by Mirjana Vrbaski
The second annual Eng-ineering and Computer Science Colloquium, held
March 13, was an all-day feast of ingenious research. It was also a testimony
to recent efforts to renew the facultys academic vision, and join
a global move towards synthesized research.
The first stage of research was analysis, explained Georgios
Vatistas, ENCS Associate Dean (Graduate Programs, Research). We
have now reached the second stage. To solve outstanding problems we have
to synthesize different sciences, knowledge and backgrounds.
Because scientists are dealing with increasingly complex problems,
more and more aspects of each problem must be considered and dealt with.
This is why experts from different backgrounds are necessary, she
Research synthesis begins with communication. This colloquium was an
opportunity for faculty to see what their colleagues are doing and look
at the potential for collaboration. Twelve professors presented their
Nature has common laws, Vatistas said. We compartmentalize
research, but this does not mean that what is done in electrical engineering
cannot be applied to whats done in mechanical engineering.
One of the recent additions to the Department of Mechanical and Industrial
Engineering is Ibrahim Hassan.
Hassan has previously worked on several projects at the University of
British Columbia, the University of Manitoba and McMaster.
Although new to ENCS, he founded the microscale heat transfer research
group with several graduate and undergraduate students, and initiated
partnerships with the aerospace industry in Montreal. His initiative has
resulted not only in grants, but also in an honorary teaching excellence
award from Concordias Engineering and Computer Science Council on
Not forgetting its academic mission, ENCS has recently re-newed its curriculum,
adding a particular foc-us on the popular field of information technology.
The results have been rem-arkable. Engineering graduate students now
make up half of Concordia graduate students, and the undergraduate enrolment
has almost doubled over the decade, reaching 3,799. The faculty has 132
full-time professors, only four or five of whom are not supervising PhD
or masters students. In terms of the undergraduate-graduate student
ratio, ENCS comes close to the best U.S. engineering schools.
Delighted by the amount and the quality of research done at ENCS, Vatistas
reminded professors that while concentrating on reseach, we have
to make sure teaching doesnt get left behind. A question we always
have to ask ourselves is: Will my work bring new insights into the classroom?