The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) hosted its annual Summit Awards® to honour members whose determination and inspiration have let them reach high levels of achievement.
Our Edmonton video production team was able to sit down with these inspiring individuals and learn what groundbreaking contributions have been taking place in our province.
Anastasia Elias, P.Eng., PhD, who was the recipient of the Early Accomplishment award, has been a professional engineer since 2011 and has been teaching at the University of Alberta since 2008. As an assistant professor in chemical and materials engineering, Dr. Elias has been working on some very innovative projects.
Dr. Anastasia Elias at the University of Alberta
“Research is a big part of my job, “ says Elias, “I have a team of graduate students and post postdoctoral fellows that I work with and we just try to solve problems in different areas.”
Currently, Elias and her team are working to develop ‘smart materials’ for the food industry. Smart materials are material that can sense a change in its surrounding and undergo a change property.
“We’re trying to make a material that is responsive to food pathogens. So, this would be a way of adding safety to the food supply chain, particularly for meats. By having a material that could be integrated right into packaging and act like a sensor all the way along the food supply chain from production to sales, giving real-time, constant assurance of food safety.”
Dr. David Wood at the University of Calgary
David Wood, P.Eng., PhD, the recipient for the Environment and Sustainability Award, has been a professional engineer since 1980. After immigrating to Canada from Australia, Dr. Wood began teaching at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering in 2010.
Dr. Wood’s main research interests are in small wind turbines and other forms of renewable energy, which has taken Dr. Wood around the world to countries like Nepal.
“What I love about working in countries like Nepal is being in the field and seeing how very simple developments, things we take for granted, have the ability to improve people’s lives and they have the ability to do that without damaging the planet.”
The inhabitants of a remote Nepalese village had been burning a resinous type of pine tree to light their homes at night, creating an unhealthy smoke. Thanks to a collaborative effort between Dr. Wood and his colleagues, the small village now has a reliable electricity supply at no cost to their health.
“We want to improve the quality and reliability of these small-scale systems for remote villages so we can provide clean energy and they don’t need to burn nasty things to be able to see at night,” says Dr. Wood.