2024 Women in Engineering & Geoscience Champion Award Recipient

This award is presented to APEGA members in recognition of exceptional achievement as a champion of women in engineering and geoscience.

Ms. Nannette Ho-Covernton, P.Eng.

Nannette Ho-Covernton, P.Eng.

Professional engineer Nannette Ho-Covernton’s mission is to not only create a more sustainable world, but also to empower the engineers who are building it. With decades of experience in engineering, project development, and research commercialization and technology, she’s driving a global clean-energy future through scientific, technical, and creative ecosystem leadership.

As the sustainability lead for Spartan Controls, Western Canada’s leading industrial automation provider, Ho-Covernton is a liaison to industry, education, innovation, and environmental communities. Through her contributions to advance youth and women in STEM leadership, she has changed the face of Canadian energy to be more inclusive, kind, and innovative.

Ho-Covernton is an accomplished engineer and leader, but finding her own path forward wasn’t always easy. Early in her career, she faced barriers she hadn’t expected, including sexism and discrimination. She persisted, and her skills and talent were recognized when she landed at Spartan in 1995, becoming one of the first women at the company to work in a technical role. “As an engineer, I love to solve problems, and this was just another challenge,” she recalls.

In the years since, Ho-Covernton has been a beacon for countless women and other under-represented people. “Representation matters, especially for the next generation of girls and young women who benefit from having role models and mentors across various industries and sectors,” she says.

At Spartan, Ho-Covernton leverages the unique strengths, experience, and knowledge of each employee, supporting them and connecting them to opportunities to grow their careers. She has helped spearhead the company’s annual science outreach competition, VirtualSTEM, which aims to attract youth—particularly girls—into engineering and technology. She serves as an advisor for WISE Planet, a University of Calgary initiative that empowers women and other marginalized groups to be science and engineering change agents.

She’s also championed diversity and inclusion in various ways: as chair of the Schulich School of Engineering Career Centre Advisory Council, which prepares students for workforce success; as an executive advisor for Avatar Innovations, a company dedicated to energy transition solutions; and through her involvement with many other educational organizations and industry associations.

“For me, trying to understand different perspectives is a learning process and part of the innovation process,” says Ho-Covernton. “Bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and knowledge is critical for both environmental sustainability and the sustainability of the engineering profession.”

Awards and Distinctions

  • Distinguished Collaborator Award of Excellence, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary (2023)
  • Diversity and Equity Alumni Award, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary (2019)
  • Presidents Award, Spartan Controls (2013)
  • Jean Grenier Volunteer of the Year Award, Speed Skating Canada (2007)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Board Member, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (2023–present)
  • Dean’s Advisory Council, SAIT MacPhail School of Energy (2023–present)
  • Executive Advisor, Avatar Innovations (2022–present)
  • Co-Chair, Digital Oil & Gas Theme, Clean Resource Innovation Network (2021–present)
  • VP Strategic Relations, WISE Planet (2020–present)
  • Camp 18 Iron Ring Warden (2019–present)
  • Board Member, Two Wheel View (2018–2021)
  • Chair, Schulich School of Engineering Career Centre (2018–2021)
  • Volunteer, Speed Skating Canada (1989–present)
  • Member, APEGA (1988–present)