Paul Docherty is a Project Engineer with Binnie’s Development & Infrastructure Division.
Paul first got interested in civil engineering while taking physics at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. He still remembers well the day his teacher brought in a St. Thomas graduate to talk about the Engineering Program at Queens University. He was attracted to the type of subjects and potential co-op work experience he could gain through taking engineering. Paul was encouraged by his teacher to pursue the projects he most enjoyed — science and math. Eager to get started, he enrolled at the University of British Columbia straight out of high school.
Paul arrived at Binnie in 2014 when he signed up for an eight-month co-op student position. During that time he was mentored by an experienced Binnie Engineers and Inspectors and had a chance to work on a variety of projects. He received hands-on experience in the design and construction phases of an engineering project, working in municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
After he had completed his co-op placement, Paul’s manager offered him a permanent job at Binnie, on the condition that he complete his degree first. Paul returned to UBC to finish his work in the applied science program and in May 2015, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, B.A.Sc., majoring in civil engineering.
Having taken a “quick trip around the world” to celebrate his graduation, Paul soon got busy working as a Binnie inspector.
I’m doing a lot of field work and inspection, making sure that things run smoothly on site and I do a lot of inspections for erosion and sediment control.
I learned a lot more in the workplace than by doing technical courses.
These days, Paul gets to work on a variety of projects – he completes design tasks using AutoCAD and conducts construction inspections. At the construction site, he is responsible for ensuring that the construction contractor is building according to the engineering design.
Paul’s job offers a lot of variety and requires that he work independently, driving to a site, speaking with construction contractors, representing Binnie Engineers and reporting back to them on the site conditions. Some of the construction projects that Paul has inspected include road rehabilitation in Burnaby; a large recreation centre, warehouse developments, towers in Surrey; as well as several subdivisions around the Lower Mainland. He enjoys watching construction progress each week, and the feeling that he is a part of a significant project.
As an inspector, Paul spends half the time in the office, and the other half in the field. It’s one of the aspects that he enjoys as he works his way through the required four years to become a certified Professional Engineer.
I think I need the field knowledge to be a good engineer. I really enjoy dealing with contractors and clients.
I’m starting to like more the construction aspect of it – seeing the project going from a design on paper to actually being on the ground.
Looking toward his future at Binnie, Paul sees himself one day managing and designing urban, public projects like the City Centre developments in Surrey. He’d like to be an engineer on major projects like the new St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, for which Binnie is the Owner’s Engineer.
Paul is involved in social activities at Binnie – he participates in sports playoff pools and is the Vice Chair of Binnie’s Young Professionals Group (YPG). Paul enjoys monthly socials such as mixers put on by ACEC-BC, where Binnie-YPs get together with YPs from other engineering firms to talk shop.
Makes a big difference when you have a good company culture.
Current Favourite Movie
Lord of the Rings
Current Favourite Book
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – a non-fiction book by Jared Diamond