Okanagan schools collaborating on ‘green’ training and research

Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and UBCO Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal Dr. Deborah Buszard, pictured, sign a letter of cooperation Thursday morning. The two schools have promised to collaborate together to help create hands-on training programs for greener infrastructure.

By MELANIE EKSAL
Penticton Herald


UBC Okanagan’s school of engineering and Okanagan College are partnering to inspire students and create new training programs in the region that support a greener future.

After what Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of UBCO Dr. Deborah Buszard called a “divorce” between the two post-secondary schools in 2005, the latest partnership will seek to enrich learning experiences by offering more hands-on training opportunities for students.

“I couldn’t be more delighted than to be here today to celebrate another aspect of the growing and continuing partnerships we have,” she said Thursday.

“It’s a real demonstration of the kind of leadership that we can take right here in the Okanagan with these two great institutions.”

The letter of cooperation that both Buszard and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton signed outlines a commitment from both schools to see to economically sustainable construction in the future in the form of a Green Construction Research and Training Centre (GCRTC) in the Okanagan. The centre would host researchers that collaborate to create low-cost and innovative solutions in future infrastructure.

“It is very timely that we’re (signing the letter) and having this event today, because the latest climate change update …. from the United Nations has informed us that we’re fast approaching the tipping point in our efforts to avoid disastrous and irreversible global
warming,” said Mr. Hamilton.

Also in attendance was Okanagan College’s regional dean of the South Okanagan Eric Corneau, the dean of science Dr. Yvonne Moritz, and Dr. Shahria Alam of the school of engineering at UBCO.

“This agreement is the product of many hours of careful thought about how we can provide our students with new education, training, and research experiences that will get them dialed into the industry and set them up for success,” said Mr. Moritz. “They are the future leaders and innovators that will tackle some of these great sustainability challenges that we face.”

“In the past we have worked together successfully,” added Ms. Alam. “We have seen what benefits it can bring together, working with this partnership.”


Melanie Eksal is a reporter with The Penticton Herald. OsoyoosToday and The Herald share an informal editorial use agreement.

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