Lafarge Canada recently appointed Kate Strachan as plant manager of its Exshaw facility, Canada’s largest cement plant. Strachan is the first woman to hold the position in Exshaw’s more than 110-year history. 

“It feels good,” Strachan, who has worked for Lafarge for the past 18 years, told the Rocky Mountain Outlook. “It was about time we saw some more female engineers in management positions out there.”

After spending nearly two years as the plant’s production manager, Strachan assumed her new role as plant manager in June, taking over from Jim Bachmann, who was the plant manager since 2015.

While Strachan acknowledged the historical significance of her appointment, she said her focus remains on ensuring the plant continues to increase its production in a safe and sustainable way. A $600 million expansion in 2016 increased the plant’s production from 1.4 million metric tons of product annually to upwards of 2.4 million metric tons, depending on the product.

“From a plant point of view, we were built to produce a certain amount of volume and there’s a market that’s definitely hungry for it, so I want to make sure that we produce those volumes as safely as possible with all the environmental controls that we can and make sure we improve upon those pieces,” said Strachan.

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