Epiphany Engineering is a boutique mechanical engineering firm that works exclusively for clients in the entertainment field. Our services range in scope from conceptual design to site inspections and permits, and in scale from large stage structures, to in-situ set reviews or even quick phone consultations.
Azra Ross founded Epiphany in 2001 and now leads a talented team of engineers and partners, with years of experience in both the engineering and creative industries. Our collective backgrounds provide our team with a unique perspective on the challenges associated with melding the two worlds, and we always endeavour to find creative, practical and cost effective solutions to ensure that the final product remains true to the artistic vision. As we often say, we are not in the business of saying “no”, but rather, “Sure you can do that – now let us figure out how!”
Partnering with licensed engineers throughout North America, our firm provides certification across Canada and the United States in a number of disciplines. Epiphany’s main office is located in the Greater Toronto Area.
Azra Ross, P.Eng
Education: B.Eng, McMaster University
Years Experience: 21
Background: I am a Gemini, so I've always been of two minds. In high school, I loved physics and music, and have been lucky enough to have had careers in both. I started working on theatre scenery and automation even before graduating from university, and haven't looked back. I'd always found engineering to be pretty dry, so I found a way to fill my days with one of the most interesting, challenging, and ever-changing applications of math and science out there. I love coming up with creative ways to solve an old problem, or a new one, and make it work for everyone. Also, I began my career with a different last name, in case you think you may have met me before.
Special Skills: Big picture and details, bilingual (art and science - they really are two different languages), and it's not prerequisite but yes, I have my motorcycle license too.
Shawn Thomson, P. Eng
Education: B.A.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Years Experience: 20
Background: I love special effects-heavy entertainment: movies, TV, theatre, theme parks -- you name it. After graduating from university, I worked as a junior designer for Universal Studios' "Islands of Adventure" theme park. Since then, I've worked in effects shops designing and building models, prosthetics, animatronics, servo and rod controlled puppets. I progressed to larger mechanical shops working on theatre and theme park automation and other technical requirements needed to transform artistic visions into reality.
Special Skills: Digital video editing, horror movie trivia, motorcycle riding, Tough Mudder-ing.
Education: B.Eng, Carleton University. Technical Theatre Production, Humber College.
Background: After a decade of working in entertainment as a lighting technician and technical director, I realized a greater challenge existed: keeping my friends and colleagues safe, while developing spectacular entertainment effects and experiences. Specializing in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on entertainment applications, I now get to enjoy the best of both the scientific and performing arts worlds.
Special Skills: Motorcycle riding, translating 'millennial', keeping it simple.
Education: McMaster University. Dalhousie University.
Background: I assist the team at Epiphany with identifying and meeting strategic, organizational, and operational objectives. I draw on a background in law and government relations.
Special Skills: Being the hammer.