February 2002

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The Hand of the Unseen Professional

APEGGA President

Just for a moment, stop what you are doing and take time to look around you. Look around! Look to see if you can find something that has not been influenced in some way by our professions.

Look carefully. For most of us, it is almost impossible to find anything in our environment that engineers, geologists or geoscientists have not been a part of.

Now pretend you are Joe Public. Look around that same room. Will Joe realize, as you did, that our professions influence almost everything he sees or uses in some way?

Now think about our impact on Joe. When Joe drives across a bridge, drinks a glass of water, relies on a fire alarm system,, or does almost anything, how does he know it is safe or if it will work? He will probably never meet the professional who designed that bridge, or that water treatment plant, or the fire protection system, or the thousands of other things that have significant impact in his life daily. He, himself, is not qualified to judge the adequacy of the design. Yet he calmly crosses that bridge, every day, without any concerns.

Joe's Strangers
Joe will select his own dentist, or doctor, or lawyer. In all likelihood, Joe and Joe alone will be the one who is impacted by his choice. Yet, he takes for granted hundreds of things every day that have a major impact on him. Things planned and designed by "strangers" who he will never meet. Things that could cost him economically or physically if they don't work properly.

These strangers are our APEGGA members. It is APEGGA that ensures that Joe's strangers are qualified by virtue of their training and experience, and are bound by a code of ethics; that they are competent and only perform work in areas of expertise; whose guiding principle is protection of the public. And you don't often read about failures, do you?

Is APEGGA relevant? Look around!


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