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April 2007

Canadian Engineering Leadership Forum:  A Landmark Initiative


Marie, P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer, CCPE 

The engineering profession strives to serve the Canadian public by developing a stronger, safer society. 

I am very proud that the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) has been working in partnership with key organizations to help enhance what the public has come to value. 

In collaboration with other national engineering organizations, we have been working to help shape the future of our profession in Canada through the establishment of the Canadian Engineering Leadership Forum (CELF). Using an approach never taken before by the engineering profession, CELF is a landmark initiative that combines the expertise of Canada's leading national engineering associations. 

The foundation of CELF is based on discussions of common issues and priorities important to Canada's engineering profession that took place, prior to 2005, between the chief executive officers of CCPE, the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC), the Canadian Academy of Engineers (CAE), and the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). 

In 2005, CCPE brought the profession's leadership together by hosting a joint meeting in Ottawa with the presidents, presidents-elect and chief executive officers of ACEC, CAE, EIC and the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Sciences (NCDEAS). 

The combined leadership shared information about the work being done by each organization and discussed the formation of a common vision for the engineering profession. Several topics to be incorporated in the vision include the profession's image; education; ethics; influencing government and the public; and trends. 

After initial discussions, member organizations recognized the need to attract students and invited the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) to participate in the initiative. On June 3, 2006, the six member organizations signed the CELF Memorandum of Understanding in Whitehorse, Yukon. 

The Forum is an information-sharing body, not a decision-making body. Our focus is on what we can do as a group to come up with a grand vision for the profession over the next 30 years, with the objectives of enhancing the profession and better responding to the needs of Canada as a whole. All CELF members are equal partners. As such, the Forum is an excellent opportunity for students to provide input and influence decision-makers and CFES has signed on to the initiative. 

What will be the issues, challenges and opportunities for engineers over the next 30 years? What would define success for this new 30-year vision? 

In order to address these and other questions, the CELF leadership has discussed an engineering summit in 2008 to develop a common aspiration and vision for a vibrant engineering community that works in the public interest and contributes actively to the evolution of society. 

An engineering summit task force is currently developing the long-term objectives as well as the preliminary design of a consultative process leading up to the summit.

Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

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