Passionate about building structures, particularly in the sports field, André Cantin began his engineering career right out of university and hasn’t stopped since. He is talking to us today about his journey and what awaits him at CIMA+.
Why did you choose to work in engineering, and more specifically in the buildings industry?
I started my career just after graduating from the Polytechnique Montréal. I’ve always been an assembly guy, so the building industry was pretty instinctive for me! I had the chance to work on many projects in the sporting world during my career, both in Canada and in the United States. This is an environment that has given me a lot of experience and which has allowed me to work on a multitude of successively more interesting projects.
Where does your passion for engineering and construction come from?
I think it comes from the pride you feel when you see the major sports structures in America that we have built. In construction, the most beautiful moment is when the project is finalized and you realize what you have designed and built. Being able to walk around the buildings and see our achievements is really fantastic!
What are your greatest accomplishments in the building industry?
I have worked on many projects in the sports community all over North America, like the Yankee Stadium in New York or the Bell Center in Montreal. In all my projects, I have learned that the most important aspect of our job is the relationships we have with others and creating a bond of trust with our clients and our architects. When we have a good relationship with our colleagues and with the people we work with, the projects work well and our ideas are accepted more easily.
How would you describe the Building sector at CIMA+ and what is its greatest strength?
I had been told this before arriving at CIMA+, but I find that the management style and the feeling of belonging are really the points that set CIMA+ apart from other companies! The team is young and caring and people feel there is always room for growth in their careers. I notice that we always have the freedom to choose what suits us and what is best for us! I really have the impression that everyone enjoys working here which avoids a too-frequent turnover of employees.
What project do you dream about working on?
You need to be realistic and be adaptable to the market in which we are working. But speaking from my heart, it would probably be a project for a large-scale sports building, a bit like the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. I was offered to work on it, but I turned it down. If the opportunity comes up again, I might reconsider my decision (laughs)!
What project have you done that you consider to have been the biggest challenge? Why?
The challenge doesn’t always come with the size of the work that needs to be done for the project, but I would say the Mets Stadium Citi Field in New York. It is a huge infrastructure and quite complex.
Each project comes with its share of challenges and you learn this throughout your career in engineering, that is what is exciting about being an engineer. I am repeating myself (laughs), but what matters most, in all the projects we do, are the relationships with others and the trust we have in others. It is these good relationships with people that will help build our reputation and encourage other professionals to approach us to work on their projects.
What should be the basis for identifying areas with the most potential for the future?
From a business perspective, that would be profit. But I think the most important thing is to work on projects that really make us happy.
We must not forget that it is the market that guides our decisions, and not the other way around. We have to adapt to what the market gives us, which is not necessarily what we prefer. On the other hand, and in these cases, the type of management is very important, because it will allow everyone to find their way around and work together on different projects.
What do you do to take your mind off things or to relax?
My hobbies are my vacations! I love RVing around the US with music playing, going to concerts, and working on my car!