U of T Engineering Academy Instructors
The U of T Engineering Academy (UTEA) instructors are experts in both their subject area and pedagogical practice. Meet the team that helped assemble the UTEA 2020 curriculum. Some have backgrounds in teaching at the high school level, some are former university professors and some you may even see teaching some of your introductory U of T Engineering courses in the fall!
Jennifer Farmer is a Teaching-Stream Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. She is also the Chair of the Scholarships and Awards Committee and the Director of the Nanoengineering minor. Prof. Farmer is passionate about chemistry. As a trained chemistry she views her role as helping to bridge the gap between chemists and chemical engineers by providing our students with a strong foundation in applied chemistry knowledge and practical skills through experiential learning. Prof. Farmer has strong research interests in chemical and engineering education, studying student learning mechanisms (i.e., how students develop knowledge and competencies) and assessments (development and use of assessment methods, instruments, and metrics to assess students learning) in active learning environments. Currently, she is working on the development of innovative and stimulating applied chemistry experiments for second year students that enhances student learning and engagement with core curriculum material.
Shai Cohen has been at the University of Toronto for his entire adult life and has claimed that he is two years away from getting a statue in his honour for the past decade. He studied Mathematics, English, and Philosophy as an undergraduate and generally feels qualified to discuss any topic as if he has a lot of knowledge about it. Luckily, many of his students seem to find him somewhat entertaining and so they are tricked into sticking around for the learning part of his lectures. Shai first became known in Engineering when he took over the teaching of a course in a semester where one professor was in the wrong continent, another passed away, one TAs was fired, another two quit, and someone pulled the fire alarm during the only term test. He has since taught nearly every first-year math course in the faculty, holding his office hours in the Sandford Fleming cafeteria (affectionately known as The Pit) because it is a good way to reach out to the students and because it reminds him of the good old days of his early career.
Prof. Pierre Sullivan obtained his BSME (1988) and MSME (1991) from Clarkson University and his PhD (1995)from Queen’s University at Kingston. His research interests span turbulence, flow phenomena, energy conservation focused on hot water distribution and high-temperature pressure sensing. He is the author of over 200 papers and part of a recent drop-sizing start-up. Since 2017, he has been an Associate Editor for the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering.
He recently developed an online course supplement for MIE100 (Engineering Mechanics/Dynamics) that will be formally posted in Winter 2020.
He was awarded a Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering Fellowship in 2012 and an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellowship in 2019. His lab site is the Turbulence Research Lab.
Chris Meyer has been teaching physics in the Toronto District School Board for 21 years. During that time, Chris has transformed the way he teaches, moving away from traditional lectures to inquiry-based learning using cooperative group work. This has led to class results on a range of conceptual surveys of physics understanding that exceed those of most first-year university physics classes. Chris has written extensively about science teaching and has presented pedagogical workshops for high schools and universities across southern Ontario. His classroom lessons and resources are used extensively throughout Canada. Chris is the winner of the 2016 Canadian Association of Physicists Award for Excellence in Teaching High School Physics (Ontario) and the 2015 Toronto District School Board Teaching Excellence Award. He also won the James Louden gold medal in physics upon his graduation from the University of Toronto. Chris is currently the President of the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers. He created the Hybrid Teacher-Coach role within the TDSB, which allows him to mentor and support high school science and physics teachers while they observe him lead his classes. To learn more, please visit his website: https://sites.google.com/tdsb.on.ca/htc-meyer/home for his articles, teaching resources, and videos.
Belinda B. Wang received the B.A.Sc degree (with honors) in 1986 and subsequently the M.Eng degree in 1990 in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto. She joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Toronto as a Tutor in 1986 teaching/coordinating tutorials and laboratories. She also held the position of Manager, PC network from 1988 to 1991 managing the departmental undergraduate computer networks. She was promoted to Senior Tutor in 1992 and then to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 1999. Since then she has been primarily teaching 1st and 2nd year undergraduate courses such as digital systems, introductory electronics, electric and magnetic fields, circuit analysis, electrical fundamentals, computer fundamentals and calculus. She also serves as the P. Eng. Czar in the ECE Department since 2007 engaged in the promotion of the Professional Engineer designation amongst faculty members. She was promoted to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in July 2015. Professor Wang, in collaboration with University of Waterloo has produced a set of new online learning modules that support the teaching of foundational level electromagnetics and circuits in engineering programs. She is actively engaged in activities involving teaching pedagogy, technology and innovation.
Marieta is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Econometrics. She has been teaching Mathematics for over 12 years in the TDSB and is thrilled to have the opportunity to share with you her passion for Mathematics and Technology. She had the opportunity, 20 years ago, to participate in a humanitarian mission that among other things helped her see the importance of education in enriching all people's lives. The experience inspired her to become an educator.
Michael Breeling is a Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow. He taught Calculus I in Fall 2019 and is coordinating it in Fall 2020. Michael received his PhD in Mathematics from Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he studied functional analysis, mathematical physics, and quantum scattering theory. He is interested in active learning and the connections between mathematics and engineering education. Outside of the classroom, you can find him on his bicycle, producing cycloid shapes with the lights attached to his wheels. He also likes classical music, and expressing the beat frequencies found in dissonant harmonies using trigonometric identities.
Prof. James Davis is an 1982 graduate of the Engineering Science program, majoring in Aerospace Engineering.
His research interests centre on the development of nuclear fusion as a future energy source. His laboratory work focuses on the use of low-energy particle accelerators to simulate the effects of high-temperature plasmas on the materials proposed for the first-wall armor inside magnetic confinement fusion reactors.
In addition to teaching first year calculus, he teaches a senior course titled: Introduction to Fusion Energy.