Jill Lee-Henningham - Landscape Architectural Technologist

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McElhanney - Edmonton

Years of experience: 16

Current as of: October, 2021

Career Journey

1999-2005

Education

2005-2016

Career Journey 1

2016-current

Career Journey 2

Present

Future Ambitions

Studied in the Bachelor of Design course provided at the UofA from 1999-2002
Moved over to the NAIT LAT course in 2003, upon realizing my strengths lay in technical roles. Graduated with a Diploma in Landscape Architectural Technology in 2005.

I applied for a job with Gibbs & Brown upon graduating in 2005 and was hired as a Landscape Architectural Technologist. In 2016 (at which time our firm name had changed to EIDOS Consultants), our company was acquired by McElhanney Ltd.

I and many of my former EIDOS Consultants co-workers now comprise the Landscape Architecture Edmonton division of McElhanney Ltd., a multi-disciplinary consulting firm with branches in various locations throughout Canada.

I hope to be able to continue developing landscapes and places for people to connect with the outdoors for many years to come.

Question and Answers

After graduation, what was the first position you had? How did that shape where you are now as a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

My first position was with EIDOS Consultants, known as Gibbs & Brown at the time. It was a very close knit company, and I developed a rapport with them when I was placed there for my work week in my second year at NAIT. I have been given many opportunities within the firm to explore my areas of interest and the support I have received has been instrumental in shaping my confidence and love of the work we do.

What is something that surprised you at the start of your career? or What is something that surprises you about being a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

Since we learned hand graphics at NAIT (our courses in computer rendering at the time were very limited), and I came from an artistic background, I was disappointed that hand graphics were not utilized as often within the office. I have since discovered that hand graphics combined with computer graphics can be very useful when you are doing preliminary work and changes are ongoing. Being able to revise something without redoing the entire piece of work can be a good thing, and you can still create many elements using hand rendering or it's techniques.

What are some of your roles and responsibilities?

I draft plans and details starting from Conceptual drawings all the way to Construction and Record drawings in Civil 3D, sometimes utilizing Sketchup for 3D modelling stills or fly-throughs, and Photoshop/Illustrator for 2D graphics. I have done work in large-scale planning projects which involves some (limited albeit) knowledge of GIS file coordination. I complete cost estimates, which can involve sourcing products and pricing specific to the project and it's region. I have done specification writing, construction administration and site inspections as well, although it is not my area of expertise. I often utilize InDesign to create presentation boards used in open houses and other events. As a senior technologist in our office I also oversee training of new Landscape Architecture staff members who are hired within our company as well as managing CAD standards for our LA division as a whole.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I don't know that I have a typical day as my work can vary incredibly from project to project.

What skills do you feel are important to have as a Landscape Architectural Technologist?

It is important to be open to learning new technology and ways of doing things. Products and standards are always changing and developing, and you need to be willing to explore them so that you can gain the benefits that may come from utilizing them.

What advice would you give a new Landscape Architectural Technologist?

Always look for new ways to do things, and accept that there will always be more you can learn. Even though I know a lot of tips and tricks for CAD and Civil 3D, I have also learned a lot from other staff members, even when they're new hires or still students.



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