What is your current role at Stantec?
I am a Pipeline Engineer. I started a year ago with Stantec doing technical design, and over time evolved into a project engineer, and now I’m more of an integration engineer. This means that on our project, which spans across provinces, I ensure consistency is maintained across each region. In particular this includes interfacing with our sub-consultants in Quebec. We have to work together, so I make sure everyone knows what is going on. I am less of a technical guy and more of a broker of information.
How did you get into that?
I came from the defense industry. In my previous job, I was working with communication software used by reconnaissance vehicles to relay situational awareness to home base. Software is a massive exercise in change control, and understanding that if you change something, it affects many other things. It is incredibly complex and it seemed to be in my skill set to coordinate things of that nature. Sometimes your past experience can help you out in ways you don’t expect. In the world of pipelines, managing the rate of change is incredibly involved in terms of understanding the number of stakeholders involved and adapting to their constantly changing inputs. I’m able to draw on my software experience to help coordinate the complexities of such a project.
This doesn’t sound like a typical engineering job. Do you like it?
I do. There is so much information flowing back and forward, it is an ocean of information that is somewhat out of control. I enjoy finding ways to control it. For example, a pipeline route can change almost monthly. That’s a massive exercise in managing changes, making sure everyone knows about the change, getting buy-in, and getting stakeholders at the table. The defense industry was highly dependent on policies and processes. I am lucky to have that training and be able to apply the same principles to these situations. I am at the centre of the information, and I really see the results of that. It never stops, which keeps me challenged and interested in my work every day.