Monday, 16 March 2015 09:33

Young engineers: Get some advices from Ontario members

Here’s news about a few Ontario members so readers can learn more about the wide range of what our members do and allow them to pass along some advice to other members

Jake DeBruyn, P.Eng. (17 year member) received his Biosystems Engineering degree at the University of Manitoba and works for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at Guelph. www.ontario.ca/omafra  He integrates biological and engineering systems with regulations, public policy, and extension/communication to farmers and technology vendors.  He supports anaerobic digestion and purpose grown agricultural biomass, promoting new technologies or systems into markets that don’t yet exist.  He communicates technical information to new audiences, and works with innovators through a maze of technical, regulatory, and financial uncertainty. Jake’s advice to younger members; ‘Get a good understanding of your strengths, perhaps through online tests such as Strengthsfinder.com  to learn if you’re a details focussed project finisher,  enthusiastic promoter, visionary theorist, or whatever. This will help promote you in interviews, or determine sectors of work to pursue. Your engineering background  prepares you for different work, but when you use your strengths to their utmost, there’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy your work.’

Jason Haelzle, P.Eng. (12 year member) received his environmental engineering degree at the University of Guelph.  He is currently Principal and Vice-President at Conestoga-Rovers & Associates www.craworld.com.  While working in the environmental field upon graduation; Jason decided to use his environmental background to assist the agricultural industry in dealing with ever increasing environmental regulation and compliance needs.  This has led to a successful career working with a broad range of clients in the agriculture industry across North America solving issues relating to permitting, compliance, engineering design and construction, litigation support and environmental remediation.  Jason's advice to younger members; ‘Approach your career with an open mind and desire to learn from other engineering disciplines and senior mentors.  Don’t be afraid to adapt and apply your knowledge to a new industry because you never know where it may lead!’

Wayne Blenkhorn, P.Eng. (40 year member) received his agricultural engineering degree from McGill University (MacDonald College). He is the CEO of Faromor Ltd and CEO of Stonecrest Engineering, Shakespeare, Ontario. www.faromor.com www.stonecrestengineering.com. Wayne has owned Faromor Ltd since 1982 designing, developing & marketing livestock/poultry ventilation & environmental systems. Recently, Faramor has offered renewable energy solutions. They have built many solar installations for ground, roof top and tracking systems. They are developing a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station destined to incorporate a voluntary percentage of renewable energy from on-farm, or waste site methane, generated from an anaerobic digestion process. The intention is to capture another revenue stream for rural clients, reduce mobile transportation fuel costs, and provide a more sustainable fuel source.  Stonecrest offers professional design and consulting services focussing on agriculture. Their professional design services include structural and mechanical systems used in the production of fuel and food products. Leadership in both firms is transitioning to Wayne’s son Gary Blenkhorn and friend Steve Miller. Wayne’s advice to younger members; ‘Apply knowledge learned in a passionate and enthusiastic manner, and regardless of career path chosen, always maintain a professional and ethical relationship with your peers.’

Neil Grant, P.Eng. (31 year member) received his agricultural engineering degree from McGill University (MacDonald College). Neil grew up on a dairy farm in Eastern Ontario. He stayed on the farm after high school, but after reading a book on ‘Farm Engines and Tractors’, he enrolled in Agricultural Engineering four years later. His varied career includes; White Farm Equipment then Massey Ferguson testing combines; Sims Cab Manufacturing designing cabs for construction and agricultural equipment; an Ottawa consulting working on solar combined heat and power collector projects; another Ottawa consulting firm working on vehicle and personnel barriers, electronic enclosures, explosive ordinance disposal products and blast mitigation seats.  Neil currently works for Med Eng Holding in Ottawa www.med-eng.com/ and is senior mechanical design/analysis person in the blast mitigation seat product development group.  Neil loves his job and as an inventor, he has various patents for components for blast mitigation seat systems.  Neil is an antique tractor buff with eight old Cockshutts. Neil’s advice to younger members, ‘Morph your career in the direction you want, since no one else will do it for you.  Don’t spend too long doing things which are not a challenge or interest. If you like your work, you may not want to go home at the end of the day. What a great feeling to have!’

Frank Kains, P.Eng. (42 year member) received his agricultural engineering degree from the University of Guelph just shortly before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Frank grew up on a dairy farm in Middlesex near London. He is retired from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, having worked in the areas surrounding Waterloo, Guelph and Elora. Frank worked as an extension agricultural engineer for 30 years specializing in swine housing system design and ventilation. He was also fortunate to have worked with many in the horse and buggy Mennonite community of that area. Frank’s advice for young members, ‘Seek out and take opportunities to upgrade your education and skills, not necessarily in the engineering field. Making your career a continual learning exercise makes life more satisfying and rewarding.’

Read 2154 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 14:57
Hugh Fraser

Ontario regional director

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Submit your news

The CSBE is looking for news from its members!

Please send your text with good resolution pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Your news will be published in the next Perspectives Newsletter.

Search for News