Engineering Career Night is an annual event hosted by HNMCS Robotics in collaboration with Orbit Robotics in October. Engineering Career Night is intended primarily for high school students as an education and networking tool. Its goal is to help interested students better understand the career choices available to them in the engineering profession. At this time of the year, students are considering their university applications. While they may know they have a general interest in engineering, they are probably unaware of the many specialized disciplines of the profession.
This year, they had Tanya Parrag, a chemical engineer, Kim von Eicken, a civil engineer, Darian Petrisca, an environmental engineer, Hilbert Li, a manufacturing engineer, and James Edgar, an algorithm engineer. Through the engineers’ presentations and question and answer session, students learned about how engineering prepared the engineers for lifelong learning and adaptability, opened new possibilities and prepared them to tackle big challenges. Over the five years of running this event, many of the attending students have gone on to pursue specific postsecondary engineering programs, having been directly influenced by the personal stories, unique perspectives and conversations of the evening.
For example, this year a Grade 11 student from Dufferin Peel District School Board knew that they were interested in computer science but was vaguely aware of the vast job opportunities it held. During Engineering Career Night 2021, Mr. James Edgar, an algorithm engineer at Magna International, especially stood out to the student thereby helping them decide their program of future interest. The student asked, “Mr. Edgar, I was wondering, what is the difference between an algorithm engineer and a computer scientist?” Mr. Edgar talked about his responsibility for the design and analysis of algorithms in computer science. “Computer science is a broad subject and algorithms is a subset of that. However, you can come out with a computer science degree being a web developer, data scientist, or an AI specialist,” said Mr. Edgar, “I chose algorithm engineering because although coding isn’t my strong suit — what gets me going is solving the problems underneath, the mathematics behind a neural network.”
“Engineering Career Night was a good experience, and it was inspiring to see people who were also interested in robotics,” commented a Grade 9 student.
Every year, Engineering Career Night provides high school students with the opportunity to explore various careers in the engineering field and connect with current engineers. This year’s panelists delivered remarkable presentations that highlighted their journey in becoming an engineer. The event truly inspired many high school students to pursue their own journeys in entering the field of engineering. HNMCS Robotics thanks all team members, panelists, and attendees who made the event great.