Dawn Kilkenny and Khoman Phang join EngSci’s leadership team

Aug 15, 2017

In July, EngSci welcomed two new Associate Chairs to our team.  They bring a wealth of teaching experience to help guide the program’s administration over the next five years.

EngSci’s new Associate Chairs, Professor Dawn Kilkenny (IBBME) and Professor Khoman Phang (ECE).

Professor Dawn Kilkenny (IBBME) is an Assistant Professor in the Teaching Stream, and the Associate Director for undergraduate programs at the Institute for Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME).  She has been nationally recognized for teaching excellence, and focuses on the translation of current biomedical methods and tools into the IBBME Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory. Read her thoughts on teaching.

Kilkenny replaces previous EngSci Associate Chair, Deepa Kundur, who became Chair of the Division in January.  She will focus primarily on administration of Years 1 and 2.  She was previously Chair of the EngSci Biomedical Systems Major and teaches in the 3rd year of the Major.

Professor Khoman Phang (ECE) is an Associate Professor in the Teaching Stream, and is a triple graduate of U of T Engineering.  His expertise lies in analog integrated circuits for free-space optical communications and biomedical applications.  He has developed mobile phones at Sony in Tokyo, Japan, and wireless networks at IBM in Toronto.

Phang replaces outgoing Associate Chair, Professor James Davis (UTIAS), who served from 2012 to 2017.  He will focus on administration of Years 3 and 4.  He teaches Year 1 EngSci students in the Introduction to Electronic Circuits course.

We sat down with our new Associate Chairs to learn about their goals for the program.


What do you hope students get out of the EngSci program?

Kilkenny:  Engineering Science is an amazing program that brings together very talented individuals to work on advanced problems.  The creativity and tenacity of our students knows no bounds. My hope is that our students recognize the value, as well as the learning opportunities, that arise from the successes and challenges during their EngSci journey.

Phang:  I think the program allows students to explore the intersection of traditional areas of engineering and beyond.  It invites them to be creative and to push the boundaries.  I hope the program can cultivate in students that open perspective and a curiosity to explore the frontiers and intersection of disciplines.  I also hope every student experiences that sense of the community that I believe is the hallmark of Engineering Science.

How does EngSci fit into what’s going on in the world?

Phang:  Our program is well suited for preparing students for today’s world.  So much of what is new today occurs at the intersection of different disciplines.  The world needs people who are comfortable exploring these boundaries – of both technology and cultures in a global market and work place.

Kilkenny:  The EngSci program is internationally recognized, and the ability to succeed in the program demonstrates a capacity to make great strides in meeting and exceeding the challenges of the modern world.

What are your specific goals as Associate Chair? 

Kilkenny:  I would like to promote interdisciplinary activities for our students.  I also hope to strengthen our portfolio of undergraduate summer research opportunities.

Phang:  The strong sense of community within Engineering Science is one of our biggest strengths and it carries over into our alumni community.   I hope to capitalize on it as I work with students and alumni to foster greater connections through our recently launched U of T Engineering CONNECT platform for alumni and senior students.

What current challenges or opportunities do you see?

Kilkenny:  It’s always a challenge to keep up with the ideation and creativity of our students! I want to ensure that students are fully aware of the wealth of resources available to them at U of T, both in the engineering faculty and beyond, as they navigate through their courses and other practical experiences.