Every law school should have a course like TEAM. It allows law students to work with engineering and management students, and trains legal minds to look for ways they can add value in real-world projects.
What is TEAM?
TEAM is an interdisciplinary project course. Senior students enrol in the course from chemical engineering, commerce, and law. Each student begins the term by bidding on projects proposed by industry partners across Canada and the United States.
Students are matched to projects based on their interest and experience. Teams of 3-5 students are formed for each project. The TEAM class runs anywhere from 18 to 20 projects a year.
Former projects have included the retrofit of a manufacturing plant, innovative carbon capture processes, feasibility of a new oil pipeline upgrader design, geothermal energy production, and environmentally friendly oil sands worker housing.
How did TEAM start?
The TEAM course was designed by Barrie Jackson , an ex-Shell employee and Queen’s Adjunct Associate Professor, in 1995. He realized that engineers never work in isolation, and should learn the business and legal side of their work.
TEAM’s great work continues thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave Mody, an Adjunct Lecturer and “Engineer in Residence” at the Chemical Engineering Faculty at Queen’s. Dave meets with student teams weekly to guide and mentor student groups, and to share his 17 years of engineering and design process experience.
What was my experience like?
I was lucky to be matched with a fantastic client known in the energy industry worldwide. Their head office in Canada is in Calgary, so our team was flown out to get briefed on our project in November 2012. Next week, on April 2nd we’ll present our final presentation and report.
Our project is a concept design for an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable remote housing unit for resource development workers. We had a few different personality types and learning styles on our team. It was a great leadership experience.
Have you ever had an interdisciplinary project that inspired you, or taught you things you didn’t expect? Post it in the comments.
The legal angle of my project was on the aboriginal consultation requirements, and the environmental-regulatory requirements for an energy development project. The nature of the project touched many areas of law, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.