Engineer, Infrastructure, Tunnels
Riley is a tunnelling engineer with over 10 years’ experience in tunnel construction and design. Riley has worked on urban transit projects such as the twin tunnels for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto and remote hydropower projects such as the Kemano T2 Project in northern British Columbia. Recently he has returned to Ontario as the tunnel design manager for the Inner Harbour West tunnel project in Toronto. Riley is actively involved in the Tunnelling Association of Canada and was the recipient of the 2023 TAC Young Tunneller award.
Riley has been involved in many aspects of a project’s life cycle including feasibility study, preliminary design, detailed design, and construction management. He has worked on many types of tunnelling projects including rail and transit, road, wastewater, and hydropower in soft ground and hard rock.
As a tunnel engineer, Riley’s project experience includes mechanized tunnelling with earth pressure balance and single shield tunnel boring machines, conventional tunnelling by sequential excavation method and drill and blast, tunnelling by jacked box and jacked deck methods, and tunnel rehabilitation and replacement.
As a tunnel engineer, Riley has worked on both urban and remote sites to deliver projects safely on schedule, on budget and in conformance with quality requirements. Within Canada, his tunnelling work has extended to Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.
“The nature of tunnelling work is that these projects are hidden underground and often go unseen by the public, but they provide critical infrastructure to meet current needs and enable social and economic growth for future generations.”
What does positive change mean to you?
Positive change means challenging the status quo to do things differently and achieve a better outcome. In my work, that means being inquisitive to understand the complete context of my projects and tasks and asking how the end product can be better. By asking questions we can identify opportunities to innovate and find the best possible solution within the constraints of the problem. Positive change results from many small, coordinated improvements and innovations.
How are you changing the world?
I am working with our team of tunnelling professionals to deliver projects that will improve mass transit and change how people commute, ensure reliable water supplies for hydropower generation, and improve water quality by capturing and storing combined sewer overflows for treatment prior to discharge into the environment. The nature of tunnelling work is that these projects are hidden underground and often go unseen by the public, but they provide critical infrastructure to meet current needs and enable social and economic growth for future generations.
What do you think are the toughest challenges facing your clients?
I think the toughest challenge facing our clients is maintaining aging essential infrastructure for the present and building new infrastructure to meet the future needs of a growing population while subjected to budgetary and resource constraints. Infrastructure programs and projects require significant capital, and this investment must be reconciled with providing affordable living costs for residents and users.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the milestones achieved on site. Whether it is a tunnel boring machine breakthrough or the completion of commissioning to enter a new asset into operation, it is incredibly gratifying to see all the hard work by a huge team of talented people come to fruition. The more challenging and difficult the product, the more satisfying it is to be part of the solutions.
What do you like most about working at Hatch? How do you think the Hatch culture is different from other companies?
At Hatch, I have the opportunity to work on “Discovery Channel” worthy projects like those that I watched on television growing up. Hatch was the fourth employer I worked for as an engineering co-op student in university and I was immediately impressed by the types of work Hatch does and the caliber of people on the team. Hatch has a team of people who are not just working on projects but advancing the industry and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.