Disciplinary notice: Johann G. Duerichen, P.Eng., Smithers, BC

Posted on December 23, 2020

The Discipline Committee of Engineers and Geoscientists BC issued an interim order imposing interim practice restrictions on Mr. Duerichen, in advance of a disciplinary hearing scheduled for May, 2021. The inquiry and interim restrictions relate to allegations of unprofessional conduct, incompetence, and violations of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Bylaws.  As a result of the interim order, Mr. Duerichen is restricted from practising geotechnical engineering, electrical engineering, and structural engineering.  Mr. Duerichen can do limited structural engineering work under direct supervision of another engineer. 
 
On December 16, 2020, the Discipline Committee of Engineers and Geoscientists BC issued an interim order imposing practice restrictions on Johann G. Duerichen, P.Eng., pending a disciplinary hearing scheduled for May 11-14, 2021.  The interim order and the hearing relate to engineering services Mr. Duerichen provided for two separate projects: the construction of a residence in Revelstoke (for which Mr. Duerichen took responsibility for the structural, architectural, and geotechnical elements); and the construction of a retail store in the Town of Smithers (for which Mr. Duerichen took responsibility for the structural, geotechnical, and electrical elements).  The allegations in the Notice of Inquiry include unprofessional conduct, incompetence, and violations of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Bylaws, and call into question Mr. Duerichen’s qualifications with respect to structural, geotechnical, and electrical engineering. 
 
The application for the interim order included an expert report on Mr. Duerichen’s work on the Smithers project, and excerpts of the transcripts from interviews between Mr. Duerichen and the Investigation Committee.  Joint submissions from Engineers and Geoscientists BC and Mr. Duerichen proposed restricting Mr. Duerichen’s structural engineering practice, and prohibiting his geotechnical engineering and electrical engineering practice.
 
The Discipline Committee has the authority to issue interim orders if, after an initial assessment of the facts, it determines that there is a risk to the public interest that requires an interim order be imposed.  Mr. Duerichen reserves the right to argue at the disciplinary inquiry that the evidence does not establish the allegations against him as set out in the Notice of Inquiry. 
 
In this case, the Discipline Committee agreed that the proposed restrictions on Mr. Duerichen’s practice are necessary and appropriate, that the allegations are serious, and that the prospect of work being carried out in a way that is not in accordance with applicable engineering standards presents a clear risk to the public. 
 
The interim order restricts Mr. Duerichen from structural engineering work, except buildings whose design and construction is governed by Part 9 of Division B of the British Columbia Building Code. He may also practice structural engineering in relation to components of Part 9 Buildings that must be designed in accordance with Part 4 of Division B of the British Columbia Building Code, provided that his work is directly supervised in accordance with the Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Quality Management Guideline on Direct Supervision, and that the supervising professional assumes full responsibility for his work.
 
The interim order also restricts Mr. Duerichen from signing or sealing any drawings, reports or other documents, and restricts him from practising geotechnical engineering and electrical engineering.
 
The restrictions on Mr. Duerichen’s practice are effective from December 17, 2020, until the inquiry is completed and a decision is rendered, or until a Consent Order is agreed to. 

The full text of the determination can be found in the Disciplinary Notices section of our website, at egbc.ca/Complaints-Discipline/Discipline-Notices.

The Engineers and Geoscientists BC website contains information on the complaint, investigation, and discipline processes. You can contact us at 604.558.6647 or toll-free at 1.888.430.8035 ext. 6647, or by email at [email protected].

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