The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

Meet the essential workers making our profession better

OACETT members contribute significantly to Ontario’s economy, solving real-world problems and creating innovative solutions to make our world a safer and better place.

Now more than ever, your expertise is valued and required to navigate some of today’s technological changes, especially during the coronavirus pandemic and the demands it has placed on various sectors to provide essential services to Ontarians.

Recently, we reached out to you to share your stories as an ‘essential worker’ during the COVID-19 crisis and many of you shared your personal experiences and the impact of the situation on your job. Here is what you had to say!

7.pngLux Burgess, C.E.T. 
Environmental Engineering Technologist, Comcor Environmental Limited

Lux Burgess works for an environmental engineering and consulting firm where he specializes in the operation and maintenance of landfill/gas collection systems in Canada.  Comcor Environmental has contracts to operate and maintain systems that help prevent the off-site migration of landfill gas, which could become explosive in nearby off-landfill buildings.  Specifically, Burgess’ job requires him to monitor collection systems to ensure they work at peak efficiency and respond to shutdowns. Like most people and companies, Camcor Environmental have adopted physical distancing measures and changed policies/procedures to ensure that everyone stays safe.

9_(1).pngMike Dokis, C.E.T.
Engineering Technician – Research & Development, Superior Glove

Mike Dokis is a manufacturing engineering technologist who works in the hand safety industry.  Superior Glove, the company he works for, manufactures gloves for various industries, including the medical industry. Dokis provides engineering support to assist with the medical supply shortage. Superior Glove have switched their Canadian production to focus entirely on manufacturing face shields, hand sanitizer, and poly-disposable gloves. During this transition, he has been responsible for ensuring the machines are functioning as intended, cell layout, training operators on new processes, and sourcing material to manufacture new products.  The company completed a lot of research in a short period to deliver these new products, which involved sourcing new materials with short lead times. 

3.pngSu Huang, C.E.T.

Electrical Instrumentation and Control Technician, Toronto Water

Su Huang responsibilities include maintaining and troubleshooting projects related to electrical equipment, process instrumentation, and process control at Toronto Water.  Su along with his colleagues keep the city's water clean by processing and treating wastewater.  Clean water is essential in maintaining good hygiene, washing your hands, your food, and so much more.  This is why, he feels maintaining the highest level of water treatment and standards is important.  New safety measures, such as staggered shift schedules, is helping to keep everyone safe at work.  These measures have complicated and prolonged some non-essential project timelines.  Also, supplier closures and interruptions have delayed urgent part orders and materials.

8.pngGerald Jacob, C.Tech.
Apprentice, Substation and Power Control, TTC

Gerald Jacob maintains the 600 VDC supply that powers the subway and streetcar systems. From troubleshooting breakers to splicing 1500 MCM cables, he works with a team to complete vital maintenance and respond to power outages.  Their work ensures that frontline workers can get to work; people can get to hospitals; and families to grocery stores.  The TTC is the heart of Toronto, and he helps to keep it moving.

10.pngAmir Jashanica, C.Tech. 
Construction and Maintenance Coordinator, Suncor Energy/Petro-Canada

Amir Jashanica provides support to retail and commercial facilities, ensuring they operate safely.  He covers the Eastern Ontario territory, with over three-hundred facilities, and coordinates day-to-day maintenance activities.  In his role, he resolves time-sensitive matters, including emergencies, major repairs and urgent upgrades. Suncor Energy/Petro-Canada has emplaced physical distancing measures at gas stations and facilities to protect customers and employees.

200_x_200-2.pngNinan Kurian, C.E.T.
Environmental Health and Safety Field Management Representative, City of Toronto

Ninan Kurian is part of the management staff for Toronto Water and is in charge of environmental health and safety for construction projects.  He is on-site at the Humber Treatment Plant in Etobicoke and covers the Ashbridges Bay, Highland Creek and North Toronto wastewater treatment plants. Toronto Water provides drinking water to the City of Toronto. It processes the wastewater before discharging it safely into Lake Ontario as per guidelines set by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, formerly Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the World Health Organization.

Moreover, Kurian trained in Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Management and Incident Management. He received The Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management's Basic Emergency Management Certificate and The Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management's IMS-100 and IMS-200 certificates.

13.pngAnthony Kuzub
Project Lead, Capital Project Management, Engineering for the Media Technology & Infrastructure Services Department, CBC Radio Canada

Anthony Kuzub designs communication systems that allow production staff to communicate with remote on-camera / on-microphone talent. He designs and deploys systems remotely, and does purchasing, drafting and consulting remotely as well.

14.pngGerald Lambers, A.Sc.T.
Associate and Senior Project Manager, Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects

Gerald Lambers focuses on the design of emergency services, justice, and corrections facilities for all three levels of government. His current projects are deemed essential and, to avoid interruptions, his company has implemented new safety measures to protect staff, partners and stakeholders. They currently provide contract administration services for two new paramedic facilities under construction and near completion in the Halton Region. In addition, they are working on the design and construction compliance oversight of a new provincial courthouse in Toronto.  Moreover, they are currently at various stages of program development, preparing project specifics, output specifications, and providing design conformance oversight for two judicial and three correctional projects.

17.pngJim McLaren, C.E.T.
Maintenance Planner, EACOM Timber

Jim McLaren works in the lumber industry in northern Ontario. He is also a volunteer firefighter in his community and training officer for his department. The lumber industry is essential in its supply of products to the paper industry, including masks and bathroom tissue, among other items, outside necessary lumber.

15.pngSean McIntyre, C.Tech.
ISO Coordinator and Systems Improvement, ControlChem Canada Ltd.

Sean McIntyre provides regulatory and quality management compliance associated with water treatment chemical blending manufacturing, which includes environmental health and safety, ISO 9001 quality management systems and ISO 14001 environmental management systems. Many of ControlChem’s customers require COVID-19 contingency plans with their operations.  McIntyre documents these plans and shares them with staff and customers. The company has also developed a surface sanitizer for industrial, commercial and residential use.  

4.pngScott Nantais, C.E.T., P.Tech.
Electrical Maintenance Specialist, Adelaide Metcalfe 

Scott Nantais works at the largest cogeneration plant in Sarnia, which generates electricity and steam power to industrial customers and the provincial electrical grid. Since COVID-19, the plant has drastically reduced physical interactions through various communication technologies and by revamping their procedures. All non-essential staff is now working from home with a reduced management presence that rotates working on-site with working from home. Non-essential maintenance work and capital projects are under examination, with some on hold until the situation improves.

11.pngCharles Ogbatue, C.E.T. 
Project Technologist, BC Hydro

Charles Ogbatue says, “As essential service providers, we keep your lights on, your internet running, and your teleconferences operational.” Due to the current situation, Ogbatue and his colleagues have prioritized projects based on two factors.  First, on how critical it is, and second, on how they can safely and effectively mobilize their crews. Managing crews remotely has presented a new set of challenges on how they coordinate their schedules, equipment, implement daily safety updates, and adapt to rapid changes, all while trying not to overwhelm their crews.  What is Ogbatue’s advice to fellow members during these challenging times? “As we continue to adapt to the current situation, I encourage everyone to embrace these changes as they can sometimes force us to develop new and sometimes exciting ways of getting our job done.”

6.pngJoseph Reid, C.E.T. 
General Manager of Transportation and Operations Services, City of Belleville

As essential service providers, Joseph Reid ensures his community stays safe while they continue to maintain and operate a critical infrastructure.  With a 90 percent ridership on Belleville Transit, the City has moved from a traditional fixed-route system to an "On-Demand Service" using Pantonium's On-Demand Software.  Initially, Pantonium and Belleville Transit collaborated with CUTRIC (Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium) to gather nighttime service data and to discover the impacts on ridership, car usage and social mobility.  Due to COVID-19, they reduced service during the daytime and use the software to let riders book and plan their own trips, which allowed them to cancel non-essential travel, reduce fuel usage and increase efficiency.  Currently, the City of Belleville waived transit fees to keep drivers safe. The City has also initiated rear door boarding and have designated the front door only for passengers who need to use the mobility ramp.  The two seats behind the driver have been blocked-off, and the area from the front wheel wells to the driver's seat is now a no standing zone with no passenger access.  This measure ensures a two-meter space between passenger and driver, complying with physical distancing recommendations. 

5.pngRichard Renaud, C.E.T.
Development Engineering Technologist, Town of Oakville

Richard Renaud reviews applications for institutional, commercial, industrial, residential, and mixed-use sites, which includes plans for rezoning, official amendments, and subdivisions.  Before the pandemic, he received hard copies of applications, but now he receives applications digitally.  What makes his department’s service essential? They keep the application process moving for the construction industry, limiting its downtime and economic costs attributed to delays. Renaud says, “It’s been challenging to go through these sudden changes, both on a professional and personal level, as the current situation calls for constant adjustment, and we've all had to adapt to sudden changes.”

Untitled_design-4.pngEnzo Rillo
Master Electrician, SNC-Lavalin Nuclear Inc.

As a master electrician, Enzo Rillo provides facilities support, inspections, and sponsors/escorts on-site contractors.  Since COVID-19, some of the new safety measures in the plant include daily restocking of hand sanitizers, cleaning solutions, personal protective equipment, and thorough lab clean ups.  These measures have delayed and prolonged some non-essential project timelines. Rillo also performs inspections regularly, especially since contractors need access to buildings.  These measures have helped to ensure a safe work environment as his organization continues to provide power to the province.  

16.pngCory Stainthorpe, C.Tech.
Director of Infrastructure Services, Municipality of Wawa

Cory Stainthorpe oversees the operations of municipal services.  This includes waste disposal, site and refuge collection, the airport, the water treatment facility, the distribution system for potable water, the sewage treatment system and collection, building maintenance, road maintenance, and capital projects for reconstruction.  In response to the current situation, physical distancing measures are implemented and more cleaning supplies and solutions, sanitizers, and personal protective equipment are required.  Some departments have taken on additional roles to help during the pandemic. For example, the finance and human resources departments are helping to manage the increase in community calls.  They have also taken additional precautions, including sanitizing all surface areas, especially the high-touch areas of equipment and vehicles. 

Thank you to all the essential workers serving the engineering technology profession in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We could not do it without you!

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