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Special surgery suite by WSP wins top Manitoba award

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Manitoba (ACEC-Manitoba), held its annual awards on April 17. The awards recognized engineering projects as well as three outstanding individual engineers.




The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Manitoba (ACEC-Manitoba), held its annual awards on April 17. The awards recognized engineering projects as well as three outstanding individual engineers.

Over 200 people attended for the evening at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre in Winnipeg.

The top Keystone Award as overall winner showed the versatility of consulting engineers and the diverse nature of their work. It went to WSP Canada for a specialized healthcare project: a surgical suite on the second floor of the Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine, part of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. The 1,000-square metre room incorporates a movable MRI, a neurosurgery OR, a catheter angiography OR, and a control centre. The suite is the first of its type in Canada, and its design was made more complex by the fact that the magnet and software were being developed while construction documentation was underway.

The project also won an Award of Excellence in the building engineering category.

Other projects that won Awards of Excellence are:

– SMS Engineering for the Investors Group Field in Winnipeg (building category). The open air stadium for 40,000 people, designed by Raymond S.C. Wan Architect, provides the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the University of Manitoba Bisons with a state-of-the-art playing field and includes two 140 metre long trusses that support an undulating canopy roof. The trusses are two of the largest in Canada that are not supporting a bridge.

– AECOM for the James A. Richardson International Airport, Elevated Roadway – Departure Level Bridge (infrastructure/transportation). Completed for the Winnipeg Airport Authority, the groundside 506-metre long elevated roadway was designed to complement the open concept of the new terminal building. The structure consists of well-spaced columns and a post-tensioned ribbed beam superstructure.

– Stantec Consulting for the Swinging Bridge Replacement in the town of Souris (infrastructure/transportation). After the iconic swinging bridge was destroyed by record floods in 2011, Stantec designed a replacement to reduce the potential for future flood damage. The result is a single 184-metre long clear span pedestrian suspension bridge with no piers. It is the longest of its kind in Canada.

– AECOM for the Condition Assessment of the City of Winnipeg Sewer Interceptor Network (municipal and water technology). With 119 kilometres of pipe up to 2250 mm in size, located at depths approaching 20 metres, and under high flow regimes, the network is very difficult to access. Logistically it was previously not possible to inspect the system by conventional means, but in 2010-2013 AECOM and the city implemented advanced multi-sensor technology platforms to enable the assessment.

– Hatch for the Keeyask Generating Station Planning Studies (energy resource development). From 1999 to 2013, Hatch teamed with Manitoba Hydro and its partner First Nations to develop preliminary designs for the 695 MW Keeyask Generating Station to be constructed in northern Manitoba. The designs were imperative for verifying the economics and to advance the project into the licensing process. The studies used state-of-the-art computer modelling to design the structures, environmental mitigations measures and assess environment impacts.

Awards of merit for engineering projects went to Tetra Tech for the Disraeli Active Transportation Bridge; AECOM Canada for the Rehabilitation of the Deacon Reservoir Box Culverts; and SMS Engineering for the Health Sciences Centre Central Utility Plant 2.

Three individuals from WSP recognized

Three individuals were honoured with awards by ACEC-Manitoba. William H. [Bill] Brant, P. Eng., won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Now with WSP, he has had a long career in consulting. After graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1973 he spent several years with Manitoba Water Resources and the Manitoba Water Services Board, but then joined his long-time associate Alf Poetker at Poetker Engineering. That company was acquired in 1990 by Cochrane Engineer where he became vice president of the Manitoba region. Cochrane Engineering was acquired in 2007 by Genivar, which now rebranded as WSP.

Brant has won many awards and he is past chair of the American Water Works Association, and past president of the Western Canada Water and Wastewater Association. He is also the founder and long-time editor of Western Canada Water Magazine.

The ACEC-Manitoba award citation says: “Bill always sets a great example in community and professional involvement to his peers and staff, and is always looking for ways to encourage and support this involvement in others. He has successfully encouraged many members of his team to become actively involved in ACEC.”

Kristen Poff, EIT, also of WSP, won the Rising Star Award. She has over seven years of experience in the design, construction, and commissioning of municipal (civil) engineering works and is currently pursuing a M.Sc. in civil engineering at University of Manitoba. She has been involved in both professional and technical societies, including the ACEC-MB’s Young Professionals Committee and the APEGM Committee for Increasing the Participation of Women in Engineering. She has also volunteered with her church and local inner city outreach programs, has taught ballet and studied with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for over 16 years, and regularly participates in the Manitoba Marathon.

Alana Gauthier, P. Eng. won the Engineering Action Award. After graduating with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering in 1989 from Queen’s University, she worked for Albany International where she saved the company $60,000 per month ongoing from a project after being there for a year. She moved to Thompson, Manitoba in 1991 and worked in both the smelter and refinery as a process engineer. Alana joined the Winnipeg office of WSP in 2007.

Gauthier has been active in engineering associations throughout her career and was elected vice president of ACEC-MB in 2013, and was a board member of the Canadian Engineering Memorial foundation from 2008-2010. She has fundraised for charity since the age of nine, including raising $5,000 to fight multiple sclerosis by participating in the Rona MS Bike Tour for the past five years.