Media Releases

University of Toronto joins U.S. engineering education initiative announced at White House today

March 23, 2015

TORONTO, ON — Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing has joined more than 120 U.S. engi­neer­ing schools lead­ing a trans­for­ma­tive move­ment in engi­neer­ing edu­ca­tion announced at the White House today.

In a let­ter pre­sent­ed to Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and peer insti­tu­tions com­mit­ted to estab­lish spe­cial edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams designed to pre­pare under­grad­u­ates to solve “Grand Challenges”—complex yet achiev­able goals to improve nation­al and inter­na­tion­al health, secu­ri­ty, sus­tain­abil­i­ty and qual­i­ty of life in the 21st cen­tu­ry. Togeth­er, the schools plan to grad­u­ate more than 20,000 for­mal­ly rec­og­nized “Grand Chal­lenge Engi­neers” over the next decade.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has imple­ment­ed sev­er­al strate­gic ini­tia­tives to accom­plish these goals:

  • Cre­ative learn­ing expe­ri­ence con­nect­ed to the Grand Chal­lenges
    With­in the Insti­tute for Mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary Design & Inno­va­tion (UT-IMDI) at U of T, stu­dents col­lab­o­rate with senior engi­neers and fac­ul­ty to solve crit­i­cal real-world prob­lems. These cre­ative learn­ing expe­ri­ences allow stu­dents to work on tan­gi­ble design and devel­op­ment chal­lenges with indus­try part­ners.
  • Authen­tic expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing that includes inter­dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tice
    The Faculty’s Cen­tre for Glob­al Engi­neer­ing (CGEN) Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Approach to Address­ing Glob­al Chal­lenges course brings togeth­er stu­dents from engi­neer­ing, glob­al affairs, busi­ness and pub­lic health. In 2014, the group designed col­lab­o­ra­tive solu­tions to end child­hood mal­nu­tri­tion in Bangladesh.
  • Entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion expe­ri­ence
    U of T Engi­neer­ing sup­ports stu­dent entre­pre­neur­ship, inno­va­tion and busi­ness expe­ri­ence by offer­ing a cer­tifi­cate and a minor in these areas. Our ded­i­cat­ed inno­va­tion pro­gram, The Entre­pre­neur­ship Hatch­eryTM, is a vibrant hub invest­ed in build­ing a strong entre­pre­neur­ial com­mu­ni­ty and pro­vid­ing the resources and men­tor­ship to enable stu­dents to turn ideas in to suc­cess­ful star­tups.
  • Glob­al and cross-cul­tur­al per­spec­tives
    Our cer­tifi­cate in Glob­al Engi­neer­ing teach­es stu­dents how to influ­ence and improve con­di­tions around the world. To pro­mote a diverse and open mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary learn­ing envi­ron­ment, we have also estab­lished inter­na­tion­al cross-cul­tur­al cap­stone design projects where stu­dents work togeth­er in their final year of study on an indus­try-based assign­ment.
  • Social con­scious­ness through ser­vice-learn­ing
    Com­mu­ni­ty-based ini­tia­tives, both local and inter­na­tion­al, are encour­aged and thriv­ing at U of T; CGEN has col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion to address the san­i­ta­tion chal­lenges fac­ing bil­lions of peo­ple in devel­op­ing coun­tries.

“At the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing, we are delight­ed to join our U.S. col­leagues in re-imag­in­ing engi­neer­ing edu­ca­tion,” said Dean Cristi­na Amon. “Togeth­er we are prepar­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of glob­al engi­neer­ing lead­ers with strong engi­neer­ing foun­da­tion­al knowl­edge along with the com­pe­ten­cies to cre­ate inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies, to become entre­pre­neurs and to col­lab­o­rate across dis­ci­plines to address the Grand Chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tu­ry.”

For details about the ini­tia­tive, please see accom­pa­ny­ing Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing release, “U.S. Engi­neer­ing Schools to Edu­cate 20,000 Stu­dents to Meet Grand Chal­lenges,” online at:


Media con­tact:

RJ Tay­lor
Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to