A productive partnership between the University of Toronto and George Brown College is equipping U of T students with much-needed technical expertise, and providing George Brown students with the knowledge, skills and experience they need to excel in the workforce.
For the last several years, the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies has been contributing to a variety of applied research projects in collaboration with U of T’s Institute for Aerospace Studies, which is part of its Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering. Opportunities to help develop everything from remote-controlled aircraft to autonomous drones to medical research nanosatellites have been made available to final-year students within the School of Mechanical Engineering Technologies.
For George Brown students, the partnership allows them to apply their training in a practical, hands-on way by contributing to actual engineering projects. By helping U of T students refine their designs, they make them more practicable. They also help develop components for different parts of devices, and advise on how to manufacture with easy-to-access equipment and within a reasonable timeframe. As part of their effort, the students earn cooperative education credits for their involvement with the projects. Over the years, George Brown students have contributed to a variety of projects, including rocket engines, unmanned aerial vehicles and formula race cars.
For U of T, the partnership allows access to the extensive technical expertise of George Brown faculty and students, which complements their theoretical knowledge and makes it possible to execute their projects, many of which are being conducted for industry partners. As well, they are able to use leading-edge computer-aided manufacturing software, and the college’s comprehensive machine shops, electrical and process engineering labs, and robotics facilities at the college, which include equipment such as CNC lathe and milling centres, welding and cutting machines, and 3D printers.
What all of this collaboration and applied research experience means for graduates is they can quickly make a meaningful contribution in the workplace at local engineering and manufacturing organizations. Program coordinator Pradeep Kalsi confirms that the industry demand for students within the partnership-associated programs is consistently strong, and most graduates find work in their field very soon after they graduate.
“This partnership essentially provides field education for our senior students,” Kalsi says. “It features the kind of activity and collaboration that will make our students valuable to companies when they graduate, because they will be able to tackle projects without hesitation.”
To learn more about the programs within the School of Mechanical Engineering Technologies, click here.