York Senate approves new Lassonde School of Engineering

Shoukri Lassonde Kozinski

During its meeting on Thursday, May 24, the Senate of York University approved the establishment of a new Faculty of Engineering, which will be known as the Lassonde School of Engineering (LSE).

“I am pleased to see our engineering aspiration become a reality,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, York’s president and vice-chancellor. “Since our founding, a comprehensive engineering school has long been a goal for our institution. With this historic, unanimous vote, we are now on the path to redefining engineering for the 21st century.”

Work on shaping the new faculty will begin July 1. New program streams in chemical, mechanical and civil engineering will be developed. The Departments of Earth & Space Science and Engineering, and Computer Science & Engineering, along with each department’s programs will move to LSE at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.

Embracing the concept of global engineering, York University’s new Lassonde School of Engineering will offer a curriculum and learning environment designed to educate future generations of engineering professionals, who in addition to possessing advanced technical and theoretical knowledge, will also be skilled communicators with an  Janusz Kozinskientrepreneurial mindset and a commitment to making contributions to society.

“The Senate vote takes us another step towards seeing new engineering programs, initiatives and students at York University,” said Janusz Kozinski (right), dean of York University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering. “I look forward to helping create a new generation of entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience, professionals who will benefit York University and Canada as a whole.”

LSE’s mission is to graduate new engineering professionals who are articulate and confident individuals, said Kozinski. “Graduates will be broad thinkers – dynamic and motivated achievers – who distinguish themselves by their intellectual rigour, resourcefulness and innovative spirit. They will be Canada’s Renaissance Engineers.”

There are currently 180 undergraduate engineering students at York University. It is expected that number of students enrolled in engineering programs will grow to more than 1,800 over the next six to eight years. Leading engineering scholars are currently being recruited to help develop the school’s curriculum and establish the programs.

Support for the new Faculty of Engineering was first declared in June 2011, when the Ontario government announced that it was providing a $50-million capital investment to build an engineering complex at York’s Keele campus.

In November 2011, York’s president announced a $25-million dollar transformative donation from Pierre Lassonde, chairman of the Franco-Nevada Corporation, for an expanded School of Engineering.

Scholarship in the LSE received support  on May 4 of this year with the creation of the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (BEST) Program, through a $2-million donation from Douglas and Sandra Bergeron that will be matched by the University. In addition, Canadian philanthropist Seymour Schulich recently announced a gift of $1 million to create scholarships for students in the new faculty.