Councillor Candidate

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T.M. (Tomer) Curiel, P.Eng., FEC | Vancouver, BC

We are in the midst of a tremendous opportunity to modernize and transform how we are regulated; how we are regarded by the government, the public, and registrants; and to resolve fundamental questions about how engineers and geoscientists interface with other disciplines.

My interest in Council stems from my desire to support the growth of the professions and the success of its practitioners. I have always maintained a strong connection to EGBC and developed relationships with registrants who became my friends, mentors, and coaches. And after a term on Council, my interest has only been bolstered.

I am a Professional Engineer with 16 years of experience. In my project management career I’ve witnessed the high regard with which engineers and geoscientists are held. We fulfill an important role providing unbiased, thoughtful, and well-rounded counsel on wide ranging fundamental issues.

My career and personal situation afford me the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. I’ve held leadership positions through which I developed strong abilities to cultivate teams, facilitate communication, critically evaluate and achieve consensus on difficult issues. I’ve had the opportunity to work all across the Province and develop an understanding of the unique conditions and needs of each corner – from Dawson Creek to Kitimat to Osoyoos; from Fernie and Nelson to Nanaimo; and everywhere in between. I’ve had the opportunity to work with large and small organizations. I have experience with complicated governance and decision structures, and have contributed towards developing strategic visions and long-term programs. These are all skills that contribute to successful term on Council and serve the needs of the registrants. I am committed to listening to the concerns, learning from the diverse voices, and supporting decisions in the best interest of the public and the professions.

Education

M.A.Sc. (Materials Engineering), UBC, 2006
B.Eng. (Mechanical Engineering), Concordia University, 2002

Professional History

Senior Project Manager, TransLink, 2018–present
Interior BC Lead, Senior Project Manager, Colliers Project Leaders, 2006–2018

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Activities

Member of Council, 2020–present
Member, Standing Awards Advisory Group, 2018–2020
Mentor, Mentoring Program, 2016–present
Member, Building Space Planning Task Force, 2018–2019
Member, Nomination and Election Review Task Force, 2017–2018
Branch Representative Chair, 2014–2016
Member, Nominating Committee, 2013–2014
Member, Building the Engineering and Geoscience Community Team Task Force, 2011–2012
Chair, and other roles, Tri-Cities Branch, 2012–2014
Chair, Treasurer, and other roles, Vancouver Branch, 2008–2012

Awards and Honours

Fellow (FEC), Engineers Canada, 2018

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 the organization?

The key challenge facing EGBC is maintaining relevance within the new regulatory framework established by the Provincial government. As the new Professional Governance Act (PGA) came into force, it imposed significant changes to the way the professions are regulated.This transition required deft handling. Many of the changes that Council has implemented over the last few years to modernize operations and regulatory elements have been seen as “best in class”. They form the basis of a number of the recommendations from the PGA for other regulators that fall under the new act (such the Organizational Quality Management program, enhancement to the Member-In-Training program, and the competency-based framework for registration). This demonstrates that our government regards EGBC as a partner in the process, which has allowed us to influence some of the details of the implementation. This is a privilege that must be treated carefully.

EGBC needs to continue its strong role in protecting of the public, while ensuring it continues to add value to its existing, future, and potential registrants. EGBC also needs to maintain open lines of communication with ASTTBC and other associations, so it can work collaboratively to ensure clear distinctions in roles and responsibilities and develop mechanisms to address future evolution. This will serve to reinforce the P.Eng. and P.Geo. designations as marks of distinction – something to be strived for – encouraging Trainees as well as those in emerging disciplines to register and become proud and active participants in their chosen profession.

What are the key issues facing the engineering and/or geoscience professions?

The key issue facing the professions of engineering and geoscience is ensuring we stay flexible and responsive in our practice. The last few years have taught us that change is inevitable and unexpected. Even prior, we saw an ever-increasing rate of change caused by world events beyond our control, punctuated by less certainty and more unknowns. Change can also be an opportunity for innovation and progress. In my time as an EGBC registrant I have witnessed significant opportunities to enhance the professions including:

  • increasing diversity by actively pursuing policies that encourage women to engage with STEAM topics and practice geoscience and engineering;
  • increasing diversity through integration of foreign trained professionals;
  • broadening our influence through outreach to professionals practicing in evolving areas within existing disciplines, and new emerging disciplines that have increase in importance through innovation, research, and development;
  • leading the development policies and guidelines that recognize our role in climate change and the need to act as stewards of the planet, with an increased emphasis on sustainability and resource management; and
  • enhancing the regulatory environment through continuous improvement of EGBC’s services and its influence on governmental policy.

As professionals it behooves us to remain current through continued professional development, a renewed commitment to the code of ethics, and a focus on improving the world in which we live.

Looking five years ahead, what is your vision for Engineers and Geoscientists BC as a professional regulatory body in BC?

  • Leading the professions by fostering innovative approaches; embracing equity, diversity, and inclusivity; and championing initiatives that enhance livability, well-being, and improves resiliency.
  • Protecting the public as an effective regulator that advocates a risk-based “right touch” approach to oversight;
  • Partnering with the Province and the Superintendent of Professions; and working with associated professions such as architects, building officials, applied science practitioners, biologists, etc.;
  • Providing a value-add to the professionals that it regulates through the provision of tools, support, education, and opportunities; enhancing the level of professionalism to the benefit of the public; and raising the profile of the professions, both locally and globally.

For Council to achieve its goals and meet its fiduciary responsibilities, Council has identified the need for diverse voices on Council, with a blend of the following skills and competences: leadership, financial literacy, risk management, human resources, strategy, regulatory understanding, governance and technical proficiency. Please highlight the areas of strength you bring to the role.

My experience with EGBC and on Council, as well as a Professional Engineer and project management professional have allowed me to develop many of the competencies required to be effective as a Councillor. Foremost being leadership, strategic thinking, and governance, underpinned by effective communication, the ability to distill complex information, and a focus on key objectives. I am confident my experience and these skills have allowed me to work successfully with Council and staff as we meet the current challenges facing society, the organization, and each of us individually as professionals.

Throughout my career I have always sought out roles that challenge and develop. In my role leading Colliers‘ Kelowna office I was directly responsible for managing professional resources and business operations. Through my time at TransLink, I have developed an understanding of policies related to EDI and accessibility. I am responsible for establishing budgets for large scale infrastructure and building projects, developing business cases, and assessing economic impact. Risk management is one of the most important aspects of my work. Risks must be considered holistically, are dynamic, need to be considered through specific frameworks and the lens of existing/developing policies. Risk management then needs to be tailored to meet the organization’s needs and tolerance.

Working in the construction industry has instilled in me technical and regulatory understanding, with a plethora of overlapping jurisdictions and regulations related to procurement, environment, engineering, construction, and operational systems.

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