"Awarded to members of APEGGA who are recognized by their peers for their integrity and expertise and for their outstanding accomplishments in fields related to engineering, geology or geophysics."
John King Gibson, P.Eng.
John Gibson, P.Eng., has been a guiding influence in oil sands engineering and development for over 30 years. He has been involved with most of the major oil sands projects in Alberta during that time.
He received a bachelor's degree in extractive metallurgy from the University of California in 1954. In 1964, after ten years with Allis Chalmers, Mr. Gibson was senior process engineer for Bechtel Canada Inc. on the Great Canadian Oil Sands (GCOS) project (now Suncor). His challenge was to take process data generated from an extraction process pilot plant on Tar Island and develop a commercial extraction plant design. Mr. Gibson adapted hydroseparators from the mineral industry as primary separation cells, and utilized some new concepts, such as mass flow ore storage bins and the use of kiln technology for slurry preparation. Many of the pumps and pipelines that were part of his design were the largest ever built up to that time.
Mr. Gibson was Bechtel's engineering manager for the Syncrude extraction plant design, and he continued to work with the company during the construction of the Syncrude Canada Ltd. plant and the GCOS expansion in 1979. The conditioning drums, pumps and separation cells used to prepare sand/bitumen/water slurries at these plants are subject to extremely high erosion. Mr. Gibson's participation in the selection of materials that combated the erosion of this equipment was a factor in the success of the oil sands plants. Since the successful completion of the Suncor and Syncrude plants, Mr. Gibson's involvement has been that of a project engineer, working on facility revisions and studies as a member of the consulting engineering team.
In addition to his role as a process engineer, he served for a period as a technology transfer agent. During this time, he made a conscious effort to help develop Alberta-based engineering companies' project and construction management expertise, as related to the oil sands industry.
Mr. Gibson continued as a consultant for the tar sands industry, including work on the 1980 Alsands project, the 1984 Syncrude naphtha recovery unit and the 1986 Syncrude major expansion project. It was during this time that he became a Canadian citizen.
He has demonstrated an ability to transform complex problems into simple ones and a willingness to mentor and coach junior engineers.