The association that regulates professional engineers in Saskatchewan has suspended Scott Gullacher for 18 months for designing a bridge that collapsed within hours of opening to the public.
Gullacher was responsible for the Dyck Memorial Bridge on the Clayton RM, about 300 kilometers east of Saskatoon. It opened and collapsed on September 14, 2018.
No one was hurt when it fell into the river.
The engineer was found guilty of three counts of professional misconduct earlier this year by a panel of the Saskatchewan Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGS) disciplinary committee.
On Monday, the association issued its final order related to its investigation into Gullacher’s misconduct, including the collapse of the bridge, described in the document as a “catastrophic failure,” and other projects.
The association determined that Gullacher failed to operate in a “careful and diligent manner” on the Dyck Memorial Bridge, because he failed to employ a site-specific geotechnical analysis and failed to provide adequate engineering designs for the helical pile foundations.
The engineer was also reprimanded for his work on five other bridges located on the Sask. rural municipalities of Scott, Caledonia, Mervin and Perdue.
On that matter, the disciplinary committee panel found that Gullacher’s designs “lacked relevant design information, including an inaccurate representation of bridge designs,” and that they were missing critical details, among other code deficiencies.
This resulted in “five superstructure designs that were inadequate to support the minimum loads required by the code.”
The engineer’s suspension ends at the end of this year.
According to the APEGS final order, Gullacher currently lives and works outside of the province. However, he says that he has expressed a desire to return to Saskatchewan and resume his work as an engineer. That could happen in December 2023.
The start of Gullacher’s suspension dates back to June 8, 2022, the date he was ordered to stop practicing professionally in the province.
However, there will be restrictions if you return.
Once his suspension period ends, the engineer will be barred from working on bridge projects in Saskatchewan for five years.
Gullacher will also be subject to three years of direct supervision. During that time, Gullacher must complete five hours of verifiable ethics training in each of the three years.
You are also required to pay APEGSThe maximum fine of $15,000 plus $32,000 for the association’s investigative costs.
The engineer has already faced some financial consequences for his actions.
During the investigative process, Gullacher testified that he paid $250,000 out of his own pocket to repair the collapsed Dyck Memorial Bridge, according to the association. He has also apologized to all the rural municipalities affected by his actions.
The APEGS order also revealed that Gullacher lost his Inertia Solutions Inc. business after being ordered to stop working in the province.