Michael Walker P.Eng., PMP

Learning to be Successful

Michael Walker, P.Eng., PE, PMP, Division Manager, McElhanney Consulting Services, is the recipient of ACEC-SK’s 2017 Young Professional Award and ACEC-Canada’s 2018 Allen D. Williams Scholarship Award.  Between October 24, 2017 and November 7, 2017 Walker accepted back-to-back national and  provincial awards, recognizing the achievements and contributions of this Young Professional to his profession, his industry, his team and his community.  

Walker’s career has been in overdrive since he graduated from Winston Knoll Collegiate and entered the University of Alberta to pursue his Civil Engineering Degree. After receiving that degree, he has so far achieved all of the career goals he set for himself.  And it wasn’t a short or easily accomplished list!  

He credits his ongoing success to his thirst for information and the mentors who willingly shared their knowledge and work ethic, beginning with his uncle on a BC farm. His Uncle Tom needed a small bridge rebuilt on his property in the early 1990s to access a back field through a ravine.  Working alongside, his very young nephew was introduced to hard work, collaboration, functional design, project management, quality construction and asset lifecycle value.  That summer project planted the seeds for a career in engineering.

Employment during his undergrad with both Stantec and E-Construction provided him with an understanding of both the engineer’s and the contractor’s contribution to a project.  Before he had completed his degree, the young student learned the benefits of open communication and collaboration. 

Walker did not consider his education complete once he received his degree.  He viewed it as the introduction to his career and if he wanted to successfully reach his goals, continuing education was crucial.  

A keen and enthusiastic promoter of his profession, Walker pursued and absorbed the knowledge offered by others.  “I joined the Consulting Engineers of Alberta Young Professionals Group (YP) while working for AMEC in 2012 and attended the ACEC-Canada Leadership Summit in PEI.  At that event I met YPs from across Canada and a valuable network of experienced engineers opened to sharing their expertise,” said Walker. “I saw the benefits of being involved in both the provincial and national associations.”

The following year the ACEC Leadership Summit held in Lake Louise was isolated by Alberta’s flood of the century. Engineers and geoscientists in attendance from across the country experienced firsthand the disaster’s toll on the province’s infrastructure.  Their skills were in high demand and one of Walker’s most rewarding projects was the rehabilitation of the Elbow River including the TransCanada Trail.  

A strong promoter of the consulting industry, Walker has been involved with ACEC-SK, CEA, ACEC and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), taking a leadership role on numerous committees.  Most recently he has acted as one of the Canadian Representatives on the FIDIC Young Professional Forum Committee.   He is currently a member of the ACEC-SK Young Professional Group, the Transportation Committee and an elected member of the Transportation Executive Committee.

Clients, peers and the McElhanney team soon recognized this young engineer’s skill and abilities.  He played significant roles in two of Saskatchewan’s largest projects: the Warman and Martensville Interchanges in Saskatoon; and the Regina Bypass project.  Both these projects required tight deadline targets that were met by Walker.

Walker continues to take on challenging projects. The Division Manager of McElhanney’s Saskatchewan group with offices in Regina and Saskatoon, he routinely seeks the input of his growing team.  “We can do more as a team.  A team working together is a great resource.” said Walker

When asked about his career future, his answer was, “Continue to progress and not become complacent, continue to learn and stay motivated.  I accepted massive risk throughout my career, but managed it through my network.  I have the responsibility and challenge of keeping my team employed,” he replied.  

When asked about his most rewarding personal activities, “Travel!” was his quick response.  Michael and wife Kerri have travelled to three continents with their young son Tolson.  “Home renovations” was second.  The lessons learned from his uncle as an eight year old, building that bridge, still apply today.  

In all facets of his personal and professional life, Michael Walker strives to be a student and a mentor.  So far it he has worked well for him. Unlimited opportunities await him as he goes forward with his career.

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