Tackling the environment issue

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered the environment in Engineering Dimensions, since we can’t begin to scratch the surface of such a broad topic in a single issue of the magazine. Previously, we’ve featured engineering educators who have embraced sustainability as a valuable teaching component, fascinating examples of animal- and plant-inspired sustainable engineering designs, and the subject our letter writers are most passionate about: climate change. There’s plenty of information out there on the importance of environmental protection planning, and one thing’s for sure: environmental engineers are necessary players in the team efforts to save our planet.

In “Environmental concerns coaxing new levels of input from P.Engs,” Associate Editor Michael Mastromatteo delves into what may be expected of environmental practitioners moving forward, given the increasing public concern about water pollution, greenhouse gases, alternatives to fossil fuels and the emerging carbon economy. Experts at Engineers Canada, the national body of the country’s provincial and territorial engineering regulators, for one, see significant changes on the horizon for the way environmental engineering is understood and practised, and recently published its National Guideline on Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship for Professional Engineers, which highlights the changing priorities in this sector. It suggests that individual engineers should make it their professional responsibility to consider the environmental impact of their work.

We also sought out several frontline practitioners to find out what they’re doing in the field, and their views on what may be in store (“Practitioners survey the current—and future—environmental landscape”). Each with their own area of expertise, these individuals are proving the field is ripe for fresh and innovative thinking. Personally, I’m excited about the possibilities of what these—and other—forward-thinking specialists can achieve in making our future a brighter and cleaner one.

This issue, we also introduce you to PEO’s council for 2017-2018, including new President Bob Dony, PhD, P.Eng., FEC. As you’ll read in his first president’s message, he has lofty goals for his year in office and is putting particular emphasis on educating the next generation of engineers, which is not surprising, given he is a long-time engineering professor at the University of Guelph. He also hopes to focus on implementing a leadership renewal plan, which is already a topic of conversation via PEO’s Council Term Limits Task Force and its recent report. Dony also believes in taking a proactive approach in protecting our self-regulating profession and plans to make it a cornerstone of his presidency.

On a slightly self-serving note, I invite you to take part in our 2017 Engineering Dimensions reader survey starting May 15. The survey helps us gauge reader satisfaction and assists our advertising efforts. It should only take about 15 minutes, and we’ll automatically enter you into a draw to win a $500 Apple gift card. Visit PEO’s homepage and click on the rotating banner to take part in the survey. Or, click the link on page 15 of Engineering Dimensions’ digital edition. I hope you’ll take the time to let us know your thoughts.