K.V. (Katherina) Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., FEC | Victoria, BC
This candidate has been nominated by the Nominating Committee.
I am deeply honoured to be selected by the Nominating Committee as their 2018-2019 Presidential Candidate. Over the last five years on Council and several Association committees, I acquired an intimate working knowledge of our organization’s operations and finances, and the complexities of managing our dual responsibility as regulator and member advocate. As President, I will continue to share this knowledge with you through clear, open and transparent communication.
Professional regulation requires significant resources to verify the appropriate knowledge, abilities, expertise and ethics of new, current and returning members who practice engineering and geoscience. We keep fees as low as they are in part thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer service given by members on more than 50 committees across the province. I intend to ensure the Association continues to be fiscally viable and prudent.
Some of the advancements we made during my tenure on Council include
- developing fairness policies and guidelines in support of all members, especially regarding diversity and learning;
- enhancing the recognition of technologists and other qualified members of the engineering and geoscience team as students and as Licensees with independent practice scopes;
- enhancing existing positive relationships with government representatives regarding engaging with the Association in all matters pertaining to engineering and geoscience;
- expanding consultation practices on major issues;
- highlighting ways that advocacy for the professions supports public interest;
- expanding the network of 30 by 30 Champions in support of the recruitment and retention of women in engineering (please see my website for more information on this Engineers Canada initiative);
- educating and building relationships with the people of British Columbia through outreach.
The Association has one primary duty: to protect the public interest by regulating engineering and geoscience. We also have an objective to enhance the professions through member services. These roles are interwoven because the benefits that members receive through these services directly enhance public safety. For example, the Mentoring Program provides members with one-on-one support and guidance from peers to improve the technical and soft skills of professional practice. Another example is the competency-based assessment system, developed to make the registration process smoother for applicants, staff and volunteers on the Registration Committee and the Fairness Panel; this system is now nationally-recognized for its ability to provide a more objective analysis of each applicant’s experience. In the same way, the Organizational Quality Management (OQM) program is in demand as a value-added vehicle for certifying organizations. It is very important that these opportunities, member initiatives developed by staff, continue to be fostered at the Association.
We remain in a critical period. With the challenges some Canadian professional regulators have experienced in the last few years, our government is concerned that public interest may be jeopardized when regulators conduct activities that serve members. The Professional Reliance Review Report, available on the Engineers and Geoscientists BC website alongside our response, seems to echo this concern. Now is the time for strong leadership to promote the legitimate advantages inherent in the duty and objects of the Association: our member activities enhance our regulatory role as responsible public stewards who value the safety of our communities.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via my website.
Doctor of Social Sciences (Interdisciplinary), Royal Roads University, 2018
MBA (General), University of Phoenix, 2007
B.A.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering), University of British Columbia, 1987
President, The Lokhorst Group Ventures, Inc., 2008–present
Instructor, Mechanical Engineering, Camosun College, 1994–1996, 2001–present
Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UBC, 2016–present
Mechanical Engineer, Boeing Canada, de Havilland Division, 1988–1991
Engineers and Geoscientists BC Activities
Member, Executive Committee, 2016–present
Member, ASTTBC/APEGBC Joint Board, 2015–present
Member, Mentoring Committee, 2014–present
Member of Council, 2013–present (Vice President, 2017–2018)
Director, Engineers and Geoscientists BC Foundation, 2015–2017 (Chair, 2016–2017)
Member, Registration Committee, 2015–2016
Member, Audit Committee, 2013–2015
Member, Governance Committee, 2013–2015
Outreach Activities Volunteer, Victoria Branch, 2008–2014 (Outreach Coordinator, 2012–2014)
Related Professional Activities
Member, Education Council, Camosun College, 2008–2013
Chair, Education Council, Camosun College, 2009–2011
Member, Camosun College Board of Governors, 2009–2011
Chair, Academic Governance Council of British Columbia, 2010
Member, Victoria Alumni Leadership Council, UBC, 2017–present
Director, CCA Board, University of Victoria & Camosun College, 2015–present
Healthy Minds Ambassador, Camosun College, 2012–present
Peer Coach, Camosun College, 2011–present
United Way Campaign Co-Chair, Camosun College, 2014–2015
Awards and Honours
Fellow (FEC), Engineers Canada, 2015
Engineers Canada-TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Scholarship, 2015
WEB LINK: www.kathylokhorst.com
Q&A with Candidates
Engineers and Geoscientists BC is the regulatory authority charged with protecting the public interest with respect to the practice of engineering and geoscience in the province of BC. What is the key challenge facing Engineers and Geoscientists BC?
As a regulatory authority, the key challenge Engineers and Geoscientists BC continues to face is the risk of losing the privilege of self-regulation. Many British Columbians, members and non-members, do not have a clear understanding of what self-regulation means. Over the last year, as Vice President, I toured the province, visiting branches and providing some education regarding self-regulation, its benefits and how Council must respond within the current legislative landscape. It is only through education that our members and the general public can best understand the challenges, benefits and requirements of a self-regulated profession. It is only by supporting self-regulation that we will have the privilege of keeping it.
Self-regulation is not only the handing out of licenses to qualified applicants. Self-regulation engages professionals in regulatory processes, such as defining the roles and responsibilities of registered members, imperative for us in this Association where we have great diversity in our disciplinary knowledge and expertise. Self-regulation allows professionals to effectively respond to our changing world and to ensure the safety of the increasing expanse of technology that we develop. Self-regulation enables members to guide the public in determining when professionals should be consulted and whether they are members in good standing, legally permitted to fulfill these duties.
What are the key issues facing the engineering and/or geoscience professions?
Beyond self-regulation, two of the key issues that continue to face our professions are expanding the library of practice disciplines and enhancing fairness, equity, diversity and inclusion in our professions.
Disciplines of Practice
Engineering and geoscience are expanding professions, with new disciplines identified at a rapid pace. Several times in the last year, members have approached me about defining emerging and existing disciplines. For example, a need exists to better define the situations and practices in which professional regulation is required within computer science as software engineering. Integrated engineering has also become an increasingly popular discipline and requires formal definition for the protection of the public. Documenting newer disciplines is necessary for two reasons: to educate non-engineers and non-geoscientists about which professional is qualified to conduct the work required; and to ensure public safety by regulating the unregulated.
Fairness, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Recent surveys continue to highlight the disparity between the salaries of men and women in our professions. This is one of the inequitable areas that persist in spite of members’ efforts to rectify it. Although British Columbia contains one of the most inclusive societies in the world, we continue to exhibit the unintended consequences of implicit biases based on gender, age, body shape and race, to name a few. We should assess our salary and compensation data (anonymized, of course!) to determine the areas in which we require additional practice guidelines to help us become more inclusive.
Looking five years ahead, what is your vision for Engineers and Geoscientists BC as a professional regulatory body in BC?
I continue to see Engineers and Geoscientists BC hold our place as a preeminent professional regulatory body in British Columbia, recognized across Canada and around the world as the leader in protecting the public interest by effectively regulating professional practice and enhancing the reputation of our professions. It will be British Columbian engineers and geoscientists who will be instrumental in elevating our technological reach and societal influence to make this world a better place.