Ian Penninga: What does my daily routine look like? FPAC 2021 Green Dream Internship Program

Ian Penninga
July 27, 2021

For this blog post I am going to be talking about my daily routine working as a Quality Control Student at the Tolko Athabasca Division.

My roles and duties in the lab have changed over the course of my time working here. For the first bunch of months while working here I was assigned with a large project, so I spent a large part of my time working on that. At the beginning I was also learning all the different roles that a lab technician is responsible for, but towards the end of my term I know almost everything that they do, and therefore I can assist them if they are shorthanded or busy. For my daily routine breakdown, I summarized my average day, for often I end up doing something new and different every day and that is difficult to incorporate into a daily routine breakdown.

5:40 AM – My day begins with the sweet sound of a snowmobile ringtone blaring in my ear to wake up.

5:40 – 6:15 AM – During this time I continue to wake up and get ready for my day with coffee, breakfast, and making my lunch.

6:15 – 6:40 AM – Drive for 25 minutes over the amazing Alberta gravel roads to get to work.

6:45 – 7:00 AM – A daily morning meeting with the lab technicians from the previous night shift and the ones there for day shift to discuss any safety issues, any quality issues, and anything else that relates to the lab.

7:00 – 9:00 AM – During this time anything special for the day is planned and scheduled as well as some of the other following tasks:

• Check and reply to any emails from the previous day.

• Assist lab techs with their mandatory or trial board tests.

• Grab strand samples from both Stranders to test for strand dimensions and fines percentage.

• Work on my second project for the lab department.

Ian Penninga measuring samples in preparation for board tests.
The contact angle contraption built by Ian Penninga for his second project.
One of the images captured using the contraption.

9:00 AM – Coffee

9:15 AM – 12:00 PM – Anything that needed to be finished from the list before is worked on as well as any of the following:

• Supervise unloading any chemical deliveries from truck drivers (Emulsified wax, Release Agent, and MDI).

• Assist with any issues that come up in the lab.

• Conduct a tour of tank farm area, blending level, and finishing lab area for any spills or issues.

• Work on any documents or data entry for the lab, and then on my project.

A truck delivering emulsified wax to the Tolko Athabasca Division.

1:00 PM – Lunch

1:30 – 3:30 PM – Again, anything from earlier that needed to be finished is done first, and any issues that arise in the lab are worked on.

• Continue helping in the lab with any issues or testing that may arise.

• Work on my project or any other tasks that need to be finished.

3:30 PM – Home time

4:00 PM – Stop to pick up anything that I may need for dinner or the weekend

5ish – Attempt to make something for dinner that is healthy and still tastes good.

6ish – Go fishing on Lesser Slave River for Pike, Walleye, or anything else that bites!

A Walleye and Pike caught by Ian Penninga on Slave Lake.

9:30ish – Prepare for bed and get ready for the next day.

During the week my schedule mainly follows the above, but on the weekends, I also enjoy getting out and doing activities such as hunting, fishing, boating, shooting, and dirt biking.

Dirt biking in Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park, AB.
A picture of one of my friends jumping because I was not brave enough to try.
Tubing at Forfar Lake, AB with some of my friends.

Until next time,

Ian Penninga

For more information contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
Follow FPAC on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC
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