Faculty Council Meeting 2015 | 04

Minutes of the meeting held 09:00 December 2, 2015, in room CBY A707

PRESENT

Officers of the Faculty
M. Dubé (Vice-Dean Research), I. Nistor (Vice-Dean Graduate Studies), M. Turcotte (Vice-Dean Undergraduate Studies), J. Zhang (Vice-Dean, International Affairs), T. Lethbridge (Vice-Dean Governance), J. Thibault (Acting Chair, CHG), C. Rennie (Chair, CVG), S. Gandolfini (Chief Administrative Officer, non-voting), K. Bournes (Alumni Relations Officer, non-voting)

Professors
C. Lan, S. Omelon, K. Kirkwood, A. Tremblay, B. Kruczek, H. Aoude, M. Mohareb, J. Infante Sedano, S. Vanapalli, M. Saatcioglu, K. Hinzer, J. Lang, K. Dolgaleva, E. Petriu, B. Dhillon, M. Doumit, I. Catelas, E. Lanteigne, C. Adams (Non-Voting) L. Peyton (Non-Voting)

Students
V. Parisien, L. Chen, S. Lau-Chapdelaine, A. Malkawi, S. Bisson

EXCUSED

Officers of the Faculty
C. Laguë (Dean), D. Taylor (Chair, CHG), C. D’Amours (Director, EECS), H. Viktor (Associate Director, CSI)

Professors
W. Gueaieb, J. De Carufel, F. Robitaille Students H. Singh Chawla, A. ElMeligy, M. Bondok, A. Ali, J. You, P. Singh Sandhu, S. Chan, A. Aboukarr

ABSENT

Officers of the Faculty
N. Baddour (Chair, MCG)

Professors
A. Nayak, S. Shirmohammadi, P. Galko, H. Al Osman Students B. Bhusan Dash, J. Zhu

15.04.01 Approval of the Agenda

The Vice-Dean Research chaired the meeting. The agenda was approved.

15.04.02 Minutes of the last meeting (April 29)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved.

15.04.03 Matters arising from the minutes

There was none.

15.04.04 Report of the Dean

The Dean was absent with regrets.

M. Dubé raised this issue of Engineers Canada’s ’30 by 30’ initiative (https://www.engineerscanada.ca/30-by-30). The intent is to reach a level of 30% of graduates being female by 2030. There was discussion. Suggested to help us reach this objective included: changing programs to emphasize contribution to society; sending more female professors, students and alumni to talk in high schools; finding ways to develop a more woman-friendly and professional culture for welcome week activities; adding more competitions; giving more prominent scholarships for women in engineering, and encouraging engineers Canada to advertise on the Internet and television with images of women in role models.

Current female enrolment in our various programs is between 4 and 49 per cent, with BMG being highest. A student mentioned that she would not have joined the Faculty if the BMG program had not been available.

15.04.05 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice-Dean will be working on identifying directions for large-scale CFI applications. Due to university strategy, we will not focus on new construction.

NSERC Discovery and RTI grant applications have been submitted. The Vice Dean asked for feedback on the procedures.

The Vice-Dean is working to secure a Matlab license for the entire campus, including all toolboxes. This would be available on all computers anywhere.

Thursday Feb 18th, there will be an Industrial Research Partnership event organized by TTBE; Faculty of Engineering. Prof. Peyton and Faculty of Science Prof. Beauchemin will be speaking. The theme is how to ‘make the ask’ for funds to potential industrial partners.

Jan 26th there will be a meeting to discuss how to nominate professors to obtain more external awards.

15.04.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

There was discussion of the replacement of the SIS, and the decommissioning of the current SIS and curriculum data entry (Wong) system. Changes approved after today therefore cannot take effect until May 2018, except for urgent matters, which may be able to take effect in May 2017.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved proposal MCG V17. This adds the possibility for MGB with computing technology, to add the possibility of taking computer science courses. There are a number of 4th year CSI courses highly relevant to this program.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved proposal MCG V18. This adjusts the prerequisites for two MCG courses so that ANP1106 would be a pre-requisite.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved proposal MCG V19. This slightly rearranges MCG and MGB courses in year 3.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved proposal GNG V20. This is to create GNG 1103 Engineering Design and add it to CVG and ELG programs. For CVG this requires some course movement. This course will replace a complementary studies course. Although not under consideration in this motion, the plan is that by 2018 all the engineering programs would take this course.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved proposal SEG V21. This removes some courses that have not been offered recently.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved proposal SEG V22. Last year SEG was restructured, but there was an objection related to the mathematics elements in Senate Executive. This proposal makes adjustments as requested by a member of the Mathematics department.

15.04.07 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)

OGS scholarship deadlines have passed. FGPS will be allocating the number of scholarships soon based on applications this year and successful applications last year. We will then rank applicants.

There were 32 applications for NSERC scholarships.

The deadline is today (Dec. 2) at 8 p.m. for CGS-M scholarships. This has been extended due to CCV problems on the NSERC website.

There was a special meeting for international scholarships. We have 20 or more full scholarships available.

I. Nistor and S. Drouin interviewed 140 China Scholarship Council students in China (100 from Engineering). The university waives the tuition, and students receive funding from CSC for living expenses.

There was a discussion about the wisdom of allocating TAs to CSC students given they have a strict deadline for length of their doctoral studies and they have sufficient funding. There was discussion of this matter; it was pointed out that there are benefits other than financing from having received a TA.

There was discussion about the fact that we can commit to students conditionally on their receiving a scholarship.

There will be major changes related to the transformation of FGPS. From now on all external PhD evaluators will be determined at the level of the Faculty. The supervisor of the thesis will nominate two externals and provide their CVs; the supervisor can contact the potential external evaluators to obtain their CV and their consent to be nominated.

The Vice-Dean is working on a human-resources plan for graduate studies. We have vastly fewer graduate staff per student than some other faculties. It would be desirable to have at least one person in charge of PhD defences.

There was discussion about various issues of the FGPS transition. It was pointed out in particular that we make a special effort to ensure that the independence of the external examiner is maintained. The Vice-Dean expressed concern about groups of professors that routinely examine each others’ students’ theses at the Masters level.

There was discussion about the wait for thesis defences taking too long, including waits of 7 months or more, resulting in students having a very bad experience. Policy is to wait for all examiner reports before scheduling defences, although it was noted that some exceptions have been granted. It was strongly suggested that this policy be changed, and that defences be scheduled immediately upon thesis submission. It was suggested to encourage students not to submit their thesis at the exact deadline at the beginning of semesters, as this is peak time.

There was discussion of the protocol for conflict of interest, with the suggestion that the external examiner be asked to declare that he or she does not have a conflict.

It was suggested to consider whether a defence is always needed at the master’s level. Some universities do not require a Masters defence, particularly if a paper has been published or accepted based on the work, although the thesis is still evaluated by a group of examiners.

The Vice-Dean discussed various HR changes in the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Studies.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved a proposal for changes to the EBT program. The qualifying program will be cancelled. The program is being streamlined to ensure there are professors for the required program courses.

The Vice-Dean discussed enrolment statistics - our Faculty continues to attract and enrol the largest number of graduate students in the University of Ottawa, with also the largest proportion of international students.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council endorsed the executive summary of the proposal for a new PhD and M.Eng in Biomedical Engineering.

15.04.08 Report of the Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.

The 3+2 project started 5 years ago. 350 students have been recruited so far. The program is continuing but with substantially reduced numbers of 20-30 a year. The Vice Dean will shortly be in China to interview the next group of candidates and administering the CANTEST.

The professional training project for Chinese professors has just finished. Net revenues will be used to fund scholarships.

The Vice-Dean discussed new initiatives for training international professors.

The Vice-Dean discussed how his office serves as an extension of the University’s International Office.

15.04.09 Other Business

The meeting was adjourned at 10:58.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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