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Industry innovators appointed as Chairs in Effective Design of Structures, Manufacturing and ManagementJuly 7, 2017

Three professors have been appointed as Chairs for the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University.

Three professors have been appointed as Chairs for the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. Stephen Veldhuis is the Braley-Orlick Endowed Chair in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering; Dimitri Konstantinidis is the Endowed Chair in Effective Design of Structures; and Vishwanath Baba is the Don Pether Chair in Engineering and Management.

The Ontario Masonry Contractors Association and Sobotec are the primary donors that have made the two Endowed Chair appointments possible.

The Don Pether Chair position was created in honour of Pether’s gift towards the construction of the Engineering Technology Building.

With the support from these donors, Veldhuis, Konstantinidis and Baba will advance key engineering initiatives for the Faculty of Engineering. 

As professor for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute, Veldhuis’ teaching and research focuses on the development of high performance manufacturing solutions. Veldhuis is currently developing the procedures and framework for transferring his research results to industry.

“This new position provides me with a unique opportunity to focus my team’s research on issues of importance to Canada’s advanced manufacturing industry,” said Veldhuis. “The support allows us to apply innovative solutions to help manufacturing companies by focusing on productivity and quality while reducing cost.”

Konstantinidis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering.

In 2014, Konstantinidis established the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute McMaster University Student Chapter (EERI), which includes over 35 student members.

As Chair, Konstantinidis’ efforts are focused on the development of high-performance structural systems and enhancing seismic design.

"I am excited and honoured to be named Endowed Chair,” said Konstantinidis. “It is a great feeling to be recognized by my peers and to be trusted to spearhead initiatives aimed at addressing grand challenges in structural and earthquake engineering. I am looking forward to working with colleagues and students from McMaster and other universities, as well as industry partners and stakeholders, towards improving the design of structures.”

Baba is the new Director of the Engineering and Management Program, in addition to his position as Chair in Engineering and Management. His role will alternate between the Faculty of Engineering and the DeGroote School of Business where he currently resides as Professor of Management.

Baba specializes in stress management, development management, management skill development and management training in the developing world. He is a former Dean of the DeGroote School of Business and he has been a consultant to the Canadian International Development Agency, the International Development Research Centre, and the Swedish International Development Agency. His research interests include management theory, evidence-based management and employee well being. 

In total, the faculty has 15 privately funded chairs, of which 13 are endowed. Recommended internally and approved by the Faculty’s Senate Committee, chairs teach and mentor undergraduates, contribute knowledge to their field, and work collaboratively with internal and external partners to develop innovations.