BRIAN ECKEL DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Dennis K. Paddock, P.Eng., FEC, FCSSE, FCAE, FGC (Hon.)
The Distinguished Service Award was created in 1978 to recognize outstanding contributions to the community, the Association and technical and learned societies, as well as to honour distinctive and outstanding achievements in professional and technical fields. In 2004, it was renamed the Brian Eckel Distinguished Service Award to honour the contributions of the late Brian Eckel, a Past-President of the Association. It is an honour given only to those who truly exemplify the best standards in engineering and geoscience in Saskatchewan.
“ There is no higher calling in a professional engineering career than public service. It is a chance to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Dennis Paddock began his distinguished 48-year professional engineering career managing innovative projects in transportation and municipal infrastructure for the Saskatchewan Government. In his role as head of northern municipal programs, he worked with engineering consultants to develop and deliver cold-climate water and sewer systems and water and sewer operator training programs in northern Saskatchewan. He served the profession for 23 years as Executive Director and Registrar of APEGS, guiding the council, volunteers and staff through the revision of The Engineering Professions Act to create The Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, assuring that the practice of engineering and geoscience in Saskatchewan remained under one Act.
During his tenure, he guided APEGS’ growth from 3,600 to more than 13,000 members. Throughout his career, Paddock volunteered on APEGS committees, was North District Councillor, was their President and Engineers Canada Director and was on two occasions the national CEO Group Chair.
Now retired, he continues serving as Deputy Chief Warden of Kipling Camp #25 and as Vice-President of the Elk Ridge Utility, the non-profit water and sewer utility serving the Hamlet of Elk Ridge. He maintains his passion for self-regulation and the important contributions that engineers make to Canadian life.
Dennis is the proud recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2005), Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and the Engineers Canada Meritorious Service Award for Professional Service (2019). He has also been awarded Fellowships by Engineers Canada, the Canadian Society for Senior Engineers, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and an honorary Fellowship by Geoscientists Canada.
Dennis and Wendy have two sons, both graduates of the University of Regina. Brett has a Master of Education and Jared is a professional engineer. Dennis and Wendy are the proud parents-in-law to Chrystal and Jeanelle and grandparents to Elizabeth, James, Julia and Jessica. Dennis and Wendy are now enjoying a little more casual time travelling, golfing, fishing and spending time with their family and friends at their Elk Ridge cottage.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Dr. James Christoper, P.Geo.
The Outstanding Achievement Award was created in 1998 to honour members who show technical excellence and achievement in engineering and/or geoscience in Saskatchewan.
James Christopher was born in Philadelphia, Penn. and raised in Jamaica where he completed secondary school. He now lives in Regina.
On return to the United States, he served in the Army of Occupation in the European Theatre of Operations and completed university training in Ohio. He married there (wife Dora, lately deceased).
James received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Columbia University in New York in 1952. He obtained a Masters in Science degree in geology from Ohio State University in 1955 and then a Ph.D in geology four years later, also at Ohio State University. He was the recipient of academic awards during his schooling, including earning the John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship (1955), the John A. Bownocker Scholarship (1956) and was named to the National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Honor List in 1956.
In 1959, James accepted a job with the Saskatchewan Department of Mineral Resources and accumulated more than 60 years of geological investigations and reports on the sedimentary clastic formations of Saskatchewan and adjacent regions based on data from activities of the petroleum, industrial minerals, hydrologic and academic sectors.
James worked at the Saskatchewan Department of Mineral Resources as a research geologist (1959-67), principal research geologist (1967-75), Chief Sedimentary Geologist and Assistant Director of the Saskatchewan Geological Survey (1975-84) and director (1984-87).
He undertook and supervised regional studies of the sedimentary formations of Saskatchewan with economic potential and produced major reports published by the department for use by the public in general and the resource industry and academia in particular.
He has participated in the organization of international symposia sponsored by the Williston Basin geological societies and the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists.
In retirement, he continued as a liaison with federal and interprovincial committees on projects related to the sequestration of CO2 in subsurface geological formations of Saskatchewan and the mapping of same into North Dakota and Manitoba.
Throughout his career, James has collected several professional memberships. He served on the Issues Board from 2000-05 with the APEGS. As well, he was a member of Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society; the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists; the American Association of Petroleum Geologists; the Geological Association of Canada; president of the Saskatchewan Geological Society (1967, 1980, emeritus, 1990).
James is the recipient of numerous awards as well. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Petroleum Industry Hall of Fame (1989); Orton Award (1990), Department of Geology, Ohio State University; Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Honorary Membership (1997); Saskatchewan Geological Society Honour Roll (2004); Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2005); Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists RJW Douglas Medal (2013).
THE McCANNEL AWARD
Matthew Dunn, P.Eng.
The McCannel Award was established in 1983 to honour service to the Association and to the professions as a whole. It is named for Roy McCannel, a founding member of the Association.
Matthew Dunn, P.Eng., is Dene and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. He grew up in Watrous, SK and in Edmonton, AB. and obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.
Matthew was a student-athlete and competed for the U of S Huskies track and field team in the pentathlon, where he won a silver medal at CIS championships in his final year. Matthew worked for six years in the mining industry as a mechanical engineer. He led the creation of the Indigenous Peoples Initiatives Community (IPIC) Engineering Access Program in the U of S College of Engineering and currently works as the Indigenization and Reconciliation Coordinator in the U of S office of the Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement.
Matthew was the founding co-chair of the Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council to AISES and previously served as the Chair of Engineers Canada’s Equitable Participation in Engineering Committee and Indigenous Peoples Participation in Engineering Working Group.
In 2019, Matthew co-founded the Saskatchewan Professional Chapter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (sask.caISES) and is currently the Co-President. In this role he co-organized the third annual caISES National Gathering in February 2020, which had more than 170 attendees and was the largest gathering to date.
Matthew is an Indspire laureate, CBC Future 40 winner and lives in Saskatoon with his wife Adrianne and their two young kids.
EXCEPTIONAL ENGINEERING / GEOSCIENCE PROJECT AWARD
Harpreet Panesar, M.Sc., P.Eng.
The Exceptional Engineering/Geoscience Project Award was founded in 2001 to recognize accomplishments in engineering and/or geoscience. The project may be located inside or outside the province, but the project team must be comprised predominantly of Saskatchewan engineers and/or geoscientists.
Harpreet Panesar, M.Sc., P.Eng. is currently working as a senior geotechnical engineer with the Government of Saskatchewan. He lives in Regina with his wife Rupi and their two daughters, Prinoor and Rubai.
Prior to joining the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, Harpreet worked with a local geotechnical consultant and also as a site engineer for a piling contractor in Dubai.
In 2005, he received his Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. Harpreet has more than 20 years of work experience specializing in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering. He has managed several projects involving geohazard assessment and remediation and design and construction of earth works, foundations and containment systems.
Along with providing technical input for major projects (such as Regina Bypass, Warman and Martensville Interchanges, Estevan Bypass, Saskatoon Freeway) he also worked on several Ministry policies’, standards and manuals.
His efforts are especially noteworthy in leading the development of the new Foundation Investigation Manual. This manual provides a risk-based approach for project delivery based on project size and technical risks.
It serves as a common reference standard and means of communication for all those involved on geotechnical projects, such as project managers, subject matter experts, designers, technicians, consultants and contractors.
Harpreet continues to volunteer with the Regina Geotechnical Group (local chapter of the Canadian Geotechnical Society) and currently serving as the past chair. He has been instrumental in bringing together the geotechnical industry and reviving the interest in the city.
He envisioned GeoCelebration Event in 2018, which continues to receive strong support from various private and public organizations from all across Canada. “Soil Rocks” Student Competition in 2020 was also his brainchild to increase engineering outreach and community engagement. Additional details for both these events can be found at the following web link www.GeoCelebration.com.
ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
Michael Nemeth, P.Eng.
The Environmental Excellence Award created in 2005 recognizes exceptional achievements by an individual or team in the application of engineering, geological and/or geophysical methods related to environmental protection and preservation.
Michael Nemeth lives and works in Saskatoon with his wife Shannon Dyck.
Michael has been a mechanical engineering consultant since 2006. He designs heating, cooling and ventilation systems for all types of buildings. In 2013, Michael started Bright Buildings to help others build to the Passive House standard, an international low-energy building standard leading to 90 per cent space-heating energy savings. Michael and Shannon are co-founders of Radiance Cohousing. The collaborative, eight-unit housing development is designed to meet the Passive House standard and features R60 wall insulation, air-tight construction and excellent ventilation among other sustainability features such as permaculture landscaping and rainwater harvesting.
The homes meet a high standard for occupant comfort and health with the energy efficiency measures providing a lower cost of ownership. Significant carbon emissions will be avoided as a result. A project goal is to achieve affordable, low carbon housing. Roof-top solar has been added, with the goal of making the development net-zero energy on an annual basis.
Michael grew up on a farm near Yellow Creek, Sask., attending school in Wakaw. In 2003, Michael attended the University of Saskatchewan and convocated in 2008. Michael began an internship in 2006 with Daniels Wingerak Engineering Ltd., consulting on heating, cooling, ventilation, plumbing, fire protection design and energy modelling. Michael delivers Passive House training to building professionals in western Canada as an instructor with Passive House Canada.
Michael is currently the vice-president of the SES Solar Co-operative. He had completed six solar installations and is currently raising funds in a share offering for its seventh and largest installation at CNH Industrial’s plant in Saskatoon.
In 2017, Michael received the APEGS Promising Member Award.
PROMISING MEMBER AWARD
Kai Li, P.Eng.
The Promising Member Award was established in 1995 to recognize exceptional achievements by professional members in the early stages of their careers in Saskatchewan.
Kai Li is a structural engineer with Engcomp in Saskatoon.
Kai was born in a small town in China. His parents wanted him to have the best education possible and decided to send him to study abroad.
In 2008, at the age of 17, he came to Canada by himself as an international student to study at the University of Saskatchewan. After spending nine months in the U of S Language Centre learning English as a second language, he passed the language requirements and began taking university classes in January 2009.
Because Kai knew his parents worked hard to afford his studies in Canada, he didn’t want to waste any learning opportunities in university. He worked as a Residence Assistant while living on campus. He took a 16-month internship with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways. He volunteered as Peer Assisted Learning mentor and International Peer Leader. He sat on the University Student’s Council as an international student representative.
He got on the North Saskatoon Business Association Young Promising Entrepreneur award finalists list with a business plan of exporting lobsters to China. He led the CIM Saskatoon Student Chapter as president. He was part of a student start-up team, which developed a business plan that led to the formation of the Saskatchewan Mining and Industrial Suppliers’ Association (SMISA).
In 2013, Kai graduated from the civil engineering program with distinction, as well, he had various extracurricular activities on his resume.
After graduation, Kai started his career with WorleyParsons in Saskatoon. Shortly after signing the contract, he went back to China to marry his high school sweetheart, Cong Pang and brought her to Canada. They had been dating long distance since Kai came to Canada. They now have two beautiful daughters together.
Kai treasures his time with family while still finding time to connect with the community. He actively serves in a local church, which he has been attending for the past 12 years.
He has volunteered with APEGS, ACEC-SK, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and Saskatoon Engineering Society (SES). As the current president of SES, he developed a website called saskatoontechnicalevents.com aiming to help technical societies coordinate event dates and to offer a single place to find professional development opportunities.
FRIEND OF THE PROFESSIONS AWARD
The Friend of the Professions Award was created in 2013 to recognize exceptional achievements or unique contributions by a non-member in the promotion of the professions in Saskatchewan.
Megan Moore is the Program Coordinator for the Educating Youth in Engineering and Science (EYES) Program at the University of Regina. EYES operates through the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences and reaches more than 30,000 youth in Saskatchewan each year.
Megan began working with EYES in September 2016, but has been working with youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programming since May 2013 with Destination Exploration at the University of Lethbridge. Megan graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Biological Science and Psychology.
She currently is studying for a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Regina. Megan has always had a passion for STEM outreach and education. She volunteered with Let’s Talk Science and the Canada Wide Science Fair while she was attending the University of Lethbridge.
Megan is always in search of innovative ways to inspire youth to love STEM as much as she does. There is nothing more exciting for Megan then getting to experience the “a-ha” moment when a youth experiences the wonder of STEM.
Having grown up in a small rural community, Megan is passionate about equitable access for all youth regardless of socio-economic status, gender, sexuality, disability or any non-traditional status that may prevent youth from seeing themselves in STEM. Megan works tirelessly to build safe spaces for youth and continues to disrupt established STEM spaces. She truly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to be great and that it is her duty to ensure that EYES is accessible for everyone.