Mechanical and Materials EngineeringWestern Engineering

Program Policies and Procedures

General

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Training
The University is committed to achieving barrier free accessibility for persons with disabilities studying, visiting and working at Western.

AODA training is required for all who interact with Western's "public" e.g. undergraduate student population.  Should a graduate student accept a Teaching Assistantship position, s/he is required to complete AODA training through WebCT.  Training is only required once.

Western ONECard
A Western OneCard functions as an identification card within the Western community.  The card also acts as a library card, meal plan card, and is also used for  building access.

A graduate student may obtain a card by visiting Western Student Services.  Proof of identity (i.e. passport, citizenship card, driver's license) is required in order to obtain the card.

Email
The University uses the "@uwo.ca" for all correspondence.  A student may wish to forward mail from this account to a private email address for easy access.

Email is the primary method of correspondence and as such, it is the responsibility of the student to check his/her email account regularly.

Building Access
Building access is handled through the MME graduate and departmental office.  Upon arrival, building access will be provided. In order to gain access to a lab or office space, access will not be issued to a student until a WHMIS certificate is completed and proof of certificate is provided to the MME graduate office.

Upon proof of WHMIS certificate, the student will receive an email, outlining the process in obtaining required keys.  Please be patient with the request process - do not send multiple requests, as this only causes difficulty in the system.  You will receive a response in due course.

Leave of Absence
A student may apply for a Leave of Absence on medical or compassionate grounds, providing justification/medical certification to the MME graduate office. This change of status request is made through the graduate student web services portal.  The recommended deadline for application is one month prior to the start of term.

Pregnancy/Parental Leave
A graduate student may apply for up to three (3) terms of leave, which must be started within twelve (12) months of the date of birth or custody.

A graduate student is eligible to a $1,500 bursary, provided s/he has been registered for at least one (1) term and is not receiving addition Tri-Council benefits.  A student must consult with both the GTA Union and a Benefits Counsellor in Human Resources.

Holiday/Vacation Leave

As per SGPS regulation, graduate student are entitled to two weeks of vacation during the year.  This does not include statutory holidays and the week-long closure in December. The vacation must be scheduled in advance with dates mutually agreed by student and supervisor.

If a student is working as a TA, it is not advisable to take vacatin during the term in which he/she has teaching duties.   However, if there is a real need to take vacation, the student needs permission. If a student is planning to be away for any length of time, s/he is required to complete and submit a student holiday form to the MME graduate office. This form requires the approval signature of the Chief Advisor and (if applicable) the course instructor. 

Note a period of absence taken without informing the supervisor and receiving his/her approval (and course instructor if applicable), will not be considered vacation and the supervisor (and course instructor if applicable) has the right to deduct RA/TA funding for the period of absence.  

Request for Enrolment Letter
A research student (M.E.Sc./PhD.) wishing to obtain an enrolment letter must do so by emailing MME graduate office.  Note there is a five (5) day turn around for the issuance of the letter.

Extension of Study Permit
An international student who intends to apply for an extension of his/her Study Permit, must provide the MME graduate office a copy of the payment receipt, which will be kept in his/her file.

An international student who obtains an extension of his/her Study Permit, must provide the MME graduate office a copy of the new Study Permit.

Academic

 

Student of Advisor on Sabbatical or Other Leave
A Chief Advisor who has been granted Sabbatical or other Leave, shall complete documentation outlining the arrangement made for the supervision of his/her graduate student, and submit the documentation to the MME graduate office.  A copy of the documentation shall be forwarded to each graduate student involved.

Procedure for Changing Chief Advisor
Occasionally a student may feel it is in his/her interest to change their Chief Advisor.  The agreement of the current Chief Advisor should first be sought; in the event that it is withheld, the student must notify the Associate Chair (graduate), who will attempt to resolve the impasse.

Procedure for a Missed Exam
The Faculty of Engineering has adopted the same policy regarding a missed examination, as the policy that is in place for an undergraduate student.  The official university policy may be obtained at: http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/appeals/accommodation_medical.pdf

A graduate student shall submit documentation as soon as possible, to the Graduate Coordinator in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, together with a request for relief specifying the nature of the accommodation being requested.

A faculty member must report any such absence to the Graduate Coordinator of the home department of the student.

Scholastic

Academic Records
Students should be aware it is their responsibility to regularly check their academic record and report any discrepancies to the MME Graduate Office.  Every student has access to their academic record through their Student Centre.

Scholastic Offences
Members of the University community accept a commitment to maintain and uphold the purposes of the University, and in particular, its standards of scholarship.  It follows, therefore, that acts of a nature that prejudice the academic standards of the University are offences subject to discipline.  Any form of scholastic dishonesty, including plagiarism, that undermines the evaluation process, also undermines the integrity of the University's degrees.  The University will take all appropriate measure to promote academic integrity and deal appropriately with scholastic offices.

Appeals
A graduate student is entitled to appeal
in any situation in which he/she feels that s/he was not treated fairly.  It is incumbent on the student to first attempt to resolve the matter informally, at the earliest opportunity, with the person in authority who is most immediately involved, e.g. Course Instructor or Chief Advisor.  In the event at a satisfactory resolution is not obtained, the student may then lodge a written appeal with the Associate Chair (graduate), within four (4) weeks of the issuance of the mark or ruling.

The Associate Chair (graduate) will either (a) rule on the matter, or (b) refer the matter to the MME Graduate Committee  for a ruling.  If the matter is referred to the MME Graduate Committee, then any member of that Committee who is directly involved with the matter being appealed will withdraw from the Committee during the hearing.

Immediately prior to the final ruling the student is entitled to make a verbal presentation to the body making the decision, upon which occasion s/he may elect to be accompanied by a colleague who is a graduate student in engineering.

All appeals proceedings must be confidential, and the Department must provide a ruling within three (3) weeks of submission of the written appeal.

For more information regarding the appeals policies, please see the SGPS regulations.

Registration

Non-Degree Part-Time
The purpose for the Non-degree part-time, is to allow an applicant the opportunity to take specified gradaute courses, without obtaining a degree.  This may be beneficial to a working engineer who is interested in taking an MME gradaute course in order to expand his/her knowledge in a specified research topic.   

First Term of Registration
During the first term of registration and in consultation with the Chief Advisor, a student shall complete a Proposed Program of Study.  The proposed program of study must indicate the topic and proposed set of courses.  These course may include undergraduate courses not for degree credit, required to make up deficiencies in the student's preparation for graduate work in engineering.  All such courses must be taken during the first year of registration.

Request for advanced credit (maximum of four (4)) for graduate courses taken at a previous university, must be made at the same time as submission of the Proposed program of study.  Official course outlines (from previous university) must be provided as appropriate documentation.  

A student must submit a revised form should any subsequent change be made to the original Proposed Program of Study.

Failure to submit a Proposed Program of Study by the end of the first term, may entail the denial of permission to register in further courses.

Continuous Registration
A student enrolled in a degree program must maintain continuous registration in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in each successive term from initial registration, until all requirements for the degree are completed.

An international graduate student must have a valid Study Permit.

Subsequent Terms of Registration
A graduate student is required to maintain a cumulative average of at least 70%, with no individual grade less than 60%.  However, in order to maintain funding a minimum cumulative average of 78% .

Request for Registration Extension
A graduate student who is either in his/her 7th (M.E.Sc.) or 13th (PhD) term of registration, must apply for a Request for Registration Extension in order to be term activated for the following term.  The deadline for submission of the form is six (6) weeks prior to the start of term.  A graduate student who does not apply or submit the form will have his/'her record sealed, which will result in not being able to access any services on campus.  There is an approximate $48.00 charge to unseal a record.

Maximum Registration
The maximum registration period for completing a M.E.Sc. is three (3) calendar years from initial registration, and six (6) calendar years from initial registration for the Ph.D.  A student who transfers from a M.E.Sc. (without completing the M.E.Sc.) will be given a maximum of seven (7) calendar years from initial registration, in order to complete the Ph.D.

The maximum registration period to a student admitted to an approved part-time M.E.Sc. is four (4) years.

Funding

The University of Western Ontario funding guideline (as per SGPS regulation) for Ph.D. students, is BASE tuition (not including ancillary fees) plus $12,000 per year (contingent upon maintaining a minimum 78% cumulative average).  Western Engineering funds both M.E.SC. and Ph.D. students tuition (including ancillary fees) plus $13,000 per year (effective September 2016)  (contingent upon maintaining a minimum 78% cumulative average).

Funding is provided for a full-time research graduate student for the first two(2) years of the M.E.Sc. program, and the first four (4) years of the Ph.D. program. A graduate student who successfully passes the PhD comprehensive examination will receive an increase to $14,000 per year. If a student transfers from the M.E.Sc. (after the first year), to the Ph.D., the student is provided funding for the first five (5) years.

Each student will receive a letter of offer from the Chief Advisor, agreeing to supervise the research project and provide financial support prior to commencing studies. The letter will outline the total annual funding to be provided by The University of Western Ontario. Continued funding beyond the two (2) or four (4) year periods is conditional on satisfactory performance in research and availability of funds. There is no guarantee of funding beyond the period stated in the offer letter.

Funding is provided from a variety of sources. A student may receive support in the form of a tuition scholarship, teaching assistantship (TA) and/or graduate research assistantship (GRA). Funds come from a variety of sources, with each source having a different rule regarding the timing of payment. As a result, funds may sometimes be unevenly distributed throughout the year. A graduate student is expected to budget his/her finances on the basis of the total yearly support outlined in his/her offer letter.

Tax Slips from Revenue Canada
A student is required to provide a current address in his/her Student Centre and myHR, in order to be provided a tax slip by Revenue Canada. Tax slips are forwarded in February of the following year, to the current address on file.

Teaching Assistantship

A student must maintain a 78% cumulative average to be eligible for a TA.

Teaching Assistantship (TA) appointments are made by the Chair of MME.  Appointments of up to 10 hours per week are made in the Fall and Winter terms, according to teaching needs and availability of funding.  A student is not obligated to accept a teaching assignment, however, since a TA is an important component of graduate student funding and part of the financial commitment, a decision made by a student not to undertake assigned duties, may result in a reduction in total annual support.

Each term, if assigned a TA, a graduate student will receive an offer of employment, including a Duties of Specification letter.  Duties and responsibilities may include those functions listed in the PSAC Collective Agreement.

The regulations governing the total number of hours over any given term are outlined in the PSAC Collective Agreement between the Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and The University of Western Ontario.

It is expected the Teaching Assistant will be punctual in attendance at his/her duties, and be present for the full scheduled time with the possible exception of a short break as agreed to with the course instructor. A TA should make certain to be available on the first day of class (see Western University's Academic Calendar). A Teaching Assistant is expected to be knowledgeable in the subject matter of the undergraduate course assigned.

A Teaching Assistant may occasionally be asked to perform duties that do not fall within the categories outlined.  Only under exceptional circumstance may a Teaching Assistant be required to replace a faculty member as a lecturer in the classroom.  Assignment to such duties will only be permitted with the approval of the MME Chair.

As per PSAC Collective Agreement, the course instructor shall meet with the TA around the mid-point of his/her appointment, for the purpose of conducting a review of the TA's Duties Specification Agreement and report any issues that arise.

The Teaching Support Centre (TSC) offers various workshops at no cost to a graduate student, to enhance the practice of teaching and learning.

Course Information

Graduate course enrolment must follow a student's Program of Study.  It is mandatory that all courses be selected in consultation with the Chief Advisor.  Appropriate approval MUST be in place prior to any modification in the Proposed  Program of Study.  Any course appearing in the academic record that is not listed in the Proposed Program of Study, will be automatically deleted from the academic record.

A maximum of two (2) courses is allowed to be taken outside the home program.  A graduate student who wishes to also enrol in a collaborative program (i.e. CMHR) must complete the collaborative program admission form and submit it to the MME graduate office.

Non-Engineering or Non-MME Engineering Degree
A student with a non-engineering or non-mechanical engineering background, may be required to take additional relevant courses, to provide fundamental understanding in order to complete his/her degree.
These ccourses must be taken during the first term of registration

Course List and Schedule
The course list and schedule will
be available each term, on the MME website as well as being posted on the graduate bulletin board outside MME office.  This list may be subject to change so it is advisable for each student to check this site regularly

 

For course information pertaining to a program other than MME, please see the individual department website.

Course Enrollment

Graduate Course Enrolment
Effective January 2012 term,
a student can enrol electronically in a graduate course through his/her Student Center.  Closer to the start of each term, the student will be provided an information sheet outlining the instructions and process of electronic enrolment. 

Each student will be assigned a random appointment time to enroll in courses, and he/she will find the enrollment appointment date and time by signing into his/her Student Center.  Enrolment deadline for the Winter, Summer and Fall terms is: January 15th, May 15th, September 15th, respectively. The system is automatically closed each term after these dates.

Graduate Course Audit
The student must declare an intention to audit a graduate course by the enrolment deadline for the term, using the Graduate Course Audit Form. The student must have the instructor’s signed approval to audit the course, as well as approval from Chief Advisor and Associate Chair (graduate). An Audit requires regular attendance and any other obligations as stated by the course instructor in the Comments/Expectations section of the form. If these requirements are not met, the audit will be removed from the student’s record at the instructor’s request.

After the enrolment deadline, a student may not make a change from auditing a course to taking it for credit, or vice versa, within a given term.

Undergraduate Course Enrolment 
A graduate student may take an undergraduate course without additional charge only if needed for his/her degree requirements, and with the approval of the Chief Advisor, Course Instructor and Associate Chair (graduate) and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. A ggraduate student wishing to take an undergraduate course must use the Graduate Student Taking Undergraduate Course form, and follow undergraduate regulations.

Graduate Enrolment in a Graduate Course Outside Home Program
A graduate student may enrol in a graduate course outside of his/her program, with permission of the
Course Instructor and home program, using the Request to Enrol in Graduate Course Outside Home Program form.

Student outside MME program, wishing to take an MME graduate course

A graduate student outside the MME program wishing to take a graduate course (credit or audit) offered by the MME department, must obtain approval from both the instructor and the graduate office, and meet all other criteria assigned by the Instructor and/or the MME department.

A graduate student must first obtain Instructor's signature and submit the signed form to the MME graduate office by the MME graduate course registration deadline for the term (4:00 p.m. January 15th, May 15th, or September 15th). Once approval is granted, it is the responsibility of the student to submit the form to his/her Home Program/Office of the Registrar so they may enrol the student in the course.  Failure to complete and/or submit the form in the manner outlined above, will result in automatic removal from the course.

Course Drop


If a student wishes to drop a course,  he/she must complete a Request to drop form, obtaining the signature of the Chief Advisor and Associate Chair (graduate), and submit it to the MME office before the following deadline for each term: January 30th, May 30th, September 30th.

  • Course(s) dropped within one (1) month of the official beginning of the term will not appear on the academic record.
  • Course(s) dropped after the deadline date, but within eight (8) weeks of the beginning of the term stay on the academic record with the notation of "WDN" (withdrawn).
  • Course(s) dropped after eight (8) weeks from the beginning of term stay on the academic record and are recorded as "FAI" (failed).

Graduate Seminar Series

Each graduate student is required to attend and participate in the Graduate Seminar Series.  The seminar is held weekly, with attendance being taken.  Each student is required to attend a minimum of 75% each term, throughout the duration of his/her program.  Failure to meet the attendance and participation requirement in all subsequent terms of your registration in the program, will result in the input of NOT COMPLETE on your academic record, with the academic record being sealed.  There is a $50 fee to unseal an academic record. 

Each Ph.D. student is also required to present a seminar each year, as well as act as a Facilitator for other seminar presentations.

The Ph.D. student's presentation may be considered as a presentation for his/her advisory committee (to tie in with the yearly progress).  It is therefore important that an advisory committee member for each individual student (in which he/she serves on the advisory committee), attend the seminar presentation.

Seminar Schedule
The seminar schedule  is finalized at the beginning of the fall term, for both the Fall and Winter terms. The list and schedule will available each term, on the MME website as well as being posted on the graduate bulletin board.  This list may be subject to change so it is advisable for each student to check this site regularly.

Each gradaut student should follow the presentation guidelines posted on our website.

Graduate Milestone
The graduate seminar will appear on each student's academic record as a milestone, which must be satisfied prior to completion of his her program.

Program of Study - MESc

The M.E.Sc. program is a research degree comprising of a thesis and a minimum of four (4) courses.

At the beginning of each student's program, the student will meet with the Chief Advisor, to discuss the expectations of academic research, performance and timelines for progression.  The research topic/title shall be selected, as well as the set of courses required.  It is expected the student enrol in  9600 or 9700 courses, and a maximum of two (2) courses only, to be taken outside the home program.

Request for advanced course credit/standing must be made at this time. Courses being requested for credit, must be equivalent to an A- (based on the Western University scale). These courses may include graduate or undergraduate courses not for degree credit, required to make up deficiencies in the student's preparation/background for graduate work in MME Engineering. Credit is NOT provided for courses taken from a previous graduate program in which a degree is obtained.  Official course outlines must accompany the request for advanced credit.

The Chief Advisor shall propose members of the Advisory Committee, consisting of at least one (1) faculty member who is a member of the School of Graduate and PostDoctoral Studies, in addition to the Chief Advisor.

The completed Proposed Program of Study must be submitted by the end of the first term of registration.  Failure to submit by this time, may entail the denial of permission to register in further courses.

Progress Review
An annual review meeting will be held with the student, the Chief Advisor, and advisory committee.  The results of the review are to be submitted by the student on the appropriate form, to the MME graduate office.  The student is responsible for arranging the review meeting.

Participation in Graduate Seminar Series
Each MESc student is required to attend our weekly gradaute seminar series.

Thesis
Each student shall refer to SGPS's Thesis Regulations, The pages detail specific information about UWO's dissertation processes, requirements, services and deadlines, as well as other helpful resources and materials.

Program of Study - Transfer from MESc to PhD

From time to time a student in the M.E.Sc., program will demonstrate excellent potential for doctoral studies and the student and the Chief Advisor both agree that rather than complete the M.E.Sc. the student should expand the research into a doctoral thesis. A request for transfer must be submitted to the graduate office on an Application for Transfer form, by the beginning of the fourth (3rd) term of registration, along with the Ph.D. Submission of Examination Committee form. The Submission of Examination Committee form must indicate the date and time of the comprehensive to take place.

The student must successfully pass the comprehensive examination in the 4th term, before the request is forwarded to SGPS . The transfer will occur at the beginning of the fifth (5th) term, and the student shall be subject to all regulations and procedures applicable to Ph.D. students.

All graduate courses taken for the M.E.Sc. at The University of Western Ontario, will normally be credited towards the eight required half-courses.

Minimum criteria regarding eligibility to transfer to the Ph.D. program:

  • student demonstrates excellent capability to pursue a Ph.D.
  • student to have taken a minimum of two (2) graduate courses at Western University
  • student has a minimum cumulative average of 90% in  graduate courses taken at Western University

Program of Study - PhD

The Ph.D. program is a research degree comprising of a thesis and a minimum of eight (8) courses.

At the beginning of each student's program, the student will meet with the Chief Advisor, to discuss the expectations of academic research, performance and timelines for progression.  The research topic/title shall be selected, as well as the set of courses required.  It is expected the student enrol in  9600 or 9700 courses, and a maximum of two (2) courses only, to be taken outside the home program.

Request for advanced course credit/standing must be made at this time. Courses being requested for credit, must be equivalent to an A- (based on the Western University scale). These courses may include undergraduate courses not for degree credit, required to make up deficiencies in the student's preparation/background for graduate work in MME Engineering.  Official course outlines must accompany the request for advanced credit.

A maximum of four (4) graduate courses taken previously at another university, may be used as credit to fulfill course requirements.  Official course outlines must accompany the request for advanced credit.

The completed Proposed Program of Study must be submitted by the end of the first term of registration.  Failure to submit by this time, may entail the denial of permission to register in further courses.

The members of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Committee shall automatically become members of the student's Advisory Committee.  The Chief Advisor shall propose members, consisting of at least two (2) faculty members who are a member of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, in addition to the Chief Advisor.

Progress Review
An annual review meeting will be held with the student, the Chief Advisor, and advisory committee.  The Ph.D. comprehensive examination will serve as the first meeting of the Advisory Committee. 

Participation in Graduate Seminar Series
Each Ph.D. student is required to present a seminar each year, as well as act as a Facilitator for other seminar presentations.

The Ph.D. student's seminar presentation may be considered as a presentation for his/her advisory committee (to tie in with the yearly progress).  It is therefore important the advisory committee members for each individual student attend the seminar presentation.

Thesis
Each student shall refer to SGPS's Thesis Regulations, The pages detail specific information about
Western University's dissertation processes, requirements, services and deadlines, as well as other helpful resources and materials.

Program of Study - PhD Comprehensive

The comprehensive exam is a test on the background the student will need to carry out the proposed research.  The exam will focus on fundamental engineering science of relevance to the area of research. 

 

Each Ph.D. student is required to take a comprehensive examination, which must be set in the third (3rd) term of registration, and must be taken before the end of the fourth (4th) term. The examining committee is proposed by the candidate's Chief Advisor and will include a minimum of three (3) members, one of whom may be external to the department.

Each student is required to submit a written proposal of his/her Ph.D. research (2500-3500 words, double-spaced, and up to 10 figures/tables) two (2) weeks prior to the comprehensive examination.  Each student is free to structure his/her proposal in a way that best suits the nature of the work he/she is doing, however, it must include at least the following content/structure:

  • A critical review of the key literature relevant to the proposed research, with the emphasis on the strengths and weaknesses of previous research, such that the student may clearly demonstrate the gaps in knowledge the proposed research will address.
  • A detailed discussion of the research tools the student will be using in his/her research (e.g. experimental, analytical, computation).  As appropriate to the student's field of research, the discussion should show an understanding of the advantages, disadvantages and accuracy of the applicable techniques for the problems begin addressed, in relation to any other tools the student may have used instead.
  • A summary of the program of research that will be carried out, including any progress or findings made to date.
  • A statement on expected outcomes and the contribution the student expects to make in advancing their field of research.

The candidate must make a short oral presentation (15 minutes), on the research project at the beginning of the examination.  This will be followed by questions to the candidate from each member of the committee.  The hour exam is closed.

Failure to pass the examination may result in a requirement to withdraw from the program. The results of the examination shall be stated as:

  1. Passed without condition, or
  2. Passed with specific conditions to be satisfied for continued registration, or
  3. Failed (with re-examination or required to withdraw)

A student who fails the first attempt at the comprehensive examination may be required to withdraw or may be allowed to attempt the examination (either oral or written) again.  The re-examination may not take place before three (3) months, but must be completed by the end of the fourth (4th) month from the original comprehensive examination.  A student who has passed with conditions but fails to satisfy the conditions shall be required to withdraw.

Completion and Convocation


Each student must complete a clearance form before departing the Faculty of Engineering.

Once SGPS has accepted the candidate's SGPS-approved final electronic thesis submission, he/she has officially completed the thesis requirement for the degree. The candidate and program will receive email notification of thesis completion from SGPS.  Subject to approval by the University Senate, the candidate's name is placed on the convocation list. There are three (3) convocation dates: Spring (June), Fall (October) and In absentia (February).

In order to participate in convocation, each student must apply to graduate.  This is done through each student's Student Center.  This is the last step in securing completion of your graduate degree. 

Failure to apply to graduate, will result in not receiving a diploma, nor will the degree award be reflected in your academic record.

The student should make his/her own arrangements with the Office of the Registrar, if his/she is not attending convocation.  This includes receipt of diploma.

 Western University does not provide a lifetime @uwo.ca email for convocated graduate students.  The account is closed  once the expiry date has passed.