Wood Business

Industry News News
UNBC offers wood industry degrees

July 28, 2013, Prince George, B.C. – The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is offering two new master programs in engineering at the new Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC).

A one-year, course-based master of engineering in integrated wood design will train students in technical specializations such as wood structure engineering, engineering for sustainable energy, and forest product engineering. A thesis-based master of science in wood-related engineering research will accompany the course.

"Our government is developing real-world skills that are aligned with labour demand," said Amrik Virk,advanced education minister. "The two wood-engineering master degrees at UNBC will let students gain the education and skills needed in a changing labour market, while maintaining B.C.'s position as a world leader in wood technology."

The Ministry of Advanced Education is providing up to $466,000 this year to fund start-up costs. The first $237,000 will be provided to assist with faculty and student recruitment, curriculum development and other components needed to start a new program. Once the programs are established, they will add up to 36 full-time equivalent student spaces.

The new programs will be housed at the new WIDC in downtown Prince George. Construction of the centre started recently and is expected to be completed by fall 2014. Academic and industry partnerships and programs are a key part of the design centre and will bring together builders, architects, designers and engineers to advance the commercialization of value-added wood-building and design products.

  • In March 2013, the Ministry of Advanced Education provided UNBC with $100,000 to support preliminary planning of the new degrees.
     
  • Since 2001, the B.C. provincial government has invested $95 million in capital projects at UNBC including $69.6 million by the Ministry of Advanced Education.

  • The Province is investing $25.1 million in the WIDC, with construction underway. The government has committed to having the WIDC open by fall of 2014. It will build on B.C.'s expertise and global reputation as a leader in wood construction, engineered wood products and design.