Ryan Batty, P.Eng, is a Senior Engineer who joined Toole Design’s Edmonton office in January 2019. He focuses mostly on design work with some planning, project management, and traffic engineering mixed in as required. As part of a series of articles celebrating National Engineering Month in Canada, we asked Ryan about his career to date.
When did you realize engineering was going to be your career…and was there a moment, an event, or a person that made an impression on that decision?
When I started university I liked the idea of engineering but I didn’t really understand what that would mean in terms of a career. I was good at math and science, so engineering seemed like a logical place to start my university journey. But even after graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering, I didn’t have a clear idea of the type of work I wanted to do. I decided to look for a job with a smaller firm where I’d have the opportunity to be involved in multiple aspects of a project. That landed me at a company which specialized in highway design and traffic engineering, and it was there that I realized how engineering intersects with the everyday lives of people and I was hooked.
Since then, as I’ve learned more about transportation and continued to grow as a person, the types of projects that excite me the most has changed a great deal. However, that interaction between the built environment and social factors is still the thing that makes this a great career.
What’s the best part of being an engineer at Toole Design?
In just a couple years I’ve been able to work on projects in Edmonton which I will be able to directly see the results of, as well as projects across Canada and throughout the United States. Being able to focus on projects that will improve communities and the lives of people in so many different places is not something many people get to do and it’s something that makes it exciting for me to come to work every day.
The theme for National Engineering Month this year is “There’s a place for you in engineering”…what that does mean to you?
|Over the course of my career, I’ve had a chance to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, and I’ve seen how people with different experiences and perspectives than mine can approach a problem in a much different way. Or in some case, see an issue I didn’t even realize was there. And in my experience, having that diversity of thought on a project helps to provide a more complete solution to whatever problem you’re trying to solve. So to me, “There’s a place for you in engineering” is about encouraging everyone who has an interest in engineering to pursue that interest and making sure that today’s engineers do what we can to remove roadblocks and provide opportunities for tomorrow’s engineers.
How do Toole Design’s values of Ethics, Equity, and Empathy influence your everyday work as an engineer?
Often, by the time a project reaches the design phase there is little opportunity to engage the community and ensure there aren’t voices that have been missed — but every design comes with decisions and trade-offs, and I use these values to help make those decisions. By asking myself, “Is this ethical, equitable, and based in empathy?” I feel I’m able to deliver a design that is more complete and will meet the needs of a wider range of users.
Next week, we’ll talk with Rosie Jaswal who recently joined Toole Design’s Boston office after more than a decade in Edmonton, Alberta working for the City and local engineering firms.
National Engineering Month in Canada “sees the engineering profession spark an interest in the next generation of engineering professionals and to the engineering community to celebrate the role that engineers play in society… National Engineering Month celebrates the diversity of thought, opportunities, and people that make up the engineering profession, and demonstrates that there’s a place for everyone in engineering”.