Meet Dhara Sudani, Project Manager, Infrastructure Engineering, from SNC-Lavalin’s Toronto office. Behind her quiet efficiency lies a thoughtful leader who delights in complex design challenges.
What are you working on right now?
How long have you been with SNC-Lavalin?
Since August 2012, so just over six years.
Why did you choose civil engineering as your career?
This was one of the most crucial decisions of my life. I chose civil engineering for its flexibility and job opportunities, but above all, I chose it because civil engineers are central figures in community development. Buildings and roads provide the basis of city infrastructure. Engineers not only provide them, but we use our skills to optimize the performance and efficiency of community systems. I wanted to be a part of building everything that forms a society. On every project, I ask myself how I can make life easier for people.
What do you love about your current project?
Collaboration: Everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This truly creates family environment where everybody is there for each other.
Cool Technology: BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives us the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage the project.
Accomplishment: That feeling I get when we solve complex design challenges and my work has been part of the process or an idea has grown into a successful result.
What do you do in your free time?
In my spare time I enjoy going cycling, hiking and camping with my family and friends. I enjoy a walk through my neighborhood park after dinner to relax at the end of a long day—walking is a great way to clear your head, let off some steam and just enjoy the outdoors. I also like reading and cooking.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There are three pieces. First is from my parents, who taught me, “Whatever you do – give it 100%.” Wherever you find yourself at work or in your personal life, do the very best you can. Second is from a mentor at work: “Don’t ever stop learning and growing as a person.” The more you learn and grow, the better your life will become. And last, but definitely not least, is something I live by: “Be kind to people; treat people as you want to be treated.”
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read this week?
I just read an article called “Life in the future: Tech that will change the way we live
.” Some interesting things it mentioned were high-rise farms, lab-grown meat, space tourism, robots in the workplace, robot butlers, building roads over rivers, and smart mirrors that check your health.
People often refer to engineers as conservative. What do you think about that?
Engineers are problem solvers. We have produced results in the real world: buildings that don't fall, planes that don't crash, electronics that don't fail. When engineers make mistakes, things break, and sometimes people die. So, yes, engineers tend to be conservative: responsible for what we do, always checking our results, trying to learn from mistakes and do better next time.
But it’s also more complicated than that. I think George Bernard Shaw sums it up well: “You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?””
Dhara in 5 takes:
Love: My family, happiness and laughter
Food: Indian & Mexican food.
Place: One of my most favorite places is a sandy beach. The sky looks so pretty over the ocean, especially during sunrise and sunsets.
A structure: Taj Mahal