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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Faculty Focus: Engineering

Q&A with Andrew Hrymak, Dean, Western Engineering

January 30, 2017

Faculty Focus: Engineering
Dean Andrew Hrymak: "This is an exciting time at Western Engineering. We're thrilled to anticipate the construction of the new building to support our growing student population."

How is Western Engineering providing a unique student experience?
Countless ways. Our common first year allows students to develop a close bond with their classmates and experience various engineering disciplines before selecting an area of study in second year. Engineering Leadership and Innovation is a major initiative to develop business and professional skills, including courses, a certificate program, speaker series and support for student entrepreneurs. We provide students with a flourishing student council, more than 15 clubs, groups and teams, as well as an active Women in Engineering student group that offers peer-to-peer mentorship, various social activities, networking events and much more. With all of these possibilities, plus the opportunity to explore international study, co-ops and internships, we are creating an environment that encourages students to expand the limits of their comfort zone and get involved. We’re fostering a collaborative, welcoming and supportive environment for all students.

What are some of the faculty’s recent accomplishments?
This is an exciting time at Western Engineering. We’re thrilled to anticipate the construction of the new building to support our growing student population. We’re seeing an increase in enrollment across the faculty, particularly in Mechatronic Systems Engineering, and a high retention rate among Western Engineering students. This speaks to our continued commitment to provide the best experience possible for our engineering students. Recently, we welcomed Professor Lauren Briens into a new role as Assistant Dean, First-Year Studies, to help students transition and succeed within our faculty. Western Engineering is developing engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset through the opportunities we’ve created to incorporate business studies to the engineering program. By pairing business acumen with engineering knowledge, students can turn their ideas into action. Research remains an important focus for us as we are constantly breaking new ground and striving for new innovations. Facilities like WindEEE, our 3D wind-effects testing facility, and the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research make that possible.

What are some of Western Engineering’s fundraising priorities as part of the Be Extraordinary campaign?
In addition to Three C+ (the new Engineering building), Western Engineering would like to expand our support for students through undergraduate and graduate academic scholarships, bursaries, travel awards and the Western Engineering Student Endowment Laboratory Fund. Western Engineering is also seeking support to build on Engineering Leadership & Innovation programming to expand the curriculum by adding a second faculty member and expand the complement of case studies from industry.

What are some of the ways in which we can already see donor support at work at Western Engineering?
There are many examples from faculty members who have the resources to pursue critical research through externally funded research chairs and fellowships, to students who have access to the most current software and laboratory equipment, which plays a crucial role to ensure they have the tools required to enhance the hands-on learning component of their programs.

Why should donors consider supporting Western Engineering?
Individual and corporate donor support has played a vital role in helping us provide the best student experience possible. The proportion of financial support for undergraduate programs from government funding for Ontario universities has decreased substantially over the past 25 years, and so the need to seek support through philanthropic donations has become increasingly important.

For more information, or to support the Faculty of Engineering, contact Virginia Daugharty, Alumni & Development Officer, Western Engineering (519.661.2111, ext. 84209 or or visit

This article appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of Impact Western
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