Opportunity Knocks: Our Surrey office keeps gaining momentum
Big things are happening at our Surrey branch. We spoke with Simpson Hong, an engineer based there about what makes the location so unique and about exciting opportunities on the horizon.
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Originally based in Richmond we decided to open offices in Yaletown and Surrey in 2012. The two offices are connected almost literally door-to-door by the skytrain, making it very convenient for interoffice connections. The modern, red-accented Surrey office houses 18 employees at the moment (although there are imminent plans to grow the team) and has great floor-to-ceiling window views from its elevated position on the Northwest corner of the 12th floor of the Gateway Tower.
If you ask Simpson, as eye-catching as the office is, it’s the opportunity and good work going on there that makes it truly special. “The City of Surrey is growing and there is inherently a lot of opportunity to grow and build our market in this area. One of the benefits of being located here is that we are much closer to our clients in the Fraser Valley. Being part of the community helps with local knowledge and understanding. It helps us really understand our client’s needs.”
Did you know? Surrey is the fastest growing city in the province. Currently its population is a close second to Vancouver, but it is expected to become the largest city in BC by 2041. The City of Surrey is one of our key clients.
Did you know? Surrey is the fastest growing city in British Columbia. Currently its population is a close second to Vancouver, but it is expected to become the largest city in BC by 2041. The City of Surrey is one of Urban’s key clients.
Today there are a variety of projects underway at the Surrey branch including municipal infrastructure design and planning work for various municipalities and First Nations, in addition to large design-build transportation projects, highway design and multi-modal transportation projects.
A Family Feel
Hand- in- hand with a small team and fast moving projects comes a high sense of community and camaraderie.
“We’ve really started to build our own identity here,” says Simpson.
“We’re a small and dynamic group and there’s a tight-knit feel. People are passionate about their work. We genuinely like each other and enjoy doing things together like Thursday breakfasts and socials.”
Simpson started with Urban Systems after graduating from UBC. He was originally hired as a design engineer (although Simpson points out that there aren’t actually official titles or positions at Urban). From there he worked with as many people as he could to build his experience. Over time he says, he was given a lot of freedom to be more involved in project management, client development and leading clients. Today he is one of the market leaders at the Surrey branch. He says that his greatest satisfaction comes from mentoring others. “I am continually learning from senior practitioners and able to coach and mentor younger professionals. There is nothing more rewarding for me than to see people succeed and grow in their career to the point where they are managing their own projects. That makes me really proud. We are not a machine of cogs here—we’re so far from being a typical consulting firm. It’s hard to articulate but we are a dynamic group that works well together and lifts one another up. I truly believe this is a great place to work and I appreciate that we are all encouraged to own our own passions and thrive within the work that means the most to us. Here if you work hard, you can build your own roadmap. It’s the place to be if you’re entrepreneurial and want to be a part of building something. In five to ten years, I would be thrilled to see this branch doubled or tripled in size. There’s so much opportunity now. The future is a blank slate and we are going to create some very amazing things here.