Canadian Consulting Engineer

Success for those who lead – report on the Annual Convention

August 1, 2002
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The learning opportunities were numerous at the 2002 ACEC Annual Convention in Charlevoix, Quebec. Key clients from various sectors presented their projections on the future needs for engineering serv...

The learning opportunities were numerous at the 2002 ACEC Annual Convention in Charlevoix, Quebec. Key clients from various sectors presented their projections on the future needs for engineering services; heads of major firms discussed the value of different delivery methods; a management expert gave a compelling training seminar on best practices; and the CEOs of member firms participated in round tables that enabled them to benchmark their respective performances.

In addition, the ACEC business survey was released and throughout the convention, industry leaders networked and shared intelligence on the current and future state of engineering in Canada. The social programs were also a hit with all of the participants and the overall reaction was that the convention was a great success.

Not doomed to follow, but obligated to lead

The theme of the convention was “Are We Leaders or Are We Doomed to Follow? Tomorrow’s Engineers.” Andrew Steeves, the outgoing Chairman of the ACEC Board, put it best when he said that engineers are not doomed to follow but are obligated to lead. The consensus was that engineers have an opportunity to lead if they can recognize how the world is changing, are in tune with the needs of their clients and are willing to drive the strategic process. These points were highlighted by the leaders of four major Canadian firms who outlined their preferred project delivery methods and presented their thoughts on the future of our industry.

PSMJ Seminar – six predictions

Mr. Frank Stasiowski of PSMJ delivered a highly motivational presentation on profit and industry trends during the first training seminar held by ACEC at its National Convention. The session, titled “Increasing Production and Profits without Increasing Payroll,” challenged how most design firms define their business and approach human resources management. Mr. Stasiowski also put forward his six predictions for the A/E/C industry:

Shift in the industry from design to consultancy

Speed will become everything

Prominence of intellectual capital

Industry focus on value pricing and success fees

Strategic alliances

Emergence of the virtual office

Mr. Stasiowski addressed key issues such as price based selection and how the industry was helping to perpetuate that practice by a lack of differentiation among firms and the use of fee schedules and standard contracts.

Clients as partners

Private and public sector clients from National Defence, the forest products, gas and electricity industries all carried a common message: clients need the consulting engineering industry as a partner in order to be able to stay competitive in a global economy. Canada’s industries and government alike must prepare for large investments in their infrastructure. The consulting engineering industry can bring added value, innovative solutions and guidance in the planning of infrastructure investments. In order for engineers to play a full role in the infrastructure investments of the coming years, it is imperative for the consulting engineering industry to ensure it is focused on its clients’ needs and that the industry has the expertise, the know-how and the human resources to address its clients’ challenges.

Salute to our sponsors

ACEC expresses its gratitude to the convention sponsors:




TD Meloche Monnex

VIA Rail Canada

Industry Canada

EDC Export Development Canada

Tornado Technologies Inc.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

ACEC also thanks the Qubec firms which supported the Local Flavour Evening:

BBA Breton Banville & Associs

BPA Experts-Conseils en Ingnierie


CIMA + Socit d’ingnierie

Dessau- Soprin

Groupe HBA expert-conseils

Cegertec experts-conseils


PMA Pageau Morel & Associs

SNC- Lavalin


Le Goupe S.M.

Groupe Technisol

Le goupe Tecknika



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