TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Ryerson University, a leading education and innovation partner for the aerospace industry, applauded the conclusions of the national Aerospace Review Report, chaired by the Honourable David Emerson, which reinforces the critical importance of the industry to job creation and Canada's global competitiveness.
"This is an industry where Canada is among the top five countries in the world," said Wendy Cukier, Ryerson University's Vice President of Research and Innovation. "It generates annual revenues of $22 billion and employs nearly 66,000 Canadians. We cannot afford to fall behind. The report reinforces the need for the sector to be a national priority. We are particularly pleased the report mentions the importance of strengthening the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) aerospace cluster."
Ryerson with Centennial College, the University of Toronto, industry partners and other collaborators recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create an aerospace innovation hub, a world-class centre of excellence for aerospace innovation at Downsview Park, Toronto, an initiative also supported in a resolution passed by the city of Toronto. "The total is more than the sum of the parts. By strengthening collaboration among educational institutions and industry we can ensure Canada continues to lead internationally," said Cukier.
"Not only is our region home to some of the largest players in the industry, but it represents Canada's second largest Aerospace cluster with over 200 large and small and medium enterprises (SMEs)," added Cukier. "SMEs are the engine of economic growth in Canada and compete globally. As with the automotive sector, there is an enormous multiplier effect with aerospace jobs and we need to have a strong aerospace sector to keep those jobs in Canada."
The report reiterated the importance of meeting the industry's talent needs as a highly skilled workforce is aging, raising the spectre of critical skills shortage. Ryerson's aerospace engineering program is one of the largest, among a handful across the country, with more than 450 undergraduate and graduate students. The university is world renowned for its unique approach to innovation and experiential learning and has made aerospace research a top strategic priority investing in unique facilities and student enabled innovation.
"This report reinforces that we are on the right track," said Mohamed Lachemi the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science at Ryerson. "Our longstanding partnership with industry leaders such as Bombardier Aerospace, Pratt and Whitney Canada, UTC Aerospace Systems, Magellan Aerospace, and Safran Electronics Canada, provides students with hands-on experience and opportunities to help solve real-life industry challenges through Ryerson's Institute for Aerospace Design and Innovation (RIADI). By offering students opportunities to collaborate with senior engineers working on solving problems in design, instrumentation, new materials, and 'green technologies', we are training the next generation of aerospace engineers and innovators essential to the health of the industry and to sustainable innovation and growth."
Consistent with the Report's recommendations to help university students acquire relevant expertise and bridge new graduates into the aerospace workforces, RIADI is a unique model that provides numerous internship positions for students within local aerospace companies, giving students invaluable real-world engineering experience to meet the needs of the industry.
Ryerson researchers are already working closely with industry to drive innovation. It is also home to two Canada Research Chairs in Aerospace Engineering as well as the prestigious NSERC-Rockwell Industrial Chair. Both Cukier and Lachemi hope that the recommendations in the report are followed with action. "Other countries have invested strategically in their aerospace clusters with predictable results," noted Cukier. "Canada needs to do this or it will be left behind."
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 28,000 students, including 2,300 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past five years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca.
SOURCE: Ryerson University
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Kathleen Powderley, 416-803-5597, Kathleen@responsiblecommunications.ca