Alstom, AtkinsRéalis, Polytechnique Montréal Team on Training

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas; Stéphanie Vaillancourt, President, Canada for AtkinsRéalis (center); and Maud Cohen, President of Polytechnique Montréal (right).

Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas; Stéphanie Vaillancourt, President, Canada for AtkinsRéalis (center); and Maud Cohen, President of Polytechnique Montréal (right).

Alstom, AtkinsRéalis and Polytechnique Montréal on April 11 reported signing an agreement to develop railway and public transit engineering training that they said would “directly address both mobility and decarbonization issues.”

The agreement also provides for the hiring of interns and recent graduates from Polytechnique Montréal and will allow for “knowledge sharing” through rail industry conferences and direct support for student projects, according to mobility solutions provider Alstom, professional services and project management firm AtkinsRéalis (formerly known as SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.), and engineering university Polytechnique Montréal. They called the agreement “an important step that will benefit the industry as a whole and underscores the drive to foster sustainable mobility in Québec.”

The aim of their joint training program, the partners said, is to improve Québec expertise in sustainable rail mobility as the North American rail industry is expected “to grow significantly in the coming years.”

According to the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, 52,000 new engineering professionals will be needed by 2033—a 40% increase over the next 10 years, reported Alstom, AtkinsRéalis and Polytechnique Montréal. The electrical engineering sector is expected to be affected by a labor shortage, due in part to the energy transition’s acceleration, including the electrification of transportation, they said. Chemical engineers could also be in high demand, they noted, with the expansion of the hydrogen industry, particularly for heavy vehicle transportation, and increased production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Additionally, demand is expected to increase in institutional building design and monitoring (structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering) and civil works (civil, electrical engineering), “in light of public policy trends,” they said.

“We are thrilled with this agreement with Alstom and AtkinsRéalis, which strengthens the ties between Polytechnique Montréal and the railway sector,” Maud Cohen, President of Polytechnique Montréal, said. “Developing this field is crucial to addressing transportation sustainability. The training available at Polytechnique Montréal is already geared toward the energy transition, and this joint exercise will allow us to go even further. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students.”

“The training project will provide students with valuable hands-on experience from railway sector experts and pave the way for a more qualified and skilled workforce in the transportation sector,” said Stéphanie Vaillancourt, President, Canada for AtkinsRéalis. “Multi-sectoral collaboration will be required to achieve our societal goals, and that includes industry involvement in shaping students.”

“Alstom is fortunate to employ more than 700 engineers in Canada, most of whom are based at our design, engineering and innovation center in St-Bruno-de-Montarville,” said Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas. “As mass transit and passenger rail projects accelerate across North America, it’s important to ensure a succession ready to meet the complexities of a rapidly transforming market.”

In related developments, Alstom last fall signed a memorandum of understanding with the Environmental and Related Technologies Hub, a consortium of five universities and colleges in Ontario, Canada, to create new learning, research and work opportunities in the mobility sector; in January 2023 announced a cybersecurity education partnership with the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology; and in November 2022 teamed with the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering to develop new mobility research and student engagement programs.

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