University of Calgary

Opa! Engineering

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engg in greece

Course offers engineering students enriched study in Greece


minoansBy Mary Anne Moser

Who knew that the first flush toilets were constructed by the ancient Minoans on the island of Crete? According to Dr. Caterina Pizanias in the Schulich School of Engineering, the Minoans were not only master architects and artists, but also master builders, water management engineers and plumbers.

Pizanias is the coordinator of a travel/study course in Greece for 35 Schulich School of Engineering students, who have just spent five weeks on the largest of the Greek islands and homeland of the ancient Minoan civilization.

The credit program included a mathematics course, field trips to ancient ruins and a lecture series on the Minoan civilization. It was funded by the $500,000 Schulich Student Activities Fund, established with the Schulich endowment to provide U of C engineering students with enriched learning experiences.

“Being right there and seeing things first-hand really enhances your understanding,” says civil engineering student Maureen Saunders.

Other students have suggested that a better understanding of the mazes built by the Minoans will also help them navigate the older engineering building blocks on campus.

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Photos and captions courtesy of Caterina Pizanias and Maureen Saunders