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New local engineering program will offer 'leading edge skills,' says Humber president

Program opens with 65 spots in September 2022
20200526-Sault College summer stock-DT-01
Sault College. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Beginning in September 2022, students from the Sault and area will be able to train for in-demand engineering careers close to home in a new Bachelor of Engineering – Mechatronics degree program at Sault College.

The program is a partnership with Toronto’s Humber College, Canada’s largest community college.

Ross Romano, Sault MPP and Minister of Colleges and Universities, made the announcement regarding the Mechatronics program Friday at Sault College, joined by Ron Common, Sault College president.

“A lot of our students work in advanced manufacturing,” said Chris Whitaker, Humber College president (who joined Romano and Common by video link from Humber for Friday’s announcement), speaking to SooToday.

“We’re using leading edge equipment in this program, and processes, many of which have not yet even been adopted by many companies and industries, so our students have these leading edge skills, and they can turn around and help lead the development of skills within various advanced manufacturing sectors.”

“I know from past history in the Humber programs that our students are so sought after, in many cases it’s difficult to retain them until graduation because they’re being pulled away by attractive job offers not just across Canada but in the U.S. and other countries as well. There are tremendous opportunities in this field,” Whitaker said.

Graduates of the Mechatronics program will be ready to start in-demand careers as civil, mechanical, electrical/electronic and computer engineers, working in advanced manufacturing, energy, health care and pharmaceuticals.

“Mechatronics is the integration of electrical, mechanical and software engineering which allows Mechatronics students and graduates to be trained for many different kinds of jobs,” said Humber Mechatronics graduate Bogdan Malynovsky. 

“One of the very most popular ones is industrial applications and automation, but I know people that have gotten into software engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, automotive, automation and robotics, in factories and also research and development in medical equipment, cars, machinery...all kinds of expertise are often transferred from Mechatronics because we have such a broad, strong knowledge of all these fields,” Malynovsky said.

There will be 65 seats available in the program, Whitaker said.

“We know that for every single graduate that comes out of our institutions with a degree in engineering there are approximately three jobs waiting for them. There are significant of the most important things there is to note is that many of these students develop technology and innovative ideas that turn into startups (businesses) of their own, the ability to create other jobs,” Romano said.

“There is a very strong demand for engineers locally, provincially and nationally. We do know the current engineering cohort is an aging population, increasingly people are retiring and we need people to replace them,” Common said.

Over the course of the four year program, students will be able to study at either Sault College on Northern Avenue or Humber’s North Campus in Etobicoke.  

Instruction will be delivered through a mixture of in-person, classroom and laboratory learning as well as videoconferencing.

“This is one of the most exciting announcements I’ve been part of since becoming an elected official in our city,” Romano said. 

“This is the most momentous initiative that I’ve ever experienced at Sault College in my 14 years as president, and it may well be the most important initiative in the history of Sault College,” Common said.

Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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