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Engineering Accreditation In Canada And Its Current Challenges

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.474.1 - 7.474.9



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Paper Authors

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William Paterson

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Samantha De Bon

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Jean-Yves Chagnon

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Deborah Wolfe

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Non-Academic Instruction: As part of their engineering design content Canadian universities make strong use of projects solicited from and put forward by private sector, often involving the submitting firms in both advisory and evaluation roles. This seems to acknowledge the need for “real life” projects as a break from the strictly academic, theoretical framework and the involvement of non-academic engineers to provide the “applications” perspective. It also often provides students with valuable experience in presenting their cases outside the classroom environment.

Such experience often provides the only exposure to such things as codes and their requirements, assessments of loadings for which there are no handbooks and the realities of limited budgets and project phasing, that students get. Given the earlier mentioned link between accreditation and the constituent members, the question arises as to whether the accreditation criteria should be amended to embed this practice. While Canadian criteria already stipulate that engineering science and engineering design content be taught by “P.Eng’s” (licensed engineers), the focus intended has been on the academic faculty. Should some portion of an accredited program be reserved for presentation by non- academic members of the profession or does this encroach on the universities’ freedoms or further still, is it moving some of the internship phase inappropriately back into the academic formation?

Conclusion While the foregoing considerations are all raised in the Canadian context, each in its own way also has implications in the global sense, particularly as engineers are increasingly mobile. The challenge for the CEAB will continue to be to facilitate innovation within universities, while remaining fully mindful of the “public interest” expectations.

References 1. Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board 2001 Accreditation Criteria and Procedures, Ottawa, 2001.

2. Paterson, W.G., Ruth, D.W., and Wolfe, D., Accreditation Issues Workshop, Ottawa, 2001.

3. Paterson, W.G., Some Thoughts on Accreditation, Canadian-style, Ottawa, 2001.

Biography SAMANTHA DE BON received a degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa. Ms. De Bon began her career with the Canadian Blood Agency before joining the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. Throughout her career she has worked closely with various volunteer boards and committees, including her current work with the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

DEBORAH WOLFE is the Director, Education, Outreach and Research at the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. She received a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Western Ontario and served in the

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Paterson, W., & De Bon, S., & Chagnon, J., & Wolfe, D. (2002, June), Engineering Accreditation In Canada And Its Current Challenges Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11287

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