2021 Award Recipients

President's Award Winners

C. J. Westerman Memorial Award

Ross Beaty

Ross Beaty, P.Geo.

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Throughout his 47-year career as a professional geoscientist, Ross Beaty, P.Geo., has been a leader in the international mining and renewable energy industries, making a significant and lasting impact in BC and around the world. Driven by his passion for people, communities, and nature, he has brought together the worlds of mining and environmentalism to demonstrate that mining and environmental protection are not incompatible.

After graduating from UBC in 1979 with degrees in geology and law, Ross began a geological contracting company, Beaty Geological, which he operated from 1980 through 1987. In 1985, Ross established Equinox Resources, a public exploration and gold mining company. In 1994, Ross sold Equinox and founded Pan American Silver. Based in Vancouver, Pan American is now one of the world’s largest silver mining companies with 10 operating mines in the Americas and over 12,000 employees. Between 1994 and 2017 Ross founded 11 other mineral exploration companies and a renewable energy company that has become one of Canada’s largest independent power producers. In 2018, Ross began Equinox Gold, which now operates eight mines in the Americas with over 6,000 employees.

Through all his endeavours, Ross has been committed to sustainable development and high standards of environmental, social and governance practices. Ross’s professional accomplishments are matched by his philanthropic efforts. In 2007 he established the Sitka Foundation with a mission to protect the environment and promote biodiversity. The Foundation partners with more than 70 Canadian and global environmental organizations focused on land conservation, education, scientific research and public policy in support of protection of the environment.

Ross is a true ambassador for the geoscience profession. His tireless vision, professional service, and philanthropic efforts have touched many in this province and brought incredible benefits to both British Columbia and the world.

R. A. McLachlan Memorial Award

Marg Latham

Marg Latham, P.Eng.

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Marg Latham, P.Eng., was the only woman to graduate in civil engineering from Queen’s University in 1974. Since then, she has continued to be a pioneer and trailblazer.

After graduation, Marg began managing multi-family residential construction projects, the only woman on these sites. In 1984, she joined UMA Group as a construction superintendent on a $50 million global system centre for the Royal Bank and went on to successfully deliver many major projects, including managing the construction of the Mississauga YMCA and the move of seven psychiatric hospitals to the newly built Psychealth Centre in Winnipeg.

In 1997, Marg moved to UMA’s head office, first as director of quality systems, then as vice president of knowledge management—UMA’s first female vice president—and later as vice president at AECOM. In these roles, she led ISO 9001 quality management implementation, industry-leading CADD standards and automation, and a Canada-wide health and safety program.

In 2010, she founded Aqua Libra Consulting focusing on professional practice, quality management and project delivery. In 2011, she was instrumental in helping to develop Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Organizational Quality Management Program. Since then, Marg has assisted over 200 organizations in becoming OQM Certified. She is now helping a number of major organizations assess practice gaps and develop Professional Practice Management Plans to improve professional practice and public safety.

Marg has also been a champion for women in engineering across Canada. She has volunteered with Engineers and Geoscientists BC for many years and served on the Women in Engineering Task Force. She was president of Canadian Construction Women from 2004 to 2006.  In 2012, she became a director, and then chair in 2019, of the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT), leading the organization through the challenges of the pandemic.

Marg Latham is a role model, mentor, and leader whose commitment to project management, professional practice, and diversity and inclusion has made a lasting impact on the professions in BC.

Meritorious Achievement Award

Don Furseth

Don Furseth, P.Eng.

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Don Furseth, P.Eng., is a technology commercialization veteran.  He is a co-founder and director of Ideon Technologies Inc. (formerly CRM GeoTomography Technologies Inc.), a world pioneer in the application of cosmic-ray muon tomography.

Ideon has developed a discovery platform that integrates proprietary detectors, imaging systems, inversion technologies, and artificial intelligence techniques to provide X-ray-like visibility up to one-kilometre beneath the earth’s surface. By detecting subsurface muons and transforming the data into reliable geophysical surveys and 3-D density maps, Ideon helps geologists identify new mineral and metal deposits with precision and confidence. This helps geologists reduce costs and risk, save time, and minimize environmental impact.

Before Ideon, Don leveraged his experience from companies like MDA and Creo Inc. to become the founder and CEO of Acorn Solution Development Services, where he helped BC-based technology companies with multi-disciplinary consumer or industrial products, focusing on clean technology and renewable energy companies.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Don volunteers as a mentor with New Ventures BC, a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship in British Columbia’s technology sector. Since 2008, he has contributed hundreds of hours and worked with more than a dozen BC start-ups, primarily in clean technology and software.

Don is a dedicated professional and a generous mentor, always upholding the principles of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Code of Ethics, and sharing his skills and knowledge without reservation for the public good.

D. C. Lambert Professional Service Award

Dirk Nyland

Dirk Nyland, P.Eng.

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Throughout his career, Dirk Nyland, P.Eng., has had a profound impact on professional engineering practice throughout his volunteer work with Engineers and Geoscientists BC and Engineers Canada. He has been a tireless advocate in promoting engineering best practices and raising awareness about the need to adapt critical transportation infrastructure to the impacts of climate change.

Dirk was an outstanding volunteer with Engineers and Geoscientists BC for 16 years, undertaking registration interviews, performing Online Experience reviews for trainees, and serving on the Advisory Task Force on Corporate Practice. He also devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to Engineers Canada, working on the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEV) and overseeing the development and testing of the PIEVC Protocol for highway infrastructure in BC. Dirk also worked with Engineers Canada to reach out to Northern and Indigenous communities to help raise awareness of climate change adaptation.

Dirk recently retired from his position as Chief Engineer of the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure after a 45-year career in the transportation engineering industry. He has been an outstanding leader and selfless volunteer, dedicating his career to engineering excellence, collaboration, and working to advance climate change adaptation in BC. He continues to make a positive impact in retirement, teaching courses developed by Engineers Canada now offered by the Climate Risk Institute, once again demonstrating his commitment to the safety and wellbeing of the people in British Columbia.

Community Service Award

Wayne Wolverton

Wayne Wolverton, P.Eng.

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Over the past 40 years, Wayne Wolverton, P.Eng., has shared his multi-disciplinary talents in support of the Barnabus Family Ministries and the Camp Homewood Sailing Program.

Located on Keats Island, Barnabus Family Ministries is a Christian family camp and retreat. With no road access to the island, the camp relies on dedicated volunteers to overcome the challenges of its location. Wayne has been an essential supporter of the camp, putting his ingenuity as an industrial electrical engineer to work in search of cost-effective solutions to the many challenges the camp has faced. He has designed, built, upgraded, and repaired electrical equipment, piers, and boats. He was the electrical Engineer of Record for the construction of the camp’s multi-million-dollar main lodge. When preliminary studies showed that construction of a new facility would require a significant electrical upgrade to the property, Wayne volunteered to engineer that as well. He then spent hundreds of hours designing and facilitating a property-wide electrical infrastructure upgrade that not only provided power for the new building, but took into account the needs of the facility decades into the future.

Wayne also volunteers his time with the Camp Homewood Sailing Program, located on Quadra Island. He serves on the Sailing Advisory Committee and is Chair of the Maintenance Committee for Camp Homewood’s sailing camp, which provides weeklong sailing adventures to youth.

In addition to his volunteer service to Barnabus Family Ministries, Wayne has served the engineering profession by providing training, coaching, and mentoring others in his specialized field. His willingness to patiently support other professionals is unmatched, and the high standards he sets for himself encourages others to do the same.

Teaching Award of Excellence

Dr. Stephanie Willerth

Dr. Stephanie Willerth, P.Eng.

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Dr. Stephanie Willerth, P.Eng., joined UVic in 2010 as the school’s first biomedical engineer. In 2012, she developed western Canada’s first biomedical engineering (BME) program, which has been accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board since 2016. The University of Waterloo, McGill University, and UBC have developed undergraduate BME programs based on UVic’s model.

Stephanie has also developed several courses at UVic, including a course on molecular and cellular physiology for engineering, a biomaterials and tissue engineering course, a bioprinting course, and a human factors and usability engineering for medical devices course—the latter of which includes collaboration with biomedical engineering companies.

Since the onset of Covid-19, Stephanie repurposed her lab to work with Vancouver Island Health Authority and with Starfish Medical in the Team Canada initiative with her engineering students to use her lab’s 3-D printers to create medical-grade safety shields and other personal protective equipment critical to Canada’s Covid-19 response.

Stephanie has been recognized by her students and UVic for her creative and engaging teaching methodology. Her leadership is inspiring the next generation of engineers and preparing them to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Young Professional Award

Dr. Connor Langford

Dr. Connor Langford, P.Eng.

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Dr. Connor Langford, P.Eng., is a professional engineer with the Mott MacDonald Tunnels Group in Vancouver. He holds a doctorate in geological engineering with a focus on understanding uncertainty in geological conditions and risk management in underground construction.

Throughout his career, Connor has proven to be a strong project engineer and project manager, which has led him to work on increasingly challenging projects and initiatives. These include Metro Vancouver’s Capilano Main No.5 Stanley Park Water Supply Tunnel, where he was the design coordinator and project manager responsible for overall design and delivery; Coquitlam Intake Tower, as a project engineer for the detailed design of a seismic upgrade to the existing heritage landmark structure; and the Seattle Ship Canal Water Quality Project, as the project engineer responsible for risk management activities.

Connor actively and widely shares his knowledge and experience. He has been a member of Mott MacDonald’s Early Career Professional committee, a member of the Board of Directors with the Tunnelling Association of Canada, a volunteer guest lecturer at UBC, a volunteer with Science World’s Scientists and Innovators in Schools program, an undergraduate mentor, and co-author of several journal and conference papers about risk and reliability in underground design and construction.

Connor’s passion and dedication to engineering, combined with his growing portfolio of accomplishments and willingness to give his time, energy, and skills to the engineering community, will see him emerge as a great leader and a true ambassador for the profession.

Environmental Award

Kemess Selen IX Plant

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The Kemess Selen-IX Plant is the first industrial-scale water treatment plant in the world to utilize the Selen-IX process technology to remove the selenate form of selenium from mine influenced waters. Developed by BQE Water, Selen-IX employs a physicochemical instead of biological method of treatment to address the growing environmental issue related to selenium toxicity, bioaccumulation, and its associated long-term environmental impacts. This is the first treatment plant to comply with an end-of-pipe selenium discharge limit without dilution, has zero risks of transforming selenium in the feed to highly bioaccumulative organoselenium in the treated water, and produces an inorganic stable selenium residue.

Sustainability Award

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The Wilden Living Lab (WLL) is a pioneering research initiative for sustainable homebuilding supported by NSERC and Mitacs. The WLL investigates how innovative materials and technologies can address energy-performance-based code requirements, such as the BC Energy Step Code, for new building construction. Currently in its second phase, WLL is developing a decision-making support framework and tools that integrate the requirements of the step code to assist builders and other stakeholders in constructing and maintaining economically feasible low-energy homes in the Okanagan and around the world.  The project is led by Dr. Shahria Alam, P.Eng., the Director of UBC’s Green Construction Research and Training Centre, in collaboration with Blenk Development Corp, FortisBC, AuthenTech Homes, and Okanagan College.

Mentor of the Year Award

Dr. Hamid GhanbariDr. Hamid Ghanbari, P.Eng., is helping shape the next generation of engineers. Through Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Mentoring Program, he empowers his mentees to pursue their goals, provides them with guidance and advice, and connects them with industry contacts. Hamid is known for tailoring his communications style to meet the needs of his mentees, always making himself available for a quick phone call or a meeting. He is a strong advocate for skill development and growth, proactively sharing industry news, extending invites to attend community events or group meetings, and reminding his mentees of their commitments under the Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Code of Ethics.

Outside his professional work, Hamid believes in community engagement and in contributing his diverse technical knowledge for the betterment of the community. Since 2006, he has been active on several committees, boards, and councils in various professional, governmental, and community organizations in BC. He has also participated on numerous Engineers and Geoscientists BC volunteer groups, including as the Chair, Vice Chair, and executive member of the Richmond/Delta Branch. He is a true advocate of giving back to the community.

Forest Engineering Award of Excellence

Lee Deslauriers

Lee Deslauriers, P.Eng., RPF, Principal and Managing Engineer of StoneCroft Engineering, has over 25 years of experience working in the natural resource sector. His expertise involves the design and construction of resource sector infrastructure as well as development projects for First Nations, parks and recreation, mining, wind and hydropower, and pipelines. Lee’s work consistently demonstrates his commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and practical solutions for his clients.

In addition to his professional work, Lee is a volunteer with Engineers and Geoscientists BC in the Resource Sector Division, the Joint Practice Board as a board member, and has co-authored several technical papers and professional practice guidelines. He brings high standards of personal and professional integrity to every project and is generous with his knowledge. The Forest Engineering Award of Excellence is a joint award with the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals.