“Random decision” leads to life’s work

Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Medal


Kereluk enjoys a rare moment on skis

By Maria Lironi

If not for a spur-of-the-moment decision, Jason Kereluk, this year’s recipient for the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering medal, might have never become a mechanical engineer.

“After graduating from Claremont, I thought about going into computer science because I always loved computers, but then my Mom said computer engineers actually build the stuff so I went to UVic to do that,” recalls Kereluk.

However, at end of first year, when we all had to fill out a form about what we wanted to do for the next three years, I don’t know why, but I ticked mechanical engineering. It was a completely random decision at the time but, upon reflection, it was a very good decision to make.”

At UVic, Kereluk studied mechatronic engineering, the synergistic blend of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, control engineering, systems design engineering and computer engineering to create useful products. The word itself is a combination of “mechanics” and “electronics.”

“Studying mechatronics gave me experience in both computer science and computer engineering which is amazingly useful,” says Kereluk. “Now I’m working on reconfigurable robots—kind of like transformer toys but not quite as cool as that—turning robots into other types of robots. It’s an area that’s perfectly suited to someone who has studied mechatronics.”

Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in applied science and engineering at the University of Toronto and hopes to eventually go into research and development in robotics.

Kereluk received the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering medal for achieving the highest graduating GPA in his class.

“One of the main reasons for my good marks was the study group that I formed with two of my friends,” says Kereluk. “Working with them not only helped each of learn the material, but also it made it fun to work on. This is the real key to success in undergraduate engineering—loving what you do. In fact, all three of us ended up with high GPAs and received letters from VP Academic Jamie Cassels congratulating us.”

During this degree he’s planning to work weekdays and take the weekends off to bike around town, join a choir or maybe even find time to ski.

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