What do OSPE’s Task Forces Actually Do?

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) boasts five advocacy task forces: Energy, Infrastructure, Environment, Research and Innovation, and Diversity and Inclusion. The task forces were set up to inform our advocacy work and each has four key objectives:

  1. Conduct research
  2. Create policy recommendations & attend OSPE’s MPP Reception
  3. Engage OSPE membership and other stakeholders
  4. Nominate unsung/unrecognized members of the engineering community for awards

Task force members are subject matter experts, established thought leaders, and dedicated members of the engineering community, who volunteer their time to work on key initiatives throughout the year. Every year OSPE hosts an All Committees Meeting (ACM) in the Spring, where the task force members come together to brainstorm new ideas. This year, the ACM took place on May 27, 2020 through a virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this meeting members discussed their direction for the upcoming year and potential points of collaboration across task forces. The purpose and topics of focus for 2020-21 by task force are as follows:

ENVIRONMENT

Protecting the environment is essential to promoting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for current and future generations. As problem solvers, engineers provide important insights on system planning, efficiencies and integration, total lifecycle costing and scenario analysis for sound policy making when it comes to combating climate change and mitigating our impact.

Focus for 2020-21:

    • Electric Vehicles
    • 4 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover)
    • Getting engineers into government environment advisory panels
    • On demand transit
    • Flooding adaptation and mitigation

ENERGY

Ontario’s economic well-being is linked to the reliability and cost-effectiveness of our energy systems. Successful policies must accommodate fundamental engineering principles that govern energy production, distribution, and consumption

Focus for 2020-21:

    • Electricity Pricing
    • Small Modular Reactors (Nuclear Energy)
    • Distributed Energy Resources
    • Geothermal Energy

INFRASTRUCTURE

Ontario’s engineers need to be empowered with greater autonomy to provide essential management expertise and oversight of public and private infrastructure, enhancing the value, functionality, and resiliency of projects that support our communities.

Focus for 2020-21:

    • Guidelines for Sustainable Infrastructure
    • Reliable Transit across Ontario
    • Excess Soil
    • Procurement (QBS)
    • Building Code policies

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Ontario’s engineers are uniquely positioned to contribute exponentially to Canada’s R&I ecosystem. Investments will create a more innovative and dynamic business environment and modernize the Canadian economy. It is imperative to consider the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) and commercialization potential to truly drive innovation within the province and nation.

Focus for 2020-21:

    • Autonomous Vehicles, Aircraft and Drones
    • Understanding Data
    • 5 G Infrastructure and Investment

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Stereotypes, bias, and discrimination continue to impact the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) sector’s ability to attract and retain diverse talent. This has a negative impact on Canada’s success and competitiveness and is ultimately hindering economic growth and innovation. The engineering profession must become more diverse and inclusive to thrive. Engineers and engineering employers can have a larger impact by embracing all aspects of diversity dimensions, including gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, ability, geographic location, and engineering discipline.

Focus for 2020-21:

    • Developing and delivering a 5-part webinar series on leadership
    • Promoting mental health and wellbeing (bringing experts to discuss wellbeing during COVID-19)
    • Developing microlessons for DiversifySTEM

Want to get involved?

We are always looking for new perspectives and expertise. As a member-driven organization, OSPE relies on the energy and commitment of volunteers to support our programs and activities. If you are a member of OSPE and are interested in volunteering for a task force, please visit our website here or contact us at ambassador@ospe.on.ca for more information. If you have questions regarding the advocacy work our task forces are engaged in please contact advocacy@ospe.on.ca.

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