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Jin Lee, Monique Beech and Ciara McCann from the Faculty of Engineering's communications team at the CASE District II awards event in Baltimore, Maryland.

‘Big Ideas’ takes home the gold for McMaster Engineering February 28, 2020

The Big Ideas event series earned a gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) this week in Baltimore.

In 2018, the Faculty of Engineering set out on a mission to mark the faculty’s 60th anniversary in the biggest way they could imagine. 

With a goal to engage students, alumni and faculty in celebrating the ideas that have brought the faculty together, a special event series came to life that would be known as Big Ideas. 

This week, McMaster Engineering collected a gold award at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II awards event in Baltimore, Md. Each year, CASE recognizes outstanding work in higher education organizations across North America in categories such as marketing, alumni relations and special events. 

Big Ideas told the stories of 36 members of the McMaster Engineering community, held a pitch competition for faculty and students, celebrated with a gala event and took six undergraduate students to Silicon Valley. 

There were also giant “Big Ideas” letters handmade by students for the project, which became an iconic staple at each Big Ideas event.

“It took a team of people within the faculty to accomplish all of this from engineering communications, students, alumni, advancement, co-op and the support of leadership,” said Monique Beech, manager of strategic communications, Faculty of Engineering.  

“Everyone got behind and supported this project.” 

Beech accepted the award on behalf of the faculty along with team members Ciara McCann, digital marketing and communications strategist, and Jin Lee, visual content specialist.   

“It was such a thrill to watch the community embrace this project, from student groups who asked to borrow our letters, to the look of pride on the faces of the 50+ alumni who attended our gala,” Beech said.


“Big Ideas was a true celebration of our history while looking into the future,” said Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of Engineering. “I’m deeply proud to see the team recognized for their good work and impact – it's very well deserved.” 

More good news is that the Big Ideas legacy doesn’t end here. 

This week, 30 undergraduate students selected as semi-finalists in the Big Ideas with Impact competition will begin a series of professional development workshops leading up to the competition on March 25.  

The students were selected for showcasing how they’re creating impact in the community with their skills and passions outside the classroom. 

On May 7, the community will gather for the Big Ideas with Impact Gala at LIUNA Station, where faculty members will present their research ideas linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals for a chance win $100,000. 

Three undergraduate finalists from the March 25 competition will also take the stage on May 7 and win up to $1500 in prize money. 

To stay up to date on upcoming Big Ideas events, connect with McMaster Engineering on InstagramTwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.