Rami Mansouris a Bridge Designer. He graduated from University of Waterloo in Civil Engineering and a Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Civil Engineering, Specializing in Bridge Engineering from the University of Toronto. That is just about 7.5 years of study “it’s quite a lot of schooling and I’m really happy I did it”
Rami is an Executive Member of the Montreal Chapter of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and the VP of Finance for National Young Professionals Executive Committee
He is a Bridge Engineer at Systra International Bridge Technologies providing high end technical expertise in Bridge Engineering. Rami has been working on the design and construction of the $4.5 billion Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Canada since 2015.
Hot Topic discussion
@24.45 – Rami discusses his first Hot Topic: encouraging engagement between engineers
The activities toward this by Engineers Australia and Canadian Society of Civil Engineers are discussed.
“it’s nice to take some time away from the math and the technical part and kind of focus on communication and discussions and writing and conferences”
@30.52 – Rami moves into his second Hot Topic
“I think that engineers need to refocus on creativity and refocus on the history of engineering”
Spend more time on creative activities to bolster your engineering
Rami introduces us to Robert Maillart, a bridge engineer from Switzerland who embodies the belief that form follows function.
When an engineer understand the foundations, but is willing and able to express their creativity “You actually have the tools you need to create the most beautiful bridge”
Engineers themselves need to understand how creative they can actually get. “You’re engineers, you have the best understanding, you have the best tools to come up with what looks nice”
“this is the engineering that we should be teaching in school. It’s using calculations as a tool to be creative”
The history of engineering should be a major subject to be studied.
Rami also encourages drawing courses “you got to do something by hand just to kind of get a concept”
“So the start is with education. And from that, I think in industry you would then see more creative solutions coming up and engineer’s retaking that part of the industry.”
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
What it’s like to work on a project that spans multiple years. It involves the evolution of a deliverable as well as the evolution of a career. “the thing came up within a year. Like it went so fast once it started. So it was, it was really magnificent to see it every day, you see a huge difference”
“And every single day I’m learning something new about it. So it’s definitely always fun and always a challenge”
@14.19 – Canada has a very strong tradition – The Iron Ring – of reminding engineers of the ethics of being an engineer. “the background on the iron ring is supposedly the bridge in Quebec that collapsed two- or three-times during construction. They took the iron from there to create these rings to give to all of the engineers to kind of symbolize the importance of our profession”
The Iron Ring is placed on the pinky of an engineer’s signing hand as a physical and visible reminder of the duty engineers have to society.
“you feel the ring and you’re thinking, make sure that you’ve double checked everything. Make sure that you’re not taking any risks cause there’s people’s lives that are at stake”
@19.44 Both Dom & Rami have experience on working on a Mega Project. “the thing about a mega project like this is that there’s an insane amount of paperwork that has to be done. And, as the project has progressed, people are slowly signed off and there’s only a few people that are left and one of them is me.”
Dom recounts from his experience, “when all these people leave, it’s amazing the kind of brain drain”
@21.50 Rami is working with the Montreal Chapter of Canadian Society of Civil Engineers – “the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, it’s like other engineering societies. We’re trying to raise a community of engineers, try to build up communication, try to engage different engineers”
@23 The Canadian Society of Civil Engineers helps connect engineers from a variety of stages in their career “everyone needs mentors and it’s really nice to have a strong engineering community who are familiar with each other, familiar with the different projects that are going on, motivating each other to push the boundaries on everything that we’re doing.”
@39 Rami is optimistic about the future
“people are looking at engineers as creators who will use history and improve upon it”
Technology advancements can assist this. Engineers can optimise the form of bridges and improve upon them.
@41.52 Advice for future engineers
Really understand the fundamentals
“spend a little bit of time reading about different projects, different engineers and what’s been done in the past.”
An engineering item for discussion... Salginatobel Bridge is a reinforced concrete arch bridge designed by Swiss civil engineer Robert Maillart. “the most beautiful bridge that’s ever been constructed”
“this engineer had spent so much time refining his knowledge, refining his skills and working on using this material, he was able to create this masterpiece, which was the simplest form”
An engineer to admire… Rami gives us a number of engineers to admire
Robert Maillart & Christian Menn, engineers who have passed and left a legacy.
David Goodyear worked a bit on the initial plan of the Champlain Bridge “he’s kind of a legend”
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