2022 Outstanding Mentor Award Recipient
This award is presented to members of APEGA in recognition of exceptional achievement as a mentor.
Cameron Franchuk, P.Eng.
As a professional structural engineer, Cameron Franchuk is excellently adept at crafting concepts into complex structural systems. He has spent the last two decades building frameworks that shape magnificent structures—a fitting counterpart to the hours he has spent helping budding engineers build their own framework of skills and knowledge that will enable them to excel in their careers.
Franchuk was in graduate school at the University of Alberta, working as a teaching assistant, when he first discovered the pleasure of mentoring. “It’s wild seeing how much people grow in a short amount of time—I absolutely love being part of that,” he reveals. “Since then, I’ve looked for opportunities to do more of it. It’s something that gives me energy and a sense of fulfillment.”
Throughout his career, his commitment to mentoring has grown deep and extensive. He has guided many engineers-in-training and co-op students through to their designations as professional engineers, and his passions for mentoring and collaboration extend to those outside his team. Frequently, emerging engineers contact him to ask for advice, and he always answers the call.
His longest mentoring experience has been with the University of Alberta. Each year, as part of a fourth-year civil engineering capstone project, student teams receive a design project. An industry mentor guides them through the process of creating detailed drawings, preparing a report, and giving a presentation, and the top team wins a cash prize. Franchuk has been one of the industry mentors since 2010, and in that time, six of his teams have won and two have placed as runners-up. “It’s one of my favourite things to do every year,” he says.
Franchuk models his mentoring approach after the many professionals who have offered him advice along the way. He focuses on building lasting relationships with his mentees and showing them what the wide world of structural engineering has to offer. “There’s a quote that goes, ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.’ It’s always about finding the thing you want to do first, and then what will get you there,” he explains. “I try to show people the opportunities that are out there so they can decide what they want to do.”
Over the years, he’s watched his mentees launch bright careers in structural engineering. Many have gone on to earn graduate degrees, work for top design firms, and earn industry awards, and most importantly, make a positive difference in their communities.
“I get a lot of satisfaction from this idea that I'm making the world a better place by helping other people make the world a better place."