Welding centre staff member literally brings drama to engineering

Goetz Dapp (right), program manager of the Canadian Centre for Welding and Joining, has won a prestigious UAlberta leadership award for his work in support of teaching and research.

(Edmonton) Goetz Dapp, program manager of the Canadian Centre for Welding and Joining (CCWJ) received an Excellence in Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leaders or leadership teams for maintaining the quality of the university’s work and learning environment.

Dapp has overseen CCWJ for almost two years, aiding Faculty of Engineering students in the art and discipline of joinery. Backed by a PhD in theatre studies earned in Amsterdam and service as a sessional instructor in the U of A’s Department of Drama, Dapp fosters a creative team environment while juggling a host of everyday responsibilities, from managing budgets and fixing equipment to working with students on research projects. The mix is what he enjoys most about his job.

“I have the practical aspects I need to be happy,” he said. “I’m a hands-on person but I also like the theory side of things, so I’m fascinated by the interdisciplinary aspects of what we do.”

He got into the art of welding by learning how to make pyrotechnic devices for his theatre work. Now, he guides students in fusing together the practical science and the art of welding.

Welding, he says, is an everyday occurrence but is filled with complex phenomena.

“You have deep scientific principles at the core, and the actual welding takes place in the space of a few millimetres, but when you start digging into it, this whole universe opens up.”

Dapp’s goal is to make sure students graduate with a deep appreciation for both theory and practice “so they have an applied perspective but with a fundamental knowledge of what it takes to do the job.”

He’s proud of what they accomplish—several of them are scholarship winners. In addition, CCWJ has won several awards, including recognition as the only engineering program and one of only two Canadian representatives to receive a prestigious award of excellence from the American Welding Society and the Welding Equipment Manufacturers Committee.

Dapp credits everyday teamwork with CCWJ’s success and though he’s honoured to receive a U of A award, he considers it shared.

“We have an amazing group of students, faculty and a very collaborative group spirit. This award is an indication we are headed in the right direction and it’s an achievement of the whole group.”

Also being awarded Excellence in Leadership or Excellence in Learning Support awards were Amy Roy Gratton, Sherri Kessels, and Angie Mandeville. They are among top faculty, students and staff who were recognized at the U of A’s annual Celebrate! Teaching. Learning. Research event at the Myer Horowitz Theatre Sept. 21.