BY MIKE SMYTH, P.ENG.
is a quality that most of us have a hard time defining but
recognize immediately when we see it. I saw a great example
Neil McCrank, Q.C., P. Eng., chairman of the Alberta Energy
and Utilities Board, is the newest member of APEGGA. Mr. McCrank
walked into the Edmonton APEGGA offices recently, met with
APEGGA Executive Director Neil Windsor, P.Eng., and said,
"I want to be a member, what do I have to do?"
He explained that he has more than 100 APEGGA members working
for him at the EUB, but that some of his staff who could and
should be members had not registered with APEGGA.
Even though it is not strictly required by law, since the
EUB is a provincial government agency, Mr. McCrank wanted
all his staff to be registered if they were eligible. He told
them, "We are a professional organization, let's look
like professionals in all respects." The response he
got was, "If you think it's so important, why aren't
you registered yourself?" Although he has practised law
most of his career, Mr. McCrank first graduated with an engineering
That challenge led to his visit to APEGGA, to his writing
and passing the professional practice exam, and ultimately
to his recent admission to APEGGA. What better way to lead
than by example. Of course, the fact that his son is also
a professional engineer added some additional pressure at
Mr. McCrank is an exceptional leader in other aspects of
his life as well, volunteering in his community, serving on
the board of the Calgary YMCA and Catholic charities, and
currently serving as vice-chairman of the Canadian Energy
At the EUB he has led his team through the recently resolved
"gas over bitumen" issue. This was a tough, complex,
potentially divisive, emotional, and extremely important issue.
Important not just to the oil and gas industry, but even more
so to the owners of the resource, the residents of the Province
There are other examples of corporate executives recognizing
the value and importance of being licensed as well. In recent
years, Eric Newell, P.Eng., of Syncrude, Mike Ashar, P.Eng.,
of Suncor, and Rick Robinson, P.Eng., of Fluor, all successfully
took the necessary steps to become licensed.
This is the kind of senior level leadership that APEGGA really
appreciates, and it is a great example to members and potential
APEGGA congratulates and warmly welcomes its newest member,
Neil McCrank, Q.C., P.Eng.