Did you know? Alberta is home to the most professional engineers per capita in Canada. With nine in every 1000 people holding the designation across the province - there’s almost a guarantee you know, live or work with a professional engineer or geoscientist.
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) is the professional association that regulates the practice of engineering and geoscience in Alberta. With over 70,000 members and 4,600 permit-holding companies, APEGA is the largest organization of self-regulated professionals in Western Canada, governed by a Council of 16 elected professional members and three appointed public members. The Association recently recognized its 100th anniversary in Alberta.
TC Energy practices Engineering and Geoscience across North America. The professions are at the heart of our success as a leading energy infrastructure company in North America. TC Energy’s Practice of Engineering (POE) Program oversees the application of engineering principles at TC Energy and helps our engineers maintain excellence and accountability in their professional practice. In the province of Alberta, TC Energy has just under 800 registered members with APEGA, making it one of the largest permit holders in Alberta.
This year, TC Energy has two representatives on APEGA’s Executive Council. Seema Makwana, Engineering Manager for Coastal GasLink and Geoffrey Kneller, Senior Engineer in Pipeline Integrity.
Both Seema and Geoff have been long-time APEGA members and volunteers. Driven by their passion for the professions and desire to give back, particularly to members-in-training, they each made the decision to pursue Council positions.
Chief Engineer and Vice-President Engineering and Construction Management.
We sat down (virtually) with Seema and Geoff to learn more about them and their volunteer work on APEGA Council.
Q: What motivated you to want to be a part of APEGA’s Executive Council?
Meet Seema: I started volunteering with the APEGA Board of Examiners to give back to the profession but also to support the Engineers-in-Training at TC Energy who come to me for guidance. The P.Eng. application process is an area where there are lots of questions and I wanted to be able to coach and support those who are going through it. Being on Council provided an even greater opportunity to support and influence within APEGA.
Meet Geoff: My key motivator on Council is to work with the team at APEGA on making positive changes to the legislation that governs our self-regulated professions. I’ve been a volunteer at APEGA working in Enforcement of the current Act since 2012, which has given me some great experiences to contribute to how our new legislation will be formed.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish as a Council member?
Seema: I hope to influence clarity around communication and change management in the application process for Engineers-in-Training. Also, as a member of the Nominating Committee, I am interested in the changes being proposed, understanding how they will bring more diversity to council and helping to get them implemented.
Geoff: I’ve been appointed to the Association’s Audit and Governance committees, so I’m contributing to two areas that are critical for our long-term success. We’re introducing some new changes to governance this year with a complete governance manual which provides for clarity on the roles of APEGA’s Council, the Executive, and a hard-working team of full-time staff. I’m participating in the change management process to ensure that the Association continues to be a high-performing regulator with a focus on public safety.
Q: Why are you passionate about engineering?
Seema: Being an engineer has allowed me to have a diverse career. From building water treatment systems to cleaning up contaminated sites to building and designing pipelines and facilities – I have been able to work in many different areas. It’s not always easy to pivot in a career but being an engineer has allowed me the flexibility to change my focus many times.
Geoff: One of the most interesting things about the engineering and geoscience professions in Alberta is our code of ethics, which requires members to “hold paramount the health, safety and welfare of the public and have regard for the environment” as its primary obligation. People rely on Professional Engineers and Professional Geoscientists to protect their health and safety in everything we work on. We have a profoundly positive impact on TC Energy’s projects when you consider our work from that perspective.
Seema was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario and attended the University of Ottawa earning a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Seema joined TC in 2008 and has held various leadership roles in the Technical Centre and Canada Gas. She is currently the Engineering Manager for Coastal GasLink.
Geoff studied Engineering and Business at the University of Calgary. He is a senior engineer in with our Right-of-Way Management team in Pipeline Integrity and a part-time Reserve Force officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Join us in congratulating Seema and Geoff for their election to APEGA’s Executive Council!
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