APEGA has existed for more than 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 of outstanding people made their mark on the world and helped make APEGA what it is today.

1941: Wilfred E. Cornish, P.Eng.


Born in 1901 in Broadview, Sask., Wilfred Cornish grew up in an era of discovery.  His interest in science led him to Manitoba with a B.Sc. in electrical engineering.  He was employed by the Winnipeg Electric Co. during the summer of 1925.

The following winter he joined the University of Manitoba as a demonstrator, a position he held until 1926. Following this he moved to Peterborough, Ont., to join Canadian General Electric Co.

In 1927, Cornish came to Edmonton to lecture at the University of Alberta. He earned an M.Sc. in 1933 and became a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta (APEA; now The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta) in 1934.

During his tenure at the university (1927-42) Cornish was active as an adviser to the Electrical Engineering Society (EES) on campus, taking particular interest in the EES newspaper. Held in high regard by both faculty and the student body, he was made an honorary president of the society in 1938.

An active member of the Association, he served on council from 1937-38 and served as president from 1941-42. A strong supporter of self-governance, he travelled the province speaking to members about the importance of registration and advocating the significance of being a professional.

He served briefly as registrar during the early part of 1942, until illness forced him to resign. In November of 1943 he passed away at the age of 42.