University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering

University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering is one of six faculties at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. As of 2006, it has 5,109 undergraduate students, 1,115 graduate students, 219 professors and over 27,000 alumni making it one of Canada's largest engineering faculties. The Faculty of Engineering houses 8 academic units and offers different degrees in a wide variety of engineering disciplines.

The Faculty of Engineering is unique in the way that all undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the co-operative education program, in which they alternate between four-month academic and work terms throughout their five years of undergraduate career.


The faculty was originally conceived in 1957 as an extension of the then Waterloo College (now known as Wilfrid Laurier University). It was originally named the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the Waterloo College Associate Faculties, and was created to satisfy local businesses who claimed the university needed a technical school.

The "associate faculties" grew rapidly and were eventually separated from the college in 1959, becoming the University of Waterloo, and the faculty became the Faculty of Engineering.

The first year of students to attend the school was a group of 75 men who wanted to learn engineering. It was with this class of engineers that the co-operative education program that the University of Waterloo is so famous for was developed. These students would alternate being in school and working in industry every three months. Since then, the program has changed to a four-month term system, and has been adopted by all other faculties in their co-op programs.

The faculty itself has expanded dramatically since that first graduating class into one of the largest and most reputable engineering faculties in North America. The faculty is currently headed by the Dean of Engineering, Adel Sedra, who is considered a world leader in the field of Microelectronics.


Currently, there are a total of 13 undergraduate programs available through the faculty. These include Chemical, Civil, Computer, Management, Electrical, Environmental, Geological, Mechanical, Mechatronics, Nanotechnology, Software and Systems Design Engineering as well as Architecture. Each of Waterloo Engineering's eight academic units (schools and departments) also offers graduate degrees.

The Nanotechnology Engineering program was added in the fall of 2005, with the first graduating class set to graduate in 2010. The program was added to help development the university's nanotechnology engineering research as well introduce undergraduates to a more research oriented degree.

The most recent new undergraduate program approved by Waterloo Engineering is Management Engineering, offered through the Department of Management Sciences. The program was introduced in the fall of 2007.

According to the Vision 2010 Plan, there are talks of a new discipline called Architectural Engineering, housed in the Department of Civil Engineering. [ [ I ] ]

tudent life

Many students in the faculty actively participate in the University of Waterloo Engineering Society. Due to the co-op nature of the program, the society is split into two subsocieties, named "Society A" and "Society B". Each term, one society is "on-stream", meaning they are in an academic term, and the other is "off-stream", meaning they are on co-op. The on-stream society for each term runs many different events both on and off campus as well as services in the society's office. The society also runs a number of charity events, including an annual "Bus Push" wherein student volunteers raise money for charity by pulling (despite the event's name as a "push") a Grand River Transit bus 7 kilometres from campus to Kitchener City Hall.

First-year students receive yellow hard hats during their orientation week, which signify their recognition and adherence of the principles of engineering. During the week, they are also introduced to the faculty mascot, a 60" (1,524mm) pipe wrench known simply as the TOOL (formerly the RIDGID TOOL). The TOOL is the centre of school spirit for engineering students, and it frequently appears at events organized by the engineering society.

Students in the faculty are grouped into classes based on their program. The class sizes tend to vary between disciplines, with class sizes of just over 100 for Nanotechnology, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Mechatronics, Software and Systems Design Engineering, and smaller class sizes for Chemical, Environmental, Management, Civil and Geological Engineering as well as in Architecture. Classes generally spend the vast majority of their time together, whether it is in lectures on academic terms or on their designated co-op terms. Due to this, classes generally develop a sense of camaraderie and tend to become a cohesive group, sometimes even building friendly inter-class rivalries.

The school prides itself in the high calibre of students that it attracts every year. Although the workload is very heavy and challenging, engineering students are among the most active and competitive in the student body. UW Engineering students often finish top in competitions such as the Canadian Engineering Competition, the Formula SAE Competition (1st of Canadian teams, 4th in the world in 2005), the Challenge X (1st overall in 2005), the North American Solar Challenge (Guinness World Record holder), and the International Aerial Robotics Competition. (Maintains 2nd place in 2005)

Academic and research units

The faculty presently houses six departments, one school, and one centre. They are the School of Architecture, Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of Management Sciences, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Department of Systems Design Engineering, and Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CBET). Architecture joined the Faculty of Engineering after leaving Environmental Studies in May 2005. CBET joined the faculty in June 2006, not having been previously affiliated to a faculty.

The faculty also boasts a number of research groups. These groups include the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research, Green Energy Research Institute, Biotechnology & Health Engineering Centre, Nanotechnology Engineering Research, Institute for Polymer Research and Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technology.

ee also

* The Iron Warrior (newspaper)


External links

* [ University of Waterloo website]
* [ Faculty of Engineering website]
* [ School of Architecture website]
* [ Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology]
* [ Department of Chemical Engineering website]
* [ Department of Civil Engineering website]
* [ Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering website]
* [ Department of Management Sciences website]
* [ Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering Department website]
* [ Department of Systems Design Engineering website]
* [ Nanotechnology Engineering website]
* [ Software Engineering website]
* [ University of Waterloo Engineering Society]
* [ The Iron Warrior, Newspaper of the Engineering Society]

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