Faculty & Staff

Photo of Deborah Tihanyi

Dr. Deborah Tihanyi

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Director, Engineering Communication Program
Associate Director, Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice (ISTEP)
Communication Coordinator: Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Elective: APS 320H1F: Representing Science on Stage
416-978-5394 | deborah.tihanyi@utoronto.ca

Teaching: Deborah Tihanyi co-coordinates communication in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, working in courses along the design spine to develop students’ professional communication skills. She also works with graduate students in the Collaborative Program in Engineering Education.

Professional Activity: Deborah has a number of research interests that tie directly into her teaching practice, including the development of professional identity and the impact of TA training in engineering education.

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Alan Chong

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Communication Coordinator: Civil and Mineral Engineering
Elective: APS 321H1S: Science and Technology in the Popular Media
416-978-8512 | alan.chong@utoronto.ca

Teaching: Alan Chong coordinates communication instruction in Civil and Mineral Engineering, where he is also cross appointed. His teaching in CivMin focuses on developing student awareness of discipline specific genres and rhetorical strategies for communicating effectively within those genres. He also coordinates the Engineering Science thesis course and, in 2019-20, will serve as their Associate Chair, Years 1-2.

Professional Activity: Alan’s current research interests involves developing opportunities for civic engagement among undergraduate engineering students and building case studies in science communication for use in engineering classrooms. He also serves as the IEEE Professional Communication Society’s Digital Content Curator.

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Dr. Robert Irish

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Communication Coordinator: Engineering Science
Elective: APS 322H1S: Language and Power
416-978-6708 | r.irish@utoronto.ca

Teaching: Robert Irish coordinates communication in Engineering Science, where he helps students develop skills in logical, reasoned argument using strong supporting evidence.

Professional Activity: Rob has a strong interest in student learning, which he has supported by writing two textbooks: Engineering Communication from Principles to Practice (with Peter Eliot Weiss) (2e 2013) and Engineering Writing: a Very Brief Guide (2016).

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Dr. Penny Kinnear

Communication Coordinator: English Language Learning
Electives: APS 445H1F: The Power of Story: Discovering Your Leadership Narrative; APS 281H1S: Language and Meaning
416-946-3893 | penny.kinnear@utoronto.ca

Teaching: Penny Kinnear coordinates Professional Language Development activities in first year design courses and with course coordinators in second and third year courses. Her work aims to support both students and instructors in understanding and using language to learn to speak and write “engineering”.

Professional Activity: Penny collaborates in research about how students use language to make meaning in team contexts. She also collaborates in a longitudinal study of the development of professional identity. She was a co-applicant for a successful SSHRC Connections Grant for the Mapping the Landscape: Language in Canadian Universities. She is the co-author of Sociocultural Theory in Second Language Education: An Introduction through Narratives 2nd Edition and currently working on two invited chapters based on her research.

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Dr. Ken Tallman

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Communication Coordinator: Electrical & Computer Engineering, Materials Science Engineering
Elective: APS 325H1F: Engineering and Science in the Arts
416-946-3282 | k.tallman@utoronto.ca

Teaching: Ken Tallman coordinates communication in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Ken helps students develop the oral and written communication skills and the team skills necessary for the students’ success in their fields.

Professional Activity: Ken’s current research focuses on creativity in engineering design. This research also explores how students are able to transfer their creative activity from one learning environment to another.

Photo of Peter Weiss

Dr. Peter Eliot Weiss

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Communication Coordinator: Engineering Strategies and Practice
Electives: APS232 Writing Lab; APS 324 Engineering and Social Justice
416-946-7085 | p.weiss@utoronto.ca

Teaching: Peter Eliot Weiss coordinates communication in Engineering Strategies and Practice, working with a teaching team of over 50 to nurture critical thinking, clear communication and personal, professional voice in first year engineering students.

Professional Activity: Peter’s current research interests are in systematic teaching modes to help students develop personal voice within a professional context and the use of electronic media to enhance course delivery. He is also a creative writer continuing a playwriting career established in the 1980s.

Photo of Lydia Wilkinson

Lydia Wilkinson

Communication Coordinator: Chemical Engineering
Electives: APS 320H1F: Representing Science on Stage
416-946-5667 | lydia.wilkinson@mail.utoronto.ca

Teaching: Lydia Wilkinson coordinates communication in Chemical Engineering, supporting her students’ success by connecting classroom learning to current engineering projects and their future workplace.

Professional Activity: Lydia’s current research investigates interdisciplinary skills transfer with a specific focus on humanities integration for engineers.

Photo of Jean McNeil

Jean McNeil

Program Assistant
416-978-4421 | jmcneil@ecf.utoronto.ca