INNOVATION November-December 2013

“ I want us to be a socially responsive, interactive group that is relevant. ”

Goals for the Next Year Michael says his first major goal as President for 2013/2014 is modernity. “I want APEGBC to be just slightly ahead of our time,” he says, referencing ABBA lyrics in a 70s Panasonic commercial. “I want us to be a socially responsive, interactive group that is relevant . We started a strategic planning review last year to consider where the association is now and how we can prepare for change in the future so that we continue to be relevant and provide good value,” he says. “I would like to complete the reworking of our strategic plan. I see that as a major contribution.” The Manufacturing Environment in Canada One topic that Michael believes should be of interest to APEGBC members, but may not yet be on everyone’s radar, is the effect that a combination of high domestic wages and stringent Canadian standards and codes are having on manufacturing in Canada. “The purchase costs of manufactured products are always an issue for corporate buyers and, until demonstrated otherwise by Professional Background After taking his B.Sc. (Mathematics, Chemistry) at the University of Victoria and B.A.Sc. (Mining Engineering) at the University of British Columbia, Michael worked for Cominco Ltd., beginning at the Sullivan Mine in Kimberley. After 18 years with Cominco, he left to form his own consulting engineering and exploration management company, Bapty Research Ltd. Since 1986, the company— founded in Cranbrook but now located in Duncan, on Vancouver Island—has completed projects across Canada as well as in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador. These projects have helped clients evaluate and construct base metal and industrial mineral facilities, and complete research and development for new processes or products. Michael received the APEGBC Professional Service Award in 1999 and became a Fellow (FEC) of Engineers Canada in 2009. More about the New President

Professional Philosophy “Typically, engineers love to create things,” says Michael. “Give us a piece of paper and a soft lead pencil, and we’re happy. That goes for me, too. And I feel that you have to follow your ideas. If you’re gifted with an idea, and have the resources to work on it, you should follow it as far as you can. Even if it leads nowhere, it will be a wonderful experience.” Personally Speaking Michael and his wife, Tanis, who helps him run Bapty Research Ltd. have three sons and four grandchildren scattered across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Michael loves to garden, to oversee a 22-acre family farm on Salt Spring Island in part established by his grandfather in 1906, and to spend a few weeks per year on a family- owned silver claim in Northern BC. “It’s incredibly beautiful but, at 5,000 feet up, also incredibly challenging. You can only get there by helicopter.”

adverse operating cost and availability ratios, the lowest price usually closes a sale,” he says. “Canadian engineers and geoscientists are coming up with great solutions to technical problems,” continues Michael, “but the international community has considerable capability for reverse engineering. Often our solutions are being duplicated in places that are able to offer lower costs. The cruel reality facing many of our manufacturers is that if their work is not manufactured under licence with an off-shore supplier, they run the risk of finding their own products in the market, with no compensation or offsetting benefit. The good news here though is that some clients, at least, are beginning to recognize the benefits of ‘made in Canada’ quality, and we are seeing some revival of domestic production.”

Getting in touch with the President Correspondence directed to APEGBC’s President can be addressed to or President Michael Bapty, P.Eng. c/o APEGBC, 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC V5C 6N2.


Nov e m b e r /D e c e m b e r 2 013

i n n o v a t i o n

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