CCE’s Top 10 Under 40: Katelyn Sebastian
This year, for the second time, Canadian Consulting Engineer launched an initiative to recognize up-and-coming consulting engineers across the country. We are now showcasing them on our website, in alphabetical order by surname.
Katelyn Sebastian, 35, is owner and president of Driftstone Consulting in Regina. She leads an 11-person team, providing structural engineering, project management and building and energy code analysis for projects across Western Canada.
“What I love about structural engineering is taking the vision of an architect and figuring out how to structurally support it,” she explains.
Her focus on this discipline has long been accompanied by an entrepreneurial spirit.
“When I was studying civil engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, one of the professors had us prepare career plans,” she recalls, “and that was when I really put together a plan to have my own consulting firm.”
As it happened, one of the first projects she initiated as an engineer-in-training (EIT), the Echo Valley Provincial Park Visitor Reception Centre, resurfaced after she was running her own firm, whereby she was able to complete it.
Since then, Driftstone has completed a wide variety of projects, from car dealerships to residential buildings—and this very much is by design.
“My company doesn’t specialize and, as a result, we’re not stuck to doing the same type of work over and over again,” says Sebastian, explaining the firm is on track to complete 600 projects this year. “We bring a very large toolbox to each project, to help determine the best possible solution for each problem. I really enjoy the variety!”
One project she is particularly proud of is just commencing. Sebastian has spent five years working with George Gordon First Nation to seek funding, obtain authorizations and serve as project manager for design of a concept plan on 579 acres just south of Regina. The contract was signed in March of this year, with the work set to proceed through a partnership called Wicehtowak Driftstone Consulting. ‘Wicehtowak’ means ‘partnership with a purpose.’