Canadian Consulting Engineer

A Heartening Experience: Jury Chair

October 1, 2006
By Marc A. Rosen, Ph.D., P.Eng.

It was an honour for me to serve as chair of the jury of the 38th Annual Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards. Like last year, when I served as a member of the jury, the experience was fascinating a...

It was an honour for me to serve as chair of the jury of the 38th Annual Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards. Like last year, when I served as a member of the jury, the experience was fascinating and truly enjoyable.

But most of all, I found the opportunity to examine the entries, and to learn of the innovation and quality that they represent, incredibly inspiring. As a dean and professor of engineering, it is heartening to see just what an engineering education can lead to and what graduates can accomplish when they enter consulting engineering. The winning entries demonstrate some recurring features that I believe justify these thoughts:

* the achievement of excellence in engineering;

* the benefits that engineers bring to society through satisfying needs and desires, and the creation of wealth;

* the ability to respond to difficult challenges and to grasp opportunities;

* creativity and innovation.

Schreyer winner from Alberta

It seemed fitting that the project that impressed the jury the most was from Alberta, given the hectic level of engineering activity in that province this year. Associated Engineering’s solution to treat wastewater for industrial reuse at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant in the booming city of Edmonton was complex, innovative and successful. The jury felt it very much deserved the top award, named the Schreyer Award.

Of course, the entries had many diverse features. Several were international in scope, and showed how Canadian engineering is helping other countries. The range in size of the projects was wide, varying from trans-Canada projects to local initiatives. Many were for new structures or systems, while others focused on improving old ones. The Canadian War Museum was designed not just for function or aesthetics, but also to try to convey some of the emotion associated with war, making the associated engineering even more challenging.

A dedicated jury

I would be remiss if I did not mention the exceptional individuals who made up this year’s jury. They displayed great knowledge and sense, and approached their task with dedication and diligence. The selection process was difficult, given the large number of strong candidates, but the jury remained focused. I felt privileged to be able to work with the jury members, and thank them for their efforts.

I also thank all who submitted entries, as they provided wonderful insights into the world of consulting engineering, and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine and the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada for holding the awards and allowing some highly meritorious examples of Canadian consulting engineering to be recognized. I extend sincere congratulations to all the winners.

At the end of the judging process, I could not help but speculate. If the winning entries are indicative of what has been achieved by the products of our past engineering education system, I can hardly wait to see what the future holds in store, given the advances being made in technology each year. The entries of the future are limited only by our imaginations.

Marc A. Rosen, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Chair of the Jury

Marc A. Rosen, P.Eng. — Chair

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 was president of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering from 2002-2004. Dr. Rosen was also on the jury in 2005.

Chado Brcic, P.Eng.

A graduate in civil engineering from the University of Akron, Ohio, Chado Brcic is director of water and wastewater services for the Region of Niagara Public Works Department in Thorold, Ontario. The region services 400,000 people.

Mr. Brcic’s career has included private and government positions. His specialized knowledge is in hydraulic modelling, master plans, design and construction of water and wastewater facilities. He won the Professional Engineers of Ontario Order of Honour in 1991 and a Niagara Regional “Leadership Excellence” Award in 2001. Mr. Brcic was also on the jury in 2004.

Maria Elektorowicz, M.Eng., Ph.D.

Dr. Maria Elektorowicz is chair of the environmental engineering division of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. She is also an associate professor and undergraduate program director in the department of building, civil and environmental engineering at Concordia University in Montreal where she was appointed in 1993. Her research interests are in contaminated site remediation and she is currently president of RESOl, an inter-university network of experts for soil contamination.

Dr. Elektorwicz obtained an M.Eng. and Ph.D. from Warsaw Technical University in Poland and went on to teach at the Unviversity of Constantina in Algeria during the 1980s.

Guy Gosselin, P.Eng.

At the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, Guy Gosselin manages the industry liaison and outreach activities for the Institute for Research in Construction. Over the past 25 years Mr. Gosselin has performed various technical and managerial assignments at the NRC/IRC, covering construction codes development, production and marketing, fire research and investigations, evaluation of innovative construction products, and development of the National Guide for Municipal Infrastructures.

Mr. Gosselin graduated in structural engineering from the University of Ottawa and has a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2002, he was president of the Engineeering Institute of Canada.

Ernie Hui, P.Eng.

Regional director for the northern region of Alberta Environment, Ernie Hui, P.Eng. is also director of Alberta Environment’s drinking water branch. Based in Edmonton, he is responsible for a multi-disciplinary team and provides leadership in the delivery of policies, programs and guidelines for the delivery of safe drinking water and environmental approvals. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta in 1982.

Sandra Lawson, P.Eng.

Sandra Lawson, P.Eng., is the deputy general manager of engineering and operational services at the city of Brantford in Ontario. With over 23 years of municipal engineering experience, Mrs. Lawson specializes in transportation planning, operations and administrative services. Her current responsibilities include fleet management, health and safety, special projects, property management, salt management and GIS & infrastructure data. She was the county engineer for the county of Huron from 1992 to 2002.

For the past nine years she has been involved with the Municipal Engineers Association, including as president of the executive board in 2004. She graduated from Queen’s University in civil engineering.

Emery LeBlanc, ing.

A former president of Alcan Primary Metal Limited and executive vice president of Alcan Inc., Emery LeBlanc has global experience in business management. After 38 years with Alcan, he retired in 2002 and lives in Montreal. His former positions with Alcan include vice-president of research and technology, and vice president of operations and managing director of British Alcan Primary Metal and Recyling in Newcastle, England.

Mr. LeBlanc was a member of the Nation
al Roundtable on the Economy and Environment between 1998-2001, appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Brunswick. Mr. LeBlanc was also on the jury in 2003.

Kenneth C. McMartin, P.Eng.

Current president of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, Kenneth C. McMartin is also a past-president of Professional Engineers of Ontario (2003-2004).

For over 20 years he has been manager of civil and environmental engineering laboratories at Carleton University in Ottawa. Previously he worked for consulting engineering companies in Toronto and was a project and design engineer specializing in timber structures. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Carleton University.

Tom Middlebrook, P.Eng.

Tom Middlebrook has eight years of experience as chief engineer of the engineering and construction division of the Toronto Transit Commision. He was responsible for the design, construction and project delivery of the majority of the TTC’s fixed capital program, and has managed construction and maintenance of new subway and LRT lines and stations.

Before joining the TTC, Mr. Middlebrook was a contractor in the heavy construction sector working in mining, roads, bridges and buildings. He graduated in engineering science at the University of Western Ontario. In September, he began working in consulting engineering.


* This year 50 projects were entered, compared with 67 entered last year.

* Number of entries per technical category, with last year’s entries in parentheses: Buildings 10 (5); Transportation 8 (16); Water Resources & Energy Production 13 (10); Environmental Remediation 4 (5); Natural Resources, Mining & Industry 4 (5); Studies, Software & Special Services 3 (8). Entries per non-technical category: Project Management 5 (8); International 2 (8); Community Outreach & In-House Initiatives 1 (2). Note: 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 3 (1); Quebec 12 (15); Ontario 10 (21); Manitoba 0 (3); Saskatchewan 1 (2); Alberta 8 (13); B.C. 16 (12).


* The annual Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards are to recognize outstanding work by consulting engineers on completed projects.

* Technical 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 impact, to the complexity of the project, and to how well the result met the client’s needs.

* The Schreyer Award is given to the top technical award.


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