Matthew Lee


Matthew Lee in Yellowknife, preparing for his first trip to the Arctic communities.

Aerospace Engineering, 1T5+PEY

Since his graduation, Matthew has been working at First Air, The Airline of the North, which serves the communities in Canada’s Arctic region.  Heading up the Flight Operations Engineering department, Matthew oversees various projects that span across all facets of the airline, from analyzing aircraft performance to designing modifications for the aircraft to operate in Canada’s harshest flying environment.  Additionally, he works very closely with federal government departments, such as Transport Canada, and the territorial governments to ensure compliance with all the regulations for airline operations.  As a result of this cooperation with the territorial governments, Matthew has had the opportunity to travel regularly to the northern communities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

With more leisure time, Matthew has returned to his pursuit of obtaining his Commercial Pilot License, having already been a Private Pilot throughout his time in EngSci.  As well, in 2017, Matthew will be begin a Master of Infrastructure Protection and International Security at Carleton University.  He hopes to use this opportunity to combine his engineering knowledge from EngSci with the policy background of the program to help governments develop policies that account for engineering requirements, from their inception.

“People always tell you to enjoy your time at university.  Looking back on my 5 years in EngSci, it was a great experience learning from regarded professors, meeting lifelong friends, and working with some of the brightest minds from around the world. 

However, if there was one thing I could have changed from my experience, it would have been this:
Do not let the endgame overshadow the opportunities around you.

When I started 1st year in EngSci, I had a goal and a plan to achieve it.  I was going to be a technical expert in designing aircraft.  I was going to work at Bombardier during my PEY and go back after graduation to make my mark on Canadian aviation.  While I worked towards that goal tirelessly, and even got to do my internship as I planned, things changed during my time in school.  The world economy changed and my personal ambitions changed.  While you may have a well thought out plan for where you want to go, things can change in a heartbeat.  While I took advantage of many opportunities available from the university, I also left a lot of other ones “on the table” because they didn’t fit perfectly into the vision I had.

My advice for those who are currently in, or will be joining, the program is to expect the unexpected.  Work hard to achieve your goals but have fun and enjoy the experience.  Let the opportunities in life present themselves to you and take hold of as many as you can, even if you don’t see the immediate advantage.  Just as I never expected to be working in the Arctic, you never know what opportunities will be thrown at you.”
–Matthew Lee