Professor Cristina Amon (MIE), Alumni Distinguished Professor in Bioengineering and Dean Emerita of U of T Engineering, has been named a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours. The new appointees were announced today by Governor General Julie Payette (ECE MASc 9T0).
A distinguished scholar in mechanical engineering, devoted educator, innovative academic leader and university administrator, Amon served as Dean of U of T Engineering from 2006 to 2019. During that time, she established the Faculty as a world leader in multidisciplinary engineering research and education while making incredible strides in advancing gender equity, diversity and inclusion.
Under Amon’s leadership, the international profile of U of T Engineering and Canadian engineering programs in general rose tremendously; the Faculty is now acknowledged as one of the world’s top public engineering schools in all international rankings. This is in large part due to her unwavering commitment to creating innovative educational programming, establishing structures to ensure student success, fostering multidisciplinary research and strong partnerships with industry, and promoting Canadian engineering internationally.
“The Order of Canada recognizes those who devote themselves to enriching the fabric of this great country, and I am therefore tremendously proud to be honoured with this appointment,” said Amon. “My inclusion also acknowledges the vital role of excellence in research and education as the engine of Canada’s innovation economy, critical to the future prosperity of this country. I am enormously gratified that today we can stand proudly alongside world leaders on the global stage.”
Amon’s research pioneered the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics and hierarchical modeling for thermal design subject to multidisciplinary competing constraints. She has made ground-breaking contributions to concurrent thermal designs, innovation in electronics cooling, optimization algorithms for renewable energy, design of biomedical devices and, most recently, transient thermal management of electrical vehicle batteries and chargers.
Cristina Amon has served the engineering profession with distinction and dedication. She was the founding Chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council and Chair of the Research Committee for the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science, and has served in numerous leadership and committee roles both in Canada and abroad.
Amon has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Royal Academy of Spain, Royal Society of Canada, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and is a fellow of all the professional and technical societies in her field. She has received the highest recognitions for Canadian engineers, including the Engineering Institute of Canada Sir John Kennedy Medal and the Engineers Canada Gold Medal.
“It is impossible to overstate the contributions Cristina has made to enhancing the student experience, catalysing trans-disciplinary research collaboration, and strengthening the vibrant community in this Faculty,” said Chris Yip, Dean of U of T Engineering and the inaugural holder of the Decanal Chair in Innovation. “This Order of Canada acknowledges her lasting legacy of excellence at U of T Engineering, and her impact across the engineering profession.”
“Years ago, I made the choice to pursue my life’s work in Canada, a country that values and celebrates the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, abilities and perspectives of each one of its people,” said Amon. “It is deeply meaningful for me to receive this award in recognition of my own contributions to advancing that diversity and inclusion, and to creating new opportunities for generations yet to come.”