Success of an Engineer
A/SLt 24498 Noelani Shore (RMC 2009)
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this Toronto-raised Engineer is not your average ex-cadet.
10143 Mr. Mike McCartney (RMC 1974), BA Sc., P. Eng., BDS, emigrated to Canada in 1953, and joined the Royal Military College in 1970. He stayed for one year, before graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Waterloo in 1977.
“I think I may have set a record behaviour unbecoming of an officer!” Mr. McCartney said with a laugh. “I outdid The Good Soldier Švejk (1) in terms of idiotic behaviour. My only and best excuse: I was 18 at the time!”
Mr. McCartney decided to join RMC because he was imbued with a sense of patriotism.
“I was also, to some extent, seeking my father’s approval. He was a Royal Air Force veteran,” he explained. “The free education offered by RMC was, at the time, the best option for someone like me, especially because I come from a family of six children.”
During his year at RMC, Mr. McCartney was a member of the football team, and he was also associated with the hockey team as an assistant manager.
“That assignment was a hoot; it got me out of a lot of extra duty, and I had a great time on road trips,” he said.
Mr. McCartney began his athletic enthusiasm at RMC, but he continued to push himself and excel.
“I have trained for and run in marathons. I have fought in and won Karate bouts, as well as Judo matches,” he said.
He learned that he could achieve anything he put his mind to, and at RMC he saw what it takes to be a leader in the truest sense.
“I had never been challenged to the extent that I was in that year. I have the respect and loyalty to all my employees, a sign that whatever clues I picked up about leadership at RMC sunk in and bloomed over the years,” he said.
After working for a year in Toronto as a surveyor’s assistant for the Toronto General Burying Grounds, Mr. McCartney took up Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering, Biochemical and Management Science options.
“The work I do now involves applying the principles of fluid dynamics, an area in which I excelled,” he explained.
The first job Mr. McCartney had upon graduation was as an equipment sales engineer with TRANE, a manufacturer of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
“I worked for their Toronto sales office from 1977 to 1981. After that, I went to CIMCO Refrigeration and learned the ins and outs of ice rink design. After a few other stints I ended up at TECHAIRE SYSTEMS in Toronto, in 1985. I have been a partner in that firm since 1988,” he said.
Mr. McCartney founded M.E. McCartney Engineering in 1992 in order to keep his freelance engineering projects at arm’s length from TECHAIRE. He co-founded AEGIS Engineering Ltd. in 2001 in order to be able to offer engineering service on larger public tender projects.
“In 2008, I took up consulting for GIFFIN KOERTH INC as a forensic engineering investigator,” he said. “I can tell you, I have had some interesting projects over the years. Perhaps the most unusual was a request I had to air condition a nude resort. I asked the owner why there was a need for air conditioning (tongue in cheek, of course), and he told me that they held dances on Saturday nights, and that people there tended to get hot and sweaty! When it came time to brief my crew about the job, I added the proviso that they were to respect the rules of the place and that they were to wear only the following items: Hard hats, tool belts, and work boots,” he laughed.
One of the challenges Mr. McCartney has faced over the years is keeping current in the many fields in which he is involved.
“Laws governing the practice of Engineering have been in flux over the last few years, especially here in Ontario. The Building Codes are also revised from time to time. Mastering such items as AUTOCAD and a few other programs has proved to be a real time saver, but difficult at times too,” he said.
Mr. McCartney has also managed to maintain a pilot’s license, though not without some difficulty.
“My currency requirements as a private pilot change from year to year too, it seems.”
Mr. McCartney reconnected with RMC at a Judo tournament at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1994.
“An announcement came out over the loudspeaker, asking Berny Couture to go to the judge’s desk. Berny was a member of the Class of 74. I went over, said hello, and was invited by him to attend the 20th reunion in Kingston that fall. So, I attended the Friday night meet and greet, chatted with a couple of old buddies and decided to join the RMC Club as a life member,” he said. “I do look back on that one year as being one of the most eventful, and in a way, instructive years of my life. And I do wish them all well, all of them.”
Family ties are very important to Mr. McCartney, and despite all of his success in his career, the proudest moment he has experienced so far is when he saw his daughter, who is now 18, being born, and held her in his arms for the first time.
“My current wife Merrill and I have been together now for six years, and it looks like we have another fifty to go. She is a first class woman and is probably too good for me, but I haven’t told her as of yet!”
(1) A number of literary critics consider The Good Soldier Švejk to be one of the first anti-war novels, predating Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. Furthermore, Joseph Heller said that if he had not read The Good Soldier Švejk, he would never have written his novel Catch-22. The novel deals with broader anti-war themes: essentially a series of absurdly comic episodes, it explores both the pointlessness and futility of conflict in general and of military discipline, specifically Austrian military discipline, in particular.
6554 Doctor Harold M. Merklinger (RMC 1965) retired in 2001 from the Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (as its Director-General) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. His main scientific contributions have been in the field of underwater acoustics although his experience has covered communications, space surveillance and ship technology. His main hobby since the age of eight, however, has been photography, with a lesser interest in motorsport. (He’s a past president of the Bluenose Autosport Club in Dartmouth.) He has written technical books on photography FOCUSING the VIEW CAMERA and The INs and OUTs of FOCUS which are available for download. The information in these books is the result of his personal research; it is not related to his work for the Canadian Government. He has also written numerous articles for Shutterbug, View Camera, Photo Techniques and The Luminous Landscape. Harold was educated at the Royal Military College of Canada, and the University of Birmingham (in England). He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, a member of the Canadian Acoustical Association, and a founding member of The Institute of Acoustics of Atlantic Canada. Those interested in underwater acoustics might wish to consult his book Progress in Underwater Acoustics published by Plenum Press in 1986. He also wrote a chapter in `The Naval Service of Canada 1910-2010: The Centennial Story.` [email protected]
18524 Christopher Theal (RRMC 1992) is Managing Director, Institutional Research, Tangent Capital. Mr. Theal joined Tangent in September 2002 and is responsible for institutional equity research. Prior to Tangent, he was a research analyst at CIBC World Markets Inc. for four years. Prior to CIBC, Mr. Theal was a corporate analyst for a major Canadian integrated oil and gas company. Mr. Theal was previously an officer in the Canadian Navy and is decorated with the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal for UN service abroad. Mr. Theal has a Bachelor’s degree, with distinction, in Economics and Political Science from Royal Roads Military College and an M.B.A. degree from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Theal is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Calgary Branch of the RMC Club of Canada. http://www.tangentcapital.net/tristone.htm
13893 Dr. Jeff (Jean-François) Lafortune (RMC 1983) is president of International Safety Research Inc. (ISR) which provides services worldwide in the technological areas of nuclear safety, radiation protection, emergency preparedness and response, safety management sytems, and CBRNE counter-terrorism response. He is a Professional Engineer with a Ph.D. in nuclear/chemical engineering. He has 24 years of international experience in the development, evaluation and training of safety management programs and processes for the nuclear and chemical sectors, and five years experience in SMS for the aviation industry. Jeff Lafortune was awarded the Lt Governor’s silver medal in 1982. [email protected]
14971 Timothy R. Haig (RMC 1985) is the Director, President and Chief Executive Officer JJR IV Acquisition Inc. JJR IV Acquisition has entered into an amalgamation agreement dated January 27, 2010 with BIOX Corporation. Mr. Haig, 47, has over 20 years in the field of strategic business development with an emphasis on environmental technologies and engineering.
Prior to co-founding BIOX with Monteco Ltd., a technology transfer company, and Kevin Norton in September 2000, and acting in the capacity of President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Haig held several senior management positions with high profile organizations both in Canada and the United Kingdom such as Marketing Director of Ove Arup & Partners as well as Director of Strategy and Development for Tarmac, Black and Veatch. In addition, Mr. Haig was a principal in CMA Associates which promoted, developed and financed several major wind farms across Europe. Mr. Haig received his MBA in London, England and his degree as an Industrial Engineer from the Royal Military College of Canada. He served in the Canadian Forces (Army) for 10 years as an officer.
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