottawa. Wanting to further his studies in computer sciences, he decided to make the move across the country and enrolled at Okanagan College in Kelowna where he spent three years before finally landing in Vancouver and transferring to the University of British Columbia. After completing a co-op and graduating, he started his job here at BGC. Hanchen has had a particularly interesting start to his professional career as he started at BGC pretty much right around the time the COVID-19 pandemic began!

How long have you been with BGC and what do you do here?
I have been working here for 1 year and 8 months as a Software Developer mainly focused on front end and currently working on Cambio.

How would you describe your job to a class of Kindergartners?
My work is focused on geohazards. I help figure out how we can identify a geohazard and then how we can avoid them.

What is your favourite thing about working at BGC?
The working environment at BGC is great. In my sub-team, which is 7 developers, we are very connected and we work together to help each other with problems and share ideas. Our connectivity and how we work together really helps make our jobs less stressful.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to new hires at BGC?
When I started, I was worried that I’d need to be a geotechnical expert and would need to know all these things about groundwater and geology. I realized that I didn’t need to worry about that and just focus on doing a good job as a Software Developer. I would encourage new hires to focus on doing well in their job and, over time, you’ll learn more about the other areas of BGC.

If you could switch jobs with someone in BGC, who would it be and why?
I would switch jobs with my product owner. I want to be closer to the engineers we work with so I can have a better understanding of what exactly they need and want from the software we develop. I feel like I can learn a lot of things from the engineers at BGC.

If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?
Ideas! I would be able to come up with creative ways to solve any problem in both my personal and work life.

What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
Since I’m originally from China, I am not familiar with Mexican food. The first time I ordered a burrito, they asked if I wanted a jalapeno. I had no idea what that was so I just said yes. By the second bite of my burrito I was sweating as I’m not good with spicy food! I will never eat a jalapeno again.

What fictional place would you like to visit?
Minecraft

If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Nightwish – Last of the Wilds

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I can’t think of a specific piece of advice but I’d generally say that the encouragement my parents have given me. When I was considering moving to Canada they said “go for it” and encouraged me to experience things outside of home country.

Interested in joining our team? We currently have openings across around Software team including Full Stack Software Developers, Mobile App Developer and Test Automation Developer. Check out our Careers section for more information and to apply today!