Prince George will soon host its first-ever national conference on sustainability in engineering.
Next February over 80 engineering students from across the country will come to Prince George to learn from some of the top experts in sustainability.
“It is a three-day conference with the goal of educating and preparing the next generation of engineers from all disciplines about how to build a more sustainable future,” says UNBC Engineering Student Ian Garvie who presented the idea to Prince George City Council at their Oct. 1 meeting. He was joined by fellow students Laura Fredrickson and Paramon Kout.
The conference is the brain-child of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, a student-led organization which hosts conferences and workshops to supplement engineering education in Canada.
“This is the inaugural conference and we are hoping to have it be an annual event. It builds up the next generations of engineers not just for Prince George but for the North as a whole and all over Canada,” says Garvie, explaining he came to Prince George from California specifically to study sustainability and engineering at UNBC.
“It will also strengthen our claim as Canada's Green University — that’s what brought me here and I hope it will bring more people here as well.”
Fredrickson then asked city council to support the conference by becoming a sponsor at either the $10,000 or $15,000 level.
She explained that UNBC is in full support of the conference and has provided $25,000 in sponsorship.
“I am delighted to see what you are doing,” says Coun. Albert Kohler, who helped to establish the engineering program at UNBC in 2005, when it started with only seven students. “It could be something that takes off. It is something that integrates into the city and benefits our community and the region so it’s a great thing to see happening.”
Council voted unanimously to support the conference at the $15,000 level, taking the money from the Council contingency fund which still has a balance of $22,340 dollars.
“We do have money left in our council contingency and we are approaching the end of the year,” says Coun. Terri McConnachie. “It can’t reap any kind of rewards just sitting there, so if its approved it can go out and do its work in our community and I think we can match your sweat equity.”
The conference is set for February 22–24, with activities taking place at both UNBC and the Ramada Hotel.
To learn more about the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students and the upcoming conference on sustainability check out their website.