Skip to main content

Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award

On stage with Darryl Hansen (center) at the presentation of the award are Christyn Cianfarani, President of CADSI (left) and Gen (Ret’d) Rick Hillier (right)

We are pleased to announce Darryl Hansen, Chief Engineer – Governance has been selected as the first recipient of the Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award. This award recognizes a leader in the defence and security sector that provides valuable advice and support to the next generation of industry leaders and has contributed to the personal and professional growth of one or more emerging leaders within a CADSI member company.

Darryl’s ambition and drive to ‘develop the young’ has been evident throughout his career. His recruitment practices, mentorship and application of administrative policies have focused on continuing the advancements of engineering specialists and leaders within Babcock Canada and over the past four decades of his career.

“The first time I met Darryl, I was a young naval officer and he was the Chairman of a board interview which is an in depth assessment of technical knowledge. His approach to assessment was like peeling back an onion to see exactly what level of understanding a candidate had. He challenges new engineers and experienced engineers to work through solutions and supports leaders by laying out goals and strategies. His guidance and leadership has been pivotal in my career development.” Explains Mark Russell PEng, Principal Naval Architect.

Under his leadership as the EDWP Chief Engineer for HMCS CHICOUTIMI and HMCS CORNER BROOK, he recruited, mentored and groomed more than 50 engineers, technicians and technologists.  He has been an advocate in continued development and recognition of engineers at Babcock. As an architect of Babcock’s Technical Competency Framework and instituting the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) annual assessments, he continues to encourage and promote the achievement of professional engineering requirements for EIT’s.  In addition, Darryl initiated the Engineering Pay scale and professional development structure that offers dual career pathways toward serving in management and technical specialist roles. Darryl is committed to providing ongoing individual coaching, professional oversight and informal sessions with key engineers and engineering managers to discuss technical and professional challenges.

Darryl holds a BEng from the Royal Military College, MSc from the Royal Naval Engineering College (UK), and Engineers Canada Fellowship. We congratulate Darryl on this achievement as the first recipient of this CADSI award that was presented on May 26, 2016 at CANSEC in Ottawa by Gen (Ret’d) Rick Hillier, who was personally mentored by Paddy O’Donnell.

About Paddy O’Donnell

Diminutive in physical stature, Paddy was truly a giant in the Canadian Armed Forces family, the Royal Canadian Air Force more specifically, and the Canadian defence industry community. The former chairman of the Canadian Defence Industries Association, the forerunner organization to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), Paddy had a long and special relationship with CADSI and the Canadian defence industry.

Paddy began his Air Force career as a navigator, reaching the commanding heights of the Canadian Armed Forces as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in the early 1990s. He was that rare leader who is remembered as much for his mentorship of younger officers as for his many professional accomplishments both in and out of uniform. A graduate of Queen’s University (Economics), the Royal Air Force Staff College and the NATO Defence College (Rome), Paddy’s incisive, strategic mind, depth of knowledge and sharp wit made a huge impact on our community.