Engineering Work Experience
Our students are ready to start work the minute they graduate because of the time they spend in industry.
All our Engineering students gain experience in the professional world through work experience placements which are a degree requirement. Students learn how to apply the technical skills they have studied in class to practical, real-world situations over 800 hours of work in various organisations. Their time in the field helps them to develop skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership.
The goals of engineering work experience are:
- To familiarise students with some of the practical and professional activities of the engineering profession. For example: tools, equipment, machines, organisational systems of work, methods and techniques, design, analysis, problem-solving, customer/client/service, supervisory arrangements, safe work practices, engineering management and the context in which engineering activities are performed.
- To help students understand the engineering terms and concepts introduced during the Degree course.
- To provide students with experience of different work roles that they are likely to encounter once they become professional engineers.
The requirements are completion of a health and safety quiz, a risk assessment, first aid competency and two work report and self-reviews based on 800 hours of engineering work experience.
Work experience is completed after the Second Year of study. In exceptional situations, once a student has enrolled in the Second Year, they may apply to be exempt from the work requirements based on previous experience.
For more information see ENGR200
These requirements are the responsibility of the student. The Faculty of Engineering does not place students into work experience but may suggest companies to approach.
Information for employers
Work experience is an essential component of the BE(Hons) degree and the Faculty greatly appreciates the employment opportunities that are provided to students.
Engineering Work Experience Expectations for Employers and Students which sets out the expectations of the student, the industry employer and the University of Canterbury in regard to engineering work experience. This document is intended to provide employers with information about employing a student and to help educate students on their responsibilities and rights as an employee.
Students engaging with industry
UC hosts clubs such as the Engineering Students Society (ENSOC), Women in Engineering (WIE) and the Forestry Students Society (FORSOC). These clubs engage with industry members throughout the year by running careers fairs, networking events, interview prep sessions, guest speaker evenings, and quiz nights. UC Careers runs employer information sessions and careers fairs to connect students with industry.
Solving problems in final year projects
Our students undertake a final-year project, often industry-based, in their area of interest. While working on a real-world problem, students will be learning all the competencies they will need to practice as a professional after graduation. Recent projects span sport, energy, manufacturing, environmental, and healthcare fields.
Final year projects allow for a more independent investigation into a topic. Students identify and define a problem and research existing relevant knowledge. Projects can include an oral presentation, poster presentation and submission of a written report. A showcase of final year projects is held each year in October. The showcase is open to the public and we strongly recommend that anyone considering studying the BE(Hons) comes along to see the variety of work our students are involved in.
Pictured below are Mechanical Engineering students Yuki Shimahara and Keith O’Connor with their 2016 final year BE(Hons) project. The pair built a tunnel boning machine and their project was sponsored by Southern Engineering Solutions.