Province gives KPU trades and technology students new tools to succeed

Fri, Apr 6, 2018

Trades and technology students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will soon be working with new industry-grade equipment thanks to $500,000 from the B.C. Government.

“This funding will help provide industry-grade or even better than industry-grade equipment to our students so that when our students graduate in two years, they’ll be able to fill the high-demand in B.C. for skilled tradespeople,” said Dean of the Faculty of Trades and Technology Dr. David Florkowski.

With the funding, KPU has purchased thermal and geothermal energy training system machines. The models will be used by students in the welding and electrical programs and the new Mechatronics and Advance Manufacturing Technology (MAMT) diploma program.

“We’re investing in new trades as well as tech training equipment at KPU so students are better prepared once they leave the classroom,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Trades and tech are government priorities as there are thousands of in demand jobs in these areas. Replacing obsolete items and purchasing the latest in technology means students get their training on the same type of equipment that industry uses.”

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of science that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, electronics, computer engineering, telecommunications engineering, systems engineering and control engineering. Designed to address the technical skills gap in Canada and advance the manufacturing sector, the MAMT program supports applied research, product development and commercialization solutions. Graduates will be employable across a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, green technology, biotechnology, medical, energy, transportation, telecommunications, autonomous vehicles, building technology, agriculture, aerospace and national security and defense.

KPU’s mechatronics lab facility, which is currently under construction, will serve as the training centre for students to pursue the Siemens Mechatronics Systems certification program, a pillar of Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy. In addition, KPU’s MAMT diploma program, which is in the final stages of development, is expected to begin accepting students this fall.

Some of the highly technical equipment funded by the province for KPU’s mechatronics lab facility will include robotic arms and machines that synchronize electrical power systems with alternating currents.

In addition, the provincial funding is providing new cutting-edge machinery for the plumbing, appliance servicing, millwright and farrier programs, and replacement automotive lifts for the automotive service technician program.

“The funding will be spread fairly evenly amongst all of our trades programs,” said Florkowski. “Funding for new energy-efficient and progressive equipment is crucial to give our students the skills they need to succeed in the booming trades industry.”

Photos of Dr. Florkowski and some of the new equipment purchased with Provincial funding are available on Flickr.

Media contact:
Tatiana Tomljanovic
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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