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Next stop: Mars? The Red Planet has never seemed closer. Whether launching ships powered by solar radiation pressure, attaching miniature laboratories onto satellites, or using advanced materials and design techniques to build the next generation of aircraft, rockets and spacecraft, Canadian graduate degree holders are helping usher in a new era of aerospace exploration.
“My lifelong dream is to travel space and my graduate education in aerospace engineering has helped me pursue it. I learned how to fly, experimented with flames in simulated microgravity in grad school and interned at NASA. Now I work with space robots, pursuing a career where the sky is not the limit.”
– Natalie Panek, MASc, Aerospace Engineering; Mission Systems Engineer at MDA Robotics and Automation Division
Imagine a simple body scan that detects disease before symptoms appear. Canadian engineers aren’t just imagining it, they’re making precision medicine a reality with millimetres-long chips that quickly and autonomously detect biomarkers of disease. In the massively interdisciplinary field of biomedical engineering, graduate specialists will transform the way we diagnose illness and deliver life-saving therapies.
Robotics will play an integral role in shaping the future. Researchers are focused on a wide range of subject areas, including Artificial Intelligence, brainwave-reading exoskeleton suits, drones and a rapidly growing network of person-machine centred interactions designed to improve the human experience. There is a growing demand for engineers who can realize the full social and commercial potential of robotics.
“Grad school is where I discovered robotics was my true calling and it’s where I met a network of like-minded people whose companies now lead the field. Together, we’re now bringing drones and computer vision technology into the mainstream. Grad studies made it all possible.”
– April Blaylock, MASc, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering; Senior Unmanned Aerial Systems Developer at Aeryon Labs Inc
By 2050, the human population is expected to exceed nine billion. Engineers with advanced training are working closely with government and industry to invent and implement more energy efficient systems, purify tainted water supplies and reduce pollution on an already strained planet. The task ahead is nothing less than shaping the future of water and renewable energy for a growing global population.
"Some would say they don't want to take on the risk of going back to school, quitting a job and not knowing the outcome of their effort. For me, that was never a question. I recognized that someone would always hire an engineer."
– Bruce McGee, MEng, PhD, Electrical Engineering; Founder of McMillan-McGee Corp
What happens when you use the extraordinary speed and efficiency of computers to model complex problems? You get an entirely new mode of discovery. Graduates with advanced training in computational engineering are redefining commerce, imbuing machines with motor skills, experimenting with novel ways of generating art and music and attempting to reverse engineer human consciousness itself.
"The decision to quit my job to go back school was critical to my future success, not only because of the deeper technical knowledge that I gained, but more so because of the realization that I could chart my own path and create new technologies that have never been created before."
– Brad Quinton, BASc Electrical, PhD Electrical and Computer; Startup founder, Sr. Director, Technology at Qualcomm Inc.
The Canadian Graduate Engineering Consortium, a unique and progressive recruitment initiative, has brought together five of Canada’s top universities to address the country’s urgent need for qualified engineers who can solve today’s most complex technical, social and environmental challenges.