Three new early-career professorships accelerate innovation in engineering education and research

Twenty-seven U of T Engineering assistant professors have been appointed to early-career professorships across three new programs for tenure- and teaching-stream faculty members. The professorships, created by Dean Cristina Amon, will enhance research in emerging areas and practices in engineering education across the Faculty.

The new programs are the Dean’s Spark Professorships, Catalyst Professorships and Emerging Innovation in Teaching Professorships. These build on the success of the Percy Edward Hart and the Erwin Edward Hart Professorships and the Hart Teaching Innovation Professorships established in 2016. The appointed professors were selected for their demonstrated commitment to several of the priorities outlined in the Faculty’s 2017-2022 Academic Plan.

“Our professors are pioneering emerging research and designing new engineering education pedagogies that are a model for other universities around the world,” says Amon. “These professorships will further accelerate their innovative research and teaching, and enhance their ability to deliver outstanding educational experiences for our students.”

To learn about each of the 27 recipients, click here. Below are our ChemE recipients.


Dean’s Spark Professorships (DSP)

Recipients of the DSP are within the first four years of their appointment. They are awarded an annual grant of $75,000 per year for three years.

  • Erin Bobicki (MSE, ChemE) – Improving the sustainability of mineral processing operations and increasing Indigenous youth’s access to engineering education.
  • Gisele Azimi (ChemE, MSE) – Mitigating the adverse effects of climate change through advanced recycling, carbon management, industrial waste reduction, innovative materials with unique properties and energy storage.

Dean’s Catalyst Professorships (DCP)

Recipients of the DCP have served at least four years in their appointment. They are awarded an annual grant of $75,000 per year over three years.

  • Arthur Chan (ChemE) – Understanding, monitoring and improving air quality in Indigenous communities using traditional Indigenous knowledge in consultation with the local population to better understand the effects of air quality on human health.

Dean’s Emerging Innovation in Teaching Professorships (DEIP)

Recipients of the DEIP are awarded to selected teaching-stream faculty. They receive an annual grant of $35,000 per year over three years.

  • Ariel Chan (ChemE) – Initiating change in active learning in chemical engineering by developing an interactive virtual reality industrial plant, which will enable students to perform laboratory activity remotely at their own pace.
  • Jennifer Farmer (ChemE) – Creating a program where current graduate students, undergraduate students and post-doctoral fellows will have an opportunity to propose and undertake curriculum development and education research in engineering related fields within the Faculty.

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