September , 1999

Our Volunteers

Paul Elliott - Inspiring
A New Generation
Through Volunteer Service

The PEGG starts off a new series focusing on some of APEGGA's hard-working volunteers. If you have suggested candidates for the series, please forward your ideas to The PEGG.


Volunteers work hard, often behind the scenes, to help make APEGGA one of the best-run professional associations in the province. Every year, members dedicate their time to the Association - from counting ballots to judging science competitions. Paul Elliott, P.Eng., is one such person. For nearly 20 years, Paul has volunteered his time and service to the Association, serving on the Investigative, Examination and Professional Development committees and the Calgary Branch. Currently, he is involved with the Professional Development Committee, and is an outstanding volunteer with APEGGA's Student Outreach program, where he logs over 70 hours per year presenting engineering and science topics to students.

Paul is a civil and structural engineer with a penchant for fun. He heads his own consulting company, Elliott Engineering Ltd. Born and raised in England, this Beatles fan, received an education at the Nottingham and Norwich District Colleges of Further Education, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.

Why do you volunteer?

I started volunteering with APEGGA almost 20 years ago to network and meet other professionals. Members who were involved with Career Counselling introduced me to the program, now known as Student Outreach. That's how I got involved. After that, I was hooked. Children are far more intelligent than people give them credit for. Teaching them science is very fun and rewarding. I love doing it.

What are your other hobbies and activities?

I am a certified aerobics instructor and teach step-aerobics at the South YMCA in Calgary. I also enjoy skiing and making wine (particularly red Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon), and up until a few years ago, I ice-danced and did gymnastics. Vacationing is another favourite pastime. I also participate in a condominium exchange. This year, I am off to Hawaii!

Have you received an award or special recognition that is important to you?

APEGGA has given me several appreciation awards for volunteering that I treasure. In May of 1980, I was honoured with the Duke of Edinburgh Award for volunteer teaching. It is nice to receive awards, but I like to keep incognito.

Is there a person who has been helpful in your development as a professional?

In 1950, I started a five-year apprenticeship in surveying, design and construction of railway tracks for British Railways and the National Coal Board. This is where I learned what the engineering profession is all about. Since then, I owe my development as a professional to work experience and an inherent understanding of professional responsibility and value.

Can you recall a particularly memorable volunteer experience?

Yes, I have two. I explained to a Grade 5 class about structural failures in engineering and why they happen. One child raised his hand and asked rather bluntly, "Do you carry insurance, and if not, would you like to buy some from my father?" The second experience was at a science challenge hosted by Erin Woods School in Calgary. The elementary students built three four-metre-long bridges - a suspension, truss and girder bridge. I was very proud.

What is your favourite book?

The Biography of John Lennon

What is your favourite movie?

Independence Day because the technology amazed me. Who is your favourite musician and song? The Beatles' Imagine, unquestionably. If people listened to their message and lived it, that would be great.



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