Women in Construction

CCE’s Top 10 Under 40: Jacqueline MacLennan


August 22, 2022
By Peter Saunders
Presented by:
CCE
Jacqueline MacLennan

Photo courtesy Jacqueline MacLennan.

This year, for the first time, Canadian Consulting Engineer launched an initiative to recognize up-and-coming consulting engineers across the country. We are now showcasing them on our website, in alphabetical order by surname.

Jacqueline MacLennan, 32, is a geotechnical engineer for KGS Group in Winnipeg. She joined the firm as an engineer-in-training (EIT) in 2014, right after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a degree in civil engineering.

“I didn’t know much about the engineering profession when I was growing up, but my dad recommended it because I was good at math and sciences,” she says. “My sister is an architect and I thought about going into structural engineering for buildings, but in my third and fourth years at university, I became especially interested in geotechnical engineering. The professors conveyed how it’s a complex field with highly variable conditions. I knew I would never get bored!”

It’s also a field, MacLennan points out, where climate change and flood frequency are increasingly serious problems. She started her career at KGS working in foundation investigations and designs, then moved on to focus on dams. She conducted dam safety reviews across much of the country, verifying slope stability and indicating where upgrades were needed.

“I still have a lot to learn!”

“Jacqueline has technical expertise, people skills and business acumen beyond her years,” says J. Bert Smith, principal at KGS. “She has performed advanced technical analyses in complex earthquake engineering and advanced slope stability and seepage assessments of water retaining structures and embankment dams in a variety of geological settings. Her passion for ensuring the safety of aging infrastructure across Canada is admirable.”

MacLennan also returned to her alma mater to earn an MBA at its Asper School of Business, completing the program last year.

“I see room for continued growth at KGS,” she says. “Our projects are very diverse and there’s strong mentorship from senior leaders. I still have a lot to learn!”