January 2002

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Medicine Hat: Lots of Business and Chinooks Too

Medicine Hat Branch

Boundless horizons, the land of chinooks, and an abundance of oil and gas make the southeast corner of the province attractive to bothentrepreneurs and those seeking retirement.Passing through on the Trans-Canada Highway, visitors often remark that “there is nothing to look at.”

Residents know, however, that the endless horizons, the clear blue skies, and the joy a chinook brings in the dead of winter produces people who can see opportunities in life and business where others see none. Energy is not only present within the ground, but also within the residents of this corner of the province, a situation which leads to major growth within
Medicine Hat and surrounding communities such as Brooks.

The Medicine Hat Branch of APEGGA, which includes Brooks and the surrounding area to the borders of Saskatchewan and the United States, continues to be active in promoting engineering, geology and geophysics within the community and providing opportunities for members to learn, grow, and remain in contact with their association. Wholly supported by branch volunteers, activities which have been carried out in the last six months include three public presentations aimed at children and parents during National Science and Technology Week about bridges, the strength of materials and geometric forms, and electric motors.

There’s also been representation of APEGGA at high school career fairs inboth Medicine Hat and Brooks; numerous presentations about engineering and APEGGA to the first-year engineering students (transfer program) at the Medicine Hat College; several dinner technical presentations for the members about projects occurring within the branch (enhanced oil recovery through solution injection and micropower generation with heat recovery); and, the annual APEGGA/ASET joint golfing tournament and barbecue.

Four or five events have either been scheduled or are being planned for the next six months. Member participation for branch events average between 25 and 35, and the annual golfing event has as many as 45 to 55 members and spouses participating. With a membership base of about 160, 16 to 22 per cent of the members regularly participate in branch activities. The branch executive always likes to see additional members participating and we encourage members and their guests to come out. Watch your mail for the event notices or check the APEGGA website (APEGGA Events Calendar or Medicine Hat Branch events).

With respect to growth and industry within the branch’s coverage area, much is occurring. Electrical cogeneration plants have been or will be installed at Cancarb (producers of high grade carbon black), Canadian Fertilizers Ltd., and the City of Medicine Hat’s new recreation
center (a micro-generation system). Wittke Waste Business and Chinooks Products is continuously expanding to produce hundreds of waste trucks and street sweepers, and many oil and gas service companies and smaller high technology companies are growing and

The explosive growth in Medicine Hat, Brooks, and many of the other smaller
communities provides much business for civil engineering and municipal planning consultants, as well as consultants and contractors involved in commercial developments. Defense Research Establishment Suffield continues its research and development of biological
and biochemical detection and defence systems, as well as mine detection and safe mine
removal. DRES’s neighbor, British Army Training Unit Suffield, continues its growth having just installed a quarter-billion-dollar command amd control system for Area Weapons Effects
Simulation for training of battalion sized mechanized forces using both live & simulated ammunition.

Despite the slowdown in the North American economy, in the southeast corner of the province it is difficult to find a consultant or contractor who can spare the time to work on any new project which must be completed in short order. Finding skilled, competent
workers is difficult.

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