Saskatchewan Engineer Prohibited from Practising for the Time Being
February 24th, 2023
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS), the regulator of professional engineers and geoscientists, is prohibiting a Saskatchewan engineer from practising for the time being as stipulated in an interim order.
Scott O. Gullacher, P.Eng. was found guilty on three counts of professional misconduct by a panel of the APEGS discipline committee as outlined in its written decision sent to Gullacher on January 24, 2023 further to a hearing in June 2022. Regarding two additional counts, the panel did not receive sufficient evidence to prove professional misconduct.
The panel will hear submissions related to the disposition of the matters from the investigation committee and Gullacher at a hearing scheduled for March 13, 2023. Then a final written order will be issued to Gullacher. If there is no appeal, the order will be published in the spring.
The three counts of professional misconduct relate to two formal complaints. One complaint pertains to the RM of Clayton’s Dyck Memorial Bridge, and the second complaint pertains to five municipal bridges, one located in each of the RMs of Scott, Caledonia and Mervin and two located in the RM of Purdue.
On September 14, 2018 the Dyck Memorial Bridge collapsed. Gullacher was found to have not practised in a careful and diligent manner by not employing a site-specific geotechnical analysis and by not providing adequate engineering designs for the helical pile foundations. The designs prepared by Gullacher for the five municipal bridges lacked relevant design information, including inaccurate representation of bridge designs, numerous Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code deficiencies, lack of critical detail on plans for welding details, among other deficiencies. This resulted in five superstructure designs which were inadequate to carry the minimum loads required by the code.
The panel’s full decision and interim order can be found on the APEGS website under Complaints and Enforcement, Discipline Hearings & Notices.
The role of the panel was limited by statute to hearing the evidence presented to it and then determining whether the charges against Gullacher were proven on a balance of probabilities. It was not tasked with determining the cause of the collapse of the Dyck Memorial Bridge.
APEGS establishes and upholds standards of professional practice and ethical conduct for the professions of engineering and geoscience. APEGS can determine that, if an engineer or geoscientist has breached the professions’ ethical standards, it can act through a comprehensive investigation and discipline process to ensure public safety.
“We ensure that our registrants have the education, experience and ethics to practice their profession in the public interest,” said Stormy Holmes, P.Eng., APEGS Executive Director and Registrar. “The public must feel confident and trust that the careful and diligent work of engineers and geoscientists will keep them safe. This registrant’s work was a breach of that trust. I am confident that our regulatory processes worked as they should to protect the public.”
For media inquiries, contact:
Sheena August, Director of Communications