Gord Stubley, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 2009

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Dr. Gordon Stubley has been a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering since 1982. Throughout his 27 years of service, he has inspired thousands of students who describe him as the model teacher and mentor. Some student comments include: “he challenges students to think independently, creatively and critically,” “he takes time to answer questions in a meaningful way,” “he consistently brings new material into the classroom that is both relevant and interesting” and “the equations become alive.” Dr. Stubley is a versatile teacher who has taught 13 different undergraduate courses and five graduate courses although his area of expertise is fluid mechanics. The subject is highly conceptual, not always intuitive and is, perhaps, one of the most difficult for students to grasp in the mechanical engineering curriculum. He is able to give simple explanations using day-to-day examples to provide context. As one student puts it: “he is able to de-mystify” seemingly complex flows. In 2006, the department appointed Dr. Stubley as its inaugural teaching chair to lead a teaching excellence agenda. He studies how teachers teach and how students learn, and he has a unique gift for understanding both. He has helped young and not-so-young professors teach better through workshops and one-to-one mentoring. For his contributions to teaching and mentoring engineering students, he received the Faculty of Engineering Sandford Fleming Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 1999 and the University of Waterloo Outstanding Performance Award in 2006. In 2007, he was a recipient of the Ontario government’s Leadership in Faculty Teaching (LIFT) award. Dr. Stubley has been an exemplary and inspiring teacher who has dedicated his career to motivating students to love learning, and university professors to love teaching.