Engineering professors take in Canadian Engineering Education Association conference in Canmore, Alberta
The marvellous mountain town of Canmore, Alberta was the backdrop for a group of Engineering professors who recently attended the Canadian Engineering Education Association’s (CEEA) annual conference.
The CEEA conference — hosted this year by the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering — took place June 8-11, 2014. Participant Dr. André Phillion, Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering, said the conference experience shared with his colleagues was inspirational because there is a high quality of teaching innovation in engineering education within Canada, and those involved have a strong willingness to share both successes and failures with others.
Professors Yang Cao, Laura Patterson, Vladan Prodanovic, Ray Taheri, Claire Yu Yan, and Phillion participated in seminars and workshops that focused on the sharing of ideas with engineering educators from across Canada to enhance student learning and program development.
Cao presented his experiences through a talk titled, “Learning Digital Control Design Made Easy Through Real-Time Experiment Solutions.”
“One of the key messages that I took home was the importance of emphasizing human factors in engineering design, so that a product or service not only meets the technical requirements but is also user-friendly,” Phillion says. “I also took home ideas for engaging students on the topic of innovation—both of these might find their way way into ENGR 475 (Materials Selection and Design) next January.”
On the drive back to Kelowna from Canmore, Phillion says he and his fellow UBC engineers each listed a specific change in an individual course, based on what they had taken away from the conference. “That was fun to do,” he says, “but it also demonstrated our need to improve the quality of case studies and other methods for engaging students to be self-learners.”
The CEEA 2014 Conference keynote speaker was iconic science broadcaster Jay Ingram best known from CBC’s Quirks and Quarks the Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet. The conference banquet was a western-style barbecue, complete with a working ranch, a massive barbecue grill, and traditional Aboriginal dancing.