"The shortage of engineers with postgraduate education and skills . . . can and absolutely must be reversed," says Waterloo Engineering's associate dean of graduate studies and international agreements in a Globe and Mail editorial published November 25.
Bruce Hellinga, a Waterloo civil and environmental engineering professor, was part of the Canadian Graduate Engineering Consortium, a unique and progressive recruitment initiative, brought together this fall by five of Canada's top universities to address the country's urgent need for qualified engineers to tackle today's highly-complex technical, social and environmental challenges.
In the editorial entitled Without highly specialized engineers, Canada can kiss innovation goodbye, Hellinga points out that engineering graduate studies programs across the country offer extraordinary research and professional development opportunities to provide students with the depth of engineering knowledge and tools Canada requires.
"By continuing to offer leading-edge graduate studies programs, the five outstanding universities represented in the Canadian Graduate Engineering Consortium (McGill University, the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia and the University of Waterloo) will successfully develop a new generation of engineers who have the rigorous training, ethical grounding, ingenuity and confidence to adapt and succeed in even the most demanding conditions of today and tomorrow," Hellinga says. "I profoundly hope that our provincial and federal governments will consider funding these programs a national priority."