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FEAS dean recognized for outstanding contribution to the engineering profession

Dr. Tom Duever has been elected to the Canadian Academy of Engineering
June 14, 2021
Dr. Tom Duever leans on a cement landing in front of a brick building

There are significant milestones along the path of any academic career, from first institutional appointment to advancement within the discipline to the recognition of exceptional achievements in research, publication, service, leadership and teaching. Dr. Tom Duever, reappointed in 2019 for a second term as dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, has distinguished himself in all of these areas.

Then, there are towering landmarks among milestones, such as being named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). One of the highest professional honours accorded an engineer, CAE Fellows are elected by their peers in recognition of their substantial contributions to engineering in Canada and significant impact on society. 

“I am thrilled that the Canadian Academy of Engineering has recognized the great contributions Tom has made to the engineering profession and to education,” said Dr. Mary Wells, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo and CAE Fellow. “A colleague and friend, Tom has always championed the people around him and advanced equity, inclusivity and diversity in the engineering profession.”

Dr. Duever’s leadership philosophy is grounded in the conviction that an integrative, diverse and inclusive engineering culture accelerates learning, professional development and innovation. For example, the FEAS All-in Approach to Education that he spearheaded advocates for a holistic approach to student well-being, academics, leadership, career development and experiential learning. He has provided new staff support to ensure faculty members are aided in their efforts to develop ethical case studies, have additional learning and teaching resources, and are better equipped to support holistic student development. Further, he expanded the narrow Faculty outreach focus on women in engineering to include all equity-seeking groups and established the most diverse and inclusive Dean’s Advisory Council among engineering schools in Canada.

In addition to his integrative leadership style, Dr. Duever has led the creation of six innovative programs that prepare engineers to solve societal problems: an accelerated master of applied science (MASc) for exceptional undergraduate students; three additional master’s degrees in engineering innovation and entrepreneurship (MEIE), electrical and computer engineering with specialization in artificial intelligence (MEng), and biomedical engineering (MEng and MASc); and doctoral programs in biomedical engineering and in building science. In support of these programs, Dr. Duever established three new academic leadership roles including associate dean positions responsible for graduate studies and  teaching and outreach as well as a new Vice Dean, FEAS for Ryerson’s Cairo Campus, which is the result of an inaugural partnership with Universities of Canada in Egypt (UCE) forged by Dr. Duever.

An internationally recognized researcher, Dr. Duever also stands out in his field for his significant contributions to engineering knowledge, practice and teaching. He is known for his technical insights and original research in process systems engineering, including topics related to applied statistics, experimental design, polymer reaction engineering, fault detection and product development, with more than 120 articles in journals and conference proceedings to his credit. He has also been recognized for his excellence in undergraduate teaching and has supervised more than 40 graduate students. 

Alongside all of his professional accomplishments, Dr. Duever’s colleagues and students point to his warm, collegial and supportive approach to building partnerships and relationships. As Dr. Wells noted, and the Canadian Academy of Engineering has recognized, championing people goes hand in hand with transforming organizations and society.