MacChangers – Faculty of Engineering

MacChangers

This program is open to all McMaster University students.

  • Develop skills desired by employers

    Improve your communication, teamwork,  project management, entrepreneurship, leadership and problem-solving skills in an experiential learning environment.

  • Build connections

    Work closely with experts in the McMaster and Hamilton communities as you build your professional network.

  • Make a difference

    Propose innovative solutions to community stakeholders that could result in positive change in our community.

How MacChangers works

MacChangers teams will develop their professional and transferable skills through workshops on a variety of topics, such as human-centred design, the financial viability of solutions, prototyping, communication, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving. Students will utilize these new skills to develop unique and robust proposals to solve local challenges.

In March, teams present their proposed solutions in front of an audience consisting of students, staff, and faculty members from McMaster University, as well as stakeholders from the Hamilton community.

Our vision is to offer experiential learning opportunities to students and to propose collaborative solutions to the most complex and pressing problems confronting society in the 21st century as identified in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Think Global) and Our Future Hamilton (Act Local) long-term community vision.

Challenge areas

The Challenge Areas listed are in alignment with the Our Future Hamilton – Community Vision – the City of Hamlton’s 25-year community vision that helps us to envision how our city will move forward over the next 25 years. It is a result of the culmination of a community visioning process that engaged nearly 55,000 Hamilton residents.

This year we will focus on the four challenge areas below.

How to join

Joining MacChangers is an exhilarating step in your McMaster journey. Before applying, be sure to do the following:

  • Review the Challenge Areas to learn more about the kinds of projects that students will be working on.
  • Read our one of our reports to see the quality of innovative ideas that our students generate.

You can apply to be in the program through our application form. We will accept as many students as we can, and unfortunately, this means that sometimes we must turn away students. If you are applying with friends, your friends must also complete the application form. Priority will be given to individuals and smaller groups of friends.

Once applications close, the MacChangers team will review all applicants. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their openness to learning, creative thinking and purpose for joining the program. Successful applicants will be invited to our Preview Night.

Once you’ve RSVP’d to our Preview Night the team will take you through the fundamentals of the program to get you familiar with our process. Meet some folks, confirm your participation in the program and get ready for an awesome year!

What our students are saying


  • “MacChangers has been more than an astounding experience for us, it is a journey filled with personal development, hands-on learning, methodologies to tackle the issues of today, and most importantly a platform for us to define our future adventures.”

    Ali Hamdy, 4th-year Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • “MacChangers was an opportunity to work with a strong, diverse team who taught me about thinking differently to solve problems. More than that, it was an opportunity to see just how involved and committed the McMaster and Hamilton community are in supporting student growth and success.”

    Harshini Ramesh, 4th-year Health Sciences
  • “My favourite part of MacChangers was all of the mentorship we received from Student Partners and MacChangers faculty and the relationships they helped us build with members of the community to really build effective change.”

    Andrea Chang, 1st-year Arts and Science

Our team

Our staff

  • Kyle Ansilio

    Educational Developer, Curriculum Support
    Location

    JHE H301

  • Patricia Ferreira

    Program Manager, Engineering and Management, Engineering and Society, Minor in Innovation, and MacChangers, and Grand Challenges Scholars
    Location

    JHE 216

Frequently asked questions

No! MacChangers is an official McMaster  program, open to all McMaster students regardless of their academic background or level of study.

By default, students do not receive course credit for completing MacChangers. Students enrolled in MacChangers are eligible for a complimentary elective credit by enrolling in ENGINEER 3CX3. More information can be found on the experiential learning page.

Students are expected to attend in-person sessions on Tuesday evenings from 17:30-18:30. It is expected that students commit an average of 3 hours per week in total to the program.

Yes! Please make sure that each of your friends applies, and that you indicate who is in your group.

We have three information sessions happening on campus in the fall. You can always e-mail us at changers@mcmaster.ca if you have any questions.

Applications for the 2023-2024 year have closed. Please visit this page again and consider getting involved in the future!