Mathew Koprash - Engineer In Training

CurioCity Careers
9 August 2012

Mathew Koprash

Engineer In Training, Professional II Transportation/Structural, AECOM Canada Ltd.

Everywhere you look a Civil Engineer played a key part in the development; roads and highways, buildings, soils and foundations, sewage and water.

What is a typical day like for you?

Office: Show up to work ready to complete various design tasks from Bridges and Culverts to highways and intersections. Work 7:30-5:30 with 1 hr lunch. Many different projects can be worked on at any given time.

Site: Show up to the job site ready to inspect the work of the contractor, ensure the work is done correctly and follows the appropriate procedures. Work as long as the contractor is there working, could be 14 hour days depending on the work. Site work could consist of watching rebar being tied, concrete pours, rock blasting, earth excavations and transportation of materials such as rock and earth.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Completing jobs and seeing the final product being built to suit its needs. Whether it be a wind farm starting up operations or a highway section opening to the general public for their use.

What is the least enjoyable part of your job?

The added pressures and stresses of deadlines can wear on me from day to day but help motivate at the same time. Conflicts with contractors are never fun but have to happen in order to achieve a quality product in the end.

Explain the path you took to get to this job (education, internships, etc.).

Sault College, Civil and Construction Engineering Technician, 2 year

Cambrian College, Civil Technology, 1 year

Worked for AECOM on a Highway Construction Project for 1 year

Lakehead University, Civil Engineering, 3 years

Worked for AECOM every summer while at University on various projects around Ontario.

Who or what was the greatest influence that set you on this path?

I took wood working classes in high school and built a house in Gr. 11 and 12. This inspired me to go to school for Construction Engineering Technician to learn how to build homes. This program was very similar to the Civil program and I pursued both Diploma’s due to my interest level. One thing led to another and I realized I wanted to design the bridges and roads I was building. I ended up going back to university and graduated with an Engineering Degree.

What advice would you give others seeking a similar job?

It is the best decision I could have ever made. I love my job and enjoy going into work every day. If you want to be an engineer bad enough you have to set your priorities and put your head down and do the work to get the job done.

How does your job make a difference?

Everywhere you look a Civil Engineer played a key part in the development; roads and highways, buildings, soils and foundations, sewage and water.

How do you use science, math and technology in your job?

In every single aspect of my job all of these components are used. Whether it be analysing the soil strength to determining the strength of a bridge; math, science and technology are key components to the result.

Is there one course you wish you had taken in high school but didn’t? Why?

Calculus because it was a main class once I got into university that I had no background in.

What makes this job right for you?

I go to work looking forward to my new tasks and goals to complete each day and leave with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

What's the most bizarre or silliest thing you’ve ever done in this job?

Stood on top of a 230 ft tall wind turbine in the wind and rain!

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

Fishing/Hunting, Snowboarding, Travelling.

You just won $10 million! What’s the first thing you’d do?

Pay off all my debts, invest majority wisely, take a trip around the world

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit http://www.explorecuriocity.org/careers.



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