Meet the recipients of the 2022-2023 Faculty of Engineering awards

Faculty of Engineering
Awards and recognition
Faculty member
Stem building
The Faculty of Engineering awards recognize professors and staff who demonstrate outstanding skills and dedication to research and teaching, inspirational individuals in the University community, as well as the region and beyond. We’re honoured to announce this year’s recipients.

Glinski Award for Excellence in Research 
Dr. Vida Dujmovic, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  

Dr. Dujmovic has done ground-breaking research in the area of theoretical computer science, specifically in graph theory, computational geometry and the connections between them. Her numerous contributions to these fields have led to international recognition. She regularly appears in top tier publications, and is on track to make an even greater impact as her career continues. Dujmovic has taught excellent researchers who are now PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and professors at various prestigious universities, or hold key positions in the high-tech industry. Dujmovic is a role model not only for students, but also for early-career women in the discipline. 

John V. Marsh Award for Excellence in Teaching 
Dr. Clémence Fauteux-Lefebvre, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering  

Since joining the Faculty as an assistant professor, Dr. Fauteux-Lefebvre has taught various undergraduate courses and developed graduate courses, while establishing her research laboratory and training graduate students. She is well recognized in the Faculty for her strong interest and outstanding performance in pedagogy, as well as her care for students’ well-being and education. She’s also actively involved in curriculum development and activities for both current and future students. Fauteux-Lefebvre is a true believer in the student experience, which is why she plays a  leadership role in developing and sharing innovative approaches to teaching design courses in a bilingual setting. 

Award for Excellence in Research Partnerships 
Dr. Guy-Vincent Jourdan, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

In a few short years, Dr. Guy-Vincent Jourdan has established himself as a world leader in software security systems. Since the beginning of his career, he and his team have consistently been involved in numerous research partnerships, winning multiple awards and attracting substantial funding. The strength of his approach to collaborative research is in his desire to address industry’s pressing problems, rather than to advance his own research agenda. His contributions to initiating and fostering research partnerships are outstanding. Due to his continued research excellence, the University of Ottawa now hosts one of only three Cyber Ranges in the world, ours being the only one with an academic component, in partnership with IBM. 

Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research 
Dr. Diana Inkpen, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

Dr. Diane Inkpen is a team player when it comes to interdisciplinary research. For the past 20 years, her contributions to artificial intelligence, specifically, to natural language processing and deep learning, have been exceptional and recognized across numerous fields, including communications, psychiatry, cognitive science and pediatrics. Her recent contributions include the design of novel deep learning algorithms to detect early signs of mental health issues. She co-founded the uOttawa Legal Tech Lab, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law, a joint effort that recently received a substantial Canada Foundation for Innovation grant. 

Early Career Researcher Award 
Dr. Leandro Sanchez, Department of Civil Engineering 

Dr. Leandro Sanchez joined the Department of Civil Engineering in 2015 as an assistant professor in structural and material engineering. He has established a world-class research program with major achievements in concrete durability and sustainability. His research focuses on design of sustainable concrete mixtures, evaluation of aging of concrete structures under harsh climatic conditions and development of new management protocols and rehabilitation strategies for infrastructure. Sanchez’s work has made him one of the leading experts in his field. He truly represents the best of the new generation of professors who have shown the ability to perform and innovate in the engineering community. 

Teaching Innovation Award 
Dr. Andrew Sowinski, School of Engineering Design and Teaching Innovation 

Dr. Andrew Sowinski has been instrumental in re-invigorating the Faculty of Engineering’s curriculum, teaching students, supporting peers, developing innovative courses and implementing experiential learning analytics. He’s a true innovator in the classroom, trying out new teaching practices and being supportive of both students’ and professors’ ideas and initiatives. When the pandemic shifted courses online, Sowinski co-founded the Engineering Teaching Innovation Hub, to support professors and staff with the challenges this change entailed. Along with the founding members of the School of Engineering Design and Teaching Innovation, Sowinski helped develop a new program for the Faculty of Engineering, the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Design. He also spearheads another major faculty project, the Craft Lab, a microbrewing laboratory that allows chemical engineering students to apply their course learning in innovative ways. He initiated the project in 2020 and has been mentoring students throughout the entire process. 

Part-time Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching 
Dr. Murat Simsek, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

As a part-time professor teaching the Applied Machine Learning (ELG 5255) graduate course, Dr. Murat Simsek has had an extensive impact on curriculum development. By adding new content and up to date material regarding real life challenges to the course, such as real datasets produced in lab experiments and hands-on sessions as part of the weekly lectures, Simsek encouraged class involvement and delivered course information in a style that was simple to understand. Simsek also developed new techniques for student evaluation and testing, through which students could also assess their standing throughout the term. Along with direct feedback, students were able to understand their relative performance based on the collective analysis of the class. This approach improved the learning process and fostered an environment of innovation and active learning. 

Teaching Assistant of the Year Award 
Samantha Brixi, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering 

Samantha Brixi has been a teaching assistant for the last five years in the most complex capstone design course, the fourth-year Plant Design Project. Brixi has proved to be exceptionally hard-working and knowledgeable in both the technical and practical aspects of chemical engineering. She’s always willing to broaden her knowledge by volunteering to supervise groups of students working on client-based or unconventional projects. She also acts as the students’ advocate in the course by welcoming their feedback and sharing their concerns and suggestions for improvement with the professors. 

Learn more about the Faculty of Engineering awards.