Canadian Consulting Engineer
Your membership dollars at work (June 01, 2000)Engineering
It is a very exciting time to be a consulting engineer. The traditional tools of our industry -- mathematics, physics, and chemistry -- no longer form the basis of engineering. A successful environmen...
It is a very exciting time to be a consulting engineer. The traditional tools of our industry — mathematics, physics, and chemistry — no longer form the basis of engineering. A successful environmental engineer, for example, understands quite a bit about biology and other life sciences, and has a good grounding in sociology. This is a definite asset when interacting with the community, as most of our environmental projects require. To be good at business (i.e. consulting), finance, accounting and interpersonal issues predominate. In short, a well-equipped consulting engineer could be the 21st century’s “Renaissance Man.”
The Internet is changing the way we interact with our clients and the range of services that we offer. It brings us much closer to the best of our clients; thus, the distinction between their business and ours will blur as we become more deeply embedded in their internal operations. Multi-company and multi-national teams working on projects using common data through the medium of the Internet are now starting to become a familiar part of our approach to business.
All of this gives real meaning to the definition of our business as a knowledge-based industry. Our ability to survive and compete in this environment will be highly dependent on the speed with which we absorb and use new ideas and new technologies. Our member companies understand this fact; in our recent business survey, 81% indicated that some form of continuing education was a priority with their firm.
Our Association similarly must embrace change and welcome not only the engineers from our member companies but the legion of other specialists that make our consulting firms viable. As I hand the gavel to your incoming chair, Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng., I am confident that our Board, Executive, and National Office are all well equipped to keep our Association lively and relevant in these changing times. I thank them for their support and help over the past year, and I thank you for the opportunity to have served as your Chair.
JOHN BOYD, P.ENG., OUTGOING CHAIR 1999-2000
ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA