FROM THE BRANCHES
BY BOB HAWRELAK, P.ENG.
Medicine Hat: Lots of Business and Chinooks
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.
Theres 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 branchs 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 Hats 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. DRESs 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.