Terri-Jane Yuzda

U of C Program Wins Prestigious LEAD Award

June was a time of celebration for the University of Calgary's manufacturing engineering program. The month marked the graduation of its 100th bachelor of science in manufacturing engineering student - as well as the announcement that the program was named one of the best of its kind in the world by the leading international manufacturing engineering society.

To respond to the growing needs of the Alberta manufacturing industry, the manufacturing program was first introduced in the form of a minor program in computer-integrated manufacturing in 1989, then as a full B.Sc. in manufacturing engineering in 1995. The program's curriculum was developed collaboratively with industry advisers, and focuses on strong engineering fundamentals, advanced computer-integrated manufacturing technologies, manufacturing management and comprehensive information technology skills. The program also strives to provide students with strong communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

Between 45 and 60 new students are admitted each year into the program, providing the local economy with a growing number of graduates with skills covering a broad range of fields, including design and product realization, manufacturing systems, production planning and controls, manufacturing enterprise management, intelligent systems, robotics and more.

Despite the relative youth of the manufacturing program, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Computer and Automated Systems Association of the SME selected the program as this year's winner of the CASA/SME University LEAD Award. The LEAD, which stands for Leadership and Excellence in the Application and Development of enterprise-wide integration, is presented annually to outstanding university programs in the field.

The U of C Faculty of Engineering program now joins the company of previous LEAD award winners such as Purdue, the Technical University of Berlin, Georgia Tech and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

"With this award, Calgary will now be known as the home of one of the highest-quality manufacturing engineering programs in the world," said Dean Chan Wirasinghe, P.Eng., of the U of C Faculty of Engineering. "This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff - led by the department head (of mechanical and manufacturing engineering) Peihua Gu, P.Eng. - as well as our many industry advisers who have helped to build this outstanding program."

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