Principal Structural Engineer
What is a typical day like for you?
I work with Architects, Contractors, building owners, and home owners to develop plans for a desired new building or renovations and additions to existing buildings such as a custom house, warehouse, office building, retail building, condominium, etc. Specifically, I design the skeleton of a building; the beams, columns, and foundations.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I very much enjoy the stage when construction finally begins. It is amazing to see the drafted plans we created come to life. It is also wonderful to know that, through this design process, we have played an important role in realizing the client's grand vision.
What is the least enjoyable part of your job?
The least enjoyable part of my job is when I have to tell a client that a particular vision cannot be realized because the technology has not been proven or discovered. This is sometimes due to unrealistic client expectations. Once I start to work with the client to discover the root of the problem and investigate how we can re-energize the vision, it quickly becomes very enjoyable.
Explain the path you took to get to this job (education, internships, etc.).
Growing up, I have worked with my father in the construction and renovation of homes. After high school, I attended university and enrolled in the engineering department and later specified my major in Civil Engineering with a focus on Structural Engineering. The summer prior to my final year as an undergraduate student, I had a summer internship with a construction company. Having experience related to the construction industry provides great insight for a design engineer. Upon graduation I started working for a structural engineering firm as an assistant structural designer. After at least 4 years of direct engineering design experience and a couple career moves, I applied to take the engineering exam for my P.Eng. designation. I have always wanted to start my own company, so after a few more years of experience I started DIOMIS Engineering.
Who or what was the greatest influence that set you on this path?
My father was my greatest influence. He was a small business owner since before I was born, and as a result instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in me. I saw the work he did and wanted to take it to the next level.
What advice would you give others seeking a similar job?
I will pass along some advice given to me by an engineering professional I have recently met along with my own flair. First find your passion and be energetic about your pursuit, remembering that every journey is difficult yet satisfying with every challenge you overcome. Second, practice eloquence. Your thoughts, ideas, and designs will become more effective when they are well communicated to and well received by others. Third, be empathetic. The ability to identify with others, to have a respect and appreciation for their view of the world without judgement is incredibly powerful and will distinguish you as a leader among leaders.
How does your job make a difference?
The job I do goes beyond just crunching numbers and drawing plans on paper to be built. Yes, I provide the knowledge to design an efficient structure and its much more than that. One of my passions is my journey to create a full service company, or as I like to refer to it as, a family of engineers, scientists, technologists, and designers that can change the way we live and interact as a society for the better.
How do you use science, math and technology in your job?
Buildings and structures come in all shapes and sizes with many different performance requirements. Given our understanding of material properties such as wood, concrete, and steel, we can determine the most economical and appropriate section to be used as beams, columns, or foundations. Determining the appropriate sections and layout requires the use of many mathematical equations that guide our process to a proper design
Is there one course you wish you had taken in high school but didn’t? Why?
I wish I would have taken a course in the arts to exercise my creative mind. Too often we focus too much on our technical coursework. As important as the technical courses are, focusing on a creative outlet can help with innovative ideas in the workplace.
What makes this job right for you?
I really enjoy solving complex problems for other people.
What's the most bizarre or silliest thing you’ve ever done in this job?
The most bizarre thing I have ever done was to review the stability of park benches of an artistic nature. The benches were a custom design, by a local artist, built using fiber reinforced concrete. All the work I do, except for this one job, deals with buildings.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family and enjoy skiing, swimming and the martial arts as my main hobbies.
You just won $10 million! What’s the first thing you’d do?
I would reinvest it so that the next generation can somehow benefit.