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University of Ottawa engineering dean laments lack of “essential skills”


Following is an extract from an article about Claude Lague of the University of Ottawa, as he steps down as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. The article was published in the Ottawa Business Journal and on the university’s website.

“One thing that engineering students as a whole have often struggled with is what Dr. Laguë considers ‘essential skills’ – the interpersonal and business skills to effectively communicate, network and work as part of diverse teams and to be successful.

“’Our message has long been that these are essential skills that are just as important as your math and science background,’ he shared.

“Couple that with the changing dynamics of the workplace, where the typical engineer must now be much more entrepreneurial than they were in the past to build a successful career.

Dr. Laguë and his team have worked to prepare students and grads for this new reality through a number of initiatives, such as the annual Graduate Poster Competition, Design Day and the Prizes in Entrepreneurship and Innovation student competitions. And uOttawa Faculty of Engineering has the only NSERC Chair in Design Engineering in Canada with a specific focus on entrepreneurship.

“’Engineers are people who solve practical problems,’ Dr. Laguë said. “We want to give students, researchers and our educators an opportunity to directly relate what they are doing to a societal need or a commercial opportunity that exists in society and understand what it takes to successfully bring that idea to market.”

To read the complete article, click here.

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