Engineer Takes Steps Towards Designation

Mahendra WeeratungaMahendra Weeratunga had a successful 23-year career with the National Water Board in Sri Lanka working as a civil engineer on planning, design, construction and water supply/sewer maintenance. Along with his wife and two sons, he immigrated to British Columbia in 2008, eager to continue his career as a civil engineer in Canada. Despite a university degree and experience, Mahendra found he needed additional training to re-enter the field.

Unable to find work in BC, he moved his family to Edmonton to take advantage of the Engineers’ and Technologists’ Integration Program (ETIP), a bridging program for internationally trained engineering professionals.

In order to support his family financially, Mahendra began tutoring math and physics to high school and university students.

After enrolling in ETIP, Mahendra realized he would need additional financial support to complete it. While applying for government funding, he learned about IAF through the Edmonton Centre for Newcomers.

He used the IAF loan to purchase a computer, books and other study materials to support his program. Upon completing the program, Mahendra secured a job as an Engineering Technologist with the City of Edmonton.

Although back in his professional field as a Certified Engineering Technologist, and continuing as a tutor on the side, Mahendra continues his journey towards being a civil engineer. He has applied for his professional engineer designation (P. Eng.) and is currently in the waiting process with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

Mahendra is thankful for the role that IAF has played in his journey so far. Coming to IAF was a positive experience for Mahendra. He found IAF loan staff to be friendly, with good attitudes and a demonstrated willingness to help those who come through the doors.


Every year, IAF helps hundreds of immigrants by providing loans to help them pay for the licensing or training they need to work in their field in Canada. Now more than ever Canada’s newcomers need our help. Please consider a donation to IAF today.