2007-2008 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs


The graduate degree programs offered in the School of Engineering include a course work MEng and research thesis programs at the MASc and PhD levels. All programs are offered as full- or part-time studies. These programs provide for specialization in four fields of study: Biological Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Systems and Computing and Water Resources Engineering.

Biological Engineering is broadly categorized as bio-process, food, biomedical or bio-mechanical engineering. Research is conducted in many areas such as: physical, chemical and thermal processing of food, bio-materials or waste; physical properties of biological materials; process control; remote sensing; medical imaging; bio-instrumentation design and the development of medical diagnostics; ergonomic and prosthetic bio-mechanics; design of implants and surgical tools for human and veterinary applications.

Environmental Engineering involves methods to prevent or mitigate damage to the environment by the reduction, treatment, or reclamation of solid, liquid, or gaseous by-products of industrial, agricultural and municipal activities. Emphasis is on the behaviour and fate of contaminants in the environment. Recent research topics include the following: composting of organic solids; control and remediation of chemical spills; wastewater treatment; soil/site remediation technology; policy innovations; air pollution and meteorology; vapour exchange and supercritical fluid extraction; air-surface pollutant exchange measurement; bio-filtration and membrane technologies; modelling of environmental processes.

Engineering Systems and Computing involves development of digital or microelectronic devices, computer or robotic technologies and their application to manufacturing, computing, mechatronic or embedded systems. Some active research areas include: soft computing and neural networks; autonomous robots; intelligent control systems; micro-electromechanical (MEMS) devices; embedded systems and special purpose computing; VLSI circuit design and layout; analog integrated circuits and system-on-chip design; integrated sensor systems and networks; digital devices and signal processing; wireless and optical communication systems; cryptographic systems.

Water Resources Engineering involves investigation, analysis and design of systems for control and utilization of land and water resources as part of the management of urban and rural watersheds. Research areas include: water quality control and safety; resource use and groundwater quality; hydrologic modelling; design and planning of urban water and sewage infrastructure; rural waste treatment systems; erosion control; non-point source pollution and mitigation; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); sediment and contaminant transport; irrigation and drainage modelling.

The objective of the course-work master's degree program (MEng) is to provide an opportunity for engineering graduates, usually practising engineers, to advance their understanding of engineering principles and increase their grasp of the application of these principles to the solution of complex, practical problems. Many of these students are returning to school in order to learn about recent technological developments that have occurred since graduation in their field. The objective is achieved through selecting from a number of core and elective courses and completing a major project. The project requires a final written report that is presented in a public seminar followed by an oral examination of the candidate.

The MASc program is intended to provide advanced training in engineering sciences, analysis, design, and research methodology. This objective is achieved through a combination of course work, applied research, and thesis writing. Upon graduation students will be able to analyse and research an engineering problem and apply their acquired skills and knowledge in a practical solution. A final examination is conducted following a public seminar presentation of the student's thesis.

The PhD program prepares candidates for a career in engineering teaching, research, or consulting. The program is designed to provide both broad knowledge of engineering science and training in advanced research. Doctoral research carries the expectation of making an original contribution to the body of existing knowledge or technology. It is also expected that the responsibility of problem definition and solution is that of the student, and that the student's advisor acts truly in an advisory capacity. Therefore, graduates are expected to have acquired autonomy in defining and analysing problems, conducting research, and preparing scholarly publications. These objectives are achieved through a combination of course work, independent research, a qualifying examination, and the production and defence of a research dissertation.