NEWS BEYOND OUR BORDERS
U.S.-Canada engineers’ mobility meeting
Engineers Canada - Earlier this fall, the U.S. National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and Engineers Canada held a conference call to discuss engineering license mobility between the countries. This followed NSPE’s submission of public comments to the U.S. Trade Representative regarding language in Canadian provincial licensure legislation establishing work requirements that create barriers for engineers who are licensed in the United States when trying to become licensed in Canadian provinces.
The two organizations had a positive, productive conversation about license mobility and steps that both countries can take to create fair conditions to ease mobility for Professional Engineers between the two countries, while remaining consistent with protecting public health, safety and welfare.
Agreements such as the one between Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (the U.S. post-secondary accreditation body) and Engineers Canada provide a foundation for achieving enhanced mobility. This agreement recognizes the substantial equivalence of accredited engineering education programs between the two countries. In existence since 1980, it has provided benefit for engineers seeking licensure in both countries. Additional work is required to ensure that provincial, territorial and state law and regulation reflect the principles and goals of this and similar agreements.
Both organizations are committed to working together to identify additional viable solutions.
Technologists at odds with Engineers Canada
Engineers Canada, TPC news releases - Technology Professionals Canada (TPC) and Engineers Canada continue to be at loggerheads over proposed changes to technologist regulations in various provinces. TPC is seeking professional recognition for all engineering technology professionals. TPC is calling on all provincial governments to recognize the scope of work undertaken by engineering technology professionals and to enact or preserve legislation that authorizes the practice of that profession by means of exemption to the scopes of practice of the professional engineer.
Engineers Canada responded with a statement of four principles of regulation:
- All work that falls within the definition of the practice of engineering should be regulated by a single government-designated regulator whose mandate includes regulating the practice of engineering in the public interest.
- Individuals who have acquired the necessary competencies by virtue of their academic training and professional experience, who can be held accountable for their work and who have met all of the licensing requirements set by the provincial/territorial regulators can be authorized to practice engineering within either a full or limited scope of practice.
- In cases of overlapping practice of engineering with members of other regulated professions (e.g. foresters, agrologists, architects) the respective regulators must work together to ensure the public welfare is protected.
- Defined scopes of practice (for the purpose of limited licences) within the broad range of engineering activities must be prepared by engineering regulators and must be understandable and enforceable.
In a press release, TPC responded that Engineers Canada “seeks to promote the agendas of its own members, not the best interest of the public.”
Cleaning up on clean-tech cash: Alberta researchers score.
APEGA - Clean-energy researchers in Alberta are starting 2019 off with a bang, after receiving $20.5 million in funding to support technology development. Alberta Innovates, through its Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework (CCITF), considered 160 applications in choosing 29 post-secondary and industry projects.
CCITF is a partnership between Alberta Innovates, Emissions Reduction Alberta and the Government of Alberta. It encourages the development of innovative technologies, engages stakeholders, and ensures meaningful investments in research, innovation and technology.
Eleven of the newly funded projects are led by APEGA members: eight from the University of Alberta, two from the University of Calgary and one from Imperial Oil.
New funding gives masonry an upgrade
APEGA - The Great Wall of China, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Taj Mahal – some of history’s most compelling architectural structures were made with masonry. Appealing to architects and builders because of its artistry, durability, and ability to weather the centuries, masonry has been used for thousands of years. And now, thanks in large part to a $3 million endowment funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Masonry Contractors Association of Alberta (MCAA), the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering can help ensure the trade continues to have a future.
Under the endowment, engineering professor Carlos Cruz-Noguez, P.Eng., PhD, has been appointed as the Chair in Masonry Systems for the MCAA – Northern Region. He will orchestrate research programs to bring masonry up to speed with modern-day expectations.
Dr. Cruz-Noguez will work with a team of academics to conduct his work, some of whom are researching energy and thermal efficiency, reliability and simulation and composite walls. This research has piqued the interest of many of the graduate students needed to support the research, adding additional expertise to the team.
High schooler discovers diamond method
APEGA- An Edmonton high school student has discovered what could be a better way to remove diamonds from kimberlite rock, suggesting a way to increase mining yields. Seventeen-year-old Hamdi Ali recently participated in a University of Alberta (U of A) program offered through Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST), an organization that focuses on creating pathways to science success for women and other underrepresented groups.
During her time at a U of A geology lab, Hamdi worked with a mentor on a research project that revealed that the standard industry technique of extracting diamonds from rock—mechanical vibrating plates—may actually destroy many of the diamonds. She came up with a safer strategy: using high-voltage pulses of electricity to break down kimberlite and reveal the diamonds within. Since completing her research, Ali has been asked to present to a number of companies in the industry.
National Post - Norway is working on a technically ambitious solution to cut travel time through its rugged coastal landscape, a place where roadways bump up against majestic glaciers, fjords, and mountains. A third of Norway’s 5.3 million citizens live on the west coast of the country, where 50 per cent of export goods originate.
About 1,000 fjords make travel and shipping in the area a beautiful but time-consuming endeavour. Using the existing E39 in all its glory – a 1,100-kilometre highway linking Kristiansand and Trondheim – requires seven ferry crossings and takes a vehicle 21 hours.
A $49-billion solution will cut travel time by half and eliminate the need for ferries. It will feature three suspension bridges and five floating bridges (supported by pontoons). But there’s more. The project could make Norway the first country to build a submerged floating tunnel. The structure will be built within a fjord at a depth of 1,400 metres—too deep to drill supports into the sea bed. So instead, the tunnel portion will dangle in the water, hung from island-like pontoons.
The tunnel will sit 30 metres (100 feet) under the surface of the water, with plenty of room for ships to safely travel above it and submarines below. The tunnel’s depth will also protect it from big winds, waves and currents.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the governmental body responsible for the project, aims to complete construction by 2050.