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Top 10 Under 40: Rob Grant, Principal and senior systems engineer, PBX Engineering, 38

August 1, 2022  By  SP&T Staff

What does your typical day look like? Tell us more about your security roles and responsibilities.
I lead a multi-disciplinary team of nine engineers with a focus on physical security assessments, and the design of integrated security systems and network solutions. Our main objective is to assess a client’s needs and develop a purpose-built solution that is optimized for their individual challenges and business requirements. Depending on the state of development for each project, daily tasks can range greatly, including completing site security assessments, holding system requirements workshops, preparing capital plans and long-term budgeting, completing detailed designs, providing technical support during tender, and overseeing construction.
Multiple projects are underway at any given time, so daily tasks can jump between phases of project development as you focus on different projects.
As the business unit manager, my roles are focused on supporting our engineers and supporting client needs. A portion of my day is filled with client meetings and construction coordination meetings. The rest of the day is dedicated to providing technical expertise to colleagues, developing planning and technical documentation, performing project management duties, business development, and providing strategic direction.

What do you enjoy most about working in the security industry?
As a design engineer, I get to work with the client through the entire lifecycle of a project, from the initial threat / security assessment, through to concept development and budget planning, and into detailed design and construction.
In many cases, we are also responsible for completing post-integrator testing and secondary validation of the installed systems. Taking the project from an initial thought all the way through to completion is very rewarding. Further, due to the large range of technologies and applications within the security industry, each project has unique attributes and intricacies that makes every project intriguing in its own way.
Most of our designs involve the complex integration of multiple sub-systems, which requires you to take a deep dive into the software capabilities to ensure a seamless integration. Designing in the security industry is never dull.

What are your career goals for the future and how do you plan to achieve them?
My main career goal for the next several years is to enhance and expand the PBX Integrated Security Business Unit to become even more prominent in the development of Western Canada’s critical infrastructure security posture. Our team currently consists of nine engineers, ranging from senior design engineers to recent hires.
I’m motivated by the idea of helping to develop each of their careers individually while also expanding the business unit’s presence. Consulting should be a people-first industry, and by fostering this I feel we can grow great talent and attract new up-and-comers.

What have you learned about the security industry during your career and what advice would you pass on to newcomers?
The security industry encompasses a vast spectrum of topics that requires a wide range of knowledge, and no single person can be a technical expert in all aspects of the field. My advice to a newcomer would be to develop an understanding of the wide breadth of topics, but to specialize in a subset and augment your skillsets with those of others around you. A strong team can go further together than a single person can do alone.

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