The following column was written before the CCPE annual meeting. More
information on its various events will follow in next month's PEGG.
BY MARIE LEMAY,
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
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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.
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.
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
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.