INNOVATION May-June 2013

As the official publication of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, Innovation is circulated to almost 34,000 BC-registered professional engineers and geoscientists, other professionals, industry and government representatives, educational institutions and the general public. The magazine is published six times each year on a bi-monthly basis.

Member Satisfaction Survey • Drawing Contest Winners • OQM Certifications Issued




Antarctic Emergency Solutions Biogas Cleaning in BC

Engineering Awards of Excellence

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content s

MAY/JUNE 20 13 [ VOl .17 nO .3]

features 14

From Trash Heap to Technicolour Suzanne Morphet


2013 ACEC-BC Awards for Engineering Excellence

20 How Hard-wall Expandable Containers Helped Brazil Recover from an Antarctic Disaster Konrad Mech, P.Eng., CD



President’s Viewpoint – Does One Size Fit All?


Association Notes – 2013/2014 Council Election Nominees; APEGBC-led Initiatives Aim to Speed up Integration of Internationally Trained Professionals; 2013/2014 Budget; 2013 Annual Conference and AGM; Revised APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines Now Available; Resource Sector Engineering and Geoscience Bursary


Members Rate their Satisfaction with APEGBC


Engineering and Geoscience Community Reaches Out to the Public

ON THE COVER: King George Island, Antarctica. A BC-based company brings its expertise to the extreme terrain of a polar region. Page 20. Photo: ©iStockphoto. com/cunfek.


Seismic Retrofit Guidelines Recognized with Award for Engineering Excellence


Task Force Explores Geotechnical Engineering as Registration Discipline


First APEGBC Quality Management Certifications Issued

depar tment s

Brazil’s Commandante Ferraz Antarctic Station prior to the February 25, 2012 fire. 20

23 Discipline and Enforcement 23 Membership 25 Careers 26 Professional Services 31 OQM Certification


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i n n o v a t i o n

May/June 2013

Volume 17 Number 3

v iewpoint

I have interacted with many professionals across the full spectrum of engineering and science disciplines, including the more tradi- tional branches of engineering as well as newer areas such as software engineering and mechatronics. This has given me an appreciation of the breadth of our two professions and the diversity of engineering and geoscience cultures. In this context, our council has expressed the view that the association should strive to become more relevant across the full range of sectors. But, what are the implications of this? APEGBC’s regulatory roles arise in a variety of ways: as relating to applications for membership, enforcement procedures relating to non-members undertaking engineering or geoscience practice, dis- ciplinary procedures relating to inappropriate professional activities by our members, practice reviews of the work of some members, and so on. And, beyond regulation, APEGBC seeks to foster high standards of professional practice, for example, by making avail- able an Organizational Quality Management Program and through the development of practice guidelines. And finally, the association also serves our members through advocacy for the professions, and through a range of member benefits and engagement opportunities. But, here is the dilemma. On the one hand, some sectors of practice—those that are more obviously associated with public safety—require APEGBC to play a rigorous regulatory role. On the other hand, in some other sectors membership is often not seen as a requirement and APEGBC may be viewed as having, in effect, little or no regulatory role to play. Usually these are sectors that relate to the development and/or manufacturing of devices and products that often have their own regulatory requirements. These very profound differences raise important questions. Should there be an attempt to reduce the ambiguity as to when enforcement procedures applied to non-members are or are not appropriate? And, recognizing the need to attract members from diverse sectors— as distinct from catering to those seeking membership primarily because of employment requirements in more traditional sectors— is there a need for the association to shift its emphasis of some of its membership engagement and regulatory activities? Certainly the association should continually strive to enhance its service-oriented, user-friendly interactions with members. And, clearly it cannot and should not take on the roles of the technical societies, the product regulators, and the developers of codes and standards across the full range of sectors. But, given the need to attract a more diverse mem- bership base, to what extent should the various regulatory tools be uniformly applied? And if so, should they be modified in any way? It is noteworthy that, even at present, practice reviews appear to focus on some disciplines more than others, and specific professional development requirements are mandatory for some members (i.e., those that are also Struct.Eng.) but not others. So, for example, would a new mandatory professional development requirement across all sectors be equally beneficial, and would this have the effect of attract- ing or alienating non-members in some sectors? I do not pretend to have the answers to these kinds of questions and I amnot advocating for one approach over another. Rather, I raise these as important issues to be debated as the association evolves in seeking to become more relevant across the full range of sectors.

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC Suite 200 - 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC Canada V5C 6N2 Tel: 604.430.8035 Fax: 604.430.8085 E-mail: Internet: Toll free: 1.888.430.8035

2012/2013 COUNCIL, APEGBC P resident M.D. Isaacson, P.Eng., PhD, FEC V ice P resident M.B. Bapty, P.Eng., FEC P ast P resident J.H. Holm, P.Eng., FEC

Does One Size Fit All?

Councillors A.E. Badke, P.Eng.; S.M. Carlson, P.Eng.; J.J. Clague, P.Geo., PhD; A Fernandes, CIM, FCSI; H. Hawson, P.Eng., FEC; D.M. Howes, P.Eng.; H.G. Kell,y P.Eng.; G.D. Kirkham, P.Geo.; J. Martignago; A.J. Mill, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC; K.E. Savage, P.Eng., FEC; M. Waberski, BCLS; M.C. Wrinch, P.Eng., PhD, FEC; S. Wynn, PhD

ASSOCIATION STAFF A.J. English, P.Eng. C hief E xecutive O fficer and R egistrar T.M.Y. C hong, P.Eng. C hief R egulatory O fficer and D eputy R egistrar J.Y. Sinclair C hief O perating O fficer M.L. Archibald D irector , C ommunications and S takeholder E ngagement J. Cho, CGA D irector , F inance and A dministration D. Gamble D irector , I nformation S ervices A. Lim A/ D irector , M ember S ervices P.R. Mitchell, P.Eng. D irector , P rofessional P ractice , S tandards and D evelopment D. Olychick D irector , M ember S ervices G.M. Pichler, P.Eng. D irector , R egistration G.A. Thiele, LLB D irector , L egislation , E thics and C ompliance R.M. F ilipiak, P .Eng. A ssociate D irector , A dmissions V. Lai, CGA A ssociate D irector , F inance and A dministration J.J.G. Larocque, P.Eng., LLB A ssociate D irector , P rofessional P ractice

Dr. Michael Isaacson, P.Eng., FEC President

Melinda Lau M anaging E ditor

EDITORIAL BOARD S. Chiu, P.Eng.; R. Gupta, P.Eng., P h D; C.L. Hall, P.Geo.; S.K. Hayes, P.Eng.; K.S. Hirji, P.Eng.; M.A. Klippenstein, P.Eng.; I. Kokan, P.Eng.; M.E. Leslie, P.Eng.; B. Thomson, P.Geo., FEC (Hon)


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Subscription rates per issue $4.50; six issues yearly $25.00. Annual subscriptions of Association members are apportioned from membership dues in the amount of $15 per member (rates do not include tax). Innovation is published six times a year by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. As the official publication of the Association, Innovation is circulated to members of the engineering and geoscience professions, architects, contractors and industrial executives. The views expressed in any article contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Council or membership of this Association. Submission Guidelines: Innovation encourages unsolicited articles and photos. By submitting material to Innovation, you grant Innovation a royalty-free, worldwide license to publish the material in Innovation magazine; and you warrant that you have the authority to grant such rights and have obtained waivers of all associated moral rights. Innovation reserves the right to edit the material for length, clarity and conformity with our editorial guidelines (www. and is under no obligation to publish any or all submissions or any portion thereof including credits. All material is copyright. Please contact the Managing Editor for reprint permission.

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A closer look at health and disability insurance How coverage can help the self-employed, contractual and underinsured

coverage while unemployed. If you become disabled within 12 months of your last job, you remain eligible for a monthly benefit payment. Look for a disability plan that offers coverage for different types of disability, such as total disability, partial disability, residual disability (you are able to return to your regular occupation but in a limited capacity), and catastrophic loss. And if you pay your own premiums (not your partnership), your monthly disability benefits may be tax free. 2 Are you among those with protection? Across British Columbia, many residents have chosen to protect themselves with supplementary health and disability coverage. Make sure you’re protected as well.

Being ill or injured can be challenging enough without worrying about being driven into debt. With health and living costs rising steadily, those who are self- employed or don’t have coverage at work could face financial hardships. Without an employer’s group insurance benefits, you are left to your own means when it comes to protecting yourself and your family . You don’t hesitate to insure your home, car and other valuable possessions, so why wouldn’t you insure those that are much more valuable than all those things — your health and your ability to earn an income? Health insurance Supplementary health insurance starts where government coverage ends.

42 % of British Columbia residents have supplementary health coverage 3

22 % of British Columbia residents have disability income protection 3

British Columbia household health spending 1 (Annual, excluding health insurance premiums)

Prescribed Drugs


Vision Practitioners †

APEGBC Members can learn more and apply for: Health and Dental Care Disability Income Replacement Sponsored by Engineers Canada 1-877-598-2273 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) Cost is a common reason offered by those who are not covered by any plans to explain the lack of coverage. Affordable coverage is available for professional engineers through the Engineers Canada-sponsored plans . This allows you to enjoy many of the benefits of a group plan (e.g., lower cost) so you can focus on your recovery, not on the bills. 1 Average household annual spending (Source: Statistics Canada, 2010 Survey of Household Spending, April 2012). 2 Contact your financial advisor or the Canada Revenue Agency for details. 3 Percentages are based on persons covered at end of 2011 (Source: Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Facts & Figures, Life and Health Insurance, 2012 Edition) and 2011 provincial population figures (Source: Statistics Canada).

$ 598 $ 361 $ 234 $ 153

† Other than physicians, dental and vision care professionals

With no supplementary health coverage, you would have to pay out of your own pocket for common expenses like prescriptions, dental care, vision care, therapeutic services and more. If your spouse doesn’t have coverage at work, your out-of- pocket medical expenses can get even bigger, especially if you have children. Private health insurance can be more affordable than you think. Plus, if you’re self-employed, you may be able to deduct the cost of your health insurance premiums from your business income. 2 Disability insurance Disability insurance helps to replace a portion of your income if you become ill or injured and can’t work. These plans provide monthly benefit payments , based on a percentage of your monthly earnings, while you are disabled and unable to perform your occupation. Unlike employee disability plans that end when you change jobs, some association-sponsored disability plans can provide continuation of coverage between jobs so you are not left without

Sponsored by:

Underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. Manulife, Manulife Financial, the Manulife Financial For Your Future logo and the Block Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license.

as soc ia t ion notes

2013/2014 Candidates for Election to Council In accordance with Bylaw 3 of the association, notice is hereby given of the nominees for the 2013/2014 Council of APEGBC. The 2013 Nominating Committee selected the following nominees: Discipline Branch Presidential Candidate M.B. (Mike) Bapty, P.Eng., FEC Mining Vancouver Island Vice Presidential Candidates (one to be elected) J.J. (John) Clague, P.Geo. Geology Sea to Sky G.D. (Garth) Kirkham, P.Geo. Geology Burnaby/NewWestminster Councillors (five to be elected, six should a position become vacant as a result of the election) C.I. (Claudio) Arato, P.Eng., FEC Chemical Vancouver D.I. (David) Harvey, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC Structural Richmond /Delta H. (Herb) Hawson, P.Eng., FEC Civil Fraser Valley D.M. (Donna) Howes, P.Eng., FEC Civil Sea to Sky H.G. (Harlan) Kelly, P.Eng. Civil Vancouver C.S. (Craig) Merkl, P.Eng. Mechanical Okanagan N.F. (Nathan) Ozog, P.Eng. Electrical Vancouver F. (Ferenc) Pataki, P.Eng. Mechanical Fraser Valley Continuing Councillors The following Councillors are entering the second year of a two-year term: Arnold Badke, P.Eng.; Shiloh Carlson, P.Eng.; Garth Kirkham, P.Geo.; Andy Mill, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC; and Karen Savage, P.Eng., FEC. 2013/2014 Council Election In accordance with Bylaw 3 of the Association, there are two ways by which a member may be nominated to stand for Council election: 1) by the Nominating Committee or 2) in writing by any 25 or more members in good standing. Nomination by 25 Members Members are reminded that nominations for President, Vice President and Councillors may also be made in writing by any 25 or more members in good standing. Such nominations, signed by members making the nomination and accompanied by the written consent of the nominee must be received by the Registrar at the association office no later than 5:00 pm, Friday, June 21, 2013. The form for nomination by 25 members is available online at council/nominationcriteria.html or by contacting Simmarin Manhas at or 604.412.6059.

Role of the Nominating Committee The Nominating Committee is charged with seeking and selecting the candidates for Council that they believe best demonstrate the qualities needed for strong leadership of the association. The Nominating Committee consists of the immediate Past President (Chair), eight branch representatives, and three members-at-large appointed by Council. For details on the type of candidate characteristics assessed by the committee, visit about/council/nominationcriteria.html. Under Bylaw 3(b), the committee nominates candidates for the office of President if they have served on Council for at least two full years prior to taking office, and for the office of Vice President, if they have served at least one year on Council prior to taking office. 2013 Nominating Committee Jeff Holm, P.Eng., FEC, Past President, Chair Branch Appointees Don Williams, P.Eng. (Central Interior Branch) Martin Fandrich, P.Eng. PhD (Fraser Valley Branch) Stephen O’Leary, P.Eng., PhD (Okanagan Branch) Horst Unger, P.Eng. (Sea to Sky Branch) Tomer Curiel, P.Eng. (Tri-City Branch) Yuko Suda, P.Eng. (Vancouver Branch) Lee Rowley, P.Eng. (Vancouver Island Branch) Elroy Switlishoff, P.Eng. (West Kootenay Branch) Council Appointees Lindsay Bottomer, P.Geo., FEC (Hon.) Angus English, P.Eng. Glenn Pellegrin, P.Eng., FEC

Important Dates

Friday, September 13, 2013 Election package and ballots will be available online to all members by this date. Paper ballots available upon request.

Friday, October 11, 2013, 12 noon All ballots must be submitted and received by noon.

Friday, July 12, 2013 Nominees' Statement of Candidacy must be received at the association office by 5 pm.

Friday, June 21, 2013 Nominations by 25 members must be received at the association office by 5 pm

Election results will be posted to the APEGBC website by Wednesday, October 16, 2013.


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APEGBC-led Initiatives Aim to Speed up Integration of Internationally Trained Professionals In November 2012, the BC provincial government announced $4.6 million in funding for initiatives aimed at assisting the

Mentoring, CP Program, Regulatory Outreach Featured in 2013/2014 Budget On a yearly basis, the association’s budget is created within clear guidelines set by Council. Following scrutiny and revision by the Executive Committee of Council, it is then brought forward for examination by all members of Council. At its most recent meeting in May, Council approved APEGBC’s operating budget for 2013/2014. The approved budget reflects the Sustainable Financial Policy, and aligns with APEGBC’s Strategic Service Plan and Council Work Plan. There will be no increase to membership fees in the budget, and a $10 annual fee will no longer be applied to APEGBC members and licensees’ secondary professional liability insurance coverage. The 2013/2014 budget will operate with a deficit of $114,000. Monies from the general operating fund will be used to mitigate this budgeted deficit. Through the budgetary review process, efficiencies and economies equal to $458,000 were applied in 12 different areas of operation. These efficiencies enabled the inclusion of 35 program initiatives totalling $513,000. These include expansion of the mentoring program to support the professional registration of members- in-training and applicants, administra- tion of the Certified Professional (CP) program, a member compensation survey, regulatory outreach to employ- ers of APEGBC members, and the implementation of recommendations to support the recruitment and reten- tion of women in the engineering and geoscience professions.

integration of internationally trained professionals into the Canadian labour market. At that time, APEGBC submitted funding proposals to the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation for a number of initiatives aimed at addressing several high priority areas for the qualification assessment and recognition of skilled immigrants. Funding approval has been received from the ministry for three projects, and APEGBC is pro- ceeding with this work. In cooperation with the ministry, APEGBC will be leading three projects aimed at addressing key areas that can delay the full participation of internationally trained engineering or geoscience professionals in the BC labour market: matching profession- al qualifications to the appropriate career, understanding professional practice require- ments in a Canadian environment, and language competency. Online Assessment Tool for Equivalent Engineering Occupations - To assist internationally trained professionals in determining the equivalent Canadian occupa- tion for their skill sets and education, APEGBC will work with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) on the development of a web-based self-assessment tool that will direct the user to the appropriate engineering career and professional body based on the information they submit. The online tool is intended to more quickly and effectively route skilled immigrants to engineering-related careers that best match their skills and qualifications. Review of One-year Canadian Experience Requirement - Currently, Canadian engi- neering regulatory bodies require a minimum one-year of Canadian or equivalent work experience for registration. This requirement is aimed at ensuring that all registrants have been exposed to aspects of Canadian engineering practice including professional supervi- sion; training; legal requirements such as climates, codes and standards; and customary Canadian engineering ethics and practice. APEGBC will work with Engineers Canada and other partners to review the current experience requirement with the goal of clearly defining and articulating the competencies and expected outcomes for the internationally trained professional, in support of preparing those professionals to enter the Canadian labour market in their chosen profession. English Language Assessment Pilot - APEGBC will work with Engineers Canada and other partners on a feasibility study to examine how an existing Engineers Canada Engineering Language Assessment could be used cost effectively within Canada to test English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The study will identify transparent and fair selection criteria for who would be required to take the test. These projects aim to contribute strategically to improving the efficiency and effectiveness with which skilled immigrants are integrated within the BC economy as fully participating members of the labour force in their trained professions. They also reinforce APEGBC’s commitment to ensuring responsible regulation of professional engineering and geoscience through the admission and licensing processes. Work on the three initiatives is currently underway with project delivery dates in fall of 2013 and spring of 2014. Questions about the projects can be directed to Gillian Pichler, P.Eng., FEC at or 604.412.4857.


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as soc ia t i on notes

Annual Conference and AGM to Take Place in Whistler, BC October 24-26, 2013

Sustainability Guidelines in Effect January 2014 APEGBC Council approved revisions to the APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines at their November 30, 2012 meeting. Having now undergone legal and editorial review, the guidelines are now available online and will come into effect in January 2014. The Sustainability Guidelines will provide an important framework, founded on the principle of holding paramount the public’s interest, which will guide APEGBC members in their professional practice. The approval of this document is an important revision to the existing APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines , which had not been updated since 1995. The primary obligation of the guidelines is that members must discuss with their clients or employers the opportunity to incorporate sustainability into the project or work. Sustainable options would only be presented if the client or employer wishes to proceed. If the client or employer declines, the member’s obligation is complete. The Sustainability Committee undertook an extensive consultation period with committees and divisions, and through an online survey and a webinar presentation for members. Based on feedback received, changes were made to the guidelines to reflect member input. Training and educational seminars and webinars on the revised guidelines will be organized by the Sustainability Committee and APEGBC, and offered throughout the province as continuing professional development opportunities. A presentation on the Sustainability Guidelines will also be offered through the environmental engineering professional development stream at the APEGBC Annual Conference and AGM in Whistler, BC in October 2013. The revised Sustainability Guidelines are available online at tice/ppdocs.html. For more information contact: Resource Sector Engineering and Geoscience Bursary The Division of Engineers and Geoscientists in the Resource Sector (DEGIRS) is pleased to offer a $2,000 bursary aimed at advancing engineering and geoscience edu- cation and practices in BC. The bursary is intended to provide financial assistance to students in an accredited postsecondary or postgraduate program at a degree-granting institute in BC. Studies should relate directly to professional engineering and/or geo- sciences/geotechnique in the resource sector. The deadline to submit applications is June 30, 2013 . Bursary application guidelines are available at For additional information please contact Jason Olmstead at

APEGBC’s 2013 annual conference and annual general meeting will take place October 24-26 in Whistler, BC. The conference and AGMwill be held at the Whistler Conference Centre and will be the venue for two days of professional develop- ment sessions, networking opportunities and a tradeshow, followed by the 94 th annual general meeting of the Association of Professional Engi- neers and Geoscientists of BC. This year’s professional development sessions will feature the following streams: management, better business, geotechnical, structural engi- neering, energy efficiency and renewable energy, young professionals, engineering and geoscience in the resource sector, municipal engineering and environmental engineering. The annual general meeting of the asso- ciation will be held at 8:30 am on Saturday, October 26. All members are welcome and are encouraged to attend. There is no charge to attend the AGM business portions of the annual conference. More information on conference sessions and activities, as well as online registration, is available on the conference website at www. A print brochure is includ- ed as a pull-out insert in the centre of this issue of Innovation. Conference sponsorship opportunities are available at a variety of levels with benefits to meet the needs of businesses, including recog- nition on site, at events, on promotional mate- rials or online. For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jennifer Chan at or 604.412.4861. APEGBC YOUR OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS HAVE TO BE DULY AUTHENTICATED Paper documents need to bear your wet stamp and signature. Electronic documents require your official digital signature certificate issued by APEGBC. Today, over 5000 engineers across Canada have traded their wet stamp in favour of their official digital signature certificates. Get more information on how to authenticate your electronic documents by contacting Sales at 1-888-588-0011 and select option 2, or visit


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sa t i s fact ion sur vey

Members Rate Their Satisfaction with APEGBC Mojan Farshchi

Finally, 49.3% of respondents indicated that they are satisfied with the way in which Council considers member input. Of the remaining, 14.2% were somewhat satisfied, 6.4% were not satisfied and, most notably, 30.1% were unsure. In regard to association voting, 52.1% of those surveyed said they participated, while 25.2% only do so occasionally and 18.9% do not (the remaining were those not eligible to vote). Respondents cited “I don’t know enough about the issues/candidates” as the top reason why they hesitate to vote. Registration, Professional Practice, and Investigation and Discipline The survey indicated that 498 respondents had registered with APEGBC within the last two years. These newer members were asked to rate their satisfaction with the process of registration. The majority (73.7%) answered that they were satisfied or very satisfied, while 15.5% were somewhat satisfied, and 7.2% were not satisfied with their experience. In general, 69% of members responded that they were satisfied with the available professional practice guidelines, quality SUPPORT THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEERS

The results are now in for a survey conducted by APEGBC in Febru- ary 2013 to assess members’ level of satisfaction with the association’s regulatory and member service functions. A total of 3,031 members completed the survey and provided valuable feedback through per- sonal comments. As an engaged and supported membership is crucial to APEG- BC’s task of protecting and serving the public interest, the survey gauged satisfaction in six main areas: association mandate and gov- ernance; registration; professional practice; investigation and disci- pline; professional development; and communication and member services. Several questions asked members to rate their level of satisfaction from “very satisfied” to “not at all satisfied,” while others asked members to provide comments. Findings showed that the highest levels of satisfaction were inter- actions with staff at over 79.1% either satisfied or very satisfied, the content of Innovation at 79.6%, and the APEGBC website at 75.9%. Areas for improvement indicated by survey results were the process for initiating complaints, with 45.8% either satisfied or very satisfied; events and activities organized by local branches at 48.4%; and Coun- cil consideration of member input at 49.3%. Overall, the survey found that the member satisfaction across all questions amounted to 76% (satisfied or very satisfied). For almost all satisfaction rating questions (16 out of 17), the majority of re- spondents indicated that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with APEGBC’s efforts in the six areas identified. Association Mandate and Governance The mandate of the association is to regulate the practice of profes- sional engineering and professional geoscience in the province of British Columbia. When those surveyed were asked if APEGBC is meeting this mandate, 78.9% agreed. Those respondents who felt that APEGBC is not meeting this mandate voiced a desire for an increase in representation of members’ interests. There were also some concerns regarding the protection of professional titles against other practitioners. Further feedback indicated that some members feel that APEGBC is over-reaching its mandate. Three questions aimed to gauge members’ satisfaction with various aspects and duties of Council. The first asked whether Council is set- ting policies that achieve the vision statement of the association: to be the innovative regulatory leader respected by community and govern- ments while striving for professional excellence through an engaged and supported membership. About 60.4% of respondents expressed

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satisfaction with Council’s policies in accordance with the vision statement. The second Council-related sat- isfaction question addressed mem- bers’ access to Council in order to voice their ideas, comments and concerns. At 53.4% satisfaction, some members were unsure of how to access Council while others called for improvements to meth- ods of communication between Council and the membership.

Don’t know 14.8%

Yes 78.9%

No 6.4%

It’s your career. Get it right.

Do you feel APEGBC is fulfilling its mandate?


i n n o v a t i o n 1 Ad Name: Engineering Work Placement Industry 2 Media: Innovation (APEGBC) 3 PO#: A2013-0029

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s a t i s f ac t i on s u r vey

A total of 48.4% of respondents were satisfied with their local branch events and activities. However, 33.4% of members indicat- ed that they do not attend local branch events largely because they are out of the area—either traveling for work too often or residing too far away. Communication and Member Services Members were asked to rate the effectiveness of several APEGBC communication outlets. Respondents rated the association’s journal, Innovation , the most effective means of communication with mem- bers, followed by broadcast emails, Connections e-newsletter and the APEGBC website, all rated “somewhat effective.” The survey found that 88.3% of respondents read Innovation . Of these, 79.6% stated their satisfaction with the content, while 17% said they were only somewhat satisfied and 1.8% were not satisfied. The APEGBC website received a 75.8% satisfaction rating and 16% of members indicated that they were somewhat satisfied. Members rated the “registration and licensing information” and “association news” on the website as the sections they visited most often. Of the 28.5% of members who take advantage of APEGBC’s affinity programs, 71.6% were satisfied with the range of products and services offered. From those respondents who subscribe to the service, the ca- reer listings e-mail service received a 68.2% satisfaction rating. A total of 35.2% of respondents found APEGBC’s bi-annual Compensation Survey very valuable, while 43.7% found it somewhat valuable. Members who have contacted the APEGBC office to resolve a ques-

management guidelines and

Don’t Know 8.91%

Very Satisfied 10.1%

technical bulletins. About 255 members provided personal input with regard to how these resources could be improved by APEGBC in the future. A total of 64.5% of members stated their satisfaction with the amount of

Not at all Satisfied 3.7%

Somewhat Satisfied 18.4%

Satisfied 59%

How satisfied are you with the current professional practice guidelines, quality management guide- lines and technical bulletins that are available?

information that APEGBC makes available regarding the practice review process, while 12.6% were somewhat satisfied, 3.4% were not satisfied, and 19.5% were unsure. A significant number of members (46.1%) said they were unsure about the process for initiating complaints about the professional con- duct or behavior of other members. This trend also holds true when members were asked to rate their satisfaction with the amount of avail- able information about the process of investigation and discipline, with 33.7% indicating that they were unsure. When asked how the process for initiating complaints could be improved, members suggested faster and more rigorous response to complaints and making the process less adversarial. With regard to the process of investigation and discipline, many members asked for the process to be made more transparent. Professional Development Half of respondents answered that they were satisfied with APEG- BC’s professional development course offerings. Approximately 26.9% of members were somewhat satisfied and 14.4% indicated that they were dissatisfied. Several members expressed a need for a wider variety of topics appealing to their diverse disciplines. Some felt that the courses are too expensive and need to be offered more frequently outside of the lower mainland. The majority of members (73.7%) indicated that they do not attend the APEGBC Annual Conference. The top reasons cited by members for not attending were lack of time, high costs, travel dis- tance, and that seminar offerings are not relevant to their practice.

tion or concern within the last year were asked to rate their satisfaction with their experience. Of these respondents, 87.8% were satisfied with the manner in which they were greet- ed, 81.1% were satisfied with the time in which their concern was re- solved, and 79.1% were satisfied with how their concern was resolved.

Don’t Know

Not at all Satisfied 7.2%

2.8% Other 0.8%

Somewhat Satisfied 15.5%

Very Satisfied 28.1%

Satisfied 45.6%

Rate your satisfaction with the process of registration.

Volunteerism About 22.1% of respondents have volunteered with APEGBC, and of these members 41.1% are current volunteers and 58.9% are former volunteers. Those who have never volun- teered cited two main reasons: not enough time and not aware of existing opportunities. Among former volunteers, top reasons for discontinuing involvement were not enough time and travel concerns. Next Steps Council has reviewed the results of the Mem- ber Satisfaction Survey, and APEGBC’s Leader- ship Teamwill utilize this information in im- proving program areas. To monitor members’ satisfaction with the association on an continu- ing basis, the Member Satisfaction Survey will be repeated in 2015. v


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career awarenes s

Engineering and Geoscience Community Reaches Out to the Public

hosted by the Okanagan Branch and UBC Okanagan, as well as the Vancouver Branch’s annual E-fest at the Vancouver Public Library rounded out the offerings. Initiatives such as the Then and Now photo campaign invited members to send in photos of themselves to show how their interest was sparked as children to choose a career in engineering or geosci- ence. This resulted in an inspirational online gallery, and a print ad that illustrated how a meaningful career can start with inspiration. (Both the gallery and ad can be found at negmthenandnow.html). The Water Works Challenge, a contest asking teams of students and professionals to design and build a speedy water-transporting appara- tus with mystery items, brought out enthusiastic participation from the engineering and geoscience community: members, students and companies around the province and even as far as Australia. Water Works Challenge entries can be viewed on APEGBC’s YouTube chan- nel:, including the winning video from Team Smart Snake of Fluor Canada, whose contraption achieved a breathtaking time of 2.9 seconds. Thank you to everyone who played a part this year, helping to show their pride and share their passion for the professions of engineering and geoscience. NEGM 2013 has been a great success, owing largely

National Engineering and Geoscience Month (NEGM) was March 2013, and BC engineers and geoscientists celebrated with substance and style. During this time, different initiatives and activities around the province sought to engage both the public and APEGBCmembers in order to highlight career choices in engineering and geoscience, and raise awareness of these professions. This year 13 branches participated in 16 NEGM events across the province and succeeded in involving more than 2,800 people in fun engineering- and geoscience-related activities. Popsicle stick bridge competitions—where bridges are built with nothing but 100 popsicle sticks, glue and ingenuity—were held by the Central Interior, Fraser Valley, Tri-City, Burnaby/New Westminster, Richmond/Delta, South Central, Peace River, Sea to Sky, West Kootenay, Vancouver Island and Northern Branches. Other activities such as the edible car competition Branch volunteers organized National Engineering and Geoscience Month events around BC Drawing Contest Encourages Kids to Think about Science Careers

to the posi- tive reception from APEGBC members, both participants and volunteers.

Finding different ways of reaching out to the public about engineering and geoscience is a key part of APEGBC’s career awareness strategy. With this in mind, APEGBC and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC teamed up to hold a drawing contest that asked children, ages 4 to 12, to draw something or someone that uses science to do something neat for a chance to win a $50 Chapters gift card. This year, we received over 150 submissions from around BC. Here are the winning entries in each age category:

Ages 6-8

1st Place - Arianna Ralph, Age 8

Ages 4-5

Ages 9-12

1st Place - Hannah Musooli, Age 5

1st Place - Erika Lieu, Age 10


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n ews

Seismic Retrofit Guidelines Recognized with Award for

Engineering Excellence

The Seismic Retrofit Guidelines for the Performance-based Seismic Risk Assessment and Seismic Retrofit Design of BC Low Rise School Buildings have been recognized with the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Engineering Excellence. The honour was given at the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC-BC) 2013 Awards for Engineering Excellence on April 6, 2013, where the Guidelines also received the Award of Excellence in the category of Soft Engineering. In 2004, BC’s Ministry of Education initiated a $1.5 billion program for the seismic mitigation of public school buildings. The ministry retained APEGBC to manage the development of new performance-based technical guidelines for structural engineers to use in carrying out seismic risk assessments and retrofit design.

What resulted were ground-breaking, innovative technical guidelines emerging from a unique collaboration between government, academia and the engineering community. Following extensive research, development and review, interim guidelines were published in 2005 and 2006, and in 2011, the 1 st edition of the Seismic Retrofit Guidelines was released. A second draft edition was released in 2012 with a companion web-based Seismic Performance Analyzer tool. The Guidelines allow users to effectively and consistently determine the seismic risk of an existing building, and optimize the extent of new structural components required to achieve a life-safety seismic performance. The Seismic Retrofit Guidelines were previously recognized with the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering’s Excellence in Innovation in Civil Engineering

Award. The methodology is also being utilized by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Seismic Retrofit Guidelines stand as a remarkable example of how engineers contribute towards the public safety and wellbeing of British Columbians. APEGBC extends congratulations to all those involved in the guideline’s development: BC Ministry of Education (Project Owner) GENIVAR TBG Seismic David Nairne and Associates Alkins Project Services AUSENCO Bush Bohlman and Partners Read Jones Christoffersen Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, UBC Department of Civil Engineering John A. Wallace Engineering Dr. Farzad Naeim, PE, SE, Esq. Dr. Michael Mehrain, PE, SE Dr. Robert D. Hanson, PE. v

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new s

Task Force Explores Geotechnical Engineering as a Registration Discipline In Canada, there is currently no discipline for registration in geotechnical engineering in any professional engineering regulatory

these requirements could form the basis of an APEGBC evaluation process for a more formal geotechnical engineering designation, and a geotechnical engineering discipline if the need is warranted and should the APEGBC Registration Committee so decide. For more information on the work of the GETF, please contact Ray Filipiak, P.Eng., at v

association. APEGBC’s Registration Committee created the Geotechnical Engineering Task Force (GETF) in 2010 to explore the potential of geotechnical engineering as a new and separate engineering discipline for APEGBC registration. The following is a report on the task force’s progress to date. Professional Registration of Geotechnical Engineers - In BC,

professionals who practice geotechnical engineering are most often registered with APEGBC in the disciplines of civil engineering, geological engineering, or mining engineering. This is because there are no geotechnical engineering undergraduate degree programs in any Canadian universities. Since registration in APEGBC, as in other Canadian professional engineering associations, is based largely on one’s undergraduate degree, there are no established minimum academic and/or experiential requirements that a geotechnical engineer must meet. Resultantly, this can put both APEGBC members and the public in jeopardy. Some engineers who practice geotechnical engineering may not appreciate that they are working outside their area of expertise, contrary to APEGBC’s Code of Ethics; and the public who retain geotechnical engineers have no way of knowing if these professionals are appropriately qualified to do the work required. Defining “Geotechnical Engineering” - The term “geotechnical engineering” is used in some BC legislation and other official documents, and many APEGBC members have referred to themselves as geotechnical engineers; however, there is no commonly agreed upon official definition in this province, or in Canada. Following consultation with APEGBC members in 2011, and at the beginning of this year, the task force reworked APEGBC’s definition as follows: “Geotechnical Engineering is the application of the principles of soil mechanics and/or rock mechanics, and associated applied geological sciences.” Next Steps - Over the next few months, the task force is planning to draft minimum academic and/or experiential requirements for registration as a geotechnical engineer in BC. The task force’s thinking is that these requirements can initially be used by members for self-evaluation to determine if indeed they should refer to themselves as geotechnical engineers, and by APEGBC in the case of an investigation. In the future,


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f ea t u r e s

From Trash Heap to

BC firm Quadrogen is taking Biogas Cleaning to the Next Phase

Quadrogen plans to clean piped gas from the Vancouver Landfill in Delta for energy use in Village Farms International’s commercial greenhouse operation.

Suzanne Morphet

capturing biogas from the landfill in Salmon Arm and upgrading it to pipeline-quality natural gas. Ten days later, it announced it would duplicate the process at the Kelowna landfill. Suddenly, it seems, biogas is big. “There’s been some fundamental changes in energy pricing,” explains Michael Weedon, Executive Director of the BC Bioenergy Network. “Oil for most of this century has been about $10 a barrel but now it’s $100…That now has made it more attractive for even us in BC to look at biogas collection.” Buying into Biogas Biogas is the modern moniker for the gas that’s produced when organic matter rots in an anaerobic environment such as a land- fill. Other sources of biogas include wastewater treatment plants and animal manure. All biogas contains a variety of gases, mainly methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, some oxygen and—depending on the source— a number of impurities. In some countries, where other forms of energy are in short supply, the methane in biogas has been used for decades, if not centuries. “In Europe, for over 30 years they’ve have been capturing biomethane in agricultural applications, so it’s well estab- lished,” says Weedon. “In BC we haven’t been doing that until recently.” The Quadrogen Biogas Clean-up Unit installed at Orange County Sanitation District Waste Water Treatment Plant has been successfully removing pollutants on an impressive scale.

Considering how long landfills around the province have been seen as only passive receptacles for waste, developments in the past decade— particularly, the past few years—seem almost too good to be true. First there was Maxim Power’s groundbreaking project in 2003 to turn methane gas from Vancouver’s landfill in Delta into electricity and heat. The 5.6 MW electric and 6.7 MW thermal co-generation facility was later expanded and followed by a smaller 1.6 MW power plant at Victoria’s Hartland landfill. Then, in 2009 Cedar Road Bioenergy demonstrated a modular system for converting biogas into energy at smaller landfills, such as the one in Nanaimo. Last February, Vancouver-based Quadrogen Power Systems announced it had received a million dollars towards a $7.9 million project to take some of the biogas from the landfill in Delta and turn it into electricity, heat, hydrogen and greenhouse-quality carbon dioxide. And, by November of last year, FortisBC announced it was in on the action. After years of planning, it was successfully


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