Students talk with industry representatives at the UPEI Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering’s inaugural Industry and Career Day.
Students in the UPEI Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering (FSDE) got the chance to meet with potential employers at the faculty’s inaugural Industry and Career Day held on February 2.
The event was hosted by the FSDE Industry Partnership Group (IPG), the Engineering Student Success Centre, and the Student Engineering Society, and emceed by Wayne Simmons, business development engineer with the IPG.
Dr. Wayne Peters, interim dean, began the event by giving an update about the faculty. He said that the faculty has graduated 140 students since it began six years ago. Some moved into other professions after graduation, but of the 95 per cent who are employed as engineers, 75 per cent are working on PEI. Of that 75 per cent, 25 per cent joined the program as international students who found opportunity here and stayed in the province.
He said that partnerships with industry are essential to the program and thanked the representatives of the 20 companies present for their participation in the event.
Dr. Greg Naterer, vice-president academic and research, said that the FSDE is a remarkable success, evidenced by its achievement of accreditation from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. As well. As well, seven teams of FSDE students competed successfully at the 2023 Atlantic Engineering Competition, with two teams finishing in first place. Those teams will represent the Atlantic region at the prestigious Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) in Waterloo, Ontario, from February 24 to 27. He noted that Canada will need 100,000 more engineers by 2025, which is an exciting opportunity for the faculty to grow.
Trevor Spinney, president of Charlottetown Metal Products (CMP) Ltd., praised the University’s sustainable design engineering program, saying that its graduates receive the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed in the industry. He encouraged the faculty to invest in a full-fledged cooperative education program and to expand its focus on mechatronics and machinery design.
FSDE alumna Peter Doiron, a project manager with CMP, and Ashley MacEachern, a project manager with MDS Coating Technologies, spoke about how the program’s mix of theory and practical learning prepared them for their careers by providing them with the knowledge and skills they needed to be successful in their careers, such as leadership, creativity, communications, collaboration, decision-making, and accountability, among others.
Students Ahmed Aborita, Suliman Antoun, and Zeyad Elkallaf spoke about their experience working last summer with Aspin Kemp, noting that their education had prepared them well for the transition from academia to the professional field.
Following an introduction of the career day aspect of the event by Berry Genge, representing the Engineering Student Success Centre, and Liam Murdock, the Student Engineering Society, the students circulated among the booths set up by the industry partners present to network and discuss career opportunities.