Filled with enthusiasm, wit and charisma, Professor Glenn Gulak‘s (ECE) teaching has inspired generations of U of T engineering students. His popular approach to learning has made him a sought-after supervisor, and many alumni credit him for having a major impact on their career paths.
For this and more, Professor Gulak recently received the Faculty’s Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award – one of nine awards honouring U of T Engineering faculty and staff for their continued pursuit of excellence.
“This year’s award winners have made exceptional contributions to the Faculty’s achievements in engineering research, learning, recruitment and student experience,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “I offer my warmest congratulations for their richly deserved recognition.”
This year’s winners:
Tomas Bernreiter (MIE)
This award recognizes staff members who have developed an innovative new method, technology or system.
Tomas Bernreiter is a laboratory manager and engineer for MIE. Tomas was recognized for overhauling the outdated Heat Engines Lab to create the Multidisciplinary Energy Laboratory. He created an innovative laboratory layout that allows up to eight different experiments to be running simultaneously and maximizes safety and energy efficiency. Currently shared by MIE, ChemE and EngSci, the lab allows students to access equipment not available through their departments and encourages cross-disciplinary work. Tomas garnered a U of T Excellence Through Innovation Award in 2013 for developing this lab.
Lisa Camilleri (Office of the Dean)
Influential Leader Award
This award is for a staff member who demonstrates exemplary support for the U of T Engineering’s endeavours and has made significant sustained contributions to the Faculty.
Lisa Camilleri is the assistant dean, administration. Lisa’s experience and institutional knowledge have made her a valued colleague to everyone from department chairs to junior administrative staff. For the past five years, she has provided leadership and guidance in the area of academic HR, demonstrating interpersonal and problem-solving skills in addition to her understanding of complicated guidelines and regulations. The responsibility she carries in her new role is a testament to the trust she has earned through her outstanding service to the Faculty.
Greg Evans (ChemE)
Faculty Teaching Award
This award is for a teacher who demonstrates outstanding classroom instruction, develops and uses innovative teaching methods, and goes above and beyond to ensure the best possible learning experience for students.
Greg Evans has made extensive contributions as an educator and academic leader since joining the Faculty in 1990. From 2003-2005 he served as chair of first year, overseeing the first-year curriculum for over 1,000 students. He then served as vice-dean, undergraduate from 2005-2007, providing overall direction to the undergraduate curriculum and student experience. Evans is the co-founder of the Faculty’s Leaders of Tomorrow program, and serves as associate director of the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering. He has received the American Society for Engineering Education Outstanding Teaching Award, the Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education and the University of Toronto Northrop Frye Award.
Susan Grant (ECE)
Quality of Student Experience Award
This award recognizes a staff member who has made significant contributions to the quality of student experience in the Faculty.
From the time Susan joined ECE in 1995 as high school liaison to her recent retirement, she had a profound positive impact on the department’s students. Susan’s enthusiasm for engineering and for our Faculty has been a key factor in attracting the best and brightest to ECE. She has consistently gone above and beyond the requirements of her role to connect with students on a personal level, make them feel welcome and involve them in the life of the Faculty. Her dedication to the department has also inspired many ECE alumni to remain involved and continue to give back.
Glenn Gulak (ECE)
Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award
This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching over a sustained period of time.
Since joining the Faculty in 1988, Glenn Gulak has maintained a standard of excellence in his teaching, which has inspired generations of students, as well as his fellow educators. His passionate and enthusiastic teaching style, as well as his ability to clearly communicate complex ideas, has made him one of the Faculty’s most popular educators. Gulak is also a sought-after supervisor, and many of our alumni credit him with having a major impact on their career paths. In addition, he has served as a mentor for junior faculty members, a number of which have gone on to be award-winning teachers in their own right. Glenn Gulak has won the ECE teaching award eight times and the Computer Science teaching award twice. He received the Faculty Teaching Award in 1999.
Javad Mostaghimi (MIE)
Research Leader Award
Established in 2013, the Research Leader Award recognizes leadership in interdisciplinary and multiple investigator initiatives that have enhanced the Faculty’s research profile within the broader community.
Javad Mostaghimi is the founding director of the Centre for Advanced Coating Technologies (CACT), one of the world’s leading research centres in the area of thermal spray technology. He has collaborated with researchers from other departments in the University, as well as research institutions in Canada and internationally, to create models of plasma sources and thermal spray coatings which are widely applicable across a number of fields. Mostaghimi has also worked extensively with industrial partners in several disciplines and commercialized his work through patents and spin-off companies. In addition, he has raised the Faculty’s research profile by hosting conferences and meetings in Toronto and serving in leadership roles in professional organizations. In 2009, Mostaghimi and his colleagues at the CACT received the NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize, for achievement in collaborative interdisciplinary research. Other awards he has garnered include the Engineering Institute of Canada’s Julian C. Smith Medal, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Heat Transfer Memorial Award and the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering’s Robert W. Angus Medal.
Luke Ng (MSE)
Harpreet Dhariwal Emerging Leader Award
This award, which was renamed last year in honour of the late Harpreet Dhariwal, recognizes a staff member who demonstrates potential to assume a more senior leadership role.
Luke Ng is the external relations and student life officer for MSE. Luke’s accomplishments include a total redesign of the department’s website, increased outreach to alumni and industry, and the creation of IMPACT, MSE’s new magazine. His efforts have yielded a substantial increase in undergraduate applications, a continuous rise in traffic to the website and improved alumni engagement. Luke’s many initiatives in the area of student life include creating a MSE student council, the IMPACT Student Choice Awards and the IMPACT Speaker Series. Most recently, Luke oversaw the very successful MSE Centennial celebrations in 2013.
Oscar del Rio (MIE)
Agnes Kaneko Citizenship Award
Named in memory of a valued staff member, this award recognizes staff who have served with distinction and made contributions to the Faculty’s mission above and beyond their job description.
Oscar is the computer systems administrator in MIE. Over the years, Oscar has developed a stellar reputation among his colleagues, based on his in-depth understanding of the systems he oversees, his approachability and his dedication to the department’s mission. Whether tackling large projects like the development of MIE’s new website, or small problems like an individual computer issue, colleagues know they can rely on Oscar’s technical knowledge, work ethic and professionalism to keep things running smoothly.
Farzan Sasangohar (MIE PhD 1T5)
Teaching Assistant Award
This award recognizes TAs who demonstrate outstanding performance in classroom instruction, effective teaching methods, and the development of course material.
Farzan Sasangohar is a Ph.D. candidate in the industrial engineering program, specializing in human factors engineering. In 2011, he began working for the Engineering Communication Program as a TA, teaching MIE Capstone Design and Design Portfolio courses, as well as Engineering Strategies and Practice. In these courses, Farzan served not just as a teacher but as a mentor for his students, working with them to develop their communication and professional skills. He has also mentored other TAs and offered a training workshop on efficient communication and constructive feedback. Farzan is co-author of a paper on “Engineers Teaching Engineering Communication” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Engineering Education Association.