A new weekend technology program offered by the University of Windsor is helping local companies meet market demands.
The Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEng Tech) degree, originally designed to create a pathway from college to university, is now available on weekends for working professionals to expand their expertise in mechatronics, industrial automation, robotics, manufacturing, and engineering operational functions.
“Companies heard about this and expressed a great deal of interest,” said dean of engineering Mehrdad Saif. “We thought ‘why not do it on weekends for these types of students and put in place more courses around the theme of mechatronics and industrial automation?’ As an engineering school in Windsor, we have an obligation to meet the needs of the community and industry.”
The program allows skilled trades professionals like Michael Elachkar, a 40-year-old father of two, to complete a degree while continuing to advance their careers. Having graduated from St. Clair College in 1999 with a three-year electronics engineering technology diploma, Elachkar said he jumped at the chance to further his education without disrupting his family life and career.
“We have the practical knowledge and the university is bridging the gap between our work experience and the theoretical aspects of the job. It’s making us very well-rounded and will increase our talent level and make us more competitive,” said Elachkar, director of new business at Zion Robotics and Controls, a local company that specializes in automation programming at a global level. “We decided to invest in our employees and as a result will be reimbursing all of the tuition for full-time employees to complete the program. That's how much we believe in this program.”
The BEng Tech program is open to those with a three-year technology diploma from a Canadian college, an engineering degree from an accredited Canadian university, or a four-year university degree in a scientific or technical subject from a Canadian university. It’s also open to those with the same qualifications from an equivalent overseas institution.
Read more about this program and other developments in UWindsor Engineering’s latest newsletter.