Mike Lake graduated from Canterbury University with a Master's in Civil Engineering in 1973 and became a registered engineer in 1976. He worked for a variety of companies in design and project management until 1982 when he set up Lake Engineering Consultants Ltd (LEC). A highlight of his career at LEC was being appointed as the Principal Consultant for the very successful New Zealand Expo Pavilion in Seville, Spain during 1992. LEC was closed in 2005 after 23 years and Abacus Engineering Ltd was formed. Abacus Engineering Ltd are primarily structural engineers who have maintained a wide focus in other interesting engineering specialties. When designing buildings, Abacus Engineering uses displacement based design, recognizing its greater accuracy and efficiency compared with force-based design. Abacus Engineering also design a wide range of temporary structures, statues and industrial structures. The staff at Abacus Engineering also have experience in fatal accident reports, forensic investigations and fire engineering.