Faculty Council Meeting 2018.10

InformationThe minutes of the meetings will be bilingual in the sense that the interventions and proposals will be made in the language in which they were made.

Faculty of Engineering - Faculty Council - Meeting 2018.03 - 09:00 Oct 03, 2018, in room CBY A707


Officers of the Faculty

J. Beauvais, M. Dubé, M. Labrosse, M. Bouchard, T. Lethbridge, K. Kirkwood, C. D’Amours, N. C. Rennie, C. Adams.


C. Lan, JP St-Pierre, H. Aoude, B. Martin-Perez, J. Infante Sedano, R. Narbaitz, M. Noël, E. Petriu, H. Al Osman, K. Dolgaleva, J. L. De Carufel, G-V. Jourdan, B. Dhillon.


S. Gandolfini, V. Samson


A. Belcin, Y. Hajar, I. Alainachi, A. Gowling, H. Hegazy, M. Habbouche, S. Wang, C. St-Denis, A. Ahmed, C. Choueifaty.


Officers of the Faculty

D. Taylor,


X. Cao, K. Hinzer, J. Yao, F. Robitaille, L. Catelas, E. Lanteigne, E. Baranova, B. Lessard.


E. Sia.


Officers of the Faculty

N. Baddour.


S. Loyka, A. Weck.


M. Salehi, D. Singh Bhangu, B. Khozema, W. Qi Hu

17.02.01 Approval of the Agenda

The Dean welcomed new members, who introduced themselves.

The agenda was approved.

17.02.02 Minutes of the last meeting (April 2018)

The minutes had been approved electronically.

17.02.03 Matters arising from the minutes

The concentration in Applied AI has now been approved by Senate.

17.02.04 Report of the Dean

Health and Safety

There were a few incidents over the last few months, including a minor incident in which a chemical was left in a fume hood when they were shut down; this was detected by sensors and resulted in evacuation of CBY.

The move into the STEM building has made health and safety more visible since everybody can see what is going on in major labs.

Several of the Standard Operating Procedures are being updated due to the move to STEM. For example, there are now two cranes in the structures lab, resulting in a change in procedures.

STEM update

The open house was on Sept 20; people came from across campus, from industry and from school boards. A common comment was that the students working in the building had a lot of passion and energy.

Budget update

The process for preparation of the budget is different this year. Budget planning is now under the Provost, rather than the VP Resources. This results in a different conversation and a different set of imperatives that we need to resolve. In particular, we need to prepare a business case to support our requests. The budget is no longer revenue based, but is expense based, and the budget requests need to be completed by November 1. There is a separate exercise for hiring of APUO positions. We had to submit our 3-year plan on October 1. On October 2 we were given the proposals from the other faculties. This afternoon (Oct 3) there will be a discussion among all faculties about the hiring plans.

There is another budget competition called Envelope 2, for seed money for projects that should generate revenue in a few years. The Faculty is starting to talk about this. $3M campus-wide is available for projects specific to a given faculty; there is another $3M for inter-faculty projects.

International Strategy

The University is taking steps to develop its international strategy: There is now a Chief International Officer, Adel El Zaim, who is well-connected with various universities in other countries.

There was a mission this summer to the 13 universities under the umbrella of the University of Lyon. There is a very strong connection between two of these and the University of Ottawa.

Presence in Kanata North

The Vice-President Research has expressed an interest in greater connections with the tech companies and alumni in Kanata North. There have been a number of activities to build connections. When students were invited to visit, a second bus was required.


C. Rennie mentioned that there has been a request from French-speaking international exchange students to come to uOttawa in CVG to have summer experiences in labs, doing their design project over an intensive one-month period. However, the design project course is normally 8 months and this would require teaching resources. The Dean suggested that this might not work out. It was pointed out that ideally credits are exchanged on an equal basis between universities involved in exchange programs.

17.02.05 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice Dean presented a written report.

After a lot of efforts, we now have 3 CFI projects where Engineering is taking the lead, and some other projects where we are playing a role. The competition hasn’t been announced, so we are ahead of the game.

The Vice Dean pointed out that there are a lot of resources to help those applying for Discovery Grants and RTI grants.

Regarding CRC Chairs, Dr. Jason Miller has arrived and we have applied for a Tier II chair for him. We are very close to submitting another chair. We are seeking applications for a Chair in 5G networks.

The Vice-Dean pointed out that NSERC is consulting universities on major potential changes to their research partnership program. Engage programs will disappear, except for a single chance for early-career applicants. In-kind contributions won’t be leveraged for NSERC funds. Industrial Research Chairs won’t be able to have their salaries paid from the grants. On the positive side we can leverage Federal public-sector funds. This will have a lot of impact on some universities, and some universities are organizing themselves to oppose certain aspects. None of the above has been cast in stone yet, however.

There is a separate initiative for funding of large projects that involve all three federal agencies.

17.02.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

The Vice Dean presented a written report.

Chantal Morasse has arrived. We are continuing to put emphasis on student experience, but there has also been an effort to improve operational efficiency.

There are tools in Talisma (the client relationship management system) to help manage retention. The analytical tools in Talisma can help identify students at risk. Students will meet with the same academic advisor each time they book a visit. Mentoring activities are proceeding well.

With the agreement of the Vice-Dean Graduate Studies, the profile of the Student Experience Officer has been revised. The position has been opened for recruitment.

There is an action plan, oriented towards outcomes, to respond to student needs.

The lines that used to be in front of the office are no longer there, and even during the registration period the lines were minimal. This was achieved by extensive triage: Mentors were talking to students in the queue. There is also now a small waiting room within the office.

In response to a question from a student about the number of advisors and their assignment of advisors to students, the Vice-Dean pointed out that students are now invited to meetings with advisors. The student indicated that in his earlier experience, his advisor changed. But the Vice Dean indicated that improvements have been made to the process.

It was pointed out that students in third and fourth year also need support, since they may have a challenge picking their option, scheduling and selecting their courses. The Vice Dean pointed out that any of the Undergraduate Staff can help with this. He also pointed out that availability of courses is a problem, especially if a student fails a course and gets out of sync.

A student member pointed out that he has heard of experiences from other students that have not been positive. The Vice-Dean pointed out that there has been additional training of staff. Also, a survey will be administered in November to help learn ways to improve service.

A student member asked whether students have actually been included in meetings where the action plan was being developed. The Vice-Dean mentioned that they will be consulting students directly through the survey.

17.02.07 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)

Ioan Nistor is now Assistant Vice Provost. Last week, the Executive recommended that Liam Peyton be the interim Vice-Dean Graduate Studies; this is in the process of being finalized. The position will be opened in January for a regular 5-year mandate that will start in July.

The Dean reported the official enrolment numbers. There are 6041 students in the Faculty, whereas in 2016 the count was 5400. Retention has been increasing dramatically. Now we are among the best faculties for retention.

25% of students are international at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level 71% are international. We are the only faculty that meets the Destination 2020 targets in this regard.

We are not trying to further increase the number of admitted students. The Faculty of Engineering now has the highest entrance averages among direct-entry faculties.  Entrance averages have reached a point where it is so high for many of the programs that almost all students are excellent and small differences between high schools can cause challenges in distinguishing among students. We are now looking into having students answer a set of questions when they apply for admission and using this to distinguish among students near the admission threshold.

A student rep wanted to know how to obtain the number of students; he had many fewer students in his records. The number of undergraduates is 4671, however not all are members of the Engineering Student Society, as many are in Computer Science.

17.02.08 Reports of the Vice Dean (International)

The Vice-Dean had circulated a written report.

The International Experience Scholarship has a deadline on October 15.

The was a brief discussion about the International Teacher Training Program: Many Chinese faculty members come here to gain experience in teaching. Revenues from this have been used to fund the International Experience Scholarship program. We are trying to diversify the program to other countries.

A question was asked about the impact of travelling abroad on accreditation. The Vice Dean pointed out that Engineers Canada have expressed an intention to be more flexible in this regard. But meanwhile the International Experience Scholarship is primarily funding students to undertake experiences other than taking courses (such as co-op terms, or summer schools).

It was pointed out that it is useful for students to take language courses to facilitate mobility, yet for accreditation this has not in the past been possible. It was pointed out that this may change as CEAB attitudes are starting to open up.

17.02.09 Reports of the Vice Dean (Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation)

The Vice-Dean sent his regrets.

17.02.10 Other Business

The Vice Dean Governance pointed out that changes to the Bylaws will be presented at the next meeting to add two part time professors to the Faculty Council. The proposal for this will be circulated shortly. Part Time professors and the Executive are currently being consulted.

The meeting concluded at 10:09.

Timothy C. Lethbridge

Vice-Dean (Governance)

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