New campus, new programs

September 08, 2006, volume 37, no. 1

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SFU Surrey is opening its new campus with a roster of unique programs inspired by ever-evolving technology, and the ever-changing global marketplace.

Two new programs, both to be offered at the Surrey campus in September 2007, are particularly worth noting.

Mechatronics Systems Engineering is an engineering program like no other in Canada. Headed up by Dr. Farid Golnaraghi, formerly of the University of Waterloo, and a Canada Research Chair, this program integrates electrical, mechanical, and software engineering.

Graduates of the five-year co-op program will benefit from the interdisciplinary training with a working knowledge of devices and systems. "They won't be specialists," Dr. Golnaraghi says, "but they'll make great project managers, or system designers".

Initially he anticipates 50 to 70 students a year in the program, with rapid growth once the program has become established. Dr. Mehrdad Saif, Director of SFU's School of Engineering Science, expects the new program to have a strong research component, with links to industry, and a complementary entrepreneurial aspect.

Equally exciting is the World Literature program, part of the School of Arts and Social Sciences. Dr. Paolo Horta, who has been instrumental in shaping the program, describes it as appealing to anyone with "cross-cultural curiosity". That is, he says, anyone with an interest in travel, language, and stories.

A comparative literature program, this one differs from other similar-sounding programs by offering a side-by-side comparison of literature from around the world in each class. "For instance," Horta explains, "you might study the literature of Renaissance Italy with that being produced contemporaneously in Spain, or in India. Writers are never bound by national borders. Literatures are formed in relationship with each other".

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