Grand River Chapter
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Sunday, 15 January 2017 15:05

Symposium 2017 Breakout Speakers

Current State of Process Safety Management in Canada - Edgar Fernandez, P.Eng. 

Edgar Fernandez    The operations in the chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, oil and gas, power generation and energy industries all involve very complex processes with intrinsic hazards and risks. These could have catastrophic outcomes, loss of property, and environmental damage and need to be managed carefully through a management system. Process safety management is a globally recognized analytical tool that allows companies to identify hazards and assess them through a disciplined approach.

Currently, many regulations require the application of process safety. However, the industries mentioned above are facing gaps in the implementation and use of process safety management.

Canada does not have an explicit process safety management regulation comparable to the US, but having no specific regulations does not mean that process safety management is not applied in Canada. Edgar will enrich your knowledge of process safety management regulations which can be applied in your respective workplace.

Edgar Fernandez is the owner of PHARMA-CHEMICALSAFETY LIMITED, a company that provides engineering services in process and workplace safety. Edgar has 22 years of experience in PSM and workplace safety.  He has worked as a Sr. Process Safety Engineer for Apotex Pharmachem Inc, 3M Canada, Nalco-Champion, CGG Veritas, Kelloggs, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Wyeth and Schering-Plough.

He has implemented projects such as managing and leading the Process Safety Management Program, facilitating process hazard analysis, designing and providing technical support for equipment for combustible dust and flammable liquid operations, conducting and leading safety kaizen blitz, OSHAS 18001, incident investigations and quality risk analysis.

Edgar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario.  He is also a  Canadian Registered Safety Professional and a Certified Safety Professional in the United States.


The Changing Energy Landscape and Sustainability in a Low-Carbon Future - Danny Persaud, P.Eng., MBA

Danny Persaud  Energy and Climate change are two of the largest challenges facing professional engineers across the world.  Today, designing systems and processes are no longer centered on the deliverable but encompass the ecosystem in which it must exist.  This discussion will provide a brief history of energy in society, the impacts of climate change, our shift toward a low carbon economy and what this means for existing businesses and communities now and in the future.   Economic mechanisms such as cap and trade and carbon taxes will be discussed along with the advent of renewable energy and net-zero homes. Listen to Danny and learn how the changing environmental landscape will affect you and your company.


Danny Persaud is the Manager of Gas Supply Operations & Regulations at Kitchener Utilities, a division of the City of Kitchener responsible for the system gas supply portfolio, carbon portfolio and regulatory obligations for the gas utility.  Danny has several years of experience in the energy and utility sector working in a variety of corporate-wide and cross-functional roles, where he was instrumental in leading change across the organization.  He is a proactive and results-focused professional that strives to challenge conventional thinking and take ideas to the next level.  Danny is an Engineering Systems & Computing graduate from the University of Guelph and a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario.  He earned his MBA in Strategy & Finance from the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University.


Ion Rapid Transit Project and its Engineering Challenges - Josh Graham, C.E.T.

Josh Graham   Construction of ION, the Region of Waterloo’s rapid transit system, is well underway. It includes 19-kilometer of light rail transit (LRT) from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener and 17-kilometers of adapted bus rapid transit (aBRT) from Fairview Park Mall to Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge. With a total budget of $818 million, ION Stage One represents the largest capital investment in the Region’s history. ION aBRT launched in September 2015 and ION LRT will open in 2017.


This presentation will focus on the latest developments in the on-going design and construction challenges of the ION Project.   The discussion will include the design and management of multiple civil engineering disciplines from the owner’s perspective. Josh will present unique project elements such as bridge construction and rehabilitation, deep sewer replacement within a confined road allowance, dealing with poor soil conditions and geometric constraints integrating a rail corridor on a roadway.


Josh Graham is a Project Manager for ION Rapid Transit.  Josh graduated from the Civil Engineering Technology program from Conestoga College. He has spent the past 10 years working on various projects throughout Canada and the United States. These have included multiple design and build projects in complex excavation and structure support, deep foundations, environmental, bridge construction and municipal infrastructure. With his role in the Ion Rapid Transit, Josh will get you up to speed with this major construction development.


Implementation of Rental Boilers for Auxiliary Facility Heating - Gabriel Wootton, P.Eng.

Gabriel Wootton   Rental boilers are frequently implemented to provide additional, temporary, short term steam generating capacity in industrial and institutional facilities. Boilers provide the primary heating source for many large facilities, and therefore ensuring that reliable steam generation is available is critical. In many cases, rental boilers find use in facility steam heating applications where there are concerns about the reliability and available capacity of existing heating equipment. In these cases, rental boilers may be implemented as auxiliary equipment to ensure that in the event of an unforeseen breakdown of primary heating equipment, there is a backup in place which can be quickly put into operation to make up for the shortfall. This presentation discusses the challenges, successes, and lessons learned through completion of a project undertaken to provide backup rental boilers and auxiliary heating capacity for an institutional customer with unique requirements.  With this new knowledge in your arsenal, you can be ready when the unexpected happens in your workplace.


Gabriel Wootton is a Process Engineer at GeoSyntec, with over eight years of engineering experience in a diverse range of work environments. He has worked in a variety of sectors including industrial steam generation (process steam and facility heating), metal finishing, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Within these sectors he had roles in various functional capacities, including technical sales and product support, process design and project management, onsite construction supervision, equipment commissioning, production facility operations and environmental compliance. He is currently employed as a Process Engineer with Geosyntec Consultants Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario. Gabriel graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a Professional Engineer in Ontario.  



The Dark side of Engineering: Dealing with the Contractor - Craig Dubecki



Craig Dubecki  This presentation takes a light-hearted and humorous approach to the business relationship involved in taking what starts out as a "Need"  from "Concept" to "Design" and then finally to "Reality"; all from the Contractors viewpoint.  Starting off as a team effort between the Owner and Engineer, once handed over to the Contractor the project usually translates into a harmoniously smooth, successfully executed and on-budget endeavour – or does it? 


The dynamics created from perceptions, personalities and human characteristics are explored by using simple psychology. We will look at how the grunt and practically trained Contractor translates and creatively implements what a highly educated, pragmatic mind of an Engineer has created. In the end the Owner always get what he or she wanted - or will they?

Using the Principles of WYLIWYG, Where You Look Is Where You Go™, the Contractor does their best to ensure a happy ending. But the line drawn from Design to Reality will most certainly not be straight.


Craig Dubecki is a Business Development professional at AIM Industrial Inc.  A successful Industrial Contractor, Craig has been in Estimating, Business Development/Sales/Marketing, and has worked as a Project and Account Manager handling projects such as the in-house maintenance at Redpath Sugar in Toronto, Ontario.  He has worked in both union and non-union positions forming an understanding of both sides.  His focus has always been on building strong relationships with all involved from the customer, to the designer/engineer, the suppliers, and to fellow and competing contractors.  His past careers have seen him in Marketing, Designing and as a highly respected teacher and supervisor.  Craig is a published author with a musically driven book titled “So, You Just Want To Be A Rock Star”. He is the creator/owner of The WYLIWYG™ Principle and WYLIWYG: Where You Look Is Where You Go™.


Living in Kitchener, Craig is an active public speaker, an accomplished Toastmaster and Momondays speaker, and is a member of the Public Speaker’s Association out of Texas discussing a wide variety of topics including: health, motivational/inspirational as well as educational and light-hearted topics.


Sports Engineering, Applying Modern Methods to Up your Game  - Professor John McPhee

John McPhee  Every four years, we see new Olympic records being established.  Are athletes getting that much faster and stronger?  Perhaps, but there is no doubt equipment being used by the athletes for training and competition has drastically changed the playing field over the past several decades.  In this presentation, John will discuss the rapid growth of a field known as Sports Engineering, and demonstrate the application of modern-day engineering design and development to a number of sports:  golf, hockey, Paralympic curling, and Olympic cycling.  The discussion will include academic conferences and educational programs in Sports Engineering around the world, including a new Sports Engineering specialization within the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. Attend his talk and learn how you can get your game up to the next level.


Prof. John McPhee is a Professor of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo.  He received his degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Acadia University, the Technical University of Nova Scotia, and the University of Waterloo.  He worked at the Université de Liège, Belgium, and Queen’s University, Canada, before taking a faculty position in 1992 at the University of Waterloo where he holds the Canada Research Chair in System Dynamics.


Dr. McPhee pioneered the use of linear graph theory to model multi-domain dynamic systems, with applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to sports engineering.  His research algorithms are a core component of the MapleSim software, which is used by thousands of engineers and researchers at Toyota, NASA, Ford, Canon, and many others.   

Dr. McPhee is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers.  In 2014, he received the prestigious NSERC Synergy Award from the Governor-General of Canada.

By Jonathan Velasco

PEO Grand River Chapter participated in the 2016 Your Future Your Choice career fair held last Nov 16, 2016 at the Centennial CVI in Guelph. There were hundreds of high school students who came to the career fair and some serious students stopped by the PEO booth. Chapter volunteers Tabot and Jonathan, together with two mechanical engineering students from UoG Matt and Bella, had entertained about 50 students combined. Their questions ranged from what is engineering to how to become a licensed engineer in Ontario. There were several students who don’t know what they want to pursue after high school, so the volunteers spent time discussing to them the work life of an engineer. Also, by interacting with their parents, volunteers have provided some additional influence to those who were already thinking of pursuing the profession.

This type of event is a very productive way of reaching out to the youth and inspires them to consider becoming an engineer. It was very rewarding indeed for the PEO volunteers to be able to impart a spark to young minds who may become future engineers of our country.


career fair

Thursday, 17 November 2016 20:34

Career Pathways 2016

The PEO Grand River Chapter attended Career Pathways as an exhibitor on October 13th, 2016 at the Hanlon Convention Centre in Guelph. Approximately 1300 Grade 8 students attended the event. At the PEO Grand River Chapter booth, we could interact and engage with the students inspiring them to consider wide spectrum and exciting opportunities within engineering program as their future career.


Career Pathways-2016-1


Career Pathways-2016-2

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