Growing up, Kyle Neufeld was fascinated by how the world operates, and why things are the way they are. He wondered about the intricacies of transportation, where our water comes from, and how cities function. This interest in design, construction, and infrastructure was what first drew Kyle to civil engineering.
Kyle is a Project Manager with a penchant for solving problems – after all, that’s what is at the heart of civil engineering. He grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Langley, British Columbia. A true man of the community, he still helps out on the family farm every December.
After high school, Kyle’s lifelong interest in how communities operate led him to pursue engineering at BCIT. He talked to some friends in similar industries, applied, got accepted, and never looked back.
While working towards his degree, Kyle undertook a rewarding self-guided research project. It focused on a slow sand filtration system, and how it could be implemented to help filter water in the developing world. He collaborated with the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) to look at different flow rates and sand grain size and how the variables affected water filtration effectiveness. Kyle put in the work of hauling 140L of water daily to feed the filters he was monitoring. Each day, he collected samples from the filters of different variables and measured the bacteria counts in each sample. Ultimately, he presented his findings at the BCIT Competition (coming in second place) and had the report published in the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship. This project and its outcome are still a major source of pride for Kyle due to the real-world application and impact.
Kyle has worked at Binnie for almost ten years and started as a CAD technologist while he pursued his degree, gradually transitioning into a more design-focused role. Over the past year, he has shifted into the project management realm, ensuring that projects are delivered effectively and on time. When he needs to, he likes having the opportunity to step in and help out with the design. Generally, he spends his days coordinating with clients helping to solve problems. It’s this part of his job that Kyle thrives on – seeing a problem, assessing it, and dealing with it in the best way possible.
Most of Kyle’s projects involve road widening, road rehabilitation and utility design. He also manages projects ranging from GIS mapping programs to large diameter culvert replacements. One of Kyle’s significant projects involved replacing two culverts in the City of Langley. The existing culverts were heavily corroded and undersized based on the anticipated climate change data for the creek. They were replaced with two-metre-wide concrete box culverts to allow the creek to flow safely under the road and to provide passage for fish and other species. Some of the challenges that were overcome on the project involved deep excavation and support for the live 450mm watermain during construction.
Since starting at Binnie, Kyle has seen changes in environmental considerations. People seem to care more, and actively make changes to help reduce our footprint. This is unsurprising as he is a man of the outdoors. He lives for outdoor activities, like going on week-long backpacking adventures in Garibaldi Provincial Park, or weekend fishing trips.
Kyle is also actively involved in the local community, volunteering as the head coach for a Special Olympics team of young kids. He works with the group of 6-12-year old’s every week, developing motor skills like balance, hand-eye coordination, throwing and catching, and social skills. It’s always a highlight of the week for him, watching the athletes grow in their abilities, make new friends and share the joy with those around them. “The biggest thing I’ve learned from working with the Special Olympics athletes over the last three years has been how to find and experience the joy in the simplest of things in life.”