In a recent meeting of the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (NCDEAS) in Ottawa, Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, completed his two-year term as chair of NCDEAS. Dr. Naterer served as vice-chair from 2013 to 2015 and chair from 2015 to 2017.
During his term as chair, Dr. Naterer led a number of major national engineering initiatives. One initiative is the start up of a national pilot project, involving 12 engineering schools across Canada to streamline and shift the accreditation process toward an "outcomes based" model.
“This initiative aims to shift the emphasis of undergraduate education from what students are taught to learning outcomes and resulting graduate attributes,” explained Dr. Naterer.
“The pilot project aims to improve the flexibility of educational innovation in engineering programs, alternate modes of program delivery and ways to better prepare students for a range of careers in an increasingly globalized world.”
Dr. Naterer also led new advocacy initiatives to the federal government for the importance of engineering in innovation and productivity in Canada, and he launched a new liaison committee with NSERC to engage a broad range of stakeholders including industry and government.
At the same meeting, Dr. Ishwar K. Puri, dean of engineering at McMaster University, was elected as chair of the council and Dr. Jim Nicell, dean of engineering at McGill University, was elected as vice chair. Chairs, vice chairs and past chairs serve NCDEAS in those roles for terms lasting two years.
“I have been privileged to serve as NCDEAS│CCDISA chair and am pleased to welcome Deans Puri and Nicell into their new leadership roles," said Dr. Naterer.
The elections were held during NCDEAS’s biennial meeting in Ottawa on April 29. This national council, comprised of all 44 engineering deans in Canada, is committed to the continuous improvement of engineering education and research that enhances the innovation and leadership skills of Canadian engineering graduates.
“Canadian engineering deans serve a key role in facilitating excellence and promoting a shared vision of engineering education and research at the national level. To be globally competitive, Canada needs more engineers who are particularly equipped to address the complex challenges and opportunities of a changing world,” said the three deans in a joint statement.
“If these needs remain unaddressed, our nation will be confronted by a shortage of this critically important talent. We contend that the future prosperity of Canada will be based on its solutions to the grand challenges that our society faces and engineers are key collaborators in determining those solutions. We are privileged to serve in our roles and will work with the Deans of the NCDEAS│CCDISA to ensure that all our professors and students are prepared to meet the challenges that the future presents for our nation and the world.”