(Schulich School of Engineering)
Geomatics engineering is a new information technology discipline in which engineers acquire, model, analyze, and manage spatially referenced information and apply the knowledge generated to a wide variety of functions. It uses terrestrial, marine, airborne, and satellite-based sensors to acquire spatial and other data. It then transforms the data into common information systems such as mapping or global positioning systems (GPS) with well-defined accuracy characteristics. Using satellites and other modern techniques, geomatics engineers help airplane pilots to navigate the skies with increased safety; geophysicists to find underground petroleum reservoirs; and rescue teams to locate ships, aircraft, and land vehicles in distress. Geomatics engineers also monitor environmental problems by remote sensing, align high-precision large industrial machinery, manage computer-based information systems for land inventory and management, and monitor the stability of large structures using highly accurate positioning techniques.
The geomatics engineering program at the Schulich School of Engineering is considered one of the very best in the world. It begins with a first-year curriculum foundation in math, science, and engineering principles common to all engineering programs. In the winter term of the second year, students take geomatics engineering courses related to estimation, geodesy, geospatial information systems (GIS), land tenure, photogrammetry, hydrography, surveying, remote sensing, and satellite-based positioning. While geomatics engineering is recognized as a technical field, it encompasses much more than theories and technologies for estimating and managing spatial location. Students must also study topics covering the social and political dimensions of “land” and “location” in the program’s Land Administration cluster so they can develop awareness of how to use and develop geomatics technologies responsibly.
Enrolment in the Schulich School of Engineering is limited.
To be considered for admission applicants are required to present the appropriate high school subjects and a competitive average.
Applicants who present a two-year Engineering diploma or applied technology degree will be considered on the basis of their cumulative GPA on the diploma or applied technology degree. An Admission GPA will not be calculated using credits transferable from individual courses within the diploma or applied technology degree.
Applicants who receive transfer credits for the first year engineering program are eligible to be considered for direct admission to a degree program (major). Each degree program has a separate quota. Transfer students who are considered for direct admission to a degree program will be admitted to the program based on their grade point average (GPA) on the most recent eight to ten university transferable technical or scientific courses. If a transferable course is repeated, only the first passing grade (C- or better) will be counted in this GPA. The GPA required for admission may be different for each degree program.
Different places, bigger spaces
The international scope of geomatics engineering can lead to career opportunities around the world. For example, graduates can find work involving the global search for petroleum reservoirs, charting environmental patterns, surveying remote terrain, or even operating space satellite systems. The possibilities are endless. If you are interested in the “bigger picture” consider a degree in geomatics engineering.
The geomatics engineering department is closely associated with industry in Calgary and across Canada. All faculty members have close industry ties within their areas of expertise, and they use these contacts to organize guest lectures, financially support students through undergraduate awards, obtain equipment and software donations, and create summer employment and internship opportunities for students. As a result, students obtain a relevant and experientially rich education.
Mapping the road to success
Geomatics engineering graduates from the Schulich School of Engineering can look forward to a bright future. They are trained in cutting-edge technologies such as GIS, GPS and signal processing, geodetic positioning, computer programming, hydrography, remote sensing, photogrammetry, project management, gravity-field effects, land-use planning, and survey law/property rights; as well as surveying and land tenure fundamentals. Graduates have both the technical knowledge and hands-on experience needed to achieve success in their field.
Calgary is known as the “engineering capital of Canada” and the Schulich internship is the largest of its kind in the country. 80% of students take advantage of a 12 – 16 month internship after the third year to make contacts, get experience, and offset the costs of education. International placements expand horizons even further.
Geomatics engineering graduates have a strong combination of theoretical and technical knowledge that prepares them for work in this exciting new field. They possess both computer and communication skills, and have extensive experience in research, design and project management. Graduates find work in diverse areas, ranging from the telecommunications industry to geospatial information systems to land tenure. Often, the number of available positions exceeds the number of graduates. Possible careers include:
Government: Land surveying and registration, Department of National Defence
Education/communication: Technical writing, institutional research
Business: Land administrator (oil and gas), product development