Two generations of pipeliners share knowledge

Posted on April 06, 2016 – 7:02 am

Peter Tanchak began his career as a pipeline engineer at a time when the industry was rumbling to life in a way never before seen in Canada. The excitement surrounding the industry attracted many professionals from a wide range of educational backgrounds – some of whom had little to no pipeline experience.

And so, to engage the younger generation and to help facilitate the passing of technical and engineering knowledge from mature to young pipeliners, Peter became a founding member of the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC). Last year, the organization partnered with the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA Foundation) to set up a mentoring program.

“There are now a substantial number of young people in the industry but there’s also a large number of people nearing retirement,” says Peter, an infrastructure and planning engineer at Enbridge. “We needed to capture the experiences and knowledge of pipeliners over the last 35 years before all of the older generation retires. We connected for this program so that CEPA Foundation could provide most of the mentors and YPAC could provide most of the mentees.”

The MentorCity platform offers the ideal solution for this mentoring partnership. The platform makes it easy for both CEPA Foundation and YPAC members to find a mentoring match.

“It’s basically a maintenance free platform and I’ve received only positive feedback from members,” says Peter, adding that the program is halfway through a one-year pilot.

Although a member of YPAC, Peter himself is a mentor. With six years of industry experience, he felt it was important to advise and guide new industry entrants. His mentee is a pipeline newcomer based in Edmonton. Their monthly mentoring sessions are conducted entirely by phone, as Peter is based in Calgary.

“I wanted to share my experiences with young professionals and encourage them to always be open to opportunities throughout their career,” says Peter, who worked as a field engineer at the start of his career.

“But what has surprised me most in my own mentoring relationship is that I’m also getting so much out of it.  I’d say it’s a two-way street. I’m learning as much from my mentee as he’s learning from me.”

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Deborah Evans







This article was published on the MentorCity blog. It is one an occasional series of articles I have written for MentorCity since early 2015.