Volunteering To Make a Difference
By Tracy Sopkow
If you have suggested candidates for the series, please forward your
ideas to The PEGG.
More than 300 volunteers work behind the scenes every year at APEGGA
on various committees and task forces. Steve Hrynew, P.Eng. is a dedicated
volunteer, who has served on the District Meetings Committee, the University
Student Liaison Committee, the Ballot Counting Committee, and as a professional
exams invigilator. After graduating from the University of Alberta with
a degree in electrical engineering, Steve joined AGT (now TELUS) in 1958
and remained there until his retirement in 1993.
Why did you join APEGGA?
In 1960 when I joined, anyone who wanted to work at AGT as an engineer
had to be a member of APEGGA, but joining was something I wanted to do
on my own. At the time I was also a member of the Institute of Electrical
& Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Why did you decide to volunteer with APEGGA?
AGT management, in particular Jim Barnes, Bob Taylor and Dennis Brooks,
were very supportive of staff becoming involved in the community. Their
example made is easier for us to fall into the trap of volunteering.
What value do you receive from being an APEGGA volunteer?
Volunteering is a way to share my work experiences and expertise with
my associates. I get a feeling of satisfaction working with APEGGA staff
on a volunteer basis. Over the years, APEGGA has provided excellent service
to its membership. I have been able to use these services to keep communications
channels open with the engineering fraternity.
What are your other hobbies and interest?
I maintain a hobby farm in the St. Michael area. It is the farm that
I was born and raised on, and I still use my father's old open-air equipment.
As an active member of the Edmonton Antique Car Club, I own and operate
a 1926 MacLaughlin Buick. I also take pride in having been the editor
of our district history book, Pride in Progress for the Alberta Rose Historical
Have you received an award or special recognition that is important
Last year registration staff gave me a gift and I couldn't believe it.
For the past six years I have worked as an invigilator for the professional
practice exams. When one of the candidates successfully completes the
exam and earns the right to practice, we all feel successful.
Do you have a dream project, one that you have worked on or would
have liked to be involved with?
I felt we were leading in the introduction of the digital phone, but
I didn't really get in on being a pioneer. Telemetering was something
we did that not many other companies got involved in. I worked for one
of my supervisors, Dr. Lansing Lee, in a division called Corporate Policies.
He used to write papers for the Teletraffic Congress. Of course, he wrote
in English, but thought in Chinese. I had to take his papers and condense
them into two pages. I had a tough time because I didn't always understand
his traffic theory. That was a very interesting job because you had to
interface with engineers all over the world to coordinate these papers.