Reginald Cameron Thurber 1919 - 1968
Drilling near railway in the 1960s
In 1957, Reginald Cameron Thurber opened R.C. Thurber & Associates, a small consulting engineering firm in Victoria , B.C. that specialized in soil mechanics and foundation engineering. Early work focused on site investigations for highways and railways, and an advanced soil-testing laboratory was subsequently established to service several large dam projects underway at the time.
An RCAF-trained pilot and aircraft mechanic before becoming a civil engineer, Thurber always kept a small company plane. In 1968, Thurber, his colleague Harvey Dishaw, and pilot Gary Foslien, were lost during a flight in the company plane from Vancouver to Edmonton . Despite extensive searches, no trace of the aircraft or its occupants was found until 2006, when climbers stumbled across the crash site in a remote area near Golden, B.C. Thurber Mountain, a previously unnamed peak overlooking the site, was named in 2007.
After Reg Thurber’s disappearance in 1968, his partners bought the company and continued to operate it under his name. In 1970, using the name Thurber Consultants, the firm expanded into Alberta , and soon gained a reputation for expertise in heavy foundation design for major industrial and petrochemical plants. In mainland B.C., the company was becoming known for its work with soft soils and geological hazards.
By the 1980s, Thurber was also gaining significant experience in oil and gas pipeline work, northern permafrost, and geotechnical aspects of light-rail transit projects. By the late ‘80s, the company recognized the need to expand from geotechnical investigations into environmental assessment work, and developed a strong team of environmental scientists. In 1991, the company changed its name to Thurber Engineering Ltd. That same year, Thurber opened an office in Toronto, where it has established a reputation as a top transportation and tunnelling consultant.
Today, Thurber Engineering Ltd. has more than 250 employees in nine offices across Canada , and is wholly owned by its senior employees. It continues to build its reputation by providing a full complement of geotechnical, environmental, and materials engineering and testing services to its clients, working closely with them to provide timely, high-value solutions and technical support.