Rawya Selby, P.Eng. likes cheering at son Jesse Selby's hockey
games. Jess is 11 years old.
BY TARA MADDEN
Public Relations Coordinator
An APEGGA member since 1982, Rawya Selby, P.Eng., has been
an active volunteer with the Outreach Program for several
years and currently serves as chair of the Edmonton District
Committee. A dedicated volunteer and community member, Rawya
has an abundance of enthusiasm and a positive outlook, which
rub off on all those around her.
Why and when did you join APEGGA? As an engineer,
how do you contribute to APEGGA?
I joined APEGGA in 1982. APEGGA is an organization that is essential
to engineers, geologists and geophysicists, as well as the public.
The Association needs the involvement of its members to thrive
and meet its objectives. I contribute by being an active member
and by upholding in my work the values that APEGGA stands for.
Why do you volunteer with APEGGA? What value do
you get from being an APEGGA volunteer?
I started volunteering with the APEGGA Outreach Program in 2000
and I joined the Edmonton District Committee in September 2003.
By participating with APEGGA I keep abreast of current issues,
and I learn, and widen my knowledge continuously. I am thankful
to my company, ATCO Gas, for strongly supporting APEGGA and my
I also volunteer on the school council of my son’s school,
which gives me input in school issues and activities.
I volunteer because I am at a stage in my life where I have the
time and experience to give back to the community.
Can you recall a particularly memorable volunteer
I really enjoyed presenting a session at Choices, a conference
for Grade 6 girls offered by WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering,
Science and Technology). I showed the students how to make play
putty, and guided them through a couple of other activities. I
was so delighted to see their excitement and was very happy when
quite a few approached me afterwards to tell me they enjoyed the
What are your hobbies and interests?
There are so many activities in Edmonton to enjoy. I joined a soccer
team and find this hobby to be such a fun time as well as good
exercise. I love horseback riding and gardening. I enjoy reading
a lot, and I belong to a wonderful book club which introduces
me to a wide variety of books and to many interesting discussions.
I also love cheering at my son’s hockey games.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where
would you go?
I love to travel and visit new places. Each is unique in its beauty
and the experience it offers. I was born in Lebanon and lived there
for 18 years. I love its moderate climate, its beautiful sea, the
gentle mountains, and the marvelous architecture. The places that
I long to see the most are in the Mediterranean region. I have
never been to Spain and would love to visit it, especially the
When/what made you decide to be an engineer?
In high school, I discovered a natural affinity for mathematics,
physics and chemistry, and decided to pursue a non-traditional
career that would use this ability. When I registered in engineering
after high school, I had only a hazy concept of the role of engineers.
I learned more about the various disciplines while attending
university. I graduated with a B.Sc. in chemical engineering,
but developed an interest in petroleum engineering and completed
my M.Sc. in petroleum engineering.
Is there a person who has been helpful in your development
as a professional?
While completing my degree in chemical engineering at the University
of Alberta, I took a course in petroleum engineering taught by
Dr. S. M. Farouq Ali, P.Eng. which I enjoyed tremendously. With
Dr. Farouq Ali’s supervision, I completed a master’s
degree in petroleum engineering. Dr. Farouq Ali sparked my interest
in reservoir engineering and in research.
What do you think the next hot trend/subject/discipline
will be in engineering?
I hope that all engineering projects in the various disciplines
will be implemented with the safeguarding of our environment in
mind. I believe that environmental awareness will have a direct
impact on how projects are designed and implemented. As engineers,
we are responsible for our environment and protecting it for future
What is your favourite book?
A book that I revisit often is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, a
book of love, beauty, giving and compassion. I feel in Gibran’s
work the infinite kindness of the world and glimpse the warm
sun, the olive trees, the blue sky, and the terraced orchards
of the Mediterranean.