UPEI Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering (FSDE) becomes UPEI’s seventh faculty
“The evolution from a school to a faculty in less than four years is a testament to the hard work of the 14 engineering faculty and 19 staff whose efforts have helped create an engineering program that is second to none,” says Dr. Nicholas Krouglicof, Dean.
“In addition to our outstanding faculty, we are fortunate to have an outstanding team of engineers and technologists who support our unique hands-on academic program. Our task has been made easier by the unprecedented level of support we’ve received from government, industry, and the community at large.”
The number of undergraduates has grown each year, with seven students graduating in 2017 and 17 graduating in 2018. About 120 first-year students are anticipated in 2018-2019, with 29 fourth-year students expected to graduate in 2019.
In the 2017-18 school year, the design clinic saw third- and fourth-year students work on 11 senior clinic projects with industry partners. The clinic program pairs student teams with industry and community clients to solve real-world design challenges. Approximately 26 percent of the engineering curriculum is focused on open-ended projects with outside clients.
The Dean says the success of the design projects and the funding for research is a result of strong collaboration among faculty, staff and industry. “In 2015, our research funding was just over $200,000. By the 2016-17 year, funding was just over $980,000. I am expecting it to increase to $1.3 million in the next year.”
The Masters in Sustainable Design Engineering degree program launched in January 2017 with eight graduate students. It will have 24 this September, exceeding initial projections. “An Interdisciplinary Ph.D. is in the works, and we hope to have it in place by January 2019,” Dr. Krouglicof says. “It’s a unique model. Students are co-supervised across department lines, or choose one supervisor from the engineering faculty and one from industry.”
UPEI’s FSDE has the following research centres:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Sustainable Energy
- Bioresources and Food Processing
- Sensors, Optics, and Imaging
- Robotics and Industrial Animation
Examples of equipment at FSDE:
- Pyrolysis Reactors and Separators
- Motion Capture, Imaging, Robotic Systems
- New Sustainable Energy Equipment
- 3D Metal Additive Manufacturing
For more information about the UPEI Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering, call 902-566-0764, e-mail [email protected].
An Industry Engagement Day (2017) was held at the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering (SSDE) program recently.
Industry, government, and other community partners were invited to provide feedback as the school determines the next area to focus on.
Nicholas Krouglicof, Associate Dean, and Allan Dale, Director of Industry Partnership, welcomed a full lecture theatre of invited guests. “We will incorporate all of the feedback from this day and from further outreaches into our long-term vision,” says Nicholas.
“This day brings together students and people in the industry,” says Allan. “Our main focus is to be connected to the industry on a day-to-day basis.”
The SSDE recognizes that engineering affects many aspects of society, and therefore students are exposed to a wide-scope and balance of knowledge and skills in engineering science, natural science, mathematics, and complementary studies. They are actively engaged in the profession of engineering by being connected to industry from day one.
UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering offers an innovative four-year Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design Engineering degree. The program is unique, providing students with real-life work experience on community and industry-based projects in every semester of the program. Students in the third and fourth years of the program can enhance their technical knowledge by choosing one of three engineering focus areas: mechatronics, sustainable energy, or bioresources.
4th Year student gives her account of her school experience
Haley Butler says when she was in high school she really didn’t know what was involved in Engineering as a career choice. “A big part of my volunteer efforts at the school is working with junior high and with high school girls to make them aware of this career at a younger age.
“When I was in high school, someone visited to tell us about Engineering. I was always interested in math and sciences, but I didn’t have any interest in doing a traditional science degree. Engineering gave me more options that suited my interest.”
After her first year, she knew she was hooked. “I was very surprised how much creativity and practical application there is in engineering. It is all about problem solving.
“After my second year at UPEI, I planned to go to Dalhousie to take the Environmental Engineering stream, but then it was announced a degree program was starting here.
“I am very happy I was able to continue my studies here, and that I got to stay on PEI. I was able to work part-time to finance my studies. I am not taking a full course load so that I can manage financially, and now I have no debt and less stress.
“This past summer, I did research with Dr. Ali Ahmad in the Atlantic Bio Fabrication Lab. He offered me the job after taking his Bio Materials course. I produced all-natural biodegradable plastics made from potato starch. Recently, I made 3-D printing filaments out of the same material, and soon I will move into the actual 3-D printing of products. I am continuing to do the research with him until the end of the school year.”
The school’s 3-D printer is the only one of its caliber in the Maritimes. Students have access to the latest state-of-the-art equipment, professors with up-to-date knowledge, and the National Research Council centre, which is next door.
Haley’s design project this year took her to Pakistan to work with the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad for a week in October.
“We are working with a village with no access to waste water treatment, so the community is dealing with a lot of illness. I will meet with members of the community to understand the nature of their situation and take lots of pictures. The problem is a lack of education around water sanitation. We will be working on a plan that will integrate well into their culture.
“After I graduate, I am thinking about doing my Masters with Dr. Ali Ahmad and continuing with the research. He has many connections around the world, so I am thinking about going to places such as Germany to get further training in labs. I know there would be funding sources I could look into if I pursue my Masters.”
Some projects showcased during the SSDE Industry Engagement Day
The world is their oyster. A team of students has engineered a solution for oyster growers and producers. Jordan Sampson, Brett McDermott, and Dylan MacIsaac designed equipment that flips oyster cages, a task that is now done manually.
The students plan to incorporate their company and refine their design to develop a production version. The students will graduate with a degree, an invention to their name, and a business.
Learn more about their product here.
For more information about UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering, visit www.upei.ca/engineering/welcome.