The Ingredients of an Engineer

When Nima Macci was young, her mother, a chemistry teacher, evoked the scientific method when baking banana bread. Together, she and Nima would explore the problem they wanted to solve—Nima was hungry. They would define the experiment’s scope: Did they want to add walnuts for mouth feel? They hypothesized about how the ingredients would combine using words like coalesce, fibres, and polymers.

Then they’d follow the procedure (recipe).

Nima clutched bowls and utensils—apparatuses—in her deft, four-year-old fingers as she and her mother defined controlled and manipulated variables. Once the bread went into the oven, they would observe. Did they reach optimal results? Taking their first steamy bite, they formed a conclusion—are we enjoying it? Anything to modify for next time?

A Procedure in Building Values

Nima’s passion for science grew. Her parents encouraged her to be inquisitive. “I was always aware the world was a much bigger place than what I saw in front of me,” she explains. Her parents stressed education, community service, compassion, and kindness as defining values.

This combination led to Nima’s passion for creating helpful solutions. She became “queen of the science fair” through primary school, creating seismographs, studying nanotechnology, and learning about oil and gas. She created projects that solved real-world problems. This passion led her to earn her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering.

The Future—A Successful Variable

A past recipient of APEGA’s Ivan Finlay Leadership Award, which is given to students exemplifying community engagement, ingenuity, and leadership, Nima continues to lead the way in making the world a better place. She’s an engineer-in-training (E.I.T.) at Cenovus Energy and has just been chosen as one of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s 2024 Top 30 Under 30 for her work tackling global challenges such as poverty, food instability, and energy needs.

If raising an engineer who wanted to make the world a better place was a scientific experiment, when evaluating the conclusion, Nima Macci may just be the optimal result.

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Nima Macci, E.I.T

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