News and Events

Built environment engineering technology (BEET) program announced

July 11, 2017

Medicine Hat College’s continued efforts to provide quality, relevant programming have resulted in new and unique opportunity for students. Built environment engineering technology, or BEET, has been formally approved by Advanced Education, and will replace the current computer aided drafting and design (CADD) diploma program.

While the new name may be unfamiliar for many, it reflects a change in the industry and will become more common over time. Built environment refers to buildings and other things constructed by human beings, and is described as an interdisciplinary topic that includes both engineering and industrial design. Sustainability is an important component of the built environment, focusing on improvement to health, well-being of people, social systems, environment, and economy. Faculty at Medicine Hat College spent time adapting courses, programming and structure to address changing technology, and position the program as a leader in technology education in Western Canada.

The changes in the program are intended to address emerging and new technology, and position the program for certification with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). Peter Kelly, program coordinator for BEET/CADD says the changes are to better align with the evolution of the industry. “The program was multi‐disciplinary already ‐ teaching in the core areas of the built environment, mechanical design technology, civil design technology, and building design technology – but we wanted to address the long-term sustainability of the program, and make sure we remained relevant to both students and industry.”

Beyond just a new name, some of the changes to the program include a revised math class, the addition of a technical communication class, and a greater emphasis on sustainability. Students will also rotate through trades labs to get practical, hand-on experience in the trades for which they will be designing, and will have access to even more advanced and emerging technology and applications including 3D modelling, printing and scanning; virtual reality, augmented reality, and simulation.

“It is becoming more and more important to be responsive to the rapidly advancing technologies and practices in built environment design.  We now have the flexibility – with a resilient and sustainable course and program structure – to adapt to future changes in technology and demands of industry,” says Kelly.

Graduates of the two-year BEET program will find job opportunities with consulting engineers, architects, land surveyors, oil and gas, mining and manufacturing, product and equipment design/manufacturing, and all levels of government. The multi-disciplinary engineering background in the program enables students to be employed in research, design, manufacturing and sales promotions, and graduates may become an important member of any team engaged in supplying the goods and services required by modern technology employers.

“We are so pleased with the work that our faculty have done to renew this program,” says Denise Henning, president and CEO of Medicine Hat College. “They have spent a great deal of time considering how best to serve their students, and have been diligent in their work with Advanced Education to ensure the program meets all of the quality standards expected in Alberta.”

Applications for the built environment engineering technology program are now being accepted for September, 2017.