Volunteering a Natural Extension Of Gary Faulknerís University
By Tracy Sopkow
If you have suggested candidates for the series, please forward your
ideas to The PEGG.
As a Professor, and Acting Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering
at the University of Alberta, Gary Faulkner, P.Eng., PhD, has a good understanding
of the right combination of education and work experience required to
be a professional engineer. Since 1990, Gary has volunteered on the Board
of Examiners, which considers individuals applying for registration in
the professions. As the current chair of the Board, he is one of 300 APEGGA
volunteers, whose efforts on boards, committees and in other capacities
contribute to the success of the Association.
When and why did you join APEGGA?
I joined APEGGA in April of 1970. As a member of the Faculty of Engineering
at the University of Alberta, I believe that it is important for us to
be associated with the profession which many of our students enter.
Why do you volunteer with APEGGA?
I think that being on the Board of Examiners is a natural extension of
being at the university. The Board of Examiners deals with the qualifications
necessary for people to join the profession. This is similar to what we
do at the university, where we deal with the qualifications people need
to get a degree in engineering. It also gives me a chance to reacquaint
with graduates, as they become registered professional engineers, and
to see what has occurred in their careers in the period between graduation
and receiving their professional designation.
What made you decide to become an engineer, and how did you choose
mechanical as your discipline?
I was always attracted to math and science and enjoyed building and making
things work. Engineering seemed a natural choice. As for choosing mechanical,
some of my friends were entering it, but it also seemed to be the most
comprehensive and general area.
What is the greatest challenge you face as an engineering professor?
I would have to say the greatest challenge is preparing students for
the future. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the challenge
is to offer programs that combine theory and practice, because we are
helping educate people who are going to be in the workforce for many years.
We donít want them to be "trained" for todayís world, but rather
be able to continue their professional development over their entire career.
Is there anyone who has been instrumental in your professional development?
The individual most influential in my development was George Ford, P.Eng.,
PhD. As a former Dean and Department Head at the University of Alberta,
he offered considerable guidance and encouragement.
What do you feel the next hot trend will be in engineering?
I think development in what I would call bio-engineering, is an area
in which we will see considerable growth in the future. As we look to
develop aids to living and better understand biological functions, we
will be attempting to mimic these functions and replace them with engineered
What is your favorite book?
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I play squash and read. Those are probably the only things I have time