Environmental Technology Champion Receives Premier Summit Award | APEGA

Environmental Technology Champion Receives Premier Summit Award

Centennial Award Received

Leah Lawrence, P.Eng., right, shares a smile with outgoing President Jane Tink, P.Eng., as she's presented the 2018 Centennial Leadership Award.

Every day, APEGA members apply their brainpower, knowledge, compassion, and professionalism to the myriad of challenges before them. And every year, APEGA honours a selection of these high-achievers and their work by presenting them with Summit Awards.

APEGA officially celebrated recipients before a crowd of about 400 members, dignitaries, and others at the 2018 Summit Awards Gala at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, April 19, capping off the first day of the 2018 APEGA AGM and Annual Conference.

Environmental and sustainability projects, forensic engineering, geomatics, nanotechnology, housing and homelessness solutions, mentoring, teaching, leading—success in these and many other areas are represented in the Summit class of 2018.

Among the recipients is  Leah Lawrence, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), who decades ago followed her passion into technologies addressing climate change. She served as APEGA President for the 2012-2013 term, a few years before heading to Ottawa to join Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) as President and CEO. In 2017, under Ms. Lawrence's stewardship, SDTC received $400 million from the federal government, the largest one-time investment in the organization's history. Now, she takes her place among APEGA's most distinguished members, having received our Centennial Leadership Award.

The Fort McMurray Wildfire Cleanup, which earned the Environment and Sustainability Summit Award, required swift and coordinated remediation. After the May 2016 wildfire had ripped through the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, 203,000 tonnes of waste was removed—with more than 70 per cent it being reused or recycled. More than 50 companies directly contributed to the project, which was developed, implemented, and managed by three APEGA Members.

A researcher whose studies are making it easier and cheaper to build location technology into electronic devices is the recipient of the Research Excellence Award. Dr. Yang Gao, P.Eng., of the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineeringhas put a precise point positioning algorithm into service to improve, correct, and simplify satellite navigation for things like smartphones and drones.

Dr. Simaan AbouRizk, P.Eng., is a University of Alberta Distinguished University Professor who's been instrumental in enhancing construction engineering and management education in Alberta. The 2018 recipient of the Excellence in Education Summit Award, he has received recognition around the world for his educational model. Dr. AbouRizk is also renowned as a supervisor and mentor of master's degree and doctoral students in computer simulation for construction planning, productivity improvement, constructability review, and risk analysis.

Having received his APEGA designation in 2011, Dr. Nashaat Nassar, P.Eng., is just getting started in his engineering and academic career. Yet the Early Accomplishment Award recipient has already written more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, given more than 110 technical presentations, co-edited a book, and filed seven patents. Dr. Nassar is associate professor in chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering.

Since 1996, Landmark Homes has donated more than $11.5 million to charitable and community initiatives, focusing on post-secondary education, health care, the arts, and programs for newcomers and the homeless. One of the people behind those millions is Reza Nasseri, CM, AOE, P.Eng., a co-founder of the construction company that became Landmark and the recipient of the 2018 Community Service Summit Award. Mr. Nasseri and his family donated $10 million in 2014 to the Faculty of Engineering at his alma mater, the University of Alberta, to create and run a space for fostering industrialization and sustainability in the construction industry.

Brian Thicke, P.Eng., has helped his mentees "stand a little taller," as one of them has put it, in the world of forensic engineering. Semi-retired now from a career of investigating the causes of fires, explosions, mechanical failures, and other things gone wrong, the Edmonton resident and past employee of Atomic Energy of Canada received our 2018 Outstanding Mentor Award.

Anyone called "Dr. Mum" must have a special relationship with the people around her. So it is with the recipient of the Women in Engineering and Geoscience Champion Award, Dr. Lynne Cowe Falls, P.Eng., a civil engineering professor at the Schulich School of Engineering. Dr. Cowe Falls, who commonly has students queuing outside her door for advice, is noted for her practical and resilient approach to being a professional and a community contributor—which is especially impactful for those of her mentees and students who are women.

APEGA has been presenting the Summit Awards every year since 1990. For information on nominating a person or project for the 2019 awards, visit apega.ca in May 2018.