Provincial Engineering & Geoscience Week


A Salute to Professional Engineers & Geoscientists

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WWW.KGSGROUP.COM WINNIPEG REGINA MISSISSAUGA THUNDER BAY Dedicated to excellence in engineering and project management, KGS Group is one of Canada's fastest growing consulting firms. Through the planning, design, supervision and management of significant private and public sector projects across Canada and internationally, we have built a solid reputation for providing quality engineering services. SCIENCE IMAGINATION COLLABORATION I t's hard work but it's worth the effort. That's the resounding message from internationally-educated engineers who have gone through the process to become licensed in Manitoba. Claudia Shymko, Assessment Officer for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba (APEGM), outlines four steps involved. First, the academic assessment process determines which confirmatory exams candidates need to complete. In 2013, 115 people completed this stage. Next, they can challenge exams or take courses in lieu of exams. They can also opt to complete the Internationally Educated Engineering Qualification program at the University of Manitoba or choose to be interviewed by a panel of engineers in their field. The third step is when the applicant is declared academically qualified. They are then invited to submit their member-in-training (MIT) application and to complete the Act, By-laws and Code of Ethics (ABC) Test. The last step is the pre-registration process. During this final stage, they need to complete 48 months of work experience, as well as professional development and volunteer service hours. After that, they must pass the national professional practice exam before they get their licence. "We're here to help them succeed and get through it as smoothly as possible," Shymko said. Demand for engineering jobs is high in Manitoba, and nobody knows that better than Ramon Cairo, a structural engineer who came to Canada in 2004. Originally from the Philippines, Cairo worked for three years in his home country, followed by another three years in Saudi Arabia. After that, he worked as an engineer in the American territory of Saipan. Friends convinced him to apply for immigration to Canada, and a year later, Cairo moved with his family to Winnipeg. "I had been away from university for a long time. It's very hard to go back and do all those examinations," Cairo said. "But then I realized that there is no other way." While working full-time at FWS Construction, who helped jumpstart the process for his P.Eng designation, Cairo enrolled at the U of M in 2005 to take courses in lieu of exams. Through his contacts at the university, he landed a job at the City of Winnipeg, followed by a position with PTC Construction, where he continues to work as the director of engineering and construction. "I loved what I was doing before coming to Canada, and I wanted to continue with that," Cairo said. "I'm blessed to be doing even more than what I was doing before in structural engineering." In another success story, Eduardo Morales Martinez received his professional designation in November. He came to Canada from Mexico in 2006 and began working for Palliser Furniture, where his employers encouraged him to pursue his professional designation. His academic assessment determined that he needed to complete three confirmatory exams, so he took two university courses and challenged one exam. "I absolutely recommend the process to others. It's been rewarding," said Morales Martinez. Morales Martinez now works as an industrial engineer for EQ3 Furniture. Civil engineer Efrem Teklemariam took another route to receive his professional designation. Originally from Eritrea, Teklemariam completed his undergraduate degree in Ethiopia and his master's degree in the Netherlands, where he specialized in water resource engineering. He came to Canada in November 1989 and started the APEGM process a few months later. After his academic assessment, he asked if he could take graduate-level courses at the U of M and was granted the opportunity. He pursued a second master's degree along the way to earning APEGM membership. "You need to sacrifice and then you see the fruit of that for the next 30 to 40 years of your career," he said. Today, Teklemariam works for Manitoba Hydro as manager of the water resources engineering department. Clockwise from far left: Cairo, a structural engineer, came to Canada in 2004. Morales Martinez, who immigrated from Mexico in 2006, received his professional designation in November. Teklemariam, originally from Eritrea, pursued a second master's degree along the way to earning APEGM membership. (Submittedphotos) Internationally-trained engineers share success stories By Jennifer McFee for the Free Press

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