Mark Lapointe is likely a familiar face to students and faculty who rely on the Hydraulics Lab to carry out their work and research. The quality of his work has earned him the 2017 Frank Giacobbi Award for Outstanding Service, which will be officially awarded in June during the Faculty’s annual BBQ. A large number of faculty, students and alumni from the Department of Civil Engineering provided strong recommendation letters, which reflects the widespread recognition of Mr. Lapointe’s work ethic and dedication. The objective of the award is to focus attention on faculty service in the Faculty of Engineering by recognizing a member of its support staff for outstanding contributions to faculty service.
Mr. Lapointe joined the Department of Civil Engineering in 2008 as the Technical Officer for the Hydraulics Laboratory. He brought the Faculty a unique skillset that included professional welding and carpentry, project and construction management experience, a knowledge of and a dedication to health and safety, and a proficiency for bilingual service delivery. In his role as Technical Officer of the Hydraulics Laboratory, he has developed expertise in many areas such as design, fabrication, the maintenance of technical equipment, field data collection, and the teaching and mentorship of students. He is a central figure in the research projects in the Hydraulics Laboratory, and has created a safe environment where undergraduate students can learn the basic principles of fluid mechanics and graduate students can develop novel experimental programs at the forefront of research.
The Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, Colin Rennie, summed it up in his nomination letter: “Mr. Lapointe has created an environment in the Hydraulics Laboratory and Department of Civil Engineering where students and staff enjoy working. This is invaluable and Marc is an irreplaceable contributor to our Department.”
This sentiment was reflected in numerous recommendation letters sent to the selection committee; these testimonials make it clear that Mr. Lapointe is a well-deserving recipient of this recognition.
“Besides his responsibilities in the Hydraulics Lab, Mark has also served in various laboratory safety committees over the years and actively participated in open houses. As a team player, Mark is supportive of everybody in the Department and he always goes the extra mile to help other technicians, faculty members and students with their work.”
–Beatriz Martín-Pérez, Associate Chair and Associate Professor
“The environmental engineering group in the Department of Civil Engineering has had 4 technical officers in the past 8 years and Mr. Lapointe has been a mentor to each of the new technical officers without being approached or asked to do so. He showed a strong collegial spirit in this initiative and has been a stable source of support for each of the new technical officers.”
—Robert Delatolla, Associate Professor
“Through my time as both a Master’s and Ph.D. student, Mark has routinely gone above and beyond in assisting my research projects. As my research has predominantly focused on physical modelling, Mark’s expertise in the construction and implementation of physical models is one of the primary reasons my Master’s projects could be completed on time.”
—Jacob Stolle, Ph.D. Candidate
“As an example of Mr. Lapointe’s tremendous passion for engineering, when he learned that I had entered an international concrete competition, he decided to help out! This lead to months of hard work, where Mr. Lapointe would often provide many key ideas, even staying to assist our team until 10 PM one evening. This lead to [us] winning third place in the world at the first international UHPC Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.”
—Corey Guertin Normoyle, M.A.Sc. Candidate