Thompson Rivers University

New software engineering program

January 16, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce that TRU is moving forward with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering. Today the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark, visited TRU and announced the allocation of 140 new spaces for students in a four-year undergraduate software engineering program, plus a universal co-op year leading to 35 graduates annually. The university will receive start-up funding of $400,000 from the provincial government for the current fiscal year, to increase the number of student spaces and offer a full software engineering degree program. TRU will ramp up between now and 2022/23 to achieve the total 35 graduates per year. The Minister also toured our facilities this afternoon and met with faculty and students.

Today’s announcement represents a historic moment for the university, and a natural next step. Over 800 students have received their engineering foundational first year at TRU before transferring to another institution. In 2015, a two-year engineering option was created, with a focus on either electrical or computer engineering. Today puts us on track for the creation of the third and fourth years and full degree-granting status in software engineering.

I thank the many faculty members, support staff, and administrators for their hard work on all the details that were required to make this possible. Particularly, I would like to acknowledge our Dean of Science, Tom Dickinson, and the Engineering Program Coordinator, Dr. Faheem Ahmed, for their passion and perseverance to see this vision through over the past few years. Additionally, I acknowledge those who have participated in our task force on engineering, chaired by Provost and Vice-President Academic Christine Bovis-Cnossen.

Lastly, I especially acknowledge our enthusiastic tech industry partners. Their involvement has been crucial to the incorporation of a universal co-op in the third year. This work term will provide students with the paid, relevant workplace experience they’ll need to be successful upon graduation. We hope by offering this program, those students who train here will stay in the BC Interior and be a vital part of our growing tech industry.

The new faculty and students will find well-developed pathways for their research ideas and innovations at TRU and at the Kamloops Innovation Centre. This will lead to new start-up companies, which will accelerate the emerging tech industry and further diversify the Kamloops and region’s economy.

With today’s announcement now behind us, there is much work to do. There are courses to finalize, faculty and staff to hire, and class space to prepare. We will welcome our first intake of third-year students in fall 2019. Today’s good news promises a bright future for engineering at TRU. We look forward to TRU’s first engineering graduates crossing the stage in 2022.


Alan Shaver
President and Vice-Chancellor