A Winnipeg engineering technologist who has been a local, provincial and national leader in his profession has been honoured with the Distinguished Graduate Award from RRC Polytech.
Robert Okabe, CEO and Registrar at the Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM), graduated with a Civil Engineering Technology diploma from RRC Polytech in 1983. His dedication to technicians and technologists, along with his passion for his community and volunteering, has set him apart and made him an outstanding candidate for the College’s highest achievement.
“RRC Polytech is proud to honour Robert Okabe with the Distinguished Graduate Award,” says College President Fred Meier. “His professional achievements truly embody the kind of commitment and leadership we aim to demonstrate to students. His contributions to Manitoba showcase the difference that RRC Polytech graduates make to our province, especially in the profession of applied science and engineering technology.”
Distinguished Graduate Awards honour and recognize the College’s finest graduates — those who have made an impact in their profession and their community through outstanding achievements in one or more of the following areas: humanitarianism, professional excellence and community service.
Okabe was recognized as a Fellow of Engineers Canada FEC in 2019 and as an International Engineering Technologist by the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) in 2013. He has served in various positions for the CCTT and the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board.
Okabe is currently a Program Advisory Committee member with RRC Polytech, Assiniboine Community College and University of College of the North, and has provided invaluable guidance and advocacy with the accreditation of RRC Polytech’s engineering technology programs.
He also has a role in all nine of the College’s Engineering Technology Advisory Committees, which provide direction and curriculum support from those working on the ground.
“I am incredibly excited and proud to be receiving this award,” says Okabe. “I believe that giving back to the community is such an important thing I can do as a graduate and am proud to support the next generation. The College provided so much for me in my career, and it’s an honour to be celebrated in this way.”
Okabe (shown above and at right, with wife Janet, Meier, and Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic) says he understands how important a helping hand can be in propelling students from the world of academia into a lifelong career, and in 2008 he established the Robert Okabe Achievement Award for Civil Engineering Technology.
Always open to new ideas and opportunities to perform outreach work for student recruitment, Okabe ensures he does what he can to support young women in STEM, and to help newcomers pursuing careers in his industry. His ongoing partnership with RRC Polytech is a welcome and substantial support in helping to transform today’s learners into a force for change.
Okabe was presented with his award on April 20 at the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Manitoba Awards of Excellence in Consulting Engineering.