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1st Canadian Geomatics Engineering Conference in Calgary

The Department of Geomatics Engineering successfully organized the 1st Canadian Conference on Geomatics Engineering in February 2019. This event was part of GeoDays 2019, a series of Geomatics Engineering Events hosted and organized by students, faculty and staff from the Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary. The well-attended conference brought together faculty and students from all five Geomatics Engineering departments/programs in Canada, along with industry, associations and government to discuss on the challenges and opportunities of our programs and profession.

The program started with two Keynote Speeches on Geomatics Engineering Profession and the role of Engineering Schools by Dr. Jon Salter, Associate Director of Education and Research, ESRI Canada and Dr. Georgia Fotopoulos, Professor, Queen’s University. Then, representatives from all five Geomatics Engineering programs in Canada presented the undergraduate and graduate programs available in their Schools and provided input on practices, success stories, challenges, enrollment status, trends, collaboration with industry, funding, and outreach activities. Specifically, University of New Brunswick programs were presented by Dr. Peter Dare and Dr. Robert Kingdon; York University programs were presented by Dr. Jinjun Shan and Dr. Jianguo Wang; Université Laval programs were presented by Dr. Francis Roy; Ryerson University programs were presented by Dr. Ahmed El-Rabbany; and University of Cal- gary were presented by Dr. Kyle O’Keefe. The conference program continued with a Panel on Geomatics Engineering Programs and the Profession in Canada. Five panelists, representing the Industry (Dr. Chris Goodall, Managing Director, InvenSense; and Sandy Kennedy, VP Innovation, Hexagon PI), Academia of both Universities and Polytechnic Colleges (Dr. Yang Gao, University of Calgary; Dr. Sameh Nassar, Instructor, SAIT), and the Profession (Marie Robidoux, Registrar, CBEPS). The conference completed with a thorough Q&A session where participants expressed their reflections on the panelists’ insights. 

This conference, the first of its type, has offered the opportunity to delegates from all five Geomatics Engineering Departments/Programs in Canada (UNB, ULaval, YorkU, Ryerson, UCalgary) to meet, ex- change ideas, and foster the inter-department collaboration for the benefit of the students, programs, and the profession. At the Faculty meeting that followed the conference the same day, it was agreed to pursue a full-fledged Canadian Geomatics Engineering Conference on an annual basis. A conference that will include a scientific program, while at the same time will offer the opportunity to the academia and industry in Canada to meet on a regular basis, stay connected, and join forces to face future challenges and take advantage of the emerging opportunities.

We are looking forward to the 2nd Canadian Conference on Geomatics Engineering in 2020. Stay tuned…

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