Engineer earns Lieutenant Governor’s honour

Art Washuta’s career recognized at gala Alberta event

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One of Salt Spring’s recent additions comes to the island after serving a distinguished career in engineering design and consultation.

Art Washuta was recognized by his longtime home province of Alberta earlier this month with the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for distinguished service. It was presented at the Consulting Engineers of Alberta Showcase Awards Gala in Calgary on Feb. 8.

“It was such a nice surprise when I got the call about the award from the CEA. I’m quite honoured to be selected,” Washuta said.

Washuta and his wife Tanya Kress have lived on Salt Spring since 2016. He is a past president of the CEA and was a member of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada board.

A profile in Alberta Innovators magazine explains that Washuta was born in Peace River and raised in Edmonton. He graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta with a degree in civil engineering in 1973.

Washuta worked for UMA Engineering Ltd. from 1977 to 2008, starting as a project engineer and eventually becoming the company’s regional vice president. He then moved on to hold senior leadership positions at AECOM and Opus Stewart Weir, becoming president of Opus Canada.

Significant projects that Washuta worked on during his career include designing portions of the original Edmonton LRT that opened in 1978, structural design on the Goldbar Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Oldman River Dam spillway, and CF-18 fighter jet facilities in the Arctic.

One that he is particularly proud of was managing the project team that designed and implemented a $500-million environmental cleanup of 21 Distant Early Warning Line sites across the Canadian Arctic from 1992 to 2014.

“I’ve taken pride in contributing to creating a better community,” Washuta said. “People are often not aware of how engineering contributes to society.”

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