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Engineers can help protect environment: conference

A conference that could change how the engineering world treats the environment will be taking place May 10 to 12 in Ottawa.

A conference that could change how the engineering world treats the environment will be taking place May 10 to 12 in Ottawa.

The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) will be hosting the three-day Climate Change Conference in order to bring attention to the possible changes that engineering businesses can make for the environment and why this is so important.

The event is being held at the Ottawa Congress Centre in the city’s downtown, about a 15-minute drive from Ottawa International Airport.

A large group of engineers will attend this conference to educate other engineering companies as well as the public.

“The response is quite a bit greater than assumed,” says John Plant, publicity chair. “We hope the event is publicized enough, we are expecting at least 300 people.”

The fee for non-members before April 10 was $668.75 for the full conference and $240.75 for a day. To attend this event it will now cost a person looking to attend for the three days $775.75, or $267.50 for a one-day trip.

For those not interested in spending three days there, Plant suggests attending the first day to listen to the keynote presenters.

“I am eager to listen to the featured speakers,” says Plant. “The Governor General will be interesting to listen to and we are hoping to get Rona Ambrose, the minister of the environment, to speak as well.”

This event will be of interest to government agencies, environmental practitioners, consulting engineers and with special interest groups such as financial and legal specialists, economists and experts working with climate change.

“The Engineering profession has a major responsibility and role to play in addressing climate change,” reads the event website.

There will be a number of speakers to enlighten the public and other engineering companies about their plans for improving how their company effects the environment around their places of work, such as John Stone, former director general of Environment Canada.

Among the concerned companies speaking are: Pierre Alvarez, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum; Richard Paton, president and CEO of the Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association; Pierre Charlebois, executive vice-president and chief nuclear officer at Ontario Power Generation and Ralph Torrie, vice-president of ICF Consulting.

“I think this is a terrific bunch of speakers,” says Plant.

Although this is primarily a Canadian conference, no foreign companies were turned down when they applied to join this cause. Companies from countries like the United States, India and the Netherlands will be attending and participating in the event.

A detailed program can also be found on the website. The program includes the times and places that various sessions will be occurring, the name of the presentation topic, and which company will be hosting it.

Along with being an important conference that could change the way industrial operations affect the environment, it will bring engineering companies from around the world together to share ideas and best practices.