Last Thursday Queen’s University announced the renaming of their engineering faculty to the Stephen J.R. Smith Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The rename followed a 100-million-dollar donation from Queen’s alum Stephen J. R. Smith. This is the largest donation ever given to a Canadian engineering faculty.
The entrepreneur’s large sum will not only change the name of the program, but it will also facilitate a fundamental change in the way that engineering is taught at Queen’s University.
“New name. New Era. Engineering Education Transformed.” This Is the tagline of Smith Engineering which operates on these four key elements:
- Problem-based, experiential learning oriented toward the world’s grand challenges.
- A humanistic approach to engineering.
- Competency-based education to ensure subject mastery.
- Experiential learning where students learn through practice.
“This new model of engineering education will be technically rigorous, experientially focused, socially conscious and creatively inspired,” according to the Queen’s University website.
The faculty’s curriculum will also be tied to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This ensures that the next generation of engineers is well-versed in creating technology that benefits society and solves the world’s most challenging problems while considering culture, ethics, and stakeholder engagement.
Sandro Perruzza, CEO of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers supports the new direction of the program saying,
“The foundational ideologies of Smith Engineering to be inclusive, sustainable, and human-centred are in line with the ideals that we want to see ingrained in future engineers. The pedagogy and financial resources that will be available to the engineering students of tomorrow is an exciting development for Queen’s University and the Ontario engineering community at large.”
OSPE is thrilled about the large investment in engineering education as well as the forward momentum and problem-solving that is set to come out of this transition.