TORONTO — Morrison Hershfield chief operating officer Catherine Karakatsanis has been named the recipient of the Companion of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) Order of Honour for her leadership role in Canadian engineering advocacy and regulatory bodies.
A career-long volunteer, Karakatsanis is the only engineer in Canada to have led the provincial regulator, provincial advocacy body and national organization. She was inducted into the order at an April 21 gala in Thunder Bay, Ont.
A devoted advocate for creating a more diverse profession, Karakatsanis worked hard to promote engineering to young people and increase the number of women in the profession during her tenure as president and chair of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers in 2002-2003, states a release.
She then went on to lead or serve on dozens of PEO committees and task forces, ultimately guiding the association in the 2009-2010 council term as the fourth woman to be elected president.
During her presidency, she inspired PEO to become a world leader in self-regulation — a vision the current council continues to live up to, states the release, adding she also influenced the most significant changes to the Professional Engineers Act since 1984. These changes harmonized PEO requirements with national requirements, made the act and PEO's processes clearer and more transparent and eliminated the Canadian citizenship or permanent residency requirement for licensure.
As president of Engineers Canada she worked closely with provincial regulators to deliver national programs that continue to have a positive impact on the profession and its public profile, the release continues.
Karakatsanis urges all engineers to get involved as volunteers stating, "You will also get back much more than you give.
"Besides the satisfaction, the more involved you get, the bigger your network grows, the more skills you will obtain, and the more opportunities will present themselves."
The Order of Honour pays tribute to individuals who have rendered conspicuous service to the engineering profession. The Order of Honour's highest distinction, the rank of Companion, recognizes contributions that exceed those of officer. It is reserved exclusively for individuals whose distinguished service has profoundly influenced the profession.