Come Grow with Us: Meet Joe Cosh, Director, Facilities Improvements

Come Grow with Us spotlights the remarkable career progress of BCIT staff and faculty who have dedicated more than a decade to the Institute. Each story is a celebration of their growth and contributions to BCIT.

Joe Cosh is the Director of Facilities Improvement in Campus Planning and Facilities at BCIT. He began his journey at the Institute as a student in 2001 in the Electrical Apprenticeship program within the School of Construction and the Environment. Upon obtaining his Red Seal, Joe joined the workforce at BCIT as an Electrician.

After 15 years at the Institute, Joe reflects on his experience at BCIT, providing insights in his career in post-secondary education.

In what ways have you developed professionally while working with the Institute? What roles have you held before your position today?

I started in BCIT Facilities as a Maintenance Electrician in 2009 and progressed my career from there. In 2015, I became Facilities Manager – Electrical and was responsible for all electrical and life safety systems at BCIT. Then in 2019, I was promoted to Associate Director in Project Services and managed the internal project management teams. Finally in 2022, I became Director of Facilities Improvements, expanding my role to include all major capital infrastructure projects in addition to maintenance projects in existing buildings.

 How did you get started working for BCIT?

When the financial market crashed in 2008 and the job market became more unstable, specifically in the construction sector, I was interested in a job with more stability. At the time, I had friends that already worked at BCIT, and they recommended the Electrician position that had just become available. As a BCIT alumni, I was always interested in coming back and I was lucky that the timing worked out so that I could.

Photo of the new spillway at Guichon Creek
Guichon Creek on Burnaby Campus

What projects or initiatives have you completed at the Institute that you are particularly proud of?

In my time here I have been involved with more than 400 individual projects or process improvements. I’m most proud of one of our most recent (and ongoing) projects, the daylighting of Guichon Creek. For this project, we removed a large section of failed underground culvert and replaced it with a new open channel creating a wildlife friendly environment. This project will allow salmon to navigate further up the stream for the first time in 60 years.

Joe with his colleagues from the Facilities team.
Joe with his colleagues from the Facilities team

What has been your most memorable moment working at BCIT?

My most memorable moment is actually a series of multiple ones. Since I became a part of the management team, I have mentored and supported 12 team members into promotions or new roles that they were excited to take on. I really enjoy fostering growth in our team members and mentoring new staff at the Institute.

What do you enjoy the most about working in post-secondary education?

The variety of experiences. With the myriad of different programs taught here, there is no shortage of unique environments and spaces that all create different challenges to work in and around.

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Do you have a favourite spot or activity on the BCIT campuses?

Definitely our Aerospace Technology Campus in Richmond. It’s easily one of our coolest buildings. The building is filled with aircraft, simulators, industry partners, and amazing staff to work with.

Joe at BCIT’s 50th Anniversary Gala at the Aerospace Technology Campus.
Joe at BCITs 50th Anniversary Gala on the Aerospace Technology Campus

Is there an Institute event or initiative that you look forward to every year?

Our annual celebratory events are always something to enjoy. My favourite was probably when I was lucky enough to be invited to BCIT’s 50th anniversary gala in the hangar at the Aerospace Technology Campus.

What you are passionate about outside of work?

I enjoy working with my hands and being outdoors. In my downtime I’m usually found working on my project car or motorcycle and if not there I’ll be hiking into the backcountry to go camping.

Do you have hidden talent/skills that you would like to reveal to us?

Aside from my finely tuned sarcasm I enjoy baking and have been advised that my peanut butter cookies are top tier.

Learn more about Our People – a series featuring BCIT’s extraordinary employees who share a strong sense of pride and ambition for the Institute and make up our diverse community.

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