Co-op student of the year eyes innovation to help society

Simon Mack has been named Carleton’s Co-op Student of the Year.

Being named Co-op Student of the Year has proven to 20-year-old Simon Mack that his opportunities for success are endless.

“I’m really surprised and quite honoured,” said the third-year electrical engineering student, who spoke about the award from the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver where he was taking in some of the skiing and luge events.

Mack began his studies at Carleton in 2007 and, upon graduation, plans to pursue a career that focuses on developing technology to solve some of society’s most prominent issues.

“I had a strong background in science and math,” Mack explains, “and electrical engineering is a field full of mystery. I also feel that through electronics and engineering, in general, I can really push innovation.”

Mack was attracted to Carleton specifically for the quality of its co-operative education program.

Last year, the program approved a job he landed in National Research Council Canada’s flight research laboratory, where he was amazed to have the freedom to develop his own research.

“I was testing the range of the wireless wind station I was working on and I needed a three-kilometre line of sight,” Mack recalls. “So I decided to take the company truck and hike up Luskville Falls in Gatineau Park with my backpack to test the range with my co-worker. It was a really amazing experience to perform engineering tests in the middle of the woods.”

Mack’s studies at Carleton provided him with a good background to better understand the work his team was doing in data acquisition circuit design.

“In the future, I plan to pursue a career with progressive companies or further my education at progressive schools, so I can help society in a big way. It’s why I joined Engineers Without Borders. We share the same values.”

Mack’s name has also been submitted by Carleton’s Co-op office to the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education, for a national Co-op Student of the Year Award. CAFCE has been recognizing co-op students since 1994 for their achievements in job performance, academic performance and responsibility, as well as contributions to their co-op employers, to co-op education and the community-at-large. He has also been entered for a provincial Co-op Student of the Year Award with Education at Work Ontario (EWO). Both awards come with a $500 prize and will be announced this month.

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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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