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Bob Dony, PhD '95

Electrical Engineering | Engineering the Profession of Tomorrow

The future of engineering is rarely far from Bob Dony’s mind.

Each September, it arrives in his University of Guelph classroom in the form of a new cohort of would-be engineers, who undoubtedly will work their careers in a world continually reshaped by changing technology.

It falls in his lap in his role as president of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), as the association grapples with questions of self-regulation and continuing education of the province’s engineers.

And it even looks him in the eye at family dinners, when he sees his three children at the beginning of their own careers as engineers. “The engineering profession is at a crossroads,” Dony (Ph.D. ’95, Electrical and Computer) recently wrote in a blog posting as he sought election
as the president of PEO. “How do we move forward to keep the profession both strong and relevant for the next generation of practitioners, the university students I see every day?”

His volunteer engagement with various engineering-related task forces, committees and conferences go back decades, but the coming year will bring his involvement to a peak.

In addition to serving as president of the PEO, he’ll also sit as the Ontario representative on the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

“I’ve always had an interest in the role between academia and the broader community,” says Dony. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively to help shape the next evolution of engineering education both provincially, through PEO, and nationally, through CEAB.”

In addition, he will continue his own research into intelligent and adaptive signal and image processing methods for use in biomedical engineering, and continue his teaching duties.

“I enjoy teaching in a multidisciplinary environment since there are no longer any real boundaries between all the various engineering specialties,” he says. “One of my favourite courses is a common core engineering systems course, which shows how the fundamental mathematics and analysis is essentially the same across the various engineering disciplines.”