August 4, 2016
For immediate release
UPEI officially opens new School of Sustainable Design Engineering building
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UPEI’s new 76,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art School of Sustainable Design Engineering building officially opened its doors to students, staff, faculty, and the public today.
“This is the day where our dream becomes reality, when we open our doors to students so they can design solutions to real-world challenges,” said Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor of UPEI. “Virtually every inch of this building was created to serve a unique aspect of the sustainable design engineering program. The building has just one traditional classroom, and every other learning space is designed to support experiential learning.”
Built on time and on budget, the new school features:
• project ideation rooms
• design studios
• seven unique labs
• a green roof, and
• design competition centre.
Group clinic bays will accommodate students and the work that they are completing for both community and industry partners, making this program unique in Canada, offering more design clinics. Typically engineering students have one or two opportunities to participate in a design clinic while UPEI’s program facilitates one during each year of study. “Student learning is further enhanced in the design clinic setting through the exposure to problems that are presented by industry and community partners,” President Abd-El-Aziz added. “The possibilities for community and industry relationships on a local, regional, national, and global basis are endless.”
UPEI’s approach allows students to prepare for the business model of engineering from day one, and for the diverse array of clients that they will encounter throughout their careers. The program, which was approved and began accepting students in 2014, offers three focus areas to students: bioresources, mechatronics, and sustainable energy; the stream that students choose will then determine the clinical projects that they are assigned.
“The opening of UPEI’s new School of Sustainable Design Engineering is a major leap forward for research and design capacity in Prince Edward Island, and will play a leading role in identifying solutions to real-world challenges faced by our industries,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “This new facility supports Canada’s Innovation Strategy and the Atlantic Growth Strategy, both of which are priorities for building a vibrant economic future for Atlantic Canada.”
"The expansion of UPEI's engineering program is precisely the kind of innovation that we need on Prince Edward Island to ensure a prosperous future for our young people and Island economy. The Government of PEI congratulates the University and is pleased to be a partner in this new School of Sustainable Design Engineering,” said the Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island.
More than a dozen new faculty members have been hired for the School—unique in the post-secondary education landscape of today—and together they represent a wide array of engineering expertise that will support four industry centres of excellence.
The inaugural class of the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering will graduate in May 2017.