I’m a design engineer and internal innovation developer.
How long have you been with Glotman Simpson?
I have been at Glotman Simpson for three years, plus my initial 4-month co-op while attending university.
What inspired you to follow this career path?
A fascination with bridges fueled my initial pull towards engineering as a child – I’m still in awe of the immense structures humans have managed to build over time. I chose civil engineering because it covers many topics and is very tangible.
Towards the end of my studies at McGill University, I bounced between transportation engineering and structural engineering. However, after spending my summer co-op with Glotman Simpson, their cutting-edge projects and excellent work culture ultimately led me to choose a career in structural engineering.
How did your career with GS begin?
I had a unique co-op experience, being hired to develop lateral design tools by integrating structural analysis and design software. It pushed me to improve my coding skills and learn about seismic design from an interesting perspective. It was an exciting opportunity to blend two different types of engineering creatively, especially when I could see it being used by my colleagues to optimize their workflow.
After graduating from McGill University in Montreal, QC, I travelled for 5 months, then came back to Vancouver to start work full-time at GS.
What is your favourite thing about working at GS?
GS has such a fantastic group of employees – the people and culture here must be one of my favourite things. On top of being a ton of fun, my coworkers are extremely knowledgeable and supportive of each others continued development.
Also, GS is always open to new ideas and initiatives, which helps us push internal innovation.
What’s your most memorable GS moment/experience & why?
Seeing your first completed structure is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! For me, it was a small project – a wood-frame presentation centre – but seeing all the connections you designed and walking through the product of your work is surreal.
What is the largest project you’ve taken part in?
I’ve spent the last two and half years working on the Oakridge Centre Redevelopment. It’s a massive undertaking – a 4.3 million SF mixed-use hub (mall, residential towers, community centre, office space and park). The design process has been challenging, but once complete, Oakridge will be a new landmark in the city.
Oakridge was my local mall growing up, and it’s nice to have a hand in turning a massive parking lot into a very functional, green space.
What is your favourite part of the day at GS?
My day-to-day changes often, but I enjoy coffee chats in the lounge. It’s an excellent place to ask questions and get creative solutions from coworkers.
What is the best way for you to stay organized day-to-day?
Through trial and error, I have found a sound system for me. I start the day by reading through my emails and using the Microsoft To-Do app to help organize my daily priorities. Setting certain focus hours to reduce interruptions has helped me stay focused without the distraction of the email notification popping up in the corner.
How do you keep up to date with developments and new technology in design engineering?
Courses are a great way to stay updated with new technological innovations. For example, I’m taking a course on “”Python for Structural Engineers”” offered by the Structural Engineers Association of BC. This course explores how Python can be used to develop custom programs specific to structural engineering by utilizing a vast pool of open-source code.
Chatting with friends in different parts of the construction industry and other cities also gives me some insights into industry trends and emerging technologies.
What are your interests & involvements outside of GS?
I grew up doing gymnastics and recently picked it back up again. Flipping through the air is a ton of fun, a great workout, and it helps my mind reset after a long day. I love biking down to the beach and going for a swim after work – got to make the most of the warm weather while it lasts!
In your opinion, what makes GS unique?
I appreciate the firm’s investment in internal innovation through our off-site technical retreat. During our retreat, all engineers present ideas, tools, and systems we’ve discovered or created to help our design process. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn, collaborate, and bond with the team.
GS also has an annual fundraising event called the Cypress Challenge, with 100% of funds raised going toward pancreatic cancer research. When I initially volunteered five years ago, I had zero desire to bike up, nor did I even think I could make it up Cypress Mountain. A few years later, I was convinced by my colleagues to try the 5km ride distance and, surprisingly, I completed the entire challenge while raising money for pancreatic cancer.
Learn more about the Cypress Challenge here.