OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - 37

STUDENTS

skilled workforce. PACs help Conestoga ensure programs remain
current and are delivering curriculum required by industry, while
staying abreast of new trends.
As a result, Conestoga's School of Engineering and Technology
is constantly working on getting new degree programs accredited
to keep up with the rapid advancement of technology and industry
needs. Right now, Dr. Rafik Guindi, Ph.D., Chair of Conestoga's
School of Engineering and Technology responsible for the electrical
and electronics engineering, as well as electronic systems and power
systems engineering programs, is working to develop a Cyber
Systems Engineering (CSE) program.
"We identified cyber security as an area of critical importance for
growth, particularly the study of communications infrastructure that
goes into our systems," Guindi said. "Computer communications,
banking systems, smart grids, smart cities, transportation...
Communication is everywhere and is going to be even more so,
but right now a big problem is that the infrastructure is not robust.
After a system is in place, security comes as an afterthought."
Guindi hopes the new program will help address these problems
by putting students through a communications/computer
engineering program focused on embedding security considerations
into engineering and design. Conestoga is hoping to start offering
the program by the fall of 2020.
In addition to the rapid advancement of technology increasing
the need for new program offerings, Guindi says the current
generation of students entering engineering programs has also
changed.
"Our students were born with an iPad in their laps - they
communicate with the world through a screen. That is how they
play, get their information, and talk to their friends," Guindi said.
"This has pros and cons. The pros are they grew up connected. The
cons are they are never anywhere without having the possibility of
being connected. They don't know of a world where you visit the
library to look something up in a book," Guindi said.
Because students understand computers and the internet, they
naturally migrate to programs focused on computers. They do not
necessarily have an understanding of what the study of electronics
really is, or the potential of what they can do with it. But once they
find out, they are interested.

WE PUT AN EMPHASIS ON EXPOSING
STUDENTS TO THE HIGH ASPECTS
OF ENGINEERING, EXTENDING INTO
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE
KNOWLEDGE THROUGH PROJECTBASED LEARNING. THEY ARE JOB READY
- THAT'S THE ADVANTAGE. THEY START
TO PRODUCE RESULTS RIGHT AWAY.
- Calin Stoicoiu, P.Eng., one of two Chairs of the School of
Engineering and Technology at Conestoga College

Conestoga's Electronics Systems Engineering program
allows students to learn how to create electronic boards,
populate them, program them, imbed them, and design
hardware and software. It is a project-based program with
one big project course every semester.
Since all of Conestoga's programs incorporate active
learning that can include project-based learning,
co-operative education, applied research opportunities,
case studies and capstone projects, employers gravitate
towards these graduates who are prepared for real
world work. Faculty and staff themselves continue to be
impressed by the ideas students come up with, along with
the quality of their designs. "Having been in the university
world at Waterloo, Toronto, and Guelph - I am very
impressed with the dedication to quality at Conestoga.
Students are passionate about building something that
works," Guindi said.

Summer 2019

THE VOICE

37



OSPE - The Voice - May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of OSPE - The Voice - May 2019

Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Cover1
OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Cover2
OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Table of Contents
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OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Cover3
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