(OTTAWA) October 19, 2023 – The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada (ACEC) is pleased to announce that Leon Botham, MSCE, P.E., P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), as the 2023 Beaubien Award recipient. This award was created in 1984 to honour Dr. James de Gaspé Beaubien who founded ACEC in 1925; it recognizes individuals for their lifetime contributions to ACEC and achievements in the consulting engineering profession. Mr. Botham was announced as this year’s recipient during the 2023 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards on the evening of October 19th.
Leon is the President and Principal Engineer of NewFields and has built a long and successful career in Saskatchewan and beyond. With more than 30 years of experience, Leon has worked primarily in the mining industry, having previously held senior positions at respected firms including Golder, McElhanney, and Clifton. Widely viewed as a leading Canadian expert in mine waste management, he uses his expertise to ensure the safe and efficient planning and execution of projects. He also provides technical and risk management reviews and has managed environmental studies and impact assessments related to mine development.
Leon’s impressive portfolio of work speaks for itself, taking him across Canada and around the world to deliver best-in-class project work for clients. In Canada, he has completed numerous projects in Saskatchewan, BC, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Quebec. Internationally, he has worked on projects in over two dozen countries, including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Turkey, India, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia.
Deeply trusted by his colleagues and clients, Leon has an exceptional network of relationships, thanks in large part to his approachable and caring nature. He is known to be generous with his time, advice, and support, and has served as a mentor to many industry professionals.
Dorothy Williams said it best when she remarked that Leon “excels at the art of giving” – she’s seen Leon’s generosity in action over the years. Perhaps one of Leon’s greatest contributions to the industry was the instrumental role he played in the creation of the Allen D. Williams Scholarship Award, named in honour of Dorothy’s late husband and former Chair of ACEC-Canada. The annual award provides a scholarship for young leaders in Canada’s consulting engineering industry to gain exposure to the International Federation of Consulting Engineers. Leon first proposed the idea to the ACEC-Canada Board when he was Chair, eventually helping to get the scholarship off the ground and serving as one of its primary fundraisers. He has remained very active as a Scholarship Board member since its creation.
Leon’s devotion to consulting engineering doesn’t stop there. A thoughtful team-builder, he has consistently advocated for his colleagues and the entire consulting engineering industry over the past decades. He has served on the Board and as Chair of both ACEC-Canada and ACEC-SK and remains an active participant in both associations. Examples of his leadership include helping to create Young Professionals groups for both ACEC-Canada and ACEC-SK, leading fundraising efforts for the ACEC-Canada Engineering Legacies project, and currently chairing the ACEC-SK Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee. For his contributions to ACEC-SK, Leon was recognized with the Saskatchewan Centennial Leadership Medal in 2005 and the ACEC-SK Mentor Award in 2022. He’s also part of the Mining Association of Canada’s Tailings Working Group and has held executive leadership roles with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. Furthermore, Leon is a frequent guest presenter at the University of Saskatchewan and uses this opportunity to encourage young engineers to consider consulting engineering as an exciting career path.
When he’s not travelling for work, Leon always makes time to give back to his community as an active volunteer for causes across his home province of Saskatchewan. For over a decade, he has served on the Board of Pinehouse Business North Developments Inc., a northern Saskatchewan Indigenous-owned and -operated company specializing in construction and labour services for the mining industry. Inspired by his sons who are enthusiastic freestyle skiers, Leon has also served as Director and President of various Freestyle Ski Associations at the club, provincial, and national levels.
Listen to Leon's speach at the Awards below.