Inspired by Apple and SpaceX
By Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications
Photo by David Denofreo
Gurmaan Brar wants to be at the forefront of creating technology that changes our lives à la Apple and SpaceX. To achieve his goal, he’s pursuing a degree in engineering at the University of Victoria (UVic). But he chose the Douglas College Engineering and Fabrication Technologies Diploma as his first step.
Gurmaan’s future wasn’t always so bright. He got kicked out of high school, and had to work hard to catch up and get the grades to apply to post-secondary. But the experience left him unsure about continuing his education. He toyed with the idea of taking a year off, but ultimately, concerns about losing momentum changed his mind; he made a last-minute decision to apply Douglas.
It was a sound decision that gave him a solid foundation for his education.
“Douglas gave me a great background in math and physics, which has made my classes at UVic easy. Plus the hands-on experience in the fabrication labs gave me a better understanding of how things work. I made a planetary gear set, an electronic remote to power a Lego train we built, and headphone amplifiers that I reused in my car to boost the stereo bass. That’s not something I would have gotten if I’d gone straight to a university program,” says Gurmaan.
Gurmaan says he loved Douglas’s community feel and the small classes; his classmates were always looking out for each other. The team environment was one of the things that drew him to engineering in the first place.
“Engineering is a team-based profession,” says Gurmaan. “You need to be creative and good at problem-solving, but more importantly, you need to be able to connect with other people and communicate well.”
After he graduated from Douglas, Gurmaan took advantage of the transfer agreement that offers Douglas Engineering students a guaranteed seat in the second year of UVic’s bachelor program. Once he graduates from UVic, the sky’s the limit.
“I want to be involved in a big engineering project that has a huge impact – like the iPhone or Falcon rockets. Something that changes people’s reality.”