Canadian Prairies Group of Chartered Engineers

Calgary Technical Events


The technical presentations are normally scheduled for the second Wednesday of the months of
February through to June and September through to November of each year at
The Danish Canadian Club, 727, 11th Avenue S.W., Calgary.

We meet at 6.30 pm. for a 7.00 pm. start.
The presentation ends with a Q & A session by 8:30 pm.
There will be a complimentary light dinner snack to conclude the event.
Spouses and guests are always welcome.

CPGCE is actively arranging technical events for the many years, bringing together industry experts to get an update on projects, challenges, and opportunities.

These events provide an excellent networking opportunity for professionals in a relaxed setting. A typical distribution of our attendees is shown below:

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Winter break: December and January

Upcoming technical events

Will be announced shortly

Past technical meetings

Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

"The Science of Climate Change - Two Perspectives”

Guest speakers:

Dr Shawn Marshall and Dr Neil Hutton


Dr Shawn Marshall, Canada Research Chair on Climate Change,
Department of Geography, University of Calgary.

Dr Neil Hutton, Past President, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists


Dr Shawn Marshall, Canada Research Chair on Climate Change,
Department of Geography, University of Calgary,


Dr Neil Hutton, Past President, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists

These two speakers agree that our climate is changing and that the cause of the warming since 1950 is open to debate. Each will present scientific evidence and their interpretation of the data as to whether the warming over the last sixty years is driven in the main by CO2 or not. Dr. Marshall will provide evidence supporting CO2 as a major contributor and Dr. Hutton will provide evidence to the contrary.
Each speaker will present for 20 minutes. There will be 20 minutes for questions from the audience and then each speaker will summarize their perspective in light of the discussion.
The executive hopes that this format will provide members with the relevant scientific facts, and show how different interpretations can be made. Members will then be informed and able to sort out hype from reality as reported in the media.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

"Computer-aided Detection of Subtle Signs of Breast Cancer in Mammograms"

Guest speaker:
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Schulich School of Engineering
(Adjunct Professor of Surgery and Radiology)


Rangaraj M. Rangayyan is a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and an Adjunct Professor of Surgery and Radiology, at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

He received the Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication in 1976 from the University of Mysore at the People's Education Society College of Engineering, Mandya, Karnataka, India, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, in 1980.

His research interests are in the areas of digital signal and image processing, biomedical signal analysis, biomedical image analysis, and computer-aided diagnosis. He has published more than 140 papers in journals and 250 papers in proceedings of conferences.

His research productivity was recognized with the 1997 and 2001 Research Excellence Awards of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the 1997 Research Award of the Faculty of Engineering, and by appointment as a "University Professor" in 2003, at the University of Calgary.

He is the author of two textbooks: Biomedical Signal Analysis (IEEE/ Wiley, 2002) and Biomedical Image Analysis (CRC, 2005). He has coauthored and coedited several other books, including one on Color Image Processing with Biomedical Applications (SPIE, 2011) and three on imaging and image processing for the detection of breast cancer.

He was recognized by the IEEE with the award of the Third Millennium Medal in 2000, and was elected as a Fellow of the IEEE in 2001, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 2002, Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2003, Fellow of SPIE: the International Society for Optical Engineering in 2003, Fellow of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine in 2007, Fellow of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society in 2007, and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2009. He has been awarded the Killam Resident Fellowship thrice (1998, 2002, and 2007) in support of his book-writing projects.


Architectural distortion is a subtle sign of breast cancer that could be missed in screening mammography. This seminar will present several techniques for the detection of architectural distortion in mammograms based on the analysis of oriented texture using Gabor filters, modeling of orientation fields by phase portraits, and modeling of the oriented structure of breast tissues.

Screening mammograms obtained prior to the detection of cancer could contain subtle signs of breast cancer, in particular, architectural distortion. Several methods will be described for the characterization architectural distortion based on the analysis of the angular spread of power and other characteristics, fractal analysis, texture analysis, and measures of divergence.

With a dataset of 106 prior mammograms of 56 interval-cancer cases and 52 mammograms of 13 normal cases, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of up to 0.78 has been obtained. Free-response receiver operating characteristics have indicated sensitivity of 0.80 at fewer than 4 false positives per patient.

The results indicate that the methods proposed can help in the detection of breast cancer at earlier stages than possible by visual interpretation.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

"Airport tunnel"

Guest speaker:

Andrew Boucher




The Airport Trail Tunnel is a 620m long, twin cell cast-in-place tunnel being built below the Calgary International Airport's parallel runway project, concurrently under construction. The tunnel is being built in a "cut and cover" method, and will also pass below three taxiways serving the new parallel runway. This talk will discuss the tunnel's conceptual development, fast-tracked construction, and the general design of what is being built.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

"Tailings ponds"

Guest speakers:

Emily Hicks, Robert Mayall and David Lloyd,
University of Calgary Graduates


Emily, Robert and David are all recent graduates of the University of Calgary, Emily and Robert finishing their bachelors of health sciences, with David finishing his masters in biochemistry. All three have been involved in leading the University of Calgary's 2012 International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition team. Originally from the University of Alberta, David has been involved in the iGEM competition for the past four years as part of the U of A team for two years before coming to the U of C to pursue a masters program. Emily has been involved in the U of C team for the past four years while Robert has been involved for the past two years.


Tailings ponds are large bodies of water containing toxic compounds that accumulate as a byproduct of the oil extraction process in the oil sands of northern Alberta. These toxic and corrosive compounds are a potential environmental and economic concern to Alberta and to other areas.

The University of Calgary 2012 iGEM team aimed to develop a collection of toxin-sensing and degrading organisms to detect and destroy (bioremediate) the toxins, turning them into useable hydrocarbons. Using a synthetic biology approach, they developed FRED, an electrochemical biosensor capable of detecting a variety of different toxins within tailings ponds samples.

In addition, they developed OSCAR, a system for bioconverting toxins such as naphthenic acids into burnable hydrocarbons through the use of a bioreactor system. With their significant success at the local, regional and finally the international competition, the group is now exploring the potential for the commercialization of their work.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

"Lean Manufacturing"

Guest speakers:

"Carla Ciepliski, P.Eng. Consultant with Ternion Results"
Jim Beswick, P.Eng, FMM, Consultant with Applied Performance.


Carla and Jim are both independent consultants with over 17 and 20 years industry experience respectively who support multi-sector industry needs by improving business, operational and manufacturing performance.

Carla's industry background comes initially from consumer packaged goods manufacturing within Procter & Gamble. More recently, her consulting experience has been through steel manufacturing, construction, food processing industry as well as not for profit organizations.

Jim's industry experience comes from working with industry leaders such as Rolls Royce and Bombardier. Jim has built on this base as a consultant, adding multi sector experience to his repertoire as well, including the Energy sector.

Carla and Jim also both support provincial and national level program development and instruction to improve capability in areas of Continuous Improvement Methodology, Lean thinking and Technology.


Lean Thinking philosophy and tools are being adapted and used in every sector and application in industry today. It is being leveraged as a key strategy to promote more innovative thinking and enterprise wide continuous improvement; which are critical elements to being competitive.

Lean is very simply defined as creating more value for your customer(s) with fewer resources while improving quality and response time. The clarity and alignment that comes from defining value and ensuring that this is translated throughout the organization, is one of the more powerful impacts this methodology can produce. This alignment includes building engineering requirements, manufacturing execution and field installation; it involves more fully leveraging all accessible human talent.

This presentation will explore the universal Lean principles, some key techniques and how you can begin to leverage these to tap a different level of innovation.

Wednesday, Sept 11, 2013.

"Safety During Construction"

Guest speaker:

Daniel Canning
Construction Director, AMEC Americas.




Our speaker on Wednesday September 11th, will be Daniel Canning Construction Director AMEC Americas. AMEC is one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy companies. AMEC has a significant presence in Alberta. Daniel’s talk, Safety During Construction is of relevance to all of us in Engineering community since methods to achieve sustainable improvement in safety performance are frequently transferable to other industries. And as Dan will point out, Safety begins long before work on site begins.

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013.

"Major Pipeline Projects in Canada"

Guest speaker:

James Hale
President, Explorer Energy Services Ltd.


Jim Hale has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry. For the past 16 years, Jim has led Explorer Energy Services Ltd. which is an international consulting company providing a broad range of services from major project development to restructuring regulatory systems for energy sector privatizations. During 2005 -2006, Jim was Vice President, Global Gas Solutions for Decision Strategies, a Houston based management consulting firm specializing in decision analysis for major projects.
Jim has been involved in the development of a number of major international pipeline projects such as the expansion of Turkey's gas transmission system (2000+km of 36-16 inch pipeline) and Bolivia to Brazil pipeline (3150 km of 32-24-16 inch pipeline). Jim has been a Senior Advisor to the Minister's of Energy of Algeria, Bolivia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Peru for the development of pipeline transmission regulations that provide appropriate regulatory oversight while attracting foreign investment into the sector. Jim has also been a Senior Advisor at PetroCanada for its Fort Hills Pipeline project and for BP on its AOSA West project both of which are oil sands transportation projects.
Prior to forming Explorer Energy, Jim held various leadership positions in the NOVA group of companies in the areas of gas marketing (Pan Alberta Gas), development of Alberta's major gas transmission network (NOVA Gas Transmission), and international pipeline project development (Nova Corp International). He has provided policy and expert witness testimony before both the FERC in the US and ERCB in Alberta on transportation tolling issues. He was General Manager, Nova Gas Marketing SA, a natural gas marketing company located in Buenos Aires, Argentina established to market natural gas throughout the Southern Cone. During his tenure with Nova Gas Transmission, he was responsible for long range planning and strategy, facilities planning and special projects.


Spending on pipeline projects in North America is forecast at $100 Billion plus over the next 7 years and this does not include the $ Billions being spent on rail options. Enbridge and TransCanada alone each have over $35 Billion in projects on their books.

Mr. Hale will provide an overview of the major projects impacting the Canadian oil and gas industry. As part of the overview he will provide his view of the issues facing these projects and the associated risks.

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013.

"An Overview of Carbon Management"

Guest speaker:

"Mr. Gary Mackay"


Overall 2011 Greenhouse Gases in Canada exceeded 700MT of carbon dioxide equivalent making Canada one of the largest emitters in the world. The chief contributor, at 35%, is Alberta due to its heavy reliance on coal-fired plants for electricity generation, and its role as a significant supplier of energy to the United States. Additionally, Canadian national and provincial carbon policy and price are rapidly evolving with businesses facing significant reputational and financial risk. Despite future uncertainty around carbon policy and price, businesses are increasingly recognizing that there is significant value in proactively addressing CO2 emissions.

Our presenter Mr. Gary Mackay will provide a view of the policy and regulatory framework that currently drive CO2 emission reductions, as well as the mitigation and technology options available.

The technical events listed above are subject to change – please check this site for the latest update.
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