MARISA
STERLING PEng, FEC

PEO PRESIDENT 2020-2021

REIMAGINE PEO TOGETHER

MARISA
STERLING PEng, FEC

PEO PRESIDENT-ELECT 2019 CANDIDATE

MARISA STERLING PEng, FEC

PEO PRESIDENT-ELECT 2019 CANDIDATE

Welcome to my website. I invite you to take a look and get to know me better. It will give you a good idea why I am known as a Chief Make-It-Happen Officer. Let’s explore what I can do for you, PEO and the engineering profession.

As President of PEO, I look forward to working with you this year on the incredible journey to modernize and reimagine PEO together. I truly value your advice, rely on your guidance and remain humble and thankful for your continuing support and trust.

We are united in our goal to protect the public interest.

Engineering Community Helping with Covid-19 Response

Over the past few months, PEO and the engineering community have protected the public interest in their activities during the pandemic. I am very proud of the PEO licence and Certificate of Authorization holders who are among the researchers, manufacturers, businesses and others in Canada who are providing both goods and services, and ides and innovation to help combat Covid-19. So many in the engineering community are making exceptional efforts, individually and collectively, to help in any way they can. Read their stories here. I invite you to share more stories with me so we can recognize everyone. The world is now looking to engineering for solutions to help protect us from future disasters. Let's continue to proactively use our knowledge and skills to inform how to design resilient cities, infrastructure and equipment. It's our job, it's our communities. We are here to serve.

Change is our only constant.

Change is our only constant - it is our new normal.

I recognize the rapid changes you have all had to make recently. I want to applaud your resilience as you find new ways of working, of taking care of your family and loved ones, and of taking care of yourself. I understand. This is an unprecedented, uncertain and constantly changing time. There are many trends, reinforced during this global emergency, that signal the time is now for engineering to reimagine how it can better protect the public. And even though we are currently living through a crisis, this can also be an opportunity for rapid, meaningful change.

Digital technologies. Trust in engineers. Global Engineering.

3 Trends Accelerating Change

There are three trends - the evolution of digital technologies, the high expectations on engineers to safeguard the public, and the global crowdsourcing of solutions, that are just a few examples of the changing world that engineers can embrace by reimagining PEO.

For example, we are witnessing how the lines between the digital, the biological and the physical worlds are colliding and re-inventing themselves in many different ways. Artificial intelligence, computer vision and nanotechnology have created machines that increasingly can ‘see’, learn and act in ways that are transforming our world. A self-driving car, a smart device, a way to correct our DNA--all are impacting people’s life, privacy and health. Could the scope of PEO’s licensing reach further into these fields of work to safeguard the public?

We are also seeing how much the public trusts engineers and expects that we will keep them safe. For example, when a Canadian economist recently turned his fear of the pandemic into an opportunity to create the most amount of good, he chose to name the project Helpful Engineering. Could PEO’s priorities have broader public consultation to stay aligned to the trust placed on our profession?

And we are seeing how the use of crowdsourcing and swarm models are allowing us to collaborate globally, and develop rapid-response engineering solutions for our quickly changing world. Could PEO be playing more of a role to protect the public in engineering solutions that are coming from around the world?

Action plan and governance roadmap are the foundations to reimagine PEO together.

Foundations to REIMAGINE PEO Together

PEO's success decades from now as a relevant and agile regulator starts with the groundwork we have already begun to lay, and a vision for our future. What will be a multi-year project to modernize and reimagine PEO has started. We have begun responding to an external regulatory review by approving and starting to implement an operational action plan to address the review's recommendations. In addition, a governance roadmap was approved to strengthen PEO Council's effectiveness. I believe the operational action plan and governance road map will build a solid base from which we can forge ahead. But towards what? By beginning to reimagine PEO, we can establish a long term vision to chart our course.

Reimagine PEO together.

Charting a long-term vision for engineering

In the abbreviated words of Seneca, “No wind blows in favour of a ship without direction.” Now is the time to shape a new, longer-term vision that allows PEO to respond and adapt quickly, to societal trends and challenges, in order to continue to protect the public interest. The public today are asking questions such as how can they trust smart cities or consent to cell phone tracking, and know that their data privacy and data access are being managed for the public good? They are wondering, if facial recognition software has difficulty identifying people with darker skin, what other biases are embedded in the designs of the technology that we use? And they are concerned about how to stop climate change and inequality to create a more sustainable world. I realize this reimagining can feel like a daunting task. Personally I have found the most rewarding times in my career have been when I moved beyond what was known and routine, and followed my passion to take on a new challenge.

People. Partnerships. Culture.

Working Together

An African proverb tells us, "If you want to go fast, travel alone; if you want to go far in life, travel together." People, partnerships and culture are the anchors to a vibrant dialogue. I am committed to opening the doors wide to your thoughts and ideas, while being transparent, inclusive and focused on outcomes. To this end, I invite you to share your thoughts here on a reimagined PEO. I want to hear your ideas on the future of PEO and the regulation of our profession in Ontario. From June 11 - 13, 2020, I will co-host a virtual conference to kick off work for a visioning process for a reimagined PEO, one that builds on the current foundations of engineering in Ontario. Read more here.