Emma is an Assistant Project Manager and Engineer I in Binnie’s Project Services Division. She is two years into her four-year program to earn her designation as Professional Engineer.
Emma’s primary role is to assist Binnie project managers on civil engineering projects such as building transit infrastructure, highways, bike paths, and government facilities.
As early as high school, Emma knew she’d be going into science or engineering. With high grades in math and science, Emma was accepted into the Applied Science in Civil Engineering program at the University of British Columbia. A short time into her program, Emma found she liked project management.
In university I was that person that kind of connected the group, making sure the lab project got done.
We got to see the project from the initial stages, an idea, a problem that needs to be solved, doing the planning for the schedule and budget, getting approvals, moving into construction…
I always knew that my natural abilities lent to a more project management role….I expected to end up in project management sometime later in my career, but then the job with Binnie came up.
While engineers in training typically start out in design, Emma had an opportunity to get into project management earlier than she expected. She had seen a job posting for an Assistant Project Manager position at Binnie and was on the fence deciding whether to apply. When she spotted an article about Binnie as a Top Employer, Emma decided to send in her application.
Emma started at Binnie in 2014. After a month of training, she was assigned to help manage a project.
When I came to Binnie I was open to anything. Project management can be a fluid discipline where you end up doing a variety of types of work. You can develop a lot of transferable skills which allow you to navigate through different disciplines.
It’s more about who I’m working with than the field I’m in. I’m quite flexible in working in different areas. It’s what I enjoy most – getting to know people – from planning people to site supervisors in the field doing work that’s totally different than what I do.
So far at Binnie, Emma is most proud of the work she did with team setting up a maintenance program for the SkyTrain system in Vancouver. The program involves re-coating the structural steel to ensure it is protected from the harsh environment and to improve the aesthetics of the station.
Working with an expert in the field, Emma and the Binnie team helped to assess maintenance practices and develop a long-term strategy. They looked at one component of the system and determined a maintenance cycle plan with different intervals for different stations.
Emma is proud of the work she did with the Binnie team, getting approvals, and meeting the client’s very high standards. She experienced what it was like to have her hard work critiqued, to go through iterations, planning meetings, long days, until they reached a point where they were ready to present a plan to the client.
Emma has seen the benefits of her determination first hand, as the recoating at the SkyTrain stations is underway. She’s seen the plan they stressed about be put into action and she’s watched as tasks in the plan are completed. She sees the project as a great learning experience for her as she learns more about the demands of project management.
Some projects are more challenging in different phases than others.
Things always change throughout a project, you’re always adjusting.
Having been based at Binnie’s Head Office for two years now, Emma has interacted with many of the staff. She attends social events with the Young Professionals Group and recently volunteered to build a playground in Vancouver.
All people I find to be very friendly.
Culture is made up by all the people and all their interactions during the day. It’s something that is easy to influence. I want to be improving the culture versus detracting from it.
Current Favourite Book
Emma is a fan of CS Lewis’ writing, sci-fi, and non-fiction
I like making things, I do a lot of crafts… baking, experimenting.
My husband enjoys doing the cooking, I enjoy making the dessert.