Koffi Deku started with MBC Group in June 2020 as the Director of Engineering, managing the day-to-day operations of the Engineering Division. Prior to joining MBC Group, Koffi worked as a Structural Engineering Manager, primarily designing a variety of buildings and bridges. He was drawn to MBC Group because of the company’s aspiration to become a leading engineering firm in Canada. “It’s great to be involved in the execution of that vision!” says Koffi. “You get to be exposed to all types of work. Whether infrastructure design and management projects, providing expert opinions, or learning about the intricacies of mechanical and electrical engineering in complex reconstruction projects, MBC Group is very versatile in the engineering services it provides.” In Koffi’s opinion, this is the perfect place to be for Engineers and others who are passionate and willing to take on new challenges because it is full of committed innovators trying different approaches to execute projects.
Koffi believes in the competence of his team and has yet to be disappointed by their high-level output. Engineering is such a broad category, that it can be perplexing for those who do not fully understand all the activities and functions that an Engineer performs on a daily basis. Koffi explains that structural engineering, for example, is a field of civil engineering which focuses on making sure structures or buildings can withstand loading conditions they will be subject to during their lifetime. In other words, Architects make it look good on paper, and Structural Engineers make it stand. A structure doesn’t just stand by itself; it takes a great deal of attention to detail to transform a vision into a reality.
What inspires Koffi in his role, is to contribute to construction projects that will be essential parts of the community. Koffi became an Engineer because he wanted to contribute to closing the gap in infrastructures availability between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. A gap he became aware of when studying in France in Year 2000. Originally Koffi had planned on becoming a pilot, but there was something about becoming a Structural Engineer that seemed much more useful. He didn’t want to be the type of person who just complained about lack of infrastructures; instead, he wanted to understand how things are effectively and sustainably designed and built so he could apply that knowledge to actively make a positive contribution to his community.
Koffi has an Engineer’s mind that is always trying to understand how structures are built and how they can be improved. He looks at bridges, ports, dams, and buildings a lot differently, always seeing what could be and how other people do it. Koffi enjoys driving on roads he has never been on before, seeking out landscapes he hasn’t yet seen in Western Canada and the United States, which he considers to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. From Koffi’s perspective, “We all do landscaping in our backyards, but for Structural and Civil Engineers, the world is our landscaping project.”
A brief look at the history of tools
The earliest record of tools found dates back 2.6 million years, mostly comprising of sharpened sticks and stones used for different functions of hunting and gathering. It was with the use of these basic tools that humans were able to accomplish tasks that were outside the realm of possibility with just their bare hands and enabled them to climb to the top of the food chain.
Tools in the present
Tools are an unavoidable part of our day, whether it be as simple as a whisk at home, the tools we use at work, or the newest smart phone and countless other advanced technological tools we have come to rely on. We ogle tools in the hardware store, kitchen shops, or online, and today, for Worship Your Tools Day, we are taking a moment to stop and appreciate the role tools play in making our lives and jobs easier.
With all the advancements in tools and what they can do, using these new technologies is not only efficient, but also a lot of fun! We asked some of our experts what tools get them excited about doing their work. The results? We’ve definitely come a long way from the days of using sticks and stones!
Thomas Morawiec, our Northern Alberta Manager, and a skilled Cost Consultant with MBC Group, loves when he can use one of our drones, a DJI Mavic 2, for his projects. “I love getting to use industry leading technology” he says of the drone. Beyond the impressive piece of technology it is, the drone has implications for the safety of workers during inspections. “It allows me to get detailed information while keeping my boots safely on the ground” Thomas tells us.
Specially designed goggles hold a mobile device and provides Thomas with a bird’s eye view to observe those hard-to-reach places live, so he can get every detail he needs at that moment. An added advantage is that it saves our clients time and money during more complex inspections.
Another technologically advanced tool our consultants love to use is a 3D camera, which allows us to bring the project site right to the client’s screen. The camera captures 360 degrees and generates a virtual file, where users can click through to see different angles and different areas of the structure. The file generated is comparable to a virtual dollhouse, that can be easily navigated by a quick click of the mouse.
Jeff Wright, a Senior Environmental Consultant with MBC Group, votes for his Leica DISTO E7300 laser measure. He uses it on nearly every job site, whether it be for moisture mapping, mould assessments, hazardous materials surveys, or asbestos bulk assessments. The laser measure calculates square footage to an accuracy within one tenth of an inch, saving the time of having to use a tape measure, or the inaccuracy of having to guess. “Square footage measurements are pertinent to outlining what needs to be removed during a hazardous material abatement,” says Jeff, “and the laser measure not only makes the job convenient, but it also makes our reporting that much more precise.” Jeff is enthusiastic about this tool and has found even more enjoyment of it outside of his sites, “I even used it to measure the distance of my firepit to my deck!”
We all know we couldn’t do what we do without modern technological advancements, so let’s take a moment today to stop and appreciate the tools that make your life and job easier every day!