News Release Communique

May 27, 2002

U of S-Owned Synchrotron Project Wins National Engineering Award

The Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron project at the University of Saskatchewan has been awarded the 2002 National Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE).

The prestigious award is not given out annually, but is reserved for exceptional Canadian-engineered projects or achievements that have had, or will have, a significant impact on society, industry and engineering. The award will be presented June 1 at the annual CCPE awards ceremony in St. John's Newfoundland.

The CLS building that will house the world's fourth most powerful synchrotron was designed by a team of engineers from the Saskatoon office of UMA Engineering Ltd. plus designers, engineers and researchers from Canadian Light Source Inc. (CLSI). The U of S-owned national laboratory will start producing synchrotron light for use by university, government and industrial scientists in January of 2004.

"We are honored that the CLS project has been selected for this award and that our UMA partners are being recognized for their superb work," said U of S President Peter MacKinnon. "It speaks to the caliber of Saskatchewan engineers -- many of whom are trained at the U of S -- that this kind of project was designed in the province using local engineers."

Criteria for the award include: importance of the project to Canada's economic and social well-being; ingenuity in conception, design, and execution; magnitude of Canadian economic growth created by the project; complexity of the project and success in overcoming challenges; and minimized impact on the environment. The award has been given out only once before -- for the Ekati Diamond Mine project near Yellowknife in 1999.

The UMA team had to meet very exacting scientific requirements to build the first-in-Canada synchrotron facility -- including maximal reduction of floor vibrations and exceptional air temperature stability. They had to manage the interests of many different parties, deal with equipment suppliers from around the world, and ensure that the $173.5-million project is on time and on budget.

"Great projects like the CLS only happen when you have a great team and a great owner," said Nizar Dhanani, UMA Project Design Manager. "We are proud to work with the University of Saskatchewan and commend the University's significant leadership in going forward with this bold and innovative project."

The CLS ( is one of the largest scientific projects in Canada, and one of the most advanced synchrotrons in the world. The synchrotron will produce brilliant light - millions of times bright than sunlight - that can be used to study the microstructure of materials.

"This new tremendous research tool is already attracting some of the country's top scientists and will help to find Canadian solutions for global challenges in agriculture, health, materials science and the environment," said MacKinnon.

UMA is providing project and construction management, engineering for the design of the building, and engineering support to CLSI for the project, which is on time and on budget. Sub-consultants working with UMA on the CLS building design include AODBT Architects, AMEC Earth & Environmental, Bruce Sparling and BKL and Associates. U of S Facilities Management provided the climate control system design.

Design, engineering and installation of the technical facilities for the synchrotron is being done by CLSI staff. CLSI is also the licensed operator and will maintain the facility.

This is the fourth engineering award related to the CLS project. On May 4, the CLS project was awarded the Exceptional Engineering/Geoscience Project Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. Last June, UMA Group Ltd. won an award of excellence for technical innovation from the Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan for its work on the CLS. The UMA team has also won an innovation award from the UMA Group for the management systems and procedures the team developed to keep the CLS project on track.

CCPE is the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country's more than 160,000 professional engineers.

CLS funding partners include the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian government (including Western Economic Diversification, Natural Resources Canada, the National Research Council, NSERC, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research), Saskatchewan Industry and Resources, Ontario Innovation Trust, Alberta Innovation and Science, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, U of S, the City of Saskatoon, SaskPower, and Boehringer Ingelheim, University of Western Ontario, and University of Alberta. As well, GlaxoSmithKline is also providing funding for a U of S chair in an area of synchrotron science.

For more information, contact:

Kathryn Warden
Research Communications Officer
Office of the Vice President (Research)
Tel: (306) 966-2506
Fax: (306) 966-2411

Nizar Dhanani
Project Design Manager
UMA Engineering Ltd.
(306) 955-3300