Stop Mixing Measurement Systems
Re: Earth's Warmth Tapped to Heat Aquatic Centre,
The PEGG, March 2002
Once again, I read a confused article with mixed units of
measurement. From the article: "72,000 lineal feet of
three-quarter-inch underground piping..."; "at 11
feet, nine feet and seven feet below the surface"; "moderate
at about 7C from about two metres to nearly 300 metres";
"three 30-ton geothermal heat pumps."
First, mixing units in a single story is profoundly sloppy
writing. Second, imperial measurements are utterly archaic
and have absolutely no place in our official organ.
The purpose of this publication is to serve Alberta's engineering
and geoscience communities, and these communities use SI.
We have no need for any imperial measurements, and it is intolerable
that the editorial staff insists on imposing imperial units
on us because they are unwilling to expend a little effort
to provide SI equivalents.
Ignorance of the metric system is pathetic and unacceptable.
Canada switched over to SI in the 1970s. I'm afraid I cannot
accept any argument against switching to SI; The PEGG and
its editorial staff simply must catch up to the rest of the
I am embarrassed to imagine what professionals from other
jurisdictions must think of Alberta's engineers from reading
articles such as this.
Kevin Moorman, P.Eng.
Salmon Arm, B.C.
Note: Mr. Moorman makes a very good point and we'll strive
for more consistency. However, we point out that the mixed
use of imperial and metric systems does not begin with us.
Engineers and the other professionals we rely upon as sources
for our stories do, in fact, use a mix of the two systems.
It's not uncommon at all for a source to speak of acres and
feet, then shift to tonnes and megawatts.
Saskatchewan Reunion Set for September
It's time to celebrate the 90th anniversary and All-Year
Reunion of the College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan
- Sept.12 -15, 2002. We anticipate more than 1,000 guests
from across Canada and the United States, and from as far
as Australia. To date, more than 400 have registered, including
alumni from the class of 1938 on through to the class of 2000.
The jam-packed four-day reunion weekend begins with a shotgun
golf tournament on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the 36-hole championship
level Willows Golf Course. That evening, alumni will register
at a Wine & Cheese Reception at the city's renowned Centennial
Auditorium, where the new Dean of Engineering Dr. Claude Lague,
P.Eng., will greet the guests. University President Peter
MacKinnon will also be at the banquet to bring greetings on
behalf of the University of Saskatchewan.
Friday, Sept. 13, begins with an educational forum on the
future of engineering technology. This activity will be held
on campus at Place Riel Theatre. The panel will include experts
on transportation, engineering design and aerospace. Afternoon
brings the official opening of the new Chemical Engineering
building addition. Alumni will have the opportunity to tour
the new facility and the engineering building, as well as
Canada's only synchrotron facility, the Canadian Light Source,
which is in its final phase of construction. On Friday evening,
alumni are invited to celebrate with their former classmates
at individual class parties to be held at a multitude of venues
across the city!
On Saturday, Sept. 14, alumni are invited to tour variety
of tourist attractions in and around the city. On Saturday
evening an estimated 1,000 alumni and guests will gather for
a banquet and dance at the Centennial Auditorium.
A farewell brunch will be held Sunday, Sept.15, at the downtown
To take advantage of the opportunity to share in the celebrations,
at the College of Engineering's 90th Anniversary and All-Year
Reunion, check our website: http://www.engr.sask.ca/alumni/reunion2002/
University of Saskatchewan
College of Engineering
Re: January 2002 PEGG feature, President's Notebook,
"The Trends of Specialization and Certification".
The current practice of registration in Alberta relies on
the ethics of
the professional. Whether its success is the outcome of mostly
to ethics, or work not being assigned to unqualified practitioners
obvious reasons, could be a matter of debate.
Having specialized in the field of fire protection for more
than 20 years,
I feel qualified to comment on the vagaries occurring in this
sprinkler systems are usually design-build contracts, they
than most other building services. For a typical project,
consultant retained by the Owner, would define the scope of
specify the applicable prescriptive codes and standards. Lacking
necessary expertise, he does not design the sprinkler system.
undertaken by the sprinkler designer/engineer, after the contract
This situation appears to be "open season" for some
Though inept at designing a sprinkler system personally, they
the delusion that stamping someone else's design would not
any ethics. Some contractors seek the services of such engineers,
costs down and reduce what they perceive as unnecessary hassles.
engineers provide a disservice to the industry and profession.
This is not a malaise unique to Alberta, as it has afflicted
North America. The Texas Board of Professional Engineers had
to issue a
policy advisory in June 2001, restricting the design of sprinkler
by engineers, to only those deemed by the Board to be competent
practise in this discipline.
APEGGA, in keeping with its mandate, should identify the problem
provide specific guidelines or impose restrictions as required.
Tony Silva, P.Eng.