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Engineering student winner of CAFCE Co-op Student of the Year

Laura Pittman.


A student from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland has been honoured with a national award.

Laura Pittman, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student at Memorial who is currently taking part in a work term in Calgary, was recently named the university 2011 Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) Co-op Student of the Year. The award is significant not only to Pittman, but also to the entire university.

"This is the first time a Memorial student has received this award. It is a major achievement and a huge recognition for the quality and success of our students and programs," said Dr. Peter Rans, director of co-operative education at Memorial University, in a media release issued by CAFCE on March 9.

From May, 2011 to August, 2011, Ms. Pittman took part in a co-op work term with Shell Canada's Deep Basin Drilling Team. One of her chief goals was to complete a competitor study of horizontal wells in the Deep Basin East area. Her original scope included a study of competitor designs and practices, which was expanded to include the analysis of time and cost performance. The future cost savings per well resulting from Ms. Pittman's research is expected to provide significant financial benefits for Shell.

"While it is always gratifying to be recognized for the hard work and dedication I've devoted to my education, what means the most to me is the potential impact it has on future engineering co-op students. I am optimistic that this award can bring additional recognition to the importance of cooperative education, the quality of students that attend Memorial and, in particular, the quality of engineering students," Ms. Pittman said in the media release issued by CAFCE. "To get where I am today takes a great deal of focus, determination and hard work. However, I could not have done it alone. I am fortunate to always have great support from my family, my mentors while completing my work terms and, of course, the faculty and staff within engineering and co-operative education at Memorial."

Dr. Ramachandran Venkatesan, dean pro-tempore of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, was pleased to hear Ms. Pittman had been recognized by a national body for her hard work and dedication. He said the award is well deserved by Ms. Pittman and is a sign of how highly respected Memorial University and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are across Canada.

"Ms. Pittman's achievement is truly noteworthy. A national award is a significant recognition," said Dr. Venkatesan in the CAFCE news release. "Employers often tell us how pleased they are with Memorial's engineering work term students. This recognition in an elite competition highlights the high quality of our students. This is a proud moment for all of us in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science."

Ms. Pittman was presented with a certificate by the CAFCE in honour of her award, as well as an Emery-Dufault Award, named after two of the founding members of co-op education in Canada.