As the official publication of Engineers and Geoscientists BC, Innovation is circulated to about 40,000 professional engineers and geoscientists. The magazine is published bi-monthly, six times a year.

AGM & Conference in Review | Meet the New Chair | Annual Renewal Due






We’re finding low-carbon energy in unlikely places Like biogas captured from compost to create Renewable Natural Gas 1 (RNG). It’s a low-carbon energy 2 that can be used in homes and businesses across the province—and we’re adding more to our supply every year. Our natural gas delivery system can provide RNG to buildings and developments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This means buildings can meet strict emissions

guidelines without expensive upgrades or retrofits. Find out more about RNG at

Connect with us @fortisbc

1 Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It’s derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane). 2 When compared to the lifecycle carbon intensity of conventional natural gas. The burner tip carbon intensity of FortisBC’s current RNG portfolio is 0.29 gCO 2 e/MJ. FortisBC’s current RNG portfolio lifecycle emissions are negative 22 gCO 2 e/MJ. This is below B.C.’s low carbon threshold for lifecycle carbon intensity of 36.4 gCO 2 e/MJ as set out in the 2021 B.C. Hydrogen Strategy.

FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. (23-026.20 04/2023)

23-026.20-RNG_Paid_PrintAd_PlanningWest-PP6.indd 1

4/26/2023 11:06:38 AM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 | volume 27 number 6 INNOVATION

COVER STORY DEADLY DEBRIS FLOW Engineers and geoscientists explore how to mitigate debris flow damage by finding ways to predict the flow trajectory. G raphic : S tantec






WEIGHING IN ON EVs As more EVs hit the roads, engineers look at the impact their extra weight has on streets, bridges and parkades. P hoto : S mile F ight / S hutterstock



WOMEN AS LEADERS A look back at the achievements and challenges of the Women in Engineering and Geoscience Division and the direction forward. P hoto : C ontributed





ON THE COVER In the small community of Lillooet Lake Estates, 20 km east of Pemberton, residents live with the imminent threat of debris flow damage from Catiline Creek. P hoto : contributed





INNOVATION NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 | volume 27 number 6 ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS BRITISH COLUMBIA Suite 200 - 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC Canada V5C 6N2 Tel: 604.430.8035 | Toll free: 1.888.430.8035


LOOKING AT THE YEAR AHEAD As the new Chair of the Board, I hope to lead with respect, fairness, and humility. The past three years that I have served on Council, now the Board, have given me a very good perspective of the amount of work that has been ongoing as we adapt to the Professional Governance Act . This work includes, but is not limited to, changes to our bylaws and policies, as well

Email: | Web:

BOARD 2023/2024 Chair: Michelle Mahovlich, MEng, P.Eng., P.Geo., FCSSE

Vice Chair: Mark Porter, P.Eng., Struct.Eng. Immediate Past Chair: Mark Adams, P.Eng.

BOARD MEMBERS Bill Chan, CPA, CGA, MBA, ICD.D; Leslie Hildebrandt, ICD.D, LLB; Veronica Knott, P.Eng.; Emily Lewis, CPA, CMA; Karen Ling, P.Eng.; Cathy McIntyre, MBA, C.Dir; Mahsoo Naderi-Dasoar, P.Eng.; Matthew Salmon, P.Eng.; Jens Weber, P.Eng. EXECUTIVE TEAM Heidi Yang, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), Chief Executive Officer Liza Aboud, MBA, ABC, ICD.D, Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Cho, CPA, CGA, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer David Pavan, R.PH., Chief Regulatory Officer and Registrar

as strengthening our role as a regulatory body. I entered my first term in the fall of 2020, deep into the COVID pandemic. These were unprecedented times. We were navigating changes to our operating and governance structure at the same time as the pandemic impacted supply chains and increased costs. Through these challenges, the need for registrants to protect the public and the environment keeps increasing. As Chair, I anticipate foreign accreditation to be very significant not only for Engineers and Geoscientists BC, but for Canada, as we continue to modernize our processes so that BC benefits from the qualified professionals needed to support the public and environment. To continue to support strong and sustainable growth in our professions is important to me. Also important will be the Chair’s role to collaborate effectively with our new advocacy body. I feel that we must listen and respond to concerns we’ve heard that the changes associated with the introduction of an advocacy body will sever our ties with our volunteers, many of whom have dedicated years of service to with our organization. Our registrants are all passionate and none more so than our respected volunteers. As Chair of the Board, I will be working closely with our CEO and supporting her to steer the staff of Engineers and Geoscientists BC as we continue to strive towards the goals of our Strategic Plan, including budgeting for those goals. In closing, I wanted to personally thank Mark Adams, P.Eng. our outgoing Board Chair for his mentorship this past year. Mark led our Board in some very challenging discussions around topics many of us had never navigated before. Thank you Mark for your dedication to our professions.


EDITORIAL ADVISORY GROUP Ryan Bird, P.Eng.; Allen Heinrichs, P.Eng.; Mahsa Mohajerani, P.Eng.; Raya Smertina, P.Eng.; Aman Tanvir, P.Eng.; Stefano Vitucci, P.Eng. Innovation is published bi-monthly, six times a year by Engineers and Geoscientists BC. As the official publication of the organization, Innovation is circulated to all registrants of Engineers and Geoscientists BC as well as architects, contractors and industry executives. The views expressed in any article do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Board or Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

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Sales Representative: Wing-Yee Kwong Tel: 604.681.1811 Email: For information see: SUBMISSIONS Innovation does not accept unsolicited articles or photos, but we do welcome article proposals and ideas. Proposals should be of interest and relevant to our readers and recognize the regulatory role of Engineers and Geoscientists BC in ensuring public safety and environmental protection. They should not be a "sales pitch" for a company or organization. Send suggestions to: LETTERS Innovation welcomes letters from our readers. All submitted letters may be subject to editing for length, clarity or accuracy. We reserve the right to reject unsuitable letters and we do not publish open letters to third parties. Send letters to: REPRINTS & COPIES All material is copyright. For reprint permission or extra copies, contact: SUBSCRIPTIONS All registrants with Engineers and Geoscientists BC receive Innovation in print or digital form. Registrants can update their communication preferences for Innovation in their accounts at Send print or digital subscription requests to:

Michelle Mahovlich, MEng, P.Eng., P.Geo., FCSSE


ISSN 1206-3622 Publications Mail Agreement No 40065271. Registration No 09799. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Innovation , Suite 200 - 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC V5C 6N2.






Governance (OSPG), who presented a report on the OSPG’s activities during its second year of operations. Two motions were submitted in advance of the meeting and were also debated by registrants. The assembly voted to split Motion 1 into two separate parts prior to voting on that motion. The motions were moved by Kevin Preston, P.Eng., and seconded by Brett Pattrick, P.Eng. MOTION 1a: That the Board consider past surpluses when setting future annual licensing fees. The motion was carried. MOTION 1b: That the Board consider limiting future increases to no more than 2 percent per year. The motion was carried. MOTION 2: That the Board consider that a larger seed fund be given to the new advocacy body to be spent on expenses of existing programs being transferred to it, plus a reasonable staffing budget for those programs. The motion was carried.

Over 300 registrants and guests gathered in person in Whistler and online for Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s 104 th Annual General Meeting on October 28. The meeting was the organization’s first hybrid AGM, providing an opportunity for registrants to hear from the Board and senior staff on the organization’s progress over the past year. The meeting began with a cultural welcome from two members of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, who welcomed delegates to the territories of the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation. They shared a traditional language introduction and interpretation followed by an overview of the territory in which Whistler is situated, and closed with a powerful drum song. Board Chair Mark Adams, P.Eng., and CEO Heidi Yang, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) provided an update on the organization’s activities, including operationalizing the Professional Governance Act (PGA) , making changes to Continuing Education and Annual Reporting processes based on registrant feedback, and the creation of the independent advocacy body for engineering and geoscience. Board member Jessica Steeves, P.Eng. also presented a summary of the organization’s audit process and financial standing. Questions from registrants were addressed throughout the meeting, including how the organization is complying with the PGA , increasing voter turnout for Board elections, the organization’s revenues and potential impacts to licensing fees in the future, and how the organization is managing impacts to programs, services, and volunteer engagement as a result of the creation of the advocacy body. Registrants also heard from Kate Haines, Superintendent of the Office of the Superintendent of Professional

Registrants gathered in person for the Engineers and Geoscientists BC AGM, held in Whistler on October 28. P hoto : D avid B uzzard

consideration. An update will be provided to registrants on the results of that discussion in the coming months. The full minutes of the AGM are posted on the AGM webpage ( Governance/Annual-General-Meeting ). A recording of the AGM will also be made available in the Knowledge Centre ( ).

These motions, which are non-binding, will now go forward to the Board for








BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS: SEPTEMBER 15, 2023 The following are the highlights of the September 15, 2023, Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Board meeting. BOARD LEADERSHIP MODEL AND POLICIES UPDATED The Board approved a Board Leadership Governance Model, recommended by the Governance Subcommittee, that will establish the structure and processes to guide Board leadership and succession. The model will be effective beginning with the 2024/2025 Board year, following the appropriate policy development and Bylaw updates. To guide the process of selecting the Board’s leadership for the upcoming year (2023/2024), the Board also updated its policies that govern the process of selecting individuals for the Chair and Vice Chair roles. The Board will appoint individuals to both roles from among its registrant Board members at its inaugural meeting in October; each position is a one-year term. The Board also approved: ‣ The results of a needs assessment, which identifies challenges and opportunities for the year ahead and will be

used to guide the selection of its Chair and Vice Chair this fall; ‣ An updated Code of Conduct for Board members that reflects new terminology and aligns with the organization’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan; ‣ An updated Policy on Board Meetings, which was amended to reflect a new process for adding items to Board meeting agendas; and ‣ An updated structure and Terms of Reference for the Board’s three subcommittees: Governance; Finance, Audit and Risk; and Human Resources Oversight. NEW AND REVISED GUIDELINES APPROVED The Board approved two guidelines for publication following legal and editorial review: 1. Professional Practice Guidelines – Erosion and Sediment Control. This new guideline was authored in collaboration with the College of Applied Biologists and the BC Institute of Agrologists, with input from Forest Professionals BC and Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC. It addresses expectations and obligations for professionals managing runoff, erosion, and sediment from a site under construction. 2. Professional Practice Guidelines - Professional Services in the Forest Sector - Forestry Roads. This revised guideline clarifies professional practice expectations, updates the guidelines to current standards of practice, includes guidance for forestry road crossing inspections, provides example professional assurance statements for various activities, and provides additional detail for forestry road retaining walls. AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS APPROVED The Board received the report of the Audit Subcommittee and approved the organization’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. No material weaknesses in internal controls were noted and no audit adjustments were proposed. The complete audited financial statements are available in Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Annual Report at Annual-Report . To access the minutes for this or other Board meetings, visit .





2023/2024 BOARD

At their inaugural meeting on October 28, the Engineers and Geoscientists BC 2023/2024 Board elected the new Chair and Vice Chair. Michelle Mahovlich, MEng., P.Eng., P.Geo., FCSSE, who formerly served as Vice Chair, was appointed as Chair. Mark Porter, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., was appointed as Vice Chair. Mahovlich owns her own project management firm and was the Director of Engineering and Public Works for the City of Langford for 14 years. Previously, she was the Project Manager and Development Manager for the remediation of the former cement plant in Bamberton. Her 17 years of private sector work experience included geotechnical and contaminated sites engineering work. Mahovlich has served on Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Investigation Committee as Vice-Chair and as an executive member of the Municipal Engineers Division. (See full profile on Mahovlich on pages 8-9.) Porter is the Vice President of Engineering at Nexii Building Solutions and a designated structural engineer. A champion of sustainability, he has led and been part of cross-disciplinary structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering teams on award-winning and boundary-breaking projects. His sustainability and climate change work was recognized by the Fellowship in the Institution of Structural Engineers and Engineers Canada award. Porter was the founding Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Group at Engineers Geoscientists BC, and also serves on the Wood First Advisory Committee for the Forestry Innovation Investment Group as well as CSA Code Development Committees NEW BOARD MEMBERS In the online Board election, September 8 to October 13, Mahovlich was re-elected to the Board and two new registrants were elected for three-year terms on the Board: Veronica Knott, P.Eng. and Matthew Salmon, P.Eng. Board member Jessica Steeves, P.Eng., completed her term. Knott is the Underground Supervisor at Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mines in the Northwest Territories. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mining Engineering from UBC. Knott has volunteered for various organizations advocating for youth, education, diversity and STEM, notably the UBC Board of Governors and Canadian Mining Games. After serving 24 years with the British Army in the Corps of Royal Engineers, Salmon moved to Canada in 2015 with his young family and started working for the District of Lake Country where he is the Director of Engineering and


Michelle Mahovlich, MEng, P.Eng., P.Geo., FCSSE

Vice Chair

Mark Porter, P.Eng.

Immediate Past Chair

Mark Adams, P.Eng.

Elected Board members

Karen Ling, P.Eng. Mahsoo Naderi-Dasoar, P.Eng, PMP, M.Sc. Victoria Knott, P.Eng. Matthew Salmon, P.Eng. Jens Weber, P.Eng. Bill Chan, MBA, CPA, CGA, ICD.D Leslie Hildebrandt, ICD.D, LLB Emily Lewis, CPA, CMA Cathy McIntyre, MBA, C.Dir.

Government appointed Board members

Environmental Services. Salmon’s area of interest is in raising standards and accountability and ensuring the Continuing Education requirements are relevant and appropriate. GOVERNMENT APPOINTEES On October 31, Bill Chan, CPA, CGA, MBA, ICD.D, and Cathy McIntyre, MBA, C.Dir, were appointed to the Board of Engineers and Geoscientists BC by the provincial government. They replace David Wells, JD, and Suky Cheema, CPA, CA, who have completed their terms. Bill Chan is a professional accountant and an experienced board director, with over 25 years of C-suite experience. He has experience in all areas of financial management, enterprise risk and board governance. He has served on private and public boards, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Vancity and the Provincial Health Services Authority board. Cathy McIntyre has more than 30 years of business experience at the senior management level, and 20-plus years of board experience, including the board of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, the Certified Management Accountants Society of BC and the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Director Compensation Task Force.

(See all Board bios at: )






Michelle Mahovlich, MEng, P.Eng., P.Geo., FCSSE

Was project manager and development manager overseeing the remediation of the former cement plant in Bamberton. Engineers and Geoscientists BC volunteer experience: Investigation Committee (Vice-Chair), Municipal Engineers Division (executive member), mentor.

Member of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Board for more than three years.

Has 17 years of private sector work experience, including geotechnical and contaminated sites engineering work. Other volunteer experience: University of Victoria, Camosun College, and local school districts promoting women in STEM. Member of the Soroptomist International supporting the education and empowerment of women.

P hoto : A ngela P rovost /C oastline P hotography

Owns her own project management firm practising primarily in municipal engineering. Formerly Director of Engineering and Public Works for the City of Langford for 14 years.




M ichelle Mahovlich, MEng, P.Eng., P.Geo., FCSSE, was elected for a one-year term as the new Chair of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Board.

well as geotechnical, environmental, and civil engineering and geoscience. This has made me realize that our paths cross in many ways. It’s important that we recognize one another’s strengths but also that we provide input when there is a gap in knowledge so that we can collectively continue to work with one another to achieve our vision of modern regulation for a resilient world. I look to the heat wave and forest fires followed by the floods in the fall of 2021 as one of the most recent times where registrants, geoscientists and engineers, literally dropped everything to respond to this unprecedented natural disaster. We all worked with one another to repair and make safe our environment for the public of BC. There have been many changes over the last few years at Engineers and Geoscientists BC and currently the transition is underway for the creation of an independent advocacy body. How do you anticipate leading the Board through these changes? As Chair, I anticipate collaborating with our new advocacy board. It is very important to me and, I believe, the rest of the Board, that we don’t lose those important connections with our registrants. There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge among our registrants, be they newly registered or those of us that have been practicing for a few decades or more. Sharing that wisdom and knowledge, but also encouraging and mentoring our new registrants in their fields of practice will be important to continue to sustain our professions in BC and beyond. While it may appear somewhat daunting right now to have a separate advocacy body, I believe it

also represents a great opportunity to improve our advocacy moving forward. Let’s channel our collective passions for our professions to create this successful advocacy body. You are a proponent of women in STEM and ongoing professional development for your work team. Why is this important to you? I have always been a proponent of ongoing professional development. I don’t believe you learn once and then spend the rest of your career with just those learnings. This is especially evident recently with the influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI). There are many pros and cons of AI. It will be important to our registrants to know how to manage those. Likewise, our practice guidelines will continue to be useful resources for professional practice, many times leading the country in their topics. STEM for women is very important to me for a few reasons. The first reason is likely very evident; I practise in fields where most practitioners are men. I enjoy my fields of practice and am passionate to encourage women to enter these fields even if they are still considered the minority because I have enjoyed my career so much. My work has allowed me to travel all over Canada and to see areas I would have never seen otherwise. We truly have a vast and beautiful country. The second reason is a more personal one. My first husband was killed when I was eight months pregnant with our first child. Had I not had the career that I did, the circumstances of his passing suddenly would likely not have allowed me to be a single mom to our daughter without seeking help from others. To be able to stand on your own is something that all women should have the ability to do.

Here are her responses to questions about leadership. Why did you want to take a

leadership position with the Board of Engineers and Geoscientists BC? An effective Board should consist of people willing to contribute their sentiments but also willing to listen to contributions. The past three years that I have spent on the Board has allowed me to gain a fuller perspective of effective governance. While not all of us have a perspective on every topic, I felt that my skills were best used in a leadership role. My experience on elected and appointed boards has also allowed me to become educated on how to steer an effective Board. The past three years I have also enjoyed reaching out to and meeting registrants from other provincial agencies and regulators. I look forward to continuing to meet with registrants from our sister organizations in the provinces and territories and to share our collective goals. You have professional designations in engineering and geoscience. How does that help guide you in your leadership position on the Board? I consider myself very fortunate to hold a licence as both a professional engineer and geoscientist. Geoscientists may not represent a large percentage of our registrants, but they do represent an equal responsibility to protect the public and environment. I’ve had the privilege of working in broad areas such as mineral exploration as





ANNUAL REPORT NOW AVAILABLE Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s 2022/2023 Annual Report provides a review of the financial and organizational activities of the organization. The Annual Report, which covers the fiscal year from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, also summarizes the work of the Board, staff, and volunteers, in protecting the public and the environment. The report highlights Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s activities striving towards the vision outcomes of the 2022 2027 Strategic Plan: public confidence, collaboration hub, TIME TO RENEW ANNUAL REGISTRATION As the end of the year approaches, individual registrants are reminded they must renew their annual registration by December 31, 2023. Individual registrants can renew their registration and pay their fees online by signing into their Engineers and Geoscientists BC account at . Registrants who have not paid their annual fee by December 31 will be subject to late fees (15 percent of fee), and those who have not renewed by January 31, 2024, will be struck off the register. The December 31 renewal deadline also applies to registrants who submit their 2024 annual renewal invoice to their employers for payment. Please allow enough time for your employer to process your renewal. Individual registrants can go to Registrants/Renew-Your-Registration for information on renewing or to Fees for fee information.

future ready, and social responsibility. The report also includes the organization’s audited financial statements for 2022/2023. See the online version at Annual-Report.

FEE INCREASE In the Engineers and Geoscientists BC 2023/2024 annual budget, an increase in fees was approved to take effect January 1, 2024. Individual registrant fees will now be $520 and the fee for non practicing/retired registrants is $130. Trainee fees are $286. The fee increase is needed for improvements to systems and processes that support the organization’s strategic plan and secure and protect the organization’s critical data to remain in compliance with the evolving requirements of BC privacy legislation. In addition, just under half of the fee increase is due to inflation. The fees rose $50 for practicing registrants, $13 for non-practicing/retired registrants and $10 for trainees. HOW TO MOVE TO NON-PRACTISING STATUS To change their registration status to non-practising, registrants can go to their online account and select the “Request for Non-Practising Status” link and complete the declaration. Registrants may move from practising to non-practising status if they are not going to practise professional engineering or geoscience. Registrants who elect this status must sign an annual declaration not to engage in professional practice, and use one of two qualified titles: non-practising or retired. For detailed information, see: How-To-Apply/Reinstatement-Of-Status/Non-Practising-Registrant. HOW TO RESIGN WITHOUT LATE FEES To resign their license with Engineers and Geoscientists BC, registrants must do so before December 31, 2023, to avoid late fees. Resignation can be completed by signing into registrants’ online account, or by contacting Engineers and Geoscientists BC directly. Information on renewing annual registration is available at Your-Registration.

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2023 ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS BC CONFERENCE AND AGM Over 900 delegates attended the Engineers and Geoscientists annual conference and AGM, October 26-28, in person and online. The conference featured Continuing Education sessions, inspirational keynote speakers, an exhibitor trade show and the awards gala. Thanks is extended to all delegates, speakers, session presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, and special guests for attending.


Your contributions helped us host a successful conference.

PLATINUM ▸ Marsh Insurance | Berkley Insurance ▸ Park Insurance | Northbridge Insurance GOLD ▸ Aplin Martin ▸ Canada Life ▸ Fortis BC ▸ Machines Italia | Italian Trade Commission ▸ Manulife ▸ UBC Master of Engineering Leadership SILVER ▸ Axis Insurance Managers | Axa Insurance ▸ BBA ▸ BC Hydro ▸ Binnie ▸ Ecora Engineering & Resource Group Ltd. ▸ Kiewit ▸ SFU Faculty of Applied Science PHOTOS, FROM THE TOP: the 2023 Conference and AGM; award winners, from left, Dr. Phalguni Mukhopadhyaya, P.Eng.; Pia Abercromby, P.Eng.; Dr. Abdolhamid Ghanbari, P.Eng., FEC; Dr. Brent Ward, P.Geo.; Angus English, P.Eng.; Younes Rashidi, P.Eng.; Dr. Catherine Hickson, P.Geo., FGC; and Kelsie Priest, P.Eng.; keynote speakers Jeremiah Brown, left, and Jessica Vandenberghe; Past Chair Mark Adams, centre-right, joins other attendees. P hotos : D avid B uzzard



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2024 PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS HAS SHARPENED FOCUS Innovation ’s annual project highlights issue will be back next year with a

SUBMISSIONS OPEN IN JANUARY 2024 Submissions can be submitted online from January to March 1, 2024. Registrants will be notified by email when the submission form is open. Registrants are invited to submit project photos and brief descriptions of their projects from 2022/2023. Project must be currently underway or have been completed by or after June 30, 2023. The project highlights will be published in the summer issue of Innovation in mid-June. CRITERIA UPDATED The criteria are changing slightly for submissions. To accommodate projects that have many registrants involved, the registrant names will no longer be included in the description word count. The description word count will be reduced to 140 words, and registrant names will be separate. The project description should provide a basic description of the project, how the registrant(s) or registrant firm was involved and how the project meets the public safety and/or environmental stewardship requirement.

sharper emphasis on projects that reflect the regulatory mandate of Engineers and Geoscientists BC. Submissions must now be focussed on public safety and environmental stewardship. Examples include: • Advancements in sustainability or energy efficiency • Resilience to environmental hazards • Public safety solutions or enhancements • Climate change adaptation • Preservation or rehabilitation of natural or built environments Many projects highlighted in previous years already meet the criteria. For example, building projects may show energy efficiencies in construction and operation, resistance to damage from natural disasters or adaptation to the potential effects of climate change. Infrastructure projects may be designed to improve natural habitat or provide added safety for residents or users.

Other criteria still apply: • Project must involve and identify registrants and licensees of Engineers and Geoscientists BC. • Project must be accompanied by at least one high-quality, high-resolution (2,500 to 3,600 pixels) digital photograph (300 dpi) in .tif, .jpg, or jpeg format. In most cases, only one photo will be used, so send your best. • Photos must include photographer or copyright information. More submission details will be on the project webpage by January 2024: Project-Highlights-Pictorial The final decision about which projects are included in the edition rests with the Editorial Advisory Group. Registrants working for large companies are encouraged to coordinate their project submissions to avoid multiple or duplicate submissions. To view last year’s project highlights, go to the 2023 May/June issue of Innovation : Innovation/Innovation-Past-Issues

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These guidelines, and other professional practice guidelines and practice-related resources, are provided at .

R evision - P rofessional P ractice G uidelines : L egislated D am S afety R eviews in BC These guidelines describe expectations and obligation of professional practice related to carrying out legislated dam safety reviews. The most recent revision of these guidelines is intended to capture changes that have occurred with the introduction of the Professional Governance Act and the corresponding revised Engineers and Geoscientists Regulation and Bylaws, as well as updates to other applicable legislation and guidance documents. Changes in professional practice that have occurred since the last revision of these guidelines in 2016 are also addressed, with a focus on adequate documentation and reporting requirements. These guidelines were developed in collaboration with, and are endorsed by, the Ministry of Forests, and the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation. P ractice A dvisory : P rofessional C onduct B etween S ubmitting P rofessionals and A uthorities H aving J urisdiction This practice advisory was issued to clarify the expectations of professional conduct between design professionals submitting engineering/geoscience work and authorities having jurisdiction during approval and/or submission processes such as building permit or development applications. It addresses communication challenges that arise between parties by walking NEWLY PUBLISHED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES AND ADVISORIES

through six common scenarios and providing some professional practice considerations to help resolve them. The advisory discusses non-responsive professionals, unclear process requirements, incomplete submission documents, and others. P ractice A dvisory : E mbodied C arbon C onsiderations for S tructural E ngineers This practice advisory was issued for registrants who provide structural engineering services for new and existing building projects in BC. It provides guidance on understanding embodied carbon in building design, calculating embodied carbon, and minimizing embodied carbon in the primary structural system through the design and decision-making process. It is intended to complement existing industry guides and standards by describing expectations and obligations for practice specifically in BC, as several jurisdictions are introducing

embodied carbon reporting, limitations, and reduction requirements, including the City of Vancouver. P rofessional G uidelines in D evelopment : L andslide H azard and R isk M apping G uidelines

These guidelines will provide an overview of the professional practice expectations and obligations for development of landslide mapping. Due to the impact of landslides on public safety, it is critical that these types of natural hazards are mapped and assessed appropriately using the latest scientific and societal information, and that risks are considered in this process. For more information, contact Yuko Suda, P.Eng., at .


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These webinars, and other professional practice-related webinars, are provided at .


E thics in P ractice : P rofessional C onduct B etween S ubmitting P rofessionals and A uthorities H aving J urisdiction : December 6, 2023.

FREQUENT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE INQUIRIES How does Engineers and Geoscientists BC respond to professional practice issues in a timely manner? Professional practice issues are brought to the attention of Engineers and Geoscientists BC on a regular basis, often through the Practice Advice Program ( Program ). This program allows registrants, as well as the public, government bodies, and others, to correspond with a practice advisor, who is a professional registrant, to receive professional practice and ethical advice. Many issues can be handled by staff through reference to existing guidance documents, quality management standards, and the Code of Ethics. Sometimes, however, issues are brought forward that are complex and require industry-specific knowledge. In these instances, a network of advisory groups has been developed over the years to provide advice and recommendations to staff. These advisory groups include volunteer registrants and others who have knowledge and expertise in various areas of practice. After a comprehensive review and evaluation of Engineers and Geoscientists BC programs and activities to bring operations in line with the Professional Governance Act and the Engineers and Geoscientists BC 2022-27 Strategic Plan, the structure of practice-related volunteer groups is being modified. Technical divisions are being dissolved and existing advisory groups are being transitioned into a new structure as shown in the figure below.

Built Environment: This group will encompass building code related issues and expand to other areas of practice including civil and transportation infrastructure. Natural Resources and Natural Hazards: This group will encompass areas of practice within natural resources and natural hazards and will include areas previously focused on by various Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s technical divisions. High Technology: This group will allow for a holistic and comprehensive review of appropriate areas of software engineering as well as other disciplines, such as biomedical engineering. Manufacturing and Equipment: This group will include manufacturing and equipment safety which are areas of practice where we intend to increase our support and guidance. Climate Change and Sustainability: This group will allow for a more focused and holistic approach to considering issues facing registrants in the areas of climate change and sustainability. This structure better fulfills our regulatory mandate by expanding and broadening the areas of practice encompassed by the groups, while aligning their scopes and reporting structure. These modifications are intended to allow the organization to be future focused by providing enhanced collaboration opportunities for staff and registrants, optimizing staff and volunteer time and effort, and allowing for agility and transparency in dealing with professional practice issues as they arise. We recognize and highly value the significant contributions of volunteers for the divisions and advisory groups over the years, and we encourage anyone interested to apply to any of the groups. You can apply through the Volunteer Opportunities webpage ( About/About-Us/Volunteer/Volunteer-Opportunities) . For inquiries and questions about these changes, please contact .

There are terms of reference for each group, but the following outlines a brief overview of a high-level scope for each advisory group: Professional Practice: This group will be an over-arching group that makes recommendations to staff regarding setting guideline and advisory priorities. It will have at least one representative from each advisory group.

Amy Fehr, P.Eng. Manager, Professional Practice Advice Program



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BC’s steep terrain coupled with an increase in fire-damaged slopes, are the perfect ingredients for destructive debris flows. Here are four perspectives on approaches to mitigate damage from this unpredictable foe. DAVID WYLIE




T riggered by intense rainfall, or possibly an earthquake, debris flows gain momentum from afar and strike with little warning. They tear through earth, collecting trees, rocks, mud, and any other debris in their dangerous erratic path. BC’s steep topography is particularly prone to damaging debris flows. Predicting potential routes and developing solutions to prevent and protect against damage and loss of life is a costly and complicated challenge. Debris flows “are among the largest growing deadly hazard,” says Dr. Richard Guthrie, MSc, P.Geo. “As our

population grows on the planet, more and more of us are occupying cities and communities that are adjacent to mountain hazards.” Guthrie has dedicated his career to protecting people from geological hazards. The geoscientist is on the cutting edge of modelling debris flows, calling this a “remarkable moment in history” where there is an ocean of data along with the tools to process it all. As Vice President and Director of Geohazards and Geomorphology at Stantec, Guthrie has been working on a tool called DebrisFlow Predictor. He says the next six months will change the landscape for such tools.

LEFT: Dr. Richard Guthrie, MSc, P.Geo., and his team have developed the DebrisFlow Predictor, a tool to assist in assessing potential trajectories and damage of debris flow. Photo: Courtesy of Stantec. RIGHT: The danger of debris flow from Catiline Creek, shown in the centre of the photo, affects residents in Lillooet Lake Estates and Heather Jean Properties, 20 km east of Pemberton. P hoto : contributed



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“We’re at the cusp of a completely different understanding,” he says. “Our understanding of what those events involve and where they occur is going to change. It is changing dynamically.” The tool Guthrie has been developing with a team of about 30 geoscientists based across several countries has already mapped about two million potential debris flows in Canada—more than three quarters of them in BC. Until now, only the development team and universities have had access to DebrisFlow Predictor, but the software as a service will be widely available in early 2024. “It’s really important to think about debris flows as a hazard in both time and space,” he says. The probabilistic model can be run over and over to give a cumulative footprint of potential debris flows with a simulation that shows how they might come together in a big storm to create a cumulative effect massing into a bigger footprint. The effects of climate change are also impacting debris flows, including record wildfires which multiply their likelihood. “The immediate effect of intense burning on a slope is like spraying Teflon over the entire thing,” says Guthrie. Water accumulates gaining speed until there’s enough weight that it breaks through the soil, causing a debris flow. Guthrie says new research is showing that post-wildfire debris flows are much more likely—perhaps by hundreds of times. That could have an impact on BC, which is experiencing a record-setting amount of scorched earth. So far in 2023, nearly 30,000 square kilometres have burned in wildfires. That’s double the previous record set in 2018 of 13,500. New predictive tools being developed will help professionals who are struggling to assess risk.

Debris flow experts Dr. Richard Guthrie, MSc, P.Geo., at right, and Dr. Thad Wasklewicz, lead Stantec’s geohazards practice. P hoto : contributed

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“There are people who are tackling it but it’s not easy,” Guthrie says. “There is a very high degree of interpretation and expertise involved. We want to give them the tools that will help.” GROWING NEED TO PROTECT AGAINST DEBRIS FLOWS In the remote BC Central Coast community of Wuikinuxv (Wi-kin-oo) Nation, engineers faced challenging conditions rebuilding a debris barrier and wharf facility. The community’s wharf, which the locals rely heavily on, was badly damaged by debris flows that travelled down steep slopes into the lake and river, dumping large trees and other objects into the watershed.

To prevent damage from debris flow damaging the central wharf in the remote BC community of Wuikinuxv (Wi-kin-oo) Nation, engineers rebuilt a debris barrier and wharf facility. P hoto : C ourtesy of W estmar



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He said a combination of more rain and less snow cover in recent years has led to larger objects more frequently in the water, including full trees. Westmar was tasked with designing a structure that could withstand increasing barrages after a floating debris barrier built in 2006 was overwhelmed by logs, despite a redesign and refurbishment in 2011. Leonard said there is no road access to the small village, and the community is serviced by a small airstrip or boat. Using an alternate wharf facility located farther from the village is not possible for many community members. Rather than rebuild further away, the decision was made to build a robust wall to protect the wharf located on the north bank of the Waanukv River. After consultation with the community, Westmar and the project team designed, obtained environmental permitting, and constructed the barrier on a tight timeline and under challenging conditions. UPCOMING WEBINAR TO HELP DEVELOP LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Engineers and Geoscientists BC and Engineers Canada will hosting a free one hour webinar entitled Land Acknowledgments for Engineers and Geoscientists , scheduled for March 10, 2021. This session will explore the practice of acknowledging First Peoples and traditional land as a way to open meetings, and also as part of a larger process towards reconciliation between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Cassandra Polyzou of Engineers Canada will facilitate a panel discussion with Indigenous engineers, geoscientists, and Indigenous knowledge-keepers, on the importance of this traditional protocol and its application to the engineering and geoscience professions. To learn more or to register, visit the event page at , or email Allison Smith at . The Events Page includes upcoming webinars and on-demand offerings through the Online Learning Centre. To suggest future topics or speakers, email .

The new barrier is almost 100 metres long and supported by steel pipe piles up to 23.5 meters long that were driven up to 12 meters into the riverbed. The barrier was designed to allow fish to swim under it. “Putting in a wall is not necessarily a natural solution—that’s something we continually struggle with; if we could make it work, we would much rather have a natural solution to use,” says Leonard. “But sometimes you’re dealing with a constrained site, or when you look at all the trade-offs, building a mound out of rocks is going to have a worse effect on the river than putting in a wall like that.” Limited information added further thought the riverbed materials would comprise. They were confident they wouldn’t encounter bedrock too shallow, but had a back-up plan and equipment at the ready, just in case. “From an engineering perspective, it was quite challenging. We had very minimal geotechnical information to go on. We had to use our best judgment and use our limited information to come up with a solution,” says Leonard. “The thing with these remote sites is that sometimes it’s more expensive to go and do investigative work than to have a back-up solution in your back pocket when you go to site.” The design had to be completed within about a month to adhere to funding deadlines and a narrow fisheries window. Once all the challenges were met, the community had a more durable and safer solution that also had low environmental impact. difficulty. Experts on the team assessed river levels, debris characteristics, and what they

P hoto : eB a dventure P hotograPhy / shutterstoCK . Com


edition of Innovation magazine ( ), and produced a short video about the PGA. To register for the upcoming webinars, watch previous PGA webinars, download the insert, or view the video, visit .

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Daniel Leonard, P.Eng., is Vice President at Westmar, which led the restoration. Westmar won an ACEC British Columbia 2023 award of excellence in the natural resource and habitat category for the project, which was completed late 2022. Lauren Hutchinson, MSc, P.Eng., a senior geotechnical engineer at BGC, worked with the community of Lillooet on assessing risk and proposing solutions from debris flow. P hoto : contributed

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