Dr. Mohamad T. Araji, Incoming Program Director of Architectural Engineering

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Message from Dr. Mohamad T. Araji, Incoming Program Director of Architectural Engineering


I’m excited to write to you today as the Program Director of Architectural Engineering. I am honored to be with you, and my first weeks have been greeted with warmth and generosity. I joined the University of Waterloo in Fall 2021 to assume the role of Associate Professor at one of Canada’s premier Schools of Architecture with cross appointments in Architectural Engineering and Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering

My knowledge of the AE program had been formed first through external impressions and interactions with Dr. Scott Walbridge and Prof. Terri Boake among other faculty. This was followed by my teaching, alongside Dr. Cory Zurell, of AE 325 studio last winter, and the exceptional students’ outcomes we had. These impressions were inherently framed through my experience as a building scientist and expert in the field of sustainable design and environmental modeling, where I have contributed to international landmark projects that range from the Chicago De-Carbonization Plan to the world’s tallest structures, and the world’s first large-scale positive energy building. Numerous of these and other novel projects in my practice portfolio apply innovative technologies to form high-performance design strategies that generate minimal ecological footprint. At Waterloo, I am leading an interdisciplinary team that specializes in developing innovative building systems, design and planning workflows, and new metrics to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings. 

The AE program stands distinctly apart many similar programs, from the professional and compassionate staff members to the faculty who have been sharing their ideas about pedagogy and course plans, to the students who have engaged me with questions about priorities for the program, and the industry advisory curricular committee who have thoughtful contributions. Let alone Dr. Walbridge’s service to the program and his exceptional management to advance its accreditation among many other initiatives. He served with genuine care and great wisdom. He is an effective leader with determined and compassionate personality. I’m sure that you all are so grateful for Scott’s dedication, and his new role, as Department Chair for the Civil and Environmental Engineering, will indeed keep his close ties to AE, which is a sense of assurance to the continuing integrity of the program and its mission to serve each and every one of its constituents

Having held senior-level positions in the corporate sector and university environment allowed me to interact with and develop contacts among various stakeholder groups and honed my skills in leadership, strategic planning, program development and resource management. My academic experience has offered me a host of knowledge which have been recognized through coordinated and led in-depth programs in scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL); curriculum design for undergraduate and graduate degrees; assessment procedures; training and consultation activities; and strategic planning initiatives in order to propel student-centric environment and a commitment to ensuring teaching and research excellence. 

Moving forward, I have a profound commitment to: 1) continue to realize the solid plan we have for the AE program that is progressive in its pedological vision yet secure in its prospects for students; 2) work with humility, integrity and fairness, and continue to be part of the greater community of faculty and students at the AE program and the School of Architecture to support the needs of our students in both campuses; and 3) establish a clear path to respond to accreditation requirements already underway for the program. I seek to contribute to the various initiatives within the program as well as engage with alumni and professional community. My vision is to learn, respect, embrace, and advance the curriculum and pedagogical goals of AE. As engineers and designers, we must recognize our disciplines and professions we represent, and reflect on the role that we can play to face the current ecological crisis and understand how natural and built environments affect people’s health and well-being.

I would like to end on a note of gratitude. Thank you for the warm welcome, and I wish you all the best for a restful, healthy, and fun break soon.

Dr. Mohamad T. Araji, Incoming Program Director of Architectural Engineering

Dr. Mohamad T. Araji