APEGGA Has Come
A Long Way
Re: Membership Reaches 40,000th Mark, The PEGG, November
I was surprised and pleased to see this article and the
picture of President Mike Smyth, P.Eng., welcoming the 40,000th
member into the Association!
The Association has come a long way since I had the privilege
of welcoming the 5,000th member, William R. Davies in 1968(the
Alberta Professional Engineer, November 1968).
I congratulate all those who have worked so hard to make
this happen! These are exciting times for the development
of Alberta and I am glad to see the Association is in the
forefront of this development.
Percy Butler, P.Eng.
APEGGA President, 1968
Electricity Always Comes
At Environmental Cost
Re: New Electrical Source Discovered, The PEGG, November
Congratulations to Drs. Daniel Kwok and Larry Kostiuk, P.Eng.,
on their remarkable electric power generation discovery.
Unfortunately, the article in The PEGG reported the discovery
as being a "non-polluting way of generating electricity."
Oops! Remember, we can't create energy, we can only convert
it from one form to another. The key word appears later in
the article when it talks about the water being "pumped
through tiny microchannels."
Typically, water is pumped by an electrically driven device
powered by fossil-fuel fired – and hence, air polluting – gensets.
Even for a very small, human-powered device, one could argue
that the human body and its energy supply system are polluting
On a related note, there has recently been much incomplete
reporting concerning so-called pollution-free electric and
fuel-cell powered cars. The authors typically fail to address
the question of where the electricity or hydrogen will come
This irresponsible writing has left the general public believing
that they are about to get something for nothing. Not only
has this been prolific in newspapers, it has also been appearing
in technical periodicals.
While this may be uninformed reporting on the part of newspapers,
it must be intentional on the part of technical publications
and as such is unethical and inexcusable.
I don't deny that these cars will provide a benefit. However,
that benefit must be truthfully and clearly presented as
addressing local air quality issues only, while the pollution
problem is moved to someone else's backyard and overall fuel
consumption likely increases to pay for the additional energy
conversion steps involved with the new technologies.
Doug Emberley, P.Eng.
BioSand Filter Is
A Great Story
Re: Teenagers Point Mom Down a New Path, Engineer Now Helps
Clean Up the Developing World’s Water, The PEGG, November
I was pleased to see this Tom Keyser article as I too have
been involved with the Davnor BioSand filter. In 1998 I was
the coordinator of a project, jointly funded by several Rotary
clubs in Calgary and the Wild Rose Foundation of Alberta,
which arranged for the first BioSand filters to be produced
The developer of the BioSand filter, Dr. David Manz, P.Eng.,
the president of Davnor Water Treatment Technologies Ltd.,
traveled to Haiti and spent two weeks training staff at the
Hospital Albert Schweitzer on how to construct the filters.
Since then hundreds of these water filters have been made
available to Haitians by the hospital.
This year I arranged for equipment and supplies for a water
quality testing lab to be sent to the hospital. This was
funded jointly by the Calgary South Rotary Club (my club),
the Rotary Foundation and the Wild Rose Foundation. Davnor
put together all the equipment and arranged for air shipment
I’m also pleased to say that Rotarians in Calgary
funded the introduction of the first BioSand filters in the
Dominican Republic and Dr. Manz was involved in that project
Al King, P.Eng.
Former Councillor and
Executive Committee Member
The University of Calgary is conducting a national survey
as a part of a research project to investigate the design-build
project delivery system. The purpose of this research – being
carried out under the supervision of Dr. George Jergeas,
P.Eng. – is to produce a delivery model that will benefit
all stakeholders by both enhancing the project performance
and improving communication and understanding of this project
We would like to invite APEGGA members to participate in
this exciting and very interesting study. We are seeking
input from practitioners across Canada, owners, contractors,
designers, construction lawyers and other construction professionals,
to form a virtual panel of knowledgeable practitioners in
design-build. We are also looking for people who have no
experience in design-build.
The survey uses the Delphi study and a mini-questionnaire.
Participation will involve completing a three-part Delphi
survey and mini-questionnaire. This task will take about
30 minutes each time (a total of three times, about five
After each round, the aggregate responses of all other participants
will be provided for participants’ review before making
their decisions for the next round.
The survey is done anonymously. The data that will be gathered
through this research will be completely confidential and
highly protected. There will be no reference to names, individual
projects or organizations.
We are communicating with all professional associations for
architects, engineers and contractors to ensure full coverage
of the topic and to get a balanced opinion for the research.
It is important to participate in this survey and express
your views and opinions. Your participation will greatly
benefit the construction industry.
Visit www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=44033285048 to participate.
Please read the consent form, available from me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
before completing the survey.
If you have any questions about the survey or the consent
form, please contact me at (780) 430-7558 or (780) 497-3842,
or send me an e-mail at the address above.
Sami Fahmy, P.Eng.