It's the difference between having an engineering degree and being an engineer. There are things that cannot be learned in a classroom, so Steel Centre students go out and conduct research alongside industry partners, even during their undergraduate studies.
Steel Centre students work closely with industry partners throughout their training, so they're familiar with current tools and practices—even communication standards and terminology. They're comfortable with the modern work environment, capable of jumping in on day one, and able to join a team without having to be re-trained.
Steel Centre students are highly sought-after by industry; the close relationships forged during their education lead to opportunities for employment with a company they're already familiar with. Wherever they go, Steel Centre grads have an impressive portfolio of top-quality education paired with extensive experience in industry.
Steel Centre industry partners
A structural engineer is:
responsible for the stability, safety, and functionality of a structure, from the overall framing to a detailed connection
passionate about the impact that spaces can have on the way people behave, learn, and interact
accountable for understanding the behaviour of a structure – how do the forces flow through the structure and what are the potential modes of failure?
concerned with the conception, design, analysis, and construction of structural components subject to static and dynamic forces
aware that every challenge has multiple solutions and eager to explore the possibilities
Students work closely with industry partners on real projects. They prepare reports and give presentations to senior-level executives; they get feedback and mentorship from practicing engineers to guide the research process.
Where are they now?
PhD (2016) | Engineering Director at Supreme Group
I started with Supreme Group as a Structural Steel Engineer towards the end of my PhD graduation, and in a span of 1.5 years, I was promoted to Engineering Manager and now Engineering Director. I manage all engineers working for Supreme Group in North America and am responsible for resource management while ensuring high quality and integrity for all projects.
I was honoured to be a part of one of the best structural steel engineering programs in North America; it opened a lot of doors for me.
PhD (2013) | Senior Structural Engineer at Protostatix Engineering Consultants
As Senior Structural Engineer, I design heavy industrial and commercial steel buildings. Throughout my career, I've completed detail design of several multipurpose towers against high wind and/or seismic loads, designed an upgrade system for a new 20+ storey tower on top of an existing five storey concrete podium, performed dynamic analysis and vibration control of different floor systems, and designed a 18,000m2 multi-storey steel building with highly complex and curved geometry.
My PhD made me ready for my current technical and challenging job by giving me advance knowledge and deep insight in structural engineering, providing me with highly critical and organized thinking, enable me to concentrate on fine details that perfectly match the entire project, confidence of my knowledge and skills, and believing in myself.
PhD (2011) | Senior Bridge Engineer at COWI North America, Ltd.
As an international student, studying at the University of Alberta gave me the opportunity to be in touch with some of the Canadian design code contributors. This also helped me to direct my research and contribute to the steel design code (S16). Also the opportunity to present my research in several international conferences helped me to connect with other professionals.
I have been leading the design team in various new bridge design and bridge evaluation projects, including the recently opened river crossing as part of the Northeast Anthony Henday Drive and bridges in segment two of the Southwest Calgary Ring Road.
Graduate Studies (M.Sc., M.Eng.)
Steel Centre students are selected by the professors after admission into a University of Alberta graduate program. If you are interested in joining the Steel Centre, follow the University of Alberta graduate studies application process.
Undergraduate Studies (B.Sc.)
The primary avenue for undergraduate students to get involved in the Steel Centre is through the Steel Squad, a competitive group selected each Fall. For details and application process, see the Steel Squad page.
Exclusive opportunities, superior training,
top job prospects.
Complement your undergraduate studies with membership in a unique group with special access to industry mentorship and exclusive opportunities.