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Maanav Dalal

Engineering graduate student event explores theme of adaptation October 27, 2020

From October 20 to 22, over 100 students from nine different universities attended the annual McMaster Engineering Technology Research and Innovation Conference (METRIC) 2020.

Hosted by the Engineering Graduate Society (EGS) and held virtually for the first time, the event offered engineering graduate students from all departments the opportunity to share their research through poster and oral presentations, connect and collaborate with their peers and hear from industry professionals.    

This year’s conference theme was “Adaptation: The Art of Staying Agile in a Changing World.” Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of Engineering, McMaster University, spoke to this theme during his opening remarks at the event.   

“You are going to enter work in a disrupted world, which will require special skills,” he said. “Our challenge is to help you develop the kinds of skills the future will need.”

“Adaptation means the ability to pivot. Here, at McMaster Engineering we are preparing students to pivot and be flexible in our rapidly-changing world.” 

The theme of adaptation was carried throughout the conference with talks from guest speakers including Katrina McFadden, VP of People and Culture Business Partner at TELUS who presented on the importance of thinking beyond your degree when choosing a career.

Neil Thornton, president of The Thornton Group shared his experience in business and management development and helping teams turn into business thinkers.

"When I think of adaptation, I think of staying agile, flexible, and in a problem-solving state of mind in the face of uncertainty and times of change,” says Katie White, co-chair of the Metric Planning Committee and civil engineering PhD student.

“The change thrust upon us by COVID-19 has given each of us the opportunity to hone these skills, to learn who we are in unforeseen circumstances, and to become more comfortable with ambiguity. All we have to do is accept the challenge head on."

Students from universities including McMaster, Western, Waterloo, Toronto and York, presented on research topics that ranged from health to biotechnology to nanotechnology.

“It was fascinating to hear from engineers coming together from different disciplines and universities talking about their successes despite the challenges this year has thrown at them,” says Ramis Imran Arbi, engineering physics PhD student and social media officer, Engineering Graduate Society.

Since 2014, the EGS has helped engineering graduates at McMaster University thrive through events, workshops, information sessions, resources and representing their interests at the university level.

Connect with the EGS on Instagram and check out their upcoming events.