Darin Drisner, Magna IV Engineering

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

I'm an electrical engineer that specializes in designing electrical and control systems for the water and wastewater industry. I lead a team of 9 other engineers and technologists that work together to perform electrical studies, plans and/or construction work packages to build new or upgrade old water and wastewater facilities. Our team also provides SCADA system programming (Systems Integration) to ensure facilities are performing to the design and the clients expectations.

What’s an exciting project that you’re working on?

I am working on a new wastewater treatment plant right now with a great team. The project is being completed as an Integrated Project Delivery  model and the team doing the work is amazing. IPD projects are such a great experience because of the value they bring to the client and the amount of knowledge sharing that happens on these types of projects.

What motivates you the most in your job?

I love to solve problems and I like to help people. Most consulting engineering involves a client with a goal to achieve or a problem to solve. I love the process of being able to help the client figure out how to reach their goal or solve their problem in a way that works best for them now and sustains them into the future.

How does your work affect people’s lives, the environment and the world around us?

I've always had an interest in efficiency, how we use and produce the basic necessities of life, water and energy being two of the most essential. Providing electrical engineering consulting services in the water and wastewater industry allows me to work on two of my passions at once. I enjoy the process of figuring out how to do things better. Specifically in the water wastewater industry I get to make decisions about the control of the process that can greatly reduce the amount of energy and chemicals required to provide clean drinking water and to return clean water back to the environment.

How did you first become interested in consulting engineering – what or who inspired you to be an engineer?

I have always been interested in the way things work and my Dad is an electrician. Interest in computers and programming was sparked by my Uncle Don who was a computer teacher. I got into doing electrical work at an early age with my Dad and by the time I was a teenager I was working with him as a service electrician in the industrial sector in the Ottawa Valley. When we would go out to a site Dad would troubleshoot from an electrical perspective and I would plug a laptop into the PLC. We made a great team! From there I went to CEGEP in Hull, QC for Electronics Engineering Technology and when finished my 3 year diploma program decided I needed to know more. I enrolled in Electrical Engineering at Concordia in MTL for a year and then finished my last 3 years here at the UofA.

What skills and personal qualities have been instrumental in the success you have achieved in consulting?

Listening, asking questions and being decisive.


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