Linamar Funds Novel Engineering Scholarships

March 30, 2011 - News Release

The University of Guelph will recruit and produce even more top engineers, thanks to a $1-million gift from Guelph-based Linamar Corporation.

The University will use the gift, announced today by U of G president Alastair Summerlee and Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz, to establish the Linamar Engineering Design Scholarships.

The gift will fund 10 entrance scholarships a year in perpetuity, each worth $2,500.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering in this initiative,” said Hasenfratz. “Competitiveness on a global stage is absolutely based on our ability to be innovative in product and process design, and the key to doing so successfully is plenty of strong engineers with a solid grounding in practical and theoretical knowledge.”

Summerlee said the scholarships demonstrate Linamar’s commitment to building global competitiveness in the region while enhancing the School of Engineering’s leadership in teaching and research.

“Through its generous support, Linamar has made a significant contribution towards creating highly skilled engineers in Canada,” said Summerlee. “These scholarships will enhance our ability to attract top students who excel in engineering design and innovation.”

Each year, five scholarships will go to students coming directly from high school and five to students transferring to engineering programs at Guelph from Ontario college and international technology programs.

In addition, U of G is proposing to the provincial government to increase opportunities and access to Guelph’s engineering programs for university, college and international students as well as industry professionals via a new Pathways program. The collaboration is subject to government approval and accreditation review, and would involve U of G and Ontario colleges.

“Students who have industry experience or who are entering the program from college bring practical skill sets that are important to engineering design,” said Summerlee. “Linamar recognizes that having these students in the classroom will not only help improve the overall learning experience but also produce well-rounded engineers who will become leaders in their field.”

Hasenfratz said her company looks for grads with practical skills and theoretical smarts.

“For us there is no better combination for our manufacturing and processing engineers than someone with a skilled trade designation such as a machinist who has gone on to acquire an engineering degree,” she said. “Skilled people are experts at developing the best process to most efficiently produce the components and assemblies we manufacture. Add to that the theoretical design, design for manufacturing knowledge and program management skills of an engineer, and we have a hugely effective person who can absolutely help us gain an edge over our competition and grow our business.”

U of G engineering programs cover biological, biomedical, computer, engineering systems and computing, environmental, mechanical and water resources engineering.

The new Linamar Engineering Design Scholarships will help improve engineering education and training, said Anthony Vannelli, dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Science.

“The field of engineering plays an important role in solving today’s world problems,” said Vannelli. “Engineering has the potential to drive human development and make positive changes to the environment, health and medicine, economics and whole societies.”

About the University of Guelph
The University of Guelph is ranked as one of Canada’s top comprehensive universities because of our commitment to student learning and innovative research. We are dedicated to cultivating the essentials for our quality of life: water, food, environment, animal and human health, community, commerce, culture and learning. The University community also shares a profound sense of social responsibility, an obligation to address global issues and a concern for international development.

About Linamar Corporation
Linamar Corporation is a diversified global manufacturing company of highly engineered products powering vehicles, motion, work and lives. The company is made up of four key divisions — Manufacturing, Driveline, Industrial Commercial Energy (ICE) and Skyjack, all world leaders in the design, development and production of highly engineered products. The company’s Manufacturing and Driveline divisions focus on precision metallic components, modules and systems for engine, transmission and driveline systems designed for passenger vehicle markets. The ICE group concentrates on similar products for on- and off-highway vehicle, energy and other industrial markets. The company’s Skyjack division is noted for its innovative high-quality mobile industrial equipment, notably its class-leading aerial work platforms and telehandlers. With more than 12,500 employees in 39 manufacturing locations, five R&D centres and 13 sales offices in 11 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, Linamar generated sales of more than $2.2 billion in 2010.

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