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.)