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This month’s profile: José-Luis Mosquera, Engineer

10 September 2018

Civil engineer

Graduated from José Maria Vargas University (Caracas-Venezuela) in 2000

His journey: He worked as an engineer in Venezuela for 8 years before coming to Canada in 2008. He then worked as an engineer at Inspec-Sol, AMT and Stantec before joining JCCBI in 2017.

His role at JCCBI: Project Manager, Construction for the steel reinforcement work on the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

 

Why did you go into engineering?

I’ve always loved construction. In contrast to many other industries, the construction sector lets you see your work take shape right up to the final product. Everything comes together before your eyes. Honestly, I never even thought about a career other than one in construction engineering. I love everything about it: the work methods, workplace, and work results.

 

What’s the biggest project you’ve worked on at JCCBI so far?

JCCBI is currently reinforcing the entire steel structure of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, a major project to extend the bridge’s service life to 150 years. I’m lucky to be part of this project, as I’m supervising the steel reinforcement work (replacement of bottom chords, diagonals, gussets, painting work, etc.) on Section 8 of the bridge, which is between De Maisonneuve Boulevard and Notre-Dame Street in Montreal.

 

What has been the project’s biggest challenge so far?

The work is being done in a highly residential urban area and causes inconveniences, like noise problems, for local residents. My biggest challenge has therefore been to develop and implement ways to minimize the impacts of the work on residents near the bridge while taking into account the project’s particular technical context.

During the first phase of the steel reinforcement work in the Montreal sector, the structure’s bearing capacity was limited, which in turn limited our options for noise mitigation measures. The measures we set up weren’t optimal and didn’t fully mask the noise for residents. Our main goal has always been to ensure our work causes as little disruption as possible for the neighbourhood, and that’s why we pushed even harder to find innovative solutions for the next work phases.

We ended up with a new concept for an acoustic enclosure that is working very well and is now part of all quotes for future contracts. It’s not always easy to find the best solution to a problem, but that’s the beauty of my profession. You have to constantly dig deep to find innovative solutions!

 

What do you love most about working at JCCBI?

This job has been my first experience with asset management. Until recently, I worked for consulting engineering firms or contractors, so I saw projects from a particular perspective. It’s really stimulating to see how things work from the “other side.” For me, it’s extraordinary to work on one of Quebec’s most impressive road network structures that is also a historic icon! I’m very proud to work on the Jacques Cartier Bridge. In fact, when I moved to Montreal, I became so captivated by the bridge, I got a tattoo of it . And here I am, just a few years later, working for the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI). Unbelievable! When the opportunity came up, I couldn’t say no.

 

What is your advice for future engineers?

When students finish university, they often think about going directly into design or management. Personally, I think it’s better to go out in the real world to get hands-on experience with many aspects of the profession. This helps you see things differently and make better decisions. My advice is therefore to visit a site before you start anything. Seeing how things work and learning from people in the field is the best education you can get.