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March 15, 2001 Enrolment in Building Engineering is expected to double








by Barbara Black

As the result of an agreement with Hunan University, the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering (BCE) should see about 30 Chinese students joining the department as early as next year.

They would be all, or nearly all, in first-year Building Engineering, and would be integrated into regular classes, presuming they meet the requirements for admission to the program and pass the usual English-proficiency test for international students.

Professor Osama Moselhi, chair of BCE, is clearly delighted with the prospect of nearly redoubling enrolment in the Building Engineering program. It had already doubled from 18 in 1997 to 38, where it has been holding steady for some time.

When he met with the Hunan University officials, Moselhi said, he could see that their first-choice destination for students who wanted to study abroad is the United States. However, “they are concerned with a safe environment, and Canada is perceived to be safe, as well as being an entry to North America,” he said. Hunan already has a similar agreement with the University of Regina.

Despite a relative slump across North America in the huge infrastructure projects that require large numbers of civil engineers, Moselhi said that his department’s Civil Engineering program is probably “the healthiest in the province.” He attributes this to a redesign of the program, the increased availability of academic advisors, and an active Web site.

A similar interest by prospective students is reflected in the enrolment in Environmental Engineering, thanks in part to two excellent full-time professors, Catherine Mulligan and Maria Elektorowicz.

As part of its share in a $15.6-million Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, BCE has five new labs, and there are plans to introduce an option in information technology to the BCE degree program.