Celebrating Engineering at the 2017 Hard Hat Ceremony

For aspiring electrical engineer Joydeepa Das, receiving her yellow hard hat marked another step toward realizing her dreams. 

On September 12, Das took part in the College of Engineering’s 2017 Hard Hat Ceremony, an annual event for second-year students to formally welcome them into one of eight engineering disciplines.

Das, one of the 315 second-year engineering students at the University of Saskatchewan this year, called the ceremony a “transition point” in the students’ education as they move from their first year of general studies into specific programs. With a long-time interest in circuits, it was a natural fit for her to choose electrical engineering. 

“It’s very exciting for me,” said Das, who is originally from Bangladesh and moved to Canada two years ago. “I’m happy to be here, in the U of S and the College of Engineering.” 

Das received a yellow hard hat to symbolize electrical engineering, while students in other disciplines received hard hats in other colours: blue for chemical engineering, orange for civil engineering, black for environmental engineering, green for geological engineering, grey for computer engineering, beige for engineering physics and white for mechanical engineering. 

Officials from the College of Engineering, the Saskatoon Engineering Students’ Society (SESS), the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) and the Saskatoon Engineering Society provided welcoming remarks at the Hard Hat Ceremony. Representatives from the Engineering Advancement Trust (EAT) – which has donated more than $3 million to improve undergraduate labs and to enhance the student experience – were also on hand to induct the students into their disciplines. 

Interim Dean Don Bergstrom called the Hard Hat Ceremony “a formal engagement” of the students’ “commitment to the responsibilities and ethical requirements” of the engineering profession. 

“The hard hat you receive this evening is symbolic of that commitment,” he said. “As you move forward in your academic and professional careers, remember that working collectively, with all of the disciplines, will not only aid your success, but it will expand your understanding of the breadth and depth of engineering.”

SESS president Robert Ashton, a mechanical engineering student, noted the ceremony is also “symbolic of the safety that engineering embodies and that we are all tasked with living up to in our future careers.” 

APEGS president Ernie Barber echoed that sentiment, telling the second-year students “that the safety and the well-being of the public is absolutely paramount in everything that we do.” 

“Engineering is a profession – it’s a distinct profession – whose overarching goal is to solve problems and to make the world a better place for everyone. That’s a really important and lofty aspiration and it should give you a lot of motivation throughout your career,” he said.

APEGS, SES, K+S Potash Canada and Devon sponsored the Hard Hat Ceremony.

Photographs from the 2017 Hard Hat Ceremony can be viewed on the College of Engineering Facebook page.