By Alexandra Sebben

Matt’s journey to Carleton started with an old tv cart and media player.

He remembers being in an environmental science class in grade 12, sitting and watching a documentary about fossil fuel consumption and its consequences. It sparked a new curiosity in Matt – could he combine his interest in being part of the climate crisis solution with what he wanted to study at university?

The answer was yes, and it was at Carleton University studying sustainable and renewable energy engineering.

Matthew Woods, 2020 graduate and Energy EIT/Project Manager at WalterFedy.

Solving real world problems

The first three years of the degree Matt strengthened his math and science skills and was introduced to fundamental engineering principles. This was all done to prepare him for his 4th year project, also known as capstone, where students get to tackle a real-world problem over the course of eight months. Under the supervision of two professors, Matt and a team of students worked on developing a heat-pump for a multi-unit residential building. The primary use for the heat pump system would be for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water production. The capstone project helped Matt prepare for the organization he now works for. He was able to go directly from school into the workforce.

“As a Professor, I strive to relay the importance of the engineering equations and concepts learned by connecting them to students’ daily lives, through real-world examples, or highlighting their interconnection to society and public policy,” says Assistant Professor, Kristen Schell. “In one of the courses I teach, I emphasize the content through real-world engineering case studies and use past undergraduate summer research to give students concrete examples of the many ways they can use what they learn.”

The secret sauce

The role Matt is in now as an Engineering Intern (EIT) for WalterFedy has him working through complex issues for various clients. As a sustainable and renewable energy engineering graduate, Matt has had an advantage in the workplace because his skillset is coveted by employers who are looking for graduates with a background in mechanical engineering reinforced with sustainability experience.

At WalterFedy Matt works closely with clients, like universities and municipalities, on Net-Zero roadmaps and CaGBC Net-Zero Carbon Building designs. Large organizations are working towards achieving net zero (cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero balance) by 2050 and seeking out engineering consulting firms to help them map out the technical details and cost/GHG projections. Right now, Matt is working on a variety of projects like this with a diverse group of EITs, engineers, and architects.

The choice to study sustainable and renewable energy engineering at Carleton helped Matt combine his interests with practical career options. Matt’s story is one of many successful sustainable and renewable energy engineering graduates out in the work force today!

Thursday, July 28, 2022 in , , , ,
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