Applicant takes roundabout road to Ontario P.Eng.

After a five-year, multi-site registration and transfer process, structural engineer Victor Ike, P.Eng., begins a new career as an Ontario-licensed engineer.

Structural engineer Victor Ike, P.Eng., has earned a cornucopia of frequent flyer miles since graduating in civil engineering from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria in 2000.

Ike, who just transferred his P.Eng. registration from Saskatchewan to Ontario, can be considered a fine example of the easy mobility of internationally educated engineering graduates seeking registration in Canadian jurisdictions.

In late February, Ike began a new position as a senior structural engineer with KGS Group Inc. in Mississauga. But while the job is new, the career path has been long and winding for this itinerant practitioner who has plied his engineering skills over three continents in the last 18 years.

Before deciding to pursue licensing in Canada, Ike had been working with a number of large structural and mining engineering firms in Western Australia and in his native Nigeria. He also spent a year as a project structural engineer with Emas Chiyoda Subsea in Houston, Texas.

Ike first took up residency in Regina, Saskatchewan in search of civil engineering employment in job-rich Western Canada. It was over a six-year period, spread out among Australia, his native Nigeria, Texas and Saskatchewan when Ike satisfied the academic assessment and work experience requirements of internationally educated applicants looking to pursue engineering in Canada.

“I started my registration process with the Saskatchewan engineering regulator in 2012 while working in Australia,” Ike told Engineering Dimensions. “I was admitted as a member-in-training by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) in January 2013 and I continued to submit my experience reports until I accumulated three years of experience, approved by APEGS.”

Ike’s stay in Saskatchewan was very brief, however, as he had to return to a job in Australia.

He completed his APEGS professional practice exams (PPE) in 2015 in Australia after having first arrived in Regina as a landed immigrant. Finally, Ike worked in Houston under a licensed professional engineer on a major oil and gas project.

Ike was a chartered professional engineer (C.P.Eng.) with Engineers Australia. He was also a fellow of Engineers Australia, similar to a fellow of Engineers Canada.

Engineers Australia has a mutual recognition agreement with APEGS with regards to the academic review component of the licensing process at the time of Ike’s application for membership of APEGS.

“I submitted my experience report on this project to APEGS, and it was approved as ‘equivalent to Canadian’ experience,” Ike explains.

In effect, Ike completed the work and academic assessment over a five-year period while a member-in-training (also known as an engineer-in-training) with APEGS. He merely transferred his licence to PEO when he decided to settle in Ontario in 2017.

Kate MacLachlan, P.Geo., director of academic review at APEGS, says Ike’s application process and his transfer to PEO was typical of many international engineering graduates. “We have a two-step process to become a P.Eng.,” she explains. “First you must become an engineer-in-training. To become an engineer-in-training you must meet the academic requirement. Once you are an engineer-in-training then you can start reporting your experience and write the professional practice exam. Once four years of experience has been approved by the Experience Review Committee and the PPE exam has been written, then you can apply as a P.Eng. So, the academic review happens at the engineer-in-training stage.”

With the registration process complete and the job secured, Ike will soon be re-united with his wife, Uloma, son Chimere Vincent and daughter Chinonye Margaret, who have waited out their father’s application and registration process from Perth, Australia. The family was scheduled for reunification in April.

“A bit of luck, being proactive, and a lot of hard work” is how Ike describes his path to licensure with PEO.