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Dennis Brooks Still A Volunteer After 30 Years
By Tracey Horne-Pettipas
Have you ever wondered who serves on the Board of Examiners
to determine whether or not you receive your professional status? Or,
who develops the questions on the professional practice exam? Dennis Brooks,
P.Eng., P.Geoph., is one APEGGA volunteer who has served both and almost
every other APEGGA committee at some point during the last 30 years. He
recently finished a 13-year commitment on the Board of Examiners, with
nine of those also spent on the Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board.
Add working at TELUS for 33 years to the mix and you have one busy guy.
Now retired, Dennis still remains very active with APEGGA. He is currently
a director of The APEGGA Education Foundation and is chair of Camp #6
of the Corporation of Seven Wardens in Edmonton.
Why did you join APEGGA?
In 1960, I became qualified as a Professional Geophysicist because I
felt it was important to be qualified and to be recognized as a professional.
I soon decided to make a career change from an exploration geophysicist
to a telecommunications engineer. In 1964, I received my professional
status as an engineer from APEGGA. Joining APEGGA allowed others to know
that I was properly qualified and because AGT (now TELUS) gave recognition
to engineers in the company who had professional status.
Why do you volunteer with APEGGA?
Well, I was asked and I was interested in being part of my professional
association. It was also a way to have a voice within the association.
What value do you get from being an APEGGA volunteer?
The value I get is learning from other member volunteers. Being part
of a committee comprised of other geoscientists and engineers, Iíve realized
that you can argue issues all day long in a meeting but at the end of
the day when all is said and done, you walk out of that meeting still
Can you recall a particularly memorable volunteer experience?
After being on Council, I moved on to the Board of Examiners and was
appointed to the Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board. I was then
asked to sit on the Mobility Committee. The memorable experience was being
part of a group who helped formulate the mobility agreement between the
provincial associations. This agreement allows engineers, registered with
an association, to move freely within associations across Canada and more
recently now in the U.S., England, Ireland, Australia and Hong Kong.
Have you received an award or special recognition that is important
In terms of rewards, my reward is working with the people I have had
the honour to work with and accomplishing goals for the professions and
the people in it.
Is there a person who has or had been helpful in your development
as a professional?
There are several people who have been helpful and have provided me with
invaluable experience. Tom Chambers, comes to mind. He was the chair of
the first committee I was on. His ability to get the committee to focus
on issues instead of allowing the discussions to continue inspired me
to become chair of the committee and later join Council.
Frank Spragins was another person whose ability to cut to the heart of
the matter. Observing him was also a great learning experience for me.
What are your other hobbies and activities?
I enjoy playing the piano, watercolour painting, camping and hiking,
downhill and cross-country skiing. I recently took up the violin for about
three months and played a duet with my granddaughter, but that was the
end of my violin career. Iíve also taken up photography and only a month
ago photographed the northern lights in Yellowknife.
Who is the one person in the world you admire the most?
Iíd have to say my mother and father. They led not a simple or easy life,
but a decent one. It was enjoyable growing up.
What is your favorite movie?
The one movie that had the greatest impact was Schindlerís List. I also
enjoyed Amadeus and more recently Shakespeare in Love.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My wife and I have had the opportunity to do a lot of travelling extensively
the last few years so Iíve been able to visit those places that Iíve always
wanted to see.
The place that has remained the biggest eye-opener is South Africa. To
see the many changes that have taken place and how the human spirit continues
to thrive is quite moving.
The travel bug has also taken us to China, Japan and throughout Europe.