National Engineering Month: I Spend All of my Nights Writing Labs, But it’s Fine, I Think

Chelsea VanderMeer - VP Student Life
Posted on: March 10, 2017

So, March is NEM – National Engineering Month! For all of us, every month is an engineering month, but specifically in the March of 1992, Engineers Canada decided that engineering deserved some real recognition and celebration! I mean, are you really a real thing if you don’t have your own ‘month’? (Note: March is also the national month of Reading, Noodles, Peanuts, Irish-American heritages, Women’s History, and Youth Art, apparently). Hopefully we’re all proud to be a part of this respectable group; I know I am, despite my countless all-nighters spent writing difficult labs.

How many times have you heard the question “what’s an engineer?” I’ve stumbled myself through many explanations, often accidentally saying “efficient” at least several times. The word itself shares its roots with obvious words like engine, and ingenuity. The Latin word ‘ingenium’ refers to an innate disposition or ability, which turned into ingenuity; in our modern English, ingenuity refers to quick and effective problem solving, clever design, and skill in creation.

And this shows greatly what engineering is about, and what we spend our time doing everyday: finding efficient solutions to various problems. According to Pietro Boselli on his online blog, the key difference between an engineer’s answer and anybody else’s… lies in the word efficient. It is not just about devising a solution, but one that requires the least amount of resources, time and effort. If that’s not something to be proud of, then I don’t know what is. Waterloo engineers? Yeah, we get shit done.

Why do we love engineering? For NEM, our two presidents have this to say!

“I love engineering because it blends creativity and logic in the perfect way. I thought that I’d be sacrificing my creative side by coming to UW for Engineering – but I was wrong. I’ve had the opportunity to explore my creativity in different ways – particularly in a manufacturing environment (something I never predicted I would like).” –Rachel Malevich, B-Soc President

“As future engineers, we will all play a vital role in shaping the future of our society in one way or another. I love engineering because being an engineer means that you get to use your smarts, creativity, and ingenuity to make the world a better place. Being an engineer means that you will find the easiest ways to solve the most complex problems, so if you’re lazy like I am, it’s a perfect fit. Being an engineer means working in teams on initiatives including improving quality of life, reducing our carbon footprint, or utilizing our current resources as efficiently as possible … [a]lso, not gonna lie, the iron rings are pretty sweet! All of these reasons and much more are why I love engineering.”  –Abdullah Barakat, A-Soc President

As some last engineering event plugs, come see Engplay March 15th 8-10 pm in AL 116, March 16th 8-10 pm in AL 113, and/or March 18th 8-10 pm in AL 116! We have so many talents! Wow!

One NEM event we participated in last month was creating a Rube Goldberg Machine, which involved devising a complicated way for a simple event to occur – shoutout to Gabrielle Klemt and Liam Yeates for being our lovely NEM directors. On March 24th from 5-9pm in POETS we will be watching this video, and other schools’ delicious video creations as well. Woo! Come see!