History is getting better all the time; the art of historical understanding and the forward-thinking application of lessons from the past seem to be always improving. However, one much needed retrospective – along the lines of current popular history (demonstrated for example by the books “How coffee made the modern world” and “How the Irish saved civilization”) – has yet to be written. I would call it “How marine engineering transformed everything”. Ours is an instrumental vocation. And marine engineering is a broad, all-encompassing tent, bringing together those in a variety of marine technical fields, educators, Canada’s marine businesses and the industry itself.  Recent events prove once again the role of marine technology in connecting people and global trade. They include the recent conclusion of federal government fleet shipbuilding “Umbrella Agreements” with two shipyards through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the International Maritime Organization’s advances toward a “Polar Code” for shipping, and the recent centenary of the Titanic sinking. Technical innovations in our field are daily events; most recently liquified natural gas for ship powering, the application of software for maintenance planning, and control systems for fuel efficiency. There’s probably no more important industrial activity in history than ours, marine transportation, for a truly worldwide trading economy and Canada’s place within it.

Mari-Tech 2012 was a showcase for the importance of our vocation. Whatever the success of the conference itself (and, like the Olympics, there are those who say this year’s was the best yet) what it demonstrated again was the vitality and relevance of marine engineering in Canada. The conference theme, the re-birth of the marine technical community, is what our Institute is all about. Many contributed to a successful Mari-Tech and Annual General Meeting, and special thanks is owed to our National Administrator, Lauren Solar, and to the Mari-Tech webmaster, Don Wilson, a former National Council Chair and Honorary Life Member.

This report is meant to let you know about Institute events and National Council issues. But the best report one can get is to check out your local CIMarE Branch. The next best source of information is your Branch member of the Council. At the AGM and the Council meeting, several new initiatives were decided. The Institute will consider the admission of corporate members, approved in the 2010 Bylaw amendments. The CIMarE organizational mission is being considered afresh. Council will establish a national award of merit for professional achievement. A wider program of student scholarships is being considered, following the availability of trust monies. The National Administrator is putting in place plans for a new communications program. All of this is intended to serve our members and their interests. Writing the book about how marine engineering is central to our world will have to wait a while longer.

– Jeffrey Smith, Ottawa

Atlantic Branch

The Atlantic Branch will host Mari-Tech 2013 June 25-27, 2013 at the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax. The organizing committee has been struck and we look forward to treating our fellow CIMarE members and colleagues in the industrial marine community to some Down East Hospitality.

On a sad note, our branch lost two long-standing members in the past few months.

Harold MacPherson, one of the original members of CIMarE when it was created back in 1976, died on December 11, 2011. Harold began his marine engineering career in Canada at Halifax Shipyards after emigrating from Scotland in 1955. He rose to be Chief Draftsman, before pursuing his passion for teaching. Harold was a big part of many marine engineers’ lives as an instructor; first at the Nova Scotia Adult Vocational Training School, followed by many years at the Nova Scotia Nautical Institute. Harold served as Chairman of National Council of CIMarE in 1988-89, and was also Atlantic Branch Chairman for a period of time. Harold was made an honorary life member of CIMarE in 2010.

Another longtime member and big supporter of CIMarE‘s Atlantic Branch, Arnold Horne, died on April 2, 2012. Arnold was also a member of SNAME. As one of the principals of CTH Instruments Limited, Arnold was very much involved in the local marine industry, supplying search lights, navigation lights, horns, ship sewage systems, reverse osmosis systems and valve actuation and automation systems. We will especially miss Arnold’s presence at our annual Marine Ball.

St. Lawrence Branch

We have enjoyed some interesting papers in the past few months.

The venue we have been using for most of our ­meetings lately has been the Mariners’ House of Montreal in Old Montreal. For those who are not aware of this institution, I encourage you to check it out at www.marinershouse.ca or visit the Mariners’ House. It is run by a wonderful group of people with patrons and volunteers in support. The mission of the Mariners’ House of Montreal is to see to the material, social and spiritual welfare of seafarers temporarily in the port of Montreal.

As we know, many ship casualties are attributed to lack of understanding and incorrect practice of ship stability. Juarrero Francisco (Fednav) provided a very informative refresher for us all in ship’s stability theory and applications.

Gernot Seebacher (Hermont Marine) provided a paper regarding the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI making the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) mandatory were adopted at the 62nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 62) held in July 2011 and will become effective on January 1 2013. In his paper, Gernot discussed the mandatory SEEMP for ships of 400 gross tonnage or more, with emphasis on potential energy efficiency measures on existing ships. This was a follow up, and complimentary, to the paper that Barry Shepherd gave us in December 2011 on the topic of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

Len Perrigo, a long-standing member of CIMarE and a veteran expert surveyor (retired), provided a paper regarding his first-hand experience while attending a cattle carrier that went seriously aground at Les Escoumins in the 1960’s. Len showed a 45-minute movie showing the work done to prepare the vessel for refloating. The movie was made over 40 years ago. Len’s presentation was revealing and also quite humorous.

By the time this article is published we will also have heard a paper by Mark Keneford (Wartsila Montreal), on the subject of LNG propulsion technologies.

Newfoundland Branch

Since our Annual General Meeting on June 2, 2011, we have, in co-operation with the Company of Master Mariners, attended a presentation on the Transportation Appeal Board by Richard Hall.

Caterpillar spokesman and CIMarE member, Ken Westcar, gave us an eloquent talk on the heavy diesel range repower potential, at the Crow’s Nest in October.

In November, Jim Dempsey gave us a wonderful talk on the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador in Winterton, Trinity Bay. The role of the museum is to preserve the history of wooden-boat building in Canada, and to maintain the skills and practice needed to continue building wooden boats in both traditional and modern ways. The talk was held at St. Luke’s Home.

Colin Clarke of Lloyd’s Register Classification Delegation gave a presentation at the Crow’s Nest in December. Our annual Christmas dinner was also held at the Crow’s Nest on January 6, 2012, and a particularly lively evening was had by all.

Congratulations to the Crow’s Nest for being awarded National Historic Site status. Since Bill Conway and I are longtime members, our CIMarE branch has enjoyed free meeting space with bar service at the Club. We hope to continue enjoying meeting in a National Historic place.

We wish the Crow’s Nest well in their fundraiser to renovate the Club so that it will continue to stand for another 70 years. Branches and/or members wishing to contribute can go to the Crow’s Nest’s website at  www.crowsnestnl.ca to learn more on how to make tax-deductible contributions.


The recent appointment of Don Scurlock as an Honorary Mem­ber is a well-deserved thank you to Don for years of volunteer service.

Branch President Bill Conway remembers that: “Don has always been an avid supporter of CIMarE and has represented us well over the past decades, both at Branch and National levels. He has a wonderful way with people and in many ways fulfilled the role of Branch ambassador. He played a great role in the success of our past Mari-Techs. I particularly remember him heading numerous entertainment committees and in many cases, being the star performer.

“Don also made a mark on the local marine scene. I’ve known him well, both as a marine contractor and within the civil service as a marine procurement contracting officer. It always amazed me the number of contacts he has made and his power of recall when dealing with the marine industry. If anybody is deserving of recognition for bringing the diversified marine community together, Don is the one!”

CIMarE Branch secretary, Tony Barclay remembers: “Don worked for me at the Octagon Pond site of Easteel Industries in the early 1980’s. Easteel was at that time the largest steel and miscellaneous metals manufacturer in Atlantic Canada. He also served with some distinction, and a large thirst, on the Easteel curling team. Don was always enthusiastic at work and was a real asset to the company and his fellow workers.”

Congratulations Don from all your colleagues at CIMarE. We couldn’t find a better candidate for Honorary Membership.

Vancouver Branch

On April 18, 2012, at Cheers Restaurant, the Vancouver Branch of CIMarE awarded its scholarships to three engineering cadets enrolled at the BCIT Marine Campus: Andrew Frank, Rui Feng (Raphael) Sun and Brian Janssens.

Also awarded was the Dennis Cressey Scholarship. This was awarded to Andre Gravel on April 20, 2012, with the BCIT Marine Campus in the background.

The branch directors took a lead from Mari-Tech and at the April meeting had a presentation on the development and uses of 3-D simulation for the marine and other industries.

With the May meeting being finalized, we are planning for the branch social in June. The branch will vacation for July and August and begin a new season in September.

Vancouver Island Branch

At the February meeting, branch member Matthias Teichrieb, Operations Manager for Tactical Marine Solutions, gave a presentation on the history and evolution of the change of the Tsekoa II from a wharf repair workboat to a research vessel.  The project and vessel will be managed by Tactical Marine Solutions Ltd. of Victoria B.C.

In March, branch member Martin Leduc spoke about a very intriguing and thought-provoking concept called Blue Riband. This is a project that looks at various problems with the maritime industry’s human capital supply. We are facing shortages of shipping professionals, which is creating problems for the industry. Yet, no viable solution has been suggested that truly addresses the problems in the short or long term. This project attempts to do so. To find out more about Blue Riband, go to www.blueriband.ca.

At the meeting on Thursday April 19, Jason Caplan from Ensolve Biosystems gave a presentation on their PetroLiminator IMO-approved oily water separator that can handle phase-separated oil, emulsified oil and other contaminants. Unlike conventional oil water separators, the PetroLiminator actually destroys oil and grease using bacteria. The PetroLiminator is an automated biomechanical system, which requires low maintenance.

Also in April, the Vancouver Island Branch, along with the Northwest Branch of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, held a one-day conference on “The Potential of LNG as a Marine Fuel”. The large-scale adoption of natural gas (methane) as a fuel is potentially one of the most significant trends to emerge in the marine industry in many decades. This Technical Meeting provided an introduction to the current status of natural gas as a marine fuel in 2012, covering issues of supply, regulatory regime, engine technology and vessel design. The presentations identified the challenges in each of these sectors that will need to be addressed to realize the full potential of natural gas as a marine fuel.

In May, an “Up-Island” dinner-meeting was held in Nanaimo at the Vancouver Island University. A presentation was given regarding the construction of two new vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The last meeting of the season will be in June and will be a combination Annual General Meeting and social.

Great Lakes Branch

The Great Lakes Branch of CIMarE had very successful start to 2012. It began with the AGM at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on January 19. The AGM saw the re-instatement of Kelly Marino as Honourable Secretary and Al Davies as Honourable Treasurer with no new members elected to the Executive Committee. Stephen Kemp gave an interesting presentation on the Deepwater Horizon incident. The technical meeting was presented by Ken Westcar of Toromont Caterpillar Ltd. and was attended by approximately 90 people.

The Branch also organized a two day Marine Seminar for the engineering cadets at Georgian College in Owen Sound, Ontario on March 2-3. The Branch Committee arranged to have four technical papers presented on topics that they knew would be of interest to the 1st and 2nd year cadets. Dave Thyret, John Moriarty, Angus Kennedy and Ian Hill presented papers on bilge filtering systems, marine self-unloading systems, and the use of water glycol in winches. A tour of the self-unloading bulk carrier Algoway followed the presentations, hosted by Chief Engineer Robin Waldie and Captain Sean O’Donahue. We thank Lise Mollon and Colin McNeil from the College for being our hosts and we look forward to meeting the returning and new cadets next year. This visit was very well-attended by the cadets as well as some of the Branch members.

The Branch also held its Annual Golf Tournament in late May at the Willo-Dell Golf Course in Niagara Falls. This event, as usual, was enjoyed by several members and their guests.

Gus Edland – Honorary Life Member

Gus Edland was appointed an Honorary Life Member in 2010. A framed certificate was presented, in Gus’s absence, to his daughter Kirsten on-board the Trillium during a Celebration Cruise hosted by CIMarE. Trillium is a Toronto-built side paddle wheeler and the cruise was held on the exact day of its 100th birthday, June 18, 2010.

Gus was always supportive and aware of the work done in the college system, for the education and the practical training of Canadian marine engineers. In business, Gus believed in the importance of delivering high quality output, on time and as ordered by a client: work demanding continuous effort and care in meeting a specification.

Gus carried these responsibilities, among many others, continuously during his working life. He also supported and generously gave of his time to the St Lawrence College Advisory Board for its Marine Engineer three-year cadet-training program.

Through his company, he offered opportunities for students to have vital summertime practical workshop training. This proved of great value when they later went on to sea-going experience, and subsequent careers in marine engineering.

Gus’s contribution to the Institute has been outstanding at both Branch and National levels. He was a key source of counsel, advice, mentorship, business acumen and good humour throughout several difficult years of financial instability and executive “adjustment” at National headquarters in Ottawa, that culminated its move to Montreal. He brought sanity to National Council on many occasions, over many years, without ever raising his voice. He holds the respect of everyone who has had the good fortune to meet and befriend him.

National Scholarships for 2011 Awarded

John Moyes, Director of Scholarships, was at the British Columbia Institute of Technology campus on March 27 to award the CIMarE National scholarships. After much deliberation, the $1,000 prize was divided between two deserving students: Aaron Rossi and Eugene Karaev.

National Scholarship Program has been expanded

As Chair of the National Scholarship Committee, I ask all branches to make an effort to ensure that the marine engineering colleges in their areas submit Scholarship applications. They may be sent either to me directly or c/o Lauren Solar, the new National Administrator. Application forms are on our website or we can mail them to each branch on request.

For the first time, a scholarship of up to $1,000 is available to each area’s teaching institution; however, it is important to get applications from across Canada since we are a national organisation. Please note, the deadline for 2012 applications has been extended to September 15, 2012, and I look forward to a bumper crop.

–      John H. Moyes