Miguel Villarreal just completed his second-year in the Manufacturing Engineering program and Vania Amadi completed her first-year of engineering at UBC Okanagan in April 2020 (and has selected Manufacturing Engineering).
Miguel Villarreal just completed his second-year in the Manufacturing Engineering program.
Why did you choose Manufacturing Engineering?
I was really interested in how manufacturing engineering applies engineering theory into actually making a practical part in the workplace. I love the broadness of manufacturing how we can apply these manufacturing concepts to making a wide range of products not just specific to one industry but to every industry from steel production to micro-electronics.
I like to think manufacturing engineering shares a lot in common with mechanical engineering. I It goes into greater depth on the practicality of applying mechanical and electrical concepts into production. We take these mechanical and electrical concepts and bring them to life in a really applied way. We ask questions like: how will a part move in a system? and how can we make that move or its design more efficient?
What has your experience in Manufacturing been like so far?
The program has been really cool so far. In our second-year course, we’ve been doing a lot of advanced design work that is similar to some mechanical and electrical fourth-year projects. Our courses have not just revolved around manufacturing, but also production management. I have really enjoyed the management side of the curriculum as well. Overall, it’s been a fantastic introduction to a wide base of the manufacturing. I know as I move through the program, I will learn more about designing and implementing these fundamentals and concepts. The other highlight has been interacting with my classmates and our professors in the lab while using state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.
Being the first cohort of manufacturing, we’ve had a smaller class sizes which has been really great because we get to interact one-on-one with our professors, and it’s been really good to provide feedback on what we’re learning and where the program is going and for us to be able to give feedback on where the program is headed in the future.
It was kind of scary going into manufacturing, because we were the first class, so there was no precedent or students in the program to gauge what it would be like. You didn’t know really what to expect but after I took that jump it’s proven to be the best choice. It was the best choise for me. I find the content I’m learning is more interesting than that of other disciplines. It’s proven to be a discipline that I am very passionate about.
Has the program changed your understanding of the manufacturing sector?
There’s a lot of stigma about working in a factory when it comes to manufacturing. When you hear the term manufacturing, you think factory, but the more I’ve learned about manufacturing the more I’ve learned that you could apply it in such a broad field. Manufacturing applies to so many different work environments. You need manufacturing to make basically any part that you’re working on. It doesn’t just apply to factories, you can apply these concepts to a lab or to basically anywhere where there’s an engineering work being done.
What does the future hold for you?
Choosing manufacturing engineering was the best decision for me. I’m very excited for the future and to keep expanding upon my manufacturing knowledge.
Vania Amadi recently completed her first-year of engineering at UBC Okanagan, and has selected Manufacturing Engineering.
How would you describe engineering?
As a first year engineering student, to me engineering is production. It’s why I’m interested in manufacturing. Manufacturing Engineering is the study of how things are produced.
Why are you choosing Manufacturing Engineering?
This program is going to make me ready for industry and the workforce. From my perspective, it’s the best engineering programs out there. It’s new, it’s innovative and it’s applied. It’s good to have the general knowledge but it’s better to be focused on one thing. Back home, we say it’s better to be the master of one trade than a jack of all trades.
What drew you to engineering in the first place?
I come from an engineering family. My mom did mechanical engineering in university and my dad studied both electrical and electronics. I always knew I was going to be an engineer, but wasn’t initially sure what kind. During my last year of high school, it came to me when I took biomedical electronics engineering, because I liked biology and I also liked electronics. I was looking forward to putting them together. After I did a lot of research about engineering programs across the country, I realized that there wasn’t an exact fit for what I wanted to study (it would have to be something I would pursue in graduate studies instead). UBC Okanagan gave me a chance to get my bearings and decide what program I wanted to choose after first year.
What’s first year been like?
During my first year, I heard more and more about Manufacturing and it really peaked my interest. It is a cross-campus program which means I can choose to transfer to Vancouver later in the program if I want.
My mom didn’t like the sound of Manufacturing Engineering, because she was worried that it would lead to a factory job. When I explained to her that it was a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering and there were a variety of jobs available for manufacturing engineers, she was excited for me. One thing my parents taught me was that you need to love what you do to enjoy it and succeed.
After this past year, I’m not going to say I love engineering, because I haven’t seen the whole thing, but I like engineering. To me I would rather do engineering than do any other course (psychology, physiology, or sciences). Engineering has been tough, but I worked hard and found success.