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 departments 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
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.