2 May 2013
Each year, at its AGM, SCI presents Distinguished Service Awards. The awards celebrate the hard work and goodwill of longer-serving members from all component parts of the Society. They recognise time given as volunteers to organise conferences, edit or peer-review the material published in our journals, share enthusiasm, or lend leadership and vision to sustain regional or technical group activities.
This year, the Society is pleased to present a Distinguished Service Award to Dr Bernard West for his long-standing contribution to the work of SCI Canada.
How did you become a member of SCI?
Although I graduated from Manchester University and worked as a Lecturer my entire industrial career has been in Canada and the USA. I did not become fully aware of SCI until I became president of Alkaril Chemical and went on the board of the Canadian Chemical Producers Association, which had a very strong link with SCI Canada. I eventually joined SCI Canada through this linkage.
Why did you decide to get involved in committee work/organising events/collaborating in SCI publications?
When I became Chair of the CCPA board I was automatically a member of the SCI Canada Executive Committee. This involved me in the Awards process, which was the sections reason for existing.
What has driven your long-term involvement?
When I became Chair of SCI Canada we faced issues of continuity and this has involved my participation over a decade. SCI Canada has existed since 1902. We changed the Awards Dinner model to involve several senior awards with no lectures. We continued the graduates merit awards and involved winners in the awards dinner. We also initiated a discussion with the Chemical Institute of Canada when I chaired its board to find a way of linking SCI Canada and the CIC.
Has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?
It has been a good vehicle for building collaboration with the Industry associations and the professional chemistry and Chemical Engineering community. Its impact on my business activities has been minimal because it is not well known in Canadian Industry.
Do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?
Yes, it has helped enhance the collaborative linkages that I believe are very important as we move through a disruptive technical and economic climate.
Are you still excited to participate in SCI activities?
Yes because we have made great progress by the links we have and are building especially with Green technology.
How do you think that your contribution has helped shaped SCI?
I believe that I have been able to help keep SCI Canada going during a transition to a longer-term outlook as a part of the CIC and with its links to the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network.
Are you excited about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?
Yes. It is an honour to be given this award. I am pleased that I am part of the SCI Canada team and that SCI has also recognised Graham Knowles for his leadership of the Awards Committee and David Beckman for his leadership of the Executive. It is very satisfying to be part of that dynamic group. Thank you very much for the recognition.