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Gavin Li, BEngM '18

(Mechanical Engineering)

Influencing infrastructure

Excited about the idea of a GO Train running from Hamilton to Toronto every 15 minutes? So is Gavin Li.

A 2018 mechanical engineering and management grad, Li is a senior associate on the Infrastructure Advisory team with Deloitte. He’s currently the firm’s commercial and transaction advisor for Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario on the GO Expansion project.

“At over $20 billion, the GO Expansion project will be one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world,” says Li. “Upon completion, it will bring 15-minute all day GO train service throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.”

Playing a role on the GO project is the latest professional challenge for Li, whose job involves advising public sector organizations and transit agencies on procurement and development of infrastructure.

“I’m personally involved with risk assessments and deal structuring, financial analysis and business cases, operation performance regime, evaluation frameworks and overall project management,” he says.

Despite his co-op experiences in infrastructure design and construction, Li says joining Deloitte after graduation required a challenging shift in focus from engineering into a consulting role.

“I was lucky to have mentors in the firm who provided guidance and advice, including fellow Mac engineering alumni and Deloitte partner Remo Bucci P.Eng (Civil, 89),” says Li.

His position, working on infrastructure and capital projects, requires him to understand not only the technical side of a project, but also its financial, legal and commercial facets.

“I’ve always wanted a career that allows me to have a positive impact on people's lives,” he says. “Infrastructure is probably one of the most influential sectors in terms of improving the quality of life and the economy for the greater number of people.

“I love that this role allows me to look at an infrastructure project from a broader point of view – through its entire lifecycle from concept to operations – and appreciate the level of complexity involved.”

“It was challenging at first to adapt and learn from scratch, but I was luck to have mentors in the firm who provided guidance and advice,” says Li. “One mentor and fellow Mac engineering alumni Remo Bucci has provided very critical advice during challenging times, as well as being a role model to show me the path to develop a successful career in this industry.

 

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