ACEC’s 2014 Beaubien Award is conferred on the late Allen D. Williams in recognition of his outstanding contributions to ACEC and to the advancement of consulting engineering.
Allen D. Williams, P.Eng.
Allen D. Williams graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and in 1978, he opened A.D. Williams Engineering Limited, a mechanical and forensic engineering firm in Edmonton, Alberta. The firm soon grew to include civil and structural departments followed by geotechnical, environmental, and eventually electrical, building science, and municipal planning services.
Allen built a business that focused on bringing engineering expertise to remote, northern communities. The firm built its business through the use of strategically located corporate and branch offices, company aircraft, and above all, a high standard of business integrity.
What Allen was most interested in was building a trusted team of highly-skilled, like-minded people. He believed in employee ownership, a healthy work/life balance, treating staff like family, and strengthening the company through mentoring and leadership. In 2005, Allen fulfilled one of his dreams and passed the firm down to his son, Reagan.
In addition to growing his own firm’s success, Allen also had a vision for the future of consulting engineering. Seeing the need to attract more young people to the profession, he set out to raise awareness of consulting engineering among university and college students through the Alberta recruitment program.
Allen served as a member of the Board of Directors of Consulting Engineers of Alberta from 1998 until 2006. From 2001 until 2006, he served on ACEC-Canada’s Board and was Chair from 2004 to 2005. During his tenure, he championed recruitment programs, best practices, and liaisons with ACEC-US and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers. Allen was especially passionate about engaging and developing young professionals within the industry which laid the groundwork to what would become the ACEC Young Professionals Network.
In 2009, Allen’s dedication to the industry was honoured by ACEC with the creation of the Allen D. Williams Scholarship, which is presented annually to a young professional in an ACEC member firm who has made significant contributions to the association and the industry.
Allen Williams is described by his peers as a pioneer of his profession. He had a passion for solving problems and was a mentor as well as an exceptional human being with a knack for living life to the fullest. Today, Allen’s legacy lives on. Through his exceptional dedication and service, Allen has left a lasting mark on ACEC and the consulting engineering industry.
The Beaubien Award was created by ACEC in 1984 in honour of Dr. James de Gaspé Beaubien, who founded ACEC in 1925.