McMaster Engineering professors honoured at 2024 MSU Teaching Awards  – Faculty of Engineering

McMaster Engineering professors honoured at 2024 MSU Teaching Awards 

Exterior of the Engineering Technology Building

The Fireball Family was well represented at this year’s MSU Teaching Awards ceremony on March 28. 

Four McMaster Engineering professors were recognized for their outstanding contributions to teaching excellence, delivering an unparalleled student experience and expanding Mac Eng’s impact across campus, cities and countries. 

Dean Heather Sheardown was in attendance to honour each recipient with their award.

“As Dean to this incredible Faculty, I am so proud to pay homage to the phenomenal individuals from McMaster Engineering that embody the true spirit of our Fireball Family through their teaching excellence,” says Sheardown. “These exceptional leaders play an integral role in their great work that makes our Faculty thrive.” 

Dean Heather Sheardown

Here are this year’s MSU Teaching Award recipients: 

The Excellence in Teaching Award

Adriaan Buijs

Adriaan Buijs 

Professor, Engineering Physics

The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes the tremendous impact a professor has had on their students and their learning through the use of innovative, collaborative and engaging teaching practices. 

His student nominators credit Buijs with making even the toughest, most complex theories not just easy to understand, but enjoyable to learn with his passion and excitement for the content infused into the way he teaches. 

Buijs fosters a community inside the classroom where students are encouraged to engage in meaningful discussions, help one another and pushes them to cultivate unique ways to explain and share their learnings. 

Buijs truly goes above and beyond to deliver an invaluable learning experience for his students. 

Community Engagement Award

Marjan Alavi

Marjan Alavi 

Assistant Professor, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

 This award is presented to an instructor who has shown dedication to the integration and inclusion of community engagement education at McMaster. 

Alavi has successfully integrated her academic expertise in AI and Smart Systems into community projects, making a tangible and lasting impact. Her collaborative initiatives have resulted in long-lasting collaborations with our community partners in diverse areas such as Healthcare, Digital Manufacturing, Smart Cities, Autonomous Vehicles, and Transportation. She has led over 20 successful community-engaged projects over the past three years.

Her passion for making a difference, coupled with her exemplary leadership and collaborative spirit, make her a highly deserving recipient for this honour.

Pedagogical Innovation Award

Rashid Abu-Ghazalah

Rashid Abu-Ghazalah

Associate Professor, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

This award is presented to an instructor who has shown dedication to teaching innovation at McMaster University.

As an instructor during a global pandemic, the pressures of adapting to new way of teaching were immense. Abu-Ghazalah is a shining example of a teacher who rose to the challenge and found innovative technologies to help ensure that his students were getting the highest quality of lectures and course material.

From creating complementary course content in the form of videos to address knowledge gaps to incorporating light boards in online teaching to make his lectures more accessible, Abu-Ghazalah has shown time and again his dedication to his undergraduate and graduate students’ learning by using different innovative techniques and technologies to create a more equitable learning environment.

MSU Award of Distinction

Tom Wanyama

Tom Wanyama

Associate Professor, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

This award recognizes instructors who have made contributions to communities outside of McMaster that align with McMaster’s Principles of Community Engagement locally, nationally and internationally. 

Here on campus, in Canada and continents away, Wanyama’s impact has been felt profoundly by many communities. 

In his role as an instructor, Wanyama regularly involves undergraduate students in his discipline-based research to work on real-life projects to introduce them to scientific methods and to engage them in critical thinking and problem-solving. He works with the students through co-op and work-study, in addition to course and capstone projects, working tirelessly to truly give our students the best education possible. 

In his research, like his collaboration with Laurentis Energy Partners on automating nuclear waste processing, Wanyama aims to enhance Canada’s manufacturing competitiveness. His efforts to reduce nuclear waste and electricity production costs align with the economic and environmental interests of Canada and McMaster University.

Hundreds of miles away, in collaboration with Save The Mothers – East Africa, Wanyama is using big data, cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve maternal health in Sub-Sahara Africa through improved Water Sanitation and Hygiene.

Wanyama’s leadership and the global impact of his work shows the true impact of what a career in engineering can yield.