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Mining trailblazer to be recognized for managerial prowess

Professional engineers honouring Vale’s Samantha Espley in November
Samantha Espley

Sudbury’s Samantha Espley will soon be placing another award on the mantel.

The general manager of Vale’s mines and mills technical services department will receive the Engineering Medal for Management at the prestigious Ontario Professional Engineers Awards (OPEA) on Nov. 18 in Toronto.

The 70th annual black-tie gala takes place in the North Hall of the Toronto Congress Centre.

Espley is a recognized trailblazer for women in the mining industry, serving as one of the few female engineers to hold several senior technical, operational and management positions.

In 2015, Espley was honoured at the Engineers Canada Awards Gala in receiving the award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession.

Over the course of her 24-year engineering career at Falconbridge, Dome, Denison-Potacan, Noranda and Inco, the OPEA said Espley has demonstrated “exceptional engineering and management expertise” that’s spurred advances in health, safety and environmental practices combined with productivity and cost improvements at operations in Canada, Brazil, New Caledonia and Indonesia.

In her position, she oversees a team of engineers, metallurgists and technical staff in Sudbury and at Vale’s Sheridan Park Research Facility in Mississauga, conducting mineralogy and metallurgical analysis, and mine design and milling strategies, among other duties.

As a member of Professional Engineers Ontario, she is an active in her Sudbury chapter by organizing engineering job shadowing events for high school students and helping with the chapter’s annual licence presentations for new professional engineers.

Espley is a staunch believer that innovation is enhanced through diversity and often builds diverse teams in terms of gender, cultural heritage, backgrounds, skill sets, and experiences.

She co-authored “Gaining Insights on Career Satisfaction for Women in Mining,” a 2010 paper that explored factors that improve or inhibit career satisfaction for women in the industry.

Espley helped found Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Sudbury, not-for-profit corporation of volunteers who encourage young women to consider careers in science and engineering and provides a support network for women in these fields.