Paige Long, Parsons Inc.

Why did you choose to go into consulting?

I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of engineering and the business side of engineering. When you work in consulting you can get exposure to both. I like knowing that there is always going to be something new to figure out but that there is a common toolkit that can be used in so many different ways to get to the answer. I also like being surrounded by inspiring, knowledgeable people that constantly help me expand my toolkit.

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

I’m currently the Deputy Design Manager for the Edmonton Valley Line West design-build pursuit. The pursuit phase goes through the preliminary design of the entire trackway and supporting infrastructure and systems. We as the design team work hand in hand with our construction partners to design what can be built efficiently with respect to resources and constraints like time, money, and available equipment. My role entails tracking and coordinating design deliverables to our construction team members and to the owner; being involved in the overall design strategy planning and project risk conversations; and supporting the staffing plan and design fee estimates/management.

What’s your favourite thing about working in consulting?

I like that civil works and specifically highways and LRT lines are so tangible. I get to feel like I’m truly helping cities densify in a sustainable way and I get to utilize what I help create.

Knowing what you know now, what will you tell your younger self?

  • You don’t know what you don’t know so stay open to new opportunities, expect to be learning constantly and be ready to adjust;
  • Don’t be so rushed to get onto the next project or to the next stage in your career as there’s so much to learn from each opportunity; and
  • Lean into what you’re good at.

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

Most of my work has been on ring roads, LRT lines, rail corridors and local bridges. The intent of LRT lines is to bring more people to key areas of the city with less impact on the earth in terms of physical footprint and fuel consumption. They also typically come with bike lanes to local stations and more walk-able neighbourhoods. The rail projects I’ve been involved in connect major cities together or connect an airport to a downtown core. Ring roads allow those travelling longer distances to continue around a city instead of through it allowing for fewer stops, creating efficiencies in transport and travel. Bridges connect people and places. All of these aspects are really exciting and can help shape how we live in our communities and cities and move through the country.




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