Canadian Consulting Engineer

2013 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards Introduction, Chair’s Comments, Jury Members

October 1, 2013
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



What could be more enjoyable than reviewing some of Canada’s most interesting engineering accomplishments with a group of distinguished professionals? This year I had the privilege of chairing the 2013 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards selection committee. It was an honour to work with the jurors who are distinguished professionals with a keen appreciation for the value that engineers bring to society.

The jurors selected 20 of the best entries for Awards of Excellence and five for Special Awards. The variety and scale of the projects was considerable and all demonstrated the incredible dedication and skill of Canadian engineers. We selected the award winners through a consensus process, a significant challenge that speaks volumes about the professionalism of the group.

It is gratifying to see engineers contributing in a significant way to the overall benefit of Canadians. Not only are engineers producing solutions to some of the biggest environmental issues of the day, but also they are advancing engineered solutions that will reduce the future impact of human activities.

Canadian consulting engineers are advancing the application of science to the benefit of society not only in Canada but internationally as well.

Of particular interest to me is the extent to which some of the award-winning projects demonstrated the leadership role undertaken by engineers. Their contributions extended well beyond technical solutions to include public consultation, negotiation and communication. Who better to bridge the gap between the interests of commerce and community than consulting engineers?

I would like to thank ACEC and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine for continuing to support these awards and for the opportunity to be a part of this event. I wish all the ACEC member firms the very best success in their future endeavours.

by Ron de Vries, P.Eng., Jury Chair



In this, its 45th year, some exciting changes have been made to the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

Five special awards are being given, and the number of Awards of Excellence has increased from 12 to 20.

Having more awards reflects the evolution and growing scope of the program, which now attracts many more entries than it did historically. And having special awards heightens the drama of the announcements and builds their profile.

The Schreyer Award was inaugurated in 1981, and the Tree for Life Award began in 2008.

This year, in addition to these two, the jurors were invited to assign an additional three special awards. These three in different ways recognize the contributions and vital role that engineering makes to society.



Schreyer Award

The Schreyer Award is presented annually to the project that best demonstrates technical excellence and innovation.

Tree for Life Award

The Tree for Life Award is presented annually to the project that best demonstrates outstanding environmental stewardship in terms of protecting the natural environment, reducing pollution and conserving the earth’s resources.

Ambassador Award

The Ambassador Award is presented to the project, constructed or executed outside Canada that best showcases Canadian engineering expertise.

Engineering a Better Canada Award

The Engineering a Better Canada Award is presented to the project that best showcases how engineering enhances the social, economic or cultural quality of life of Canadians.

Outreach Award

The Outreach Award is presented for a company’s role in donating their time or services for the benefit of a community or group either in Canada or on the international stage.


Projects are given Awards of Excellence based on the following criteria: originality or innovation in the use of new technology or a new application of existing technology; complexity; environmental impact; social and economic benefits; and fulfilling the owner’s or client’s needs. These criteria are weighted differently for non-technical vs. technical categories.

Technical entries are in the building, transportation, water resources, environmental remediation, natural resources, mining, industry and energy, and special projects categories. Non-technical entries are in the international, project management, and community outreach categories.


Program sponsors: The awards are held as a joint program by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC)/l’Association des firmes d’ingénieurs-conseils – Canada (AFIC) and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine.

Celebration!: The 2013 winning projects were presented at a gala dinner held at the Ottawa Convention Centre on October 23.

To see all projects entered: Projects entered in 2013 and recent years are viewable in full as PDF files. Visit the Showcase of Entries in the Awards section of Canadian Consulting Engineer’s website.

Number of entries:

(last year in brackets)

Total 61 (77)

Entries per category

Buildings 10 (23)

Transportation 15 (11)

Water Resources 7 (14)

Environmental Remediation 6 (4)

Natural Resources, Mining, Industry and Energy 10 (4)

Special Projects 7 (9)

Project Management 3 (2)

International 2 (6)

In-House Initiatives and Community Outreach: 1 (4)

Province of entering firms:

British Columbia 13

Alberta 13

Saskatchewan 1

Manitoba 3

Ontario 18

Quebec 8

New Brunswick 1

Nova Scotia 4



Ronald De Vries, P.Eng. is a civil engineer and former (retired) senior vice-president of operations with Defence Construction Canada where he spent 29 years. He has been a member of many boards and committees involved in advancing procurement standards and innovative practices within the consulting and construction industry. He is currently a member of the Canadian Construction Documents Committee.


Jean Claude Champagne, ing., arch., PMP was corporate vice-president of development and real estate with Loto-Québec between 1999 and 2010. For 10 years before that he was head of construction with the Société d’habitation du Québec. He has degrees in architecture from the Université de Montréal and in civil engineering from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.

Guy Felio, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a civil engineer with 30 years’ experience in civil, geotechnical and municipal engineering. Now president of Infrastructure Strategies & Research, he was instrumental in producing the first Canadian Infrastructure Report Card and the National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure, or “InfraGuide.” He is also an elected councillor for the city of Clarence Rockland in Ontario.

Chantal Guay, ing., is vice-president of the Standards Council of Canada’s Accreditation Services in Ottawa. From 2008 to 2011 she was chief executive officer of Engineers Canada. A graduate in geological engineering from Université Laval and in environmental management from the Université de Sherbrooke, she has been involved in establishing an environmental engineering firm and planning brownfield redevelopment projects.

Christophe Guy, P.Eng., Ph.D, FCAE, O.Q., is chief executive officer of Polytechnique Montréal, one of the largest engineering schools in Canada. He is a professor, researcher and expert in environmental and chemical engineering and has helped support the establishment of several Quebec firms that emerged from university research. The author of eight invention patents, he is also vice-chair of the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace
in Quebec.

Darin Lamont, P.Eng., is vice president of engineering and operations with Saint John Energy in New Brunswick. A graduate in electrical engineering, he is currently responsible for engineering, operations, metering and information technology with the utility. He is a member of the Saint John Emergency Management Organization and sits on the planning advisory committee for the town of Quispamsis, N.B.

Alistair D. MacKenzie, P.Eng., FCSCE, FEIC, is a professor emeritus at Ryerson University in Toronto. He was previously chief engineer at George Wimpey in Canada where he worked on civil and oil and gas projects. He is a past president of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and chaired its national history committee for several years. He is also the author of scores of conference papers and magazine articles.

Bob McDonald is the host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio show Quirks & Quarks. He has hosted the show since 1992 and is also a regular science commentator on the CBC news network. His awards include the NSERC 2001 Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion and the Royal Society of Canada’s McNeil Medal for the public awareness of science. He has six honorary degrees and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011.

Jane Pagel, M.Sc., has been president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Clean Water Agency since 2010. She also serves on the board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and was a longstanding member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology. Her previous experience includes executive positions with Stantec, Jacques Whitford and Zenon Environmental Laboratories.

Tarlachan S. Sidhu, Ph.D, P.Eng., has been dean and professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa since January 2012. Before that from 2002 to 2011 he was chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Western Ontario in London. He is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers in India and of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Brian Watkinson, OAA, FRAIC, had an architectural practice for 20 years in Niagara Falls, Ontario, before joining the Ontario Association of Architects where he was executive director for several years. Now the principal of Strategies 4 Impact! he provides strategic advice to the construction sector, including helping Infrastructure Ontario adopt new industry practices and contracts.

Chan Wirasinghe, Ph.D., P.Eng., has been a professor at the University of Calgary’s Department of Civil Engineering since 1976. He served as the university’s dean of engineering for 12 years and was the founding dean (emeritus) of the Schulich School of Engineering. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Ceylon, he has over 40 years of experience and research in transportation engineering and planning. He is a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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