When asked if going to Humber College was the right choice for him, Theo Willert affirms that it was the best decision he’s ever made. “It gave me purpose,” says the graduate of the School of Applied Technology’s three-year Electromechanical Engineering Technology program.

Today, he works at Humber as the automation technician at the soon-to-open Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (CTI). The CTI will focus on advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0— a term that encompasses automation and the data exchange between computers and machines, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things.

In the fall of 2017, Willert and fellow student Avery Bird represented Canada at the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest vocational skills competition. Together, they brought home the bronze medal in the mechatronics category— the only Canadians to win. “We got to work with industry experts and train for a year. I was able to advance my skills faster than I would have otherwise,” Willert says. “And then I got to test those skills against the best in the world.”

The hands-on experience and diversity of technology at Humber is what Willert believes is the greatest advantage. “In terms of robots, for instance, we don’t just stick with the major brand in North America—we have five or six other brands that we also use. When we go into the workplace, we can adapt to what we find because we’ve had to do it in class.”

Willert’s advice for anyone thinking of enrolling at Humber is to visit the college, look at the labs, talk to the teachers, and speak with the students and see what projects they’re working on. This is what he did before making the decision to go to the college. “I saw what was being done and what the school had to offer. And I had to go. I had to be part of it.”