FMF co-op student named Co-op Student of the Year

FMF Co-op Student Sylvia Penkova

Silvia Penkova was named Co-op Student of the Year for her efforts during a work term at FMF Industrial Engineering from January to April of 2014.

Fourth year Mechanical Engineering student Sylvia Penkova is a hard worker and now she has an award to prove it.

Penkova was recently named Co-op Student of the Year by the University of Victoria for her work with Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Breton Industrial Engineering from January to April of 2014.

“I was very happy to hear I’d been chosen,” says Penkova. “I knew that I worked hard, but it’s always nice to be recognized for the time and effort you put into your tasks.”

During her three month co-op, Penkova worked on a number of primary and secondary projects with FMF, including designing a new Submarine Hydraulic Oil Polishing Unit, and collaborating with the team on the Waste Water Treatment Plant and Electroplating Facility.  

Penkova says the experience she got working alongside FMF engineers and shop workers was more challenging than the work done in school.

“In school when you’re working on projects there is always someone you can talk to, or a manual you can read to fill in a blank,” says Penkova. “When you’re designing something from scratch and you run into a problem there isn’t a manual you can look at. It was up to me to come up with a lot of the fixes for these problems, which was invaluable information and experience.”

Tom Percy, Industrial Engineering Manager at FMF, says having Penkova on board not only gave her the experience she needed, but greatly benefitted FMF as well.

“With the amount of projects we have on the books, it can be difficult to make time with the resources we have available,” he says. “Having someone like Sylvia around, with her drive and determination, opened up the opportunity to finally get to some work we’d been waiting to complete.”

Though the actual award ceremony isn’t until February, Penkova says the commendation will help her on her career path.

“Now potential employers will be able to see that I have the skills and experience to back up my education,” she says. “I’ll be able to take my time with FMF and put it towards making a name for myself. I couldn’t be happier.” 

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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