44 th

Annual Professional Engineers? Day

Friday, January 31, 2014

The President-Elect Reception will be held Jan. 31 at the Clarion Resort Pinewood Park in the Founders Day Room starting at 5:30 p.m.

North Bay Chapter

An Advertising Feature of the North Bay Nugget

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Understanding the impacts of climate change on engineering practice

By J. David Adams, P.Eng., MBA, FEC President-elect, Professional Engineers Ontario

The

role of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is clear. It?s defined in legislation. We issue licences and regulate the practice of professional engineering in Ontario. In this way, the public is protected through our work of ensuring that all professional engineers have met the rigorous qualifications for licensing and that only properly qualified individuals practise engineering. The issue of climate change, however, is one that constantly seems to generate debate among our members. Flip through any copy of Engineering Dimensions and you?re likely to find a letter to the editor on the science (or lack thereof) behind climate change. It?s a hot button issue that has sparked debate in PEO?s official journal for quite some time, with passionate advocates on both sides of the argument. Our mandate is to establish, maintain and develop standards of knowledge, skill, and practice for the profession. PEO?s Professional Standards Committee (PSC) supports this objective by establishing working groups of knowledgeable practitioners to provide input on legislative changes, public policy affecting engineering practice, and advice to PEO Council on creating and sustaining standards of practice for all areas of professional engineering. As part of this process, the PSC has reviewed a Model Practice Guide on Climate Change Adaptation Principles for Professional Engineers provided by Engineers Canada to all its constituent associations. Following a further review by PEO staff and other specialists in the field, PEO will provide our thinking and comments to the national body and anticipate the publishing of a comprehensive version in the spring. This model guideline may, in turn, be used as a template for a future PEO guideline on an engineer?s responsibility to incorporate the possible effects of climate change in the design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure projects. PEO has also held several events to promote member discussion on climate change through the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy (OCEPP). Earlier this month, OCEPP teamed with York University to present a workshop that explored how some engineers responded to the challenges of integrating climate change into infrastructure planning and development. This event followed a sold-out seminar in October that investigated approaches to traditional water infrastructure that are better able to mitigate the risks associated with more frequent extreme weather, while providing opportunities for the engineering profession to enhance its value within the surface water sector. As the regulator of the profession, PEO is working with our national body, our partners in the engineering community and all levels of government, to better understand the potential impacts of climate change on engineering practice, to better serve and protect the public interest. J. David Adams, P.Eng., MBA, FEC President-elect, Professional Engineers Ontario

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