Students & Industry Professionals join for evening of networking

Robyn Koropatnick, incoming Chair for Friends of Engineering (left), networking with students at the annual UMES Wine and Cheese event.

On November 26, 2018 the University of Manitoba Engineering Society (UMES) and the Friends of Engineering hosted a networking wine and cheese reception at the HUB sponsored by MacDon for students and working professionals in the field of engineering.

An icebreaker activity provided an opportunity for the students to flex their networking skills and learn more about the engineering community outside the University. For many, it was a chance to learn about what life can become following graduation, the types of work that is available to new grads, and to hear first-hand the many directions an engineering degree can lead.

Third-year mechanical student, Braden Ganetsky, echoed the sentiments of many other students: “Tonight was a great night. I had the chance to meet  people who are working in the engineering field and hear about what they do. It was a great way for us to chat with a large number of people from different organizations, and think more about what I want to do and where I want to go once I graduate.”

For the industry professionals, it was more than just an opportunity to meet and hear from students on their university experience and the field of engineering their pursuing, but also an avenue to provide some advice on how to find employment in their field, what types of opportunities in the current industries climate and offer up some tips on how to make their university experience the most rewarding and fulfilling.

Friends pledges $100,000 to new engineering building

It was announced at the Friends of Engineering AGM & Dinner on February 28th that the Friends have pledged $100,000 towards the new Stanley Pauley Engineering Building at the University of Manitoba.


The new 46,100 square foot building will include:

Engineering Innovation and Prototyping Centre
(design team prototyping facilities)

New Co-op/Industrial Internship Program Office

New Internally-Educated Engineers Qualification Program (IEEQ) Office and Facilities

Student Study Space (undergraduate and graduate)

Undergraduate Teaching and Research Laboratories

Biomedical Engineering Laboratories

AND in recognition of their support, the Stanley Pauley Engineering will also be home to the Friends of Engineering Centre for Engineering Professional Practice and Engineering Education.

Construction on the new building is set to begin this spring, with occupancy expected in mid-2018.


Engineering Reverse Career Fair


The Friends of Engineering is proud to present the 4th annual Engineering Reverse Career Fair on January 23rd in the Multi-Purpose Room at University Centre. Come meet top engineering students as they set up booths and market themselves to you! There is no cost to attend, and refreshments will be provided. We hope to see many members of Friends attend this fun and inter-active event.


Past Chair of Friends receives Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

John Bockstael Feb 09


Congratulations to Friends of Engineering Past Chair, John Bockstael, P.Eng., (B.Sc.C.E. 1980) on receiving the Sovereign Medal for Volunteers from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada on April 12, 2016. The new medal was presented to 55 Canadians at Rideau Hall to recognize exceptional volunteer achievements in a wide range of fields.

“I’m delighted to recognize some of Canada’s most caring individuals with the inaugural presentation of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers,” said the Governor General. “Each recipient was nominated for the medal from within their community, making this celebration a wonderful reflection of generosity across Canada during National Volunteer Week.”

In addition to being a community builder, John Bockstael has been dedicated to expanding accessibility to health care in Winnipeg for over 10 years. He is a perennial fundraiser and volunteer with St. Amant Inc., working to help those with developmental disabilities and autism, and has served as a board member and fundraiser for the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba.

Bockstael was also a founding member of the Friends of Engineering (Manitoba) Inc., a unique group of top engineering influencers who share the University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering’s commitment to excellence in engineering education.

2016 Friends of Engineering Co-op/IIP Student of the Year

Congratulations to the 2016 Friends of Engineering Co-op/IIP Student of the Year, Mechanical Engineering student, Sarfraz Ahmed.

The award is given to a student who has made an outstanding contribution to the workplace while on a work term, has advanced the promotion of the Co-op/IIP to fellow students and professionals, and has grown personally and academically as a result of applying knowledge learned at a workplace during a Co-op/IIP work term.

This year’s winner had an 8 month work term with Buoyant Aircraft Systems International, which comprises several aerial and ground platforms for airship and drone technology research, design and testing. One of the company’s goals is to develop a zero-carbon-emission airship by using hydrogen gas for buoyancy. This airship would carry cargo to areas in the north with poor transport infrastructure.

While at BASI, this student continuously exceeded the performance standards for his position as a Mechanical Engineering Intern. He willingly accepted new assignments and offered to help wherever he could in administrative and engineering support. The reports he developed have been invaluable to the definition of the conceptual design of their transport airship. His project documents have been presented to a number of potential customers and investors. They have also used his publications in their meetings with the Ontario Government. His work has served as a crucial foundation to the development of their business plan that is necessary to solicit investors to make the project a reality.

Mr. Ahmed was given his award, a certificate and a cheque for $2,000, at the Friends of Engineering Annual General Meeting and Co-op/IIP Celebration on February 24th, 2016.


Happy Holidays from the Friends of Engineering

On behalf of the Board of the Friends of Engineering, I want to thank you for your membership and participation in the Friends of Engineering. As 2015 draws to a close, I am reminded what a busy year it has been for Friends.

I do hope you have taken advantage of the events and networking opportunities we have offered this past year, including the Friends of Engineering/UMES Wine & Cheese last month. We were delighted to host and showcase winners of the Technical Communications Report Prizes, winning teams of the Friends of Engineering Intro to Engineering Design prize, and Friends of Engineering Co-op/IIP Student of the Year at this event. We also hosted several other students from the various competition teams and student groups that have received Friend’s support to attend competitions and conferences.

The Board has been meeting to discuss upcoming events as well as the continuation of our mandate and is excited about the possibilities in this upcoming year. I would welcome your participation and input at our next Annual General Meeting being held on February 24th 2016. Expect a formal invitation with more details soon.

If you have suggestions for the Board, please contact our Executive Director, Amber Skrabek at 204-474-9034 or email her at

Once again, thank you for being a Friend of Engineering.

Walter Czyrnyj, P.Eng.,
Director of Quality, Magellan Aerospace
Chair, Friends of Engineering (Manitoba) Inc.