Ask the President
Do you have a question for APEGA president Lisa Doig, P.Eng.?
We want to hear from you!
What you asked 2021-22 President Brian Pearse, P.Eng.
This is a great question. Like regulators in other provinces, APEGA does not take action to advocate for our members or the public because it is outside our mandate as a regulator to do so. Our primary reason for existence is to serve as the professional regulatory body of engineering and geoscience in Alberta. A role that requires advocacy is contrary to the necessary independence required of a regulator.
That said, APEGA holds a commitment to public safety and well-being through the regulation of the professions. We grant licences only to those who are qualified, ensure they remain qualified throughout their careers, and investigate and discipline those who fail to live up to our professional standards, especially in ways that may endanger public safety. We take steps to protect the public during our preliminary investigations, and we publish our discipline decisions and orders to ensure transparency.
We also ensure every professional engineer and geoscientist in the province adheres to the same code of ethics, follows the same rules and practice standards, and has the same baseline level of education, experience, and good character.
It’s important to note that informing the public of our role and the role of our members—such as in our How of Wow campaign to showcase the value of the professions and our objective to modernize our legislation—do not fall under the umbrella of advocacy. Rather, they fulfil the critical needs of maintaining public awareness and transparency, and continuing to have the tools necessary to remain an effective regulator. Conversely, advocacy would involve promoting a preferred outcome, such as encouraging companies to hire our members, lobbying the government to create more engineering and geoscience jobs, or supporting pipeline construction.
For matters of concern not within our jurisdiction, we often encourage and engage in discussion with our members and the public—recently demonstrated with our piece on airborne COVID-19 transmission. Serving the public interest is our privilege and our responsibility, and we continue to do so within our limits as regulator of the engineering and geoscience professions in the province.
All the best,
Brian Pearse, P.Eng.
APEGA has not held discussions advocating for more or different types of positions in engineering and geoscience workplaces.
Our primary reason for existence is to serve as the professional regulatory body of engineering and geoscience in Alberta. We do not take action to increase jobs or to resolve unemployment issues because it is outside our mandate as a regulator to do so. A role that requires advocacy is contrary to the necessary independence required of a regulator.
Instead, APEGA promotes and encourages a sustainable workforce that is innovative, diverse, and inclusive through various initiatives, such as our 30-by-30 project, our WAGE grant project, and our Women in APEGA Advisory Group.
Thank you for reaching out and engaging with Ask the President.
Brian Pearse, P.Eng.
It’s very disheartening when, after years dedicated to learning, practising, and perfecting your skills in post-secondary, the doors you thought would open for you just aren’t. The frustration you feel is valid—but don’t give up.
Think strategically about each job you’re applying for, and each company you’re applying to, and assess what’s needed and what you bring to the table. Say yes to opportunities you might not normally consider, such as working out of town, performing shift or short-term work, or accepting a job a little to the left of what you thought you’d be doing. Seek new challenges that will stretch you—in addition to teaching you, they will show prospective employers you’re willing to grow.
After graduating with a degree in agricultural engineering in the mid-1980s, I joined a company as a member of a survey crew. I started off working on highway and water management projects and gained a lot of experience with surveying and an understanding of construction operations. Though there were some long days in some pretty remote locales, I showcased my ability to learn, adapt, and work smart and hard. I eventually joined the company’s municipal engineering group and became involved in designs involving roads and water and wastewater systems. I look back on the early days of my career with gratitude for the work and life lessons that continue to serve me well.
Your career trajectory may not look the way you imagined, but always remember there’s more than one way to get to where you’re going. A good place to start is by looking up companies or agencies in your field and taking note of those whose mission, vision, values, and services align with yours. Find creative ways to approach the ones that are hiring and, if you’re able, consider delivering your résumé personally to a decision maker (while observing COVID-19 safety protocols, of course). Be polite and memorable in a positive way.
Also consider expanding your network by volunteering for or attending events—including those hosted by APEGA, a society in your field of practice, or a university. These events are a great way to have fun, learn new things, and meet people with similar interests. A good connection could lead to a new reference or employment.
If you haven’t already, check out the career resources APEGA offers. Peruse our job board for exclusive access to a range of postings around the world. Get matched with a mentor, who can give you personalized advice on finding and excelling at a job in your desired field.
You may also consider getting in touch with your university’s career centre. Along with career and employment information and expertise, they often offer events, workshops, and self-guided resources geared towards supporting you in your career search and development.
I wish you the best of luck!
Brian Pearse, P.Eng.
APEGA takes equity, diversity, and inclusion in the engineering and geoscience professions very seriously, and we take great pride in sharing the stories of our members from all backgrounds and walks of life through our website and weekly ePEG.
If you’re interested in reading stories about our Indigenous members, I encourage you to check out our two most recent ones posted on our website and in previous ePEG issues:
I hope you had a chance to read and enjoy the feature story in the July 6 ePEG, titled Meeting Calgary’s Infrastructure Needs of Tomorrow, Today. In this story, professional engineer Vivin Thomas speaks of his work on the 1,000,000-square-foot, $80-million Platform Innovation Centre and Parkade, truly the future of parking solutions in Calgary.
If you’d like to catch up on other stories of our diverse members, here are a few more to get you started:
- Diversity and Engineering: A Collision of Passion and Intellect
- The STEM Revolution: Finding Gender Parity
- Moving Mountains: The Fight to Increase Representation in the Professions
Another way APEGA is supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion is through our 30-by-30 goal to increase the representation of women in the engineering and geoscience professions to 30 per cent by 2030. I encourage you to visit the diversity and inclusion resource page on our website for more information on APEGA’s initiatives.
Thank you for your continued interest in the ePEG and the achievements of Alberta’s highly skilled professional engineers and geoscientists.
Brian Pearse, P.Eng.
Submitted questions will be randomly drawn for the president's response on a regular basis and answered on this webpage and in an upcoming ePEG newsletter.
All selected questions will be shared with the submitter's first name, last initial, and designation.
We will not respond to anonymous or unprofessional submissions.
Due to capacity, not all questions are able to be answered but may be used to help determine future article topics of great interest to APEGA members.