Co-op program details

Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Systems Engineering

Program details

Credential: 4-Year Bachelor of Engineering

This program is accredited by Engineers Canada. Graduates are qualified to register as Engineers-in-Training (EIT), part of the process to full licensure as practicing Professional Engineers (P.Eng.).

The MSE program offers over 2,800 hours of applied learning centered on practical engineering projects. It is geared to motivated individuals looking for challenging careers in the dynamic and growing advanced manufacturing industry. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume leadership roles in the critical engineering disciplines of product and system design, process design and process control. The MSE program is innovative and challenging, delivered using a project-based curriculum in which the students learn by doing. As they work through four years of increasingly demanding and complex projects, students progress from the technical basics to advanced leading technologies in design, manufacturing and automation. They also develop strong skills in business methodologies, project management, environmental protection and interpersonal and team dynamics.

To provide breadth of learning in this program, courses in liberal studies complement professional studies. In addition, generic skills are taught, practiced and assessed throughout the curriculum.

To commence the program there is a four-week foundation module designed to introduce students to the academic team, the profession, the program design, research skills and to generic and liberal studies. There is an assessment of current skills in mathematics, physics and written and spoken English with opportunities to enhance these skills throughout the module. All studies in the foundation module are designed to ensure that students succeed in their chosen professional field.

Student availability & wage data

Conestoga College facilitates recruitment on an ongoing basis - there are no hard deadlines. Typical time frames for work terms are listed below.

Postings are accepted beginning four months before the start of a term until all students have secured employment provided the minimum 12 consecutive weeks of full-time work is met.

Work/Study Sequence

Year Fall (Sept - Dec) Winter (Jan - Apr) Spring (May - Aug)
Year 1 Classes Classes
Year 2 Classes Classes Work Term 1: $15–20
Year 3 Work Term 2: $15–22 Classes Classes
Year 4 Work Term 3: $16–25 Classes Classes

Conestoga College collects data on hourly wages of co-operative education students and offers suggested ranges as a service to employers for the purpose of establishing fair and competitive compensation.

Our experience has been that employers increase wages as skills increase, particularly when employing students for more advanced work terms. The Co-operative Education Office can provide assistance to employers in establishing appropriate wage rates.

Work term capabilities

Specific skills and abilities that students are typically capable of performing during a given work term are listed below.

Work terms 1 and 2

Students are able to apply relevant principles of mathematics, physics, computer science and engineering science to the solution of basic design, manufacturing and automation challenges in industrial settings. They have a fundamental appreciation of relevant product and process design principles and techniques, including understanding of design specifications, functional requirements, and cost effectiveness. Generic skills they have studied up to this point include the understanding of teamwork and individual accountability, conflict resolution techniques and effective verbal and written communication. Examples of specific capabilities:

  • Work as part of an engineering team in the design or manufacturing environment
  • Prepare drawings using 2D and 3D CAD software (AutoCAD, SolidWorks)
  • Perform static equilibrium analysis
  • Design, build, and troubleshoot electrical and electronic circuits
  • Design, build, and troubleshoot pneumatic and hydraulic circuits
  • Assist with the selection of engineering materials for engineering projects
  • Operate lathes, mills and drilling machines. Prepare NC Machining Center programs Using EdgeCAM software
  • Schedule and manage short term projects

Students are able to apply more advanced design, manufacturing and automation techniques including concurrent engineering to optimize product and process development flows. At this stage they have completed courses in Engineering Mechanics and Strength of Materials and have a working knowledge of Programmable Logic Controllers, Structured Programming and Design and Analysis of Mechanisms applied to numerical analysis and automation control. They have an appreciation of best business practices related to manufacturing processes and possess a working knowledge of project management. Since the program emphasizes integration of product design with process design and process control, examples of specific capabilities are listed under the appropriate headings:

Product Design
  • Prepare detail and assembly drawings, 3D models, and animations using AutoCAD, and Solidworks software
  • Perform engineering mechanics and strength of materials analysis and materials selection for machine components
Process Design (Manufacturing)
  • Manufacturing process design, implementation and monitoring including casting and forming and surface engineering of a variety of engineering materials
  • Design and program automated manufacturing operations and processes incorporating sensors and actuators, including robotics
Process Control (Automation)
  • Generate PLC programs using various languages and structured techniques to control industrial processes
  • Generate high-level programs for computerized control systems including HMI devices using VB.NET
  • Utilize structured programming techniques and implement numerical methods to obtain solutions to engineering problems

Work term 3

The students are able to creatively solve more demanding engineering problems encountered in product design, process design and process control using sophisticated analytical engineering tools. At this stage they have completed courses in Machine Design, System Control, Industrial Engineering and Electrical Machines and Motion Control and have a sound understanding of the principles used in the Design of Manufacturing for Assembly, Analysis and Design of Mechanisms. They also have an appreciation for project management techniques and financial management they know how to make effective presentations using a multimedia approach. They have also learned how to understand, value and respect cultural diversity in a global, societal, economical and environmental context.Examples of specific capabilities:

Product Design
  • Design analysis of machine components and their integration
  • Design linkages and mechanisms to satisfy a set of functional requirements
  • Select optimum electrical drive and speed controls for industrial applications
Process Design (Manufacturing)
  • Assist in the design and integration of flexible manufacturing systems using current computer technologies such as ERP, JIT, and others
  • Recommend cost-effective manufacturing and assembly processes
Process Control (Automation)
  • Assist in the design and implementation of control systems including On-Off, differential gap, and PID controllers
  • Assist in programming vision systems to recognize parts and to perform quality control operations

Sample job titles


Work terms 1 and 2:
  • Engineering Co-op
  • Mechanical Design Student/Assistant
  • Junior Mechanical Designer
  • Test Technician
  • First Line Manager
  • QA Student
  • Operations Intern
  • Manufacturing Engineering Co-op
  • Process Engineering Student
  • Assistant Coordinator
  • Maintenance Co-op
  • Drafting Co-op
  • Manufacturing Process Designer
  • Specification Writer
  • Control System Analyst
  • Control Systems Hardware Designer
  • Graphics/Model Coordinator
  • First Line Manager
  • QA/QC Student
Work term 3:
  • Engineering Co- op
  • Control System Designer
  • Assistant Project Manager
  • Manufacturing Process Designer
  • Specification Writer
  • Control System Analyst
  • Control Systems Hardware Designer
  • Graphics/Model Coordinator
  • QA/QC Student

Program courses

To see a typical course list for this program, see the current program course information.

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Contact information

Do you need help developing a recruitment plan or job posting, accessing wage information, or connecting with a talented co-op student? Contact:

Melissa Deneault
Employer Relations Consultant
Mdeneault@conestogac.on.ca
519-748-5220 ext. 2817