Making things better

Grad profile: Elizabeth Croteau, Faculty of Engineering

- May 29, 2013

New grad Elizabeth Croteau. (Danny Abriel photo)
New grad Elizabeth Croteau. (Danny Abriel photo)

Every spring and fall, we profile just a few of our amazing graduates in our convocation handout. We proudly feature these stories here on Dal News. Congrats to all our new graduates!

Elizabeth Croteau’s favourite high school classes were history and physics. When helping her choose a university, her father wanted her to experience a new culture, while she wanted a school that offered both arts and engineering programs.

“Dalhousie looked like a perfect fit,” Croteau recalls, and it is.

Thanks to advanced placement credits, a heavy workload and summer courses, Croteau, originally from Skeleton Lake, Ont., finished a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in a short two years. “I knew that once I came down to [the Sexton] campus, I wanted to focus on engineering.” She received her Diploma in Engineering, and specialized in industrial engineering in her third year.

“It was like love at first lecture,” Croteau says. “It is exactly how I think and exactly what I want to do.”

She jokes that, “Engineers make things; industrial engineers make things better.” Through engineering, her way of thinking has transformed, even using ergonomics in her kitchen. “I like how concrete engineering is; it’s about understanding how to solve a problem.”

As the president of the Dalhousie Undergraduate Engineering Society, Croteau used her problem-solving skills to advocate for students. She became vice-president academic in her second year and moved her way to president through her dedication to students. “I like[d] being able to represent students as a whole, not just myself.”

With support from the dean and her professors, Croteau has traveled to conferences across the country as the chair of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students. She comes back to Dalhousie with ideas that improve the program and its dedication to students.

Starting a Master of Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie in May, she will continue the “whirlwind of learning and excitement” with hopes of being prime minister one day. With recognition as the youngest semi-finalist of Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister competition at the age of 18, and two Dal degrees already to her name, she might just get there.


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