Susan McCahan, Vice-Dean, Undergraduate
| ||—BS, Cornell University |
—MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
—PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
| 416-978-0490 www.mie.utoronto.ca/faculty/mccahan.html Susan McCahan
is Vice-Dean, Undergraduate, and has been a Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering since 1992. She has previously held the position of Chair, First Year from 2006 to 2011.
Her engineering research deals with the design of the engineering learning environment. Professor McCahan's research frames the learning environment as an information system with the goal of identifying accessibility and inclusivity issues that arise from the design of the system.
She has worked extensively in faculty development and graduate student education in teaching and learning. In 2004, Professor McCahan started the Faculty’s first graduate-level course on Engineering Teaching and Learning for PhD students who are interested in academic careers. More recently, she created a course for professional Master’s students on teaching and learning in professional contexts. She has been one of the coordinators for Teaching in Higher Education (THE500) at Woodsworth College. Professor McCahan has also developed and delivered numerous workshops and seminars for students and staff on topics related to teaching and learning. In addition, she annually teaches a course for faculty members (The Fundamental of University Teaching) through the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation.
Over the years, Professor McCahan has received several honours and awards for her dedication to teaching and engineering excellence. In 2009, she was honoured with the Engineers Canada's Medal of Distinction in Engineering Education
for her contributions to the engineering profession and Canadian society. In 2007, Professor McCahan was the recipient of a 3M National Fellowship Teaching Award and was also part of the team in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering that received the 2007 Alan Blizzard Award for collaboration in teaching. She received the Faculty Teaching Award in 2000 and was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2006 for distinguished contributions and innovations to the education of the next generation of engineers and scientists. Within U of T, Professor McCahan was a recipient of the 2007 President's Teaching Award, the University’s highest teaching honour, recognizing sustained excellence in teaching, research in teaching and the integration of teaching and research.
Professor McCahan has taught a variety of courses at the University of Toronto. Since 2003, she has been involved with the first-year design and communications course, Engineering Strategies and Practice (ESP), which includes a substantial service-learning component. She coordinated the pilot of this course in 2003-2004 and led the course through to full implementation in 2005-2006. This course has an enrollment of more than 900 students annually and a course staff of approximately 50. In addition, she has taught courses on thermodynamics, combustion, alternative energy systems and radiative heat transfer.
In the past, Professor McCahan served as Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies, for the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering. As Associate Chair from 2001-2004, she led the redesign of the undergraduate curriculum in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs. Her past research includes the thermodynamics of hydrocarbons, particularly in flashing spray and rapidly evaporating systems. Professor McCahan’s research on energy systems has included work for Imperial Oil and the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada, among others.