46 th

Annual Professional Engineers? Day

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Thursday Evening Social will be held Jan. 28 at Canadore College (Commerce Court) starting at 5:00 p.m.

North Bay Chapter

An Advertising Feature of the North Bay Nugget

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Role of Professional Engineering

in Ontario?s Industrial Economy

By George Comrie, M.Eng., P.Eng., CMC, FEC President-elect, Professional Engineers Ontario


my pleasure to join the professional engineers and engineering technologists of North Bay for their 46th annual symposium, this year on the theme of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) regulates the practice of professional engineering in Ontario in the public interest, under the authority of the Professional Engineers Act. We do this primarily by licensing qualified individuals to practise engineering, permitting firms to offer engineering services to the public under a Certificate of Authorization, and by establishing and enforcing standards of practice and ethical conduct. Licensed practitioners are expected to demonstrate in their work a strong commitment to public welfare ? which is broadly defined to include safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment ? and to put the public interest ahead of their own selfinterest. Last July, PEO introduced changes to the requirements for its limited licence. The limited licence is designed for individuals without a bachelor?s degree in engineering who, by virtue of other training and experience (often in engineering technology or natural science), are competent to practise engineering within a defined scope of practice. Those who obtain limited licences under the new requirements are also eligible to be take responsibility for engineering work offered to the public under a Certificate of Authorization. Certified engineering technologist members of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists who obtain a limited licence under the new requirements are entitled to use the reserved designation Licensed Engineering Technologist or LET. Engineers and technologists play several crucial roles in manufacturing. The first of these is in product design. Going far beyond the normal design objectives of functionality and ease of use, a well designed product can be manufactured more easily and cheaply, using less energy, with less environmental impact, and with greater reliability and maintainability. Another important role has to do with manufacturing productivity. Modern techniques of industrial engineering, such as lean and Six SigmaTM, are essential to profitability and competitiveness, as is constant innovation in product design and in manufacturing techniques and processes. And finally, there is the matter of worker safety. Those licensed to practise engineering provide leadership to ensure workplaces are both healthy and productive through installing safeguards and eliminating or mitigating hazards. It is regrettable that the Ontario government?s lack of support for engineering licensure in manufacturing has led to the view that anyone can do engineering there. On the contrary, it has never been more critical to the competitiveness of our manufacturing industries to have licensed professionals in key positions of responsibility. A competent industrial engineer can be expected to repay his/her salary many times over in innovation and increased productivity! We should not give up on manufacturing in Ontario. There are many opportunities for Ontario manufacturers to succeed in markets where innovation in product design, manufacturing, productivity, and customer service can outweigh the economies of scale of larger competitors. But there will be no quick fixes. We need to make a longterm commitment to a well thought out industrial strategy.

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