Our People: Meet Amanda Koehler, Department Head, Motorcycle Technician

Putting people at the core of everything we do is paramount at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We are committed to ensuring our people — those who make BCIT distinct, are developing while feeling valued, supported, and connected.

BCIT is a people-first organization. We aim to celebrate our employees by sharing their stories through the Our People series. The series features BCIT’s extraordinary employees who share a strong sense of pride and ambition for the Institute and make up our diverse community.

Get to know Amanda Koehler, Department Head, Motorcycle Technician Foundation program in the School of Transportation, who has been working at BCIT for over 13 years.

What has been your most memorable moment working at BCIT?

Amanda with her students at BCIT.
Amanda with her students at BCIT.

There are several but the ones that stand out for me are:

  • Collaborating with BCIT International for green initiatives and women in trades;
  • Participating in events like Jill of all Trades, Indigenous trades sneak peak, STEAM at Science World, Job fairs and info sessions;
  • Working with international students in the ACES program and learning about different countries processes and procedures;
  • Connecting with upcoming apprentices and industry as we are the only credited institute for motorcycle training.

What do you enjoy the most about working in post-secondary education?

I like helping students progress through the apprenticeship program and hopefully help connect them to industry. I want to inspire them to challenge themselves and to realize that there are many opportunities for this industry. It doesn’t just have to be a technician it can mold into whatever they want. I believe that there is a lot of room for connection and positive change in our industry and I’m encouraged when I see students helping one another out. It’s important to me to create a safe space for students to learn and I hope they can mirror the mentorship we try to provide in our department.

Get your hands-on learning for in-demand trades skills.

What are projects or initiatives that you have completed at the Institute that you are proud of?

Amanda in Guyana with students.
Amanda in Guyana with students.

The projects and initiatives that I’m proud of include:

  • Skills to Access the Green Economy Program (SAGE) Women in Skilled Trades – Caribbean. A project with BCIT international and Colleges and Institutes of Canada. I was involved with a group that was able to travel to three of the six countries that they served and connect/report on findings from our research on these subjects. It was an amazing opportunity and connected not only the institutions, but the countries involved to see best practices and grow together.
  • Kenya Blue Economy Skills Training Program Institutional Partnerships. Working with international to provide best practices and course layouts for collaborating.
  • Harmonization of our provincial Motorcycle Technician program including working on exam development with Skilled Trades BC.
  • Working with other skilled instructors at events hosted through BCIT to support minorities and young people in trades.
  • Taking the BC Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT) leadership training. They have many programs that support people getting involved in the trades environment and how to be an ally and/or leader.
Amanda with her motorcycle and helmet.
Amanda with her motorcycle.

Do you have a favourite spot or activity at the BCIT campuses that you enjoy spending your time at and why? 

I often eat my lunch on the rooftop tables of the new Health and Sciences Centre on the Burnaby Campus. I also enjoy walking through the nature paths on the southside of campus.

Share with us how what you are passionate about outside of work. Do you have any hobbies? 

My hobbies are riding motorcycles and hiking. I am also passionate about travelling.


Come grow with us. Explore rewarding opportunities at BCIT.

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