Edmonton Branch 2019 Executive Nominees | APEGA

Edmonton Branch 2019 Executive Nominees

The following members have been nominated for the 2019 Branch Executive roles. They have each prepared a personal statement.

Edmonton Branch Executive

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Past Chair - Kyle Fodchuk, P.Eng.

B.Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Alberta, 2000

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Chair - Andrew Liu, P.Eng.

M.Eng. Civil Engineering, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2007
B.A.Sc. Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, 2002

Andrew Liu is a professional engineer in Alberta. He has a master's degree in civil engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and an option in management sciences from the University of Waterloo. He has over 10 years' experience in environmental remediation, water quality monitoring and compliance, envirometrics, low impact development, and project management. Andrew is currently an environmental engineer at EPCOR Drainage Services. 

Andrew is an active Member-at-Large (MAL) for the past three years has volunteered in the roles of outreach subcommittee member, communication (social media) subcommittee lead, as well as vice chair for the APEGA Edmonton Branch.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, road/trail running races, tennis, ping pong, cycling, and wallyball. He also volunteers with community leagues to teach chess to kids and organize neighbourhood events.

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Vice Chair - Venkata Vemana, P.Eng.

M.Eng. Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2010
B.Eng. Civil Engineering, University of Mysore, India, 1994

Venkata Vemana is a professional engineer licensed in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. He is a certified IRCA Lead Auditor for Quality Management System under ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015. He has a master's degree in structural engineering from the University of British Columbia and over 20 years experience in large infrastructure construction projects. Over the past decade, he was involved in all aspects of technical, quality, and project management and had a pivotal role in successful construction completion for three major public-private partnership (P3) projects in Western Canada, each budgeted close to $2 billion.

Venkata is currently the Project Quality Director for the P3 Consortium of the Edmonton Valley Line LRT Project Phase 1. He is also an active member member-at-large for the APEGA Edmonton Branch for the past few years, and volunteers as Chair the branch's sponsorship subcommittee, as well as the Registration Competency Assessor for EGBC & APEGA.

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Treasurer - Vahid Ayan, P.Eng.

Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Kingston University, England, 2012
M.Sc. Civil Engineering, Tehran University, Iran, 1999
B.Sc. Civil Engineering, Tabriz University, Iran, 1997

Vahid Ayan is a transportation engineer with a PhD degree and an Executive MBA student at the U of A. With academic and industrial experience in engineering and business, I am always passionate in working with people and their needs and demands. I have demonstrated my commitment through my volunteer experiences for APEGA and the Edmonton Branch in the following positions:

  • Outreach Chair
  • Luncheon Sub-Committee Member
  • Sponsorship Sub-Committee Member
  • NPPE Item Development Committee Member

I usually volunteer with consultation in legislative reviews and for special events. These activities have provided me extensive experience in strategic planning, policy making, and public engagement.

I'm pretty excited about getting involved in the Branch Executive as a Treasurer to extend my involvement in specific tasks and responsibilities, which will certainly advance the profession by sharing my knowledge and experience. If selected, I am going to shoulder it with respect and humility.

I also volunteer with my community league and neighborhood activities, along with triathlon.

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Secretary - Victoria Wishart, P.Eng.

B.E. Chemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, 1995

Victoria Wishart is a biochemical engineer from the University of Western Ontario with 13 years of experience in the oil and gas industry with an original equipment manufacturer as the Engineering and Quality Assurance Manager. I have volunteered with APEGA for 10 years in several roles: 

  • Elementary Science Nights demonstrator
  • Rapid Resume Review and Speed Mock Interview mentor
  • Iron Ring Ceremony Graduating Student Workshop volunteer
  • Honours and Awards Committee
  • APEGA Golf Tournament Committee

I joined the Edmonton Branch as a Member-at-Large last year because I believe that the closer you are to the work of an organization like APEGA, the more that work comes to life for you, and the more passionate you will become. I look forward to being Secretary this year and to being an active participant in the activities of the branch.

Edmonton Branch Member-at-Large Nominees

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Abid Malik, P.Eng.

M.Eng. Civil Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, 1994
Postgraduate Diploma, Hydraulic Engineering, International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Netherlands, 1992
B.Sc. Civil Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, 1985

Born and raised in Punjab, Pakistan. He graduated with a B.Sc. in civil engineering from UET in Lahore in 1985. After graduation he joined the Punjab Government where he gained valuable experience until 1991.

Abid obtained a postgraduate diploma from the Netherlands in 1992 and a master's degree in civil engineering from AIT in Thailand in 1994. He worked with reputed construction companies in Thailand and Dubai on various building projects until he moved to Canada in 2001.

Abid worked as a civil structural engineer on a large Syncrude project in Edmonton before joining Alberta Transportation in 2004 as project engineer and left as Director Innovations in 2015 to join Municipal Government where he worked in various management roles until October of 2018.

Abid obtained his P.Eng. designation from APEGA in 2003. He has volunteered with APEGA's mentorship program. Abid has a broad range of experience in all facets of civil engineering.

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Alex Nguyen, P.Eng.

B.A.Sc. Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2009

Alex is a certified ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Lead Auditor with IRCA. He has over 10 years of work experience with involvement in various aspects of construction management in infrastructure and civil sectors. Alex is currently being employed by EllisDon as a Quality Manager.

Alex graduated with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia in 2009. He moved to Alberta and has been an active member with APEGA since 2010.

Alex started volunteering for APEGA Edmonton Branch since early 2015, serving as a member of the Communications Subcommittee. Alex then served two terms as the Secretary of Edmonton Branch Executive Committee. Currently in the 2018-2019 term, Alex is serving as a Member-at-Large and is part of Sponsorship Subcommittee. He believes in the value of knowledge sharing, mentorship, continual professional development, and profession promoting to encourage self-awareness and active involvement of all members.

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Cathy Wilm, P.Eng.

B.Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Alberta, 1997

As an electrical engineer, project manager, and director Cathy Wilm has over 21 years of progressively responsible experience providing technology solutions and services across multi-disciplinary portfolios. She utilizes business acumen and collaboration at the executive and senior management level to foster a culture of innovation, drive change, and advance corporate and department strategies. A lifelong learner and volunteer, Cathy has volunteered most recently with the Project Management Institute, Girl Guides of Canada and Santas Anonymous. Her interest as an APEGA member-at-large was sparked when she was recently interviewed by a university engineering student for his class project. Sharing her unique journey through the engineering profession prompted Cathy to investigate new opportunities within our association. While her career has taken her through different industries and organizations as well as business travel across North America, she is proud to hold my professional designation with APEGA right here in Alberta.

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Eemaan Khan, E.I.T.

B.Eng. Civil Engineering, Lakehead University, 2017

Eemaan A. Khan is a structural EIT at Varcon, Inc. His company caters to the telecommunications industry by designing, inspecting, and maintaining their tower infrastructure across Canada and the US.

He has volunteered with numerous organizations including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, IFSSA (an Edmonton-based food bank), and on numerous political campaigns at all three levels. He will be co-managing one provincial and one federal campaign in 2019. These experiences have taught him numerous skills, including how to fundraise, strategize, organize people, and advocate on behalf of individuals and organizations.

Eemaan would like to leverage his experience in support of APEGA's mandate and to advocate on behalf of fellow professionals in industry-wide issues, such as TMX and the US steel/aluminum tariffs.

Eemaan is a graduate of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay (2016), and SAIT (2014) in Calgary. He is a blood donor, an amateur powerlifter, and enjoys reading non-fiction.

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Ernie Hui, P.Eng.

B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of Alberta, 1982

I have spent over 25 years working in the Alberta Public Service in various capacities.  I have significant knowledge and expertise in natural resource and environmental policy and legislation in Alberta having served in senior positions in Alberta Environment, including that of Deputy Minister. 

Over the past year, I volunteered to be a mentor in APEGA's mentoring program, and am seeking to further contribute to the engineering profession through additional volunteer opportunities. The Member-at-Large opportunity enables the branch to utilize my knowledge of public policy matters that are relevant to engineers and to the profession itself. My knowledge and experience in senior management teams, and governance matters, in the workplace and in our regulatory systems, will also contribute to the discussion on enhancing the profession and attracting members to branch activities. I am committed to providing the time and focus necessary to fulfil the Member-at-Large role.

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Hernan Salvador, E.I.T.

Ing. Electrical Engineering, National University of Engineering, Peru, 2008

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Hernan Salvador, I am from Peru, I am a member of APEGA in the category of E.I.T., and my background is in electrical engineering. In Peru, I participated actively in different university groups such as: IEEE-Peru, PMI-Peru, and Cultural Center, promoting specialized cultural activities.

In Edmonton, I have participated in different groups volunteering. I currently organize a group that promotes building community through dance. We have around 60 active members who have been meeting every Saturday for the past two years, and have done some performances at local events. I possess a variety of skills such as: commitment, team organization, communication, negotiation, and leadership. I would like to have the opportunity to contribute and learn more about APEGA, and its activities, so I hope I can count on your vote!

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Holly Couillard, P.Geo.

B.Sc. Geology, University of Calgary, 2010

My name is Holly Couillard, P.Geo. Prior to being being a project manager of a 2 year old and 8 month old, I worked as a geologist for an international oil company. My career began in Calgary assessing complex Oil Sands leases, working closely within a multidisciplinary team in order to understand the feasibility of the project. I offer alternate perspectives as I have experience interacting with multinational cultures and presenting to highest levels of management. I have the ability to strategize under pressure as I have spent time in a high stakes environment as a geologist overseas on multiple offshore drilling platforms. Volunteering for the Edmonton Ethics Workshop was enjoyable for me as I like to contribute and discuss ideas with APEGA individuals. Volunteering as a judge with the Edmonton Regional Science Fair was very rewarding as I was inspired by the bright minds interest in science.

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Iraj Hassanzadeh, P.Eng.

Ph.D. Electrical Control, University of Tabriz, Iran, 2002
M.Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Tabriz, Iran, 1994
B.Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran, 1991

Iraj Hassanzadeh is a senior/lead application engineer at Schneider Electric Inc. and works on critical power system automation development and implementation, including planning complex automation system topology. Previously, I was a subject matter expert and control system engineer at Enbridge and Bantrel Inc. and worked on the pipeline control system. As a research associate at the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, and an assistant professor at U of Tabriz, I worked in process control, mechatronics, and robotics field. I have published more than 70 journal papers and peer-reviewed international conference papers in the robotics, mechatronics, and power system fields. As a member of ISA, I served as IJCAS reviewer and a member of program committee of several international conferences.

The reason I am an APEGA volunteer is to share my experience and knowledge in industry and academia with APEGA members by leading seminars, supporting PD events, and mentoring.

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Jessica Vandenberghe, P.Eng.

M.Ch.E., Oil Sands Engineering, University of Alberta, 2003
B.Sc., Oil Sands Engineering, University of Alberta, 2000

Raised as a farm girl in northern Alberta, Jessica Vandenberghe obtained two engineering degrees and is a professional engineer with APEGA. She worked for 10 years in the oil sands and holds several patents. She decided to pursue her passion for youth outreach work and was hired as the APEGA Director of Outreach and Product Services and later becoming the Director of Enforcement and Permits. She has recently started as an Indigenous Community Consultant and Project Engineer for Urban Systems, helping indigenous communities. She has been an avid outreach volunteer for many years and now is interested in going back to supporting self-regulation as an APEGA volunteer. Having been on staff, she brings valuable knowledge of how APEGA works and opportunities for branches to continue their great work. Based in Edmonton, Jessica is currently the Chair of the golf committee and looking to be involved in the larger Edmonton branch.

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Maliheh Ghaneei, E.I.T.

Bachelors Degree, Civil Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashad, Iran, 2014

I am a structural engineer-in-training with M.Sc. degree from University of Alberta. I always enjoy involving in the community through volunteer activities by which I can have a positive impact on society and towards helping people with their needs and demands. I have had the opportunity to be volunteer in different activities at UAlberta such as being a co-chair of the 3rd annual Structural Conference.

I am excited about getting involved in the APEGA Branch Executive Committee as one of Members-at-Large this year and look forward to sharing my knowledge while learning new skills and gaining valuable experience.

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Md Nazmus Sakib, E.I.T.

M.Sc. Civil Engineering, Concordia University, 2013
B.Sc. Water Resources Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 2011

I, Md Nazmus Sakib, was born and brought up in Bangladesh, a country with abundant of natural resources. I completed my B.Sc. in Water Resources Engineering from BUET and worked as an instructor for short period. Apart from my basic responsibilities, I have also got involved in developing hydraulics laboratory. Then I came to Canada to enrich my engineering skills and finished my M.Sc. in civil engineering from Concordia University in Montreal, and M.Eng. in water resources engineering from University of Alberta in Edmonton. I have performed various volunteer activities in Bangladeshi Students' Association at University of Alberta arranging executive meetings, fundraisers, annual fresher's reception picnic. I have started working as an engineering intern in Alberta Infrastructure where I have not only practiced my engineering skills but also took part in various voluntary groups. I believe my agility, system thinking, creative problem solving, team-building and communication skills makes me an excellent candidate.

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Mohamed Refaei, E.I.T.

M.Sc., Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, 2016
Postgraduate Diploma, Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, 2013
B.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Higher Technological Institute, Egypt, 2005

I would like to contribute to the Edmonton Branch as a Member-at-Large and provide support to my peers by my values, knowledge, ideas, skills and experiences.

I bring more than 10 years of experience in the energy sector, in public and private sectors. I worked different roles in

  • engineering
  • compliance
  • policy development
  • health, safety and environment
  • customer service

Beside the technical knowledge and experience, I do have project management education and experience which allow me to plan, monitor, and execute projects or tasks in a professional order, while engaging internal and external stakeholders and establishing effective communication windows.

I have previous volunteer experience in event preparation, research, mentoring, writing exam questions, and teaching. I have volunteered for the following organizations:

  • Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
  • Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
  • Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Library
  • Ontario Petroleum Institute (OPI)
  • Trent University.
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Omar Bahgat, E.I.T.

B.A.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2013

My name is Omar Bahgat, and I am a chemical engineer working in the manufacturing/petrochemical industry for 4 years. I have always been interested in being involved with engineering councils and to propagate the discipline of engineering. I have done this in the past as a newsletter coordinator and member-at-large at APEGBC. During my time there, I also contributed and participated in engineering science nights. I continued my passion for being involved with the engineering community most recently by volunteering for the Edmonton Branch science nights. I feel I would be a great addition to the team as I am detail orientated, personable, and adaptable. I am excited to use these skills as a member-at-large in order to aid the development of the current members and enlighten the minds of the future generation.

Thank you for considering my nomination.

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Samantha Hinz, E.I.T.

M.Eng. Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, 2016
B.Sc. Civil Engineering, Syracuse University, United States, 2013 

I completed my bachelor's degree in civil engineering at Syracuse University, where I played NCAA Division 1 volleyball. I founded the Syracuse chapter of the USGBC Students Group for which I organized and chaired bi-weekly meetings and planned community engagement activities and tours with students committed to sustainability.

I achieved my master's degree in engineering at the University of Toronto in 2016. I moved to Edmonton earlier this year to work for Associated Engineering as a Transportation Engineer. I participate in our company's Young Professionals committee which is dedicated to employee engagement and education.

I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and I recently began volunteering at Project Adult Literacy Society as a math tutor. I hope to join the Edmonton APEGA Branch as a member-at-large so I can contribute ideas from the perspective of an E.I.T. new to Alberta while learning more about APEGA's initiatives and giving back to my engineering community.

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Sanjay Patel, P.Eng.

Bachelor's Degree, Civil Engineering, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, 1989

I am active member of APEGA since 2008. Below are the highlights of my previous contribution to our society.

  • 23+ years of professional engineering leadership experience in maintenance, reliability, engineering, and project commissioning with large scale petrochemical, oil sands and refinery.
  • Strong knowledge of engineering principles and relevant design codes/standards.
  • Excellent project management, communication, and time management skills.
  • Self-motivated synergistic team contributor with total commitment to environment/safety and reliable trustworthy work.
  • Ability to work independently, excellent team player and enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Highly capable to build, lead and manage team members as well as external contractors.
  • Active Technical Authority-2 role at Shell Scotford facility and providing input to Shell Global team in DEP's development.
  • Provided mentorship and training to E.I.T.'s as well as engineers.
  • Active committee member at Edmonton RETS society.
  • Actively volunteered in various positions at Shell, SMCS, FMGCS, and Christmas Bureau.
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Shiraz Kanji, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)

B.Sc. Civil Engineering, University of Nairobi, Kenya, 1974

My name is Shiraz Kanji and until recently I was the Bridge Engineer for the City of Edmonton.

I have been a long time volunteer with APEGA having served on the Edmonton District Committee, the Nomination Committee, the Edmonton Branch Executive Committee (active) and the Honours and Awards Committee Executive (active).  Over the years, I have served the branch in every capacity from being the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Member-at-Large. I serve because I believe that APEGA has done a lot for my career and personal growth and it is my duty to pay back.

I am familiar with the workings of APEGA, its commitment to its members and volunteers, and this knowledge can be very useful to the Branch Executive. I will also bring to the Branch Executive a working knowledge of branch operations and several years of APEGA volunteer experience.

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Sophia Zhang, P.Eng.

B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of Alberta, 2012

Sophia Zhang is a professional engineer who appreciates the opportunity to leave a positive impact in the community. She was the APEGA Edmonton Branch Sponsorship committee co-chair and Mentorship Liaison for 2018. Sophia has volunteered for Edmonton Corporate Challenge, the municipal election, Heritage Festival, and CBAE. Sophia has participated in events with a focus on visibility of women in science and engineering.

Sophia has lived in Edmonton for over 20 years, and has experience in the Alberta oil and gas industry with focus on pipelines, refining, and environmental remediation. She is currently working as a process engineering consultant. Sophia possesses the relevant volunteer and work experience, a broad perspective and excellent communication skills. As a Member-at-Large, she will advance the Association's strategic initiatives, enhance the profile of engineers and geoscientists in Alberta, and serve the public interest.

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Tara Wasilieff, P.Eng.

B.Eng. Electrical Engineering, Lakehead University, 2007
B.Sc. Biological Science, Simon Fraser University, 1998

Tara Wasilieff, P.Eng., is an electrical engineer working in the electric utility industry. Tara has worked in this industry across Western Canada and in a variety of different roles with most of her career in transmission and operations planning. 

Recently, Tara volunteered as a Member-at-Large on the APEGA Edmonton Branch Executive and was an active member of the Outreach Subcommittee, Professional Development Events Subcommittee and Communications Subcommittee. Tara currently volunteers as a Leader with Scouts Canada, where she is passionate about developing a strong STEM program for the youth.

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Toluwanise (Tolu) Adesanwo, E.I.T.

M.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of Alberta, 2015
B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of Lagos, Nigeria, 2011

I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering, and registered with APEGA as an E.I.T. I have worked in the industry in safety and maintenance roles for about 3 years. My interests include photography, and volunteer instructing.

Applying for this volunteer role is born out of a sincere desire to contribute to the continuous development of engineers in Alberta. I initiated a brainstorming session with 6 other engineers to explore different means engineers can ensure the development of their skills in the face of high unemployment rates. I will deploy the enthusiasm and ideas from that initiative in:

  • supporting the success of APEGA programs like mentoring, which has benefited me greatly
  • exploring new ideas on how we can ensure the continued development of engineering in Alberta

I have experience coordinating teams of over 50 volunteers from diverse cultures and disciplines in planning a community event – The Churchill Encounter- for 3 years.

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Yucheng Wu, E.I.T.

B.Sc-D Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta, 2017

My name is Yucheng Wu, an M.Sc. student in chemical engineering at the University of Alberta. I serve as VP events in CMEGSA (Chemical and Material Engineering Graduate Student Association). We managed to host the orientation to newly-admitted students and help them get familiar with the program. I served as Secretary in SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) U of A Chapter. We held events, such as Branch Dinner, and participated Engineering EXPO and Open House. Also, I volunteered in several other groups to help international students to overcome culture and language conflicts. Students are the primary source of APEGA's future members. However, there is a huge gap between the Association and students in universities. APEGA can hold events to strengthen the relationship. I believe my leadership experience and collaboration skills will help fill the void and enhance the value of the Edmonton Branch.