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Rising to the Challenge

Impact Report 2021

Dean's Message

headshot of Chris Yip on blue semi-circle background

Dean Chris Yip

“We never stopped. We kept on innovating, teaching and strengthening our community. We met the challenges of this year, and emerged more prepared for whatever will follow.” 

What I will remember most strongly about this year was the way that everybody stepped up. 

The pandemic challenged the entire world, but here at U of T Engineering, we never stopped, and we barely even slowed down. 

Our professors and staff continued to deliver award-winning educational programming, finding innovative ways to keep their courses interactive, engaging and unique. Our students worked hard and kept their extracurricular activities going, even winning international competitions. Our researchers launched new collaborations, and shared their expertise to help everyone understand the way through. Our alumni, volunteers and industry partners kept up their unwavering support, enabling our community to remain strong. 

The solutions we developed this year won’t just go on a shelf when the pandemic is over. We will continue to leverage all we have created and learned keep our Faculty at the leading edge of research, education and leadership development, and continue to earn our place as the top-ranked engineering school in Canada and among the best in the world. 

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Land

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Our Blueprint for Action outlines the Faculty's commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment, and to hold space for Indigenous students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners. This work continues as we support the journeys of our community members toward understanding and acknowledging the histories, cultures and truths of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. We must also recognize and reflect on the responsibility engineering professionals have in the pursuit of reconciliation on Indigenous lands — both in Canada and around the world.

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Engineering For the World:

Nurturing global perspectives among engineering leaders

Engineering is a global discipline. From climate change to pandemics, the challenges we face transcend borders. The best solutions are those designed by diverse teams with a sense of how they will resonate in the disparate communities where they will be implemented. 

Our philosophy of Engineering For the World (E4TW) encapsulates everything we do to prepare the next generation of leaders to think and act globally — from research collaborations to capstone projects, exchanges, competitions and internships abroad. This map shows a few highlights from the 2020–2021 academic year. 

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Mogadishu, Somalia

A team of students, led by Shrey Jain (Year 2 EngSci), developed a digital tool to track COVID-19 cases among vulnerable populations in the city. The data guided targeted interventions to improve public health.

Thonburi (Bangkok), Thailand

Eight U of T Engineering students completed virtual summer research projects with Professor Jonathan Chan (EngSci 8T4, ChemE MASc 8T7, PhD 9T5) at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Dozens more projects were supported through the Engineering Science Research Opportunities Program (ESROP).

São João del-Rei, Brazil

University of São João del-Rei is one of 10 partner institutions working with U of T Engineering through the International Virtual Engineering Student Teams (InVEST) initiative, which facilitates virtual and cross-cultural collaboration.

Beijing, China

Fletcher Han (Year 4 ChemE + PEY Co-op) has been selected to join the Class of 2022 Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University. He will head to Beijing in August 2021 to study toward a Master’s degree in Global Affairs.

Miami, USA

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Fla. was one of many institutions that received packages of donated Kerra skin cream, a product based on research from Professor Milica Radisic (BME, ChemE).

Palo Alto, USA

Kristina Menton (MechE 1T4 + PEY) serves as Director of Operations – Flight Testing & Propulsion Lead at Opener, makers of the BlackFly personal aerial vehicle. She was a featured speaker at the inaugural Engineering Research Days virtual event, which attracted more than 800 attendees from around the world.

Boston, USA

PEY Co-op student Sarah De Sousa (Year 3 CivMin) is spending a year as a Transit Technology and Data Intern at IBI Group. Working remotely, she analyzes transit data to improve trip planning software and helps transit agencies procure needed technology.

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Toronto, Canada

In our new podcast, Tell Me More: Coffee with Chris Yip, our Dean sits down with members of our global community who are at the heart of bold solutions to design a better world. Subscribe today on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more!

Bengaluru, India

Professor Swetaprovo Chaudhuri (UTIAS) worked with colleagues at the Indian Institute of Science and the University of California San Diego to develop new physics-based models for the aerosols that spread COVID-19.

Limpopo Province, South Africa

Professor David Meyer (CivMin, CGEN) and his collaborators designed a tiny, low-cost, smart sensor that can detect when and how often water treatment devices are being used. This will help governments and development organizations design better interventions for places where water quality is low.

Educating Tomorrow's Engineering Leaders

“From all over the world, our students found creative ways to keep up with their studies — but they also jumped at the opportunity to apply their engineering skills to tackle complex challenges raised by the pandemic itself.”

– Professor Aimy Bazylak (MIE), Acting Vice-Dean Undergraduate

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#1

Canada’s top-ranked engineering school overall across the National Taiwan University, Times Higher Education/Elsevier and QS world university ranking systems. 

175

Summer 2020 research placements conducted virtually, with supervisors in Canada and abroad. 

25+

Number of countries where at least one U of T Engineering student was learning online during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Click to open a modal for more information about From virtual reality to 'kitchen labs' — How profs got creative with remote learning

Click to open a modal for more information about Engineering Academy helps first-year students hit the ground running

Click to open a modal for more information about 'My dream job' – Designing autonomous space robotics

Click to open a modal for more information about Synthetic ‘soil’ for hydroponic root vegetables

Click to open a modal for more information about How to become a 3D printing expert

Click to open a modal for more information about Self-driving vehicle earns fourth straight victory

Advancing Engineering Research

"We need to rethink our behaviours, the design of our cities, and even aspects of our culture. Everybody has to take responsibility for this."

Professor Heather MacLean (CivMin)

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154%

Increase in industry-sponsored research funding between 2015–2016 and 2019–2020 (8.0M to 20.3M)

880+

Participants in Engineering Research Days

400+

External companies and organizations that collaborated with U of T Engineering in 2020–2021, catalyzed in part by our Industry Partnerships Office

Click to open a modal for more information about Smart, robotic UV lamp could fight COVID-19 and other diseases

Click to open a modal for more information about EVs fight climate change — but they’re no silver bullet

Click to open a modal for more information about Transforming trees into sustainable plastics and more

Click to open a modal for more information about Anti-viral copper coatings could help slow transmission of COVID-19

Click to open a modal for more information about Turning waste into cleaner, greener electronics

Click to open a modal for more information about Re-engineered enzyme could help reverse damage from spinal cord injury and stroke

Celebrating our Inclusive Community

"It is not just about seeing individuals in STEM. It is more about knowing that individuals like myself are considered equal participants in STEM, that our background, culture, and history is relevant to STEM and valued, and that we are having a positive experience."

– Professor Philip Asare (ISTEP)

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35.6%

Proportion of women students across all programs (38.3% undergraduate, 30.1% graduate)

25%

U of T Engineering’s share of the major national and international awards given to Canadian engineering professors for 2020 

80+

Undergraduate and graduate student clubs and teams, including aUTorontoEngineers Without Borders, and Skule™ Orchestra. 

Click to open a modal for more information about Increasing diversity in graduate studies

Click to open a modal for more information about Celebrating 100 years of Skule™ Nite

Click to open a modal for more information about Making the most of an unusual year

Click to open a modal for more information about Blanket Exercise — Raising awareness of Indigenous issues

Click to open a modal for more information about Blueprint: A new STEM community at U of T Engineering

Click to open a modal for more information about Reflect, remember, respond

Click to open a modal for more information about MH Hacks: Mental Health and Wellness Hackathon

Click to open a modal for more information about Representation matters: Black History Month and Display Your Pride

Click to open a modal for more information about NSBEHacks goes virtual and global

Awards & Honours

 

View a full list of awards and honours received by U of T Engineering faculty

Click to open a modal for more information about Order of Canada: Cristina Amon & Elizabeth Edwards

Click to open a modal for more information about Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal: Molly Shoichet

Click to open a modal for more information about President’s Teaching Award: Micah Stickel

Click to open a modal for more information about College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists: Aimy Bazylak

Strengthening our Faculty

"I am a huge fan of U of T Engineering and I wanted to support the new students in a tough year. I hoped that our support would help make for a better experience in some way."

– Gary Saarenvirta (EngSci 8T8)

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1,200+

U of T Engineering alumni who volunteer as mentors, guest lecturers or participants in Skule events, up by 30% over the past five years 

50

New named scholarships, bursaries, fellowships and grants established in 2020–2021, representing an investment of more than $5.5 M. Of these, 30% are targeted toward students who are Black, Indigenous or members of other historically underrepresented groups.

11,000+

Membership within U of T Engineering CONNECT, an online social network of alumni and supporters. 

Click to open a modal for more information about Lauren Wu: Inspiration drives innovation

Click to open a modal for more information about Morris Huang, Difference Maker

Click to open a modal for more information about A Back to Skule™ like no other

Click to open a modal for more information about Alumni volunteers help nurture the next generation of engineering talent

Click to open a modal for more information about A new look for Survey Camp

Click to open a modal for more information about Helping those impacted by COVID-19 — within our community and beyond

Advancement Results

Total: $18,965,627

U of T Engineering raised nearly $19 M in philanthropic support from a variety of sources in 2020–2021. Below this figure is broken down by source and designation.

© 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering