PhDs in the works for engineering

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By Andreas Maierhofer

Engineering students may soon be able to complete their graduate studies at Ryerson.

The faculty of engineering moved a step closer to offering master’s and doctorate studies in electrical and computer engineering as the proposal was expected to be ratified by academic council Tuesday night.

Now the proposed programs need approval from the Ontario Council for Graduate studies. Enrolment could begin next fall.

“Progress is being made very quickly,” said Mehmet Zaytinoglu, chair of electrical and computer engineering.

To speed up the process, Ryerson has formed a partnership with Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

“Dalhousie’s faculty has already a lot of experience working with graduate students,” Zeytinoglu said. As with other joint programs like the Ottawa/Carleton Institute for Electrical Engineering, students from both universities will have access to faculty and research facilities while registered at either institution, Zeytinoglu said.

The two universities will share supervision of the PhD program and collaborate on research projects.

“This is really exciting for us,” said third-year electrical engineering student Lisa Rundle. “Because it means that we may get to use resources from another university which we never had access to before. It will give us an opportunity to share ideas and experiments with other students from another part of the country.”

Zeytinoglu also said the proposed program would be more accessible for Toronto students who otherwise couldn’t afford the education out of town.

“Right now a student has to go to another university if they want to continue with a graduate study,” Zeytinoglu said. “Often this means leaving Toronto, or even the province, which can be very expensive. A graduate program at Ryerson will give a lot of people a chance to get the education they want.”

Fourth-year computer engineering student Malcolm Davis couldn’t be more relieved.

“I’ve always wanted to get my master’s but it just seemed too expensive. This changes everything because I can stay at Ryerson,” Davis said.

“The demand for a graduate studies program in electrical and computer engineering is definitely there,” said v.p. academic Dennis Mock.

The provincial graduate council is expected to finish its proposed program sometime in January, 2000, after which it needs final approval from Ryerson’s board of governors.

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