Lakehead University Engineering Career Fair 2016 Connects students with jobs
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Lakehead University Engineering Career Fair 2016 Connects students with Jobs

by Scott A.Sumner

  There was a lot of activity at the Lakehead University Faculty Lounge recently as Engineering Career Day was taking place!


   Antony Gillies is the Assistant Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Lakehead University. He came to Thunder Bay for two years in 1984 and that was 33 years ago! Antony is  originally from New Zealand and did his training there, then worked as a consultant for 5 years before coming to Lakehead University
How are engineers doing in Thunder Bay?
“ Engineering  firms seems to be doing well in Thunder Bay. There are also a number of newer ones that are doing well and getting a foot on the ground. We are resource based here so you have to be versatile to adapt to the economic climate- say less forestry and then more mining.
Firms have to be very clever to adapt.”
   How has engineering changed in recent times?
  “ The overlap in engineering  disciplines is becoming more and more significant. For example the mining field needs electrical, chemical, civil and computer engineers of course.  The area of engineering is fully integrated with computers now so it means all engineers do computer courses. I got my first PC the day I started here in the mid eighties.  At the moment civil is the most popular discipline.”

Is engineering growing at Lakehead University?

   “ Engineering  is a popular choice for students today. At Lakehead University, engineering is a big part of the university  with 1000 students  in the five disciplines of civil, mechanical, chemical,
electrical and software. Software focuses on the application not the creation of the language. We have a masters program and are moving into PhD starting with electrical. The break down of men versus female  students is still lower for women.”

  Is it easy to get a job after graduation?

“ The student find jobs pretty quickly after finishing. Engineering is such a portable degree so they work in the US or England as well as Canada. After graduation there is a period of 4 years where they intern with a company and then do an exam. You  then get the Professional Engineer license and all the responsibilities. Engineers can work in sales and marketing and many other varied  non traditional areas of employment for engineers.”

Abel Raath is a 4th year Civil Engineering student originally for South Africa and later living in Calgary. He did his engineering diploma in 2009 at Lethbridge College.  Lakehead University is one of the few places were you can update your diploma to a degree with out starting from scratch.
  Abel is also the vice president for the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering which offers management and support for engineers.  They work here  primarily with students by bringing in speakers from other fields say on the Ring of Fire and on bridge topics.

“ This program draws many students from out of province. Our third and fourth year has many come in from the technology diploma approach, some with experience.”

  “ Tuition for engineering here is competitive  at about $8 to 10,000 year. We have very knowledgeable professors and others with support service to help.”

  “ My goal is to get job after graduation. I like Thunder Bay depending on the jobs available.”

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