Four ChemE members recognized at the 10th annual Celebrating Engineering Excellence event

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Left to right: Professor Ramin Farnood, Professor Grant Allen, Dean Cristina Amon, Professor Will Cluett, Endang (Susie) Susilawati, Pauline Martini, Professor Greg Evans, Professor Christopher Yip at Celebrating Engineering Excellence 2017 (Photo: Roberta Baker)

U of T Engineering faculty and staff gathered together on April 26th to recognize their colleagues’ exceptional contributions to the Faculty’s teaching and research missions at the 10th annual Celebrating Engineering Excellence reception.  This event honours the recipients of Engineering’s staff, research and teaching awards, as well as those who received awards and major research grants over the past year.

“It’s a great pleasure to bring our community together every year to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of our faculty and staff” said Dean Cristina Amon. “On behalf of the Faculty, I offer heartfelt congratulations to the awardees, and thank all our faculty and staff members for their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence.”

This year’s winners from ChemE are:

Prof. Greg Evans, Research Leader Award

This award recognizes leadership in innovative interdisciplinary and multiple-investigator initiatives that have enhanced the Faculty’s research profile within the broader community.

Over the past 20 years, Greg Evans has established the Faculty as a world leader in the study of air pollution, both through his own groundbreaking research and through his leadership in establishing collaborative research networks at U of T, nationally and internationally. These networks include the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research, which brings together engineers, scientists and clinicians from various disciplines to study the impact of air pollution on the environment and human health in partnership with government agencies. Greg also led the creation of the Canadian Aerosol Research Network, uniting the collective expertise of leading aerosol researchers at U of T, Dalhousie and UBC. Studies conducted by these groups have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the sources and effects of air pollution, and have helped shape government policy in this area. Most recently, Greg initiated a new collaborative program for exposomic research, a central part of U of T’s first ever tripartite research agreement.

Pauline Martini, Innovation Award

This award recognizes staff members who have shown innovation in developing a new method, technology or system, or improving an existing system, to the benefit of the Faculty.

As Graduate Administrator for ChemE, Pauline Martini is an essential point of contact for graduate students, faculty members, and applicants. Through her innovation, she has tremendously improved the department’s ability to share essential information with all these stakeholders. Pauline completely overhauled the graduate section of the departmental website, rewriting and reorganizing the content to be considerably more user-friendly and adding important information, such as year-by-year breakdowns of programs. She also created a series of prepared responses to common student questions, allowing administrators to respond to these inquiries more quickly and efficiently. Perhaps most importantly, Pauline created individualized funding summaries for graduate students detailing exactly when they will receive their funding; information they did not have access to in the past. This has substantially improved their ability to budget and to make financial decisions. These innovations, in addition to Pauline’s tireless day-to-day efforts, have resulted in a greatly improved experience for ChemE graduate students.

Endang (Susie) Susilawati, Quality of Student Experience Award

This award recognizes a staff member who has made significant contributions to the quality of student experience in the Faculty.

Susie Susilawati is the Lab Manager for BioZone, home to approximately 80 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. She works tirelessly to ensure that the BioZone labs run smoothly and safely so that students have an outstanding research experience, and consistently seeks student feedback on how the labs can best meet their needs. However, Susie’s contributions to the student experience go far beyond her official role – since joining BioZone in 2009 she has made it her mission to create an exceptional sense of community, making sure that every student feels welcome and connected. Susie takes the time to get to know each of BioZone’s students and ensures that they get to know each other. She is the first person students seek out when they need assistance of any kind. Susie plans and hosts community-building events such as a weekly informal social and monthly birthday celebrations, and encourages all BioZone members to get involved. Her efforts have been instrumental in creating a cohesive student community within this unique centre.

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Will Cluett, Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award

This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching over the course of at least 15 years.

Over the course of his 30-year career at U of T, Will Cluett has served the Faculty in several leadership roles, making tremendous contributions in each. As Chair, First Year from 1997-2003 he led the development and launch of the Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program (DEEP), a unique outreach program directed at gifted high school students. As Vice-Dean, Undergraduate from 1998-2003, Cluett played a key role in the creation and implementation of Engineering Strategies and Practice, the Faculty’s flagship first year design course. As Chair of Engineering Science from 2005-2011, he led the development of a new major in Engineering Mathematics, Statistics and Finance, revamped the design curriculum, and oversaw a significant expansion of summer research opportunities for EngSci students. Cluett also created a new first year Engineering Mathematics and Computation course, which he has taught since 2009. In 2014, he was recognized for his outstanding instruction in his home department with ChemE’s Bill Burgess Teacher of the Year Award for Large Classes.

Read full story to see who else from the Faculty was recognized at Celebrating Engineering Excellence this year.