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Engineering Excellence

Out of the Woodwork

Canada Emerges as an Engineering Innovator

Natural disaster relief in Canada is expected to cost $900 million a year during the next five years, as a result of storms, hurricanes, floods, and climate change.

As one of the major exporters of engineering services globally, Canadian engineers are doing their part to help mitigate that damage. They are using alternative energy to deliver power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and developing innovative tools to prevent natural and man-made disasters—repairing communities when they do strike. By innovating toward these key trends, engineers are supporting neighborhoods and workers across the country and the world.

Commitment to Communities

CH2M’s seven Canadian offices and their ground-breaking engineering expertise benefits communities worldwide, including serving as the first-ever environmental advisor to the Olympics in 1996 and counseling on other Olympics projects over the past 20 years.

The US-based company’s reach includes contributing to infrastructure development in almost every Canadian territory or province. Among them are water and wastewater facilities in the greater Toronto-area, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Saint John’s, and Ottawa. CH2M also served as a program advisor to the greater Toronto-area’s Metrolinx transportation agency, and completed bridge projects in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

“Partnering with our clients, we take great pride in improving the quality of life in every community we touch,” said CH2M Senior Vice President and Global Director of Water, Peter Nicol.

Leaders in Risk-assessment and Mitigation

Protecting communities means assessing risks. Firms like JENSEN HUGHES are at the forefront of risk-assessment and this US-based company has a significant presence in Canada.

JENSEN HUGHES’ engineering solutions for oil, gas, mining, and nuclear power ventures help clients to prevent hazards, keep employees and neighborhoods safe, and follow regulations.

Said Executive Vice President of Canadian Operations at JENSEN HUGHES, Peter Senez, “There is a trend in our industry to rethink how we approach risk and better quantify it. One of the challenges is that the risks and the expectations need to be tied together so that we can have proper engineering work, quantify the risks, and have stakeholders understand what those risks are.”

Risk abatement is also core to Calgary-based Dynamic Air Shelters, who in 2000, pioneered quick-deploy, blast-resistant, inflatable structures for workers and equipment in harsh environments like oil refineries. The company is currently setting the industry standard for site safety.

Said Dynamic Air Shelters President Aaron Knape, “Our global expansion comes at a time when safety is at the forefront of an industry shift, as many companies are being more critical of their project circumstances worldwide.”

Environmental Stewardship and Efficiency

If disaster does strike, Quebec-based Englobe has the resources for recovery. In 2016, the company received an award from the Canadian Brownfields Network (an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring industrial or polluted land) for its regeneration of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec after a 2013 train derailment and crude oil explosion contaminated the lakeside town’s soil.

Edmonton-based Associated Engineering also helps areas become vibrant and efficient. The company often includes project clauses that encourage using local resources, hydro-systems, and other alternative energy to deliver power.

Associated Engineering Vice President of Business Development, Lianna Mah added, “We have always worked in renewable energy and try to incorporate that into our designs where we can. I think the more we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the better we leave the Earth for future generations; this is one of the key roles for engineers in the future.”


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