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Improving Queen's undergraduate engineering education is of paramount importance to the Engineering Society. Here are some of the ways that academic issues are addressed within the Society and Faculty.

This section of the LegendWeb also contains a 31-page set of notes for the first-year Disasters in Engineering course.

First-Year Studies

Our Associate Dean (First Year), Dr. Jim Mason, hosts a Faculty Homepage for first year students.  If you're Frosh or Sub-Frosh, it contains important and timely information about your program.  Find out about the common first year, the First Year Project Course and Orientation Week from the Faculty's point of view.  This information isn't on the Legend of the Greasepole CD, but if you have an active Internet connection, click here to visit it now.

Disasters In Engineering Notes

These notes were compiled by a student in Dr Sommerville's Disasters in Engineering course.  They are meant as a supplement for the existing course materials.  Click here to view them in Word 95 format.

J Section

What happens if a first year student does not perform as well as they were expecting simply because they didn't have enough preparation prior to entering Queen's?  The Faculty of Applied Science maintains that any student accepted into the program is capable of succeeding.  Some just need to fine-tune their skills before they take on upper year courses!

The Extended Program, commonly referred to as J Section, provides an opportunity for first year students to make up for deficiencies in chemistry, mathematics, and physics. It also helps students brush up on studying and exam-writing skills.  The program extends the term by seven weeks to allow for a more relaxed instructional pace for these subjects. The remaining "non-J" courses are still completed at the end of the winter term with the rest of the students. This does make for a longer first year, but is certainly preferable to losing a year because of failure.

Through J Section, students get a chance to take first term at a slower pace, but still get into second year with their other classmates. It's a prime example of how the Faculty of Applied Science respects and watches out for its students.  More information on the program is available from the Faculty of Applied Science Office at Ellis Hall.

Better Equipment Donation (BED) Fund

The Better Equipment Donation (BED) Fund is a student initiative that improves our engineering education by purchasing up-to-date, badly needed equipment for undergraduate labs. The money for the fund comes from a $60 sliding-scale, "opt-outable" donation made by each undergraduate engineering student. Approximately $100,000 is raised for new equipment each year. There is also a long-term, student-controlled endowment fund that is supported by the Queen's fundraising initiatives, alumni and industry.

The fund is divided among each engineering discipline so that your donation goes directly to your field of study.  Proposals for new equipment are generated by a mini-BED Board in each discipline and among the common first year class. The decision to purchase equipment is finalized by the BED Board; a committee consisting of the Vice President (Student Development), BED Coordinator, first year and discipline representatives. Any ideas for new equipment purchases can be directed to your discipline BED rep or the BED Coordinator through the Engineering Society.

Some purchases made by the fund in the past include:

  • A new heat/mass transfer experiment for chemical engineering;
  • A global positioning system for geological engineering;
  • Digital oscilloscopes for electrical engineering;
  • A surface roughness testing machine for mechanical engineering; and,
  • A completely new set of computers for the 1st year labs

When it comes time to opt out, think about the equipment you enjoy in your labs, and the new equipment you'd like to be enjoying for years to come.  Stay in BED!

Excellence in Education (EDEX) Committee

The Excellence in Education (EDEX) Committee address the academic concerns of all Applied Science students. This includes all issues pertaining to the educational environment: curriculum, peer tutoring, course evalulations, and any other area of student concern. Faculty-wide surveys are conducted every other year to evalulate our educational situation and make suggestions for improvements.

Departmental Student Council (DSC) Representatives

Every year each course section elects representatives to the Departmental Student Council (DSC).  DSC reps report to both professors and administration, and are concerned with educational issues. At the end of each term, the DSC reps conduct course evaluations and present their results to the professors.  DSC representatives play a key role in assessing the quality of teaching at Queen's University.

(Please note that because the Departmental Student Council is a Faculty of Arts and Science phenomenon, most engineering students only encounter DSC reps in courses not instructed by their engineering discipline.  The Faculty of Applied Science operates similar course evaluations in each engineering discipline.)

Applied Science Faculty Board

The Faculty Board is the administrative body of the Faculty of Applied Science. This board meets on the third Wednesday of every month to discuss scholarships and curriculum changes, as well as to form a faculty-wide consensus on particular current issues. Deliberations of the Faculty Board are reported to EngSoc Council at the biweekly Council meetings by the Senior Faculty Board Representative.

The nine voting student positions include the EngSoc President, two student Senators, and representatives from each Science year that are elected annually at Year elections.   Student members of the Board are expected to take an active role in the proceedings of the Board and its various sub-committees. There are many opportunities for students to make their views known in the more informal committee setting. The most active committees include: Teaching and Learning, Computing, Admissions, Curriculum Planning and Development, and Scholarships and Student Aid.

The Board makes decisions on many issues that directly affect students. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact any of the nine student representatives through the Engineering Society.

Golden Apples

In recognition of excellence in teaching in the Faculty of Applied Science, the Engineering Society annually presents the Golden Apple Award to professors deemed worthy of the honour.  Any Engineering student can nominate a professor for the award. A call for nominations is made in Golden Words in March, and nomination forms are made available in the EngSoc Lounge. When the time comes, consider nominating one of your professors. It gives a deserving prof a well-earned pat on the back.

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Legend of the Greasepole Website maintained by Rob Burke. Last updated October 2004.