University of Ottawa presence in Kanata North takes shape

Programming already underway ahead of spring opening
room full of people
Professor Melike Erol-Kantarci presenting her work in Future Networks (AI-enabled wireless networks, 5G and beyond) during the inaugural uOttawa Innovates event in Kanata on February 12th.

The University of Ottawa plans to unveil its new collaborative office space in Kanata North this spring, just months after it announced plans to expand to Canada’s largest technology park.

The school’s Faculty of Engineering is among the departments that will have a Kanata presence through a series of events and programming, designed to support innovation and facilitate networking between alumni, industry, researchers and co-op students.

“We want our alumni to have a space where they can meet with others and collaborate,” says Kyle Bournes, alumni relations officer at the Faculty of Engineering. “Kanata is the largest tech hub in Canada. We have more than 5,000 alumni in the area and many co-op students. We want to work closely with them and connect them with others in the area.”

The Faculty of Engineering is already deepening its reach into Kanata and recently hosted a pitchfest, featuring faculty members making five-minute presentations to a sold-out crowd of businesspeople in the hope of finding industry partners for their artificial intelligence research.

Elsewhere, the Telfer School of Management is also preparing to launch short business courses covering topics such as sales, marketing and management.

“Upscaling a business is quite different than creating new technology,” says Guy Levesque, the university’s associate vice-president of research support and infrastructure. “Not everyone in Kanata is an engineer. There are people in marketing or sales that need formal training. We have the ability to train and mentor people.”

Part of the university’s mandate in Kanata is to help new alumni settle into post-graduate life in Kanata. Different seminars include becoming first-time homeowners as well as others focused on professional development. 

One of the other key goals is to reach out to youth. The uOttawa Engineering’s Outreach team hosted professional development day camps in February, a family fun night focused on coding and is planning day camps during March break. 

“In our first year in Kanata, we want to be engaged and share our knowledge with the community,” says Bournes. “The next generation will see Kanata North as a place to work. There’s so much growth happening here and we want to be a part of it.”

To sign up for the next University of Ottawa event in Kanata, please visit uOttawa- Kanata North events.

Broadcasting the blueprint for the future

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Jacques Beauvais is curious about the professional lives of engineering graduates. As dean of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering, he’s set out to learn why alumni decide to establish their business in Ottawa or head out to Silicon Valley as well as explore what industry leaders are looking for in new graduates.

What did he learn? You’ll have to listen to find out.

In February, the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering launched a new podcast titled, Make the Future. In each episode, Beauvais discusses different trends in engineering – such as women in STEM and entrepreneurship – with young leaders and experienced professionals.

“We’re on a quest to gain insights from our students, alumni and industry,” says Beauvais. “We want to engage with the community and better understand their needs in order to adapt our activities, and continue to make our student training even more valuable and relevant.”

The series will also give prospective students and parents a glimpse into university life and career options in engineering.

“When we held our open house last year, we had a panel of seven students talk about their experience in university. The parents who attended told us the panel was the best part of the open house,” says Beauvais. “Students don’t necessarily know what engineering is, or (how) your career can evolve beyond your major.”

Have a listen at engineering.uOttawa.ca/podcast.