By Tausif Tajwar, March 10 2021—
“Uddering Engineers” is a podcast created by the University of Calgary’s Engineering Student Society (ESS) which aims to guide engineering students towards an enriching university experience by hosting casual, yet informative conversations to advise them on a plethora of issues. The Gauntlet met with Shivek Kanwar, one of the three hosts of the podcast to talk about his inspiration and future plans regarding “Uddering Engineers.”
Shivek, who is in the last year of his mechanical engineering major, said, “During one of the ESS strategic planning meetings last year, the idea of a podcast started off as a joke as we were just talking and the thought of hosting a podcast was randomly brought up because I talk so much anyways.”
Both him and his co host, Eric Fung, who is also in his fourth year of electrical engineering, are musicians and already had the sound equipment required for a podcast. With their extensive knowledge about the university’s administration, norms and culture by being involved in its student body and connecting with students and faculty members throughout their tenure, they decided to convert what had started off as a joke to a legitimate podcast which now has over 400 views on YouTube.
“Student engagement has been an issue for several years on campus,” said Shivek. “Typical to commuter schools, students are less likely to attend events on campus, so we decided to offer a different avenue for them to access valuable information even on their way home,” he added.
During this pandemic, podcasts blew up and hit a record number of views worldwide, with viewership in Spotify almost doubling. Capitalizing on this opportunity, “Uddering Engineers” released their first episode on Oct. 6, 2020. Ever since, they have released eight more episodes throughout several media platforms which are available online for free.
“Our goal for this year was to have 20 to 30 regular listeners of our podcast which we surpassed quite easily,” said Shivek, who seemed delighted with this outcome.
The podcast also advocates for mental health, diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, it brings the spotlight on students sharing their passion projects, faculty members explaining the 10 first-year core courses and community leaders advocating their interests.
The Gauntlet asked Shivek for his top three tips for surviving in the Schulich School of Engineering.
“The first is pretty generic. It’s to network and connect with people and upper years because these sorts of relationships tend to go a very long way which might help you more than you would think,” he said. For his second tip, he said that he was told by many of his friends staying on campus to avoid the dining centre food. His last and most important tip to especially engineering students was to explore themselves creatively and try for courses which help them build creativity and “hone their perspective.”
The “Uddering Engineers” podcast, hosted by Shivek Kanwar, Eric Fung, Agam Aulakh and Patricia Sharleen is currently available on YouTube, Spotify, Simplecast, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and TuneIn. You can contact their team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.