NEWS BEYOND OUR BORDERS
Engineers Canada launches new website to explore engineering
Engineers Canada - To help youth discover the world of engineering and how their skills and interests can fit in, Engineers Canada has launched ExploreEngineering.ca, a year-round resource hub that offers, among other things, event calendars for National Engineering Month events.
“We want people to be as excited as we are about engineering and to use Explore Engineering to share that excitement during National Engineering Month and beyond, especially in their conversations with the youth in their lives, ” said Jeanette M. Southwood, FCAE, FEC, LL.D. (h.c.), P.Eng., IntPE, Engineers Canada’s Vice-President of Strategy and Partnerships.
ExploreEngineering.ca is also a great place for students and youth to explore the different types of engineering. The interactive “Chart Your Course” feature allows visitors to discover which types of engineering may appeal to their interests most. The site also profiles everyday engineers, real engineers from different disciplines sharing the story of their careers.
OIQ deals out discipline
OIQ - The Disciplinary Council of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has had a busy spring, dealing out a range of disciplinary actions.
Three members were struck from the roll for periods ranging from 11 months to 10 years for participating in contract-sharing schemes that circumvented the competitive bidding process of the City of Laval and the City of Saint-Jérôme.
Another member was found guilty of signing a final report that he had not prepared himself, which resulted in a substantial fine.
The OIQ also reached a conciliation agreement with former employees of Genivar Inc. who, between 1998 and 2010, received a refund from their employer as compensation for a political contribution. In its inquiries, the Office of the Syndic found that neither the professional competence nor the diligence of the engineers concerned were at issue. However, according to the Office of the Syndic, these engineers’ participation in a political party funding process involving a contribution from their employer constitutes an act derogatory to the honour and dignity of the profession that must be brought to the public’s attention and penalized in order to maintain the transparency required in political contributions.
Toronto-area man fined for use of the title “Professional Engineer”
Professional Engineers Ontario - On February 22, the Ontario Court of Justice fined a Toronto-area man $15,625 (including a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge of $3,125) after his guilty plea to four counts of breaching the Professional Engineers Act by misrepresenting himself as a Professional Engineer.
Kevin Kirk Smith used the titles “Professional Engineer” and “P.Eng.” in the employment application and interview for a position as a senior consultant, a position which called for credentials as a Professional Engineer. After being hired, Smith presented and displayed a forged licence certificate and used the title “P.Eng.” in internal correspondence and reports issued to clients.
The employer contacted Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and determined that Smith was not licensed as a Professional Engineer. Smith subsequently used the titles “Professional Engineer” and “P.Eng.” in the employment application and interview for another position.
Her Worship Justice of the Peace Ruby Wong convicted Smith of one count of breaching section 41(1) of the Professional Engineers Act, which prohibits issuing a false licence certificate. Nick Hambleton, associate counsel, regulatory compliance, represented PEO in this matter. PEO thanked both employers for their diligence and co-operation in its investigation.
Geoscientists Canada names new CEO
Geoscientists Canada Press Release - Andrea Waldie, P.Geo., FGC, took over as chief executive officer of Geoscientists Canada on the retirement of the current CEO, Oliver Bonham, P.Geo., FGC, on March 1, 2018.
For the past five years, Waldie has consulted to the geoscience profession, through her company, Waldie Geo-Governance, on matters of governance and geoscience professionalism, as well as acting as business manager to the APGO Education Foundation and consulting to Geoscientists Canada on a variety of projects. Prior to her consulting work, Waldie was the executive director and registrar of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO) for six years. She began her career as an exploration geoscientist, working for several major and junior mining and exploration companies.
“I am honoured to be given this opportunity to lead Geoscientists Canada into the next chapter of our development, applying my skills to the profession I love to the benefit of our geoscience regulators, geoscience professionals and the Canadian public.” said Waldie.“I look forward to working with all concerned parties and our international partners as we all strive to achieve excellence in geoscience professionalism.”
The geoscience profession, which encompasses many specialized practice disciplines, currently comprises 14,000 licensed professionals (P.Geos.) and Geoscientists-in-Training registered at associations across Canada.
Oil sands research could be game changer for renewable energy
CBC News - Originally from South Africa, JT Steenkamp doesn’t usually enjoy brisk Canadian winter weather, but this year is different for the engineer who is testing out a new type of battery at Shell Canada’s research centre in Calgary. The battery is built using a little-known metal found in bitumen, and the technology could represent a pivotal moment for both the oil sands industry and the renewable energy sector.
Shell’s project aims to extract a metal called vanadium from bitumen and use the material to produce large, utility-scale electricity storage for the renewable energy sector, which has struggled with ways to store large amounts of energy in a stable, reliable way.
“If successful, it could be an absolute game changer. It will prove that we are capable of delivering renewable energy not in spite of traditional energy but precisely because of it,” said Steenkamp.
So far, the vanadium battery can only hold a charge of 6 kilowatt hours, enough to run a hair dryer for about four hours. It would need to be much larger to store electricity from a wind farm or solar field, but Steenkamp says this type of battery can easily be scaled up.
Vanadium is a largely obscure metal often used in making steel. It retains its hardness at high temperatures, so it’s ideal for making drill bits, engine turbines and other parts that generate heat.
In the oil sands, vanadium is one of the metals that comes out of the ground with bitumen. The concentration is quite low: a barrel of bitumen would contain just 30 millilitres of vanadium, on average, experts says. But multiplied by the millions of barrels of production from the oil sands every day, Steenkamp says there is a “boatload” of vanadium.
Laser-powered robot insect achieves liftoff
University of Washington - For robots of all sizes, power is a fundamental problem. Any robot that moves is constrained in one way or another by power supply, whether it’s relying on carrying around heavy batteries, combustion engines, fuel cells or anything else. It’s particularly tricky to manage power as your robot gets smaller.
At the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia, roboticists from the University of Washington in Seattle presented RoboFly, a laser-powered, insect-sized flapping wing robot that performs the first (very brief) untethered flight of a robot at such a small scale.
RoboFly—a design based on the RoboBee flapping-wing microrobot from Harvard’s MicroRobotics Lab—is about the size of a bumblebee and weighs just 190 milligrams (a bit more than a toothpick). It’s powered by an infrared laser aimed at that tiny little photovoltaic cell, which can harvest the 250 mW required to get the robot airborne. Ultimately a RoboFly could be controlled by a ceiling-mounted laser that tracks it wherever it goes, or even lasers mounted on moving vehicles (or other robots) that can follow the RoboFly around and provide power to it indefinitely.
Researchers imagine a number of applications for RoboFly such as in farms and for finding leaks in oil pipes.