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
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
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
LRI Tools Wins Major Innovation
AwardLRI 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.