Saanich gives students a chance to practice engineering skills

December 8, 2016

News Release
For Immediate Release 


Saanich, BC – Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of an engineer is like? The District of Saanich is giving a group of engineering students at the University of Victoria (UVic) the chance to find out.

Earlier this fall Saanich partnered with UVic’s engineering department to give students a chance to work on a real-world engineering project. The challenge: improve the cycling connection at a busy Saanich intersection located at Larchwood Drive, McKenzie Avenue and Ansell Road. After months of work and planning, the students today presented their plans to a panel of Saanich experts and their professor.

“Providing opportunities for students to analyze and learn from real scenarios is something we are proud to be part of,” said Harley Machielse, director of engineering. “The project the students worked on is something that is already part of our capital plan to enhance cycling and pedestrian facilities in the area. I look forward to seeing how these students hone their skills as they build their careers.”

This partnership was formed with a third-year civil engineering course called Sustainable Transportation Systems and Urban Communities. As part of the course, the students were grouped into teams to prepare a project that counts for 40 per cent of their final grade.

“I was looking for a real-world transportation challenge near UVic where the students could take the engineering design concepts they learned in class and apply them to a location that they used every day,” said Donna Howes, transportation engineer, Uvic. “The partnership with Saanich allowed the students to walk through the full analytical process, communicate their ideas to professional engineers and receive input they could use to refine and improve their ideas. I hope this can continue with future UVic classes as it is a win-win partnership.”

Saanich will consider the students’ project ideas as part of future planning for the area.


Media Contacts

Harley Machielse
Director of Engineering, District of Saanich 
250-475-1775 ext. 5446

Donna Howes
Transportation Engineer, University of Victoria