Three OC Water Engineering Technology Students Tap into Cash Awards

News September 21, 2021

Posted by Harrison Crerar

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Three Okanagan College students in the Water Engineering Technology (WET) Diploma program were recently awarded financial prizes in recognition of their commitment to their field and good grades.

Ryder Fortes is one of the three students who has received the Outstanding Student Award from the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP). Fortes became interested in the WET Diploma as a way of giving back to his community and being a part of the solution in providing safe drinking water.

“In my experience, the WET program fosters a great community of people whose goals and aspirations are to conserve and improve the world’s most precious resource,” says Fortes. “The program gave me a new perspective on what happens to water in the environment and made me want to be a better steward of this resource.”

The WET Diploma program offered at OC is a unique blend of traditional chemical and civil engineering technology combined with innovative water-focused environmental studies.

The program prepares students to play a leading role in the water industry by learning to monitor, assess and protect both public health and water in the environment. It also covers topics such as water quality, testing, treatment, biology and chemistry.

“Learning about treatment technologies and processes has opened my eyes to the importance of this field,” says Richard Graham, WET program student and award winner.

“Generally, I find that waste-water treatment is an aspect of our communities that many people don’t give much thought to, which was certainly the case for me prior to entering the program,” says Graham. “Both of my co-op work terms were spent at waste-water treatment plants and I really enjoyed being able to apply what I had learned in class. I came away with a much better understanding of the course material due to first-hand experience.”

The practical learning component through co-op opportunities and learning in the field is something both students and instructors see as a benefit to this program.

“The hands-on learning opportunities of working with bodies of water, testing characteristics of surface and ground water built up my practical experience and were parts of the training that I really enjoyed,” says Vladimir Tuazon, WET student and award winner. “I have a strong interest in the sciences and this program is a way that I can help improve the environment.”

“I’m very proud of our students and their accomplishments,” says Allison O’Neill, Chair of the WET Diploma program. “It’s rewarding to see the students applying their learnings to hands-on applications and to have their efforts rewarded with awards like this.

“The Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) is one of our major certification bodies and this recognition highlights both the good work of the students and the quality of the curriculum and instruction that this program offers.”

This is the second year that three outstanding student awards were presented by the EOCP to OC students in the WET Diploma program.

The EOCP Outstanding Student Award is a cash prize awarded to second year students in water and waste-water programs who have obtained good grades in their program of study, as well as showing a commitment to the field of water and waste-water.

The EOCP was the first organization in Canada to implement an Operator certification and facility classification program in Canada to better protect public health and the environment.

Learn more about the Water Engineering Technology program online.

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