Polytechnique Montréal, Alstom and Atkinsréalis enter into new partnership to develop Québec’s expertise in sustainable rail transport

18 Apr 2024 | Network Updates | Update from Polytechnique Montréal
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Alstom, a global leader in sustainable and smart mobility, and AtkinsRéalis, a global leader in professional services and project management, dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people, signed an agreement with Polytechnique Montréal to develop a training program that will enhance Québec expertise in sustainable rail mobility.

By combining their strengths and expertise, the partners intend to explore ways to develop specialized training courses in the field of railway and public transit engineering that directly address both mobility and decarbonization issues. The agreement also provides for the hiring of interns and recent graduates from Polytechnique Montréal and paves the way for knowledge sharing through rail industry conferences and direct support for student projects.

With the North American rail industry expected to grow significantly in the coming years, access to seasoned resources to address green mobility issues is critical for this sector.

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

“AtkinsRéalis is very proud to be part of this tripartite collaboration agreement, ” says Stéphanie Vaillancourt, President of AtkinsRéalis for Canada. “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. This is even more critical given the challenges we face today. 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", says 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.”

A drive to foster sustainable mobility in Québec

According to the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, 52,000 new engineering professionals will be needed by 2033. That’s a 40% increase over the next 10 years1.

The electrical engineering sector is expected to be affected by a labour shortage, due in part to the energy transition’s acceleration, including the electrification of transportation. Chemical engineers could also be in high demand with the expansion of the hydrogen industry, particularly for heavy vehicle transportation, and increased production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Demand is also 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.

The need for Québec engineers to integrate the railway engineering expertise developed elsewhere in the world is increasingly felt across the province. This agreement is an important step that will benefit the industry as a whole and underscores the drive to foster sustainable mobility in Québec.

1 Source: Projections - Offre et demande de professionnelles et professionnels en génie au Québec Horizon 2033, Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, November 2023 (in French)

This article was first published on 12 April by Polytechnique Montréal. 

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