Canadian Consulting Engineer

Learning from history

Our association is 75 years old this year, and over that period Canadian engineers and engineering companies have distinguished themselves both at home and abroad with the quality and innovativeness o...

August 1, 1999   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Our association is 75 years old this year, and over that period Canadian engineers and engineering companies have distinguished themselves both at home and abroad with the quality and innovativeness of their accomplishments. We have every right to be proud of those efforts.

But, our Association is 75 years old this year — client needs have changed dramatically and our firms have changed with them. For example, specialized firms such as software companies now practise in markets that didn’t exist for small independent firms as recently as 10 years ago. As well, staffing needs have changed radically with the advent of CAD/CAM technology. Do we count the educational institutions that produce these graduates and the associations of technicians and technologists among our Associate members? I think we should.

Today’s typical engineering firm includes large numbers of non-engineering people, i.e. environmental, legal, architectural, financial and many other specialists. In many of our projects, engineering is secondary to the more difficult aspects, which quite often are not matters of math, physics or chemistry, but of biology, sociology or aesthetics. Do our bylaws reflect these realities? I think they should.

As the pace of technology quickens, continuing education has become a major issue for many of our provincial licensing bodies. Some of ACEC’s Member Organizations have taken important first steps in adding education to their array of services. I think business-related continuing education falls within the sphere of ACEC activities; as a way of reaching out to the next generation of leaders, training for new business is an ideal vehicle for producing more value-added benefits to ACEC membership.

Much work lies ahead — thankfully, there is no lack of ideas or enthusiasm. I am fortunate in having an extremely talented board and executive committee and I intend to use these resources to the fullest.

We’re going to have a great year together.

JOHN BOYD, P.ENG., CHAIR ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA


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