Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) contributor Mark Lowey of Calgary is this year’s recipient of the annual Award of Journalism Excellence in Engineering from Engineers Canada, the national organization representing the country’s 280,000 professional engineers. The award celebrates journalists who incorporate a balanced perspective on how engineering impacts important issues, ranging from health and infrastructure to technology and economic prosperity. The award is one of nine that celebrates outstanding Canadian engineers for their contributions to the nation. 

Lowey won for his article “Pipe Dream,” which ran in the May-June 2015 edition of ACCN.  The article focused on assessing the risks and potential hazards of two proposed oil sands export pipelines from Alberta to the British Columbia coast —Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project — and the increase in ocean-going oil tanker traffic that would result. The story probed the possible impacts on the marine environment of a spill of diluted bitumen into the ocean, as well as the statistical probability of such a spill from both an engineering and chemistry perspective. 

 “I’m very pleased and honoured to see my work recognized by Engineers Canada,” says Lowey. “During my 35-year career, I have won several national awards for my journalism while working as a staff reporter on a large daily newspaper. But this is my first national award as a freelance writer, so it is especially gratifying.”

Lowey is the publisher and managing editor of EnviroLine, a business publication for Western Canada’s environmental industry, and has been an ACCN freelancer for several years. His most recent contribution to ACCN was “Risky Business,” about the possible environmental risks associated with liquified natural gas development in BC, which ran in the January-February 2016 edition.

The award will be presented at a ceremony in Charlottetown on May 26. ACCN writers who have previously won this award are Anita Lahey and Tyler Irving.