APEGA Stories Reach Summit of Success | APEGA

APEGA Stories Reach Summit of Success

They’re inventors, they’re Innovators, they’re influencers — and they’re also recipients of APEGA’s 2016 Summit Awards. If you haven’t heard about them yet, here’s your chance to find out more about these high-achieving Members, their projects, and why they were honoured for professional, technical, and community excellence.

You can also visit apegasummit.ca to watch short videos that highlight their achievements.

Note: Nominations for the 2017 Summit Awards closed September 15, 2016. Recipients will be honoured at a gala awards night, April 27, 2017, in Calgary.

Centennial Leadership Award

Presented to Members who have attained the highest distinction relating to engineering or geoscience through directorship of an outstanding project, original research, or invention, or an exemplary career in teaching. 

At first, others called him crazy, but Dr. J.J. Roger Cheng, P.Eng., proved them wrong. When he became chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering, he set a goal to raise $25 million in five years. “We not only made that goal, we surpassed it.”

Centennial Leadership Award Winner Dr. K.J. Roger Cheng, P. Eng.

Dr. J.J. Roger Cheng, P.Eng.

The funding helped transform the department into one of the largest for civil engineering in North America. It also consistently ranks as one of the top 100 places to study civil engineering in the world. Over Dr. Cheng’s term, undergraduate enrolment has more than doubled to more than 1,000 students, and graduate enrolment has seen a 50 per cent increase to almost 500 students.

Dr. Cheng’s other accomplishments include a 56 per cent increase in faculty positions and the establishment of the Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering. The department used to have one industrial research chair under the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) — now it has eight.

Early Accomplishment Award

Presented to Members recognized by peers for their integrity, expertise, and outstanding accomplishments in fields related to engineering or geoscience at an early stage in their professional career.

2016 Early Accomplishment Award

Mr. Leon Prebeau-Menezes, P.Eng.

Since joining Statoil International in 2012, Leon Prebeau-Menezes, P.Eng., has already demonstrated high levels of achievement in his field. As a senior well engineer with Statoil ASA, a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company, he works mainly with platform and subsea wells in the North Sea area. He was on the team that installed the world’s first MIC 3+, extended-reach, intelligent well completion system.

What does one of those do? It enables Statoil to better control oil flow from wells with multiple branches, optimizing production at the one of the largest oil and gas fields in the North Sea, the Troll field.

Mr. Prebeau-Menezes was also one of about a dozen people selected to take part in the Statoil Talent Trader Program in 2014, and in 2015 he became one of the youngest recipients of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Completions Optimization and Technology Award for the North Sea.

Mr. Prebeau-Menezes is currently planning the design of a system application for the world’s deepest steerable drilling liner. “What drives my passion for my work in petroleum engineering is pushing technological barriers and frontiers for both society and innovation,” he says.

Environment and Sustainability Award

Presented to Members who have demonstrated excellence in the application of engineering or geoscientific methods towards preservation of the environment and the practice of sustainable development. 

Leachate, as you probably know, is any liquid that extracts soluble substances when passing through waste or other matter. Untreated, it is many times more polluted than raw municipal wastewater. But treated, it could someday be helping your garden grow — thanks in part to Lourdes Lugue, P.Eng., of Calgary. 

Environment and  Sustainability Award Winner Lourdes Lugue, P.Eng.

Ms. Lourdes Lugue, P.Eng.

As project manager of the Leachate Treatment Pilot Plant at the East Calgary Waste Management Facility, Ms. Lugue evaluates the leachate generated by the three waste management facilities operated by the City of Calgary.

A one-year study at the pilot plant gauged the effectiveness of three technologies to treat raw leachate. Data showed that the quality of treated leachate not only met but exceeded the city’s standards. Ms. Lugue then led her team in conducting a study to see if leachate can be used to irrigate city flowers and trees.

The project, with engineering firm CH2M Hill Canada, also won two Consulting Engineers of Alberta Awards of Merit. The city now hopes to build full-scale leachate treatment facilities for each of its waste management facilities. Ms. Lugue’s leadership and engineering experience were key to the success of this pilot project.

Excellence in Education Award

Presented to Members who have made exemplary contributions to teaching and learning at a recognized post-secondary institution in Alberta.

Teachers help students grow — and students help teachers grow. So says Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek, P.Eng. It’s something she’s had happen in her own professional life, having served since 1997 as a professor of construction engineering and management at the University of Alberta's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.

“I feel very fortunate to work with such talented students, and I feel like I’ve been able to evolve and grow as a result of that experience,” she says.

Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek, P.Eng.

Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek, P.Eng.

In the classroom, Dr. Fayek anticipates concepts that students may struggle with, then offers focused explanations that illustrate a clear connection to the broader discussion. She pays close attention to the needs of students, seeks input on the pace and clarity of her instruction, and encourages students to customize projects to fit their specific interests.

In 2013, she received the prestigious Killam Annual Professorship, which recognizes excellence across diverse domains of academic activity. She has also held the Ledcor Professorship in Construction Engineering since 2008. Through the latter role, she acts as a liaison between Ledcor and the U of A to administer scholarships and prepare engineering graduates for careers in industry or academia.

Her passion for her work has led her into a range of outreach activities focusing on advancing diversity and inclusivity in engineering, such as her involvement with Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science & Technology (WISEST).

Frank Spragins Technical Award

Presented to Members recognized by their peers for their integrity, technical expertise, and outstanding accomplishments in fields relating to engineering or geoscience.

Dr. Kamal Botros, P.Eng., has spent more than 35 years solving fluid flow problems. He’s a leading authority on gas dynamics, particularly in the areas of compressor surge, pressure-flow transients, acoustics, pulsation, and gas turbines. A research fellow with NOVA Chemicals Corporation, he says every work day is exciting. “Every day is a different problem. I put myself into the problem, try to solve it, become innova­tive. And this is amazing.”

Dr. Kamal Botros, P.Eng.

Dr. Kamal Botros, P.Eng.

In recent years, Dr. Botros pioneered the development of a custom-built, shock-tube test facility. His research helps pipe­line designers understand how to select material to prevent and contain a pipeline rupture, and prevent its spread across a wider area. Featuring the only piece of equipment of its type in the world, the facility has drawn international interest.

He’s also one of the inventors of a two-stage supersonic ejector, which captures 100 per cent of fugitive emissions from gas compressor stations. The tech­nology benefits the environment and makes gas transmission more cost effective.
Dr. Botros has published more than 195 technical papers in journals and for refereed conference proceedings. He has five patents, and he has co-authored two books.

Outstanding Mentor Award

Presented to Members of APEGA in recognition of exceptional achievement as a mentor.

Effective mentors selflessly share their knowledge to help others succeed. Exemplary mentors also leave a lasting, positive influence on the lives of their mentees. Time and time again, Arden Spachynski, P.Eng., ticks all those boxes with those he mentors.

Arden Spachynski, P.Eng.

Arden Spachynski, P.Eng.

As the Principal Engineer of Substation Engineering at ATCO Electric, Mr. Spachynski brings with him decades of experience in electrical engineering. He has an innate ability to explain complex problems in a way that his mentees understand, can relate to, and can apply to their own specific interests.

Mentees consider Mr. Spachynski a trusted source of leader­ship and knowledge. He treats their learning as being equal to the time commitment he would give to any supervisor or staff mem­ber. And his confidence in the capabilities of his mentees gives them the confidence in themselves they need to flourish in their fields.

“Arden has always been willing to share his knowledge with me whenever I need support,” says one of Mr. Spachynski’s mentees. “And yet not once did he do so because it was expected of him. He just genuinely wants to help others.”

Project Achievement Award

Awarded in recognition of a project that has made a substantial contribution to technological progress and the betterment of society.

The South Red Deer Regional Wastewater System, designed by Stantec, began operation in 2015, transmitting wastewater from communities in central Alberta to the upgraded City of Red Deer Wastewater Treatment Plant. This regional solution was developed to support growth and economic development, ease implementation of future wastewater treatment technologies, and allow participating communities to respond to changes in waste­water discharge standards.

Stantec Project Team

The Stantec Project Team.

By implementing the South Red Deer Regional Wastewater System, about 119 kilometres of sensitive river segments are now better protected — including a stretch that provides drinking water to more 150,000 people from Crossfield to Ponoka, along the corridor of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway.

Constructing the system required innovative approaches and leading-edge technology to manage long distances and high time variations in wastewater retention, ranging from one-and-a-half to four days along the length of the system.

“It’s really critical to the sustainability and protection of the Red Deer River, and it’s all about the long-term sustainability of our community,” says Russ Wlad, P.Eng., Executive Vice-President, Regional Operations Unit Leader, Stantec.

Research Excellence Award

Presented to Members who have conducted innovative research in engineering or geoscience that has been successfully applied to improve economic and social well-being.

Has your navigation system ever failed you in the concrete jungle? Portable navigation in devices such as smartphones and wearables has improved with technology, but its unreliable accu­racy in different environments still constrains devices and frus­trates users. Navigation using global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS, is accurate in an open-sky, outdoor scenario. But accuracy often suffers downtown, indoors, and underground.

Dr. Jacques Georgy, P.Eng.

Dr. Jacques Georgy, P.Eng.

Dr. Jacques Georgy, P.Eng., is changing that. As direc­tor of navigation research and development at a leading sensor technology company, InvenSense, he has developed a system that enables a continuous, accurate, portable navigation experience. It works by using sensors integrated with other systems to provide a seamless, indoors-to-outdoors transition.

These sensors are self-contained, provide continuous infor­mation, require minimal power consumption, and are small and inexpensive to produce. The technology is now being incorpo­rated into commercial devices and is available in many of today’s smartphones.

Dr. Georgy’s work contributes to Alberta’s leadership in technological innovation, and his efforts have resulted in two pat­ents and 32 more that are pending. He has published more than 80 papers and co-authored a book on his work.

Women in Engineering and Geoscience Champion Award

Presented to Members in recognition of exceptional achievement as a champion of women in engineering and geoscience.

Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) is an international engineering, geoscience, and environmental consulting firm. In its Calgary office, women make up 35 per cent of the total workforce and 26 per cent of the engineering and geoscience staff.

Women in Engineering and Geoscience Champion Award Winners

Pictured from left to right: Karen Sagar, P.Eng.; Vanessa Bellardinelli; Chelsea Wisheart, M.I.T.; Lucy Philip, P.Eng.; and Michelle Van Elsberg, CHRP. 

In 2013, employees Karen Sagar, P.Eng., Lucy Philip, P.Eng., Vanessa Bellardinelli, and Michelle Van Elsberg formed the Calgary Women in Klohn (CWiK) committee to further attract, retain, engage, and support women in KCB’s Calgary office. Chelsea Wisheart, E.I.T., joined the committee in 2015 as its representative of young professionals.

The committee holds staff events focusing on mentoring and coaching, leadership development, skill advancement, and relation­ship building. It has been influential in sparking changes to com­pany policies that benefit all employees. For example, members of the committee collaborated with KCB’s global Women in Klohn committee and human resources team to broaden the company’s sick-leave policy, allowing employees to use sick-leave entitle­ment to accompany family members to medical appointments, or to care for them when they are sick.

The committee is also involved in Operation Minerva, a day of job shadowing for Grade 8 girls in Calgary, allowing them to interact with female mentors and employers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Honorary Membership Award

APEGA may confer honorary membership upon any person who has rendered eminent service to the engineering or geoscience professions resulting in the betterment of society through the development of new material, equipment, techniques, philosophy, or management.

Mr. Robin Gardiner

Mr. Robin Gardiner.

In his role as production operations manager at Shell Canada, Robin Gardiner has made significant contributions to process safety on a global scale, benefiting engineers, geoscientists, leaders, frontline workers, and society as a whole.

Mr. Gardiner successfully developed a process safety framework that makes it simple for engineers to connect frontline workers with established process safety guidelines. He also implemented process safety procedures for leaders to ensure competency and identify potential safety gaps.

He championed the living programs approach to process safety, which focuses workers and leaders on the regularity and importance of tasks and processes. He’s also diligent in encouraging senior leaders to adopt a process safety conscience. Engineers at Shell are challenged and better equipped to challenge others’ perspective on process safety, enabling them to foster a strong process safety culture and performance.

Community Service Award

Paul Bauman, P.Eng., P.Geoph.

Paul Bauman, P.Eng., P.Geoph.

Presented to Members in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to Canadian society through voluntary participation in community organizations, government sponsored activities, or humanitarian work.

Books could be written about Paul Bauman, P.Eng., P.Geoph., and his humanitarian and archaeological efforts in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Elsewhere on the website, we've devoted what you might classify as a chapter to Mr. Bauman's recent journey to Kakuma, Kenya, the site of a remote refugee camp, and his efforts to bring clean water to the region.