Grand River Chapter
2015 Winter Newsletter

Chair’s message

Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00

Chair's message 2013

Chapter Members,

While 2012 has come to a close, I wish all Grand River Chapter members a prosperous New Year.

I would like to personally invite you to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on February 13,  2013 at the University of Waterloo. The AGM is open to all Grand River Chapter members. We will  present the 2012 financials, award the PEO student scholarships, present newly licensed engineers with  their PEO certificates and elect your Executive for 2012. The event is free to all members but you must pre-register on the website at 

Over 50 newly licensed engineers were presented with their certificates in 2012. Family, friends and  other PEO members were on hand for these presentations. 

We intend to run more events, technical and education tours, outreach programs and social events in  2013. You will find dates for these events and others in this newsletter.

This is the time of year for the PEO Council elections. Election information appears in the January/February issue of Engineering Dimensions and is posted on the PEO website. You can find out  who is running for which position and their election platform. Please ensure you take the time to vote so that you can influence the way your profession works.

Professional Engineers Ontario, as well as our chapter system, relies heavily on the work of dedicated volunteers. Our profession is changing and we, as individuals, will need to adapt as well. I urge you to become involved with your chapter and find out more of what we can offer, as well as what you can offer your profession. If you are interested, please contact us for volunteer opportunities.

This is my last newsletter as your Chair. Beginning in February after the AGM, I will move to Past Chair and Kaoru Yajima will take on the role of Chair for the chapter. Kaoru is a Senior Project Engineer at the Region of Waterloo and is looking forward to working with our executive moving forward. Again, if you  have any comments, concerns or ideas on how we, as your Executive, can serve you better, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Richard Pinder, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. Chair, PEO Grand River Chapter

Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00

Chair's Message

Kaoru YajimaWelcome to your spring edition of the newly designed PEO Grand River Chapter newsletter. My name is Kaoru Yajima, and I work as a water supply engineer for the Region of Waterloo. In the 2013 Chapter Annual General Meeting held this past February, I assumed the position of Chair for the next two years. Together with 24 other volunteers sworn in, we will be serving as your Chapter Board for the upcoming year.

The Chapter plans to form relationships with organizations that have similar interests as PEO. Did you know that PEO has formal relationships with OACETT, Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists as well as EWB, Engineers Without Borders? In today’s ever-integrated world, it makes sense to learn what those in related organizations do and where it makes sense, for the PEO to collaborate with them. With this mindset, the Grand River Chapter hopes it can learn from, as well as offer something to, the local chapters of both organizations. We have already begun to discuss joint events with OACETT and hopefully, EWB will follow.

You’ll notice that this newsletter edition is a bit shorter than usual. We hope to issue three editions this year, where each edition is briefer but hopefully timelier so that we can convey information to you. Speaking of information, we established a committee to set up a new Chapter website. With the new appearance, we hope to also implement a plan to keep the content updated so it will be relevant to you, the Chapter members.

Finally, I’d like to thank the past chair of the Chapter, Richard Pinder, P.Eng, for his great contribution over these past two years to make the Chapter relevant to members. I hope to continue the momentum in these next two years. Remember, communication is a two-way street so if you have any ideas for hosting an event, planning a seminar, or would like to be more involved with the Chapter, please let anyone on the Board know to discuss your ideas.

Kaoru Yajima, P.Eng.

By Kaoru Yajima, P.Eng., LEED AP(BD+C)

Greeting Chapter Members!
I hope you had a great holiday and your new year is well underway.

As you will read, you’ll see how Chapter volunteers continue to give up their personal time to do great things in the Chapter. In particular, you’ll see how we’re trying to focus our efforts to different audiences, from grade 8 students up to working EIT’s. Each group’s understanding of engineering is different so the Chapter has been gradually shifting its messaging to suit.

I’m happy to announce that the Board has made two significant organization changes. At our September meeting, the Board agreed to establish a new sixth committee, the EIT committee which will focus on having EIT’s more engaged with the profession. With one successful event under their belt, it aims to meet the needs of an important audience in our Chapter membership.

The other major change is with our Board organization structure. With the formal establishment of the Committees a number of years back, and with the number of volunteers on the Board increasing, the Board agreed in the November meeting to downsize itself into a defined, 12-member Board. You can read more in a Q&A inside, but essentially the new structure should make better use of our most precious resource, our volunteer’s time.

Chapter Committee Reports

The Education Committee was pleased to announce its winners for this year’s first-year engineering scholarships. In response to our call for sponsorship of additional scholarships, the Chapter greatly appreciates local corporate sponsors, JMP Engineering and Hitachi Truck Manufacturing, for their sponsorship of one additional scholarship each.

The Government Liaison Committee held its first Town Hall event to discuss issues pertaining to local advanced manufacturing and engineering. Held at Conestoga College, volunteers focused on an event that included local private manufacturing firms, members of provincial and local government, and engineering students from the three local engineering schools.

 The Events Committee continues to hold full-house technical tours and will attempt a few more in the coming year. They’ve also been active at various grade-specific events to tell students about engineering. Our engineering volunteers spoke to students about the engineering profession, alongside people from other professions like the police forces, fire department, teachers, tech sector and various tradespeople.

The Communications Committee holds the Chapter Board together by providing communications to the Board, its members and the greater public. Feel free to provide feedback on our communications to any of the Board members so we can improve

Finally, I would like to mention that my term as your Chair will end in February 2015. It’s been a pleasure volunteering as the Chapter Chair these past two years. Please help me welcome the in-coming Chair, Matt Irvine, P.Eng. who will be taking the reins after the 2015 Chapter AGM on February 9.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours.

Kaoru Yajima, Chapter Chair
January 2015