Milton Carrasco, MEng'92

Milton Carrasco, MEng'92

Arch Award Recipient - Career Achievement Award 

Honours those whose careers have made a positive and significant contribution to their community. 

It’s a master’s student’s dream — to spin your thesis into a multinational company. But even the curator of that dream could not have imagined that one day that fantasy would boast 13 offices in 11 countries around the planet. Yet, that is precisely Milton Carrasco’s 30-year career in a nutshell. While studying his master’s in civil engineering at UCalgary in the early 80s, Carrasco, MEng’92, and co-founder Tim Evans came up with a piece of CAD-based software, AutoTURN®, that simulates vehicle manoeuvres, an essential factor when designing roads and highways.

Carrasco’s company, Transoft Solutions Inc., has seen its products go on to provide a host of solutions for highways, airports, light-rail transit and even road signage. Besides developing a global company, the father of three daughters, who came to Canada from Uganda in 1975, founded the Transoft Foundation that provides financial support via scholarships, grants and bursaries for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

What has been your biggest career thrill? To have used my engineering education to build a successful multinational company that has experienced 15 per cent growth annually since inception [Transoft was founded in 1991]. 

Who was your most influential mentor? My mother. While she had only primary-level education, she was intelligent, industrious and taught me generosity. I owe Transoft’s success to the unspoken lessons she taught me. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I say it’s relaxing on a beach lounge chair with a hat over my face and my wife, Val, next to me while there is a constant flow of Margaritas. But, and I say this somewhat sadly, I would tire of it soon enough! Realistically, happiness is living a peaceful life with a decent level of physical and mental activity, free from medical, financial and family woes, and playing my guitar while relaxing with family and friends!   

What is your greatest fear? I don’t have a specific fear of anything anymore. I did 30 years ago, and that was the worry of not being able to adequately provide for my family and for my wife and me! 

What is your greatest regret? I am not one to have regrets; my motto is, “It’s never too late!” But, I suppose, there is one . . . that I did not make the time to have more fun with my two elder daughters, when they were little girls.   

What is one of your proud business decisions? One that stands out for me was when one of the big four accounting firms recommended that I move Transoft’s Intellectual Property to a tax-haven thereby saving us millions of tax dollars!  As a proud Canadian, I found that recommendation to be too unethical and refused to do so!  My view is if we enjoy the benefits of living in a wonderful country like Canada, then we ought to pay our fair share of taxes. 

Where would you most like to live? I already live in the most spectacular city, Vancouver, in the most wonderful country in the world!   

What is the quality you most like in a person? Selflessness. 

Who or what is the greatest love of your life? Who? My wife! What? My guitar. 

What is your greatest achievement? Starting life in Canada with only a few dollars, only to build, and now operate, a thriving international business.  

Which talent would you most like to have? The “relaxation talent” — to take life less seriously. 

What is your most treasured possession? My guitars. 

How do you pass the time on flights? Early in my career, it was work. These days, it’s watching documentaries and resting. 

What would you say are two traits that have been instrumental to your life successes? Hard work and smarts — in equal proportions. 

What are you most proud of? Without a doubt, watching my three beautiful daughters become the successful professionals, mothers and loving wives that they are. They carry their grandmother’s DNA of intelligence, generosity and humility and Val’s good looks and nurturing personality. I cannot wait for them to become guardians of Transoft Solutions, Inc. 

Milton Carrasco, MEng'92

“Life is a journey of many unexpected experiences — mostly pleasant and uplifting ones. I am most thankful for family and the many people that have touched my life and made it an exciting, joyful and successful one.”

— Milton Carrasco, MEng'92

These visionary alumni are changing the world with vision and purpose. Meet the 2022 Arch Award recipients.