Dr. Vassos is an environmental engineer with 39 years of experience primarily focused on industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment, and more recently, in the field of integrated water management (conservation, reclamation/reuse, and rainwater harvesting). Having graduated with a civil engineering undergraduate degree, the first 2 years of his career was with a regional government involved with potable water transmission and distribution system, design and construction, marine outfall modelling and monitoring, and the assessment of small community water and wastewater infrastructure. Troy then left the regional government to work as an independent municipal consultant in partnership with a senior engineer before returning to university to complete a PhD, while also co-founding a specialist environmental engineering consulting firm with 4 other engineers. That company eventually grew to a staff 36 and after 28 years merged with an international firm with over 9,000 employees. Completing his contractual obligations for the merger, Dr. Vassos resumed his practice as an independent consultant and, after 2 years, agreed to accept a position as a Technical Director for a young 100-employee consulting firm. Dr. Vassos has also been an Adjunct Professor within the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia for the past 16 years.
Dr. Vassos’ presentation will discuss as the opportunities and challenges associated with establishing and maintaining a consulting business—from the perspective of a sole proprietorship, a partnership within a small to medium-sized firm—as well as being a shareholder and Principal of a large international organization. Troy will describe his considerations in establishing each enterprise; the advantages, disadvantages, challenges and opportunities of operating a sole proprietorship versus a partnership or shareholder-organization with employees.
President of Hedgehog Technologies Inc.
Dr. Wrinch is an experienced professional electrical engineer with over 18 years in the industry. His experience spans safety instrumented systems, harsh and hazardous environments, and renewable and industrial energy systems. He has traveled worldwide to deploy innovative energy and control solutions for everything from gigawatt solar farms, to amusement rides, to submarines and natural gas plants. He is currently the President and founder of Hedgehog Technologies Inc., a premiere electrical engineering consulting company, where he continues to push the boundaries of innovative electrical engineering.
Dr. Wrinch has worked as an Adjunct Professor at UBC’s Department of Electrical Engineering for several years. It was at the University of British Columbia where he attained a doctorate in power systems electrical engineering and further, has been certified as a functional safety engineer by TÜV Rheinland out of Germany. He is a life member of Engineers and Geoscientists of BC and a fellow of Engineers Canada. Dr. Wrinch has served on multiple boards, and most recently served as President of Engineers and Geoscientists of BC. He maintains that his mission is to use his company as a platform to build a better world through the efforts of innovative engineering.
From a perspective of developing business as a sole proprietor to a multi-million dollar organization, Dr Wrinch’s presentation will challenge the audience to ask some hard questions about why they are starting a business, how to maintain the enterprise, and strategies for protecting the business. He will cover how to get started, the basics in sales and marketing, finances, and conclude with some tips that may help steer entrepreneurs away from a disaster!
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