Terri-Jane Yuzda


APEGGA Councillor Co-Chairs Alberta Economic Development

Ron Triffo, P.Eng.

Prominent Edmonton engineer and business leader Ron Triffo, P.Eng., is the new private-sector co-chair of the Alberta Economic Development Authority. Premier Ralph Klein, the government's co-chair of AEDA, and Economic Development Minister Mark Norris, executive vice-chair, made the announcement in Calgary Nov. 13 at AEDA's semi-annual meeting of its board of management.

"Ron Triffo carries on the tradition of strong leadership at the Alberta Economic Development Authority," said Mr. Norris. "His lifelong contribution to Alberta's business community prepares him well for the economic challenges Alberta faces in the years ahead."

Mr. Triffo, an APEGGA councillor, is chairman of Stantec Inc. He has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba and a master of science in engineering from the University of Illinois. He holds senior committee and board positions with a number of Alberta companies and serves on the boards of several industry associations.

AEDA was created in 1994 to develop economic strategies for the province by building strong links between the business community and the Alberta government.

Royal Society Fellowship Awarded
One of Canada's most prestigious academic societies has inducted Dr. Gerard Lachapelle, P.Eng., as a fellow. Dr. Lachapelle, head of the University of Calgary geomatics engineering department, received his fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada in a Nov. 22 ceremony. Dr. Lachapelle and the other new fellows "have accomplished work of truly outstanding quality," said Dr. Howard Alper, president of the society.

Dr. Lachapelle, the CRC/iCORE Chair in Wireless Location, was awarded the fellowship through his development and dissemination of satellite-based navigation technology in Canada and internationally.

U of C Professor Wins Education Award
Dr. Len Bruton, P.Eng., a past winner of the APEGGA Centennial Award and a past winner of the ASTech Award for Innovation in Science, recently received the 2002 Education Award of the Circuits and Systems Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The international award is designed to honour a person who has made outstanding contributions to education within the society's scope, through such work as the publication of textbooks, research supervision of graduate and undergraduate students, the development of short courses, and participation in adult education.

For contributing scholarly work to the society, Dr. Bruton received its 50th Jubilee Gold Medal in 2000. He currently holds one of the recently created University Professor positions at the University of Calgary. The former APEGGA councillor is also a past vice-president of research at the university.

APEGGA Member Heads New Chair
Dr. Gail Thornton, P.Eng., an expert in biomechanical engineering, is holder of the newly created Research Chair in Interfacial Biomechanics at the University of Alberta. Dr. Thornton will oversee the use of engineering principles to improve facial surgical techniques, someday leading to mechanical eye implants that blink, move in their sockets, restore sight and are virtually indistinguishable from real eyes.

A professor at the University of Alberta, Dr. Thornton received her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the U of A and took her master's at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Moving back to Alberta, she received her PhD from the University of Calgary, specializing in mechanics of orthopedics and attaching tendons to bones. U of A hired her in July for the dual role of teaching mechanical engineering and heading the research chair.

$5,000 Steacie Prizes Awarded
At a November gala dinner at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, two Alberta APEGGA members received their Steacie Fellowships. Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, P.Eng., of the University of Calgary, and Dr. Wolfgang Jaeger, a chemist at of the University of Alberta, received $5,000 cash prizes for their doctoral work over the last year.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council presents the fellowships to outstanding Canadian university scientists or engineers who have earned their doctorate within the last 12 years. NSERC's major award - $250,000 over the next five years - went to Dr. Tito Sciano, a chemist at the University of Ottawa.

LRI Tools Wins Major Innovation Award
LRI Oil Tools Inc. of Edmonton is a leading manufacturer of perforating guns and sub-assemblies for the oil-and-gas completions industry. Responsible for getting the company to the top are the innovative metal cutters and other high-tech machinery in what was originally a contract job shop - albeit the first fully integrated and computerized, advanced materials cutting shop in Western Canada.

The company evolved into a manufacturer, the marketplace took notice, and now so have LRI's peers. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters honoured LRI with the Canadian Innovation Award for New Technology, during the industry association's 2002 annual conference in Vancouver in October. CAE Inc. of Montreal received the award for process efficiency, and ZENON Environmental Inc. of Oakville, Ont., the award for sustainable development.

"The winners of this year's Canadian Innovation Awards showcase the innovative excellence of Canadian industry as a whole," said Perrin Beatty, CEO of the manufacturers and exporters association. "These are truly world-class companies that serve as an example for us all of how to compete and win in the global economy."

Originally named Laser Ray Inc., LRI is the brainchild of Elmer Brooker, P.Eng., and son Ian Brooker. The company came out of extensive research into using laser cutting machines in industry. LRI developed two custom, rotary, industrial laser cutting systems and two spot facing machines, both recognized as the best technology available.

The company has since added specialized tools and doubled its floor space to 24,000 square feet. Staff design-built custom equipment for the new production line. A company-wide survey helped LRI arrive at the most effective layout for the expanded shop. And current production grew to 100 perforating guns a day from 60. Among those involved in LRI's success is Ralph Bonkowski, P.Eng., its vice-president of operations.

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