Featuring Chris O’Grady, construction manager at Aecon Transportation West
1. Where are you from?
Fort McMurray, Alberta
2. How did you get your start in the heavy construction industry and/or who do you credit to getting you where you are today?
My first job in the heavy construction industry was with AEC Pipelines as a labourer at the pump houses. I would have to credit my dad on exposing me to construction and all the heavy equipment in the oilsands, such as draglines and 797 haul trucks.
3. What is your career history?
Following high school, I enrolled into the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), where I received my civil engineering technologist diploma. I then worked for Thurber Engineering in Calgary as a lab technician and then Fort McMurray as a project technologist. In 2005, I enrolled into the University of Saskatchewan College of Engineering. During the summer while attending university, I worked for Terracon in Fort McMurray constructing heavy haul roads and pipeline corridors in Syncrude’s north and aurora mines. Since graduating from university, I have worked for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways, Tetra Tech Canada Inc. and Aecon Transportation West Ltd.
4. What’s the best piece of business or career advice you have or have been given?
During my final stint as a summer student in the oilsands, the construction foreman wished me well in my final year of engineering and told me that once I graduate, don’t let the ring on my finger cut off the circulation to my head.
5. What’s your favourite thing about Saskatchewan and working in the industry?
Since moving to Saskatchewan 15 years ago, it’s always been the people. The down-to-earth nature and hospitality of the people in the province has always made me feel like this is where I want to call home. I’ve always enjoyed that our industry in the province is like a community, where for the most part everyone knows one another.
6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Fishing on a quiet lake.
7. Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to play a musical instrument.
8. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Paving in the snow.
9. What is it that you most dislike?
Clutter and disorganization.
10. How would you like to die?
Preferably, many years from now!