By Ainslie Coghill

An abundance of opportunities exist to support students in Carleton University’s Faculty of Engineering and Design (FED). With donor support, exceptional educational experiences and out-of-the-classroom initiatives help produce stronger, well-rounded graduates.

These graduates go on to become leaders in industry, so it’s no surprise that companies recognize great value in supporting them from the early days of their degrees, whether it be through scholarships, bursaries, gifts to student funds, or co-op and internship opportunities.

Four FED alumni, on behalf of the companies they’ve gone on to lead, have recently made generous endowed gifts to help Carleton engineering students succeed for years to come.

Richard Deboer (BEng/88, Computer Systems Engineering), is the CEO and founder of Rianta Solutions, an IP integration and full chip verification company. The company employs many Carleton engineering graduates, and has taken on several co-op students.

Richard Deboer (BEng/88)

“Rianta has had a great experience with Electronics, Computer Systems and Engineering Physics co-op students and new grads and we look forward to working with future generations,” says Deboer.

Deboer, aware of a shortage of engineering graduates in the field of semiconductor design, cites this concern as one reason for Rianta’s recently established gift – the Rianta Scholarship in Electronics. This scholarship will enable more Carleton students to pursue a career in the semiconductor industry.

Gordon Hicks (BEng/88, Mechanical Engineering) is the CEO of Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS). In 2016, in an effort to mobilize the real estate industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Hicks founded the Building Energy Innovators Council (BEIC).

And now, his commitment to a sustainable, low-carbon future extends to his alma mater. On behalf of BGIS, Hicks established the BGIS Entrance Bursary in Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering.

Gordon Hicks (BEng/88)

“BGIS is committed to environmental sustainability in our business operations and creating an endowment for the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering Program is in total alignment with our vision and values,” says Hicks.

Co-Presidents and Principals of Uniform Urban Developments, Peter Stenger and John MacDougall pursued their undergraduate degrees together at Carleton (BEng/80, Civil Engineering). At that time, there were fewer experiences for students outside of the classroom.

Their substantial gift to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Student Experience Fund aims to further the department’s mission to provide students with access to beyond-the-classroom learning opportunities, preparing them for the unique challenges they will one day face in their careers.

“We are happy to be able to give back and help Carleton engineers. The civil engineering program is a great education that can open doors for employment in many fields,” adds Stenger.

John MacDougall (BEng/80) (left) and Peter Stenger (BEng/80)

Donor-funded awards and investment in student experience funds represent a ‘win’ for all involved. Students are recognized for their exceptional achievements and are inspired by the continued involvement of alumni and industry in their education.

Those looking to learn more about the impact donor support can create are invited to connect with Jennifer Wolters at

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 in , , , ,
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