Mohson Mortada is making positive waves - both in York Region and around the world


We often take for granted the water that rushes out of our taps, but water scarcity is a global issue faced by billions of people each day. That was the case for Mohsen Mortada, growing up in Damascus, Syria. “You don’t realize it as a kid,” the CEO of Cole Engineering Group Ltd. says, adding almost everyone had tanks to store water in the event of disconnection. On one occasion, a relative who was responsible for bringing the water system into Damascus took Mortada with him to work. “I was just in awe. I was 12, maybe even a little younger, and it was amazing and something I really wanted to be involved in one day.”

In 1987, when he was 17, Mortada moved to Arizona. In university, he initially studied engineering but later switched gears, graduating with a degree in business. When it came time to look for a job, his early interest in water resurfaced. That childhood moment, he says, shaped him indirectly. “It’s something you don’t realize until you’re in it.”

Mortada worked for the City of Tucson at Tucson Water from 1990 to 1996, moving up through the ranks before reaching the position of control systems operations director. He continued in similar fields working in the U.S. and Canada, and later Dubai. In 2014, he accepted the position of president for Cole Engineering Group, which provides consulting and advisory services in four areas of engineering: water, transportation, urban development and environmental.

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