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Sustainable design is key for new chair of Consulting Engineers of Ontario

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by Patricia Williams

Promoting the concept of sustainability is front and centre on the agenda of David Amm, newly elected chair of Consulting Engineers of Ontario.
Sustainable design is key for new chair of Consulting Engineers of Ontario

Engineering

OTTAWA

Promoting the concept of sustainability is front and centre on the agenda of David Amm, newly elected chair of Consulting Engineers of Ontario.

“As citizens, we need to develop a social conscience toward sustainability,” he told CEO’s annual general meeting.

“As engineers and professionals, we need to find (solutions) and advise society on the ways that we can change our way of life to become sustainable.”

Amm, vice-president of Mississuaga’s Hatch Mott MacDonald Ltd., is also intent on promoting “a common-sense approach” to sustainability as a way of doing business during his one-year term of office.

CEO is a non-profit association representing the business and professional interests of more than 240 engineering firms across Ontario.

Addressing ongoing challenges facing the consulting engineering industry is another priority for Amm, who joined the CEO board of directors in 2006 and has served as chair and vice-chair respectively of liaison committees with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

“Looking at the current business environment, we see an array of challenges,” Amm said.

These include: increasing client expectations and the ability to understand the demands of their business environments; unrealistic professional service agreements; consultant selection on the basis of low price; and staff availability.

“There are too many (staff available) for companies serving the manufacturing and resource industries and chances are, not enough for companies serving the infrastructure sector,” he said.

Amm, who has bachelor of science and bachelor of engineering degrees from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and an MBA from the University of Toronto, is currently managing the HMM/MMM/Delcan Joint Venture as part of an integrated team with the TTC.

The team is responsible for managing the design and construction of the $2.6 billion Spadina subway extension.

During the course of his career, Amm has completed railway and transit-related assignments for numerous railway and transit authorities.

He has also managed or directed road and highway assignments for MTO, numerous municipalities and private sector clients across Ontario.

Also elected at the annual general meeting were vice-chair Shawn Gibbons of Dessau Inc., treasurer Vic Anderson of Delcan Corp., and secretary Jim McEwen of AECOM.

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