For Judy Yu, a specialist in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Manager of the Roads group in our Calgary office, ITS offers a creative outlet to re-imagine what transportation networks could be. Judy shares, “ITS allows us to open our minds to what’s possible.”
She explains, “Work in ITS is fast paced. Projects are multidisciplinary which exposes you to innovations in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotic learning, autonomous vehicles, and connected infrastructure. It also has strong ties to electrical engineering and computer science, so the learning curve is quite steep.”
Judy adds, “I can be working with a startup or a well established technology giant depending on the circumstances. I continue to apply my transportation lens and ground my work in what is important to the people and communities, not necessarily the technology itself.” In this way, Judy provides a link between a traditional engineering approach to development and management of the transportation network, and meaningful innovations that can make a significant difference in delivering the goals and objectives of a community.
As a part of her work, Judy also enjoys facilitating the businesses’ and organizations’ understanding of technology including the risks, rewards, and whole life management of the systems that are implemented. She finds inspiration in educating and working with clients to become responsible technology owners/users.
As a young engineer, Judy served as one of the first ITS engineers in The City of Calgary Transportation Department. One of her career highlights while at the City was the opportunity to participate in the ribbon cutting at the opening of the new Traffic Management Centre with then-Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier. She then delivered her first press conference. Judy tells us, “It was an exciting time at the City for ITS. I’m proud to have contributed and to see that many of the systems I implemented are still in use today.”
Judy joined Associated Engineering in 2012. Reflecting on her move, Judy says, “I enjoy the more relaxed culture and working with really smart people who are good engineers and strong business people.”
Today, Judy manages the Roads group and is a shareholder with the company. She says, “The creation of the Roads team is a source of pride and I feel it’s one of my greatest accomplishments.” As a leader, she believes in mentoring, sharing knowledge, and encouraging others to be successful in whatever makes them unique.
As a new shareholder, she advises, “I respect the employee-owned structure and really appreciate what ownership means as far as commitment to client service and project delivery.”
Judy believes in fostering and developing strong relationships, whether it be with her team, clients, or industry partners. She says issues and challenges are bound to arise, and she recommends taking a step back to assess the magnitude of the problem and looking for win/win outcomes. She values empathy, critical thinking, hard work, and resourcefulness to get through any problem.
To young engineers, Judy says, “Be proactive about your career, own the results, and have patience. On every project look for ways to challenge yourself and improve your skills. Don’t focus solely on the mechanics of project execution.”
“Never let fear be the reason you don’t succeed. Never burn your bridges. Maintain a strong network, this is incredibly powerful in almost anything you want to achieve.”
Outside of work, Judy enjoys challenging herself playing contact sports and relaxes by biking, running, and playing board games with her children. She also enjoys socializing with friends and spending time with her family.
In her spare time, Judy volunteers with ITS Canada. She explains, “ITS is a not-for-profit organization and really need the support of their members, in particular with outreach and technical excellence.” Judy currently chairs the Advanced Traveler Information Systems Technical Committee.
“I’ve been blessed with a career that is both rewarding and supports the communities we live in.”