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Insights Why Adrien became a civil hydraulic structural technician

As part of our #PeopleDriveResults campaign, this week we have caught up with Adrien Pirard, Hydraulic Structural Technician for the Power, Grid & Industrial Solutions group, based in Montreal, Canada.

image of Adrien at a construction site

Can you tell us a bit about your career path?

Prior to joining AtkinsRéalis , I worked for several companies across a variety of industries. I tackled projects ranging from drafting furniture to water treatment and designing ship engines. A few of the roles required me to travel to and from project sites.

I have been at AtkinsRéalis for just under two-and-a-half years and am a member of the Power, Grid and Industrial Solutions team. My role as a Hydraulic Structural Technician is more in line with my skills and ambitions, my focus is on hydroelectric dams and power plants. I design Issued for Construction (IFC) plans, monitor shop plans and help solve site issues, primarily regarding water intake.

What drove you to become a civil hydraulic structural technician?

My career path has been unique. I initially studied to become an accountant, but decided to leave the program because I realized I wasn’t interested in that line of work! For a short while, I couldn’t decide what I really wanted to do. I worked in several sectors and extensively on job sites and this led me to become a metal construction expert working with blueprints. 

My brother, who is an Industrial Drafter, introduced me to the trade. After giving it some thought, I decided to go back to school and train to become an Industrial Drafter myself. After gaining several years of experience in numerous design offices, I decided to try my hand at hydraulic structural design, which aligned more with my eco-conscious values.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on?

BC Hydro’s Site C project in British Columbia. I was on-site for three weeks to help resolve issues unique to the project. It’s truly enriching to see projects come to fruition, especially a clean energy project of that magnitude.

What’s had the greatest impact on your career development so far?

I always make the effort to connect with my colleagues and deliver high-quality work and have developed a reputation within the team as being very meticulous and social.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Who gave it to you?

“Throw your bag over the wall!”

It’s advice I heard from a AtkinsRéalis training video. It encourages you to wholeheartedly commit yourself to finding a way to achieve goals. 

What’s your favourite quote and why?

The quote, “everyone knew it was impossible, until a fool who didn’t know came along and did it” because it pushes us forward and encourages everyone to keep an open mind.

Tell us a fun fact about you.

I’m very meticulous and thorough with my work, yet I constantly misplace my things. I don’t know how many times I’ve lost my glasses and I’ll often find them by accident. One time in Martinique, I found them in a museum two days after losing them!