Professor Elizabeth Gillies honoured for Excellence in Teaching


Western Engineering News | May 2, 2018

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor Elizabeth Gillies is this year’s recipient of the R. Mohan Mathur Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is presented annually to an outstanding Western Engineering faculty member to recognize their exceptional contributions to University teaching and the promotion of academic excellence amongst our students. 

Since its inception in 1996, Gillies is the first female faculty member to receive the R. Mohan Mathur Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“Gillies’ innovative and engaging approaches in teaching and cooperative nature have made her one of the best instructors in our department,” said Ajay Ray, Professor and Chair in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. “As seen from her course evaluations, she is an excellent teacher and mentor and one of the most respected teachers amongst students in our department.”

Not only is Gillies very active in providing leadership to women in academia through the Teaching Support Centre, but she is also involved in many student events and mentors a large number of graduate and undergraduate students.   

Gillies’ teaching contributions have had substantial impact to Western Engineering. She has successfully taught a first-year Chemistry for Engineers course for the past three years, where enrollment has exceeded 400 students. Gillies has also created an Advanced Communications graduate course, which demonstrates how to effectively write manuscripts for journal articles, theses, research proposals and interpret data to make effective research presentations. This graduate course is highly regarded by students:

"I truly enjoyed this class and benefited from the course so much. It has already helped me to write a very well-structured manuscript. I really want to thank Dr. Gillies for being so passionate and well organized in teaching this course."

"[Dr. Gillies] is really wonderful! She taught me many useful things that I can use in my thesis. Also, she managed the course well, and I learned a lot."

Gillies is no stranger to receiving outstanding teaching evaluations, as she has received the University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll award numerous times in addition to other Teaching Excellence awards, such as the Maurice Bergougnou Teaching Award, which in part is due to her approachable nature and the significant time she dedicates to all her students. 

"I feel honoured to have my teaching contributions recognized by the Faculty of Engineering through the R. Mohan Mather Award,” said Gillies. “I think teaching is really at the heart of what we do as faculty members every day. In the end, it is the success of our students that is our success."

Gillies will receive the Engineering Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Western Engineering Faculty and Staff Award Luncheon on June 1.