Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CFES?

The official logo of the CFES.

The Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) is a national, bilingual organization that represents approximately 81,000 engineering students across Canada. Offering services ranging from leadership development conferences to technical skill competitions and other outreach efforts, the CFES aims to provide opportunities in support of an all-encompassing education for engineering students in Canada to become unparalleled professionals in their field.

~ From the CFES website.

Essentially, the CFES represents engineering students on a national scale. They're the peak of the student organization pyramid!

What is WESST?

The official logo of WESST.

The Western Engineering Student Societies' Team (WESST) is an alliance of engineering student societies across western Canada... [WESST] provides a unified voice of engineering students in Western Canada, representing its member schools to other student societies, industry, professional associations, and to the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES).

~ From the WESST website.

WESST is our semi-national alliance - it represents Western Canadian universities (from British Columbia to Manitoba). To uSask students, the SESS is the tier below WESST, where WESST is the tier below the CFES.

Do I have to pay to go to a conference?

There is a 'delegate fee' that each conference charges, depending on their sponsorships and budgets. These fees vary per conference, often in proportion to how long the conference is held (anywhere from a few days to an entire week). However, the SESS completely covers travel fees, such as plane tickets or fuel, and accommodations (if applicable). This way, you get a HUGE discount for the experience that you receive! It truly is worth every penny.

Have conferences been affected by COVID-19?

Inevitably, due to the high risk of travelling around Canada and being in large group settings, many conferences cannot take place in person during the pandemic. However, almost all conferences have been moved to online formats! Stay tuned to emails from External Affairs for more information about conferences and design competitions in the new online world.

Who can I contact to learn more?

Dates for conferences and application deadlines are often posted in the Eng Info - check your emails for weekly updates. Otherwise, you can always ask our VP External Affairs about conferences, applications, and Canada's engineering student organizations.

AGMR (Annual General Meeting and Retreat)

Hosted by WESST

The Western Engineering Students’ Society Team (WESST) hosts this annual conference in October, often at a camp or 'retreat'. As one of the first conferences

On the first day, the Plenary (Annual General Meeting for WESST) is held, where the VP External Affairs of Western Canadian universities discuss changes to WESST's constitution and policy, elect a new WESST executive, and vote on bids to host upcoming conferences. Also on this day, leadership sessions and round tables are held for all delegates to discuss ideas that each students’ society is currently developing for the year.

The second day allows all the engineering delegates to relax and have fun together! Each University brings a game for the other Universities to play, and often there is a theme night! This is a great way to meet engineering students from across Western Canada and enjoy the relaxed conference atmosphere.

SEC (Saskatoon Engineering Competition)

Hosted by the SESS

The Saskatoon Engineering competition is an annual event hosted by the University of Saskatchewan’s SESS. The competition challenges engineering students to solve a crafted engineering problem while meeting industry leaders and developing technical and problem-solving skills.

SEC only lasts a day, usually sometime in October or November, with eight (8) categories to compete in.

  • Junior Design
  • Senior Design
  • Engineering Consulting
  • Engineering Communications
  • Parliamentary Debate
  • Programming
  • Re-engineering
  • Innovative Design

The teams who win in their category are qualified to advance to the Western Engineering Competition (WEC), hosted by WESST.

CDE (Conference on Diversity in Engineering)

Hosted by the CFES

The Conference on Diversity in Engineering (formerly NCWIE) is a conference put on by the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) in mid November of every year.

This conference focuses on diversity in a professional setting, celebrating the differences in each individual, and teaching us to work together.

For more information check out the Official Website

CSE (Conference on Sustainability in Engineering)

Hosted by the CFES

The Conference on Sustainability in Engineering is a conference put on by the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) in late February or early March of each year.

This conference focuses on sustainability in the engineering profession, aims to raise awareness about issues in sustainability and environmental engineering, and encourage students to discuss and design solutions to counter them.

CELC (Canadian Engineering Leadership Conference)

Hosted by the CFES

CELC, the Canadian Engineering Leadership Conference (formerly called CFES Congress), is the Annual General Meeting for the CFES. This conference provides an opportunity for all of the accredited engineering schools across Canada to discuss issues that apply to all Canadian engineering students. It is often held during the first week of January (often cutting into winter break and a tiny bit into syllabus week of semester two).

CELC also holds two days of sessions that are intended to develop student society executives to become better leaders, promote inter-school communication, and allow all Canadian engineering students to have a voice in how best to further engineering in Canada. However, one does not have to be on the executive of a student society to benefit from these sessions!

Following the sessions are two days of plenary, where societies elect national executives, place bids for the following years' conferences, discuss issues regarding Canadian engineering students, and vote on the purpose and direction of the CFES. And, of course, there is plenty of time to socialize and engage in many activities with these students from across the country!

WEC (Western Engineering Competition)

Hosted by WESST

The Western Engineering Competition is an annual event that is hosted by the Western Engineering Students’ Society Team. It is usually held in the earlier half of January, often lasting for four days.

Teams of engineering students who have qualified in the Saskatoon Engineering Competition compete in their categories against students from Western Canadian universities, who have won their own college's local engineering competition. Winners are rewarded with various prizes and are qualified for CEC, the Canadian Engineering Competition. WEC also provides a convenient opportunity for engineering students in Western Canada to meet industry representatives in both casual and formal settings.

CEC (Canadian Engineering Competition)

Hosted by the CFES

Each year, the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) brings together over 200 of the most innovative and creative engineering undergraduate students from across the nation to compete against each other in eight categories (Junior Design, Senior Design, Innovative Design, Engineering Consulting, Parliamentary Debate, Re-engineering, Programming, and Engineering Communication). Each competition category at CEC challenges its participants to expand their frame of reference and to identify solutions to problems experienced by our profession. 
... In true Canadian style, CEC is a bilingual event, permitting English and French speaking students to compete in their native language, with simultaneous translation available for judges and observers in both languages.
The competition represents a valuable opportunity for industry participation and support, and sponsors and contributors propose real-world case studies for competition themes. The judges are drawn from related industry fields, or academia, and share their experiences with the competitors throughout the weekend as they network with the top up-and-coming engineers.

~ From the CFES website.

CEC is often held in early March, spanning for a few days (3-5 days).

EM (Executive's Meeting)

Hosted by WESST

WESST's EM is an annual meeting for the newly-elected executive teams of Western Canada's engineering students' societies to meet together. EM is held in early May, lasting for two or three days.

This conference is exclusive to the SESS's Executive team. Here, many round tables and sessions are held to share ideas about their society's plans, discuss one's businesses with students in similar executive positions, and celebrate one's new position in social events and local tours.