Sustainability in Engineering and Geoscience

Date Recorded: February 22, 2016

Engineers and Geoscientists have often stated that they would like to apply the concept of sustainability to their practice, but they're not sure how. This broad concept was discussed at this panel discussion featuring panelists John Clague, P.Geo., PhD, Karen Storry, P.Eng., Mark Porter, P.Eng., Struct. Eng., FIStructE, and Nelson Lee, P.Eng. The Panel was moderated by Terry Molstad, P.Eng., a retired Structural Engineer from BC Hydro who was also the past Chair of the Sustainability Committee. In this recorded panel discussion the panelists shared their perspectives on sustainability as applied to their professional practice.


John Clague, P.Geo., PhD

John Clague is Shrum Professor of Science at Simon Fraser University. He was educated at Occidental College (BA, 1967), the University of California Berkeley (MA, 1969), and the University of British Columbia (PhD, 1973).

Clague worked as a Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada from 1975 until 1998. In 1998 he accepted a faculty position in Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University, where he is currently the Canada Research Chair in Natural Hazard Research. He is Director of the Centre for Natural Hazard Research at SFU. Clague is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, former President of the Geological Association of Canada, and Past President of the International Union for Quaternary Research and the Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

He is recipient of the Geological Society of America Burwell Award, the Royal Society of Canada Bancroft Award, APEGBC’s 2001 and 2005 Innovation Editorial Board Awards, the Geological Association of Canada’s (GAC) 2006 E.R.W Neale Medal, and GAC’s 2007 Logan Medal and 2012 Ambrose Medal. He was the 2007–2008 Richard Jahns Distinguished Lecturer for the Geological Society of America and Association of Environmental and Engineering Geology.

Karen Storry, P.Eng.

Karen is trained as a civil engineer. She worked on the Brilliant Dam Expansion and the Canada Line before developing a passion for solving engineering and business problems in the most sustainable way practical. For Karen, solving problem in a sustainable way means incorporating the thought leadership of biomimicry, cradle-to-cradle, human-centered design, circular economy, and most recently the guidance of Products that Last out of Delft University. She is struck by how these new ways of thinking are unlocking innovation and value across business sectors.

Through her work with the technical secretariat for the National Zero Waste Council Circular Economy Working Group she works on increasing the presence of circular business in Canada. She also works on solving the materials consumption aspect of sustainability on a local scale through her work as a project engineer for the Metro Vancouver’s Solid Waste Planning Division. Her current work in that role includes developing end markets for waste materials, and increasing recycling in the multi-family and commercial sectors.

Mark Porter, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FIStructE

Mark is a Senior Building Structural Engineer and the National Practice Leader for Associated Engineering, with 20 years’ experience on the design of a wide range of structures. Mark is recognized by his peers as a leader in structural engineering, management, and sustainable design. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers and a designated structural engineer in the Province of British Columbia.

Mark is a leader in sustainable design and is involved in a number of professional bodies including a past member of Engineers and Geoscientists BC Sustainability Committee, the Institution of Structural Engineers Sustainable Construction Panel, and until recently the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. He is the current chair of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Climate Change Advisory Group and oversaw the development of the Position Paper on Climate Change.

Nelson Lee, P.Eng.

Nelson Lee is a professional engineer in BC, AB, and SK and a member of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Sustainability Committee. For over 25 years he has advised corporations and governments on strategies for enhancing their sustainability. Nelson specializes in the climate change, energy and environmental, health, and safety management systems-related aspects of sustainability. He has provided his services from within industry, as a consultant and in a third-party role. Nelson is a member of the Canadian Standards Association/Standards Council of Canada committee that is collaborating to establish and maintain internationally-recognized climate change mitigation and soon adaptation standards. He is frequently called upon to speak at seminars and provide training. Nelson recently established Green Sky Sustainability to address Sustainability and Climate Change needs and opportunities. He is an avid volunteer and tries hard to continually reduce his eco-footprint.

Members can claim “2” professional development hours after viewing this session.


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