Three Western Engineering professors inducted as CAE Fellows


From l-to-r: Western Engineering's newest inductees as Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, professors Joshua Pearce, Tony Straatman and Maike Luiken.


Western Engineering professors Joshua Pearce, Tony Straatman and Maike Luiken have been named among 49 new Fellows inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). 

This recognition is awarded to individuals who have made noteworthy and exceptional efforts in promoting Canadian solutions to urgent challenges related to social, environmental, economic and technical issues. The Induction Ceremony is scheduled for May 28, 2024 at Western University. 

“Professors Pearce, Straatman and Luiken are well-deserving of this honour,” said Western Engineering Dean Ken Coley and CAE Fellow. “To have three of our faculty members inducted this year is an incredible testament to the strength of our faculty.”

Pearce, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering and Ivey Business School, is a world-leading expert in three fields that are critical to sustainability. In solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, he has demonstrated lower-cost source of power and dual-use benefits in agriculture (agrivoltaics), floatovoltaics, and solar in the built environment.

He founded the field of free and open-source hardware for science and engineering, which radically accelerates innovation while reducing research costs. Pearce, who is also the John M. Thompson Chair in Information Technology and Innovation, founded the field of distributed recycling and additive manufacturing, which solves waste issues while enabling individuals to make products for themselves at lower costs. He has more than 400 publications with more than 27,000 citations.

Straatman, professor and chair of the department of mechanical and materials engineering, is being recognized for his innovative research, his outstanding contributions to engineering education, his development of unique programs and his dedication to leadership in engineering.

He has conducted fundamental and collaborative research that has led to patenting of novel technologies that save water and energy. He has created unique programs to enrich engineering education and has been recognized at the highest level for his excellence in university instruction. Straatman is past president of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering.

Luiken is an adjunct professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering. She is being recognized for her commitment to science and engineering, with technological solutions and education as enablers of long-term sustainability for the planet and people.

Previously, she was Dean of Technology and later Applied Research at Lambton College and President of IEEE Canada. Luiken has assumed leadership roles throughout her career and served on Boards of Directors. She has led 'new' initiatives, including the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative and the global IEEE Planet Positive 2030 Initiative.

The Canadian Academy of Engineering is the national institution through which individuals, who have made outstanding contributions to engineering in  Canada,  provide strategic advice on matters of critical importance to Canada and to Canadians. 

CAE president, Soheil Asgarpour commented: “Over the past 37 years, Fellows of the Academy have provided engineering leadership in the fields of education, infrastructure, innovation, energy, transportation, and many more. New Fellows have been selected for their outstanding contributions to engineering in Canada and around the world and for their service as role models in their fields and to their communities.”