Scott O Gullacher was found guilty on three counts of professional misconduct by a panel of the APEGS discipline committee as outlined in its written decision sent to Gullacher following a hearing in June 2022. Regarding two additional counts, the panel did not receive sufficient evidence to prove professional misconduct.
The panel will hear submissions related to the disposition of the matters from the investigation committee and Gullacher at a hearing scheduled for 13 March. A final written order will then be issued to Gullacher. If there is no appeal, the order will be published in the spring.
The three counts of professional misconduct relate to two formal complaints. Dyck Memorial Bridge collapsed on 14 September 2018. Gullacher was found to have not practised in a careful and diligent manner by not employing a site-specific geotechnical analysis and by not providing adequate engineering designs for the helical pile foundations.
The second matter relates to municipal bridges. APEGS said that the designs prepared by Gullacher for the five municipal bridges lacked relevant design information, including inaccurate representation of bridge designs, numerous Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code deficiencies and lack of critical detail on plans for welding details. This resulted in five superstructure designs that were inadequate to carry the minimum loads required by the code.
The role of the panel was limited by statute to hearing the evidence presented to it and then determining whether the charges against Gullacher were proven on a balance of probabilities. It was not tasked with determining the cause of the collapse of the Dyck Memorial Bridge.
“We ensure that our registrants have the education, experience and ethics to practise their profession in the public interest,” said Stormy Holmes, APEGS executive director and registrar. “The public must feel confident and trust that the careful and diligent work of engineers and geoscientists will keep them safe. This registrant’s work was a breach of that trust. I am confident that our regulatory processes worked as they should to protect the public.”