This spring construction began on the Steel River Bridge near Terrace Bay as part of the Open Ontario Plan. Ira Hewton, a 2010 graduate of the Loyalist Manufacturing Engineering Technician program, is working for Carillion Canada Inc. as a Quality Control Technician on this project. The new structure is being built adjacent to the existing bridge — and 600 metres of approaching highway are being realigned. The project is scheduled for completion in August 2010.
“Initially I applied for a lab technician position with the company,” said Ira Hewton. “When my employer reviewed my resume he offered me a job as a Quality Control Technician because of the value of my Loyalist training.
“My role is to deal with the testing of concrete curing temperatures, ensuring that specific information is submitted to the Construction Administrator who is a representative from the Ministry of Transportation,” he explained. “I deal with concrete break tests to make sure that the cured concrete is the right strength for the structure. My Loyalist training prepared me well for this because we gained a wide knowledge base and experience in critical thinking and problem solving. While in school it is hard to anticipate exactly what you will be doing in the field because each job has different requirements. My faculty prepared me in that they taught me to think quickly and learn the job requirements so that I am useful to my employer. They were very knowledgeable and helped me in building my confidence and preparing to begin my new career with assurance.”
The Manufacturing Engineering Technician two-year diploma program at Loyalist prepares graduates for the many and varied tasks that make up the growing field of manufacturing engineering. To succeed in today’s industrial environment, graduates need a combination of mechanical and electronic expertise. Loyalist is meeting that need, providing students with strong skills and knowledge of CAD, machine design, motion control and manufacturing principles. There is also a one-year option enabling students to graduate with a certificate in Mechanical Techniques.
In addition to enjoying the responsibility of his new role Ira added, “I like the fact that I am part of something that will be around much longer than I will. This is only the start of my career. Who knows what other exciting projects are in store for me with Carillion.”