How We Do It

Engineers do not become proficient at design by reading textbooks or attending lectures.

They do so by practicing design. 

The interdisciplinary nature of the UPEI engineering program provides students with a broad and balanced knowledge base in mathematics, complementary studies, natural sciences, and engineering sciences. This is in sharp contrast to many traditional engineering programs that have become increasingly specialized and compartmentalized. At UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering, our goal is to develop engineers that are broadly capable, globally aware, creative, communicative, and entrepreneurial.

Our programs focus on experiential learning—learning by “doing,” followed by an opportunity for reflection. In addition to the typical classroom setting, students learn in an activity-oriented, project-based learning environment.

Design projects, which are integrated into every academic semester of the program, are based on real-world problems and external clients; community clients in the first two years of the program, followed by industry clients in years 3 and 4. Through these design courses, students are immersed in a realistic engineering environment where they are expected to interact with clients, develop design solutions, and conform to the best practices of the profession. This unique approach to engineering education provides graduates with a major competitive advantage when entering the job market.

The design courses also provide a contextual setting for many of the fundamental courses that provide our students with a solid knowledge base for engineering. These courses include university-level mathematics, natural sciences, engineering fundamentals, and highly specialized technical electives. UPEI’s engineering faculty employs innovative teaching methods and the latest pedagogical technologies.