Geomatics engineering (also known as geospatial engineering) is a relatively new engineering discipline that deals with the acquisition, analysis and management of data that identifies locations. Such data is more technically referred to as spatially referenced data. Originally based on geodesy and land surveying, geomatics engineering gathers information from land, marine, airborne and satellite sources and transforms such data into usable information systems. This implies that a geomatics engineer is firstly involved in a wide array of information gathering activities that begin with the design and implementation of the data generation systems themselves. In the modern world such information is critical for decision-making by both public and private sector organizations. Moreover, geomatics engineering facilitates both research and management activities. The geomatics engineer may study the mathematical or physical characteristic of the Earth and he or she may produce specialized maps that are either dynamic or static. Some such instruments may help track environmental changes and thus are important for mitigating degradation. The same date systems are critical for logistics and the management of transport fleets on a global scale.
Requirements for Engineering Licensure in Canada
If you are not licensed to work as an engineer in Canada you must be prepared to work under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer. To work independently you must obtain a P.Eng. designation awarded by one of the provincial or territorial engineering authorities whose role it is to govern the engineering profession in Canada. Although they differ slightly among the provinces and territories, the basic requirements for licensure are:
- An engineering degree awarded by a Canadian or Canadian equivalent university;
- A minimum of four years of relevant engineering experience of which one year must have been gained in Canada;
- Successful completion of a Professional Practice Examination;
- Canadian citizenship of proof of permanent residency in Canada;
- Be of good character as vouched for by three referees.
The process of obtaining your P. Eng. can start even before you arrive in Canada. Visit the Roadmap to Engineering in Canada at newcomers.engineerscanada.ca. This takes you to the Engineers Canada website. There you can link to the provincial or territorial body where you plan to work and obtain the necessary application forms and list of required documentation.
Alternative Careers in Engineering Technology
Engineering technicians and technologists may offer non-regulated engineering and technical services directly to the public. They must, however, work under the supervision of a Professional Engineer when providing professional engineering services to an employer or the public.
Technologists apply theoretical and practical methods to design, plan, develop, test, manufacture, construct, install, commission, operate and maintain engineered products, processes, systems and services. Technicians apply theoretical and practical methods to assist with the design, development, manufacturing, testing, construction, installation, commission, operation and maintenance of engineered products, processes, systems and services.
If your training and or work experience is in engineering but you chose not to become licensed as a professional engineer you may be qualified to work in a wide range of technology occupations as a professional technician or technologist. Discover the many alternative career pathways to rewarding and well paid occupations in engineering technology.