For over 30 years, Terracon’s team of professionals, field technologists and field staff have been serving resource and industrial based projects across Western Canada with a primary focus on oilsands producers and construction companies in the Athabasca Oil Sands region.

Since the 1970’s Terracon’s founders have been working in the oil sands industry and from the beginning, the company has been built around the philosophy that the solutions that work best in the field come from people that have spent time in the field.By learning the business literally from the ground up, our people are well versed in delivering solutions that work from engineering to development, to operations and closure.

Terracon’s staff have extensive experience in the area of geotechnical engineering and geosciences, including reservoir geology, economic geology, production geology, hydrogeology, and hydrology. Complimentary to these disciplines, we have developed extensive expertise in the areas of construction monitoring, geotechnical instrumentation installation and field monitoring. We believe the combination of field experience and our consulting expertise positions Terracon to handle all aspects of project execution including design, construction, and ongoing operation.

The company has seen many transformation changes in the resource sector since its inception, and we continue to be excited participants in this changing industry. We look forward to helping our clients develop their resources in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner.



LEE NICHOLS, P.Eng., P.Geol., M.Sc. – President

Lee Nichols

Mr. Nichols has over 40 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering, mine and tailings facilities development and design, groundwater and mine dewatering studies, water quality studies, environmental studies, surface hydrology and ore reserve estimates. Following his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, Lee received his Masters of Science from Syracuse University. He has worked on projects in the Athabasca Oil Sands region continuously since 1974.  Lee has held various technical and senior commercial positions in companies that have worked around the globe. He continues to be the chairmen on the boards of directors of three other companies while remaining an involved president of Terracon and an active member of its Engineering and Geosciences team.

Lee takes a very strong professional and personal interest in helping develop and promote Terracon’s health and safety program, especially amongst entry level professionals, as well as its quality management system. In 2013 Lee was awarded the Individual Achievement Award for his many years of work to improve safety and reduce injuries in Alberta workspaces. He helped to create an undergraduate program in Engineering at the University of Alberta which focuses exclusively on risk control, safety, and loss management.


 SARAH J. LIST, P.Eng. – Vice President, Operations

SarahMs. List is a Geological Engineer (Geotechnical), with over 31 years of oil sands experience. Joining Terracon in 1997, she was instrumental in leading the growth of our Fort McMurray operation, focusing on safety and quality of service. She relocated to Calgary to assume responsibility for strategic planning and implementation, directing business development, client relations, business operations, and expansion mandates, for all Terracon’s field services groups. Prior to joining Terracon, Sarah held various technical and commercial positions with resource and service companies, including Syncrude Canada Ltd.


SHAUN GAWRYLIUK, CA – Vice President, Finance

ShaunMr. Gawryliuk is a Chartered Accountant and has over 20 years’ experience working primarily with privately owned businesses. Shaun started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers working with small and mid-sized companies, and also served as Finance Director for WorleyParsons’ environmental and engineering consulting business in Canada, while also helping support their international operations. Shaun joined Terracon in 2010 and is primarily responsible for managing and helping direct Terracon’s financial services, corporate development and strategic business planning.


Siba Patnayak, Ph.D., P.Eng – Vice President, Engineering and Geosciences

Dr. Patnayak is a senior mining, tailings and geotechnical engineer and has over 20 years of extensive experience in mining & tailings operations, engineering, consulting and project management services in the oil sands, coal and various other mining industries in Canada and Australia. Siba received his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Alberta and held various mine and tailings engineering roles at resource and consulting companies including Syncrude Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy (formerly Petro Canada), BHP Billiton Ltd (Australia), Golder Associates and WorleyParsons. Prior to joining Terracon in 2017, Siba served as the Director of Tailings and Mine Geosciences services for WorleyParsons North American business. Siba has a proven track record of providing innovative and cost effective solutions to operators in both technical and operating environments. He is currently responsible for business development, client relationship and managing Terracon’s technical services groups.


Jacob Rubenstein, CET – General Manager

Mr. Rubenstein is a Certified Engineering Technologist and has been with Terracon since 2006. Jacob has extensive experience in the field of construction services including construction monitoring, materials testing, instrumentation installation and monitoring, and drill monitoring/coordination, and has held various leadership roles within the construction services group including Supervisor and Operations Manager.

In 2012, Jake moved to Calgary to lead Teracon’s expansion of field and laboratory services in southern Alberta. As a member of Terracon’s senior leadership team, Jacob plays a key role in Terracon’s strategic planning and business development while leading Terracon’s field operations throughout Alberta and Western Canada.


Bob McCullagh, BComm., CHRP – Director, Human Resources & Health, Safety and                                                              Environment

Mr. McCullagh is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and has been certified as a change management professional from Prosci. Over his 15 year career, Bob has been a trainer, coach, consultant and an HR practitioner. He has worked in a variety of industries including transportation, construction, oil & gas, not-for-profit and telecommunications. Bob’s professional interests include organizational design, leadership competencies, diversity & inclusion, and employee engagement.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor and has completed a Health, Safety and Environment Certificate from the University of Calgary. Bob is passionate about lifelong learning and will complete a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in the fall of 2017.

He currently sits on the board of the Calgary Chapter of Children’s International Summer Villages, is a volunteer with his community association and the Calgary Opera, and donates blood to Canadian Blood Services every 56 days.

Established in 1978, the firm is employee owned and locally operated. Terracon employs approximately 100 people with the majority residing in Fort McMurray and Calgary.

We have extensive experience in the resource sector with operations supporting resource production and civil earthworks construction..  Our large and local teams position us to meet the short and long term needs of our clients. At Terracon we know that proper planning and communication, coupled with experienced local professionals and a strong HS&E culture, are keys to developing and operating successful projects and programs.

Terracon has a team of dedicated professionals and support staff operating in our office and laboratories located in Fort McMurray and Calgary. We believe these locations position us to meet the needs of our clients for field services, materials testing, and consulting services, not only province wide but for Western Canada.  We are continually reviewing opportunities to develop new locations to support our clients and their projects.


Our Mission

“Terracon Exists to deliver high quality and cost-effective geotechnical, geological, environmental and materials testing services and solutions in a safe and professional manner.”

Our Vision

“We will be known as the leader in the provision of services and solutions to our clients by holding ourselves to the highest level of technical, safety, environmental and professional standards. We will be our clients’ first and best call.”

Our Values

  • Safety – We hold ourselves to the highest safety standards. We create a safe work environment for our employees, our clients, our visitors, subcontractors, and the general public. Safe practices are reflected in every aspect of both our professional and personal lives.
  • Integrity – By emphasizing accountability, we guarantee accurate results and honest advice to our peers and our clients. We pride ourselves on not taking the easy route, but the honourable one.
Teamwork – We realize that the overall success of the company is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of our employees. We respect one another and work together to positively influence our work environment, achieve Terracon’s goals, and exceed our clients’ expectations.
  • Professionalism – We consistently adhere to both the standards of our professions and the values and vision of our organization. We conduct ourselves professionally at all times and represent our profession and the organization with dignity and respect.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – We have an internal passion and purpose to achieve and excel. We are nimble and flexible so that we can generate and apply innovative and creative solutions to problems in order to achieve results that benefit Terracon, exceed client expectations and produce rewarding careers.
Empowerment – We have the confidence and trust in our employees that they have the ability, relevant to their competencies, and the desire to take on more responsibility to better take care of our clients’ needs, improve quality and seek out new ways that will make them more effective and efficient at their job. We encourage independent thought and ideas and provide employees with the mentoring, training, tools, technology and means to make influential suggestions and decisions.
  • “Syncrude’s Presidents Award for Contractor Safety Performance”. Terracon is a seven time recipient of this award including most recently winning it for 2015.
  • Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer’s Award – 2015 This award is given to recognize exceptional small and medium enterprises in the private sector with under 500 employees.
  • Lee Nichols, President of Terracon, received the “Work Safe Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Individual Achievement Award” for 2013.  The individual achievement award recognizes a long term commitment and contributions to enhancing workplace health and safety and acting and to an individual who is a model for health and safety management.
  • Alberta Venture Magazine’s “Best Workplaces 2012: Best Workplace for Health & Safety”
  • Terracon was voted one of the “Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada by Queen’s School of Business” in 2010 and 2011.
  • Terracon is a 3 time recipient of the “Work Safe Alberta Best Safety Performer Award from Alberta Employment and Immigration, Government of Alberta, for our outstanding Health and Safety Program.

Terracon and our employees believe in being part of, and giving back to, the communities in which we live and work.  Employees make personal commitments to activities such as volunteering with the SPCA, judging high school science fairs and coaching youth soccer and baseball teams.  Terracon is proud to have employees involved in an array of educational, environmental, and community driven events, both locally and nationally, each year.

Terracon employees are actively working to help children, with senior citizens advocacy groups, people with disabilities, the less fortunate and our four-legged friends alike. We have employee run soccer and ball-hockey teams and are always looking for new ways to take part in community events.  There is corporate involvement in such events as the Christmas and Back-To-School Food Bank Drives, United Way, Spring Cleanup, assisting with Festival of Trees and Santa’s Anonymous. 

Terracon is represented by 100% employee teams at both the annual Cancer Relay for Life and Big Brother/Big Sister Curl for Kids.  It is the employees who bring forth the ideas and recommendations for community involvement.

We are proud to see Terracon showcasing their spirit and support for the amazing communities we thrive in.

Associations in which Terracon and or Terracon employees are supporting members:


Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Albertaapega-670-200

Associations of Scientists and Engineering Technologists ASET_logo_2008

Construction Owners Association of Alberta    coaa

Canadian Heavy Oil Association – Bronze Sponsor      choa_logo_2013

Canadian Dam Association      CDA

Alberta Chamber of Resources         ACR

Alberta Energy Regulator       20130617-200aer1

Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists      CSPGBrandedLogoWebsite

Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador   peg-nl_logo_small


Terracon Safety Schedule, Oilsand Lease Map


Industry requires service companies that can reliably respond to the ever-changing environment and their operational and compliance needs. Terracon has grown to be one of the largest providers of geotechnical field services throughout Alberta by developing a strong resource base of qualified professionals, technologists, and technicians


At Terracon, safety is much more than a core value, it is a way of life! From the seasoned executive to the newest member of the Terracon team, employees live and breathe a culture of safety that has truly made them outstanding leaders in their field.

Days Safe


When you join Terracon, you will be challenged to be better each day by your peers, your clients and the company leadership. When we add up the individual successes of our employees, we collectively grow as a company.

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