What is Manufacturing Engineering?

Manufacturing engineers oversee the production process from beginning to end – they design, operate and optimize advanced manufacturing environments, develop digital models for manufacturing processes, design and control manufacturing machinery, and manage the manufacturing environment.

Watch:  An overview of Manufacturing Engineering

What are examples of the typical types of work or tasks that someone in Manufacturing Engineering?

Manufacturing engineers work to design manufacturing processes and optimize production costs and product quality, acting in a supervisory capacity to provide strong technical guidance and oversee production schedules. They are specialists in “making” products that customers want. They design factories, production schedules and quality systems to ensure that the products they make are economical, sustainable and safe.

Watch: What a Manufacturing Engineer does?



What distinguishes Manufacturing Engineering from other engineering programs at UBC?

This program looks at the entire manufacturing process from concept and fabrication of individual mechanical parts through to product delivery. For example, when compared to APSC’s Mechanical Engineering program (MECH), the fundamental difference is that it focuses on the manufacturing of machine parts, as opposed to general machine design. Manufacturing includes elements from a variety of programs/disciplines including mechanical, electrical, and material and links them together within the context of manufacturing. The program is also highly unique in that there is no other program in B.C. training students for work in this area.

What are the typical courses that someone in Manufacturing Engineering takes?

After completing APSC engineering’s common first year, students in the manufacturing program will take courses in mechanical and materials engineering, electrical and computer engineering as well as specifically designed manufacturing engineering courses including manufacturing processes, production systems management, and industrial automation. Each year the program features a design course which will prepare students for a final Capstone design project in year 4. This program has been designed to meet accreditation requirements by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. The list of courses is available here.

What is a typical course load in Manufacturing Engineering?

The manufacturing program is designed to be completed in 8 academic semesters with an optional 16 months of Co-op work placement. The number of credits taken by students in manufacturing engineering in each year is approximately 40 credits. Students must complete 6 credits in Complementary Studies and 9 credits in Technical Electives.

What are examples of projects students work on in Manufacturing Engineering?

Students take a number of project-based design courses throughout the program as well as work on projects within other courses. Projects based on manufacturing processes (i.e. making things), automation (robotics), instrumentation (sensors), artificial intelligence and machine learning, programming/coding, production planning, and project management are typical examples.

Watch: Manufacturing Engineering Projects

Program tracks

What options or streams are there in Manufacturing Engineering?

The program offers two specialization options to students:

  1.  Technical manufacturing (Vancouver campus)
  2. Production management (Okanagan campus)

The two programs will run in parallel and in collaboration with each other. It has been designed to provide students with the same high-quality experience at both campuses. Curriculum for years 1 through 3 have been designed as equivalent at both sites and focus on their respective areas of specialization in year 4

Will students at the two campuses have the opportunity to take courses together?

The program will make use of video-linked classrooms to provide students with specific opportunities to take some of the courses simultaneously.

What happens if students in year 2, or 3 want to transfer from one campus to another?

Students wishing to transfer from UBCO to UBCV or vice versa for years 2, or 3 would be required to follow the same competitive process as all other internal transfer students.

Why is there a difference in the number of credits between the programs at the two campuses?

The UBC Vancouver program is 158 credits and the UBC Okanagan program is 149 credits. There are a number of reasons for this, which are complex in nature.

Some of the existing equivalent courses at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses have different credit values

While the students take the same number of technical electives in year 4, the Vancouver program has an additional 3 credits in core required courses which are not part of the Okanagan program. It is important to remember that the two programs do not need to be mirrored in year 4 because students will select either Production Management (Okanagan) or Production Steam (Vancouver) which have a more technical-focused curriculum.


What types of industries and jobs does someone in Manufacturing Engineering work in?

Given their ability to develop products, plan processes and optimize production environments, there are many excellent opportunities for manufacturing engineers across a variety of industries:

  • Transportation, aerospace, automotive and rail
  • Computer and electronics manufacturing
  • Production of components for clean energy and biomedical applications
  • Industrial and government research facilities
  • Government and regulatory agencies
  • Consultants in professional business services and educational services

Specific occupational opportunities include work as a Control and Implementation Specialist, Systems Analysis Engineer and Quality Control Specialist, among many others.

What is the job market like for Manufacturing Engineering?

Manufacturing engineering is undergoing a dramatic shift as a result of changes in technology, big data, and analytics. Consequently, the needs of today’s manufacturing industry are not the same as they were in the past. Our province is the 3rd highest manufacturing employment centre in Canada (B.C. hires more than Alberta and roughly three times the number of people SK and Manitoba in this area). That said, our hiring numbers are lower than Ontario and Quebec, however these provinces have long benefited from a strong pool of talent, large number of local companies and proximity to the United States. Stats Canada data indicates there are 178,300 jobs in BC in the manufacturing industry. This represents a 2.2% growth from December 2017 to January 2018 and an overall 4.6% growth from January 2017.

For B.C. to continue to build on the strong foundation of the manufacturing sector and expand to meet the projected future needs of “Advanced Manufacturing,” we need to create a local talent pool to meet the demands of current and future industries. UBC’s new manufacturing engineering program is focused on preparing students to be that future.

What co-op opportunities are there for Manufacturing Engineering students?

The co-op office has posted over 260 jobs in the Manufacturing Sector since 2017. Manufacturing engineering is a very practical, hands-on field that lends itself well to co-op positions both within B.C., Canada, and throughout the world.

Watch: Manufacturing Engineering: Co-op opportunities

Student Experience

What are the unique student experiences in Manufacturing Engineering?

This is the first program at APSC to provide students specific opportunities to take some of the courses simultaneously through use of video linked classrooms.

What is it like to be a student in Manufacturing Engineering?

With an emphasis on project-based team learning, students will explore how robotics, digitization and new manufacturing processes such as 3D printing are transforming the manufacturing industry. The program combines both traditional and hands-on learning to give you practical and analytical skills needed to become a successful engineer.

Students in the manufacturing program will gain broad exposure to foundational engineering disciplines, and training across a range of major manufacturing processes and platforms, and instruction in production management and modern manufacturing practices, including newly emerging practices in digital modeling, virtual machining, additive manufacturing and composites.

Watch: Manufacturing Engineering Student Experience