Engineers lose electives

Six upper-year courses slashed due to budget cuts

Due to course cuts, Daniel Valaderes, Sci ’08, is unsure if he will graduate this year.
Due to course cuts, Daniel Valaderes, Sci ’08, is unsure if he will graduate this year.

Thanks to University-wide budget cuts, half a dozen technical electives have been cut from this year’s course offerings for mechanical engineering students.

An Aug. 30 e-mail sent to all students in third and fourth year mechanical and materials engineering told them six technical electives won’t be offered.

“The reason is University-wide budget cuts, which has resulted in cuts for the Faculty of Applied Science, and consequently the Department of MME,” said Chair of Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Studies Jack Jeswiet in the e-mail.

Daniel Valadares, Sci ’08, said the cuts came as a shock to him and his fellow classmates who were planning to enroll in one or more of the six cancelled courses.

“We’ve only had six days to rethink our entire fourth year. That’s a ridiculously short amount of time,” he said. “Students are struggling at this time to see if they are going to graduate, and whether or not they are going to graduate with the technical skills they wanted.”

Valadares said picking fourth-year courses best suited to the field a student plans to enter after graduating is an important aspect of preparing for the post-graduate job search.

“In fourth year, everything is extremely specialized,” he said. “Once we get these under our belts, we are equipped to deal with specific industry requirements.” Due to the unexpected cancellation, Valadares is unsure if he will join the rest of his class for graduation in April.

“It has potentially affected if I’m going to graduate,” he said. “I was looking forward to taking some of the courses.” Jane Brennan, Sci ’08, was hoping to take Building Energy Systems, one of the six courses not offered in the 2007-08 academic year.

“It hasn’t affected if I graduate, but it has affected the skills I’m graduating with,” she said. “I’m interested in alternative energy powers. That’s the field I hope to work in, and now [the course] is gone.”

Brennan said she will still graduate in April, but her transition into the workforce will be more difficult.

“That one course was the only one Queen’s offered,” she said. “It’s one less part of a skill set that I can offer to an employer when I graduate, and it’ll be a much steeper learning curve when I slide into the industry.”

Electives being cut:

MECH 314 — Manufacturing Engineering

MECH 422 — Stress and Strain Analysis

MECH 431 — Building Energy Systems

MECH 458 — Machine Conditioning Monitoring

MECH 472 — Corrosion and Failure Analysis

MECH 491 — Design of Biomechanical Devices

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