Heather Hayne

Job Title

Senior Technical Officer (Mechanical)


Public Works and Services - Asset Management

Length of service with the GNWT

9 years


B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto
Master of Engineering, University of Toronto

What are your job responsibilities?

Our section supports new design, renovations and maintenance of all GNWT buildings. We ensure new buildings are built to our standards and meet criteria for operations and energy efficiency. We also look after renovations and problems in existing buildings. My job touches on various aspects of the design/construction project delivery process, review of consultant project submissions for new buildings, Petroleum Products Division fuel facilities, or renovation projects, the provision of technical advice and support, troubleshooting of building mechanical problems, updating and developing guidelines for design and construction, performing of Technical Status Evaluations (building condition “snapshots”), site inspections, verification of building operations, and writing of briefing notes, brochures, and reports, etc.

How has the GNWT supported your professional development and advancement?

The GNWT has certainly supported my training. I have had a lot of training opportunities and many chances to attend conferences, seminars, and participate in committees. This job involves a variety of work and I have had to upgrade and/or learn new skills in some fields.

How did you end up working with the GNWT?

After I graduated, I worked as a plant engineer in a Northern Ontario pulp mill. I then switched over to building services engineering, working with a Toronto consulting firm and then with the building Design and Construction section of Public Works and Government Services Canada (Ontario Region). I then moved to the Maintenance Management Section of Public Works and Government Services and from there to National Defence at Base Borden. By this time my partner Dave and I were commuting long hours and looking for a change so I began looking North. I had never been north of Edmonton before but had enjoyed Northern Ontario and wanted the chance to see more of the North. When this position came available and I was asked for an interview I was very interested.

Why do you enjoy working for the GNWT?

I like my job and the people I work with. We get the chance to see many places while renovating, reviewing new construction, or troubleshooting. Some of our work is quite unique, and would not be found in the South - the use of biomass and our climate change adaptation activities, for instance. And there is the great opportunity to travel, see different parts of the North and meet new people.

Can you share an interesting story/work experience with the GNWT?

There are many - from meeting nurses in tiny Arctic health centres, to hearing stories of wolves in Sachs Harbour from a local hunter. The experience which struck me the most was a Northern trip I made a month after coming up from Toronto. This was a week-long trip to Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour and Inuvik. We visited many community buildings and met lots of community members. It was dark and cold and very beautiful.

What would you recommend to someone applying on a GNWT position?

I hope it makes their workplaces and homes more comfortable and energy-efficient, and makes good use of public money.