Dr. Ted Hubbard of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been awarded the Wighton Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards recognising engineering education in Canada. This is only the second time in the Fellowship’s 31-year history that a Wighton Fellow has been named in one of the Atlantic provinces.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering promotes a hands-on, design-focused approach to education, with practical projects that teach students how to get from an idea to a design to a finished product. Dr. Hubbard has been instrumental in the development and refinement of this curriculum for the past 20 years, using everything from KitchenAid® mixers to LEGO™ sets to illustrate theoretical concepts and practical design techniques.

One of Dr. Hubbard’s machine design courses combines a familiar pedagogical technique—machine dissection—with an atypical object of study—the KitchenAid® mixer—to form a holistic approach to teaching students about the functions of gears. Using a model selected specifically because it contains every gear type covered in the course, Dr. Hubbard has students gradually disassemble the mixer’s drive train. Along the way, they not only touch and feel all of the various types of gear they have been learning about theoretically, but also see how they function in a real-world context.

In a recently introduced upper-year course, Dr. Hubbard has employed two-axis computer numerical control (CNC) router machines (X-Carves) to teach prototyping and design concepts. In contrast to 3D printers, the X-Carves are imperfect: they consistently produce particular inaccuracies for a given set of “perfect” Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) inputs. Dr. Hubbard exploits these inaccuracies to introduce students to the fundamentals of prototyping and engineering manufacturing details. Since its introduction, this course has quickly become the most in-demand senior-year technical elective offered to Mechanical students in the past two decades.

Dr. Hubbard’s impact on the Mechanical Engineering curriculum at Dalhousie extends well-beyond the courses he teaches, as he has been instrumental in promoting the design-focused approach to education that has become the Department’s trademark. Dr. Darrel Doman, director of the Mechanical Department and the man who nominated Dr. Hubbard for the fellowship, credits his influence with his colleagues for the Department’s 20% increase in hands-on lab work over the past five years.

“It’s not just that Ted’s the best at this style of education,” says Dr. Doman, “it’s that he makes the rest of us better.”

Nor have Dr. Hubbard’s efforts on behalf of engineering education gone unnoticed by students: his nomination was supported by a petition signed by over 200 current and graduating mechanical engineering students. Many current and former students also submitted letters of support for his nomination, including a Rhode’s Scholar and a start-up CEO who credits Dr. Hubbard with helping him turn his entrepreneurial ideas into reality.

“I’m proud of this concerted effort the graduating class made on behalf of Ted’s nomination,” says Dr. Doman, “it’s a heart-warming demonstration of the impact he has on our students.”

Dr. Hubbard’s impact on such a broad cross-section of engineers, whether students or teachers, is a testament to his dedication to his students, his passion for his profession, and his role as a leader in the advancement of engineering education.

Matt Reader  –  News
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Dal's Emera IDEA and Richard Murray Design buildings won first place worldwide in the 'Educational Facilities - New' category at ASHRAE's 2020-2021 Technology Awards, an international competition celebrating energy efficiency and sustainability in building design.
Engineering Communications  –  News
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Faraj Shahrstan and I am a Master of Applied Science Student in Structural Engineering at Dalhousie University. I completed my undergrad degree in Civil Engineering at Dalhousie and am the President and founder of the Dalhousie American Concrete Institute (ACI) Student Chapter.
Engineering Communications  –  News
Friday, April 23, 2021
Alexandra Fenton has been formally recognised by Actua for her leadership as Executive Director at SuperNOVA at Dalhousie University for 5 years.
Engineering Communications  –  News
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Kathryn Cameron  –  News
Monday, April 12, 2021
Stefanie Wilson  –  News
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
John Newhook, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, opens up about the connections between engineering and public health, the future of engineering education at Dal and more.
Dr. Kyle Tousignant  –  News
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
In December 2020, Dalhousie University lowered a brand-new Steel Teaching Aid into its new home on Sexton Campus. Steel Teaching Aids help students visualize how steel shapes are joined to form the frameworks in buildings, towers, bridges, and other structures.
Engineering Communications  –  News
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Ya-Jun Pan named 2021 EIC Fellow (FEIC) for “excellence in engineering and services to the profession and to society”.
Merilyn Layne  –  News
Sunday, December 6, 2020
The Fall brought a new semester of adapting to distanced learning that Assistant Professor, Civil & Resource Engineering, Dr. Kyle Tousignant faced head-on.
Ryan McNutt  –  News
Monday, November 23, 2020
Dalhousie’s 92nd Rhodes Scholar is Oxford-bound to continue her pursuits in biomedical engineering
View past items