Which Program is the Best?

I sometimes get asked which engineering program to pick for the best future career prospects.  I generally won’t answer that because its not the greatest way of selecting a program, and ignores individual aptitude and interest.  Being stuck in a career you don’t like is a likely outcome of that approach.

However there are some technical and societal trends that might be worthwhile thinking about for long-term opportunities and challenges.  And there are some programs that lend themselves to those trends, as I’ll point out.  If these areas are of interest, maybe one or more of the programs I mention are worth a look if you hadn’t thought of them before.  Many of these trends are related to climate change, which is a research and teaching interest of mine.  So here they are, in no particular order.

Continue reading

Waterloo researchers help launch autonomous car

(interesting story about a hot topic)  Source: Friday, January 6, 2017 | Daily Bulletin

A research team at the University of Waterloo played a key role in the development of a highly autonomous vehicle that Renesas Electronics America unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Using sensors and powerful computers, the car is capable of detecting and responding to other vehicles, stop signs and traffic lights to provide a safer driving experience. For example, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications allow the vehicle to detect in advance when a traffic light will change. Continue reading

Alternate Program Selections

Our Engineering programs are “direct entry” (no general first year), so you apply through OUAC to the one of most interest.  Our internal online Admission Information Form (AIF) provides a space to select an alternative choice in engineering, without having to spend more money through OUAC.  Starting with the 2017 cycle there have been a few changes, so it’s probably a good idea to review some ideas and considerations. Continue reading

Submitting Your Admission Information Form 2017

Updated version of a past post for the 2017 admission cycle, as there have been a few small changes.

The Admission Information Form, or AIF, is the primary vehicle for applicants to tell us about themselves.  Our admission decisions are mainly based on grades, but the AIF information can help us distinguish between people who have similar grades, and we award up to 5  points onto the admission average for outstanding applicants.  Let’s go through the various parts of the AIF and see what is involved. Continue reading

Applications open for Waterloo Unlimited’s Grade 11 program

As I’ve noted before, this is a great program started by one of our Systems Design Engineering professors, Ed Jernigan.  I recently got a postcard from one of the Grade 12 participants, who clearly enjoyed the experience.

Waterloo Unlimited, the transdisciplinary high school enrichment program on campus, is currently accepting applications for Grade 11 “Design” program (March 13-17, 2017).  Bright, motivated students from across Canada will attend lectures and participate in workshops, seminars and labs offered by all six Faculties, exploring the theme of “Design”.  Applications are due December 14th, 2016.

To promote awareness of Waterloo Unlimited’s programming, Markus Moos from the Faculty of Environment, School of Planning, created a video based on an Urban Planning workshop he offered to Unlimited students during the 2016 grade 11 “Design” themed program. The video provides an inside look at one of the many “eye-opening” experiences high school students encounter while on campus.

Program and application details are available on the Waterloo Unlimited website.

Source: Thursday, December 8, 2016 | Daily Bulletin

Waterloo scores top marks in graduate employability

[An interesting news item.  Nice to see some international recognition for co-op education.]

The University of Waterloo ranked 22nd in the world for graduate employability and first for employer partnerships as part of an international ranking that evaluates employability in universities from UK firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The ranking scores universities in five categories: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employers’ presence on campus and graduate employment rate.

Waterloo rates first overall in the world in the partnerships with employers category. The success of this category is a result of Waterloo’s largest and most successful co-operative education program of its kind, and from the established research partnerships within the industry.

“The University of Waterloo delivers an unmatched experiential education program that enrolls two-thirds of our students,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “Waterloo’s co-op students graduate with up to two years of degree-relevant, paid work experience, a network of contacts and hands-on understanding of how businesses work. Simply put, our students are not only employable at graduation but are sought after by organizations worldwide.”

Waterloo co-op students work with some of the biggest and most influential companies in the world including AECOM, Barclays, General Motors, Google, Morgan Stanley and The Walt Disney Corporation. More than 6,700 employers hire Waterloo co-op students in more than 60 countries and in 2015/2016, students at Waterloo reported more than $253 million in co-op earnings.

QS first published the pilot version of the Graduate Employability Rankings in 2015. QS worked over three years to identify a suitable methodology to provide the world’s students with a unique tool to compare university performance in this area.

Source: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Daily Bulletin

Admissions 2017: How it’s going to work

An update on this popular post, with some revisions  for the upcoming September 2017 admissions cycle.  There are a few significant changes to note below…

Here is an overview on how the process works and the approximate timelines.  As usual, this is specific to Waterloo Engineering admissions; other programs and universities will have their own unique variations.  Also, make sure you look through our admissions webpages for exact deadlines and official requirements since this is just an unofficial, quick overview and I can’t cover every detail for every variety of applicant and situation. Continue reading

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | Daily Bulletin

…an interesting story and good advice

A co-op student’s journey to Harvard and back

by Andreea Perescu

Jonathan Ranisau knows the secret to having a successful co-op work term –and he insists that it takes more than just raw talent alone. Having completed two work terms at Harvard University, Ranisau has some advice for his fellow co-op students: seek out jobs that help improve your individual skill-set.“During co-op, you discover what abilities you need to develop and what knowledge you need to gain for your future goals. You become better at developing your skills, and you are more passionate about your work since you realize their importance,” explained Ranisau, who is in his fourth-year of chemical engineering at Waterloo.During his first work term at Harvard, Ranisau was assigned tasks that tested his knowledge and allowed him to find ways to improve. “I did a lot of fundamental research investigating new areas, helping with some different publications and initiatives,” he said. “I think one huge aspect of co-op is that it allows me to work towards finding interesting solutions rather than just solving problems.” Ranisau’s passion for knowledge and research helped earn him a spot at the Ivy League school for a second work term.To land a highly sought co-op position, Ranisau suggests that students come prepared during interview season. “Securing most of my positions involved a lot of online research on the companies I was interested in,” said Ranisau. “I always wanted to position myself as a knowledgeable candidate.” Other employers that Ranisau has worked with include Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Saint-Gobain Abrasives Canada Inc., Natural Resources Canada and AMBRI INC. He’s exceeded expectations in all of his previous roles and has been asked to return on multiple occasions.Ranisau is excited about his future. He intends to continue learning and making a positive impact wherever he goes. “My ultimate goal is to start my own company,” he said, offering one last piece of advice: “Don’t sit back and let life toss you around – educate yourself enough to set a direction.”

Source: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | Daily Bulletin