Meet Bridging North America’s Newest Engineers


Meet University of Windsor graduates Cody Gillis, Derek Farnell and Jorge Rodriguez - the newest additions to Bridging North America’s engineering team. In recognition of National Engineering month, we asked them to speak about their background and role with the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

Cody Gillis,
Project Coordinator

Photo of Cody Gillis, Project Coordinator

Q: What field of engineering did you study and why?

A: I studied Civil Engineering. Going into University, Civil Engineering caught my interest due to the broadness of the topic. There is so much that Civil Engineering entails and so much to learn. When starting University, I wasn’t entirely sure on what specific career path I wanted to follow, but I knew that a degree in Civil Engineering would present many options and facilitate a wonderful learning experience.

Q: Why did you decide to be a part of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project?

A: The Gordie Howe International Bridge project is a multi-billion dollar international project. The opportunity to work on this project while gaining valuable learning experience after having graduated only a few months ago is unparalleled. I am very fortunate to be a part of this project.

Q: Can you describe your role with Bridging North America?

A: My position is Project Coordinator for the Michigan Interchange. My role consists of work mostly related to the Michigan Interchange, but also in other areas. For example, one of my current tasks is helping with the progress measurement techniques for the entire project. This is a unique opportunity as I am gaining experience on all facets of the project.

Q: What is something new that you have learned about the Gordie Howe International Bridge project since starting your job?

A: I have learned that the project has much diversity. From the designers to the engineers to the contractors, there are people from all over the world working on this project. This diversity is what helps make the Gordie Howe International Bridge project one of a kind in the sense that there are so many different cultures mixing together to create something wonderful.

Derek Farnell,
Office Engineer

Photo of Derek Farnell, Office Engineer

Q: What field of engineering did you study and why?

A: I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Windsor. I chose Civil Engineering because of my love for structures and mathematics.

Q: Why did you decide to be a part of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project?

A: The opportunity to work for a project such as the Gordie Howe International Bridge project directly out of school does not happen very often. The thought of working for this project has always been in my mind since I started at the University of Windsor but it was honestly a pipe dream. Then the opportunity arose as soon as I graduated and there was no way I could miss it. I applied for the role of Office Engineer and was very proud to accept the offer I received from Bridging North America shortly after.

Q: Can you describe your role with Bridging North America?

A: My role with Bridging North America is as an Office Engineer. I have been tasked, along with a few other colleagues, to create a Progress Measurement Technique. These are essentially milestones to track the completion of the project as well as payment in a great amount of detail. This method of tracking progress will be implemented project wide.

Q: What is something new that you have learned about the Gordie Howe International Bridge project?

A: Something new that I learned when I joined the team is that we are constructing North America’s longest cable stayed bridge. With a clear span of 853m, this is an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to be part of the team responsible for constructing such a bridge.

Jorge Rodriguez,
Project Engineer

Photo of Jorge Rodriguez, Project Engineer

Q: What field of engineering did you study and why?

A: I studied Civil Engineering and recently completed my Master of Engineering at the University of Windsor. I have had many years of experience in engineering and construction and I thought it was time to update and expand my knowledge. The University of Windsor was an excellent option because of its high standard of quality for education, good reputation for its engineering program, and having a new engineering building with the latest technologies and modern laboratories.

Q: Why did you decide to be a part of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project?

A: I have heard about this iconic project since I moved to Windsor to begin the Masters program. I immediately wanted to be part of it, although at the time I did not know when I would start or who would execute the construction. I found it very interesting to participate in such an important international project with such an innovative design and a team assembled from around the world. We all get to share our different points of view and contribute each in our own way to the success of the project.

Q: Can you describe your role with Bridging North America?

A: I am a Project Engineer currently assisting the bridge construction team with design plans, development of construction work plans, control and monitoring of costs and quantities of materials, labour, and equipment necessary for the construction of the footings and foundations of the main spans in the US and Canada. In the future, I will assist the construction team in other functions such as supervision of site activities and design coordination for other structural elements of the bridge.

Q: What is something new that you have learned about the Gordie Howe International Bridge project since starting?

A: I have worked in various types of construction projects such as buildings, roads, industrial and mining, and I can say mining has the highest standards for quality, safety and environment. I have learned that due to its high profile straddling the border, the Gordie Howe International Bridge project has the same, if not higher, standards than any other project I have worked on. This gives me the opportunity to apply what I have learned during my years of experience and gain a new challenge for my professional career.

 

 

To conclude National Engineering Month, we would like to recognize the large and diverse engineering team behind the delivery of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project.

See our opportunities page for more information about opportunities with WDBA and Bridging North America.


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