Canadian Consulting Engineer

42nd Year Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

October 1, 2010
By Claude Benton Robert, Ing., Jury Chair

June 11, 2010: it promised to be a full day for the jury members. Ahead lay the task of evaluating, comparing and discussing 73 of the best projects demonstrating excellence in the work of Canadian engineering firms. The day presented a...

June 11, 2010: it promised to be a full day for the jury members. Ahead lay the task of evaluating, comparing and discussing 73 of the best projects demonstrating excellence in the work of Canadian engineering firms. The day presented a substantial challenge, given that, in one day only, the jury members would be working in teams to identify and award the top 12 projects. Although we had been given the project briefs beforehand, the scope, complexity and level of innovation, as well as the impacts on both society and the environment that were associated with these projects, could only be properly assessed by examining the detailed documents on-site at this gathering, which took place at the Albany Club, in downtown Toronto.

The objective was to select 10 awards of excellence, and two special awards — the Schreyer Award for the best technical project, and the Tree for Life Award (Un Arbre à Aimer) for a project that demonstrated outstanding environmental stewardship.

The jurors were assembled into teams in order to have in-depth discussions and deliberations, but they were still torn by the difficulty of choosing from among so many excellent projects. Of course, each member’s evaluation would reflect a certain amount of subjectivity, but this would be offset when the scores of all 11 jury members were added together. By the time the scores were compiled the results were unanimous — even if the members would have liked to present more awards of excellence. Eleven projects were selected, one of them having been given both an Award of Excellence and the Tree for Life award.

In this contest, there were only winners. The projects presented were eloquent proof of the contribution that Canadian engineering is making to sustainable development, environmental conservation, the well-being of society, the health and safety of citizens, and the advancement of the engineering profession. Several of the projects demonstrated the importance of and requirement for ecological construction, as well as the positive impact it can have on the renewal and reuse of natural resources in meeting our basic needs.

In short, these projects made us aware of the ingenuity and ability to meet new challenges, as well as the influence that our engineering firms have, both in Canada and abroad. Their achievements are meeting the growing challenges of sustainable development, and are undoubtedly a source of inspiration for young engineers and for those enrolled in universities who aspire to this profession.

For me, it was both an honour and a privilege to work with the other members of the jury. They came from all over Canada with their knowledge and expertise, as well as a desire to contribute to this event. They voluntarily gave of their time and energy to make difficult choices to showcase excellence amongst our colleagues of the consulting world.


-Joint program of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies -Canada (ACEC)/Association des firmes d’ingénieurs-conseils -Canada (AFIC) and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine.

-Given annually since 1968, the awards recognize outstanding work on projects completed in the previous three years by consulting engineers.

-The Schreyer Award is presented annually to the best technical entry.

-The Tree for Life Award/Prix Un Arbre à Aimer is given to a project that demonstrates outstanding environmental stewardship.

-Up to 12 Awards of Excellence are given. For more details, see


73 entries this year

(new record). Last year 60.

— Entries per category. Last year’s numbers are in parentheses:

Buildings 11 (16); Transportation 11 (13); Water Resources 13 (10); Environmental Remediation 9 (3); Natural Resources, Mining, Industry and Energy 9 (5); Special Projects 10 (7); Project Management 4 (4); International 3 (2); Community Outreach & In-House Initiatives 3 (0). Note: awards are given according to merit; not assigned as one per category. — Location of entering firms. Last year’s numbers are in parentheses: Maritimes 5 (1); Quebec 16 (11); Ontario 14 (20); Manitoba 2 (5); Saskatchewan 3 (1); Alberta 18 (10); B.C. 15 (12).

The Jurors


1. Claude B. Robert, ing., is Chief Engineering, Design and Construction, at the National Capital Commission in Ottawa where he oversees multi-year capital projects. Previously, Mr. Robert worked in the oil refinery business on mechanical and environmental engineering projects. He also managed construction on hydro-electric and mining projects in Northern Quebec and Labrador. He has taught project management at McGill Uni-versity Faculty of Engineering, and is a past-president of the Montreal Chapter of the Project Management Institute.


2. Michel F. Couturier, P.Eng. is Associate Dean for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and also a Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department. Professor Couturier’s areas of technical expertise include wastewater treatment, reaction engineering, process control, heat transfer and fluidization.

3. Mike Reinders, P.Eng. is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Maple Reinders Group, based in Mississauga, Ontario. The company is active across Canada in design-build, general contracting and environmental infrastructure projects. He began his career with a consulting engineering company in B.C. and since then has spent most of his career managing construction operations.

4. Barry J. Adams, Ph.D., P.Eng. is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto. From 1991-1995 he was Chair of the Environmental Engineering Program at the university, and from 1994-2003 was Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. He has published over 100 papers, books, and technical reports in his field of water resources and urban structure.

5. John Bremner, P.Eng. has 40 years of experience in engineering and public works. From 1996 to 2004 he was Executive Director and Registrar of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C., and for 18 years before that he was Director of Parks and Engineering, and Deputy Municipal Manager, for the District of North Vancouver.

6. Michael E. Charles, Ph.D., P.Eng. is President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and is also Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto. He served as Dean of the faculty from 1993 to 2001. A chemical engineer, he has expertise in pipeline transport of complex crude oils and particulate solids.

7. Gordon Griffith, P.Eng. is the Director of Education with Engineers Canada, based in Ottawa. He is also Secretary to the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. A graduate in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from Carleton University, he also has a masters degree in engineering management from the University of Ottawa.

8. Carolyn M. Hansson, Ph.D., P.Eng. is a Professor in both the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Departments at the University of Waterloo. She is also Co-Director of the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology at the university. Professor Hansson has served on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada and the U.S. National Materials Advisory Board.

9. George Jergeas, Ph.D., P.Eng. is a Professor of Project Management in the Schullich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary. Before joining the university in 1994, his career was in the delivery of infrastructure pr
ojects, and in consulting in construction and engineering disputes, both in Canada and the U.S. He has a strong interest in the infrastructure and oil and gas sectors.

10. Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, P.Eng. is the Commissioner of Transportation Services for the Regional Municipality of York, north of Toronto. She is responsible for the regional roads, York Region and Viva transit operations, and natural heritage and forestry services. She was previously Director of Engineering for the City of Toronto and is Chair of the Transportation and Roads Sub-Committee for the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario.

11. Jatin Nathwani, Ph.D., P.Eng. is a Professor and Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy and Sustainable Energy at the University of Waterloo, in the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Environment. He is also the Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, and Chair of the Canadian University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering.


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories