Keir Madsen, an Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technician (AMET) student at College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Gander campus, was recently presented with a scholarship from Helicopter Foundation International.
Keir received the international Maintenance Technician Certificate Scholarship, handed out as part of HELI-EXPO 2013 March 4-7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. HELI-EXPO 2013 hosted 60 helicopters, 736 exhibitors, and 20,393 attendees, making it the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exposition. There, he was awarded one of six $2,500 scholarships, which were created in an effort to attract new talent to the helicopter industry.
“It was cool,” Keir says. “I was able to gain a lot of contacts within Canadian helicopter companies so I can send resumes to directors of maintenance from Canadian companies. Normally you would send it off to human resources within a company, but I actually got names and phone numbers of the guys who actually do the hiring.”
Keir, a native of British Columbia, packed up his family and made the move to Newfoundland for CNA's AMET program two years ago.
“CNA is probably the only school in Canada I found that offers aircraft mechanic and avionics in two years and that was probably the main factor,” he says.
The other contributing factor was the transfer agreement CNA has in place with the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland. A graduate from CNA’s AMET program can be granted credit for the first two years of the three-year Bachelor’s degree in Aircraft Systems Engineering, as well as credit towards their European Aircraft Maintenance licence, which enables graduates to work in any country belonging to the European Union. Keir hopes to take advantage of this agreement in the near future.
“Right now I’m going to concentrate on getting my engineering licence which will take me about a year and a half to two years. If I want to move up in a company, then I might go to Carlow in Ireland for a year to do that Aircraft Systems Engineer degree. But first I want to concentrate on finishing my apprenticeship and get the type of license needed for aircraft maintenance engineers.”
This isn’t the first time Keir has received a significant scholarship. Last year his dedication was recognized with two awards from CNA’s provincial awards program – The Rockwell-Collins In-Program Bursary valued at $1,200 as well as the Fry Family Foundation scholarship valued at $1,500. He plans to use the $2,500 from his latest scholarship towards the cost of his type training, which is obtained by accruing an industry required amount of hours on a particular type of aircraft.
“My determination to successfully complete my course stems from my stubborn nature and willfulness to achieve at the highest level,” Keir says. “Having moved out from Victoria, BC to Gander, Newfoundland there is no going back without first going forward with my dream, and Gander is where that dream began. My lifelong dream of going after what I want in life has finally come, and I am not going to let it get away.”
After graduating in June, Keir will once again pack up his family and make the 7,000 kilometre trek back to his home province. He has applied to numerous companies in the area where he will focus on completing his apprenticeship.
For more information on CNA’s AMET program visit www.cna.nl.ca or drop by the CNA Facebook page at www.cna.nl.ca/facebook.
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic