The Funding Project is an exciting new initiative that the McMaster Engineering Society is taking on for the 2015-2016 school year. Over the past decade the Society’s annual surpluses have been accumulating and this year we plan on using this fund to create lasting benefits for all MES members. For a full history of the surplus as well as some background information on our endeavour, be sure to check out the introduction video!

Now the student body has the chance to allocate these funds to initiatives that will have a lasting impact on our community. After multiple months of idea generation the Funding Project has reached the referendum stage. Keep reading for more information on the various initiatives and the referendum process!


After weeks of idea generation and refinement the funding project referendum is finally happening. From March 2nd to 4th, the MES membership will have the chance to vote YES or NO on whether or not to allocate the surplus to the initiatives listed below. This referendum will take place at the same time as the MES General Elections, and will be completed using the same ballot. The initiatives, each submitted by the student body and refined by the MES council, will cost a total of $200,000 and will provide the Engineering student body with multiple long-term benefits. For more information about the initiatives, check out the descriptions below and be sure to visit JHE lobby the week of the Feb 29th for free coffee and to talk about the referendum. Click on the link below to see exactly how the referendum will appear on the ballot!

Funding Project Referendum Ballot


Once the Hatch Centre is completed this fund will be used to enhance Engineering student space on campus through the purchase of new furniture, A/V equipment or other modifications that students see fit. This could also potentially be used to renovate existing student space such as the BLUE Lounge so long as the MES retains control over the space.

This fund would be managed similarly to the existing Special Project Fund (which can be found under Finances), with students being able to come to Council with proposed renovations or upgrades. As the democratic representative of the Engineering student body, Council will have the final say as to whether or not the funds will allocated as proposed.


As graduating students have put the most money into the current MES surplus, and will benefit the least from any of the other options funded by the surplus, $25,000 will be set aside to help fund their capstone projects. This fund will be operated similarly to the current MES conference funds to make sure that it is fairly allotted to applicants. If approved, the funding from this initiative will be made available for this year's graduating students.


The Makerspace will be open to all Engineering students once it has been installed in Thode, and will enhance the interactive learning experience. This money will be used to add equipment chosen by students and student groups to the Makerspace that is planned to be built on campus. Such equipment could include 3D printers, VR headsets, robotics or electronics kits and other interactive technologies.

The Makerspace Fund will become available once the Makerspace has been installed on campus. A committee of students will be formed to manage the fund in order to prioritize and facilitate the purchases of equipment.


This fund would be used to add equipment to the Hatch machine shop and vehicle bays to add functionality and alleviate costs to the MES to furnish the space. As there is currently no funding set aside for this, it is most likely that this fund will be used for basic equipment such as hand tools, workbenches, etc., as purchasing larger machines such as mills or lathes would take a significant portion of this fund while serving fewer students.

The Machine Shop Fund will become available once the Hatch Centre has been built and opened. A committee of students will be formed to manage the fund in order to prioritize and facilitate the purchases of equipment.


This idea is composed of three machines, an automatic solder paste dispenser, an automatic Pick and Place machine, and a reflow oven. By funding this initiative, students from B-Tech, Eng Phys, Electrical, Computer and Mechatronics, as well as any other student that does hobby electronics can benefit from an experience that is closer to the industry level of PCB manufacturing. Purchasing these components also allows students to reduce idle time between PCB design and fabrication, significantly improving the overall design process and making it easier to troubleshoot or repair projects. The quality of fabrication also improves over the current manual methods employed by students.

While there is currently a PCB mill for use by students, this assembly machine would compliment the existing mill by allowing students to do even more of the PCB assembly process on shorter timetables and at lower costs. If approved, MES Council will determine the best place to put this equipment, whether it be in IEEE, the Hatch Centre or some other student space.


Money allotted here would be used to purchase textbooks for a number of courses across all streams of Eng in which the textbooks are in high demand. This would alleviate pressure on students to buy an expensive book that is only needed for a certain assignment, and would eliminate the reliance on the campus libraries to have that book on the shelf. The books would be purchased to build up a significant stock, and purchased copies would be made available for rental through the MES Textbook Library in the BLUE Lounge. If approved, this fund will be distributed evenly across the next 5 years to keep the library relatively up-to-date.


The MES rented a set of 15 walkie-talkies for this past Welcome Week in order to facilitate communications between the Orientation Committee and the Reps. As resounding a success as it was, the utility of the walkie-talkies was proven even further by the Outreach office, who used them for their Fall Preview and Olympics events. In light of this, it has been determined that purchasing a set of these walkie-talkies would be useful for a large number of events, including pub nights, Group and Team competitions and The Event.

The models that would be bought are military grade and have extremely good ingress protection, rendering them virtually waterproof and highly shock-resistant. These qualities are extremely valuable for a student-based volunteer group as in previous years low-quality models have led to high replacement costs. These walkie-talkies would be available for rental from the MES by any Group, Team or Affiliate that had need of them, on a similar rental basis to the MES camera and tent.


As more and more rooms on campus are being converted into usable space, the need for storage space also increases. The money in this fund will be used to create storage space for MES members and their Clubs, Groups, Teams and Affiliates. One specific option is to install a large outdoor storage container in the loading bay behind JHE. Another option would be to add storage space to Lot M. Both of these projects are in the process of being approved.




This Funding Project is going to be a multi-month process and we want you to be involved every step of the way! With this in mind we encourage you to subscribed to our monthly Funding Project Newsletter. The Newsletter will be sent out at the start of each month and will outline the current initiatives being discussed as well as how you can have your voice heard throughout the process.