UBC engineer wins prestigious Engineers Canada award for outstanding educational excellence – Latest News

Engineers Canada awards UBC engineer for educational excellence - News

Introducing a Phenomenal Educator: Dr. Gabriel Potvin

Imagine a world where teachers not only challenge students, but actively support and root for their success. This dream becomes a reality in the classroom of Dr. Gabriel Potvin, the deserving recipient of the 2024 Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education at the recent Engineers Canada Awards Gala. Let’s delve into what sets Dr. Potvin apart and why he is a beacon of excellence in engineering education.

Excellence in Engineering Education

Dr. Gabriel Potvin’s teaching philosophy is centered around empowering students to become the engineers and individuals they aspire to be. Since joining UBC’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2015, Dr. Potvin has consistently been voted as the annual “best teacher” by his students. This accolade is not due to an easy grading scale, but rather his high standards and unwavering support for his students’ success.

Innovative Teaching Methods

One of the hallmarks of Dr. Potvin’s approach to education is his commitment to providing students with real-world learning experiences. By redesigning the fourth-year chemical engineering lab course to focus on problem-based learning, students are challenged to apply their technical knowledge in practical scenarios. This hands-on approach fosters the development of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and troubleshooting skills essential for success in the engineering field.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Dr. Potvin’s dedication to interdisciplinary education is evident in his creation of a groundbreaking humanitarian engineering course in collaboration with UBC’s Department of Political Science. By bringing engineering and political science students together to work on real humanitarian aid projects, Dr. Potvin encourages collaboration, critical thinking, and the ability to view problems from multiple perspectives. This innovative approach equips students with the skills necessary to tackle complex challenges in the real world.

A Catalyst for Future Engineers

Dr. Gabriel Potvin’s commitment to shaping the next generation of engineers goes beyond technical knowledge—it is about nurturing individuals who are equipped to make a positive impact on society. By instilling a sense of confidence, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary fluency in his students, Dr. Potvin is preparing them to thrive in a constantly evolving industry.

As we celebrate Dr. Potvin’s well-deserved recognition with the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education, let us be inspired by his passion for teaching and dedication to empowering future engineers. In a world filled with challenges and opportunities, educators like Dr. Potvin serve as guiding lights for the next generation.



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