Henry Huotari

Senior Project Manager
“The big question is, how do we support continuous growth – not just in our firm, but society as a whole? In order to grow, you have to have the courage to explore the unknown. That’s why I like challenging people to look at things differently.”
Henry Huotari

Bio

The reason Henry is an engineer today is tied to his love of LEGO as a child. But without a full palette of LEGO pieces to work with, Henry’s imagination was challenged from a young age to create something extraordinary out of plain plastic bricks: cities, treehouses, bridges, spaceships. An outdoor explorer at heart, it wasn’t long before he began to look at the environment around him and think of ways he could make it even better. This early inspiration led him to apply to both engineering and architectural schools as he got older. And while he was accepted at both, he realized that he was only ever meant to be an engineer: preoccupied with how things were built, how they stood up, and how they worked. After earning his Bachelor of Engineering Science in civil engineering from Western University, Henry dove headfirst into project management at an international technology firm, and has since amassed over 30 years of experience directing transportation and critical infrastructure projects, including value engineering, design-build, environmental assessments, and constructability.

As a Senior Project Manager in our transportation group, Henry is a creative problem solver with a vision. Proudly unconventional, he believes there is always a new and different way to approach a challenge. As he explores different solutions from every possible angle, Henry is constantly reframing, re-evaluating, and distilling complex problems down to their first principles to stay focused on what matters: the end goal. It begins with asking simple questions: What are the ultimate outcomes for the client? How can we simplify the way to a solution? How do we navigate and overcome limitations? With a full understanding of the challenge at hand, Henry immerses himself in the complexities of the project to develop big picture ideas where there aren’t obvious solutions.

In his quest for innovation, Henry is focused on solving our clients’ toughest challenges, achieving their goals, and enhancing people’s everyday experiences through placemaking. He has built his reputation in projects that not only fulfill specific requirements, but are also distinctly suited to its place and purpose. A prime example would be his award-winning work with the Charley Fox Memorial Overpass in London, ON, an innovative roundabout design that enmeshed a major rail line with historical influences, community-sponsored artwork, and contributions of local residents. Across the board, Henry and his teams have built a reputation in creating responsive designs that cater specifically to each client, community, and context, ultimately leading to other high-profile projects across the country.

To this day, Henry still finds that he’s most inspired in the outdoors. Together with his wife, son, daughter, and two golden retrievers, Henry loves setting off on new adventures in the wilderness on hiking and canoeing trips. His proudest accomplishment to date is the completion of the 900 km Bruce Trail with his son, and a two-month thru-hike that spanned 1,565 km on the Appalachian Trail. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Henry’s future ambition is to complete the full Trail to its fullest extent of 3,525 kms.