2021 40 Under 40: Tommy Chiu, P.Eng., LEED AP BD+C

Nov. 23, 2021
Tommy Chiu, P.Eng., LEED AP BD+C, Stantec Consulting Ltd., Principal, Information and Communications Technology
  • One word to describe yourself: Curious
  • Alma Mater: University of British Columbia
  • Fun fact about yourself: I love to use chopsticks to eat French fries, potato chips and apples.
  • Favorite station or stop that you have ever visited or frequent: My favorite station is the Hong Kong MTR Disneyland Station. No other station can be more “magical” than this.
  • Favorite route you have ever ridden or frequent: My favorite route is Vancouver to Montreal by VIA train because of the relaxing train cars and stunning views over the Rocky Mountains.

Tommy Chiu, principal of information and communications technology, joined Stantec Consulting Ltd., as an engineer-in-training in 2007 after completing four engineering co-op work terms. In 2011, he received his official Professional Engineer’s license from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia and became a project engineer, responsible for signing and sealing his own design drawings.

In 2012, Chiu was promoted to associate, taking on responsibility for all the technical issues for his team. He became a company principal in 2018 and is currently leading a multi-disciplinary team providing engineering consulting services both locally and internationally.

In his time at Stantec, he’s been recognized as an industry leader and subject matter expert in information and communication smart technologies. Chiu ascended the ranks both internally within the organization and externally in the global engineering industry. Some of his recent projects include the Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility East located in Bellevue, Wash.; the TransLink Core Operation and Maintenance Center Redevelopment located in Burnaby, B.C., Canada; and the new Iqaluit International Airport in Nunavut, Canada.

Chiu is an advocate for promoting, teaching and implementing smart technologies in the engineering consulting industry, and is currently teaching within the Applied Science Program at Langara College in Vancouver, B.C. With a strong technical background and a passion in the smart mass transit sector, Chiu has been assisting in setting various industry standards by serving as vice chair for the electrotechnical aspects of Smart Cities Committee for the Standards Council of Canada; code contributor for the Canadian Standard Association; and voting committee member for the BICSI Sustainable Technology Environments Program.

Chiu’s colleagues say he works closely with members of his team to help them grow in their careers and makes it a point to do more at his organization than coming to the office every day by striving to instill in his team the same passion he has in making clients’ lives easier.   

Is there a specific experience that led you to where you are today?

With the strong influence of my father (who is also a consulting engineer), I had already decided to purse my dream career as an electrical and technology consulting engineer since grade 5 when I got the opportunity to site visit the Mass Transit Railway operational maintenance facility and witness how trains are being signaled, monitored, and controlled.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The part of my job I enjoy the most is to have the opportunity to witness my imaginary design vision get physically constructed to help enhance safe mobility around the local communities

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is to manage the balance between project scope, schedule and budget. As emerging technology infrastructure usually involve initial investment costs and installation time, detail short term and long term cost benefit analysis will need to be developed to help justify the business case.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of and why?

My most proud accomplishment is to inspire the next generation of post secondary students to become innovative technology engineers.

Best advice/tip/best practice to share from your area of expertise? 

My advice for others would be to always keep an open mind and think outside the box when developing innovative technological solutions.