Transportation Engineering Firm

What is one piece of advice you would give to a recent graduate looking to get into transportation engineering?


Most importantly be open to change, opportunity may open up doors for you even if it wasn’t your dream job.

In Transportation Engineering there are both big and small companies out there that can help advance your career. Keep an open mind when applying for companies, even if you start out as a surveyor it can really help you put things into perspective when you start working on engineering projects. 

Try to understand other people’s jobs on the project team and adapt to them, stray away from simply doing your own thing, and expect others to adapt to you.

For engineering in general find what you enjoy and pursue that. If you are interested in transportation engineering it entails solving problems as they relate to the movement of people. This includes anything from parking, traffic congestion, bicycle safety, pedestrian wayfinding, and transit routing.


What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?


Don’t hesitate to seek guidance when help is needed. It usually takes much longer for individuals to figure things out alone than to ask the right person. Make sure you are on the right track before going too far. It can also be difficult to juggle multiple priorities at once so just take it slow and focus on one task at a time.

I have learned that you don’t always have to figure out a solution alone. When working in a team there are both new engineers with fresh perspectives and experienced engineers who have a great foundation of knowledge. You can learn a lot from both!

Always remember that it’s less about “just” doing your job, but more about how your role fits in with the project team

Be flexible. The real world can throw a lot at you and unlike projects in school sometimes there isn’t a good answer. Be confident in applying what you know and always ask questions when you’re unsure. Ultimately realize that you will be called on to solve a huge variety of problems which each require a different approach and solution.

What does your job entail at Trans-Plan?


Mostly data processing, traffic modelling, analysis, facility design, technical writing, and acting as a consultant to a range of clients.

Another common responsibility is conducting traffic studies for land developers and others who are in need.

Some roles even include leading Traffic Analysts / Project Managers or managing a team of EIT’s. Helping newer EIT’s learn all the concepts and fundamentals in traffic analysis and geometric road design.

Solving transportation-related problems for private and public sector clients can also be included in the list. This means attending meetings with clients, writing reports, running analysis in typical software like synchro and AutoCAD, and reviewing materials like standards and drawings.

What is one thing you would change about your current position and why?


If the opportunity arises, being more involved in design projects would be exciting. It would be nice to have a bit more experience in roadway design/urban planning, which can also help to understand urban developments better.

Learning new concepts and technology available in the Transportation Industry, whether it be through conferences, seminars, and courses.

Carving out more time to complete added-value tasks. Focusing more on internal projects that could improve efficiency and quality of life for the job.

Did you think this was where you would end up after completing your studies?


Although we didn’t expect that much surveying during my first year, the experience turns out to be very helpful in conducting traffic analysis.

Transportation Engineering was one of the routes that I considered pursuing so it ended up working perfectly.

Statistics show that people don’t always end up taking positions that directly come from their studies. However, ending up in an engineering consulting firm is definitely a logical path to take after completing an engineering degree. While this is not where everyone will end up, it is where I think most people see themselves ending up in the near future.

How do you stay on top of industry trends in the workplace?


Keeping up with relevant publications and websites/newspapers is important for the role. Attending the events/webinar professional and alumni associations are also found to be useful.

Learning about new technology that is available and related to transportation engineering, whether it’s vehicles, traffic control systems, simulation tools, and so on.

By paying attention to what the Municipalitys’ goals are with respect to transportation

The key is being able to understand them enough to deliver quality work in a short amount of time.

Did your studies prepare you for what it’s actually like to be an engineer?


Overall education helped out with the general experience and mindset. It helps you to understand what you’re working on better and faster. It also helps with understand the fundamentals in turn improving problem-solving skills.

Therefore, University does a superb job at teaching you how to think and tackle problems. When it comes to on-the-job tasks, those are mostly learned on the job.

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