Councillor Candidate

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B. (Brian) Dick, Eng.L. | Nanaimo, BC

I am motivated to serve on Council to enhance the existing partnership between EGBC and Post-Secondary Institutions (PSIs). Over the last decade of instructing entry-level engineering students, I have emphasized to the students that their entry into this profession is not just a job; beyond technical skill, they must also exhibit good character and adherence to an ethical code of conduct that emphasizes honesty, integrity, and puts concern for the public first. As an educator, I strive to demonstrate these traits each day in order to inspire the students to walk this path.

As an EGBC Council member, I would work closely with educators during this time of change in the engineering education system. As the graduate attributes/program improvement model is applied to the accreditation process, there is an increasing focus on effectively including professionalism, ethics, community, and human interactive skills into the curriculum. This welcomed outcome provides an excellent opportunity for EGBC to take a more prominent role.

I believe in continuously enhancing system equity and access through encouraging diversity and identifying new collaborative models. I have aligned my leadership skill to this principle by leading a team that developed a common, first-year curriculum enabling students to start their engineering studies locally before completing their education at other major schools. Furthermore, I worked with EGBC to model a professional licensing pathway for college instructors to fulfill accreditation needs.

Lastly, I wish to serve on Council because I have benefited from a long-standing partnership with the EGBC Vancouver Island branch, who have given much to my students. I believe in giving back to the Association, its membership, and the profession.

Education

Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering), University of Alberta, 2003
B.A.Sc. (Engineering Science), Simon Fraser University, 1998

Professional History

Professor and Chair, Department of Physics, Engineering, and Astronomy, Vancouver Island University, 2006–present
CEO, Aurora NanoDevices Inc., 2001–present
Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2004–2005

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Activities

Vancouver Island University Liaison, Vancouver Island Branch, 2018–present

Related Professional Activities

Member, BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) Research Committee, 2018–present
Appointee, BCCAT Council, 2017–present
Chair, Engineering Articulation Committee, BCCAT, 2016–present
Senator, Vancouver Island University Senate, 2012–present
Chair, Planning and Priorities, Vancouver Island University Senate, 2013–2016

Community Involvement

Subject Matter Expert, Scientists and Innovators in Schools, 2007–2010

AWARDS AND HONOURS

President’s Community Engagement Award: International Engagement, Vancouver Island University, 2018
Transfer and Articulation Community Leadership Award, BC Council on Admissions and Transfer, 2017

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 association?

I believe the key challenge facing Engineers and Geoscientists of BC over the immediate future is working with government and the new Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance as the regulations implementing the Professional Governance Act framework are defined. Continuing its on-going effort, EGBC will be seeking feedback from, and providing information to, the membership on any possible risk and the impact of these regulations as they evolve. As Councillor, I have a duty to help ensure that the membership feels ownership of the process by keeping them informed and engaged as the new regulations evolve.

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

Self-Regulation and its Education – As the regulations implementing the new Professional Practices Act evolve, educating the public and the profession on the philosophy of self-regulation, both the privileges and the responsibilities need to be continued, and expanded. If elected, I will work through existing post-secondary networks to share best practices on delivering these principles to engineering students within the province.

Improving Diversity and Equality – Engineers Canada has a goal of increasing the representation of women within the engineering field to 30% by 2030, and collaborates with the provincial regulators and other stakeholder groups (e.g. academic institutions, employers) to achieve success. Given the BC registration rate for women of 15.2%, we have considerable work to do with a rapidly shrinking time-horizon: The generation of young girls who would register by 2030 has already started junior high school.  The next Council will have to intensify the work already undertaken to reach its goal. One suggestion is to set SMART goals related to the Guides to Action’s proposed and current activities and report back to Council as a standing agenda item.

Indigenous Engagement – Consistent with its primary duty to serve the public, EGBC must continue its effort to authentically respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) and, specifically, the Calls to Action identified by the Morin report. I believe we need to expand and improve professional practice guidelines, engage and collaborate with indigenous communities, and working closely with post-secondary institutions to integrate appropriate learning outcomes and intercultural competencies within the engineering curriculum.

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

My vision is that EGBC will have a vibrant and strongly engaged membership, which has positively adapted to the changing regulatory environment and improved the public understanding of the regulator’s role in society. Initiatives supporting EGBC’s strategic plan will see success – A steady improvement towards achieving the goals of the 30/30 initiative, through a genuine and authentic engagement with indigenous communities; the availability of effective professional practice guidelines in response to the TRC Calls of Action will be expanded; the public is strongly assured and support of its regulatory practice; and the partnership with post-secondary institutions and the K-12 system is deepened to shape the next generation of engineers and geoscientists.

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.

I believe I have the skills and competencies necessary for Council to achieve its goals and meet its fiduciary responsibilities. I have served as Department Chair and/or the Engineering program coordinator at VIU for over a decade. Over this period, I have led or am leading domestic and international projects related to enhancing the student experience, curriculum development, and access to engineering education. Throughout, I have continuously challenged myself to be an effective communicator for diverse stakeholder groups (including as far away as rural Vietnam and Kenya). I have learned that patience is indeed a virtue, as is maintaining an open-mind and capacity for creative approaches and new learning – a bit of humour does not hurt either! I have consistently striven to engage authentically with these groups, and work towards a collaboratively constructed outcome that is sustainable. As a Council member, I would apply this same approach to achieve the goals identified by the EGBC Strategic Plan.

I bring extensive governance experience to Council as being thrice-elected to the VIU Senate, past-Chair of its Planning and Priorities Sub-committee, and one of the government appointees (PSI representative) to the BC Council on Admission and Transfer. I have learned through observation and participation how to better encourage a positive outcome through inclusive conversation consisting of diverse voices.

If elected, I believe my governance and administrative experience, and collaborative leadership style will assist Council to achieve its goals over my term.

Thank you for your considering my candidancy for Council as your representative.

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