Students fulfilling their aspirations
At Waterloo Engineering, students expect and receive, an exceptional educational experience. From our renowned co-operative education (the largest in the world) that sees all students gain up to two years of real-world experience in paid employment to North America’s largest student design centre where 25 student-led teams design, develop, build and compete across the engineering spectrum, Waterloo Engineering students are uniquely prepared for the future.
The Educating the Engineer of the Future vision will see student experience enhanced so all students can fulfill their aspirations. By enriching the learning environment for the leaders of tomorrow we are further expanding the depth and breadth of our academic offerings. The areas of support include:
- Capstone Design: Enhanced funding for students’ Capstone Design projects. Capstone, formerly known as 4th Year Design projects, is the culmination of the engineer’s education. During their fourth year, engineering students, generally working in teams of four, conceptualize and design a project related to their chosen discipline. In March, the Capstone Design Symposiums allows students to showcase their projects to the public. These events are widely attended by students, industry and the public. Capstone projects can, and do, lead to commercialization. The Pebble Time Smart Watch is an example of a Capstone Design project that went on to be a successful product in the marketplace.
- Undergraduate Scholarships: A significant percentage of undergrad students benefit from scholarships, awards and bursaries. By increasing scholarship funds, we can further support students during their education and show that we value their exceptional effort. Scholarships for entrance and upper years are essential in rewarding students for all their accomplishments and ensures Waterloo Engineering stays competitive when attracting exceptional students. Scholarships also provide opportunity for students under financial constraints, especially before they begin to earn money during their co-op terms.
- Student Teams: Waterloo Engineering has upwards of 25 student-led teams (extracurricular). “A student team is nothing more than a group of students who decide to work together on a single project with a common objective,” states the Student Team website, but the results are astonishing. From the legendary Midnight Sun Solar Rayce Car team (founded in 1988) and the award winning Formula Hybrid team to the Aerial Robotics team and the renowned Engineers Without Borders, which was founded by Waterloo Engineers, financially assisting student teams is an invaluable way of expanding the depth and breadth of our academic offerings. Student teams are open to any University of Waterloo student, regardless of program. This multi-discipline approach mimics real world organizations and allows students to have a richer experience.
- Engineer of the Future Endowment
This new student experience fund was launched by the Dean of Engineering, along with alumni support in Canada and abroad, to assist students who wish to explore their entrepreneurial desires by creating new products, building new ventures and pushing the boundaries of technology. Originally conceived as a Trust and initiated through the generosity of Terry Cunningham, BASC, Mech, ’83, its success has led the Faculty to transition it into an Endowment, with the seed funding required to establish the Endowment coming from Ray Tanguay, former Chair of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
The purpose of the endowment is to provide micro funding for viable student projects in the critical startup phase (e.g. funding prototype development, IP protection, materials and supplies, etc). These funds, available at the time students need them most, can make the difference between a successful student project and one that can go on to achieve commercialization.
Based on merit of proposal
- Funding levels range from $1,000 to $5,000 and are based on the merit of the proposal.
- Priority is given to the student projects that have a positive impact on advancing the human condition through innovative engineering.
- Capstone Design projects are eligible.
The types of projects this Endowment funds vary and all engineering students, in all engineering programs, are eligible. The newly launched Waterloo Bridges to Prosperity student design team built a bridge in the jungle of Bolivia, thereby giving an entire community safe passage across a rocky chasm and river, received funds. The student inventors of Suncayr, a UV–responsive marker ink that when applied to skin lets people know when to reapply sunscreen, were also Engineer of the Future Endowment recipients. Vitameter, a product developed by nanotechnology and electrical and computer engineering students.
This Trust resonates for me because it will allow Pearl to support our undergraduate entrepreneurs and help build Canada’s competitive advantage. The flexibility of this fund will mean that next year at this event some of the students we have funded will be here with a pitch for their own company. You can count on it. Regardless of how long I’ve been down here and how much I love California – I’m still a proud Canadian, and more proud when I hear and read about the outstanding successes of Waterloo’s engineering graduates. As alumni, we are a part of this success story: past, present and future.
Terry Cunningham, President, EVault™, BASC, Mech, ’83 and founder of the Engineer of the Future Trust (now Endowment)