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Meet Dean Puri

Dr. Ishwar K. Puri is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


About Dr. Ishwar K. Puri

Dr. Ishwar K. Puri is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. At McMaster, he is also an associate member of the departments of engineering physics and materials science and engineering, school of biomedical engineering, as well as founding academic director of the Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC). 

Professor Puri obtained his Ph.D. (1987), and M.S. (1984) degrees in Engineering Science (Applied Mechanics) from the University of California, San Diego after obtaining a B.Sc. (1982) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delhi.

He has directed and mentored the Multiphysics Research Group (MuRG). The academic genealogy of the group runs through noted scientists such as Theodore Von Karman, Ludwig Prandtl, Gustav Heinrich Wiedemann and the Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Dr. Puri writes on matters of technology and society, and has also been a TEDx speaker.

Awards of Distinction

He is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), which comprises many of Canada’s most accomplished engineers. He is also a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Puri serves as chair of the Canadian National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (NCDEAS) and has also served as chair of the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering (CODE).


Dr. Puri is the author of over 170 archival publications and books, which have been cited over 5,000 times in the scientific literature per Google Scholar with an H-Index of 40 (i.e., forty of his publications have been cited at least 40 times).

He is best known for his contributions to the sciences of combustion (with applications to fire safety and combustor design), magnetic fluid and particle transport (by providing insights into thermomagnetic convection, dynamic self assembly and magnetic inks for 3D printing), mathematical biology of disease (that explains the cancer stem cell hypothesis and Alzheimer's disease), and nanoscale transport phenomena (that elucidates new insights into heat transfer and soft matter behavior).

Dr. Puri was a founder and mentor of NanoSpin, startup that developed a cooling system for computers and electronic devices that uses a liquid dispersion of magnetic nanoparticles to dissipate waste heat, and which lead to the founding of CIRC.


At McMaster, Dr. Puri leads a Faculty that is organized into two schools, the student-centred research-focused School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the student-centred practice-focused Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology (SEPT). With 154 faculty members in SEAS and 26 in SEPT, McMaster Engineering is home to 180 faculty members who, along with 150 administrative, technical and research staff members, educate 4,800 undergraduate students and about 1,000 graduate students.

The centerpiece of the strategic vision that Dr. Puri has helped create enables innovative thinking to tackle profound local and global grand challenges that face society today. This vision, Innovation from Excellence, improves inclusion and diversity among students, faculty and staff members, illuminates a path towards greater student engagement by offering opportunities for students to grow into transformational thought leaders and also be eminently employable, and enhances the student experience through community engagement, extracurricular activities and summer research opportunities.

In partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Puri initiated the university’s – and first of its kind in Canada – Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences Program (IBEHS). A new student-centered building is improving experiential and problem based learning. Another building being designed and constructed will allow for student and faculty expansion. New Dean’s Excellence Entrance Scholarships target the selectivity of undergraduate students who are admitted. Recently established additive manufacturing laboratories enhance the first-year experience, and student awards for experiential discovery improve hands-on minds-on learning. 

McMaster Engineering is on a path to increase its doctoral student population and research funding through major investments. A culture of thematic interdisciplinary faculty hiring has been strengthened. The Faculty of Engineering has formalized a mentoring program through its Faculty Development Academy and a new Faculty Leadership Fellow program. 

Previous experience

Prior to his appointment at McMaster, Dr. Puri was the N. Waldo Harrison Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) at Virginia Tech where he served as Department Head of ESM for nine years from 2004 through 2013. During that period, he helped move the ESM program into new convergences at the intersections of the life and physical sciences, and promoted transformative scholarship, particularly through several new faculty hires. He also facilitated comprehensive curricular revisions. Upon his departure, the department was ranked fifth in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 in the undergraduate engineering physics/engineering science category.

After his doctoral degree, Dr. Puri served as an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California, San Diego from 1987-90. In 1990, Dr. Puri was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 1994, and to the rank of Professor in 1999. He served at UIC as Director of Graduate Studies of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs from 1994-97, and 1999-2000; as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (2000-01); and as Executive Associate Dean of Engineering (2001-04).

Message from the Dean

Dr. Ishwar Puri's comments when he was elected as a Fellow of The Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Ranked among the top engineering schools in Canada and worldwide, the Faculty of Engineering plays a key role in helping McMaster University earn its well-deserved reputation as one of Canada’s most innovative universities in learning and research.

The McMaster Faculty of Engineering has a reputation for innovative programs, cutting-edge research, leading faculty, and aspiring students. It has earned a strong reputation as a centre for academic excellence and innovation. The Faculty has approximately 180 faculty members, along with over to 4,500 undergraduate and about 1000 graduate students.

An integral part of our innovative culture is the focus on experiential learning and problem based learning that enables students to gain hands-on experience through co-op work terms, internships and assignments that stimulate learning, lead to personal development and discovery, and enhance their ability to function effectively very quickly after moving into their career paths. 

The Faculty attracts approximately $45 million in annual research funding. Engineering faculty, staff and students at McMaster pursue research and learning in more than two dozen research centres, institutes and networks whose interdisciplinary pursuits cross departmental and Faculty boundaries. 

Outside the University, we collaborate regularly on research projects with partners in universities, government and more than 100 companies in Canada and abroad. Our partnerships with global engineering companies are key to the success of our learning and discovery programs.

Thus, through our commitment to innovation, excellence and quality, we create new knowledge and share that knowledge by educating and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders. These leaders go on to make a difference for Canadians and for people around the world. 

We continue to pursue new research programs and partnerships in emerging and topical fields from big data, cyber physical systems and new concepts in communication to manufacturing, infrastructure, nanotechnology and alternative energy – and find new ways to link those programs to new learning opportunities for our students.

At McMaster we constantly think about the future. Our efforts focus on applying engineering to improve the human condition. We hope that this emphasis also resonates with you. Therefore, we invite you to discover and support McMaster Engineering.

Our Mission

The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University is committed to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service, and to fostering the quality of academic life.

Our Vision

The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University will be known internationally as a leader in research and education supporting the development of engineering practices for a sustainable world.


To contact Dean Puri, please contact Diana Maltese or Andrea Colbert-DeGeit