Evan Stranks

Senior Transportation Engineer
MEng (Civil)
Direct: +64 3 378 0024

About You  

Evan gained experience in transportation engineering in Canada and the United Kingdom prior to coming to New Zealand. He holds Masters of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He has worked on all stages of transportation projects from initiation through to close-out but is particularly drawn to the preliminary stage of projects with a focus on research, analysis and feasibility. He also enjoys geometric design, junction modelling, microsimulation, economics and business case development.

What Evan has to say?

What made you decide to become a transportation engineer?  

When I chose to pursue transportation engineering and planning at university, I felt like I was doing so on a whim. In hindsight, I realised it was my calling as I am naturally a visual-spatial thinker and have always been orientated towards uncovering patterns and problem solving. As a child, if my nose wasn’t in an atlas, I’d be drawing my own maps, crunching statistics, or pushing ahead of my family on hikes to see what was behind the next tree or rock. Transportation engineering has allowed me to pursue these passions in adulthood.

What did you do before joining Abley?  

Before joining Abley I was based in Bristol in the UK where I worked for a large multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy. I was part of the traffic engineering team and involved in a wide range of projects from small transport studies to major bus rapid transit routes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?  

The variety of projects we work on and the range of work we do. I am driven by curiosity and am always seeking to discover, understand and solve new problems.

What is the most challenging aspect your job?  

The most challenging—and interesting aspect concerns human behaviour. To me, engineering is about finding technical solutions to social issues. Both sides throw up their challenges, but I find the social challenges to be far more interesting than the technical ones. If we as humans are capable of rational thought, why do we so often behave in such unexpected and irrational ways, and if we presume to have free will, why does our behaviour so often fall into the same patterns? Adapting our technical solutions to account for human behaviour is what a lot of the job is about.

What has been your career highlight so far?  

My career highlight is having experienced living and working in now three different countries. It holds true across all disciplines, but especially in transport: the problems faced in different places are often fundamentally similar, but they throw up different challenges and each has devised slightly different ways of dealing with them. There’s nothing like seeing a different place using a different approach to give you a new perspective on the ways we can solve problems.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?  

When we can, my wife and I like to get out of the city to go tramping, camping and exploring. If we can’t get out of the city, then we often find ourselves going to see a comedy show or visit the theatre. Besides that I can generally be found reading or writing whilst anchored down by one or both of our loving lap cats.