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Dan Kim

Inaugural Co-op Student of the Year awards announcedApril 8, 2019

For the first time, McMaster Engineering has given co-op students an award that recognizes their excellence both academically and professionally.

The Engineering Co-op Program at McMaster University provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience before they graduate. In 2017/2018, more than 1,700 students participated in more than 2,700 four-month co-op work terms across the globe. For the first time ever, the Co-op Student of the Year was presented to two outstanding students from Ishwar Puri, dean of Engineering. The award will be given annually to one student who makes an exceptional contribution to co-operative education.


Noelle Wilton, level 5 Chemical and BioengineeringBioMarin Pharmaceuticals

Noelle Wilton.

Noelle Wilton is currently working as a research assistant at BioMarin Pharmaceuticals in Marin County, California on a year-long co-op experience before returning to complete her fifth year of her degree in Chemical and Bioengineering.

Wilton has been recognized as a Co-op Student of the Year 2018 for her outstanding workplace and academic achievements and contribution to McMaster Engineering Co-operative Education and the greater community.

She was one of 15 Canada-wide recipients to receive a Summer Studentship Award from BioCanRx, where she spent her summer participating in innovative cancer research under the guidance of Dr. David Latulippe. She is an ambassador for Women in Engineering, has facilitated various information sessions on job opportunities for McMaster Engineering students, counselled junior Engineering peers and networked on behalf of McMaster University in one of the biggest Biotech hubs in the world.

During her time at BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Wilton has gone beyond the requirements of her job and is involved in many different aspects of the company. Her employer states: “Over the course of a year, I have had the pleasure to witness Noelle’s exceptional creativity, drive, ingenuity and enthusiasm. Her breadth of her accomplishments and her ability to succeed in areas where others have not, underscores the caliber of her work”.

Wilton says that she strongly believes that co-operative education has changed her perspective on herself, her degree, and her future.

"I have learned to apply the skills gained in my schooling to real-life problems, and in turn have experienced the rewards of using your skills to benefits others," says Wilton.

Abraham Omorogbe, level 5 Software Engineering and Management, Microsoft

Abraham Omorogbe.

Abraham is a Software Engineering and Management student who has successfully completed 5 co-op work terms, totalling 20 months, at major companies Blackberry, Hydro One, IBM, and Microsoft.

Omorogbe has been awarded Co-op Student of the Year 2018 for his co-op position as program manager intern at Microsoft in Bellevue, Washington. He has served as president of the National Society of Black Engineers (McMaster) for two years, where he was able to grow student engagement, increase funding, and introduce new events like The Hunt, a career development event for students. Omorogbe has been a co-op ambassador and was featured as a spotlight speaker at the first-ever BIG Co-op Return to Campus event, where he advocated for co-op and shared his experiences and knowledge with over 250 co-op students. During the 2018-2019 academic school year, Omorogbe became a Microsoft Student Partner, where he has worked with Microsoft to provide workshops and job opportunities for McMaster students. He has also been the recipient of various leadership and academic awards including the Hydro One William Peyton Hubbard Memorial Award and the Microsoft Scholar Award. Omorogbe will be graduating in April 2019, and will be joining the Microsoft team full-time in September 2019.

In his nomination, Omorogbe's supervisor said, “Abraham showed incredible devotion, dedication and promise in his role at Microsoft, and it is in this spirit that drives me to support him for this award.”

During his first year engineering co-op preparation course, Abraham created five learning objective for the co-op program.

“I sincerely believe the knowledge I have gained and skills developed through my co-op experiences, has begun my path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Now that I am in my final year, I am proud to announce that not only have I accomplished those goals, I have surpassed all of my expectations. The co-op program was my compass to successfully achieving these goals.”