Shawn Selway

Based in Hamilton, Shawn founded Pragmata in 2003 in order to provide millwrighting services informed by historic conservation principles to the heritage community as elements of the industrial past enter their stewardship. Prior to initiating Pragmata, he supervised all work and maintained conservation standards at two major projects, Bonavista Light Restoration and the pumps and engines component of the Hamilton Pumphouse Restoration Project. Shawn completed his apprenticeship as an Industrial Mechanic at the Steel Company of Canada Basic Works in Hamilton, and has worked in a wide variety of industrial and construction settings. He has B.A. in Religious Studies from McMaster University and is a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP) Ontario chapter.


Alex Barbour

Based in Ottawa, Alex retired in 1996 from the federal department of Public Works as Chief Engineer, Marine and Industrial Conservation. He operates Scotia Marine as a consultancy in steam powered vessels, as well as Canadian marine and industrial history and metals conservation. During his twenty three years with Parks Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada, Alex’s duties included: conducting condition assessments, stabilizing, conserving and restoring historic ships, industrial and military machinery, as well as assisting architects and structural engineers with problems related to period mechanical engineering, historic manufacturing techniques, metallurgy and corrosion. Conservation projects have included the salvage of a 2000 ton gold dredge out of the permafrost in the Yukon; the inventory and machnery investigation of a large saw mill, a flour mill, and a shingle mill;. the complete inventory, including plant layout, schematic piping arrangements, location and function of all machinery of a herring reduction plant in British Columbia, and the emergency stabilization and decontamination of this site. Marine restoration projects have included three stern wheelers and the replication of Alexander Graham Bell’s Hydrofoil HD 4, and advice on the replication of sailing vessels. Alex has been an instructor at George Brown College, Toronto, and Algonquin College, Ottawa, and served as head of the Marine Engineering Department at George Brown. Prior to coming to Canada in 1964, he was marine engineer with Ben Line Steamers Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland. He served a millwright apprenticeship with Baxter Bros. Ltd. of Dundee, textile manufacturers, where he first met historic machinery. Alex’s work with Scotia Marine includes conservation of period metal work of fences, banisters and gates on Parliament Hill and at Rideau Hall; a survey, overhaul and operation of a steam passenger vessel for Rideau Steam Ships Ltd.; a survey of HMCS HAIDA. With Martin E. Weaver Inc. an investigation of the submarine U505 for the Museum of Science and Technology, Chicago; restoration of the Tin House facade for the National Capital Commission; tower clock investigation and removal in US Virgin Islands. With UMA engineering restoration of the Hamilton Water Works