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Professor Lisa Romkey (ISTEP/EngSci) is one of four U of T Engineering professors who have been inducted as Fellows of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACEG). (Photo: Engineering Strategic Communications)

Four U of T Engineering professors have been inducted as Fellows of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACEG).

The honour recognizes noteworthy service to engineering education, engineering leadership, or engineering design education. The U of T Engineering inductees were among 21 engineering education professionals from across Canada in the association’s inaugural cohort.

They are:

  • Professor Greg Evans (ChemE, ISTEP)
  • Professor Susan McCahan (MIE), Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
  • Professor Lisa Romkey (ISTEP/EngSci)
  • Professor Jason Foster (CivMin/EngSci)

“It is truly an honour to be included in this group of highly respected engineering educators,” says Romkey. “These individuals have carved out spaces in their own institutions for this critical work, and I am lucky to consider many of the Fellows close colleagues and mentors.”

Romkey’s research interests include teaching and assessment practices in engineering. For example, she has collaborated with McCahan on the development of competency-based rubrics and with Professor Alan Chong (ISTEP) on research into how undergraduate multidisciplinary research projects are assessed.

She also recently completed work on a multi-institutional project on teaching practices in engineering. Her current research uses theory in higher education to better understand the nature of Engineering Science as a discipline, which she hopes will lead to a stronger relationship between program goals, and teaching and learning practices in EngSci. Professor Romkey teaches courses on the social and environmental impact of technology and Engineering Education.

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought key issues in engineering education to the fore for both teachers and students.

“This challenge gives us an opportunity to be creative and to collaborate in new ways,” says Romkey. “It has encouraged important conversations about the purpose of assessment, how to create meaningful learning communities with our students, and how to support each other as instructors.”

This fall, Romkey will be co-teaching an engineering and society course with Professor Rob Irish (ISTEP).

“This is a course built around weekly seminars, which has made it challenging to move online,” she says. “However, we’ll be making good use of educational technology, including synchronous and asynchronous activities, to offer a meaningful discussion experience and broaden student participation.”

Romkey says that the move to remote learning necessitated a deep review of course concepts and activities with a goal of prioritizing what’s important. As Associate Chair, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning for Engineering Science, she’s encouraging all professors to go through a similar exercise.

“We’re supporting instructors in their own planning with an eye to the ‘whole picture’ for our students,” she says. “I’m also working with a group of colleagues from across the country on a CEEA-ACEG initiative called E-CORE (Engineering Collaboration for Online and Remote Education) which includes the development of resource guides and professional development opportunities. It is exciting to see colleagues from across the country come together to support engineering students, teaching assistants and instructors.”

Romkey hopes that as the ranks of CEEA-ACEG Fellows continue to grow in the coming years, they can provide a national community of practice to strengthen engineering education across all institutions.

“Whether you have an interest in research and scholarship in engineering education, or teach in engineering, CEEA-ACEG provides community, an opportunity to showcase innovative work, and professional development opportunities,” she says. “I would encourage our faculty, staff and students to explore what the organization has to offer.”

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