the Institute of Power Engineers

Word from our Directors

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November 29, 2015

The focus of the IPE is the support and education of its members. The National Directors hold monthly conference calls to discuss topic of importance to the profession. Topics discussed can relate to specific jurisdictions, regulatory concerns, membership issues, etc. This month’s highlights of the discussion are:
  1. Student membership under review
  2. Ontario Operating Engineer regulations under review
  3. BC collaboration day
  4. All Areas are working to facilitate PE students obtain their practicum time for certification

Student Membership Review

The IPE is working hard at redeveloping the membership plan for students. The membership for students has been the responsibility of the Branches. The number of student members has not been well managed as has the communication for the development of the students as long term members. This year the IPE has been looking a way to engage all Power Engineer students as members in a meaningful way. If you, as a member, have suggestions or thoughts on this topic, please feel free to let us know. Our continuance as a viable organization representing all Power Engineers depends upon engaging students.

Feedback on Student Membership Review

Ontario Operating Engineer Regulation (219/01) under review

This has been a long time in coming, but, the Ontario Government is undertaking the task of rewriting the Operating Engineer Regulation (219/01). There is currently an expert panel looking at the regulation to see what improvements and changes can be made to bring it up to date. Some of the anticipated changes are that the words Operating Engineer will be replaced by Power Engineer and the current content will be broken into two distinct parts. The definition of what a “Power Engineer” is and limits of their responsibilities will continue to be captured in a regulation. The technical portion which explains how plants are registered and staffed will be moved out and captured as a code. The code adoption method will allow for the technical aspects to be modified as needed without the need to go before the government for public discourse.

Comments at the expert panel have been very positive regarding the professional standing of Power Engineers and the IPE. Other professions are starting to look at the model of training that has been the cornerstone of the IPE since 1940 which is education with a balance of practical and theory. Also, industry has realized the benefits of having Power Engineers on staff because of their unique knowledge. All of this has made an impression on the government officials and has opened the door to the possibility of self-regulation. In the background, the IPE Ontario Area is looking into incorporating by Spring 2017 and has engaged a web development company for the acquisition of a CMS website with e-commerce to support the ever-growing Education Forum.

For comments or questions regarding Operating Engineer Regulation (219/01) under review

BCIPE Collaboration Day

It was a good day of conversation between the government, colleges, BC Safety Authority, the IPE and industry representatives. The government explained the drivers for foreign worker qualifications. A few of the drivers are public health and safety, human rights, fairness and economic development. Over the next few years there will be 934,000 job openings in the trades to replace existing trades people. The plan is to try and maximize the BC workforce, then recruit from across Canada, then finally utilize international workers. The BC government has been actively funding foreign qualification recognition activities for the last 10 years.

The IPE introduced the concept of having power engineering in the high school to members of the Vancouver School Board. This is something that is working well in the Calgary area.

We talked about the letter that was sent to the Plant Chief in Ontario (known as the Chief's letter) and was presented as a possible option for communicating to all of the Plant Chiefs in BC. The letter explains the need for plants to offer qualifying time for student so that they may progress in order to be the replacement Power Engineers needed by industry.

We talked a great deal about certifying and tracking power engineers with BC Safety Authority. This is something that is currently not done in BC as there is currently no annual renewal for certificates. This is something that the IPE has had conversations with BC Safety Authority and is following very closely.

Sanja Boskovic (BCIT) gave a presentation on the Power Engineering Degree program proposed for BCIT. This would augment the 1st Class program everyone currently follows.

For comments or questions regarding BCIPE Collaboration Day

Power Engineer Student Qualifying Time Support

There is an ongoing effort by all IPE Areas with the engagement of industry to provide opportunities for the qualifying time needed by all Power Engineer students. The IPE has been instrumental in getting industry, accredited colleges, jurisdiction and the government at one table. This has led to very productive dialogue. The type of plant and work that could be considered beneficial to the learning of a Power Engineer student gets challenged and updated at each of these events. Communication strategies on how to reach all industries that employ Power Engineers to open their doors to students are considered. A letter to all Plant Chiefs with the combined endorsement of the Jurisdiction, colleges and the IPE has been developed and used with good success.

For comment or questions regarding Power Engineer Student Qualifying Time Support

The National Directors and Executive are working for the benefit of all Power Engineers across Canada. This communication is only one means of keeping our members informed. If you have any comments in general you would like to share, please contact your Area Director or the National Office at

IPE National Directors and Executive

Ralf Klopf, President Email

Blair Saulnier, PE, 1st Vise President (Maritimes Area Director) Email

Eric Steinson, PE, Past President Email

Ed Hnytka, PE, Alberta Area Director Email

Guy Gagon, Quebec Area Director Email

Dave Paulin, PE, British Columbia Area Director Email

William (Bill) Kolinowich,Second Vice-President, Manitoba Area Director Email

George Walsh, NFLD/Labrador Area Director Email

Allan Whetter, National Secretary Email

Jude Rankin, PE, Advice in Council Email

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