16 FEB 2022

Helping future engineers

By Elena Contreras - BD Executive, Americas

In 2020/2021 Systech collaborated with the Ryerson University Co-op Internship Program and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Ryerson Chapter to offer students of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS) a program of training sessions on commercial management and project scheduling.

Our program has introduced the engineers of the future to important concepts that often fall outside the curriculum but which will prove key to their understanding of the industry whilst informing them of potential career paths to consider. We focus on instilling good commercial/contractual discipline to help future engineers towards building a successful career by introducing them to key industry skills.

Commercial Management
Highlighted the various contracting models and forms of contract. the importance of robust contract management, clear contract terms, baseline costs and schedule and a preventative approach to claims and disputes.

Introduced the basic concepts of construction project scheduling and explained how this discipline is applied on mega infrastructure programs, with actual case study examples from global subway LRT projects.

We have received excellent feedback from the students who have attended our sessions, which we are pleased to share with you.

Today we bring you interviews with
Arsalan Khan, President of the CSCE Ryerson Chapter
Dawood Irshad, final year student
Abigail Mendez, first year student

Arsalan Khan

Arsalan Khan is the President of CSCE Ryerson Chapter. He is currently working as Project Coordinator at Aecon Group Inc.

As President of the CSCE, please comment on how has Systech contributed to the FEAS after our three webinar series in 2020-2021? Systech has certainly made a positive impact on FEAS students in their demonstration through the three webinar series. All the webinars have been very informative - providing students with the opportunity to bridge certain gaps from our courseworks, with key concepts such as contract management, project scheduling, and claims. These are essential topics which are used on a daily basis by civil engineers, especially those who are entering the field as project coordinators and climbing the ladder to earn their PMP designation and project manager roles. Several students who go for internships also enter as project coordinators in construction, where these webinar series would assist greatly in providing a knowledge-filled introduction to the concepts.

Do you think Systech has contributed to expand the FEAS curriculum in any manner? How? The FEAS curriculum for Civil Engineering involves a course known as CVL742: Project Management - however this course up until the end of the 2021-2022 calendar year is not taught until students are in their final semester of fourth year. For students going on internship after completion of their third year, the concepts which were covered in the Systech webinars are vital and crucial for understanding. Being a student myself who has yet been able to take CVL742, however I have been on my internship with Aecon Group Inc. since June 2020, these webinars would have given me a great introduction prior to entering the field. I had to learn these concepts hands-on from scratch, but these webinars have provided FEAS students with the opportunity to get a headstart in seeing some of these concepts.

Are you satisfied with the results of these events in regards to the impact it has made among the students?
I am greatly satisfied with the results of the events, as well as the participation that we have reached even in a virtual environment. It has been tough through the pandemic to get students involved, however our registration, interest, and turnout has been very good. The events have certainly also made an impact amongst the students, as we have had an example of even one student who was able to take what he learned from the webinar series, and earn a position for internship which involves some of these concepts being utilized.

“The concepts covered by
Systech in their training
sessions are crucial for our
professional career”

What do you think of our sessions and speakers?
The sessions are dynamic and live - with a real international presence being felt, as we have had speakers from the UK, such as John Sheils, as well as right here in Canada, with Daryll Jones and Ahmed Sedky, and they all delivered quality content to our students. With a wide range of experience and considerable amount of knowledge, our students were able to learn from these industry professionals and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.

How relevant were our topics for the audience?
The topics were extremely relevant to civil engineering - as these are all project management related concepts which are key to the industry if that is the route being pursued. The most common routes taken after a civil engineering degree in terms of career paths are either through construction or design - which these concepts can both relate to.

Could you share some of the feedback received from students?
The students were pleased to be able to participate and learn from the Systech speakers, they were all also excited to earn their participation certificates and some even asked for the recordings so that they could refer to the webinars later in their careers due to the depth of knowledge being shared.

Arsalan will graduate at the conclusion of this semester. Congratulations, Arsalan, and thank you for your collaboration with Systech!

Dawood Irshad

Dawood attended two of our webinars in his fourth year of Civil- Structural Engineering and is currently working with Mosaic Transit Group in the Claims Department.

Please comment on how do you think Systech has contributed with the trainings offered in your Faculty
Systech has introduced many students, myself included, to the fundamentals of construction. Claims and scheduling are both universal aspects of construction that have to be considered when planning and executing activities. In school we focused on design, after working in construction I learned that even designers get claimed! Now I know that ensuring designs are adequate and constructible can save a lot of headaches!

Please let us know more about your interview process and how our training helped you secure your current job
Back in January 2021 I had the pleasure of attending Systech’s webinar series on commercial management and the dispute resolution process. About a month later I found myself in an interview with the head of the Claims department at Mosaic Transit Group. During the interview my Systech certificate in commercial management came up and I was able to discuss the dispute resolution process with them and with my introduction to the topic ask educated questions about the work they do.

“Systech introduces students to aspects not discussed or briefly mentioned in the curriculum.”


Do you think Systech has contributed to expand the FEAS curriculum in any manner? How?
Definitely! Systech introduces students to aspects of the industry not discussed or briefly mentioned in the curriculum. For example I had no concept of claims before the webinar I attended.

How relevant were our topics for you?
The topics are extremely relevant to the construction industry and something all new grads must know to understand how projects happen.
The SGHC held that the employer did indeed contribute significantly to the project’s delay and, due to this finding combined with the absence of an extension of time provision, determined that time was at large. Consequently, the employer could not rely on the liquidated damages provisions because the time for completion, against which the damages are applied, was itself no longer applicable.

What do you think of our sessions and speakers?
John Sheils was a wonderful and captivating speaker who was well versed in both Canadian and international procedures. He went above and beyond in answering questions and even getting back to us about a particular question someone had during the event.
I certainly recommend my peers at Ryerson to attend Systech’s future events!

Thank you, Dawood, and congratulations on your new position!

Abigail Mendez

Abigail is in her first year of her Civil Engineering studies at Ryerson and has shared with us how she is benefiting from developing her knowledge by attending our events.

“The speakers were phenomenal at moderating the session, guiding discussion, and providing quality content with visuals and realistic examples"

Please comment on how do you think Systech has contributed to your education experience at your first year at Ryerson University
As a first-year student who’s new to engineering, I really enjoyed the introductory Systech Webinar. Throughout the sessions, I was exposed to more effective project management techniques and skills that are applicable to current students as well as to future engineers on the job site. I learned the difference between a project and an operation and how to go about executing those tasks and setting goals with a budget in mind. I also learned of some new programming sites and software that I can use to set deadlines and outline educational responsibilities and monitor my progress.

How relevant are our trainings to your studies?
With the relevancy and advice that Systech has to offer, I truly believe it is a great asset to the future engineer.

Are you putting into practice the principles learned in our sessions?
Yes! During my Reverse Engineering Project, my group and I created a reasonable, detailed schedule to ensure that responsibilities were clear in order to allocate tasks accordingly.
I have been able to incorporate scheduling techniques into my study routine as well! By creating a timeline for my schooling, I ensure my educational goals are met.

What do you think of our sessions and speakers?
Personally, I loved the sessions. They were very interactive and informative, which created a very welcoming atmosphere. This made it easier for students to vocalize feedback and openly ask questions.
The primary speakers were phenomenal at moderating the session, guiding discussion, and providing quality content with visuals and realistic examples.

“I truly believe Systech’s training programs are a great asset to the future"

Could you share with us some of the comments exchanged with your peers after our sessions?
As students, we all were very intrigued by the topics covered during the session and how the construction topics were even applicable to me. We discussed the importance of using education outside the classroom and how prioritization enhances one’s personal development skills.

Abigail is looking forward to our next training events and to the opportunity to networking with our speakers and her peers at an in person event. Hopefully we will meet all soon!

Thanks, Abigail