‘The society program at McMaster really defined my time as an engineering undergraduate student.  The size of the program made it very easy to make close friends and let professors become more involved with their students.  Looking back, it seems that the classes I found the most stimulating and enjoyable were almost always components of the Engineering and Society curriculum.  The Society program has had a profound impact on my current professional life.  As a result of my 5th year Inquiry Project, I decided in my final year to change my focus as a civil engineer from structural engineering to water resources.  This decision prompted me to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Guelph which has now led to a PhD.  My research focus, Low Impact Development (an emerging approach to stormwater design and management) is, in many ways, a continuation of the Society program.”

Jennifer Drake, Class of 2007

“The Society program allowed me to develop as an individual inside and outside the realms of traditional Engineering.  As a student, you are encouraged to examine problems from very different angles, taking into consideration not only mathematical dimensions and factors of safety, but the level of impact your choices and designs make environmentally and socially.  I particularly valued the aspect of the program that enables students to explore their interests and abilities in arts and social sciences, which gives a variety of perspectives that are not always highlighted in a heavily science and math based faculty.
I know that I’m more marketable as an employee and feel more balanced as an individual because of the education I received through this innovative and inspiring program.  I will be able to adapt to differing work environments and more easily see the perspectives of co-workers, colleagues and clients with the skills I have acquired.  My future is brighter and more secure because of the lessons, projects and discussions I had in Society.”

Adriana Kwiatkowski, Class of 2009

“The Engineering and Society program at McMaster represented, for me, the ideals that I wanted to strive for in my life – as a student, and engineer and as a citizen.  There are a select few engineering students that really understand the HOW and many of my colleagues were content with stopping there.  However, I think that gaining the ability to understand the WHY gives a substantial power to any other technical skills you may acquire and truly separates you on any path you end up taking.”

Bennett Banting, Class of 2007

“The Society program helped me in three major ways: First, it gave me an opportunity to practice writing. The Society core courses challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and write in various styles and formats (technical reports, proposals, informal reflections, essays..etc). The most successful engineers I encounter in my field are the ones who can write well, and communicate their technical ideas in concise and accurate manner quickly and efficiently. The second way the Society program helped me is by exposing me to "the bigger picture". I learned the value in connecting the technical world engineers often live in, with the micro and macro non-technical implications to society and the environment. Lastly, in the Society program, I got to know the inspiring Society family: a caring group of professors, administrators and students that helped me every step of the way.”

Sal Al-Ajek, Class of 2009