Apegga1c.gif (2007 bytes) The PEGG
May, 1999
Page 7 Darrel Danyluk’s Travels Bring
Him APEGGA’s Presidency

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ou might say that Darrel Danyluk’s career ambitions took off from the runway at Gimli, Manitoba, formerly a Canadian Forces base.

Growing up as one of five children of a school principal in the community on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, he saw many friends depart with their families for what seemed exotic destinations.

The newly installed APEGGA President admits: "One of the reasons I sought a career in consulting was so that I could travel. I got the travel bug from watching all the air force families being transferred around the world."

The interest in engineering came from a family friend who was an aeronautical engineer. It seemed a good career choice for a young man with a disposition toward math, physics and chemistry.

During his summers, he worked in the Arctic and on the massive Kettle Rapids hydro electric project near Gillam in northern Manitoba.

A career which stretches back to 1972 with the consulting firm of Reid Crowther & Partners


Ltd., indeed has afforded the University of Manitoba civil engineering graduate with the chance to travel. It also has provided challenging professional engineering opportunities within a firm which, over the intervening years, has seen staff expand to 650 from 100, as it stretched out from its Canadian base to the point where it now has five foreign offices, in China, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Barbados, and Lagos, Nigeria.

In a way, Mr. Danyluk’s career is a testament to the power of the Yellow Pages. Following graduation in 1972, he worked briefly with the federal government before he "let his fingers do some walking", found consulting engineers in the phone listing, and then headed for Reid Crowther’s offices in Winnipeg. Shortly after, he was hired and remained with the Winnipeg office for four years until transferred to Red Deer in 1976. There, he opened a one-person Reid Crowther office, which had a 25-member staff by the time he moved to Edmonton in 1983 to become departmental manager of municipal engineering.

Active in Red Deer

Mr. Danyluk became involved in the APEGGA’s Red Deer (now Central Alberta) Branch, taking on almost every position, including chairing the branch executive. During this time, he helped tee off the annual APEGGA Golf-Eng Tournament, the 22nd version of which is scheduled for the Red Deer Golf and Country Club this August. Before leaving Red Deer, he had been elected to APEGGA Council, serving as a Councillor from 1981 to 1984. Special APEGGA assignments included the Task Force on Brookes Law–legislation which requires federal engineering contracts in the United States to be gauged on the basis of quality rather than price. Collectively, the task force, concluded that Alberta did not need similar legislation. Mr. Danyluk didn’t share that view and time hasn’t changed his opinion.

"You can say that always getting the cheapest price is in the public’s best interest... There are areas where the financial implications carry weight and should carry weight, but they should not carry maximum weight in all circumstances. These financial implications should include life-cycle costing, not cheapest design cost, per hour or otherwise."

Within his firm, additional promotions had Mr. Danyluk first serving as regional manager for Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories, before moving to Calgary in 1989 to take on a similar post for southern Alberta. His responsibilities broadened further with the 1995 appointment to vice president and in 1998 to chief operating officer.

The APEGGA President has been an active contributor within the consulting sector, serving as president of the Consulting Engineers of Alberta (CEA) in 1991. During his CEA presidency, he joined then APEGGA president Noel Cleland, P.Eng., in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with APEGGA. The MOU delineates the two associations’ areas of activity, with APEGGA’s areas of responsibility including registration, licensing, discipline, and Permits to Practice, while CEA will focus its attention to the business aspects of engineering.

ACEC Director

In 1992, Mr. Danyluk became a director and the next year joined the executive committee of


the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada. He was given the considerable task of chairing a major study, From Potential to Prosperity; Human Resources in the Canadian Consulting Engineering Industry. The impact of the 1995 study, jointly sponsored by ACEC and the federal government (Human Resources Development Canada), still is being felt within the consulting sector, educational and professional sectors.

There continued to be time to serve on a number of other industry bodies, including sitting as a member and then co-chairing the Alberta Building Standards Council (1984-1992)and chairing the Alberta Conference Society (ACS). The latter holds an annual conference with equal representation of the private, public and labour sectors, to discuss topics of interest from their respective points of view. These discussions are in an informal off-the-record atmosphere and topics have included the environment, free trade and other issues.

Enjoys Coaching

Sports continue to be a part of the life of the one-time oarsman with the Winnipeg Rowing Club. He finds a welcome break from his other activities by playing golf and through coaching basketball, baseball and hockey. It provides a chance to spend time with his family. Darrel and Bonnie Danyluk have three children: daughter Michelle, 21, is studying microbiology at the University of Alberta; son Mark , 19, is studying at the University of Calgary and looking toward a future in geology; and Robert, 17, is a Grade 11 student.

"It’s hard to get people to coach and I enjoy working with the boys. A good release from work. I try to spend as much time as I can with them."

Darrel Danyluk’s past and current duties with Reid Crowther have given him an opportunity to travel at home and abroad on business. It’s meant spending more than a few hours in airport lounges and office ante-rooms. For a trained engineering eye, even those seemingly idle moments have not been "empty" of opportunity.

"I, like probably most engineers, look at the world a little bit differently than the mass populous. I look at a roadway I see the utility piping underneath its pavement structure. I see the volumes of traffic the road can carry. I am surrounded by the profession regardless of where I go: whether it’s an airport, whether it’s an office building looking at the lights and being able to trace all the way back through the transformers to the generating plant and to the coal mines and the equipment being used for the coal mines. I see engineering everywhere I go and I get a great deal of satisfaction out of that."

Retracing steps also provides satisfaction. Returning to project sites in Manitoba, in Red Deer or elsewhere: "I see the results of my work really improving the quality of life for people and I get satisfaction out of that."

But the work of others also yields contentment.

"Whenever an engineering project gets an accolade I feel good being associated with that profession. Engineering turns me on. And I see it everywhere. I don’t have to be solving the problem—but I know that I understand the process. I know the effort that goes into it and I know the satisfaction the design team got out of doing it. In Alberta, the knowledge and skills are world-class. That’s why I wanted to be President of APEGGA—to be part of that." 

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