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Ontario Tech Engineering students in energy to benefit from new RBC Foundation support

New Student Enrichment Program also strengthens the university’s connections with key industry partners by promoting access to student talent

Panel discussion at the Student Enrichment Program launch event at Ontario Tech University (January 30, 2024).
Panel discussion at the Student Enrichment Program launch event at Ontario Tech University (January 30, 2024).

A new gift to Ontario Tech University from the RBC Foundation will help Engineering students make a major impact in the field of low-emission energy.

The Foundation’s $750,000 grant directed to the university’s new Student Enrichment Program (SEP) will help fulfil the demand for specific ‘green skills’ as Canada’s economy continues to transition towards a net-zero future.

Ontario Tech anticipates more than 825 students will enrol in the unique program over the next four years.

Through opportunities promoting experiential learning, networking and industry knowledge, the SEP’s design will increase the number and diversity of career-ready engineering students who can pursue employment in, or related to, the energy sector. Student-industry interactions will include co-ops and internships with Ontario Tech’s partners, which in turn will support industry’s need for access to qualified future talent that supports Canada’s transition to a low-emission energy future.

Launched in September 2023, the SEP is managed by the university’s Partnerships Office, in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Ontario Tech Career Centre

Ontario Tech’s industry partners helping with SEP launch

This program could not be launched without the support of foundational SEP industry partners Aecon Group Inc., AtkinsRéalis, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Westinghouse and Elexicon Energy. Activities will include field trips, class guest speakers, speed networking events, job fairs, energy tech talks, and more.

Upcoming Ontario Tech partner events include:

  • Job Fair and SEP Speed Networking on Thursday, February 1
  • Notable Alumni Energy Tech Talk in March
  • Beyond Academia Panel Discussion in April
Other SEP opportunities for Ontario Tech students
  • In addition to hosting a recruitment session, Aecon is participating in a fourth-year class to talk about the construction of nuclear reactors (including refurbishment and new concepts).
  • Westinghouse’s on-campus recruitment session will also include a discussion of its eVinci Microreactor. In March, Westinghouse is organizing a field trip to its Peterborough operations for Ontario Tech students.
  • CNL will collaborate with the university’s Women in Engineering student group for a one-hour session and interactive activity. CNL will also support Beyond Academia panel to highlight different career paths and options available to graduate students.
  • Electrical Engineering students in the Electronics Club will meet with Elexicon Energy for a mentorship session and presentation focusing on career-readiness. An Elexicon female engineer will also host the Elexicon Energy Women in Engineering Talk.
  • AtkinsRéalis, the newest partner to join the SEP, will participate in the exclusive February Speed Networking experience, and join all partners in a Community of Practice event.

“The energy transition is also a skills transition. The RBC Foundation is investing in post-secondary programs across the country, like the SEP at Ontario Tech University, to equip youth with the skills needed for a greener future and connect them with potential employers who will hire the first generation of green-collar workers.”
-Marjolaine Hudon, RBC Regional President for Ontario North and East

“Engineers play a crucial role in mobility electrification and the integration of different technologies like hydrogen, renewables, natural gas and nuclear to support the transformation of the energy sector. These expanded learning opportunities to relate classroom learning to real-world experiences will advance the career-readiness of Ontario Tech undergraduate and graduate engineering students.”
-Dr. Hossam Kishawy, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Ontario Tech University

“CNL is both honoured and excited to be a part of the Student Enrichment Program at Ontario Tech University, and we look forward to helping it grow. With so many exciting career opportunities at Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, we can’t wait to see how this program inspires new learning for students and CNL staff as well.”
-Dr. Jeff Griffin, Vice-President, Science and Technology, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories