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With a natural aptitude for science, math and woodworking, it’s no surprise Graeme Dick found his calling in forestry. His job as a Senior Technical Director at Weyerhaeuser not only gives him daily opportunities to apply his talents and training, but also provides the variety and flexibility he always wanted from his career. Graeme is part of the GreenestWorkforce, and Canada’s forest products industry.
This is his story.
Growing up in Nanaimo, I took wood shop all through high school, and I did well at math and sciences. Both of those were a great foundation for getting into forest products. I went to the University of British Columbia for an undergrad in wood products processing, and then for my Masters in forestry. I’ve been with Weyerhaeuser for 6 years and have been a Regional Senior Technical Director for Weyerhaeuser in Vancouver for more than three yearsthe last year.
There’s no such thing as a typical day here. I oversee the technical departments of four facilities, which involves a lot of time on the road. I’m in Oregon every couple of weeksmonthly and Ontario every six months, working with facility teams on optimization. I make sure they meet manufacturing standards and I monitor quality aspects. There’s variety, which I really enjoy, and also I also get to see the impact of my work. There’s a set of targets for the mills I oversee. I have latitude to shape how I meet those targets, but they have to be met. I know that I’m successful if they’re doing better it’s because I’m doing my job. That’s where my value is. Whatever it takes to help them meet their targets, that’s what I’ll do.
I also have access to a team of highly talented product and testing engineers I can draw on for expertise. Every day I’m learning something new simply by through osmosis.
I love that there’s no cookbook, just a set of expectations and. It’s it’s up to me to decide how to meet them. I have a lot of flexibility in this job. Weyerhaeuser encourages days off when I need them and I generally set my own schedule.
Now, my path is just one of the ways people end up in forestry, and I’m more on the technical side than actual hands-on work with the trees. I took the engineering engineered product route, and when I look at my fellow graduates I’m impressed by the diversity of opportunities. It’s almost endless, really. Some have gone into forestry proper, some into pulp and paper. If you’re interested in something there’s probably an opportunity to pursue it.