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Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science to double in size

By Jackey Locke

With a thriving economy in the province, there is a high demand to increase the number of engineering graduates and research capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Memorial University's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science aims to deliver – in a big way.

The faculty plans to double its size over the next eight years, with a significant increase in its student enrolment and research capacity. The $1.7 million investment in the province's 2012 budget will allow for the development of the expansion plan, as well as increasing international recruitment and co-operative education placement services. Dr. Greg Naterer, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, aims to focus the growth on strategic areas of importance for the province.

"It's a great time for students to pursue an engineering education," said Dr. Naterer. "Our thriving industries in offshore oil, oceans, information and communication technologies, energy and mining sectors, among others, is creating a high demand for more engineers. Memorial's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science plans to meet this demand by adding approximately 50 new faculty positions by 2020, more than 300 graduate students and up to 500 additional undergraduates.

"The faculty also plans to significantly increase its research capacity, particularly in our strategic areas of strength – ocean technology, energy, information and communication technologies, environment and sustainable infrastructure," he added.

This increase in enrolment and research capacity will require more physical space. Presently, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is housed in the S.J. Carew building and the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation.

"This new growth will require us to physically expand beyond the walls of the S.J. Carew building," said Dr. Naterer. "Along with additional students and faculty members, there will also be further administrative support staff, including laboratory and information technologists. There will also be new courses added and potentially new streams, options or programs of study. Right now we are at full capacity in our current building so this growth will require more space."

Where will engineering acquire all of this additional space for offices, classrooms and teaching/research laboratories? Part of the answer lies in the province's recent announcement of new core sciences infrastructure for the St. John's campus. According to Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial's president and vice-chancellor, this will allow for the creation of additional space for engineering and applied science to meet the province's need to expand engineering education and research. And like Dr. Naterer, Dr. Kachanoski is excited about the growth for engineering.

"This is welcome news for Memorial and for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science," said Dr. Kachanoski. "Government support for redevelopment of our core sciences facilities and the doubling of engineering is a game changer for Memorial. Key strategic areas for the university and for the province are ocean technology, offshore petroleum and Arctic resources. This doubling of our engineering academic and research capability will strengthen our capacities in these areas. It's another great reason why we are increasingly being recognized as Canada's oceans university."

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