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Engineering Alumni e-News
Engineering Alumni e-News

A Special Message from the Dean

As the year draws to a close and the holiday season approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect back on 2009 - a year of celebration and many accomplishments. The Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering has been recognized by the Times Higher Education-QS University World Rankings as 1st in Canada for the third consecutive year. We were also ranked 5th in North America and 8th in the world, two positions higher than 2008. While the THE-QS Rankings are based on peer review and academic reputation, the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is based on quantitative metrics in research indicators. I am pleased to inform you that our Faculty moved from 21st to 19th in the world in the ARWU. While rankings do not capture all of our strengths, these results provide a wonderful acknowledgement of our outstanding reputation for excellence in innovative research and Engineering education.

Our pre-eminence in rankings illustrates the impact of our collective efforts and achievements. Yet they only tell part of our story. Our recently completed inaugural Annual Report fills in the gaps and tells of our vibrant, diverse community constantly striving for excellence. I am pleased to share this with you. To view our Annual Report, please click here.

The accomplishments of our faculty redefine engineering in the global context. Engineers at U of T are developing a paint that can capture and convert the sun’s infrared light to energy – energy that can be used to heat homes or power vehicles. Our research efforts are discovering ways to use electrical stimulation to enable people with spinal cord injuries regain the use of their hands and possibly walk again. We are also developing techniques for using bacteria to clean up contaminated ground water sites. These are ambitious challenges and Skule™ Engineers are meeting these and many others with creativity and innovation.

We continue to enrich our curriculum, providing undergraduate students increased flexibility to pursue their areas of interests within Engineering. The recent introduction of the Minors in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Energy, in addition to our Minor in Bioengineering, responds to our commitment to a progressive education for the next generation of engineering leaders. In the coming year, we plan to introduce a Minor in Engineering Business to further encourage the leadership and entrepreneurial pursuits of our students.

As part of the MEng, the Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation and Technology in Engineering (MEng/ELITE) certificate was launched in 2007 and saw an increase of 140 per cent over the last year in its enrolment. In addition to ELITE, the Faculty launched a certificate in Engineering and Public Policy, in collaboration with the U of T School of Public Policy and Governance. The Faculty is committed to providing unique opportunities to all of our students with these offerings.

Alumni have contributed significant time and dedication to advancing our objectives. The Biz Skule™ program hosted its first event in September and engaged alumni who have found success using their engineering degrees in a variety of business and entrepreneurial pursuits. The Calgary Skule™ Alumni Chapter, created in 2007, developed two successful events, the Calgary Send-Off in July and the Fall Reception in November. This group also founded the Alberta Skule™ Admission Scholarship, which assists exemplary students from the province with their education at Skule™.

Our faculty, staff, students, and friends have contributed countless hours and great efforts in education and innovation to assist us in reaching our current level of success. In particular, the strides that you, as alumni, have made in your careers strengthen our collective reputation. Your dedication to your alma mater supports us as we strive for excellence and, as a more dynamic institution, support our outstanding students and faculty whose work makes a difference in the world.

On behalf of the Faculty, I thank you for your steadfast support. I wish you and your family a relaxing and joyful holiday season.

Cristina Amon


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