Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Natalie Yao, Energy Specialist

Originally from China, Natalie grew up interested in wildlife and enjoyed being outside in nature. Shortly after graduating from North China Electrical Power University, with a degree in industry engineering, Natalie left Beijing and traveled to Europe.

In the Netherlands, Natalie was able to combine her interest in how power was generated with seeking clean energy solutions. After spending two years completing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science, she headed to Canada to further her education in environmental engineering.

After finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at UBC, Canada is now Natalie’s home by choice. She sees great potential for Canada to adopt clean energy solutions with gas, electricity, and water, thereby preventing waste from happening and contaminants from entering our waters.

With her engineering background, Natalie was hired by TRU as an energy specialist. Calculating the energy savings when outdated systems are replaced with alternative energy, or energy efficient equipment, is Natalie’s specialty. She like numbers and the savings she can foresee when switching to cleaner energy sources.

As part of FortisBC’s commitment to working with community scale district energy, Natalie joined TRU’s Office of Environment and Sustainability. With her position funded by FortisBC, Natalie is working with her colleagues, and TRU’s Facilities Services, to implement equipment upgrades and more energy efficient systems, fueled by natural gas.

The switch in infrastructure has its challenges for older buildings. What is even more important for Natalie, however, is to support TRU facilities staff as they learn to maintain buildings fueled with sustainable technologies. By getting involved and learning why sustainable initiatives benefit us all, she’s optimistic TRU will meet its carbon reduction expectations.

Natalie knows it’s hard to change our energy behaviour overnight. She also likes to remind everyone, we can all play a role in saving energy.

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