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ENG gets 'phoney' money
Thanks to the phone company, Western engineers are $1 million richer.
Western's department of electrical and computer engineering received $500,000 from Bell Canada, a total matched dollar-for-dollar by the Ontario government's Access to Opportunities Program.
The $1 million will help fund a new program the Bell Centre for Information Engineering.
"We live in an age that relies on information and the BCIE positions Western and Bell as leaders in information technology," said Western president Paul Davenport.
"Forging these relationships makes Western the best training ground for electrical, computer and software engineering," he said.
"The BCIE will focus on distributed information engineering, intelligent systems, software technology, virtual reality, human-computer interaction, networking and wireless communications," explained Franco Berruti, dean of engineering sciences. "These are fields of research that were only ideas a few years ago and now they are reality."
Terry Mosey, president of Bell Ontario, explained why Western was selected for the BCIE program.
"Western shares similar technological goals with Bell Canada. This is not just a transfer of information. This is about establishing relationships," Mosey said.
"Bell wants to broaden the scope of their technology to better meet the needs of their customers, while Western students are visionaries of this technology and are also concerned with understanding the current interests of potential future customers," said Hamanda H. Ghenniwa, assistant professor in the faculty of engineering sciences.
"It is a great opportunity for our students and school on two aspects. First, we foster a partnership with an industry. And second, this creates a good environment for students to gain real workplace experience," Ghenniwa said.
Hopefully, the new program will increase enrollment in the graduate engineering programs, Berruti said. He added enrollment has already exceeded all targets in the masters program and has come close to the enrollment goal for students pursuing a PhD.
"This is a good opportunity for students and I am touched by Bell Canada's generosity," said Abdual Masud, a graduate student of software engineering. "Information technology is spreading dramatically and I look forward to being a part of a program that will change current visions of new technologies."