Rose wins Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education from Engineers Canada

Professor Jonathan Rose received the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education for his exemplary contributions to engineering teaching.
Professor Jonathan Rose received the 2015 Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education. (Photo credit: Sara Collaton)

May 21, 2015

Tyler Irving

Professor Jonathan Rose has been awarded the 2015 Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education from Engineers Canada. The medal recognizes “exemplary contribution to engineering teaching at a Canadian university,” and is conferred annually.

Since joining The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering in 1989, Rose has become known for teaching his students through engineering design. He encourages students to collaborate on identifying problems and then applying engineering concepts to build new technologies that solve them. He pioneered the creation of the course ECE 241: Digital Systems, which gives students experience building and designing at the start of their second year, much earlier than other programs.

In 2011 Rose launched Creative Applications for Mobile Devices, a new graduate course that brings together graduate student programmers—many of whom hail from engineering and computer science—to work with students from other fields across the University of Toronto to create useful smartphone apps. The extremely popular course has already resulted in apps that solve problems in surgery, museum navigation, asymmetric walking analysis, pain control, driving measurement, child medication dose control, high school education and addiction management.

Rose has successfully commercialized his own innovations in computer chip design, and is passionate about incorporating entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. In 2004, he founded the Engineering Entrepreneurship Seminar Series to bring in guest speakers to share the stories of their company and inspire students to follow in their footsteps. Rose serves as director of the Engineering Business minor, which he helped to develop, and was a key player in the creation of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery. Rose has also made significant contributions to engineering education beyond Canada through his role in the creation of the PhD program at the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology.

Rose’s teaching style occasionally incorporates elements of improv theatre, such as asking students to shout out answers simultaneously. This technique helps students overcome inhibitions and makes large, early-year classes feel more intimate. He has received the ECE departmental teaching award four times and won the Faculty Teaching Award—the Faculty’s highest teaching honour—in 2012. In 2014, Rose received the University of Toronto Faculty Award, presented to a faculty member from across the University who consistently demonstrates excellence in both teaching and research endeavours.

U of T Engineering alumna Samantha Espley (Geo 8T8) received the Engineers Canada Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession for her engineering excellence and outstanding support of women in the engineering field.

“Jonathan Rose and Samantha Espley are remarkable examples of how U of T engineers pursue excellence in different disciplines,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “Not only are they experts in their respective fields, but they also continue to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity in the next generation of engineering leaders. On behalf of the Faculty, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Jonathan and Samantha and express my gratitude to Engineers Canada for recognizing these valuable contributions.”

More information:
Marit Mitchell
Senior Communications Officer
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering