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I feel honoured to be nominated for the position of President of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (EGBC) and passionate about the opportunity as it allows me to continue to give back to the profession that has provided me with a tremendously rewarding career over the last 37 years. I believe I am the right candidate for President due to my experience and having the necessary skills for the position.
I have been a registered professional engineer in BC since 1984. I have over 37 years of domestic and international experience having worked and lived in various places in Canada, the USA and Chile. In addition, I have had the opportunity to travel to many other countries for work. I believe my experience in engineering and engineering management, project and construction management, project development, and general management of publicly held companies has equipped me very well with the necessary skills to be president of EGBC.
I was fortunate to be elected to Council in 2017. My experience as a councillor over the past two years has provided me with considerable insight into the day to day operation of EGBC. It also showed me what an excellent job the staff and countless volunteers of EGBC do in providing the services to our members and representing EGBC on the municipal, provincial and national level.
In the past twelve months there has been considerable change as to how the Province of BC will regulate and govern the professions of Engineering and Geoscience going forward. In November 2018, following the Professional Reliance Review, the Provincial Government passed into law the Professional Governance Act (PGA). The PGA consolidates the Government oversight of five Provincial Regulators, of which Engineers and Geoscientists BC are one, under a new Office of the Superintendent of Provincial Regulation (Office). In June of this year Paul Craven was appointed to lead the Office.
Over the next few years the existing Engineers and Geoscientists Act will be replaced with a new Act. The new act may introduce significant change, which I appreciate may be a challenge for some people, but it does provide the opportunity to modernize the act which is something EGBC has wanted to do for some time. Of paramount importance, during the development and implementation of the new Act, is the duty of Council to uphold and protect the public interest regarding the practice of professional engineering and geoscience. During this time, a considerable amount of hard work will be required by the staff of EGBC as the new Act is developed and implemented. A critical part of the work will be ongoing consultation with the Office to ensure the new Act meets the needs of EGBC going forward and ensuring that the protection of public interest is safe guarded at all times.
Corporate Regulation will certainly be a part of the new Act. A tremendous amount of excellent work has been completed over the last three years by the committee that was formed to investigate the proposed path forward for Corporate Regulation. Interestingly, this initiative was kicked off by EGBC prior to the professional reliance review being initiated. The implementation of Corporate Regulation will further enhance EGBC’s ability to project the public interest as it relates to the practice of engineering and geoscience. It will be important to ensure the processes that are put in place for companies and sole practitioners are not overly onerous or costly. As Corporate Regulation is implemented maintaining the existing Organizational Quality Management (OQM) program will be important as it has been instrumental in certifying organizations to date.
Succession planning is an integral part of any business entity to ensure continuity of the operation for any possible eventuality and EGBC is no different. One of the responsibilities of the president of EGBC is to ensure there is a robust and comprehensive succession plan in place for the staff of EGBC.
The coming year, 2020, represents the 100th Anniversary of EGBC. It would truly be an honour to represent EGBC as its president during such a monumental year.
Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School, 2011
B.A.Sc. (Chemical Engineering), University of British Columbia, 1982
Principal, TC Watson Consulting Inc., 2018–present
Senior Vice President, Teck Resources Limited, 2016–2018
Senior Vice President Project Development, Teck Resources Limited, 2007–2016
COO, Power and Process Division, Amec, 2006–2007
Various Senior Management Roles, Amec, 1999–2006
Member of Council, 2017–present
Member, Audit Committee, 2017–present
Member, Governance Committee, 2017–present
Chair, Industrial Advisory Council, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2012–2019
Coach, Vancouver Community Baseball, 2013–2015
Coach, Kerrisdale Little League, 2007–2015
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?
Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia are at a very interesting point in its 100 year history. With the recent creation of the Professional Governance Act and the appointment of Paul Craven to lead the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance a considerable amount of time will be required to develop and implement the new Act. In conjunction with this, it is of paramount importance that a healthy, professional, and mutually respectful relationship based on trust and integrity be developed with the Office of the Superintendent. Developing this relationship will be extremely beneficial in ensuring the new Act meets the needs of EGBC going forward and most importantly that it protects the public interest through the appropriate regulation of engineering and geoscience in BC. Ideally the new Act will recognize EGBC as the single regulator of engineering and geoscience professions in the province of British Columbia.
What are the key issues facing the engineering and/or geoscience professions?
Gender diversity within the engineering and geoscience community continues to be a significant issue. Not only in terms of attracting more women to enter the professions, but it is equally important to ensure women are encouraged to remain in the professions by ensuring equal opportunities exist as well as equal pay for equal work. That is why the 30 by 30 initiative is so important to the future success of the engineering and geoscience professions not only in BC but across Canada.
The disciplines within engineering and geoscience are rapidly evolving with many new engineering programs and degrees being offered at our Canadian Universities and many international universities as well. We must ensure our regulations change in tandem with the new disciplines of engineering being offered to ensure the public interest is being properly safeguarded.
Looking five years ahead, what is your vision for Engineers and Geoscientists BC as a professional regulatory body in BC?
My vision for EGBC five years out is:
- that the new Act and regulatory framework has been fully developed and successfully implemented in a manner that protects the public interest through the effective regulation of engineering and geoscience in BC
- that Corporate Regulation has also been effectively implemented so that it further enhances the protection of the public interest
- that EGBC is the single regulator of the professions of Engineering and Geoscience in BC
- that EGBC is recognized nationally as a progressive regulator of the engineering and geoscience professions
- that on a national level the professions of engineering and geoscience are well on their way to achieving the 30 by 30 goal.
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 my experience in engineering and engineering management, project and construction management, project development, and general management of publicly held companies has equipped me very well with the necessary skills to be president of EGBC.
Over my career I have had the opportunity to lead and participate in the development of a number of multi-billion dollar world class mining projects which requires; strong leadership and communication skills, good financial management skills and a thorough understanding of risk management and risk mitigation. As my career transitioned from engineering and project management to general management, the interface with human resources increased significantly, whether it be discussions about the hiring of new personnel, annual performance reviews, compensation discussions or succession planning activities.
Whether you are working for a mining company, leading a division of a large engineering and construction firm or participating in the leadership of EGBC, the development of a strategic plan that is reviewed and updated annually is a critical requirement for setting both the short and long term direction of an entity.
In the first 20 years of my career I was fortunate enough to participate in 7 different mining projects from detail design through construction and plant start up. On 6 of the 7 projects I was the pre-operational testing or pre-commissioning manager for the engineering and construction company responsible for the project.
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