UAlberta professor named Dean of Engineering at University of Saskatchewan

Chemical and Materials Engineering Professor Suzanne Kresta

(Edmonton) University of Alberta engineering professor Suzanne Kresta has been appointed as dean of the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Engineering for a five-year term.

Kresta, who joined the U of A in 1996, is currently a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, and associate dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta. She steps into her new role in Saskatoon effective January 1, 2018.

“The reputation of the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan is outstanding, both in terms of research and student experience,” said Kresta. “I was inspired by the people in the college, and taking on this leadership role is an opportunity I am very excited about.”

Kresta earned her undergraduate degree at the University of New Brunswick, a Master of Science at Leeds University and a PhD from McMaster University. She is an accomplished researcher in the area of turbulent mixing and has worked in sectors ranging from drinking water to cosmetics and from hydrometallurgy to oil sands extraction.

Her peers and students hold her in high regard for her teaching excellence, and she received the Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education—the highest such award in the country—in 2014. At the U of A, Kresta won the prestigious Rutherford teaching award in 2010 and more recently focused her attention on the FGSR Graduate Teaching and Learning Program, which she described as “my most recent favourite accomplishment.”

“Teaching is central to our work as scholars,” said Kresta, who also received the Award for Excellence in Education from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. “It is a privilege to educate and train the next generation of professional engineers. The high priority the University of Saskatchewan places on learning is one of the things that I value most about the institution.”

U of A Dean of Engineering Fraser Forbes said Kresta has had an enduring positive impact on her students and colleagues, and she will have the same influence in her new position.

“Suzanne has been an unrelenting advocate for high-quality teaching and a leader in developing mentorship programs for new faculty members,” Forbes said. “She has contributed to the success of our Faculty of Engineering in countless ways and I know that U of S will benefit from her leadership.”

Kresta is clearly looking forward to her new role. She aims to ensure the college’s academic and research programs continue to meet the expectations of students, government and industry. And she wants the college to step out to be a national leader in engineering education, especially in key strategic research areas.

“We have a very comprehensive academic offering in the college, and that is critical to maintain as we focus on training the next generation of professional engineers in the areas of great importance to the province, country and world,” said Kresta. She added that the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development, developed over the past decade within the college, is an example of how the college continues to evolve to meet changing needs. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students, as well as our industry partners, to ensure we deliver on our immense potential.”

“In Dr. Kresta, we have found an incredible combination of teacher, researcher and administrator,” said Michael Atkinson, interim provost and vice-president academic at the University of Saskatchewan. “This search drew attention from candidates from across Canada, and Dr. Kresta was the perfect fit to continue to advance the academic and research agendas of one of our most historic colleges.”