Internal Academic Review Committee

Report on the Review of the Department of Chemical Engineering

The External Consultants and the Review Team describe the Department of Chemical Engineering as outstanding in virtually every aspect. Exceptional undergraduate and graduate students study in an excellent teaching and learning environment; at this time, all faculty members hold NSERC grants and are active in research; despite budget cuts, morale and satisfaction among the faculty, staff and students are high; and the Department enjoys strong and solid leadership. The Department has been in a rebuilding mode for the last decade. The Review Team Report notes that "eleven young faculty were hired in the period 1990 - 2000 and further hiring in the near future is anticipated."

Although the Department is small, a rich array of programs is offered including Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry at the undergraduate level, along with master's and doctoral programs at the graduate level. The reviewers offer praise in this regard, but also encourage the Department to increase graduate enrolment and course offerings, and at the same time, enrich the undergraduate program. Positioned as it seems to be to become one of the leading Chemical Engineering departments in Canada and beyond, the challenge, at the current level of resources, will be to make the best choices for future development, whether that be through expansion as suggested in the reports, or consolidation and greater focus on already identified strengths. It is therefore strongly recommended that the Faculty and the Department proactively engage in strategic planning to map out for the future, the place of the Department within the Faculty and the University.

The Department is cited for its achievements in the area of equity, and relative to the norm for Applied Science disciplines, there is indeed a high proportion of women in the faculty complement, as well as in the student body.

The External Consultants and the Review Team noted that the Department of Chemical Engineering has no serious deficiencies, but identified some issues that the IARC agrees should be addressed: staff resources in the technical area are under pressure; and the laboratory facilities are in need of upgrading and renovation.

This is a department recognized for its overall quality and poised to take a place among leading departments worldwide. The challenge consists of choosing the most effective direction for the future.

Follow-up on these recommendations and issues will take place in the annual staffing and budget strategy meetings between the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and the Vice-Principal (Academic).