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Alumnus wins Champion of Engineering Education award

December 3, 2012 — 

Mr. Harry Wall (B.Sc. E.E./63, M.Sc. E.E./65) was recently honoured by the Faculty of Engineering and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba for his decades of service to the education of future engineering students, and his tireless promotion of the engineering profession.

During his time as a high school teacher, Wall was proud to be an engineer and was a shameless promoter of engineering as a career to his senior math and physics classes. It is important to note that not many teachers or guidance counsellors typically know a lot about engineering as a career, so to have an engineer inside the secondary school system so passionately promoting the profession was a huge benefit and had a significant impact on students. It is also important to note that Wall made sure that the girls in his classes also knew that engineering was a rewarding, challenging and necessary career that more women needed to pursue.

Wall has been a strong supporter of the profession in his role as a high school academic, encouraging his students to consider the engineering profession as a positive career option.  During the years that Wall was the high school physics and math teacher at MBCI, 113 MBCI graduates came to the Faculty of Engineering, out of a total of 1229 students who came to the University of Manitoba (all faculties combined) during the same time. This means that 9.2 per cent of MBCI graduates who came to the U of M chose to enter engineering. The Office of Institutional Analysis pointed out that this is higher than most schools: Engineering in general is only 5 per cent of the undergraduate population, so MBCI grads were choosing Engineering at almost twice the expected rate during the time that Wall taught Grade 11 and 12 physics and math. He was nominated for the Champion of Engineering Education award by a former student, Dr. Marcia Friesen, P.Eng., now a professor at the Faculty and Director of the Internationally Educated Engineering Qualification program.

Wall’s recruitment efforts were clearly successful on the home front as well, as his daughter, Carolyn Geddert,P.Eng., is also an engineer and is currently serving as an Engineer-in-Residence and Director of the Co-op & Internship Programs at the Faculty of Engineering.

During his 40-plus years at the Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, Wall taught physics and math at the senior high level, spent 12 years as Vice-Principal, six years as Principal and took a two year leave to serve with the Mennonite Central Committee as Assistant Director of Personnel and Voluntary Service.

Each year the Faculty of Engineering, together with APEGM, award the Champion of Engineering Education Award to someone who has gone above and beyond to promote and/or improve engineering education in Manitoba. The nominee can be from industry, government, education, or even a member of the Faculty, but they do not have to be an engineer (they can be, but it is not a requirement to win this award).

One stipulation, the nominator of the award must be someone from the Faculty of Engineering  who is a P.Eng.

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