Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

The Friends of Engineering, together with the Faculty of Engineering, congratulates the graduates who celebrated their achievements during today’s convocation ceremony at the University of Manitoba.  The province is richer for having more qualified and dedicated engineers working to make our world a better place.

Friends of Engineering celebrates U of M team accomplishments

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, close to 200 people attended the University of Manitoba Student Competition teams celebration hosted by The Friends of Engineering (Manitoba) Inc. in the Engineering Information and Technology Complex.

Refreshments were served in the Atrium while guests looked through the teams’ displays of their finished product and well-earned trophies/plaques.

After getting some refreshments, all the guests were invited to the Design Lab in E2-229 EITC where Mr. John Bockstael, Chair of Friends of Engineering, and Dr. Jonathan Beddoes, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, welcomed everyone to the celebration. Then, guests were treated to a series of short presentations highlighting the hard work that goes into all these projects. Team representatives described the competition, key designs, build phase, testing, lessons learned, and accomplishments for their respective competitions.

After highlighting all the projects, the students from all the teams lined up at the front of the room and invited Mr. Mal Symonds, recently retired UofM Engineering-in-Residence, to be recognized for all his contributions to student competition teams throughout his tenure at the University of Manitoba. His emphasis on building-breaking-rebuilding, integrated design teams, and professionalism were evident in the quality of all the projects.

The presentations were followed by Dr. Gerry Price, Chairman and CEO for Price Group and a Friends of Engineering board member highlighting the importance of the competitions to the engineering education at the university and the Manitoba industries at large. Dr. Price congratulated the future industry leaders on their accomplishments and encouraged them to continue to work hard as they establish their legacy in Manitoba.

Finally, after the presentations, the guests were treated to tours of all the competition labs to see where the magic happens. The tours provided a venue for the guests to ask questions and also learn how they can help future competition teams by providing the necessary resources to take these designs to the next level.

For more information on any of the Faculty of Engineering’s many competition teams, contact Amber Skrabek:


Friends Board Member Receives 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

Congratulations to Dr. Gerry Price, P.Eng., on receiving the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba Alumni Association.  Dr. Price, (ME 1970) received his award during U of M Homecoming festivities on Saturday, September 15th.

In addition to being Chairman and CEO of the Price Group of companies, Gerry is a founding member and current member of the Board of the Friends of Engineering.

To read more about Gerry:

U of M SAE Aero Team Best in North America, 2nd in the World!

Members of the University of Manitoba Society of Automotive Engineers (UMSAE) Aero Design Team build and test radio-controlled aircraft, entering their creations into international competitions, pitting their work against that of student groups from other universities.

The UMSAE team has a record of success at this competition, but in this Spring`s competition exceeded even their previous accomplishments. The University of Manitoba team took first place in all static events and second overall, beating out all other North American teams including Canadian teams from Ryerson, Windsor, McGill and Alberta, but also American teams such as those from Florida, Kansas, Ohio and Michigan. Manitoba was edged out only by a team from Minas Gerais, Brazil.

“To achieve this level of success in competition against leading engineering schools from around the world is indicative of the outstanding calibre of the engineering students at the University of Manitoba and a testament to this team’s exceptional design skills and hard work,” says Jonathan Beddoes, dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “The Faculty and University communities congratulate the SAE Aero Team for their accomplishment and for once again proving that University of Manitoba engineers are among the best anywhere.”

The goal of the competition is to lift as much payload as possible given a set of constraints determined by the international body. Teams are judged not only on how well the plane actually flies but also on payload lift prediction and oral and written design presentations. UMSAE team had been boasting that their nine-pound plane could lift 31 pounds of payload.

“We are really excited to see the result of all the hard work that went into the project throughout the year,” says Kris Goodmanson, UMSAE Aero Team Leader. “We’ve learned so much.  The team is already looking forward to continuing this success into next year!”

In the Standard Class competition, they won second place losing out to a Brazilian team who had won their national competition back in Brazil. UMSAE missed first place by a single point, carrying a record weight for a U of M team of over 35 pound, slightly under the 37 pounds carried by the Brazilian aircraft.

Goodmanson notes: “We beat all of the American, Canadian and European teams in our classification―a great accomplishment. All of our faculty and our sponsors should be proud of our dedicated team.”

And, for the second year in a row, the UMSAE team won the NASA Systems Engineering Award, worth $750.

Way to go, team!

New $1-Million NSERC Design Chair Will Make Way for New Centre for Professional Practice and Engineering Education

The University of Manitoba is set to launch an exciting new approach to educating engineers of today to meet the ever-changing demands of the technologically driven world.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded a new Chair in Design Engineering to Douglas Ruth, the newly appointed associate dean (design education). Ruth is both a graduate of the engineering faculty at the University of Manitoba, holding a BSc in mechanical engineering, and has also served as dean of the faculty for 11 years.

“Dr. Ruth’s strong record of experience will truly take University of Manitoba’s unique program to the next level,” said Suzanne Fortier, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). “His vision to create unique courses that expose students to new developments and to broaden collaboration with industrial partners will create new research and training opportunities for students in this exciting field.”

The activities of the Ruth’s chair begin April 1, 2012, with $1 million in funding from NSERC over the next five years.

“We will be working toward four main objectives,” says Ruth. “Those being: discovery-based learning in all preliminary year engineering science courses, mechanisms to expand design offerings throughout the curriculum, an inter-departmental capstone project, and the establishment of the Centre for Professional Practice and Engineering Education.”

This new centre, headed by Ruth, will address the need for engineers to acquire professional expertise in areas such as law and contracts, economics and project management, and communications and marketing.

Dean Jonathan Beddoes is particularly pleased the Centre will focus on helping engineering students understand their future role as a professional in society.  “Engineers carry a great deal of social responsibility,” says Beddoes.  “The Centre for Professional Practice and Engineering Education will ensure our students are taught the skills necessary not only to understand this but to embrace their roles as professionals and leaders.”

The new Centre will be responsible for all non-departmental professional skills training courses such as Engineering Economics, Law, and Technology and Society.  In this role, it will bring consistency and focus to the professional skills training that all engineering students must undertake.  The Faculty’s Engineer-in-Residence program, the first of its kind in Canada, will continue to grow as part of the Centre and continue to be a strong link between the Faculty of Engineering and the industry of engineering.  “Design education is a two way effort,” says Mr. Malcolm Symonds, Canada’s first Engineer-in-Residence.  “The new Centre will help establish and enhance linkages with industry, and through these interactions improve our ability to develop design ready engineers.”

 “I congratulate Doug Ruth and the Faculty of Engineering on receiving this highly competitive chair,” said Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) at the University of Manitoba. “Engineering design plays an integral role in every aspect of our civilization from mobile phones to the packaging of the food we eat.”

The goal of the NSERC Chairs in Design Engineering program is to expand the level and quality of design engineering education in Canada. Ruth has opted for an innovative approach for the structure of his new chair.

The previous University of Manitoba Chair in Design Engineering (held by Ron Britton from 2001 to 2011) established the Design Group in the Faculty of Engineering, the promotion of engineering design concepts through departmental courses, the restructuring of the delivery of technical communications throughout the faculty, and the recruitment of Engineers-in-Residence (EiR) as active partners in the delivery of design engineering courses. The Internationally Educated Engineers Qualification Program (IEEQ) was also established as a result of Britton’s Chair; this program resulted in permanent funding for six ‘design professors’ with significant industry design credentials, who teach new design-based courses at the upper years in specific engineering practice areas.


$4-Million Gift from Alumnus “Amps up” Education and Research

A major donation by an alumnus will support an upgrading and redevelopment of electrical engineering research and teaching facilities at the Faculty of Engineering.

Stanley F. Pauley, though The Pauley Family Foundation, made the donation to renovate and refurbish existing laboratories and facilities.  Pauley, chairman and CEO of Carpenter Company in Richmond, Virginia, is a graduate of Electrical Engineering in 1949.

“I have fond memories of the U of M.  It is a great school,” says Pauley.  It was an exciting time for me while I was getting a great education that served me well during my working years, so it was easy to decide to give something back that would help others.”

The present building housing electrical engineering research facilities requires upgrading of the electrical distribution system, HVAC, water and all other services to be fully utilized and meet current building use standards.  The entire building and its laboratories will be renovated, refurbished, and renamed the Stanley Pauley Centre, devoted to education and research associated with electrical power conversion.

“I am delighted that we can honour Mr. Pauley with the establishment of this centre,” says Jonathan Beddoes, Dean of Engineering. “The Stanley Pauley Centre will allow the department of electrical engineering to maintain its leadership position in teaching and research. I am already looking forward to seeing the exciting projects that students and researchers will undertake in this Centre. This will give students the knowledge needed to make valuable contributions to energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that are critical to our future economic well-being.”

 The Stanley Pauley Centre will house three major laboratories: the Intelligent Power Grid Laboratory, the Electric Vehicles Laboratory and the McMath High Voltage Laboratory.

 “This generous gift will transform our university and transform lives by ensuring our engineering students, faculty and staff can study, teach and conduct research in the best possible facilities,” says U of M President, David Barnard.  “We thank Mr. Pauley for giving back to the university and investing in our future success.”

Pauley has also established an endowed fund at the U of M to finance the Stanley F. Pauley Award in Electrical Engineering, which will support three $5,000 bursaries each year.  Pauley notes: “It’s important to me that I help some electrical engineering students who have financial need, so that they will not have to work during the school year. I worked every summer so that I could afford to attend the university without being distracted. I’m hoping this will result in training more electrical engineers that the economy needs so badly.”


Another Rhodes Scholar for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba

The Faculty of Engineering is pleased to announce that Civil Engineering student, Mark Hearson, is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship for 2012. The University of Manitoba is one of the leading institutions in Canada for numbers of Rhodes Scholars, and continues to be the alma mater for more Rhodes Scholars than any other university in western Canada. As for the Faculty of Engineering, this is our third Rhodes Scholar in six years!

Hearson is the 96th University of Manitoba student to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, the tenth U of M Rhodes Scholar in as many years. The University of Manitoba continues to attract and nurture students who are among the world’s best and brightest. Rhodes Scholarships are the most prestigious awards of their kind in Canada.

Three Rhodes Scholarships were awarded this year in the Prairies, across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Hearson is the only Rhodes Scholarship recipient from Manitoba; the two others are a student from Saskatchewan and a medical student from Harvard, formerly from Alberta.

“I congratulate Mark for this remarkable achievement,” said president and vice-chancellor David Barnard. “I am also proud our faculty and staff have created a climate of academic excellence and global citizenship that continues to inspire the next generation of visionaries, explorers and trailblazers.”

Hearson, in his fifth year of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, describes himself as a recognized leader, public speaker and activist. He has received awards for his leadership in both student and community endeavours, his outstanding academic record and his undergraduate research.

Hearson’s academic interests have concentrated on his passion to devise “global, innovative solutions” to problems in effectively transporting people and goods around the world. He says his passion for transportation began through a childhood fascination with LEGO, with which he spent “countless hours constructing cities, skylines and networks.”

Among his list of activities in community involvement, Hearson has been organizing a campaign through local churches to bring food and other resources to grandmothers of orphaned children in Africa through the Stephen Lewis Foundation. He has also been active in student government in the Faculty of Engineering, including charity events and fundraising for student programs. A graduate of Westwood Collegiate, Hearson had been student council president there as well.

Hearson notes: “It’s quite humbling to be in the company of so many who have gone on to great achievement. This is an amazing opportunity to study at such a prestigious university.”

The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals. 

Established in 1903 through British-born entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world, first awarded in Canada in 1904. A class of 83 Scholars is selected each year from countries around the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe.

Rhodes’s vision in founding the Scholarship was to develop outstanding leaders who would be motivated to fight “the world’s fight,” to “esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim” and to promote international understanding and peace. Of the more than 7,000 Rhodes Scholars to date, many have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, the professions, commerce, the arts, education and research. Many are advocates for expanded social justice and others have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine.

Canadian Rhodes alumni include: former mayor of Winnipeg William Norrie; former Prime Minister John Turner; Danny Williams, former Premier of Newfoundland; and Bob Rae, Liberal MP and former Foreign Affairs critic. Other well-known Rhodes Scholars include President Bill Clinton, astronomer Edwin Hubble, NBA Hall of Famer and Senator Bill Bradley and ABC political correspondent George Stephanopoulos.

A Rhodes Scholarship covers all University and College fees, a personal stipend and one economy class airfare to Oxford at the start of the Scholarship, as well as an economy flight back to the student’s home country at the conclusion of the Scholarship.