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PRI Spotlight: Back to School after a Summer Internship Learning about Geotechnical Engineering

By September 10, 2020April 24th, 2023Articles, News, Our Team

Tomas Cossarin was embraced as a member of the team at PRI Engineering

Only a few days after opening their doors in Lindsay, Ontario, PRI Engineering took on a local summer student, Tomas Cossarin from the University of Calgary, to learn the ropes of the industry and practice geotechnical engineering firsthand. Cossarin won the opportunity to work with PRI Engineering after meeting Arash Yazdani, Director of Engineering Services, at a local engineering challenge in Lindsay.

Cossarin is a local Lindsay resident who grew up in the area and is soon starting his 2nd year of Geomatics Engineering with a Digital minor. His passion for engineering began at the age of 12 when he began building things for fun and using applied mathematics in his designs.

Despite his lifetime of interest, geotechnical engineering in practice looks and feels different than from a textbook, so Cossarin was grateful to have a firsthand opportunity to experience the industry. When asked what his experience was like, he said “There was a steep learning curve initially as I got to know the [geoengineering] industry. It was a fantastic learning experience! I enjoyed the opportunity to do some fieldwork, set up the new office, and help complete reports.

As a small company, PRI Engineering is an ideal environment for a young student to experience the geoengineering industry for the first time. Cossarin noted that he enjoyed how “PRI [was] small enough to get to know the other staff members.” With other engineering firms, this is often not the case.

In fact, PRI Engineering’s small size has little to no impact on their ability to provide services for projects across Canada. As of the date of writing, PRI Engineering has completed over 200 successful projects in multiple provinces across the country. You can read about two of our more recent projects: the Drumheller Solar Project in Alberta and the Foxtail Grove Solar Project in Saskatchewan.

As the summer wraps up and schools begin to open – with appropriate safety measures – students like Cossarin are reflecting on their summer internships and thinking about the future.

I definitely plan to work as an engineer [in the future] … I would love to work for a firm that designs ski hills, or I could see myself coding,” said Cossarin when asked if he saw a future for himself in engineering. One of his favorite pastimes is skiing, which has an underappreciated technical side to it involving engineering and mathematical design considerations.

This winter is set to be a cold one, so Cossarin will likely spend a lot of time on the slopes but also, with his nose in geotechnical engineering textbooks preparing for his next year at school. PRI Engineering’s Director of Engineering commented that “Cossarin was a great addition to the team, and we are always looking for ways to involve the youth of the local community in what will be a positive learning experience for them while adding productivity to our business.”.

With back to school right around the corner, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading a slice of what it’s like for our summer students practicing real–time geotechnical engineering here at PRI Engineering.

We are committed to community education. If you have any questions about PRI’s summer student applications, or would like to know more about our process for hiring interns, please email info@priengineering.com.