Mitch Connelly


Mitch Connelly has been interested in the design of bridges and large structures since he was young. When Durham College introduced a Civil Engineering Technology advanced diploma program, he was quick to apply upon high school graduation.

The three-year program helped him break into the industry with a year spent as a geotechnical consultant and two years in an inspector position at a civil engineering firm looking at site plans, subdivisions, and similar in the Whitby area.

After gaining a few years experience, and seeking to grow his career further, Connelly enrolled in a bridging program at Queen’s designed to help him take his career to the next level with a Smith Engineering degree.

“I worked a bit before I found out that Queen’s was offering this option,” he says. “I knew I always wanted to go back and finish my degree, so when this opportunity came up, I applied.”

The Smith Engineering bridge program is intended for college students holding or completing advanced diplomas in Engineering Technology programs who wish to obtain a degree after they graduate with approximately two additional years of study. Full details can be found on the Engineering Bridge page.

While continuing his full-time work, Connelly recently completed an online introductory calculus course and is now participating in the full-time campus-based summer courses in preparation for the fall term.

“We have a coordinator we can reach out to if we have any questions and overall it has been a good experience,” he says. “The thing I'm looking forward to most about being a full-time student again is moving to Kingston and making real progress toward the degree.”

Connelly will begin studies alongside the entire third-year Smith Engineering cohort this fall. His discipline will remain in Civil Engineering, and he hopes to bring what he has learned in the field into his coursework and class discussions. He is excited to embark on courses that will help him round out his existing studies and experience with more focus on the design of infrastructure like sewers and roads.

“It really helps to know what's going on in the field and get an understanding for how things work in reality,” Connelly says. “My experience should also help with my employability as well once I graduate.”

His focus remains laser sharp on his studies, though Connelly noted he is interested to balance his schoolwork with some student clubs and design teams.

Once the degree is completed, he plans to continue with similar inspection-type work while expanding on his responsibilities and pursue his Professional Engineer designation.


Mitch Connelly


This article is relevant to the following Strategic Actions as defined in the Strategic Plan: