Spartan Controls gift to SAIT points to sustainable future of industrial automation


Post-secondary and industry unite in the pursuit of a more sustainable future through the digital transformation of our energy sector.

Calgary, AB (Thursday, Sept. 14) — Today, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) received a $1.58 million gift from long-time partner Spartan Controls — a leading provider of industrial automation, valves, measurement and process control solutions in western Canada. This gift is an investment into advancing the strategic direction of SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy and the School for Advanced Digital Technology (SADT) as they continue to grow in the digital intelligence field and accelerate overlapping program offerings.

This generous contribution to the digital advancement of post-secondary education will enable SAIT to upgrade physical infrastructure, create a new suite of Student Awards benefitting both SADT and the MacPhail School of Energy, support SAIT’s International Society of Automation student club and provide funds to drive innovative collaborations between the MacPhail School of Energy and SADT – mirroring the increasing blurring of occupational lines in industry.

An additional provision of support for Indigenous students will be included in Student Awards funded by Spartan Controls, helping to ensure tomorrow’s instrumentation workforce reflects the diverse communities it serves.

“Spartan’s support will enable SAIT to keep pace with the digital transformation taking place across the energy sector,” says Dr. David Ross, President and CEO, SAIT. “Across our 40-plus years of partnership, Spartan has affirmed their belief in our institution through multiple initiatives, and this investment speaks volumes to their commitment to the evolution of SAIT and the growth of our programming.”

Industries across the board continue to experience increased automation driven by evolving technologies. SAIT’s connection to those industries allows the institution to continue offering dynamic curriculum and train tomorrow’s workforce with a high understanding of the integration and application of digital intelligence for a more sustainable future within the energy sector.

“The longstanding partnership between Spartan Controls and SAIT has spanned several decades and emphasizes the pivotal role of education in fostering thriving global communities, local societies and sustainable businesses,” says Grant Wilde, President and CEO, Spartan Controls. “This renewed pledge will empower future leaders and innovators in industry and business by continuing to inspire students to excel with the best available training and technology, so they can be confident they are being set up for a successful future that is yet to be written.”

Spartan Controls employs more than 150 SAIT graduates and has provided state-of-the-art technology for SAIT students to graduate as leaders in the digital instrumentation industry. To date, this partnership is conservatively estimated at almost $4 million over the past four decades.

About SAIT

Established in 1916, SAIT was the first of its kind, publicly funded technical school in North America. As a global leader in applied education and research — serving nearly 40,000 students annually — SAIT offers certificate, diploma, post diploma, apprenticeship and applied degree programs, baccalaureate degrees, corporate training and more than 1,000 continuing education courses, along with four dedicated, award-winning areas of research and capacity for new and emerging research. Curriculum and research priorities are developed through industry partnerships to ensure graduates have the skills and knowledge required to fulfill the demand for talent. SAIT is honoured to be recognized by Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Alberta’s Top Employers for 2024, and to be ranked sixth by Research Infosource Inc. in the Top 50 Research Colleges in Canada for 2023. CEOWORLD Magazine ranked the SAIT School of Business #49 on the list of Best Business Schools in the World for 2024, and the School of Hospitality and Tourism placed #14 on their list of Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools in the World for 2024.  

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Kate Laverdure, Communications

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SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.