Alex Sy Ph.D., P. Eng.

Vice President, Technical |

Alex joined KCB in 1977 and from those early days has become a globally recognized leader in geotechnical and geoseismic engineering. He has worked across Canada and internationally on a wide range of projects including heavy industrial foundations, transportation infrastructures, hydroelectric and water retention dams, and mine tailings dams. He has extensive experience in in-situ testing and site characterization, soft ground engineering and ground improvement, seismic hazard and liquefaction assessments, and dynamic soil-structure interaction analyses of earth dams and bridge foundations.

Alex has experience in forensic engineering and expert witness services for infrastructure failures of dams, dykes, pipelines, bridges, buildings and landslides. He currently serves on technical review boards for several major water supply projects and mine tailings storage facilities around the world.

Alex matches his technical excellence with a strong business acumen. As VP Engineering in the mid-2000s, he improved the implementation of KCB’s quality management system into an award-winning system for project management, and helped set the industry standard for project manager training as a board member of the Geoprofessional Business Association.


Alex received the Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) in 1996, the Vancouver Geotechnical Society Award in 2015, and the G. Geoffrey Meyerhof Award from CGS in 2019. In 2015, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada for excellence in engineering and services to the profession. In 2018, Alex was honoured as the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s appointed lecturer for their Cross Canada Lecture Tour. Alex has authored or co-authored more than 60 technical papers.


Alex has a B.Eng. in Civil Engineering from the University of Queensland, and an M.Eng. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of British Columbia, where he is an Adjunct Professor. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Civil and Mineral Engineering Department of the University of Toronto. He is a registered professional engineer in British Columbia.

Fun Fact

Alex is an enthusiastic tennis player!


“One of the most exciting projects I did was the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge construction. I was the lead geotechnical engineer. It’s a self-anchored suspension bridge with only one tower, the only type of bridge in the world where you need to construct a temporary bridge in order to build a permanent new one. When you lift up the new bridge, you get rid of the temporary one. We designed the temporary bridge, and came up with innovative solutions to make it cost-effective.”

Strong Foundations: The Klohn Crippen Berger Story: 1950-2020.