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IEEQ – 10 years of changing lives

April 20, 2012 — 

The Internationally Educated Engineers Qualification (IEEQ) Program at the University of Manitoba will mark an important milestone in 2012. The program will be enrolling its 10th class of internationally-educated engineers this fall!

IEEQ logo

From its beginning in 2003 as a small pilot program with an uncertain future, the IEEQ Program has grown into an established and well-recognized vehicle to bring experienced and qualified engineers into the profession. In developing the IEEQ program, the University of Manitoba and APEGM originated the model in which a university and an engineering association worked together to provide an approved pathway for internationally-educated engineers to meet requirements for professional registration. This had never been done before in Canada.

IEEQ group photo 2008Since IEEQ was created in 2003, 92 internationally educated engineers have graduated from the program, and another 40 are currently enrolled in the IEEQ Program, completing a program of senior-level engineering courses, an industry internship or co-op work placement, language and communication development, cultural orientation, and professional networking.

Graduation from IEEQ provides two outcomes: a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Engineering from the University of Manitoba and Engineer-in-Training eligibility with APEGM. To date, almost 40 of the 92 graduates have also fulfilled APEGM’s professional experience requirements and are registered as P.Engs.  Let’s think about that number for a moment…almost 40 individuals who came to Canada to pursue their dream of a better life now have the tools to do so! Some of these folks came to the program working in menial jobs to support their families because their previous engineering education and experience was not recognized in this country. Now they are employed as professional engineers, improving their lives, and making a positive economic impact in this province.

So who are these international engineers that come to the IEEQ program and where do they come from?  Over 30 countries of origin have been represented in IEEQ to date, with the top source countries (in order) being Philippines, Ukraine, India, China, and Pakistan. These five countries represent 60% of IEEQ students. A full range of engineering disciplines are represented by IEEQ students, including civil, electrical, computer, mechanical, manufacturing, and biosystems engineering and the respective sub-specialties.

IEEQ group photo It is important to note that the IEEQ Program would not be successful if not for the nearly 50 Manitoba companies which have provided close to 100 co-op work experience opportunities to IEEQ students. These vital partners have come from the public sector, consulting engineering services companies, manufacturers, agri-business, and aerospace. Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Infrastructure & Transportation, The City of Winnipeg, and Teshmont Consultants have been the most consistent in employing IEEQ students, together accounting for 45% of co-op positions to date. Many small businesses in Manitoba have provided co-op opportunities to one or more IEEQ students as well.

Participation by these companies has paid off for them as well, as approximately 75% of IEEQ graduates have found ongoing career opportunities with their co-op employer.

If you are in need of experienced engineers who can bring a unique perspective to your firm, IEEQ welcomes the participation of the Manitoba engineering community. If you employ internationally educated engineers, IEEQ may be a licensing pathway to consider that benefits your employee and your company. If you are looking for engineering talent, consider hiring an internationally educated engineer from the IEEQ Program. IEEQ staff welcome the opportunity to come to your workplace and offer in-house seminars on managing cultural diversity in the engineering workplace.

For more information, please contact Marcia Friesen, P.Eng., IEEQ Director, at 204.474.7873 or Marcia_Friesen [at] UManitoba [dot] ca.  Visit us online at umanitoba.ca/engineering/ieeq

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