Meet Ryan Martinson, P. Eng

Ryan Martinson Headshot

Ryan has served in the role of ‘Senior Engineer’ since he joined Toole Design in December 2019. He says, “I’m a part of the Edmonton Office and operate out of my home office in Calgary. As such, I was able to get a 4-month head start on the work-from-home situation that COVID-19 has presented us with and have been really enjoying connecting virtually with all my colleagues. My role has me busy with projects across Canada and the US related to Complete Streets, safety, walking and biking design guidance, and research on best practices.”

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?

I had a few people in my life that were civil engineers or in related fields that got me thinking that this stuff was cool. This started when I was about 10 years old. Originally, however, I thought that I would go into structural engineering and build bridges, but that shifted course after I was introduced to – and fascinated by – the human considerations that needed to be made in transportation engineering (which also coincided with a particularly dry concrete design course). Halfway through my final year of undergrad, I changed course to transportation and have been really happy with that decision ever since.

What’s the best part of being an engineer at Toole Design?

I don’t identify as an ‘engineer at Toole Design’ but instead as a part of a team that has talents in a broad variety of specialties that can influence the built environment and public realm.

cartoon showing the imact of inaccessible design
Ryan uses cartoons to communicate topics such as the need for universal, barrier-free design

The theme for National Engineering Month this year is “There’s a place for you in engineering”…what that does mean to you?

Well, I’m an engineer that incorporates cartooning, doodles, public engagement, comic books, creativity, storytelling, and complexity science in the work that I do. This, to me, certainly means that there is a place for everyone.

How do Toole Design’s values of Ethics, Equity, and Empathy influence your everyday work as an engineer?

The values that Toole Design has expressed have been important to me for a long time. I’ve worked in articulating and advocating for a change in the Code of Ethics for transportation industry (e.g. ITE), I’ve done comic books, cartoons, and articles looking at the moral reasoning and imperatives related to transportation design. Been trained and led empathetic engagement activities for my projects and volunteer activities (e.g. Sustainable Calgary empathy walks). Joining a firm that has espouses similar values to mine is great.

Thanks to Tyler, Ryan B, Rosie, Ali, Sneha, and Ryan M for sharing their story during the past month. National Engineering Month “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”.

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