British Columbia’s consulting engineers recently came together to celebrate their best work over the past year.
The 30th annual Awards for Engineering Excellence gala, recently held at the Westin Bayshore hotel in downtown Vancouver showcased the talent of Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC-BC) members across the province.
“We have individual awards and then seven categories of engineering where we feature 41 projects, the best B.C. consulting engineering has to offer,” said ACEC-BC president and CEO Caroline Andrewes before the event on April 6.
Each category had winners in both the merit and excellence sub-categories. Stantec took the award of merit in the Buildings category for its work on the University of Northern British Columbia Wood Innovation Research Laboratory, while Fast + Epp Structural Engineers won the award of excellence for 3 Civic Plaza in Surrey, B.C.
In the Municipal and Civil Infrastructure category, WSP Canada Group took the award of merit for work on their Shedding Light on Greater Vernon’s Water System project while McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. won an award of excellence for work on a dual use detention centre/sports field project in Langley, B.C. that manages water quantity while providing room for community athletics.
McElhanney Consulting Services also won an award of merit in the Transportation and Bridges category for work on the replacement of the Fort Nelson River Bridge. North Vancouver-based COWI won the award of excellence in the same category for the main span design of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York.
Knight Piesold took the award of merit in the Energy category for the Azambi Hydroelectric project located at the Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. SNC-Lavalin and BC Hydro shared the award of excellence for the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project located near Campbell River, B.C.
“We’re featuring projects from all over the world. Many of them are right here in B.C from north to south coasts, east to west but we las have some projects from around the world including mine sites overseas, projects in the U.S. and major infrastructure developments in other provinces,” Andrewes said.
ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. was the winner and only entry in the Natural Resource and Habitat category and secured an award of excellence for its work on Blackburn Lagoons Park in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
In the Projects Under $2.5 Million category, Dillon Consulting won the award of merit for work on the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Flood Protection Improvements Project for the City of Richmond, B.C. and Morrison Hershfield Limited won the award of excellence for the Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk in Whistler, B.C.
The Soft Engineering category saw PBX Engineering Ltd. win the award of merit for their Railway Crossing Information System designed for the City of Surrey, B.C., and another award of merit went to Tetra Tech Canada for their Oil Spill for Canadian Waters project for Transport Canada covering the northern bioshelf region of the province from Campbell River to the Alaska border.
In the same category, WSP Canada Group Ltd. took the Lieutenant Governor’s award for their work on New Solutions for Safe Water in Remote Communities, a plan to bring clean drinking water to First Nation Communities.
“The big surprise of the evening was that the Lieutenant Governor’s award went to one of the small projects in the soft engineering category, and that’s something you don’t normally see,” Andrewes said. “We’re usually amazed by the big projects, but this year we’re showcasing innovation, partnership, and the collaborative approach that will help us interface with over 200 First Nations across the province.”
WSP Canada worked with the RES’EAU-WaterNET research and development network to create and organics removal technology for water treatment in small and remote communities.
The process uses natural biological processes, reduces chemical requirements and generates minimal waste product.
In addition to project categories, awards were given out for the Young Professional and Client of the year. This year’s Young Professional winner is David Ellis with McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. and the Client of the Year award went to the City of Kelowna.
The Meritorious Achievement Award presented annually to those who have made significant lifetime contributions to the engineering profession went to John Sherstobitoff, P.Eng. of Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc.
Andrewes expressed optimism regarding the future of both the industry and up and coming B.C. engineers.
“We have a great deal of skill in British Columbia and a really strong industry. Our engineers, geoscientists, agrologists and biologists are in demand all over the world for the projects they’re doing. Right here in B.C. we do significant projects with the ministries of health and transportation as well as private industry,” she said.
“We see some challenges around the labour market, it’s a bit hard during the mid-years, but the academies are providing a good source of really talented young people who are engaged, innovative and interested in trying to get out there and do their best work.”
Make sure to check out our video from the ACEC BC awards gala.