The President's Award 2015

City of Calgary Trailblazer Honoured by CEA

To Honour an Individual Outside the Profession

2015 Presidents Award Winner

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In 1972, Jennifer Enns emigrated from England to Canada, fell in love with her new country and never looked back. This year she is the second recipient of the CEA President’s Award, given annually to recognize and honour an individual outside of the consulting engineering profession who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

With a passionate interest in mathematics and science, Enns was a natural fit to enrol in engineering at Carleton University in Ottawa. She started her engineering career with Bell Canada before working in consulting and other endeavours. In 2002 she arrived in Calgary via Virginia, and when the opportunity arose to return to Ottawa, the family decided to stay in the West to enjoy the mountains and Calgary’s dynamic business environment. Calgary was now home.

Joining the City of Calgary in 2006, she was thrust into the excitement of dealing with growth – first in Transportation Planning and then as Leader of Professional Practice, where she grew the City’s EIT Rotation Program into one of the largest and best-in-class programs in the country. Jennifer also became heavily involved with the consulting industry on issues of common interest and in supporting the City’s prequalification of engineering and architectural consultants. This, along with many years working both in consulting and for owners, exposed Jennifer to the need for ensuring the right people do the right work, and the evidence that this is better facilitated using Qualifications Based Selection (QBS).

For the last few years, Jennifer has been the Manager of the Corporate Engineering and Energy Services team. Her team provides engineering support to the City and civic partners, develops and implements innovative energy and sustainability solutions, purchases all the natural gas and the 100-per-cent-green electricity for the City, and maintains Calgary’s energy contracts and its Sustainable Building Policy. The team currently provides support for over $750 million in buildings, and recently developed Calgary’s Corporate Energy Strategy. They also maintain strong relationships with industry, both contracting and consulting, and present the Annual Partnering with Industry Symposium.

Jennifer is a strong proponent of working collaboratively with industry and using QBS; the City of Calgary has used QBS since the 1970s. “QBS works because it sets up a collaborative team approach from the outset. Working as a team and providing  the design consultant with the resources to be innovative has positive impacts on the construction and life-cycle costs of infrastructure,” she adds. Jennifer has, over the last few years, shared her  time and expertise on procurement of engineering services and QBS in speaking engagements and in support of a major Ontario QBS pilot.

Jennifer is an enthusiastic judge for the annual CEA Awards of Excellence. “Every year I am impressed with the quality of the projects, the innovation that goes into them and how they contribute to the quality of life of Albertans,” she says.

Another of Jennifer’s passions is encouraging young people to pursue careers in the sciences and engineering. She is a strong proponent of science fairs and has been both science fair chair and judge over the years. “It is amazing to see what these young people can do. When you see what the next generation can accomplish and the passion they bring to their projects, you know the world is in good hands.”

When not at her desk, Jennifer serves on APEGA’s Practice Review Board, and she is APEGA’s representative on the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering Faculty Council. She is also the public member on the Alberta Association of Architects Practice Review Board.

“Jennifer Enns has made an extra-ordinary contribution to consulting engineering in Alberta and Canada,” says Matt Brassard, P.Eng. President, Consulting Engineers of Alberta. “I am honoured to present the President’s Award to her.”


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