Buildings and Places, Canada, Engineering, People Spotlight

Our People Spotlight series gives you an inside look at our technical experts around the world. This week, we are highlighting a designer from our Water business in Canada and providing you insight into his design inspiration and work.

Amadou Thimbo, Ing, M.Sc.A, is a structural engineer who graduated from the École Polytechnique de Montréal in 2018. Bilingual in English and French, he specializes in numerical modeling, seismic engineering and structural dynamics. Since joining AECOM, Amadou has been involved in various hydraulic and hydroelectric assignments in Canada and Africa.

What inspired you to join the industry? When completing my master’s research project, I was able to work and collaborate with passionate engineers who specialized in dams. During this time, I had the opportunity to visit several dams and hydroelectric facilities in the province of Quebec, Canada. The complexity and size of these structures fascinated me and continued to be of great interest. These initial site visits helped me acquire and develop many skills, both professionally and personally, from a structural engineering and team-building perspective.  

What is your favorite AECOM project that you’ve worked on and why? One of my favorite projects since joining AECOM has been the stability study for the Rivière-des-Prairies power plant. Located between the shores of Montréal and Laval, this facility is one of the oldest Hydro- Québec power plants in the province of Québec. The mandate involved closing off the hydraulic passages for the intake structure. As a young engineer, I had to be creative and forward thinking in my execution approach. I was able to put my engineering spirit into action using my structural knowledge and interest in complex structures. 

Tell us a story of how your work positively impacted the community. Dams play an important role in economic and energy development across the world. In addition to producing hydroelectric power – one of the oldest and most reliable forms of renewable energy – dams also control river flow and regulate flooding.  As a structural engineer, I have an important role in ensuring the safety of these structures, specifically through my work in design and dam safety analyses. I’m proud of my contributions in enhancing energy infrastructure – particularly now, as the world shifts to green energy and focuses on renewable sources.

What piece of career advice would you like to share? For young engineers, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. In your first few years of your career, it’s important to take the time to discover your strengths and weaknesses. These years are very critical in exploring what’s essential to becoming a good engineer.  Do not hesitate to work on complex projects because these are the best assignments to learn and strengthen your skills. In addition, maximize teamwork because this is the best way to understand and exchange ideas while having fun. For me personally, I thrive on working with others – engineering certainly is more fun when you work in a team.

Originally published Oct 6, 2021

Author: Amadou Thimbo