Dr. Cristina Amon joined the University of Toronto (U of T) in 2006 as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Alumni Chair Professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Since her appointment, she has created programs to foster collaborative scholarship, enhance student experience, encourage active learning, promote multidisciplinary research excellence and accelerate innovation.
As Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Dr. Cristina Amon provides leadership for the Faculty’s academic, budgetary and planning processes. She is responsible for the visionary and strategic leadership of one of the world’s leading engineering schools, with more than 5,500 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students, 253 faculty, 512 research and administrative staff, and an annual operating and research budget of over $290M.
Under her leadership, U of T Engineering has become a global intellectual hub for inter-disciplinary research and education, introducing a number of strategic Faculty-wide initiatives such as undergraduate programming in energy, global engineering, entrepreneurship and engineering business, a professional master’s degree (MEng) which offers the option to focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and technology in engineering, or in cities engineering and management, and PhD programs in Engineering Education and Clinical Engineering.
Dean Amon has also led the creation of cross-Faculty centres and institutes in the areas of healthcare engineering, sustainable energy, global engineering, identity, privacy and security, design innovation, as well as leadership education in engineering. During her tenure as Dean, the Faculty’s momentum has been extraordinary; research and professional graduate programs have experienced unprecedented growth, with an increase of over 60 per cent in doctoral students and more than fivefold in professional master students.
Dean Amon has a demonstrated track record of commitment to outreach and diversity. She was the architect of U of T Engineering’s Skule Mentorship program and Carnegie Mellon’s Engineering Your Future program, two programs designed to introduce pre-university underrepresented students to the excitement of engineering careers. Under her leadership, U of T Engineering has recruited 31 new woman faculty members and achieved a historic 40% women first-year undergraduate enrolment in 2016.
Prior to joining U of T, Dr. Amon was the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) at Carnegie Mellon University. As Director of ICES, Dr. Amon conceived and led multidisciplinary research initiatives, launched university-wide team-based product design courses, fostered a culture of innovation, seeded high-impact projects with financial support raised from the state government, and promoted strong interactions with the regional industry and local community.
She received her Mechanical Engineering diploma from Simón Bolívar University and continued her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned her MS and ScD degrees in 1985 and 1988, respectively. She is a pioneer in the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics for formulating and solving thermal design problems subject to multidisciplinary competing constraints. Dean Amon continues her research at the University of Toronto in nanoscale thermal transport in semiconductors, energy systems and biomedical devices.
Active in executive boards and professional societies, Dr. Amon is chair of the research committee of NCDEAS (National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science in Canada), founding chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council, and has served on advisory boards for several institutions including Stanford, UCLA, UIUC and Waterloo, and Foundations for Science, Engineering and Technology including in Brazil, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Qatar and Portugal.
Dean Amon has received numerous awards, including the ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award, ASEE Westinghouse Medal and the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award. In 2011, she was honoured with the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) highest honour, the SWE Achievement Award, for her outstanding contributions to engineering over more than 20 years. In the same year, she was also the recipient of the prestigious YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction award, which recognized her achievement in improving the lives of girls and women in science and engineering.
Cristina Amon was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Influential Women in 2012 and received the 2014 CSME Robert W Angus Medal for outstanding contributions to the management and practice of mechanical engineering. Most recently, she became 2016 ASME Honorary Member and was awarded the 2015 PEO Gold Medal which is Ontario’s most prestigious honour for engineering public service, technical excellence and professional leadership.
Dean Amon has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Hispanic Engineer Hall of Fame, the Spanish Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Canada and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. She has been elected fellow or honorary member of all major professional societies in her field and has contributed more than 350 refereed articles in education and research literature.