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Gina Agelidis Vahlas
Graduated from SFU in 1996
Major: BSc (Kin)
Credentials: Co-op, Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE), a Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC), Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor (CPHSA)
Gina is currently working as a Occupational Hygiene Officer at WorkSafeBC
Gina has worked in the ergonomics/human factors field for over 25 years as a consultant, as an in-house ergonomist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and at WorkSafeBC in the Prevention Division. Currently, she is an Occupational Hygiene Officer at WorkSafeBC using ergonomics/human factors to help employers set up systems for success in health and safety. Gina is also Secretary for the College of Canadian Certification of Professional Ergonomists, and a part-time instructor for Ergonomics in the BCIT Occupational Health and Safety Certificate program. She has shared her knowledge at conferences, including the International Ergonomics Association Conference, the National Ergonomics Conference (USA), the CSSE Professional Development Conference and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Symposium (USA).
1) What is your current position? What does a typical work day look like for you?
I'm currently an Occupational Hygiene Officer. My typical day involves going to a work site and educating the owner and workers about the regulatory requirements for health and safety and helping them to understand why it is important to implement controls for health and safety.
2) How did your education in BPK influence your career?
BPK opened my eyes to careers that I didn't know existed. I did 4 co-op terms in ergonomics/ human factors and really enjoyed understanding issues at a deep level and designing and testing solutions with staff participation until we had success.
3) Who in BPK had an impact on you and why?
Brian Fisher and the Human-Computer Interaction class impacted me by highlighting the importance of usability.
4) What is your favourite memory of your time at SFU as an undergraduate?
Learning about the helicopter pilot suits and the deep sea diving suits during the field trip at Mustang Survival with the Environmental Ergonomics class.
5) What advice would you give to today’s BPK student?
Get involved at the university and do co-op. Co-op was pivotal for me. It helped me to understand what I enjoyed and what I did not enjoy in a workplace. Co-op gives you the opportunity to try out careers to see what fits for you.