Using Her Creative Skills to Help Bring Ideas to Life

"You never know what’s going to come through the door," says Nancy Knaggs with a smile. Nancy is a Research Technologist at the BCIT Technology Centre, and she loves the variety of work assignments as well as the challenges that arise when abstract ideas meet real-world technology.

The Technology Centre helps entrepreneurs, companies, and other organizations take the first critical steps from drawing board to specification, design, and functional prototype for a new product or invention. Nancy is a key member of the team, working under the direction of some of the top researchers in the applied sciences. Seeing a problem solved and a product brought into production, and knowing that she had a hand in making it a reality, delivers a huge measure of job satisfaction.

Nancy enjoys using her creative skills to help bring ideas to life, whether it’s an automated pill-crusher for health-care organizations, solar panels for remote lighting, or an ornamental-tree harvester. She also loves being part of the early stages of product design, from the initial meeting with a client through the specification stage to tweaking the prototype to achieve optimum usability.

When Nancy finished high school she thought her future was in fine arts, but she soon realized that although she enjoyed creating art, she was not interested in art history or in being a museum curator. She also had a keen interest in science, math, technology, and science fiction, including the works of Isaac Asimov. When she returned to the job market after raising a family, one program of studies in the BCIT course catalogue leapt off the screen: Robotics and Automation. The program offered a way to combine her interests and skills and create the ideal career.

After Nancy completed her Diploma of Technology, she had no idea that she would end up back at BCIT. But the position of Research Technologist came up at just the right time, fitting Nancy’s goals perfectly, and she can't imagine a better job. Now all she has to do is find the time to write her first science fiction novel.

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