June 2001

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Celebrating Awards,
Communicating Excellence

Editor's Note: The following column was written before the CCPE annual meeting. More information on its various events will follow in next month's PEGG.

CCPE Chief Executive Officer

Like spring in many parts of Canada, the 2001 Canadian Engineers' Awards seems to have taken a long time to arrive - at least for me. It's probably because this will be my first time participating in the awards presentation ceremonies and annual meeting of CCPE as its chief executive officer.

Part of my impatience stems from a desire to celebrate the achievements of Canada's engineers with my peers, to meet this year's award recipients, and share the moment with them. All seven have made significant contributions to Canada's engineering excellence and our profession.

This year will also mark the inaugural presentation of our new Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession. It recognizes engineers who, through their actions and engineering excellence, have opened the doors for women to enter our profession The award reflects the beliefs expressed in CCPE's new Policy on Women in Engineering, namely: "Diversity through the incorporation of women in the engineering profession, which is reflective of Canadian society, enhances our profession and society at large."

Tell Us More
The key to the success of any awards program, including the Canadian Engineers' Awards, is identifying deserving recipients. There are many exceptional engineers and engineering projects in Canada that are never brought to the attention of CCPE's Awards Committee.
If you know of worthy engineers or engineering projects, I encourage you to forward their names to your provincial or territorial engineering association/ordre. Only people in the field know what's happening in the field.

CCPE's annual meeting will also see our board of directors deliberate on a number of key issues, including the engineering profession's future relevance and the adoption of a national government relations position statement on water quality. I am looking forward to the Board's discussions, which bode well for the future of our profession.

Relevance Report
In March, CCPE's Board of Directors received a report on the relevance issue, which contained a series of recommendations to help engineering build on and enhance its relevance as a profession. This report is now being reviewed by CCPE's member associations and will be considered for approval by the board at the annual meeting.
Much of the impetus for the report grew out of the findings of the National Survey of the Engineering Profession in 1997 and CCPE's ongoing Engineering Work in Canada research project.

EWIC is investigating the nature of engineering work in Canada, as well as the skills employers want engineers to possess in the future. It suggests that teaching non-technical skills to engineering graduates during their internship would enhance the value of the P.Eng. licence for both employers and engineering graduates.

The report also suggests that this would encourage engineering graduates and employers to view internship as an important and valuable component in the formation of a professional engineer, and increase the value of the P.Eng. licence.

As a profession, we continue to build closer ties with industry. In partnership with the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, CCPE will host the Western Regional Industry Forum 2002 in Calgary next January. It will be an opportunity for us to learn more about the continuing professional development needs of industry.

The relevance report recommends going one step further, by establishing sector-based industry liaison councils. It is hoped that the permanent links provided through the councils would increase industry awareness of the value of licensure, help the profession to strengthen its internship programs, and allow us to better respond to industry needs.

We also continue our efforts to increase public understanding of the crucial roles engineers and engineering play in enhancing the health, quality of life and safety of Canadians. Working with the associations/ordre, our objective is renewed support for and recognition of the P.Eng. licence.

Communications Efforts
The goal of our 2001 communications campaign is to position engineering as the profession that "more than any other, is dedicated to protecting and advancing the social good across the full range of sciences and engineering" so that Canadians ultimately equate the P.Eng. licence with engineering excellence.

Our efforts are ongoing. But perhaps the most crucial step in communicating the value of our profession rests with each of us. The annual Canadian Engineers' Awards recognize outstanding engineers, but that recognition needs to extend beyond the 250 engineers who will be on hand in St. Andrews, N.B., for the presentation ceremonies.

The best way to ensure the future relevance of our profession is to show Canadians throughout the year how proud we are to be professional engineers.



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