Akinbola George credits his career success to dedication to research and learning, and determination to succeed
September 22, 2021
At an early age, Akinbola George learned about groundwater by spending time with his father, a geologist who specialized in hydrogeology, on various field investigations to locate groundwater. This led to his interest in studying civil engineering at university. Akinbola then attained a Master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, specializing in hydraulic and hydrotechnical engineering.
Akinbola tells us, “During my research, I focused on the application of 3D numerical models on controlled flows and sedimentation transport within open channels. This sparked my love for hydraulics and hydrotechnical engineering.” After working in Manitoba for over ten years, his interest transitioned from hydraulics and hydrotechnical engineering to water resources engineering.
Asked about his early career, Akinbola tells us, “When I first entered the consulting industry, I had the notion that you had to perform - to prove yourself. I was very determined to figure things out myself. I spent lots of time researching and learning.” Akinbola advises that this phase of his career was quite challenging, but he is grateful that he never gave up.
Reflecting on this time, he tells us he now advises young professionals, “Always ask questions; no question is silly. Everyone is ready to help you, regardless of their position within the company."
"Never spin your wheels on any design when you can ask someone who has proven experience doing the same thing.”
Akinbola shares that he has always enjoyed learning, from coding, to design tools, to designing. He still carries this learning philosophy with him. “I have completed a number of designs and developed many 1D, 2D, and 3D numerical models related to water resources engineering. I consider every one of them a huge success.” Akinbola credits his research background and early career experiences to his ability to accomplish difficult and challenging tasks.
When seeking a career change and new opportunities, Akinbola shares that he was attracted to Associated Engineering because he was impressed with the thought-leadership and projects shown on the company’s website.
“I just had a feeling that this environment would be different compared to my experiences with other organizations."
A visit in Winnipeg with our Senior Vice President, Civil Infrastructure, Chris Skowronski, helped to convince Akinbola that Associated was the right company for the next phase in his career.
Since joining Associated, Akinbola says he has had the opportunity to complete many exciting and interesting projects with amazing team members. He tells us that his most memorable experience so far was also his first project with Associated, the Mill Creek Erosion Study. He says, “The project was quite challenging with regard to the scope and our proposed methodology. We used an innovative approach to address the project’s objectives. Today, the approach is still being used and recognized by the City of Edmonton (Drainage), now EPCOR.”
“With hard work and the will to succeed, you can do whatever you set your heart and mind to do.”
Today, Akinbola is a Senior Water Resources Engineer and Manager of the Water Resources group in our Edmonton office. As a manager, Akinbola has more responsibilities which he finds interesting. He says he continues to research and learn in his new role.
Akinbola advises that, before he joined Associated in 2015, he never had a formal mentoring relationship. He appreciates participating in the company’s formal mentoring program as both a mentee and a mentor. Akinbola advises, “I love mentoring young staff. I don’t want them to go through what I went through when I was a young engineer.”
Away from work, the musically talented Akinbola spends his free time playing the guitar. He is also learning to play the piano. Akinbola also works with kids from his church community, guiding the next generation of engineers and leaders.