Canadian Consulting Engineer

37th Annual Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

October 1, 2005
By Carl D. Yates, P.Eng. Chair of the Jury

International and Extraordinary...

International and Extraordinary

It was a pleasure to serve in the selection of the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards once again. I had the privilege of serving on the jury last year and was invited to return this year to chair the selection process. Both of these experiences were rewarding for me as I was able to meet very interesting people from academia, the construction industry and consulting fields.

I also enjoyed seeing submissions from such a broad range of projects. The variety was in both the type of work they represented and in their scale. It was especially pleasing to see the international backdrop for many of the submissions.

Of the 10 awards given, four were associated with international work. They included the Remediation of the Sungai Bera Holding Basins in Brunei, Southeast Asia submitted by Jacques Whitford, and the Dam Safety Programs for Costa Rica and El Salvador developed by Acres International. It is recognized that there is tremendous demand for the expertise of Canadian consulting engineers on a global basis. Our reputation as a caring nation bodes well for our continuing involvement in consulting projects throughout the developing world.

In addition to the international flavour associated with the award winners, it was rewarding to see that we can still construct large projects on Canadian soil. Of particular note, the jury was impressed with the terminal development at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Marshall Macklin Monaghan/MGP are to be congratulated for the astute project management of constructing essentially a new airport while maintaining the operation of existing critical facilities.

The jury was also impressed with submissions from Alberta, in particular, one within the project management category for the development of the Alberta Supernet through the consulting firm Morrison Hershfield. Another showed an innovative approach to minimizing infections with specialty sinks developed for a burn unit at the Walter C. MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre in Edmonton. This submission was typical of Canadian consulting ingenuity: pragmatic, efficient and cost effective. It was terrific to see such a small investment go a long way, and the design by Hemisphere Engineering was a pleasure to review.

Last but not least for the submissions from Alberta, was the restoration of the Harvey Barracks after 80 years of military use. This site in Calgary is an excellent example of Canadian expertise by Golder Associates in the category of environmental remediation. Cleaning up a military base is no easy task, and to do it with the sensitivities associated with restoring First Nations land is an added badge of honour. It is important that as Canadian citizens, we reconnect with the First Nations people who have always demonstrated stewardship of this great land.

Keeping with a western theme, we were impressed with the design and construction services put forward by Associated Engineering and Golder Associates in the Sea-to-Sky Highway Test Section. We all know the importance of this highway as we prepare for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The test section uses innovative geotechnical and structural approaches to ensure it will be a safe highway.

Finally, a project that delighted all the jury was the innovative structural design for the Ontario College of Art and Design’s Sharp Centre addition in Toronto entered by Carruthers & Wallace structural engineers with MCW Consultants. The structural design required a very close working relationship with the architects to ensure that the building made a bold statement but still was a good fit with the local community. The structure is elevated above the existing art college campus — no simple feat from both a design and construction point of view. I invite all of you who are interested in engineering excellence to see this “table top” feature next time you are in downtown Toronto. It will definitely catch your eye.

Carl D. Yates, P.Eng. — Chair

Since February 1996, Mr. Yates has been general manager of the Halifax Regional Water Commission, a regulated utility that generates approximately $34 million in annual revenue from the sale of potable water and provision of fire protection services. Previously he held positions as chief engineer and general manager of the Halifax Water Commission, which he joined in 1988 after working for a consulting engineering firm.

Mr. Yates obtained his bachelor of engineering degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1984 and his master of applied science degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1992. He is chair of the Potable Water Committee for the National Research Council of Canada’s InfraGuide.

He also served as a jury member on the 2004 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

Morrel P. Bachynski, P.Eng.

Dr. Bachynski was President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2003-4. He is also president and founder of MPB Technologies in Pointe Claire, Quebec. The company develops and produces electrical and communications equipment and systems for sectors such as the space industry, fusion technology, electromagnetics, robotics, lasers and telecommunications.

A graduate in engineering physics from the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Bachynski went on to receive a Ph.D. in physics at McGill University. He is co-author of The Particle Kinetics of Plasmas, and the author of more than 90 publications in scientific journals. His many awards include the Prix Scientific du Qubec, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal and the Royal Society of Canada Thomas W. Eadie Medal. He has honorary degrees from the universities of McGill, Waterloo and Concordia.

William G. Crowther, P.Eng.

Mr. Crowther is executive director of the city of Toronto’s Technical Services Division, a position he took over in 2002. Altogether he has 29 years of management and technical experience in the city’s public works divisions. In his current role he is responsible for engineering design and construction administration for approximately $400 million of construction activity per year and 560 staff. He also coordinates engineering services pertaining to fire, solid waste, water, wastewater and transportation issues and is responsible for managing the city’s Office of Emergency Management.

He obtained a degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto in 1976.

Paul Evans

Paul Evans is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Strategies for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal, Government of Ontario. His responsibilities are to provide strategic policy development and analysis in planning and managing the Ontario government’s investments in public infrastructure.

Previously Mr. Evans has held positions within the Ministry of Finance, Management Board Secretariat, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Transportation.

He has an honours bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in public administration from Dalhousie University.

Anne Garrett, P.Eng.

Ms. Garrett is executive director and registrar of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) in Burnaby, B.C. She was appointed to the position in September 2003.

A graduate of Queen’s University in 1974, Ms. Garrett had a 19-year career with Bell-Northern Research/ Nortel Networks where she managed projects in network planning, research and development, operations and product management.

From 1992 to 1998 she was vice-president of Nortel Networks’ operations in Maidenhead, U.K, including acting as managing director of its research and development laboratory.

She was also managing director and chief executive officer for ERA Technology, a telecommunications engineering company in the U.K.

M. Bruno Mnard, ing.

Bruno Mnard is director of international business development and chief of international
projects with Hydro-Qubec in Montreal. He has 25 years of experience in project management, contract administration and marketing for General Electric and Hydro-Qubec International.

Mr. Mnard graduated in mechanical engineering from the cole Polytechnique of the Universit de Montral. He is a certified project management professional with the Project Management Institute.

Mr. Menard’s work experience includes managing the Granite Canal project for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro commissioned in June 2003. In the 1990s he worked in the Middle East and Africa, and before that was main contract administrator on projects such as the 400-MW, $90-million Becancour gas turbine plant.

He also served as a jury member on the 2004 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

Maria Anna Polak, P.Eng.

Dr. Polak is a professor in the department of civil engineering at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Before joining the faculty at Waterloo, she obtained a doctoral degree from the University of Toronto and worked for several years as a consulting structural engineer.

Professor Polak teaches courses in reinforced concrete design and advanced structural analysis, including finite element method. Her current research projects are in reinforced concrete structural systems and horizontal directional drilling. She has authored and co-authored over 75 technical papers and currently she chairs an ACI/ASCE subcommittee 445-C on punching shear in reinforced concrete slabs.

In 1999, she received the Humboldt Research Fellowship for work conducted at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

Marc A. Rosen, P.Eng.

Dr. Rosen is professor and founding dean of the faculty of engineering and applied science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario.

A graduate of the University of Toronto in mechanical engineering, he went on to spend 16 years as a professor in the department of mechanical, aerospace and industrial engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto. He was department chair between 1994 and 1999.

Dr. Rosen is the author of more than 350 technical publications. He teaches and does research in the areas of thermodynamics and energy conversion (e.g. cogeneration, district energy, thermal storage and renewable energy).

He has worked for the Imatra Power Company in Finland, Argonene National Laboratory near Chicago, and the Institute for Hydrogen Systems near Toronto.

He was president of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering from 2002-2004.

G. Gordon M. Sterling, P.Eng.

Gordon Sterling of Toronto is past-president (2003-2004) of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. He is also a past-president of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO). He is an Officer and a Companion of PEO’s Order of Honour.

Mr. Sterling received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and went on to a long career with Bell Canada where he held various management positions in building design, project management and facilities management.


* The annual Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards are to recognize outstanding work by consulting engineers on completed projects. They are now in their 37th year

* Eligible projects must have been completed in the past three years. Entries must be by at least one firm in good standing with the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, and there must be a professional engineer on the team.

* Awards are given to projects that demonstrate a high quality of engineering, having due regard for imagination and innovation. Consideration is given to the application of existing or new techniques, to the social, economic and environmental impacts, to the complexity of the project, and to how well the result met the client’s needs.


* This year 67 projects were entered. This number once again sets a record, beating the 64 entries last year.

* The number of entries per category, with last year’s entries in parentheses, in the technical categories were: Buildings 5 (15); Transportation 16 (7); Water Resources & Energy Production 10 (17); Environmental Remediation 5 (4); Natural Resources, Mining & Industry 5 (6); Studies, Software & Special Services 8 (6). Entries per non-technical category: Project Management 8 (3); International 8 (5); Community Outreach & In-House Initiatives 2 (1). Note that awards are given according to merit; not assigned as one per category.

* Geographical distribution of entering firms, with last year’s entries in parentheses: Maritimes 1 (1); Quebec 15 (16); Ontario 21 (24); Manitoba 3 (1); Saskatchewan 2 (1); Alberta 13 (11); B.C. 12 (10).


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