Helping Students Obtain the Best Education Possible { CASE FOR SUPPORT }

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1 z Helping Students Obtain the Best Education Possible { CASE FOR SUPPORT } Faculty of Engineering E

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3 McGill University has launched the largest fundraising initiative in its history. The Faculty of Engineering s campaign priorities total $70.5-million. Donations will be used to fund a series of programs and activities to improve teaching and research, support student services and recruit outstanding professors and students from across the globe. The Need for a New Breed of Engineer Global economic forces, rapid scientific advances, cross-border migrations and new approaches to problem-solving are moving the engineering profession in directions that were unheard of a decade ago. By the year 2020 engineers will have to master new technical information and techniques in order to tackle increasingly complex social, economic and environmental problems. They will need a greater understanding of the global marketplace, they will need to collaborate more with multidisciplinary teams of experts and they will have to be far more attuned to the social ramifications of their ideas. Engineers will also need to develop new skill sets to help their fellow citizens understand the value and consequences of new technologies in everyday life.* Targeting new and emerging fields of study In addition, because 33 to 50 per cent of North America s engineering graduates eventually pursue careers in other areas, leading-edge engineering schools must give students the tools to prepare for varied work experiences throughout their lives. Producing this new breed of multi-talented engineer will require revisions in curriculum, improved student services, new equipment and laboratories and a commitment to break boundaries between academic disciplines, languages and social groups. McGill Engineering must reinvent engineering education and research to continue making history in engineering. An Emphasis on People, Research and Industry Links The Faculty of Engineering will continue to offer core programs in engineering, architecture and urban planning that are equal, or superior, to educational programs elsewhere in North America, but a growing emphasis will be placed on newly emerging fields of study, increased research activity, strengthening the Faculty s human capital and greater ties to industry. * Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century; U.S. National Academy of Engineering, FACULTY OF ENGINEERING: CASE FOR SUPPORT 1

4 By focusing on new approaches and new areas of study, McGill Engineering will maintain its legacy as a leader in research in emerging fields (such as nanotechnology, software engineering, environmental and biomedical engineering, renewable and alternative energies) and as-yetundiscovered fields of scientific discovery. Expertise in these new and emerging fields will provide even greater incentives to attract world-class scholars and truly exceptional graduate and undergraduate students. Teaching and research go hand-in-hand The ability to strengthen its human capital is key to McGill Engineering s long-term plans for growth and development. Two dozen professors have been recruited since 2005 as part of a plan to raise the total faculty complement from 128 to 150 (by 2008), and then to 180 thereafter. The combination of existing professors strengths with those of the new hires will create a powerhouse in teaching and research. McGill Engineering will also increase graduate enrolment by 40 per cent because topcalibre master s and PhD students are the engines that drive university research. Success in research depends in large measure on the quantity and quality of gifted graduate students. They 2

5 are a major incentive in recruiting world-class researchers, and the interaction between graduate and undergraduate students has proven to be extremely effective in improving the quality of undergraduate education. Women comprise a quarter of the student population In terms of business industry co-operation, betterstructured partnerships will increase research opportunities and allow McGill Engineering to offer its students greater access to internships, field projects and mentoring programs, thus providing additional tools to help them find employment after graduation. Greater contacts with industry will also provide an essential window on the world to ensure that academic planners keep abreast of technical advances in their professions and fully understand the nature and scope of the demands being placed on graduates by an ever-changing client base. McGill Engineering s Strengths 1. McGill Engineering is recognized internationally for the expertise of its professors, the talent of its students, the contributions of its alumni and the exceptional quality of teaching and research in its five departments and two schools. Professors: The Faculty s professors play important roles in local, national and international research networks. The five-year average for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council funding per McGill engineering professor was 55 per cent higher than the average at Canada s top 15 engineering schools.* Total average annual research funding now tops $200,000 a year. The average output in publications per McGill engineering professor over a five-year period was 55 per cent higher than that of professors at the other top 14 schools in Canada. * Statistics compiled for Canada s 39-member National Committee of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science. FACULTY OF ENGINEERING: CASE FOR SUPPORT 3

6 Students: McGill boasts more Rhodes Scholars (128) than any other university in Canada. Recent Engineering recipients include Katherine Trajan (Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics) in 2007 and Alexandra Conliffe (Department of Mechanical Engineering) in The grades required of students to enroll in the Faculty of Engineering are the highest in Quebec and among the highest in Canada. McGill is Canada s most international university Engineering students frequently win prestigious design team competitions for such things as solar and hybrid vehicles. A recent example is McGill s first-place victory over Yale in the 2007 Formula Hybrid International challenge. Students run numerous outreach groups that promote a clean environment, or help the poor in developing countries, or encourage high school and junior college students young women in particular to consider careers in engineering. Their efforts have been so successful that women currently comprise more than a quarter of the Faculty s students, considerably higher than the norm for engineering schools across Canada. Alumni: The Faculty of Engineering has made tremendous contributions to Canada and the world by nurturing graduates who have literally transformed our society. The Silicon Valley computer revolution, the birth of information technology, breakthrough techniques in architectural design, urban planning, water purification methods to treat waste and innovative developments in graphics, video editing and image processing all have links to the Faculty of Engineering (see page 7). 2. McGill Engineering is a leader within McGill and across Canada in encouraging interdisciplinary, inter-faculty and inter-institutional approaches to problem solving. 4

7 World-class professors and exceptional students are the key to the Engineering Faculty s success Cutting-edge research is increasingly interdisciplinary The Faculty is already strong in the areas of intelligent systems and robotics, broadband communications, aerospace engineering and infrastructure engineering and design, but new areas of expertise are constantly being developed through innovative associations with partners inside and outside McGill. Relationships with the Montreal Neurological Institute and the McGill Faculty of Medicine, for example, have led to impressive results in fields such as bioengineering and medical imaging, and students and researchers are also benefiting from innovative linkages with the Desautels Faculty of Management and the faculties of Science, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dentistry and Law, the Schulich School of Music, the school of Computer Science and the McGill School of Environment. McGill Engineering intends to create even more of these partnerships at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. A history of excellence in Engineering, Architecture and Urban Planning 3. McGill s location in downtown Montreal is ideal to prepare students for work in the global economy. The University is situated in a multicultural, multilingual environment at the crossroads of Europe and North America. Nearly 25 per cent of McGill engineering students come from outside Canada, giving the school one of the most diversified, or internationalized, student bodies of any engineering faculty in North America. The seven buildings that form the Engineering Complex lie at the heart of this vibrant, cosmopolitan centre. FACULTY OF ENGINEERING: CASE FOR SUPPORT 5

8 Faculty of Engineering Fundraising Priorities McGill Engineering is preparing to meet the needs of the generation to come by launching a major campaign to fund its most important academic priorities. Campaign McGill is seeking support for the Faculty of Engineering to: 1) Establish 13 endowed chairs to attract and retain top faculty to drive teaching and research in areas such as architecture, the environment, bioengineering, aerospace and aeronautics, integrated microsystems, nanotechnology and advanced materials $39-million. 2) Create additional endowed graduate fellowships as one of several strategies to significantly increase graduate enrolment. The fellowships will provide financial packages on a par with those offered to students by other top engineering schools worldwide $16-million. 3) Improve student financial aid and employment opportunities through significant investment in undergraduate scholarships and bursaries, academic advising, undergraduate research opportunities and undergraduate internships and co-op programs. These initiatives will ensure that a McGill education is accessible to all eligible students regardless of their financial circumstances. They will also help undergraduates develop their work skills in order to compete on a level playing field with their peers from other world-class universities $6-million. 4) Create integrated bioengineering facilities to consolidate its existing and future strengths in this area. The facilities will serve as a hub for undergraduate activities in bioengineering, allow graduate students to benefit from mentoring in an advanced, interdisciplinary setting, and further develop already strong collaborations with biomedical researchers in the McGill Faculty of Medicine $4.5-million. 5) Upgrade laboratory and teaching facilities in its five departments and two schools. Facility needs are particularly great in disciplines within the Faculty of Engineering because of the dimensions of the equipment and the nature of the materials used. Quality space is also a major incentive in recruiting and retaining professors and students $3-million. 6) Establish a Distinguished Visiting Professors Fund to finance lectures, seminars and visits from high-profile international experts. The program will expose students and faculty members to state-of-the-art research and scholarly work $2-million. 6

9 The Contributions of our Graduates and Professors 1. Graduates of the Faculty of Engineering include entrepreneurs, a Nobel Prize recipient, an astronaut, university and corporate leaders, world-renowned architects, Oscar winners and a head of government. Some notable examples: 1980 Nobel Prize winner Val Fitch, BEng 48, DSc 87; Entrepreneur and computer technology giant Leslie Vadasz, BEng 61, DSc 07; Astronaut Julie Payette, BEng 86, DSc 03; Architects Arthur Erickson, BArch 50, LLD 75, and Moshe Safdie, BArch 61, LLD 82; Matrox Electronics Systems Ltd. founder and technology innovator Lorne Trottier, BEng 70, MEng 73, DSc 06; Oscar-winning movie producer Jake Eberts, BEng 62, DLitt 98 (Dances With Wolves, Gandhi and Driving Miss Daisy); Management thinker, corporate advisor and author Henry Mintzberg, BEng 61; Former Falconbridge chairman Alex Balogh, BEng 54; Zenon Environmental Inc. founder, chairman and CEO Andrew Benedek, BEng 66, DSc 05; Hatch Investments Ltd. founder Gerald Hatch, BEng 44, DSc 90; Bombardier Aerospace Engineering vice-president François Caza, BEng Alumni of the Faculty of Engineering have played leading roles in the design, management and construction of scientific, cultural, transportation and entertainment facilities across Canada and throughout the world. Some examples: Canada s National Gallery and the Atlanta Symphony Center; Israel s Holocaust History Museum Yad Vashem, the Canadian Chancery in Washington D.C. and the National Museum of Saudi Arabia; Confederation Bridge the fixed link to Prince Edward Island and Terminal Three at Pearson International Airport; FACULTY OF ENGINEERING: CASE FOR SUPPORT 7

10 Habitat 67, Quebec City s Musée de la civilisation and the 1991 addition to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. 3. Two of the Faculty s professors Patrick Selvadurai (Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics) and Roderick Guthrie (Mining and Materials) are back-to-back recipients (2007 and 2006 respectively) of Canada s most prestigious award for science and engineering, the Killam Prize. 4. A dozen faculty members have been honoured with Canada Research Chair awards, a federal government initiative to attract exceptional talent from around the world. 5. Electrical and Computer Engineering professor David Plant is a 2006 Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a 2006 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a 2006 NSERC Synergy Award winner. 6. Mechanical Engineering professor Wagdi Habashi is the 2006 Computational Flow Dynamics Association of Canada Life Time Achievement Award winner. 8

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12 Development, Alumni and University Relations Faculty of Engineering McGill University Macdonald Engineering Building Room Sherbrooke Street West Montreal (QC) Canada H3A 2K6 Photos: Owen Egan

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