Spencer Redford, CIMA Canada Inc.

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

I work as a transportation engineer on roadway projects providing consulting engineering services mainly for the City of Edmonton and Alberta Transportation. The majority of my work involves urban road rehabilitations such as the Highlands Neighbourhood Renewal, and highway improvements or designs such as the Northeast Anthony Henday High Tension Cable Barrier Design. For my last few projects I have been working as a designer, assisting with drawing reviews, preparing cost estimates, coordinating with utility companies, aiding in the preparation of project management deliverables, and providing construction support.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day is spent focusing mainly on my current deliverable, which changes based on deadlines or other identified needs within my team. Often this includes tasks such as completing design work, writing reports, and preparing project management documents. Throughout the day I am monitoring my email and having phone/VOIP calls with my team members when questions arise and discussions are needed. When I have active projects being constructed, I will often be answering emails and phone calls from on-site contractors, inspectors, and surveyors, providing design support as needed. The rest of my day involves attending project team meetings, site meetings, or facilitating field design walks and site visits.

What motivates you the most in your job?

The most motivating aspect of my job is seeing the completed product of a project I have been involved in from start to finish. Starting with the project vision and goals at project startup, I enjoy being a part of the evolving design and discussion. It is rewarding to watch as changes and solutions are developed to overcome obstacles, or meet constraints. A lot of work is put in during the design phases, and efforts are made throughout construction to adjust to issues as they arise. Upon the completion of construction it is extremely satisfying to go out and view the final product knowing the story behind it, learning from both the successes and flaws, and getting to see your project achieve the desired goal.

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

I had a passion for building things while I was growing up, and always admired impressive buildings, bridges, roads, and innovative design feats. Growing up with an older brother, I always saw him as my role model and naturally after he was accepted into engineering and it came time for me to start looking into university, he suggested that engineering would be a perfect fit for me. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Civil Engineering Co-op program, and was encouraged by many people to use my co-op work terms to try out the different avenues of engineering. During my co-op terms I worked for a project owner, for a contractor, as well as for a consultant. Consulting provided me with the ability to work on the designs and projects that I had always been interested in.

What advice would you give a young person who was considering consulting engineering as a future area of expertise?

I would encourage others to try and diversify their experience early in their career both prior to and within consulting engineering. Making your experience well rounded not only helps you to find what you truly enjoy doing, but it also helps you to understand the perspectives and work of those around you. Be open to new challenges and opportunities, and be willing to step out of your comfort zone every now and again when the chance comes.


Important Items

Stay Connected 


CEA Members Login Help