We are profiling employees from across Calian to share the exciting work that our fantastic team does each and every day. Be sure to check out our social channels as we share the Faces of Calian with our growing online community.
Meet Jordyn Rohel. Jordyn is on the Advanced Technologies team in Saskatoon and works as an RF Systems Designer.
Tell us about your background.
I graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the University of Saskatchewan.
Throughout high school, I was fascinated by physics as a subject, and that refined through the years into a passion for the space industry. I imagined one day I would work for NASA and build rockets! I started university in Brandon, Manitoba with a physics degree but quickly realized this was too theoretical for me. I transferred to the U of S in 2016 to begin my engineering degree and it was the best decision I could have made!
My interest in the space industry continued, and by the time I was graduating, I had found Calian (then SED) and was excited to apply. Calian provided access to the space industry through a unique niche in Saskatchewan—it was the perfect choice for me!
What is your role at Calian? Tell us about the type of work you do.
My title here is RF Systems Designer. My primary role is to design, test and install Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) which serve as ground stations for geostationary satellites. Each RFS is designed based on customer requirements and the needs of their end-users. A system is composed of signal-carrying equipment and cables connected to a large dish-style antenna (typically 10-16m diameter). The RF signals are transmitted by the antenna to the satellite and received again from the satellite. These systems are used for a variety of purposes, from company intranet, to inflight Wi-Fi, to airplane and marine vessel positioning, and more!
My day-to-day varies depending on what phase a project is in. During design, I spend my time at my desk performing requirements analysis, creating power budgets in excel and writing design documents. During the test phase, you will find me on our manufacturing floor assisting with the in-house build of our equipment racks and eventually testing the equipment using spectrum analyzers, signal generators and power meters. We typically characterize our systems before shipping to site to ensure we have no surprises or unexpected failures that require repairs. During the installation phase, you could find me anywhere around the world installing the RFS and testing it in line with the antenna to ensure full system functionality! I have travelled multiple times to Cyprus and Greece in Europe as well as all over the United States and Quebec!
What do you like most about working for Calian?
The easy answer is to say my favorite thing about working for Calian is the travel! Being able to spend so many months in Europe over the last three years has been truly a unique opportunity. I feel so blessed to have found a job that takes me around the world AND that involves work I genuinely love doing!
But to take it a little deeper, I would also say that I am grateful for the challenges and growth opportunities I have at Calian. In my first six months at Calian, I was given the choice to step out and challenge myself by traveling to site and performing a small antenna installation. While this may not have been right for everyone, it was a great learning opportunity for me and set me up to prove that I can excel in my position. My supervisors have not shied away from providing similar challenges over the course of my time here, and now I find myself in a position of being the Lead Systems Designer on multiple projects. I would not have progressed this far in my career, or learned so much, in such a short time if my coworkers didn’t believe in me and my potential.
Do you have a favorite story from your time at Calian?
I have had many interesting and funny experiences through my work at Calian. One story comes to mind from my time in Greece. While we were working in the equipment shelter one day, I noticed something bright green poking out from behind a box. It turned out to be a lizard, about 7-8 inches long! I called my coworker Kevin over so we could try to catch it (it couldn’t be allowed to stay in the shelter around the equipment), and we promptly spent the next 15 minutes chasing it around the racks trying to urge it out the door! Eventually, it climbed up between two rack doors that had been leaning against the wall and Kevin grabbed them and carried them outside. The lizard scurried off into the grass nearby as soon as we set them down!
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Outside of work, my husband and I play sports 2-3 nights a week and we also have a weekly Bible study group with some close friends from our church. Being able to spend time with my friends and family in the evenings is a great way to unwind and keep myself mentally strong. Having people to walk through life with, and explore God with, is incredibly important to me. On the weekends, we usually just go with the flow! Sometimes we have plans, and sometimes I play Tears of the Kingdom on the Nintendo Switch for five hours.
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