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Recognizing Canada’s exceptional engineers


At the Engineers Canada Awards Gala in Charlottetown, PE, on May 26, Canada’s engineering profession honoured the remarkable achievements of engineers, teams of engineers, engineering projects and engineering students.

Engineers Canada 2016 awards winners portraitSponsored by TD Insurance, Manulife, Great-West Life, and ENCON Group Inc., these annual awards recognize engineering excellence and the winners’ outstanding contributions to their community, to their profession and to the safety and well-being of Canadians.

“We are excited to honour the 2016 award recipients for their contributions to the engineering profession, to their communities and to the safety and well-being of Canadians,” said Engineers Canada CEO Kim Allen, MBA, FEC, FCAE, P.Eng. “This year’s recipients have demonstrated true excellence in their respective fields, and with their accomplishments, they have done the engineering profession proud.”

The 2016 Engineers Canada Award recipients are:

Dr. Donald Mavinic, PhD, FCAE, P.Eng., (APEGBC) – Gold Medal Award

2016 Award Winner Donald Mavinic

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Donald Mavinic is considered to be one of the finest researchers in Canada on wastewater and water treatment processes. Dr. Mavinic was instrumental in the development of the Pearl Nutrient Recovery Process, which recovers nutrients from wastewater, transforming a costly problem into a valuable product, a transformative change in wastewater treatment that is a positive example of what can be achieved through engineering and science. His contribution to the profession, at all levels, nationally and internationally, and at the most senior levels, is exceptional. Through it all, Dr. Mavinic remains well-grounded and active in the community, contributing his time and energy to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Lower Mainland Bureau Toy Drive and the BC Children’s Hospital.

Andrew Mill, FEC, P.Eng., Struct.Eng. (APEGBC) – Meritorious Service Award for Professional Service

2016 Award Winner Andrew Mill

A structural engineer with nearly 30 years of experience in the field, Mr. Mill is a partner at the vibrant multi-discipline engineering and architecture firm, David Narine and Associates, in Vancouver. His area of expertise is in seismic risk assessment and the upgrading of buildings. Mr. Mill chairs APEGBC’s Seismic Peer Review Committee, which develops world-class seismic assessment and upgrade guidelines for schools and other high-risk buildings. His technical expertise combined with his selfless dedication is an invaluable contribution to his profession and the public. 

Marisa E. Sterling, P.Eng., (PEO) – Meritorious Service Award for Community Service

2016 Award Winner Marisa E Sterling

Ms. Sterling is currently the Assistant Dean, Inclusivity and Diversity, at the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. She has always shown a deep dedication to her profession, and to the larger community she serves. Elected as President of the Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education, Ms. Sterling has directly helped 532 undergraduate engineering students address the affordability imbalance of their education costs. She has supported many charitable endeavours, including the North York General Hospital’s Emergency and Child & Teen Programs, the Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Program, along with AURA, a local refugee sponsorship facilitator, to name but a few.

SunMine – National Award for an Engineering Project of Achievement

2016 Award Winner Sun Mine project

Initiated by Michel de Spot, P.Eng. of EcoSmart Foundation Inc., SunMine is British Columbia’s first grid-connected solar facility as well as the first such facility to be built on a reclaimed mine site. With 4,000 solar cell modules mounted on 96 solar trackers that follow the sun, the site provides about 40 per cent more energy than a traditional fixed system. Owned and operated by the City of Kimberley, BC, SunMine’s success was the result of the exceptional collaboration of its key partners, Teck Resources Ltd., the City of Kimberley, BC Hydro, and EcoSmart. SunMine has also become a centre of excellence, showcasing leading edge solar technologies.

Lianna Mah, M.Eng., FEC, P.Eng. (APEGBC) – Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession

2016 Award Winner Lianna Mah

A civil engineering graduate from UBC, Ms. Mah has more than 29 years of experience in engineering consultation, with a specialization in wastewater, water and civil engineering projects. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to support the advancement of women in the profession. Her role as Vice-President, Business Development, her appointment to the board at Associated Engineering, and her passionate service to many organizations, including the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, and Science and Technology (CCWEST), make her an exceptional role model for women and future engineers.

Mark Lowey – Award of Journalism Excellence in Engineering

2016 Award Winner Mark Lowey

Mr. Lowey is the publisher and managing editor of EnviroLine, a business publication for western Canada’s environmental industry. As a journalist, he has garnered numerous awards, including two national science-writing awards from the Canadian Science Writers’ Association and a Governor General’s Michener Citation. Mr. Lowey’s award-winning article ‘Pipe Dream’ focused on assessing the risks and potential hazards of two proposed oil sands export pipelines. His balanced and comprehensively researched article offered clear, up-to-date information on the potential risks associated with diluted bitumen when spilled into a marine environment.

Nancy Nelson, M.Sc.(T), P.Eng. (PEO) – Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education

2016 Award Winner Nancy Nelson

Nancy Nelson, Professor of Electronic Systems Engineering at Conestoga College, has demonstrated commitment to excellence and innovation in engineering education throughout her career. At every opportunity, Ms. Nelson incorporates new and relevant teaching methodologies into her classroom to engage and motivate her students. After extensive research in the field, she pioneered Project Based Learning (PBL) with the creation of a highly effective four-year, Electronic Systems Engineering (ESE) degree program. Collaborating with local primary and secondary schools, and outreach activities such as Go ENG Girl, Day with a Difference and Cyber Olympiad, Ms. Nelson continues to be an unflagging advocate for engineering education and careers.

Selena Wilson, P.Eng. (APEGBC) – Young Engineer Achievement Award

2016 Award Winner Selena Wilson

Talented, ambitious and passionate, transportation engineer Selena Wilson has over 11 years of engineering design and project management experience. She has led design teams for numerous projects, securing increasingly significant roles and key responsibilities. Since her recent promotion to branch manager of the Prince Rupert office of McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., Ms. Wilson has grown her staff from a team of 2 to 12. Extremely dedicated to her profession, Ms. Wilson is also involved in Young Professional Groups provincially, nationally and internationally. 

André Marchildon (Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba student member) – Gold Medal Student Award

2016 Award Winner Andre Marchildon

A remarkable, energetic and focused student, Mr. Marchildon is completing his fourth year at the University of Manitoba in the Mechanical Engineering Program. As the Senior Stick President, he represents over 1,700 undergraduates working with a council of 90 dedicated student leaders, managing a budget of one quarter million dollars.

Mr. Marchildon has held leadership positions in several organizations including the University of Manitoba Engineering Society and the Congress of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, and was a Cabinet Minister in the Manitoba French Youth Parliament. He also gives his time to St. Amant, working with those who have developmental disabilities. As busy as he is, Mr. Marchildon has maintained an outstanding academic record—he is a young man well prepared for an exciting career in the field of engineering.

Videos of the award recipients are now available on the Engineers Canada YouTube channel.