APEGA has existed for almost 100 years, and for every year of its existence, there has been a president of Council to uphold the pillars that APEGA stands for: integrity, accountability, innovation, and service. Through the decades of change and growth, the men and women listed below led APEGA’s Council.

They have worked across the globe, from Mississippi to Venezuela, but all settled their talents here in Alberta. Each came from different walks of life, from serving in the Second World War, to teaching aeronautics, to instigating first-time overseas ventures. This incredible group made its mark on the world and on APEGA.

All of these outstanding people helped make APEGA what it is today, and all were thanked for their service with an Honorary Life Membership award—a framed medallion memento—inducting them as life members of APEGA.

1925: R.W. 'Billy' Boyle, P.Eng.


Dr. Robert William (Billy) Boyle was born in Newfoundland on April 18, 1883. His academic record was stellar, achieving a scholarship upon graduating from high school, and receiving subsequent awards while studying electrical engineering at McGill University.

He was granted the first PhD in physics at McGill, then continued his studies in Cambridge and Manchester. He returned to McGill in 1911 to teach physics. A year later he was chosen to head the University of Alberta's department of physics. Under his direction the department became noted for the quality of instruction and emphasis on research. He would subsequently establish the department of electrical engineering.

During World War I Boyle joined the Anti-Submarine Division of the admiralty where he pioneered research on "asdics", which detected submarines almost a mile away. He returned to the university in 1919, and was later appointed dean of the faculty of applied science.

At the time of these formative years of the faculty, Boyle was an enthusiastic supporter of the newly established Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta(APEA; now The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta). In 1925 he was elected its sixth president. During his tenure, provision was made to have engineering students recognized as student members of the association.

In 1928, Boyle was asked to examine research establishments in Europe. His report on these visits made a significant contribution to the design of the laboratories of the National Research Council.  Boyle was later appointed the first director of physics and electrical engineering at the council, a position he held until his retirement in 1948. He passed away in April 1955 in Europe.