Amal Elsisi – Senior Integrity Engineer
Introduce yourself and tell us about your career path at Dynamic Risk
My name is Amal Elsisi, and I am a Senior Integrity Engineer at Dynamic Risk. I moved to Canada from Egypt in 2011.
I joined Dynamic Risk in 2013 as a GIS Analyst and my role involved creating maps for our field staff. Within six months, I received my P.Eng. designation from APEGA and was promoted to Integrity Engineer.
I worked in Dynamic Risk’s upstream division running a hydraulic simulation software called “GASMOD”, which considers the heat transfer between the gas in the pipeline and the surrounding medium to check the capabilities of existing pipelines. Then I moved to the Integrity Consultant team, where I gained knowledge and experience in all types of In-line Inspection (ILI). Earlier this year I got promoted to Senior Integrity Engineer. I learn something new every month and I also work on various projects that help me expand my knowledge and expertise. I enjoy sharing what I know with others.
What value do our clients gain from your contribution?
Each client has criteria through which they measure pipeline integrity. Those standards are highly dependent on where the pipeline is located. Our clients must also abide by laws in Canada and the United States, and I assist them in ensuring they comply with industry regulations. In addition, I apply and use IRAS ILIAnalyst as much as possible. My team and I utilize ILIAnalyst to perform inline inspection projects that include ILI data, growth rates, algorithm creation, and identifying pipeline sections requiring excavation and inspection. With our software’s visual display, we can see what is inside and outside pipelines. For clients that intend to return their pipelines to service, I provide recommendations, problem-solving, and analytical analysis regarding dig plans to maintain pipe safety and avoid environmental harm.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
In my first job after graduating from university in Egypt, my manager advised me to work as hard as possible, regardless of my compensation. He told me the money would come later as long as I maintained consistency and persistence in my everyday tasks. He also advised me to spread my knowledge and share my experience with others. Those words resonated with me at the time, and I continue applying them throughout my career and everyday life.
Which project are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of every project I have been involved in. For example, a client once recruited the upstream team that I was part of to create a connectivity diagram for thousands of pipelines to run a simulation model. We were employing a manual approach that used to be time-consuming, so I found a tool that helped us streamline our work. On another project, I found a calculation error in a macro calculator used for many years by a client which makes them value our quality-checking procedures. I am aware that my efforts are appreciated by the project managers with whom I work. Now I am involved in more projects and have more responsibilities. For instance, I recently demonstrated to a client how ILIAnalyst would provide the required information. This was a very rewarding experience, and the direct interaction with the client gave me a confidence boost in my expertise and my position within the company.
How do you help our clients innovate?
Our pipeline risk and integrity management software help our clients innovate. For example, when we assess any ILI to evaluate pipelines, all the required information comes from ILIAnalyst, which saves time. Our software also assists me in identifying pipeline features that require immediate or scheduled repair. When I find these, I can let our clients know, even if it is before a deadline or a report submission date. I quality-check my work by creating macros I learned as part of my computer science training.
What is something that others may not know about you?
I changed my career many times after graduating as an engineer. I graduated as a civil engineer in Egypt, and two years later, I became a database administrator and learned Geographic Information System (GIS) software and modules. From there, I moved to Saudi Arabia, where I taught programming languages at a university. When I moved to Canada, I began working in the energy industry. I am a successful middle eastern Muslim woman with a family and a career, and I want to show others that it is possible. I have overcome many obstacles, learned new skills and I find very rewarding to pass on my knowledge to others.
Swapna Sandip – Senior Quality Assurance Analyst
Introduce yourself and share what interested you about joining Dynamic Risk?
My name is Swapnali, and people know me as Swapna. I am a Senior Quality Assurance Analyst. What interested me about joining Dynamic Risk is its core values: commitment, integrity, respect and open communication. I believe the Dynamic Risk work culture truly reflects them.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment.
When working on a client delivery and Release test cycle, I perform software testing on time and within the budget and at expected level of quality. My eight years of experience with our in-house solutions gives me confidence and technical leadership to be able to train and mentor others. I was recently promoted to Senior Quality Assurance Analyst.
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received, either professionally or personally?
My Dad always said, never regret a single day in your life. Good days bring happiness and bad days bring experience, which is priceless.
How has your role changed since joining Dynamic Risk?
When I first joined, I was assigned testing for 2 – 3 of our applications. Now I am testing the entire IRAS suite from DataView to Data Exchange. I also attend business meetings that broaden my testing insights and provide me with a bigger picture understanding of our clients’ requirements, which in turn, enhances my testing ability. I also use different testing techniques so I can contribute to making our solutions better every day.
Are there any other changes that stand out for you?
The recent change is remote work. I really like it, and it works for me. It has given me more work-life balance and flexibility. When we use Data Exchange to run huge data sets overnight, working remotely gives me the flexibility to do the runs after hours. I can monitor it throughout the evening and in the morning, I have results – whether that is a pass, or an error to fix, or a bug to log, I then share it with the Development team. This flexibility has made me more productive during my workday.
What is something that others may not know about you?
I am happy to share that this year I participated in the Calgary Stampede Parade as part of a group performing a Folk dance called Lezim. Our efforts were well received by the audience, and I found the experience thrilling. It was an honour to walk and dance on the parade route carrying the India and Canada flags.
Wes Allanbrook – VP, Product Development
Introduce yourself and elaborate on the expertise that you bring to Dynamic Risk?
My name is Wes Allanbrook and I am the VP, Product Development at Dynamic Risk and oversee the development of our IRAS software suite and our Advanced Analytics solutions. I have 20 years of experience within the energy industry, either as an engineering consultant or have worked directly for oil and gas operators as a Senior Integrity Engineer. Having the opportunity to be a “Superuser” for Dynamic Risk’s IRAS software suite significantly facilitated my transition into the role by combining my strong technical engineering expertise with a deep understanding of how integrity management software applications are used by our clients.
How has Dynamic Risk helped you in your career development?
When I was working for a large Transmission operator, I worked alongside Dynamic Risk to advance our integrity program forward with respect to data management and consistent processes for using integrity data. This initiative helped shape the way that I approach many workplace challenges and also helped me better understand the value of combining software and data for effective pipeline integrity management.
Which initiative are you most proud of and why?
It is really hard to objectively compare the projects that I have worked on, however, I think the ones that I am most proud of are those that have had a lasting impact regardless of how large or small they were. A particular project we are working on right now to advance our ability to better manage and use data is very exciting and ultimately may end up on my list of projects I am most proud to have led.
How do you help our clients innovate?
I spend a significant amount of time trying to understand why a client is requesting help or performing a task to make sure that the approach we implement or the tools we use are helping address the underlying causes. That has always been how I like to approach solutions and has been typically well-received. My priority is to ensure I provide a solution for a client that truly meets their needs. It is ingrained in my approach to obtaining a solid understanding of each scenario, through the use of detailed data and analysis, so I can accurately assess each situation and offer trusted data-driven recommendations.
Do you have any tips or tricks for using our IRAS suite of applications?
Yes, I do. It is important to understand two key items; What goal are you trying to achieve with the application, and what are the data and data quality requirements to achieve this goal. Lacking a clear answer to these questions can lead to a lot of re-work and frustration around expectations of your results. In addition, do not be shy about asking for support. Our Partner Portal provides a vast library of resources, including training manuals, user workflow videos, and application feature/functionality sheets. Our Subject Matter Experts, which include software developers, database architects, and engineers, are available to offer assistance and ensure your questions are answered. We continue to work closely with our clients to ensure they have training and knowledge to get the most value out of our IRAS Suite of applications.
Armando Borjas – Team Lead, Asset Risk
Introduce yourself and elaborate on what compelled you to join Dynamic Risk?
I have worked at Dynamic Risk for the past five years. I started as an Integrity Engineer, EIT and I progressed to being the Team Lead of the Asset Risk team. I work with clients to develop and implement systems that ensure their pipeline networks are operating safely, reliably, and sustainably. I develop engineering approaches using reliability or quantitative risk-based approaches to support clients’ decision-making processes and risk assessment model development.
The position was appealing because I wasn’t aware of the risk management field during my undergraduate studies. I was also very motivated to enter the workforce in the consulting industry because I heard it would be a great way to learn different areas at the same time. This is precisely what I’ve found at Dynamic Risk, an invaluable experience where I can face different challenges on a daily basis.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you are proud to share with us?
In September, I successfully achieved my Professional Engineering designation through the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). Since 2015, my P. Eng designation was a professional goal I set for myself after I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. I continued working towards the goal while completing my Master of Engineering in Energy & Environment. My accomplishment was possible thanks to my effort, hardship, and, quite frankly, blood, sweat, and tears, but also because of the team who helped me. I couldn’t be more grateful for their support in helping me achieve my P.Eng. During my time at Dynamic Risk I have had so many great mentors. In particular, Winston Lee stands out to me as an exceptional mentor, and I’m immensely thankful to him for sharing his knowledge and experience with me. Thanks to him and others, I am where I am at Dynamic Risk. I am thankful as it has led me to become the Engineer I am today.
A second accomplishment that I am proud of is my promotion to Team Lead, Asset Risk. Since joining Dynamic Risk, I have learned so many things that I’d like to share with others, hopefully helping them grow as well, and paying it forward. I am excited to support and mentor the team with the support of the company.
What are you most excited about for the future at Dynamic Risk?
I am excited about the new opportunities that will come to Dynamic Risk as a result of the integration with Eddyfi-NDT. I’m looking forward to the next evolution of integrity management, leveraging new technologies, and even new types of assets too. Dynamic Risk demonstrates that we can adapt to leverage the latest and greatest technologies to obtain new skills, expertise, and intelligence from data. I am excited about new learning opportunities, working with new clients, and facing new challenges.
What advice do you have for prospective candidates?
To never be satisfied. It is easy to be complacent and say ‘yes’ in order to progress projects. But I have learned to always ask, ‘why do we do it that way?’. While reviewing my work, I question, ‘if I was buying this, would I be happy?’ Also, I question, ‘am I satisfied with how I communicate?’ The inquisitive approach has been incredibly helpful for me to grow and to get the most out of my everyday interactions. Challenge yourself to pursue the answer, the outcome is up to you. You have a voice and step out of your comfort zone to progress. Ask why and evaluate whether you are satisfied with that result.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Take a step back and put yourself in another person’s shoes. My parents and mentors taught me not to make assumptions. By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, things may not be black and white, but rather gray. For instance, deadlines might be aggressive because of pressure from the client side, but they may not have another choice. They also have a supervisor, responsibilities, and family. In the end, when you take a look from a wider perspective, you will realize we are working towards the same goal at the end of the day. Before making assumptions, seek to understand and evaluate the situation at hand. The advice applies to everything in life.
Winston Lee – Configuration Architect
1) Introduce yourself and elaborate on your career at Dynamic Risk.
Hello, I’m Winston Lee. After twenty years of service, I’m currently employed as a Configuration Architect at Dynamic Risk. I tell my friends and family that I configure clients’ databases and risk applications so that their data can be processed or used within our IRAS applications. I deliver the data analyses that are required for our clients to make informed decisions about their assets.
2) How has your career changed since joining Dynamic Risk?
What a story! My educational background is in both Biochemistry and Cellular, Microbial, and Molecular Biology. Before my time at Dynamic Risk, I worked in the Food Chemistry, Ballistic/Wear Ceramics, and Telecommunications (3G hardware) industries.
My role at Dynamic Risk started as a favour to the Founder, Glenn Yuen. My primary objective was digitalizing paper records from BP Gulf of Mexico in 2001. Back then, the only software application was DataView. BP marked the development of our RiskAnalyst application, and I was tasked with maintaining and creating documentation for the software developers. I developed the Risk Design Document and Risk Variable List. I worked with the Engineers in interpreting the Risk Algorithm document into a more usable form for our developers and Data/GIS departments. In doing so, I gained more experience working with both our Software Development Teams and Database/GIS Teams.
A little-known fact, I had the opportunity to play with GIS software at the very beginning, as we were transitioning from AutoCAD to ArcGIS. Also, I spent time as a Project Manager for BP and other clients in 2006 – 2008.
In my evolving role, I understand more of the intricacies of software development and our IRAS database. I can read the code but can’t write any! I had a role in shaping our Version 4, 5, and 6.0 Risk Applications and Algorithm. Within the current environment, I am both creating the algorithms and directing data processing within the Risk Application.
I have become a Subject Matter Expert with software development, data analysis, and engineering. I work closely with these three groups to troubleshoot or diagnose issues. It enables me the unique ability to figure out novel solutions. Currently, I am highly specialized in our risk products. The experience that I have gained required no formal training. Dynamic Risk has certainly encouraged me to be a better team member, which is required in a highly collaborative environment.
3) What is your favourite piece of advice that you have received at Dynamic Risk?
Over the past twenty years, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many people, employees and clients alike. With each of these encounters, there has usually been something that usually stuck.
Jim Mihell, our former Vice President Engineering once told me, “You know you’re right, they think they’re right, your job is to make everyone feel they are right.” It is about compromise and knowing the limitations and coming to a point where everyone is a winner.
Ashley Gorham, a former client and BP Engineer, once advised me to “Play to my strengths and stick with these. Don’t oversell and recognize your limitations and you will do well.” I keep this in mind every day. If there is something I do not know, I will find out how and add it to my skill set.
One of my favourite projects at Dynamic Risk was with BP Alaska in 2006. The project needed all-hands-on-deck surrounding a very controversial time for BP and Operations. It also marked an opportunity to work in the field and travel. I find travelling rewarding because it focuses on making one self-reliant. I remember having to run the risk application overnight with data that I gathered the same day. I had an overheating machine running with me. I had to turn on the air conditioning in my room to prop the laptop over it, in February!
4) What is your proudest moment at Dynamic Risk?
I am proud to have remained with Dynamic Risk for twenty years! Certainly an achievement in this day and age in which we can both find value in one another.
A new challenge is always right around the corner. The work does not stagnate for long because our relationships with clients tend to last long. I have made connections with colleagues that have been profoundly rewarding. I enjoy watching their growth, both professionally and personally. Frankly, it has been inspirational. Dynamic Risk has grown quite a bit from that office of ten employees when I started. We have become more technical and customer service-focused with a diverse client base.
5) Where can you usually be found on the weekends?
I can usually be found running errands and cycling. I am also a LEGO enthusiast. Pre-pandemic, I was involved in several LEGO events as a participant and coordinator. I assisted other LEGO artists with commissioned projects. Most recently, I have been involved in FIRST LEGO League Challenge. FIRST is a LEGO-based initiative for young students to get involved in robotics and technology projects (STEM). I hope to get back to doing these rewarding activities in the community.
My partner is a FIRST coach and robotics instructor at a high school. Last week, I was involved in her workshop developing challenges for the IndigiSTEAM program!
Brittany Woolbright – Business Experience Lead
1. Introduce yourself and elaborate on your career at Dynamic Risk? How long have you worked at Dynamic Risk?
I am a Business Experience Lead as part of the Customer Experience team. I have been with Dynamic Risk for 8 years and I provide administrative support and coordinate external and internal projects.
2. What is your favourite memory at Dynamic Risk?
Being based in our US, Woodlands, Texas office, I am fortunate to work with a team of fun, collaborative and knowledgeable individuals. I guess there is not one specific memory but a collection of experiences that include friendly banter with day to day work activities, and of course our social committee events that I really enjoy.
3. How has your career changed since joining the company?
I have been fortunate to have advanced my career over the past 8 years and progressed up the career ladder with broadening my skill set. I started as an administrative assistant and then moved into a project administrator role, then to a senior project administrator role and now into my current position as a Business Experience Lead. I’m currently completing my PMP certification which I look forward to seeing how I can leverage that in my current role.
4. What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received, either professionally or personally?
Early in my career, a colleague told me to “get used to being uncomfortable.” This was in reference to being a woman of color in the workplace, and the lack of representation. I have taken that advice to heart and leveraged that to empower myself and use as an advantage. The more uncomfortable I am, the better prepared I tend to be and ultimately, a higher performer. I am fortunate that Dynamic Risk provides a very diverse and inclusive culture and I look forward to continuing to support that across the organization.
5. Do you have a best practice or motto you’d like to share that supports your profession as a Business Experience Lead?
I think it is important to speak up and never be afraid to provide your knowledge and expertise when given the opportunity. I used to be very shy and not confident to speak up even if I had expertise in a particular area. As I have grown my career at Dynamic Risk, the company supports an open environment for any team member across the organization to provide their thoughts and suggestions, which often directly impacts the success of the company. Everyone is a valued team player who is heard and valued.
Tracey Murray – Manager, Communications & Marketing
1. Introduce yourself and elaborate on your career at Dynamic Risk? How long have you worked at Dynamic Risk?
My name is Tracey Murray, I am the Marketing and Communications Manager at Dynamic Risk. I joined the company in September 2018 and over the past three years, I have really enjoyed being part of the Business Development team, as well as working closely with the different departments across the organization.
2. What drew you to work for Dynamic Risk?
When I first learned about Dynamic Risk, I was impressed with the Company’s focus on improving pipeline integrity for the safety of the industry and the environment. I have spent the majority of my career working within the energy sector, more specifically for global technology companies, so Dynamic Risk’s mission and philosophy around leveraging a digital mindset through the use of technology enabled solutions to better support pipeline integrity was inspiring and what drew me in.
3. How has Dynamic Risk helped you in your career development?
From my first day at the company, I have had the opportunity to work directly with a diverse set of brilliant individual subject matter experts that are always available to explain how we work with our clients globally to better maintain their pipeline assets. This was really helpful for me to ensure our marketing efforts align with how to better communicate our message across the regions we operate in. I came into the company with little knowledge of pipelines and through the help of my colleagues, I often surprise myself with what I know now.
4. What advice do you have for prospective Dynamic Risk candidates or future employees?
Dynamic Risk is a great company for a variety of reasons. Our team members have the opportunity to work directly (or indirectly) on a variety of innovative projects to enhance our industry leading solutions. Furthermore, individual growth is embraced through stretching imaginations and skillsets. Personally, I think have developed a few new skills I previously wasn’t aware I was capable of! Ultimately, each team member here is empowered by providing their input. Everyone’s opinion matters.
5. How has the company changed since you arrived?
Since I started which is just under 3 years ago, Dynamic Risk has grown leaps and bounds which is very impressive with respect to the current energy market and the global challenges faced with COVID. Our teams now have the opportunity to choose where we work (in the office or at home or a combination of both) which I personally really appreciate that flexibility being a working mom! Furthermore, we have expanded tremendously Internationally within the Middle East region and our recent strategic partnership under Eddfyi-NDT has supported our ongoing commitment to growth and overall strength in the market. It has definitely been an exciting journey so far!
Adrian Day– Project Manager
1. Introduce yourself and elaborate on your career at Dynamic Risk? How long have you been a team member at Dynamic Risk?
I am a Senior Project Manager at Dynamic Risk, having been with the company since August 2014. I have an educational background in Computer Engineering and Philosophy, which I greatly enjoyed. I previously worked as a Systems Engineer in the domain of public transit and fleet management. Being a Project Manager at Dynamic Risk is great because I get to work with a broad variety of people, clients, projects, and technology.
2. What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Seek inspiration in your job and ensure you find alignment with what is important to you. Also, always be open to learning something new. This is helpful to me because sometimes in the rush of day to day work-life, it is easy to lose sight of that connection to why my work is important. Working with purpose keeps me motivated and on track.
3. Which project are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of my work with Enbridge supporting their ILI project. Dynamic Risk’s role has evolved significantly over the years and I have been involved with loading, aligning, and sentencing Enbridge ILI data. We play an important role in assisting the Enbridge Planning and Integrity teams in maintaining safe operational lines. There is a renewed focus on ensuring the teams have access to integrated data sets to make informed decisions and IRAS is a key piece of this important work.
4. How do you help our clients innovate?
I’m fortunate to be in regular contact with clients who frequently share goals they would like to achieve or challenges to overcome. Given my familiarity with their needs and the broad capability of the team at Dynamic Risk and the IRAS suite, I can help facilitate innovation by bringing together technical expertise, technology, and a problem-solving mindset. Having the space to bounce ideas off each other and think creatively is critical.
5. Do you have any tips for those working remotely?
Take time throughout the day to stand-up, move, get fresh air. Being purposeful with small breaks is more important at home where every meeting is in the same room versus the office, where I would be constantly moving from meeting to meeting. Also, turning on the webcam is nice when connecting with your coworkers and it helps to be more actively present when participating in virtual meetings.
6. Can you tell us something interesting about yourself?
In August 2007, I attempted a solo bike ride from Calgary to Vancouver and made it most of the way. I had to call it quits at Merritt, British Columbia due to an IT band injury and as a result, also hitchhiked for the first time!
Jagdish Chaudhary – Manager, Development Operations
1. Introduce yourself and elaborate on your career at Dynamic Risk? How long have you been a team member at Dynamic Risk?
My name is Jagdish Chaudhary. I am the Manager of Development Operations. I have worked with the company since August 22, 2011, and I joined as a Database Administrator. I started my career as an Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer working with SAP BASIS, but most of my expertise has occurred at Dynamic Risk.
2. Tell us what motivates you to wake up and go to work?
I get to work with some amazing people every day at Dynamic Risk. It is a known fact that we have incredibly talented professionals that bring unique skills to the table. I get to learn new things, mentor and coach my team to grow professionally.
I am motivated by solving complex technical challenges and generating new ideas to improve data storage, data management, and Extract, Transfer, and Load (ETL) processes. Technology advances quickly and I enjoy collaborating to test new ideas and find creative efficiencies that solve data problems.
I love this quote from Christopher McDougall. The quote aligns seamlessly with the innovation that is required with changing technologies, “ every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running”. In my interview ten years ago, I used this quote. This quote is still relevant and motivating.
3. What are your team’s responsibilities?
I work with an extremely talented and diverse team of ETLs, DBA, Data Solution Specialists, and Client Support Specialists. My team is responsible for creating, upgrading, and maintaining client databases onsite and on the cloud. We currently support over 500 databases on Test, Development, Pre-production, and Production environments across more than 15 servers.
We are responsible for maintaining the IRAS Data Model and creating, optimizing and executing ETL processes. My team supports the delivery of IRAS applications and databases to clients and is also responsible for receiving and restoring client deliveries. My team also sets up users for an internal and external database. We provide IRAS application access, publish applications on the hosting environment, as well as provide client support and testing support for the IrasWeb solution.
4. Which project are you most proud of and why?
Most of the projects I have worked on here at Dynamic Risk have been fulfilling. The last project that I had the opportunity to lead and work on was the ‘Data Sharing’ project. With the help of Abhinav Kumar and Debbie Macrohon, we explored, tested, and implemented a new cloud solution. The new cloud solution stores pipeline data from multiple clients into a single data storage system, which helps end-users make informed decisions. There were a few challenges, but we learned new ETL cloud technologies. The team migrated the eligible transmissions client data into the new Cloud Data Sharing platform last month.
5. What are some of the greatest technology challenges that the industry will face and how will we overcome these challenges?
The biggest technology challenge is data storage, security, and processing. In this digital age, everything is stored online. As a population, we rely on doing everything online. We conduct business activities, social networking, and even shopping from our phones. These interactions are growing exponentially. Our data is stored online, from airline tickets to banking and credit card data. We are empowered to travel the world with just a Passport and a mobile phone, do not forget your charger! We are tasked with finding a solution that stores data stacks safely. The next challenge addresses how do we process and analyze the data. Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform have transformed the way big data is stored and processed. Companies will need to move to a Hybrid, Cloud or Multi-Cloud environment to store their data safely. We need to educate and train individuals about data privacy risks, encrypt at rest and inflight data for security reasons adhering to our data security best practices. Machine learning will play a big role in helping with data security and processing the data. New technologies, such as Fast Data and the Internet of Things will help analyze data promptly.