Lab Canada

Industry expert to head new design engineering chair

Kingston, ON March 10, 2003 Professor David Strong has been named chairholder of a new NSERC Chair in Design Engineering at Queen’s University. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is providing C$1 million over five years for the chair, with more than 30 private sector partners contributing a further $750,000. The Chair is expected to have its greatest impact on new product development in the consumer product and high tech industries.

Dr Strong returns to Queen’s after 22 years in industry, 10 of which have been with a major Canadian power tools manufacturer. He will set up multidisciplinary teams and ensure that skills learned from industry make their way into the student curricula. "My primary role is to explore new methods and training principles," he says. "The graduates will leave here with a full complement of skills that will make them ready to hit the ground running when they go into industry."

"Wherever design engineering is applied, you see creative intellectual activity at work," says Tom Brzustowski, president of NSERC. "It is the central process that determines the quality, safety and success of a product. I congratulate Queen’s University on recruiting David Strong whose intellectual strengths and industrial experience bring so much to the program."

NSERC created the Chairs in Design Engineering program three years ago in response to industry’s need for home-grown design engineers. Its goal is to raise the quality of design engineering activity in universities across Canada. The main priority of the program is to improve research and training in design engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It focuses on innovation in learning, and on equipping students with the right skills, knowledge and personal attributes required by the profession and industry.