BY JACOB OOMMACHAN, P. ENG.
The oilsands industry is the main driver of Alberta’s
economy – and of the whole country. About $22 billion
in capital has already been spent in the region on new and
sustaining projects during the 1996-2002 period. A further
$50 billion investment is planned in near future.
As a result, the Fort McMurray area is growing rapidly. APEGGA
members based here play an important role in supporting the
oilsands and the escalating infrastructure requirements of
a growing society.
The current membership indicates that there are over 700
APEGGA members employed in the Fort McMurray area. Our branch
activities are planned to meet the varying needs of our members,
in alignment with the overall goals of APEGGA.
Our annual event planning session focused on three main
To enhance the image of the professions in the community
To promote science and technology in local schools and industries
To provide continuous professional development opportunities
to our members.
To this end, the list of this year’s planned activities
includes participation in local trade shows and joint events
with other professional organizations; and Science Olympics,
Science Festival, Teacher Awards Program, Student Awards
Program, CPD Seminar and M.I.T. Seminar.
As part of the Outreach program, the branch participated
in the Science Olympics and Lego Challenge organized by the
Oil Sands Discovery Centre. Several members volunteered for
these events. This was a great opportunity for the branch
to interact with students from various schools and members
of the community.
The M.I.T. Seminar scheduled for October 2004 is mainly focused
on members in training, new members and those who are in
the process of getting registered. The objective of the seminar
is to create better awareness of the requirement of registration
and to provide insight into the importance of professionalism
In coordination with the APEGGA head office, the branch
participates in the Oil Sands Trade Show held in the city
every year in September. The trade show provides exposure
of APEGGA to all people involved with the oilsands industry.
This is an opportunity to meet with members and non-members,
to answer questions that members may have and to have a face-to-face
APEGGA and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and
Petroleum, Fort McMurray branches, jointly sponsored a students’ night
on May 20 at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. The objective
of this night is to provide an opportunity for university
students in engineering and geosciences to interact with
CIM Distinguished Lecturer Dr. David Wilkinson, presented
on Material Development and the 21st Century Automobile,
which was very interesting and well received. About 25 students
from various disciplines who are working at the oilsands
plants attended the students’ night.
Due to the fast growth of the community and influx of new
members, reaching out and getting the message across to all
members is a continuing challenge. Our local branch executive
is making every effort to meet that challenge head on.