Why did you choose your profession?
As a kid I was always fascinated by buildings and bridges. In high school I did quite well in physics and math, so taking engineering at university was a no-brainer.
Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?
Mott MacDonald’s wide variety of projects is what initially attracted me, but I soon realized what a great company culture it had — which is a key driver for me.
What inspires you about your work?
What inspires me about the work I have been involved in is that it has an impact on the people in that region (usually within our local region!). Whether it’s a bridge upgrade, traffic study, highway project, new transit system, or local hospital, I can see a direct (and positive!) impact on the community that this infrastructure serves and will continue to serve for coming years.
What is the coolest project you’ve worked on? Where was it located?
The coolest project has been the Sea-to-Sky Highway Project just outside Vancouver, BC. The scenery is amazing, with walls and bridges pretty much “hanging” on the mountain side. Because I’m an avid snowboarder, the highway is special to me as it is the route to Whistler/Blackcomb.
How would you describe your role and responsibilities to friends or family?
I typically just say “I’m helping implement ‘Project XYZ’,” and when I mention one of the more high-profile projects in the area to family and friends they seem impressed. However, I think those not in the engineering/construction industry may not realize the immense detail that goes into such projects. Even today I am surprised along the way at the thought, planning, permitting, engagement, etc. that goes into getting a complex project from conception through to operations.
What groups / clubs are you involved in?
I am part of the Vancouver Early Career Professionals Committee as well as the Corporate Early Careers Professionals Organization, with a focus on our mentoring program.
What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate from college/university?
Be eager to take on any new challenge that arises, and do your very best at it. Enjoy the people you work and interact with daily, regardless of who they are or who they work for. Stay in touch with university classmates as it will come in handy for business development opportunities later in your career. Do not be afraid of change. It is inevitable in the field of engineering/construction.
What is your favorite school moment?
During a concrete materials field project in my fourth year, our group performed some testing at a local dam in the area. We took a few trips out to the dam in an old university school bus, had a blast, and have stayed friends ever since.
What is your favorite thing about Mott MacDonald?
My favorite thing is the people, and the culture of working hard and playing hard. The interesting projects we are involved in make the job meaningful.
What is a random fact about you?
I grew up in South Africa until the age of 10 before moving to Canada, where I took up snowboarding and haven’t stopped since! I am lucky enough to live in one of the best places for that — North Vancouver — where you can go up for a few runs after a full day’s work. In the summer it’s a mountain biking mecca.