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2018 Engineers Canada award recipients honoured

2018.05.24

Stories of achievement, excellence and passion for the engineering profession

May 23, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario – This Thursday evening at a gala held in Saskatoon, eight outstanding engineers from across Canada will receive top honours for their contributions to the engineering profession.

Presented by Engineers Canada, these awards acknowledge outstanding community and professional involvement, contributions to engineering education, support for women in engineering, contributions by engineers and engineering students to Canadian society, and remarkable engineering projects or achievements.

Transforming communities, advancing the profession

The 2018 Engineers Canada Awards recipients have each impacted the daily lives of Canadians, whether it’s through the development of the nutrient-enriched foods that we eat, the water we drink, the pedestrian crosswalks we use, the regulation that ensures the sustainability of Canada’s environment, or the building of a new link to Canada’s far north. As caring members of our communities, award recipients volunteer their time and resources to address such social issues as addiction and diversity whilst utilizing their professional problem-solving skills to better people’s lives from coast to coast to coast.

“This year’s distinguished award recipients are exceptional,” says Engineers Canada president Russ Kinghorn, MBA, FEC, P.Eng., IntPE. “As innovators and entrepreneurs, they’ve helped the Canadian economy thrive; as caring members of our communities, they’ve volunteered their time to advocate, educate, and inform us about the importance of inclusion and diversity.”

Meet the 2018 Engineers Canada Award recipients

This year’s award recipients illustrate stories of engineering achievement, excellence, and passion for the profession. They show Canadians the dynamic and diverse nature of the engineering profession and the impact this work has on the lives of Canadians and those from around the globe.

Some highlights of the eight award recipients:

Canadian Senator adds to her remarkable and accomplished engineering career

The Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez, PhD., ing. adds the Meritorious Service Award for Professional Service to her already remarkable and accomplished career. As one of only two engineers in the Canadian Senate, Senator Galvez is driven by her dedication to strengthening the engineering profession and protecting the environment. As a professor and department head of Civil and Water Engineering at Laval University she drove significant improvements, including the establishment of an environmental research laboratory and the addition of important research and equipment funding for the department. Senator Galvez is one of Canada’s leading experts in pollution control and its effect on human health and became internationally recognized for her research on the devastating Lac Mégantic petroleum fire. Senator Galvez currently serves as the chair of the Senate Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee, where she is a powerful advocate for a non-partisan, evidence-based approach to policy-making.

Linking Nunavut to the world: the Iqaluit International Airport Improvement Project

Nunavut is not linked to other parts of Canada by road or rail, so air transport plays a critical role in providing people there with life’s necessities and connecting the region with the rest of the world. Last year, engineering firm Stantec completed a four-year, $330-million project to upgrade Iqaluit International Airport’s single airstrip and support facilities. The new YFB terminal was specially designed and built around its Northern Canadian environment and it has been a resounding success in the community, offering more efficient use of airside space and a barrier-free, architecturally stunning terminal for visitors and Nunavummiut to use year-round. The larger and more frequent air service enabled by the project means reduced living costs for Nunavummiut, and also provides better access to the world, bringing with it improved opportunities for trade, education, health care, and tourism.

Combating the anemia epidemic in the developing world

The prestigious Gold Medal Award goes to Levente L. Diosady, PhD, P.Eng., Professor of Food Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at University of Toronto. Levente led the development of techniques for fortifying salt with iron and iodine to prevent micronutrient deficiency diseases like anemia, which affect more than two billion people worldwide. He holds 21 patents for his work on food processes and is currently researching methods for adding additional micronutrients to salt, which could further improve nutrition for millions of people worldwide.

Be the voice of change: McMaster engineering student and founder of EngiQueers

The 2018 Gold Medal Student Award winner is Vanessa Raponi, an engineering student at McMaster University and founder of EngiQueers. While in her second year of studies, Vanessa founded McMaster EngiQueers, a student-led organization whose aim is to promote intersectional diversity and inclusion within the engineering profession. Now approaching graduation, Vanessa has led the organization to non-profit status and played a major role with the opening of 31 new EngiQueers chapters across Canada. Alongside this outstanding achievement, Raponi is known as a voice of change for engineering across Canada, speaking at dozens of conferences and helping organize pivotal national events such as the Conference on Diversity in Engineering.

Clean tech engineer gives back to community that saved him from addiction

The Meritorious Service Award for Community Service goes to Gary Schubak, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. Gary stands out among his peers for his exceptional combination of engineering expertise and heartfelt compassion to his community. Applying his expertise as a mechanical engineer to a successful career as an entrepreneur and consultant in Vancouver, Gary believes he would have never been able become a leader in clean tech engineering if not for the support he received in recovering from addiction. His experiences led him to volunteer with the Turning Point Recovery Society, where he served as a board member and then president, making enormous contributions to the creation of supportive abstinence-based environments for substance abuse recovery. Gary’s ongoing contributions to his community as a volunteer show firsthand what’s possible when meaningful solutions are put in place to assist people on the road to addictions recovery.

Recognized transportation engineer champions accessibility for women in engineering

This year’s Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession goes to Jeannette Montufar, PhD, P.Eng. Whether it’s empowering women in STEM programs at university or developing national guidelines to make crosswalks safer for pedestrians with limited mobility, Jeannette has proven time and again that, with enough vision, accessibility for all is achievable. The civil engineer, who is internationally renowned for her leadership and expertise in the field of transportation engineering, has been a champion of accessibility for women in engineering, supervising and empowering a large proportion of female graduate students and creating a fund to encourage underprivileged women to pursue engineering or science in university. Recently, Jeannette has helped drive the Engineering Changes Lives, a bold initiative between the Manitoba provincial government and Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba that aims to ensure Manitoba meets the 30 by 30 target set out by Engineers Canada.

Inspiring students to look beyond the classroom and into the community

Inspiring students to look beyond the classroom and to help solve real-world problems is what drives Hanan Anis, P.Eng., the 2018 award recipient for the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education. As the NSERC Engineering Design Chair, Hanan is on a mission to provide engineering students with hands-on experience designing and developing products based on the needs of the community. In her unique role within the University of Ottawa’s engineering program, she has developed multiple labs and “makerspaces” that empower students to apply the science and math they learn during their time in class. Among her greatest accomplishments is the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design, which Hanan founded and currently directs. Its innovative programming assists students in developing design depth, customer awareness, business acumen, and experiential learning opportunities with industry.

Young engineer builds career with major projects across Ontario crucial to economic growth

The Young Engineer Achievement Award goes to Maximilian Mantha, MBA, P.Eng. At 34 years old, this remarkable civil engineer has worked in both the private and public sectors in the construction industry for the past 10 years and currently serves as the youngest-ever vice president, area manager for EllisDon Toronto Civil and Looby Construction. Maximilian earns trust and respect easily from his peers, employees, clients, business partners and suppliers. Leadership comes naturally to him; his approach to people remains humble and respectful while considering the serious responsibility of a business with more than $440 million in revenue and approximately 350 employees. In no small part, Maximillian’s success has stemmed from his talent for thinking beyond traditional infrastructure financing to provide communities across Ontario with the major projects that are critical to their economic growth. This innovative approach, along with the enormous scale of the projects it has enabled, has secured his organization’s role as a global player, attracting international engineering and construction talent and driving the company to become one of the largest builders in the country.

All award recipients are available for interviews in their local communities or at the awards ceremony, scheduled for May 24th in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Photos and videos are available.

About Engineers Canada

Engineers Canada is the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country's 290,000 members of the engineering profession.

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Brent Gibson
Engineers Canada
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