Provincial Engineering & Geoscience Week


A Salute to Professional Engineers & Geoscientists

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8 | WINNIPEG FREE PRESS PROVINCIAL ENGINEERING & GEOSCIENCE WEEK GolderAssociatesisdrivenbyourpurposetoengineerearth'sdevelopmentwhile preservingearth'sintegrity.Wedeliversolutionsthathelpourclientsachievetheir sustainabledevelopmentgoalsbyprovidingawiderangeofindependentconsulting, designandconstructionservicesinourspecialistareasofearth,environmentandenergy. WorkwithGolderinWinnipegtogaintheadvantageoflocalsolutionsbackedby globalknowledge. LocallyDeliveredSolutions Canada+800414-8314 Ron Lemieux MLAforDawsonTrail 204-878-4644 Jennifer Howard MLA for Fort Rouge 204-946-0272 Dave Chomiak MLA for Kildonan 204-334-5060 Erin Selby MLA for Southdale 204-253-3918 Greg Selinger MLA for St. Boniface Premier of Manitoba 204-237-9247 Theresa Oswald MLA for Seine River 204-255-7840 CelebratingInnovationandAdvancement ByJenniferMcFee T he University of Manitoba's engineering faculty is already top-notch, but it's working towards an even loftier goal to offer the best programs in Canada. And as Dean of Engineering, Dr. Jonathan Beddoes (P.Eng., PhD.) believes this objective is entirely attainable. "All the metrics indicate that we have first-class programs, but we're not satisfied with first class. What we really want is to be the best in class," Beddoes said. "Our objective over the next four to five years is to be recognized as having the best engineering programs available. It will be a big challenge, but I think we're on the way." For its 1,650 undergraduate students, options abound with programs in biosystems, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering. Within those five programs, specializations are available to create 29 different pathways to graduation. From there, many students choose to continue down the academic path. Currently, the U of M is providing higher education to about 430 graduate-level engineering students. In total, 19 per cent of the student body is female, which is trending upwards towards the target of at least 20 per cent. As well, more than five per cent of the university's engineering students are from a First Nations, Métis or Inuit background. "There have been more Aboriginal engineers graduate from the U of M than all the other universities in Canada put together," Beddoes said. "Nevertheless, the representation of First Nation and Métis Canadians in the engineering profession is way lower than it should be, so we are working hard to rectify that." Once graduates enter the workforce, they will discover that the profession offers plenty of career prospects. "There is a strong demand for engineers in Manitoba. For students who graduate from engineering at the U of M, the world is their doorstep. We have students who take off to careers all over the place, but there are a lot of very good engineering opportunities in Manitoba right now in a wide range of industrial sectors," Beddoes said. "We also offer a co-operative education and industrial internship program, available in all the undergraduate programs. It's growing in popularity among students and employers. We work closely with employers to place students into very relevant positions that are connected with their program of study. It's optional for the students, but all of the placements are paid." To further improve the student experience, the engineering facilities are continually enhanced through renovations and upgrades. A $4-million donation was used to create of the state-of- the-art electrical engineering research and teaching facility, the Stanley Pauley Centre, which opened in the fall. As well, another $1-million contribution was used to complete a construction materials testing facility. Within the faculty, a $300,000 investment was used to establish a new solid mechanics laboratory several years ago. Currently, an additional $260,000 will be used to renew and upgrade the food mechanics lab. These investments are heavily supported by the engineering endowment fund, which is bolstered by contributions from current students, alumni and faculty members. These updated facilities allow for ongoing and innovative research, which is a key focus in all areas of engineering. "Right now, more than 10 per cent of faculty members in engineering have externally supported research chairs. We have a very strong research enterprise that is focused on the issues that are important to Manitoba, such as water resources and management of those resources," Beddoes said. "We have a number of research programs in very close collaboration with industrial sectors. Through these research collaborations, we are contributing to the ongoing prosperity of Manitoba as a whole. We take very seriously our role within the province and in contributing to the well-being of all of Manitoba." For students who plan to apply to U of M's engineering program, Beddoes offers some important advice. He encourages students to work hard in high school, since the incoming academic average is more than 90 per cent —one of the highest for any engineering program in the country. "The career opportunities available in engineering are extraordinarily exciting," he said. "So the students that we're really looking for to come into engineering are the students who have a passion for making a positive difference in their communities and in the society in which they live. For the ones that really want to make things better, engineering is the career choice for them." From first class to best in class WEE EEK

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