Andy Robinson, P.Eng., FEC
Andy is a quiet leader who can command the attention of a room with his thoughtful words. He conducts himself as an industry and community leader by the principles that are paramount to him as a professional engineer – integrity, ethical behaviour, and accountability.
Andy received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1966. After working as a Project Engineer for a few years, he pursued a master’s degree in Water Resources at the University of Waterloo. Throughout his career, his interests focused on municipal infrastructure, environmental, and water resources engineering, with recent emphasis on projects under the Ontario Drainage Act.
While Andy has consulted on thousands of projects over the course of his career, his greatest professional achievement is the creation of his engineering firm, Robinson Consultants Inc. in 1977. He was approximately ten years into his career as a professional engineer when he left his position as Ottawa Area Manager for R.M. Kostuch Associates Ltd. to found his firm. The reputation he had established in the Ottawa area allowed for the firm to grow in size and specialty under Andy’s leadership. In 2011, after a transfer of ownership, Andy assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Directors. Today, Robinson Consultants is a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering firm that has over sixty employees, including thirty-two engineers, as well as a diverse team of technologists and support staff.
Throughout his fifty-five-year long career, Andy has given back to the industry through his involvement in several organizations. He has volunteered with ACEC-Canada, Consulting Engineers of Ontario, the Ottawa Chapter of Professional Engineers of Ontario, and the Canadian Water Resources Association. Whether as a Director, Vice-Chair, Treasurer or Chair of the Board, he has led a host of initiatives, including preparation of the industry paper Understanding Public Private Partnerships in Canada, the completion of a new strategic plan and bylaws, presenting to the Inquiry on Federal Water Policy, and conducting negotiations with the City of Ottawa on contract language, procurement policies, and qualifications-based selection.
Andy’s contributions to the industry have been officially recognized with many awards. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Joe Johnson Sr. Private Sector Award, an Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) award that recognizes outstanding individual achievement through chapter activity and outstanding corporate achievement. He is also a Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC), an honour given to individuals who have provided noteworthy service to the profession. Most recently, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) awarded him the Life Member Status Tenure Award in recognition of his membership tenure of thirty cumulative years. Andy has also received a twenty-five years of service recognition from Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) and the Province of Ontario.
In addition to his industry commitments, Andy is a passionate community volunteer. In 1998, he became involved with WaterCan (now known as WaterAid Canada). Over the years, he has served in multiple roles including Chair of the Board and Director Emeritus and is presently an Advisory Council Member. His interests in helping with small water projects in rural communities in Africa culminated with a trip with his daughter to Uganda to witness the organization’s work firsthand. His passion for his work with WaterAid is evident when he speaks of this experience.
If you asked Andy how he manages to do it all and still find time to play golf, he would likely say it is due to good planning. Those who know him would say it has more to do with having a strong obligation to the community and industry he has been a part of for over fifty-five years. Andy’s legacy within the walls of Robinson Consultants and in the industry at large will serve as one of the highest bars a professional engineer could hope to reach.
As the recipient of this year’s Beaubien Award, presented annually in recognition of exception service to ACEC and for contributions to the advancement of consulting engineering through professional accomplishments, Andy is recognized by his peers for his exemplary service.
The Beaubien Award was created by ACEC in 1984 in honour of Dr. James de Gaspé Beaubien, who founded ACEC in 1925.