Work and Play
Braden Kurczak, P.Eng. is division head of green buildings with Enermodal Engineering of Kitchener, Ontario. Aged 32, he has been with the company for eight years. In October he will be presented with two 40 Under 40 Awards from construction...
Braden Kurczak, P.Eng. is division head of green buildings with Enermodal Engineering of Kitchener, Ontario. Aged 32, he has been with the company for eight years. In October he will be presented with two 40 Under 40 Awards from construction magazines in the U.S.
Q. How did you get nominated for the 40 Under 40 awards, And what is the award for?
Someone here at Enermodal nominated me. Frankly I was surprised, honoured and humbled by it. The awards look at your role in the industry, your role in your company, the accomplishments that you have had both in working life and personal life, as well as your commitment and how you use your passions to better the world.
Q. Will you go down to the ceremonies?
I hope so. The challenge of somebody in my stage in life is balancing work and family life, and everything else. So if the baby says I’m not going to Chicago to get the award, the baby probably wins.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself
I went to school at McMaster University. I did the engineering and management program, which has the engineering degree but also the core business degree as well. My engineering degree was in mechanical engineering.
It was probably the perfect program for me. I’m sort of double minded. I love the technical aspects but I also love the business aspects as well.
Q. What made you go to Enermodal? Is it because it focuses on green buildings?
It is. After I graduated in 2003 I had offers from two manufacturers, and one from Enermodal. I realized I could effect change in the built environment working at Enermodal.
The compensation package wasn’t as big as manufacturing companies could offer, but for me that wasn’t the make or break issue It was a question of what kind of work am I really doing, and what my impact is going to be in the broader world.
Q. What about Project Dunk, your acrobatic basketball show?
It’s an entertainment show. I grew up as a competitive gymnast and a number of the gentlemen I grew up with are still very close. One of them got involved with the Toronto Raptors’ on-court entertainment team. I was in my last couple of years at university, looking for something to do for fun over the summer. This came up, so I got involved.
Since 2004, we’ve been travelling the world in our spare time — which is limited now — doing our show. We did Canada Day in Ottawa this summer. We were at Ontario Place in Toronto for most of May and June. We’ve done shows in the U.S., and been to Saudi Arabia and Oman.
There are probably 10 groups in the world at this level, but as far as we know we are the team from Canada.
That’s an exciting part of my non-engineering life. It’s always interesting when you talk to people and tell them you’re an acrobat. You get looks.
So part of me is the engineering side, and the artistic side of me lets me go and do this acrobatic show and blow off some steam with these guys. cce