Transportation Safety Board awards

2016 award recipients

Outstanding Achievement Award

This award was given to Sylvie Dionne, Manager, Material Analysis and Structures, for her exceptional work on the development of a centre of expertise for tank car designs and derailment performance.

This centre of expertise is key to the TSB’s ability to influence the rail industry’s tank car operations. It captures historical tank car designs as well as new developments in design. Key to this centre of expertise is the systematic assessment methodology developed by Sylvie and her team. The methodology allows the TSB to examine future tank car designs and compare them to previous designs efficiently and in detail. This gives a stronger voice to the TSB when we make our recommendations on tank car designs and performance.

Other international investigation organizations such as the NTSB have recognized the benefits of this approach and have looked to Sylvie for guidance and assistance in their investigations. Many in the rail industry are using the TSB’s tank car damage assessment database to help them review the performance of their tank cars and to improve their designs.

Sylvie Dionne (left) receiving her award from Chair Kathy Fox

Excellence in Leadership Award

This award was given to Art Monette, Head, Information Management. Art created information management materials and gave awareness sessions for employees, modified the TSB’s Fundamental Principles Course, and was directly involved in the training for new investigators. He uses many platforms to share his information management knowledge with employees. The key to his success: strong listening skills that enable him to adapt to his audience and mold TSB practices to Government of Canada’s policies in such as way that his clients’ and team’s needs are met. Art has put in place an action plan to ensure that TSB information is up to date, recorded appropriately, and easily accessible to employees.

Art encourages excellence, not only within his own team but also across the organization. He honours his commitments and is very trustworthy—to the point that he has become the reference for information management at the TSB. Art ensures a high level of employee engagement in encouraging learning opportunities and personal growth. He creates opportunities for his team to learn and move to the next level.

Art Monette (right) receives his award from COO Jean L. Laporte

Impact Award

This year’s recipient of the Impact Award is the Marine Branch’s team of technical writers. Kate Wellburn, Shauna McNally, and Valerie Doucette have worked together to ensure high-quality products were produced in the Marine Branch. The numerous reports that they have worked on, the safety letters they helped write or correct, and the various policies they either developed or helped craft have had a positive impact. For instance, the production of 15 reports in 2015-16 within 406 days is in good part due to the efforts of the technical writers.

Kate, Shauna, and Valerie navigate through the complexities of writing to ensure the end product is flawless. They are also valued team members that can, by their positive and respectful deportment, make a most challengeable meeting a joyful event.

Chair Kathy Fox presents the award to (left to right) Valerie Doucette, Shauna McNally and Kate Wellburn

Client Service Award

This award was presented to two employees for their exceptional work and commitment to providing high-quality client service within the TSB.

As an information management analyst, Janie Bertrand provides high quality service, advice and opinions regarding information management to employees at various levels of the organization. Janie provides a fast and efficient service, and offers reliable and accurate advice that specifically addresses her clients’ needs.

Over the last year, Janie has completed two significant information management projects at the TSB. She completed a review and cleanup of more than 25,000 files, and also retrieved, indexed, and archived more than 200 boxes of files containing laboratory projects. Her dedicated work and her commitment to her clients helped declutter TSB files, which now helps in more efficiently responding to internal and external information requests.

Janie Bertrand (right) receives her award from COO Jean L. Laporte

Recognized as a team player and someone who does an excellent job, Earl Chapman is specifically requested by name to participate in occurrence investigations. He treats co-workers, supervisors, investigators, and all others with respect. No matter how busy Earl is with his own assignments, he always finds time to answer questions, mentor colleagues, technical leads, and IICs. In all of his endeavors, he ensures that the excellent service reputation that our lab enjoys is perpetuated.

His commitment to excellent service, attention to detail, great communication skills, and his desire for continuous improvement set Earl’s performance apart from others. He is a positive role model for others and always keeps the TSB’s mission and vision in mind when working on any project. Flexible in meeting the demands of many clients under tight deadlines, he readily manages changes in priorities associated with unforeseen events, such as deployment to an occurrence.

Earl Chapman (right) receives his award from COO Jean L. Laporte

Excellence in Investigations Award

This year, the Excellence in Investigations Award was presented to two teams.

The Jazz Aviation LP accident (A14W0177) investigation team worked in collaboration with engineers at UTAS/Bombardier to design a test rig for an exemplar landing gear in which they could conduct dynamic tests in order to replicate the failure and see how the landing gear collapsed. This innovative approach enabled the investigation team to fully understand what happened.

The technical complexities of a landing gear system that didn’t perform as designed were communicated in such a way that a reader with average aviation knowledge could comprehend the emergent safety issues identified during the investigation.

Chair Kathy Fox (right) presents the Excellence in Investigation Award to Barry Holt

The September 2013 OC Transpo–VIA Crossing accident (R13T0192) was a high-visibility, challenging, and unique investigation. Under difficult circumstances, the team managed to identify and communicate key safety messages very effectively.

Without a vehicle event data recorder, significant effort and dedication was necessary to calculate and simulate the sequence of events. Nevertheless, the team kept their head high and found innovative solutions to get answers to their questions. With 3 recommendations focusing on passenger bus design/operations, we truly hope there will be significant advancements in commercial passenger bus safety as a result of this investigation. Important recommendations were also made with respect to grade crossing safety.

Chair Kathy Fox (left) presents the Excellence in Investigation Award to Rob Johnston

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award was given to Susan Greene. Susan finds innovative and accessible ways of communicating key messages. She creates engaging learning interactions such as e-learning and interactive videos, and incorporates innovation in documenting and streamlining procedures. She uses feedback to strengthen communication and the integrity of every project. She sees opportunities in the obstacles encountered and always seeks new ways to improve her products and messaging.

She fosters a light-hearted, collaborative, and encouraging work environment. Susan’s steadfast commitment to TSB is unparalleled. Her creative problem-solving abilities allow her to mobilize support and overcome obstacles. She exhibits flexibility in responding to the scope and pace of change and displays conviction in finding and evaluating creative methods to achieve results.

Susan Greene (right) receives her award from COO Jean L. Laporte