As Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Dr. Cristina Amon provides leadership for the Faculty’s academic, budgetary and planning processes. She is responsible for the visionary and strategic leadership of one of the world’s leading engineering schools, with more than 5,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students, 251 faculty, 512 research and administrative staff, and an annual operating and research budget of over $260M.
Dr. Cristina Amon joined the University of Toronto (U of T) in 2006 as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Alumni Chair Professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Since her appointment, she has created programs to foster collaborative scholarship, enhance student experience, encourage active learning, promote research excellence and accelerate innovation.
Under her leadership, U of T Engineering has become a global intellectual hub for interdisciplinary research and education, introducing a number of key Faculty-wide initiatives such as undergraduate programming in energy, global engineering and engineering business, a professional master’s degree (MEng) which offers the option to focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and technology in engineering, or in cities engineering and management, and PhD programs in Engineering Education and Clinical Engineering.
Dean Amon has also led the creation of cross-Faculty centres and institutes in the areas of healthcare engineering, sustainable energy, global engineering, identity, privacy and security, design innovation, as well as leadership education in engineering. During her tenure as Dean, the Faculty’s momentum has been extraordinary; research and graduate programs have experienced unprecedented growth, with an increase of over 60 per cent in doctoral students and more than double the number of professional master’s students.
Dean Amon has a demonstrated track record of commitment to outreach and diversity. She was the architect of U of T Engineering’s Skule Mentorship program and Carnegie Mellon’s Engineering Your Future program, two programs designed to introduce pre-university underrepresented students to the excitement of engineering careers. Under her leadership, U of T Engineering achieved a historic 30.6% female first-year enrolment in 2014 and has recruited 24 new woman faculty to its research and teaching staff.
Prior to joining U of T, Dr. Amon was the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) at Carnegie Mellon University. As Director of ICES, Dr. Amon conceived and led interdisciplinary research initiatives, seeding high-impact projects, fostering a culture of innovation and promoting strong interactions with industry. She received her Mechanical Engineering diploma from Simón Bolívar University and continued her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned her MS and ScD degrees in 1985 and 1988, respectively.
She is a pioneer in the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics for formulating and solving thermal design problems subject to multidisciplinary competing constraints. Dean Amon continues her research at the University of Toronto in nanoscale thermal transport in semiconductors, energy systems and bioengineered devices.
Active in executive boards and professional societies, Dr. Amon is an Independent Director of MKS Instruments Inc. (MKSI), a leading global provider of instruments and process control solutions for advanced manufacturing of semiconductor devices, energy generation and electro-optical products. She is chair of the research committee of NCDEAS (National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science in Canada), founding chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council, and has served on advisory boards for several institutions (Stanford, UCLA, UIUC and Waterloo), and Foundations for Science, Engineering and Technology including in Brazil, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Qatar and Portugal.
Dean Amon has received numerous awards, including the ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award, ASEE Westinghouse Medal and the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award. In 2011, she was honoured with the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) highest honour, the SWE Achievement Award, for her outstanding contributions to engineering over more than 20 years. In the same year, Dean Amon was also the recipient of the prestigious YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction award, which recognized her achievement in improving the lives of girls and women in science and engineering.
In 2012, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Influential Women. The following year she was inducted into the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Hall of Fame, a North American award that recognizes achievements that open minds to the contributions of Hispanics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Most recently, she was awarded the 2014 CSME Robert W Angus Medal for outstanding contributions to the management and practice of mechanical engineering.
Dean Amon has been inducted into four academies: the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Spanish Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Canada and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. She has been elected fellow or honorary member of all major professional societies in her field and has contributed more than 350 refereed articles in education and research literature.