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Friday, Mar 31, 2017

Tracey Kucheravy’s creative and organizational skills contribute to her successful career as a bridge technologist

Tracey Kucheravy

Growing up in Manitoba, Tracey Kucheravy loved drawing. Today, she is an accomplished artist, as well as a successful bridge technologist and project manager, mother, pet owner, and outdoors enthusiast. 

Tracey’s career as a bridge technologist started with her love of drawing, which led her to take a drafting course in high school.  She discovered she liked the organization, creativity, and perspective of drafting, which when Tracey started drafting, was all by hand. 

After high school, Tracey considered a career in physical education, but found she did not enjoy the courses. So, turning to her love of drawing and drafting, she enrolled in Red River College’s drafting diploma program.  

After working for several years, Tracey discovered her aptitude for project coordination. Wanting to take on more responsibility on projects, she returned to Red River College and completed the structural technology program. 

As a structural technologist, Tracey has specialized in the design, coordination, and management of bridge and structural projects.  She has worked on projects across Canada and in the US.

“One of my career highlights is managing and delivering a $45 million project in Winnipeg.  The project was 2½ years long, on which I was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The hours were challenging, but I learned so much.”

Tracey’s approach to project delivery is to be organized, fully understand the drawings and specifications, and be open to change. She implements processes to help with  time management, and incorporates lessons learned from past experiences on site to enhance project success.  Her philosophy is to minimize potential site issues that can result in extra costs. She works to understand our clients’ pressures, and to keep clients informed throughout a project.

Tracey credits Red River College’s former Dean of the Drafting Department, W.D. Sutherland, for helping to shape her career development, encouraging Tracey to get involved in the Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM). Tracey went on to serve on the CTTAM Board for 10 years, and as President for two years, from 2011-2013.  Tracey says, “Volunteering has opened a lot of doors and helped to advance my career.”

Tracey also credits a number of engineers who have helped advance her career, challenging her with new responsibilities. One mentor who stands out is James Betke, Manager of the Transportation Group in our Winnipeg office. “James is the reason I came to Associated,” Tracy advises. “I like the feel of our small office in Winnipeg, and being part of a larger company.” She adds, “I like Associated’s philosophy of sharing work across the company. I have the privilege of working with our bridge engineers across the company.  At Associated, I have had more opportunities to blend my personal strengths of project coordination and assembling tender submissions.” 

She reflects, “It takes a special person to work in consulting as it is demanding--the deadlines and long hours.  But I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Tracy says. “Being a part of infrastructure projects across Canada is pretty amazing.”

Outside of work, Tracey is an accomplished artist. Her work is featured in galleries in Winnipeg.  When she is not painting, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. As for what advice she’d provide to young professionals, she says, “Take on responsibility; push yourself. Take on work to expand your expertise. This will make you more marketable. Always be open to learning something new.”