Engineering schools struggling to replace retiring personnel in profession

March 6, 2012

"The demand for engineering graduates is far outstripping our ability to graduate them," says the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's provost, at a time when 20% to 30% of Ontario's engineers are on the brink of retirement. Training new electrical power engineers should be a top priority, says the provost, who is spearheading an Electrical Power Engineering Education Consortium to try to address a skilled labour shortage. "We want (engineering students) to be known for being entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience," says York University's science and engineering dean. York U's new Lassonde School of Engineering will be interdisciplinary, drawing on the institution's strengths in law, business, and the humanities. Institutions are also working hard to bridge the gender gap in engineering school enrolment. York U is developing an ambitious gender-parity program, which the dean says will be achieved by showing women the diverse opportunities existing within the profession. Toronto Star