More than 150 professors and teaching experts gather at Polytechnique Montréal to discuss the training of future Canadian engineers
MONTREAL, June 14, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - From June 18 to 20, Polytechnique Montréal will play host to the 4th Annual Conference of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA). More than 150 professors and experts from various Canadian engineering faculties and schools will take part in the conference, which deals with critical issues facing the Canadian engineering community.
The link between engineering, engineering design, innovation and the quality of life in Canada is critical. Numerous recent evaluations have confirmed that Canada lags in innovation. Clearly, the engineering community must play a vital role in changing this, for the continued quality of life of Canadians, and the conference will highlight some examples of engineering leadership in this area.
Plenaries and guest lectures are being given by noted speakers in the Canadian engineering community, including by Richard J. Marceau, President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, on "big energy projects," and by demonstrated leaders in Canadian innovation underlining the important role of Canadian universities regarding key issues such as sustainable development and energy.
- How to make Canada more innovative?
- Imagine an engineering education leading to jobs as exciting as those in the best and most innovative tech firms. What would that be like?
- Sustainable development and energy issues: what role will future engineers play in creating solutions?
The conference's many presentations (in English only) include four plenary sessions that are open to the media:
Tuesday, June 18, 8:30 to 9 a.m. (room M-1010)
Opening address: Leadership in engineering
Pierre G. Lafleur, Director Academic and International Affairs, Polytechnique Montreal
Tuesday, June 18, 9 to 10 a.m. (room M-1010)
Identifying design explicitly as a key element of innovation, and what might follow from that
Tom Brzustowski, Chair of the Board of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) and Chair of the Management Advisory Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR) of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
Tom Brzustowski is an engineer with senior executive experience in both universities and government. His talk stresses the importance of engineering design for innovation and Canada's prosperity. This challenges the conventional wisdom in Canada that innovation follows from research, and that adequate research support will suffice to create prosperity through innovation by new ventures that translate new knowledge into market success and wealth-creation. In fact, research-based innovation by new ventures is only one of four kinds of innovation, and while it may be exciting, it is rare and its economic impact is significant only in exceptional cases. The other three kinds of innovation are research-based innovation by established firms, and design-based innovation both by new ventures and by established firms. So what Canada really needs is adequate encouragement and support for both research and design. Think of the economy as a car on a hill. The road from research to prosperity is a steep and rocky one, and the best engine and front-wheel drive - research - may not be able to pull it very high. But a 4WD, with great research pulling and great engineering design pushing, is much more likely to achieve the heights of prosperity. For Canada to prosper, we need fine research and we also need fine design, and both must be recognized in education and in government support.
Wednesday, June 19, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (room M-1010)
Innovation and rigour in the design process: a both/and possibility
Professor Suzanne Kresta teaches engineering design at the University of Alberta. She delights in toppling crumbling paradigms and replacing them with new and more powerful truths.
Engineering as a profession is highly regarded for its great ethical standards and commitment to ensuring that public safety is protected in an atmosphere of trust. In the early 1900s, there was an almost magical emergence of technology - cars, highways, antibiotics, fertilizers, electricity, clean water - and engineers enjoyed a golden era and unlimited resources. Today, we are surrounded by collapsing bridges, a public that views all chemicals as toxic, and demands for technical innovation aimed at transforming the Canadian economy. Our students value balanced lives and the opportunity to make a difference in the world as much — or more — than a high salary. The value proposition has changed for our profession. Innovation requires a culture where mistakes are embraced as part of learning: but protecting public safety in engineering requires 100% reliability. In our culture, innovators are often attacked as a perceived threat to orderly and robust performance. The most innovative companies embrace both realities. How can we, as educators and leaders, uphold our core values of robustness and reliability, while fostering innovation, advocacy, and openness?
Thursday, June 20, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (room M-1010)
The role of engineering education in building a sustainable future
Lorne Trottier, engineer, businessman, philanthropist, co-founder of Matrox
Climate change, exhaustion of limited resources and environmental damage are key problems facing society. In simple terms, clean energy and sustainable practices are the answer. What role can engineering education play in developing solutions, informing the public and policy makers about these complex issues, and moving the agenda towards action?
About Polytechnique Montréal
Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada's leading engineering teaching and research institutions. It is the largest engineering university in Québec in terms of the size of its student body and the scope of its research activities. With over 40,000 graduates, Polytechnique Montréal has educated nearly one-quarter of the current members of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Polytechnique provides training in 15 engineering specialties, has 242 professors and more than 7,100 students. It has an annual operating budget of over $200 million, including a $72-million research budget.
About the Canadian Engineering Education Association
The Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA) is a new organization whose mission is to enhance the competence and relevance of graduates from Canadian Engineering schools through continuous improvement in engineering education and design education.
SOURCE: Polytechnique Montréal
For further information:
Interviews are available with Professor Paul Stuart, Conference Chair, and Professor Michel Perrier, Technical Program Chair.
Download the full event program: http://www.ceea.ca/en/
Source and information: Annie Touchette, Polytechnique Montréal, 514 231-8133, [email protected]