Engineer Recognized for Building U of C’s Female Engineering Staff Complement

From left: Gordon Sterling, P.Eng., CCPE Past-President; Janet Ronsky, PhD, P.Eng., co-winner of the Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession; Chantal Guay, ing., CCPE Board of Directors; and Marie Lemay, P.Eng., CEO of CCPE.

A University of Calgary staff member can count herself among a select group of Canada’s top engineers, honoured at the 2004 Canadian Engineers’ Awards gala, May 15 in Charlottetown. Janet Ronsky, PhD, P.Eng., of the Faculty of Engineering is one of two recipients this year of the Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession.

Presented annually since 1972, the Canadian Engineers’ Awards recognize outstanding engineering excellence and achievement. This year’s award recipients include seven remarkable professional engineers who have devised innovative engineering solutions; a highly motivated engineering student who has contributed to humanitarian efforts; and an engineering project which has improved the quality of life in a major Canadian city.

“I am extremely pleased to honour the 2004 award recipients,” says Marie Lemay, P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer of CCPE. “These individuals have truly raised the bar of engineering excellence in Canada. Their outstanding contributions have had a positive impact on the community, the environment, and the overall safety and well-being of Canadians.”

The profession’s highest tribute — the Gold Medal Award – went to Arthur B. Johns, P.Eng. Currently chairman of the board of directors for Morrison Hershfield, a multidisciplinary engineering and management firm, Mr. Johns is a visionary leader and dedicated professional. He has consistently applied foresight and innovation to solve complex structural engineering problems.

Alain Saladzius, ing., received the Meritorious Service Award for Community Service, for exhibiting exceptional concern for his community and the environment. Founder of the highly successful Adopt-a-River program, Mr. Saladzius was instrumental in persuading the Quebec government to abandon the construction of 33 hydroelectric dams that could have had a harmful effect on the environment.

The National Award for Engineering Achievement, which recognizes outstanding engineering work, went to the Millennium Line SkyTrain Expansion Project. This project saw the addition of 49 kilometres of track to the SkyTrain, Vancouver’s light rail transit system. The SkyTrain is now the longest fully automated transit system in the world.

Andrea Lee, an engineering student at the University of Toronto, received the Gold Medal Student Award. She has devoted much of her spare time to RedR Canada, a humanitarian organization that works to reduce suffering by providing engineering expertise abroad.

Through the organization, she brought her technical skills to a mission in Zimbabwe. She is the youngest and only undergraduate member of RedR Canada.

The Meritorious Service Award for Professional Service will be presented to Dr. Gilles Y. Delisle, ing., P.Eng. Respected around the world, Dr. Delisle has been asked by the United Nations to apply his engineering expertise to assist 15 developing countries. He has also directed sensitive negotiations with Costa Rica and Chile, and contributed to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Delisle is currently the director of the School of Information Technology and Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

The Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession went to two recipients -- Janet L. Ronsky, PhD, P.Eng., and Márta Ecsedi, P.Eng.

Thanks to Janet Ronsky’s efforts, the University of Calgary has one of the largest complements of female engineering faculty members in Canada. Dr. Ronsky also organized the annual Women in Engineering Day and volunteers for several women-in-engineering initiatives.

The second award winner, Márta Ecsedi, was the first female president of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Society, and the first chair of Professional Engineers Ontario’s Women in Engineering Advisory Committee. She is currently the director of alumni relations and adviser to the dean on women’s issues for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Helmut G. L. Prion, PhD, P.Eng. received the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education for superior teaching at the University of British Columbia. He has developed several graduate courses, has been awarded numerous teaching prizes, and was named the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada associate chair in design engineering for his outstanding individual contributions to education.

Jeannette Montufar, P.Eng., received the Young Engineer Achievement Award for her significant contribution to many high profile transportation engineering projects, including the development of Manitoba’s Intelligent Transportation System strategic plan, and a study on roadway safety benchmarks over time, used by the federal government to improve road safety in Canada.

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