Raised in South Africa, Eben Kruger points to a high school career conference as his inspiration to pursue a career in engineering. He felt drawn to the unique application of math and science to develop, design, and build solutions. After high school, Eben went on to complete degrees in Civil Technology at the Tshwane University of Technology and in Applied Science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Mentorship has been an ongoing part of Eben’s career in engineering. The mentorship he received early on taught him the value of having and being a mentor. “It’s an incredible means by which any young engineer can grow,” he says.
“Mentorship is an invaluable component of developing both technical and business skills. A mentor acts as a role model. They can also answer your tough questions, and those questions you don’t even know enough to ask.”
Eben’s early career took him to some far-off places, on many interesting projects. He traveled from his home in South Africa, to Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, the UK, and Dubai. The Tete Iron Ore Mine, a multi-million dollar P3 project in Mozambique, stands out as particularly challenging as well as a career highlight. Eben addressed old and limited infrastructure, which always presents difficulties. In addition, the team had to address cultural differences--understanding the perspectives of local government as well as tribal chiefs.
As a young professional, Eben enjoyed the design aspect of projects, but as he’s gained experience and progressed in his career, he values seeing a project though its life-cycle. The opportunity to take a project from feasibility though construction attracted Eben to a career in consulting engineering.
Eben joined Associated Engineering in 2009, attracted by the opportunity to take a project from inception to completion, as well as Associated’s culture. He shared Associated’s values, and liked the fact that the company is employee-owned. Also, Associated was the right size; having been “just another person” in other large engineering companies, Eben valued Associated’s recognition of its staff, and the mutual respect between the company and staff.
Since joining Associated, Eben has contributed to some major projects. He was part of the team that designed and built a four-lane arterial roadway, bridge, and pedestrian bridge along Saline Creek Drive in Fort McMurray, a $75 million project that won several industry awards. Eben also cites Edmonton’s Valley Line LRT as a project highlight (see article on Page 7). Eben is Associated’s project manager, responsible for the design of the roadways, drainage, and utilities, as well as the environmental services for the Valley Line LRT.
With a career that has spanned multiple continents and large and small projects, Eben has developed a project delivery philosophy focused on open communication, making sure everyone knows what project deliverables are. He believes in celebrating project successes with the team and clients. It’s a philosophy that’s sure to lead to many more future successes for Eben Kruger.