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May 06, 2022

Hanuel Jang stands outdoors, with trees and bushes behind him.

Haneul Jang put his interest in mechatronics and computer-aided engineering to use during a co-op work term with UVic Mechanical Engineering, where he researched and designed upgrades for the third-year undergraduate vibration lab.

Having lived in several countries and experienced diverse cultures, Jang’s adaptability and determination helped him apply his studies practically to find and implement solutions in the lab. He was tasked with designing a lab that would improve student learning and engagement, which meant applying his practical knowledge about vibrations, signal analysis and control systems.

“The depth of learning from this single work term was far deeper than in the labs for my courses,” says Jang, who is the third year of a degree in mechanical engineering.

By the end of his work term, the vibration laboratory had been completely upgraded and his supervisor, Vahid Ahsani, had offered him independent work on more complicated interdisciplinary experiments.

Jang’s efforts earned him one of only three 2021 Co-op Student of the Year awards provided by UVic. Selection criteria included academic achievement, contribution to employer, community involvement and the impact that co-op has had on the student’s personal and professional development.

During his co-op, Jang came to embrace challenges in the lab environment as learning opportunities.

“I faced failures, but this made success far more valuable,” he says. “Now, I try to view each encounter with a curious mind and look for opportunities that will grant me new skills, knowledge and perspective.”

After developing his confidence and skills in the lab, Jang has secured a work term doing mechanical engineering design for a private-sector firm. “I feel more prepared for my career through this work experience,” he says.

Jang’s nomination was supported by his co-op employer, Ahsani, who is the department’s manager of laboratories, and co-op coordinator Susan Fiddler.

Read about all three students who won 2021 Co-op Student of the Year awards.