For Evan Irvine, the journey to SBSA started somewhat inauspiciously.
“I was really into mountain biking,” he says. “The summer of 2008 was my last before graduating and entering the real world. My plan was to travel around Canada and compete in a few races. Then I broke my collarbone.”
Instead of a cross-country bike trip, the injured Irvine landed an internship at SBSA. He was hired upon graduation and became a part-owner and partner in 2014.
Irvine attributes part of his success to having the right skills at the right time. “When I arrived at the company, the new 2005 building codes were being implemented,” says Irvine. “I already had a good knowledge of them thanks to Concordia. I also had more knowledge of the computer tools used for analysis and seismic design than most of the more experienced engineers.”
Irvine credits Lucia Tirca and Khaled Galal, both faculty members in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
“They piqued my interest in structural design and prepared me very well for the field. The tasks I was doing when I started working at SBSA were very similar to what we were doing in class.”
Irvine’s responsibilities include project and staff management, business development and marketing, and contract administration. His arrival marked a major shift for the company, particularly with regard to its hiring practices.
“SBSA was focused on more senior engineers at the time,” says Irvine. “I think the management team was pleasantly surprised with my capabilities and those of the other young people we hired straight out of university and Concordia in particular.
“This led to us hiring and training junior engineers to become future project managers and partners. And it was all because of that lucky summer internship in my last year of school.”