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Puri to become Dean of Engineering at McMaster University

April 23, 2013

Ishwar Puri

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech College of Engineering

The appointment of Ishwar Puri as the new dean of engineering at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, was officially approved by the University’s Senate and Board, effective July 1.  At the same time, McMaster also announced the appointment of Robert Baker as the new dean of science.

“We have recruited two outstanding candidates,” said McMaster’s Provost David Wilkinson. “Each combines stellar careers as researchers, educators, and leaders and are enthusiastic about joining a university that combines research excellence with a passion for innovative teaching and a commitment to community and global engagement.”

The faculty of engineering’s vision of creating global citizen scholars with a focus on sustainability fits perfectly with the goals of incoming dean Puri. “Engineering is a discipline that can change the world,” he said. “If we focus on our core values such as inclusivity we can create change for a better society. McMaster has a long history of leadership in these areas and I am anxious to begin working with individual faculty members and students to increase the impact of our educational and research programs.”

Puri currently serves as head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. He has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy for the Advancement of Science for his work in the areas of combustion and transport phenomena, and is the N. Waldo Harrison Professor at the University.  He obtained his Ph.D. and MS from the University of California San Diego after earning his BSc from the University of Delhi (Delhi College of Engineering). His most recent research has been in nanoscale heat and mass transport. He has led initiatives in nanotechnology education, engineering ethics, and the globalization of higher education and research, and has mentored start up entrepreneurs.

Baker will be returning to Hamilton as McMaster’s new dean of science. He was raised in the city before leaving to earn his BSc from the University Guelph, and his MSc and PhD from the University of Alberta. He joined the University of Toronto in 1982 where he was the inaugural chair of the Biology Department, associate dean of Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and served the Faculty of Arts and Science at the UofT’s St. George campus as vice-dean of Graduate Education and Research and vice-dean, Research and Infrastructure. His most recent research considers the effects of pollutants such as road salt and herbicides on freshwater insects and amphibians.

Both appointments are for five year terms.


Andrea Farquhar

Assistant Vice-President Public and Government Relations

McMaster University

Chester New Hall, room 111

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, ON  L8S 4L9