Even though she’s no longer a student, Stephanie Tzanis (ChemE 1T7 + PEY) is still well known around the halls of Wallberg. Faculty, staff, and students remember her fondly as a true leader and a social butterfly. Some may be surprised to learn that she wasn’t always so outgoing.
“I wasn’t as confident in high school, but when I started university I decided to push myself to get involved. I made a real effort from day one to contribute as much as possible to Chem Club, which helped me to break out of my shell,” recalls Tzanis, who is now a Project Engineer-in-Training at Integran Technologies, a nanomaterials company founded by U of T alumnus Gino Palumbo (MSE 8T3, MASc 8T5, PhD 8T9).
Today, Tzanis continues to push beyond her comfort zone and embrace new opportunities that have come her way.
“When I graduated I thought I wanted to work in alternative energy or in a role related to the environment and sustainability. I wasn’t looking to work in the nanomaterials industry at all, but I absolutely love my job and can’t see myself anywhere else now. I learn new things every day, my tasks are so diverse and I’m always moving around. It’s great,” declares Tzanis, who is heavily involved in research and development at Integran Technologies.
A typical work day has her involved in electroplating, electrochemistry, and even getting her hands dirty in the shop (with a press drill, bandsaw, or sandblaster, to name a few). She has the good fortune to carry out experiments based on client requests with a respectable amount of autonomy, something she values greatly.
“One thing that’s pretty amazing is how much freedom and trust I’m given at Integran. I’ve been well trained on the job, and I came in feeling confident because of my education,” Tzanis explains. “I learned pretty quickly during my undergrad that chemical engineering impacts many different industrial processes. The program also taught me a ton about time and priority management. I wasn’t that worried about entering the workforce when I finished school,” she claims. “I knew I was ready to handle just about anything.”
Beyond work, Tzanis likes to pursue interests that take her outside of her areas of expertise, such as singing in her church choir and taking dance lessons. “To live a life with no regrets, you have to take a few risks,” says Tzanis. It’s clear she’s hit the ground running, and the future is bright.
If you’d like to CONNECT with Tzanis, please send her an email through U of T Engineering Connect. She is keen to learn from Skule™ community members and expand her network.