Canada’s only university to offer a communications engineering program has joined forces with one of the country’s biggest engineering and construction firms to protect telecommunication infrastructure that’s critical to the power utility industry.

Ottawa-based Carleton University and SNC-Lavalin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on researching new technology for telecom infrastructure used by power companies and protecting it from the ever-growing threat of cyberattacks.

Under the deal, SNC-Lavalin will leverage Carleton’s research and testing facilities and industry experts to develop and test advanced technologies that can help mitigate risks around network connectivity and smart grids. Specifically, the two will work together to develop technology needed to support the electric power industry, facilitate the transfer of technology into real-world situations, and research topics relevant to the field of engineering.

Alain Brière, vice-president and general manager of telecommunications at SNC-Lavalin, says this partnership is meant to further the development of the power utility industry’s critical infrastructure in an increasingly connected society while also supporting young engineers.

“Together, we will build on our collective knowledge and experience to provide Carleton’s Communications Engineering experts with real-life challenges and access to advanced technology to further the learning of their students,” Brière says in a Mar. 21 press release. “Through our MOU with Carleton University, we are proud to support the next generation of telecommunications engineers by giving them the opportunity to work side by side with our team to address the unique needs of the power utility industry.”

The partnership also hopes to increase SNC-Lavalin’s visibility as a potential employer for Carleton students and graduates, and provide additional research and thesis opportunities for such students.

“Carleton University is proud to partner with SNC-Lavalin as we continue to develop innovations for the telecommunications industry,” Fred Afagh, interim dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design at Carleton, says in the release. “Our combined efforts will no doubt play an increasingly important role as connected technologies become even further integrated into our daily lives.”



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