Job Title: Associate, Structural Engineer, DIALOG; Instructor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta
Why He’s Top 40: He’s dressing up Edmonton through buildings and public spaces, and helping the next generation of civil engineers get started.
If you could change one thing about Edmonton, what would it be? “Good architecture costs money. As a society, we don’t value that. I think if, as a culture and as a society, we can start valuing it and demanding it, then it happens. Why wouldn’t we want to live in a beautiful city?”
Structural engineering is about making a building look its best. And if there’s one thing Cameron Franchuk should know, it’s about looking your best.
A self-described snazzy dresser, Franchuk wants nothing more than to help Edmonton look snazzy, too, by creating spaces that will help the city improve its look.
“Engineers and architects have this amazing opportunity and I don’t think people recognize how much a space can affect how they behave, how they learn, how they act with other people,” Franchuk says. “I get a kick out of that because, as much as I’m a talker and a flashy dresser, I’m not a pushy person. I don’t like telling people what to do, so it’s an opportunity to have some influence.”
Franchuk’s influence can be seen all over Edmonton. He designed Lillian Osborne High School in 2007 and is helping with its upcoming expansion. The new Ice District will showcase his work in the form of a parkade, as will the reconditioning of the Alberta School for the Deaf.
The biggest effect he has, however, is on the students he teaches as a part-time sessional instructor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Alberta.
“It’s not influencing the city directly, but it is influencing people to be better at what they do. Set them up for success so they can change the world. Let beautiful things happen, although I’m not necessarily the one doing it.”
In addition, Franchuk volunteers with the Canadian Institute for Steel Construction and the Consulting Engineers of Alberta’s Young Professionals’ Group (YPG). He won the Rising Young Professional Award through the YPG in 2012. He is also an accomplished photographer, with work featured at a U of A art show.
Franchuk considers himself lucky to have ended up where he did. “I’m really focusing more on projects and design and how I can make the world a better place. That sounds so cheesy, but I do want to make the world a better place. That’s what I’m doing in my own certain way.”