New sustainable energy engineering building unveiled at B.C. university

SURREY, B.C. — Simon Fraser University has unveiled a new building featuring state-of-the-art facilities for a sustainable energy engineering program aimed at clean-technology innovation.

Premier John Horgan told an audience at the official opening of the five-storey building that students will learn skills to help them contribute toward British Columbia's low-carbon economy.

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The $126-million project received $45 million in funding from each of the provincial and federal governments as part of a program that is unique to Western Canada and will open to students in the fall.

Over 400 new full-time student spaces will be open as part of a program that will integrate science, environmental and business courses to advance research in sectors such as cleaner power generation and sustainable food.

Treasury Board President Joyce Murray, who completed an executive MBA at the university, says SFU can now expand its research in energy, hydrogen, electricity and liquefied natural gas sectors in an effort to find sustainable energy solutions that would affect all countries.

Murray says Canada could be a leader in the global clean-energy economy that is growing quickly to comply with climate-change issues.

The province's Jobs and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston says that among the world's top 100 clean-tech companies, 13 are Canadian and seven of those are based in British Columbia.

"The research and programs offered here will nurture the next generation of B.C. innovators as they tackle the most pressing challenges of our time and drive B.C.'s economy forward," he says.

Minister of Advanced Education Melanie Mark, another alumnus of SFU, says students will be trained to try and solve complex challenges that affect the environment.

"There are jobs of tomorrow that we haven't even thought of that are going to come out of this building."

The province says it is investing in about 2,500 additional seats in programs at colleges, universities and institutes throughout B.C. as part of its tech programming expansion.

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