Dogs, aerial silks, and energy studies at Prism’s Nelson office

Whether you are a curious client or an interested career explorer, do you ever wonder what Prism’s Energy Engineers do in a typical day?

We are excited to be featuring a day in the life of Lizz Hodgson, P.Eng., one of the Energy Engineers working out of our Nelson office.

“I typically get into the office around 9 a.m. with my dog, Otago,” Lizz tells us. “We settle in by grabbing some water or a coffee and touching base with my team members before logging onto my computer. Having Otago here brings some levity to the office – he has quite a presence! I love that the casual setting we have allows me to include him in my office days.”

Lizz and Otago in Prism’s Nelson Office

Lizz’s mornings usually involve some administrative preparation, such as coordinating site visits, gathering utility data, and scheduling planning sessions with colleagues or clients.

For example, the weekly Monday morning planning meetings gather all of Prism’s Energy team members together online from our Nelson, Kelowna, and Burnaby offices to review project priorities for the week and to highlight areas on which team members can collaborate and support each other.

Lizz’s afternoons are often filled with client meetings, presentations, facilitating workshops, or project work such as energy modelling and analysis.

On a few days each week, Lizz uses her lunch break to fit in some exercise. She visits the gym at the local recreation centre, two blocks away. She also attends a circus training school, Discover Circus, that’s located in the same building as our Nelson office. The school’s aerial silks classes allow her to engage with her artistic self and take a social break. It’s great exercise, too, she says.

“It has become important to my mental health to create work–life balance,” she says. “Living in Nelson and working for Prism allows me to keep work and play close together. I can step away from the computer to do something completely different by challenging myself physically. I come back to the office feeling accomplished and ready to tackle the rest of the day!”

On a recent fall day, we caught up with her as she was preparing to lead a 90-minute workshop for a local municipality. Lizz is the technical service area lead for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Planning, and she has been working with the municipality on an emissions reduction pathway feasibility study. She told us that, before the study is finalized, she will incorporate feedback from stakeholders and facilitate the discussion around the identified pathways as part of the process to foster organizational buy-in.

As with any of our Energy Engineers, Lizz’s level of involvement varies from project to project and depends on each client’s needs. For example, organizations that have their own sustainability and energy teams may already have a decision framework in place to help guide their discussions. The objectives of these discussions are to identify barriers to implementation, ensure the recommended measures are within the decision framework, gain engagement from stakeholders, and guide the setting of priorities to meet the client’s goals and targets. Clients that don’t have that kind of in-house expertise may require more of Lizz’s involvement to help them determine targets and solutions, engage stakeholders, and set client-appropriate priorities.

The work is diverse and stimulating.

“I enjoy the varied nature of my role at Prism and look forward to new challenges my projects bring me each day,” Lizz says. “I’m not always writing technical reports — I’m often on site, I’m leading workshops, I’m researching new technology. Even when I’m at my desk, I collaborate with various engineering teams within Prism to create thoughtful and integrated solutions for our clients. Along with enjoying the people I work with, I get lots of learning opportunities too.”

Lizz on site at a recent mechanical installation in Nelson, BC.
Lizz on site at a recent mechanical installation in Nelson, BC.