I Am Christine Pellerin

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Christine Pellerin dials us into the world of Radio Frequency Safety in this special Women’s History Month installment of I Am Strong, Secure, Engaged.

As Lead Engineer of Radio Frequency Safety at the Quality Engineering Test Establishment, Christine’s primary role is to ensure safe practices are followed when using equipment that emits radio frequency energy. She is one of the many dedicated men and women across Defence working hard to implement the Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged.

Christine supports the Radio Frequency Safety Program by assisting with internal client requests, safety report reviews, policy initiatives, and provides technical guidance when requested.

Watch the video to find out more.

Keep an eye open for more profiles in the weeks ahead and learn more about SSE and how members of the Defence Team are supporting its implementation.

Transcript

I am Christine Pellerin, Lead Engineer of Radio Frequency Safety.

I started in the high-tech sector, so I already knew, when I heard that DND was hiring engineers, I was already familiar with the corporate culture associated with DND, associated with the armed forces. And so I knew it would be a good fit for my own personality.

First of all, we do not determine what is safe and what is unsafe. We are determining compliance. There is a guideline, put out by Health Canada, called Safety Code 6. What they do is they establish what is the safe level for the energy coming off of radars, coming off of antennas, radios. And they determine how far you have to be away from certain types of energy. So what we do is we’re going around and we’re verifying that we are respecting those guidelines put out by Health Canada.

We really are a purple organization and we really do work with all three environments.

You take something like the Navy and coming down we have the Joint Service Support (JSS), we have AOPS (Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships), we have CSC (Canadian Surface Combatant) coming through. All those projects are going to require us working with them to test their equipment, to provide advice about Radio Frequency Safety. Then of course you have the Air Force where they have the Sikorsky helicopters for the Sea King replacements, they also have fixed-wing SAR (Search and Rescue) and they also have other projects coming down the pipe too. Furthermore, with the Army, of course they’re going to be upgrading their fleets over time and they’re going to be upgrading their equipment too. Things like electronic warfare equipment. It’s time for us to evolve our counter IED (Improvised Explosive Device) equipment too, so we need to make sure all that new equipment is safe.

As a student, I always enjoyed the maths and the sciences. There was one day at school I saw a poster of a girl fixing a bicycle saying “I want to be an engineer, just like my mom”. And it got me thinking, so I started interviewing the parents of some of my friends who were engineers, asking them what they did for a living. How did they enjoy being an engineer? If they could do it all over again, would they still do it? Resoundingly, they said “yes”. They loved their jobs, they love what they do, they would do it the same all over again, and that’s really how I feel about my job as well.

I love my job in Radio Frequency Safety. It’s thrilling, it changes all the time, it’s a dynamic job, and I work with very dynamic people.

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