May, 2000

U of A Engineering
In Expansion Mode

The University of Alberta Engineering Faculty is in the midst of ambitious expansions as it adds more students, faculty and infrastructure over the next few years, U of A Dean of Engineering David Lynch, P.Eng., PhD, told APEGGA’s AGM luncheon, April 28.

Dean Lynch noted that chemical, mechanical, computer, electrical and mining engineering, in particular, are expanding, keeping the U of A (with the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo) as one of the three largest among Canada’s 34 engineering faculties.

The current numbers of the faculty (145), support staff (200), undergraduate students (almost 3,000) and graduate students (590) are expected to increase by the year 2004 to 3,300 undergraduates, 730 graduate students, 170 faculty and 270 support staff.

The enrolment increase will occur without lowering entrance standards which have risen steadily over the last few years, to the point where the minimum grade last year was 77 per cent for those enrolling in first year (the average was around 85 per cent).

"We know there are a number of excellent students who, because we have a finite capacity, we cannot accommodate," said Dean Lynch. This, he added, makes the current expansion and the community college transfer programs very important.

Since the mid-1990s, the faculty has been in a process of renewal as sizeable numbers have resigned or taken early retirement, opening the way for the hiring of new faculty. While the university has been successful in attracting new faculty, Dean Lynch noted that the U of A faces a continuing challenge to ensure -- in part, by providing an attractive research environment -- those hired stay.

Current construction of a Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex and an Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Facility together will provide 40,000 square meters of new space at a cost of $73 million. (Please check March 2000 PEGG, Page 1.)



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