George Soulis Chair in Systems Design Engineering

Systems is how we understand the world, and design is how we change it. 

The George Soulis Chair will act as a leader and advocate for advancing methods of teaching holistic design of complex interdisciplinary systems while emphasizing a commitment to design fundamentals and ethics. The Department of Systems Design Engineering (SYDE) is excited that an alumnus has endowed and named a Chair to honour one of our founders whose passion for design inspired generations of our graduates to creativity and leadership.  This tenured/tenure-track position will be filled at the rank of Full or Associate Professor.  

The Soulis Chair at the University of Waterloo will have significant experience to complement their scholarship and pedagogy in engineering design. The Chair should possess a vision for the future of engineering design methodology that advances equity, sustainability, and community empowerment. Using a systems perspective, the Chair will have a body of work that focuses on solutions to the world's complex problems in the 21st century and will pursue designs to address intertwined global challenges such as energy, health, food, climate change, and equity, among others.   

Design that bridges traditional engineering problem domains to partnerships beyond engineering is desirable. The department encourages different ways of knowing and recognizes alternative forms of scholarship that may be embodied in the portfolio of work of the Soulis Chair. Our programs emphasize experiential student learning through workshop-based design teaching. We seek a Chair that will establish (or continue) an active program of scholarship including design practice or pedagogy in the engineering design context.  Candidates should hold a PhD in Engineering or a related discipline. Being a licensed professional engineer or eligible to be a licensed professional engineer in Canada will be an asset. The salary will be commensurate with experience in the range of $150,000 to $230,000. Applications received by August 1, 2023, will be given full consideration. However, applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2024.  

Interested candidates should complete an online application form that includes a single pdf document:  

  1. cover letter;  
  1. statement regarding best practice in teaching of engineering design (3-page limit);   
  1. statement of scholarship that includes accomplishments and goals in design research and practice, highlighting important outcomes (3-page limit);  
  1. diversity impact statement that addresses how the management of the candidate's research/teaching program will advance the university's goals around equity, diversity, and inclusion goals (2-page limit); 
  1. current curriculum vitae; and 
  1. names and contact information for at least three references, who will not be contacted without prior notification to the candidate.  

The link to submit your application is:

The cover letter is to be addressed to:  
Prof. Lisa Aultman-Hall  
Chair, Department of Systems Design Engineering  

If you have any questions regarding the position, application, assessment, or eligibility, please contact Alex Pastrik at The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Alex Pastrik at     

Systems Design Engineering encompasses the application of mathematics and science to solve problems using a systems-based approach. SYDE was established in 1969 and currently has over 1000 undergraduate students, 227 master's and PhD students, and 39 faculty members. We are proud of the many successful entrepreneurs who have graduated from the department, where they were exposed to a design- and system-focused curriculum. SYDE is the lead department in the Faculty's interdisciplinary Biomedical Engineering program and a strong partner in the Mechatronics and Nanotechnology programs. The Faculty of Engineering's Ideas Clinic, the Sedra Student Design Centre and the Centre for Society Technology and Values are of importance for this Chair's leadership role.   

The University of Waterloo's Faculty of Engineering is Canada's largest engineering school, ranking among the top 50 engineering school worldwide, and bringing in more than $68 million in research funding per year. The University of Waterloo has 42,000 students and 238,000 alumni in 151 countries. It is home to 74 Canada Research Chairs and is well-known for its 100% creator-owned IP policy. Operating world-renowned co-operative education programs, Waterloo partners with more than 7,000 employers worldwide. Faculty have the opportunity to work across disciplines and collaborate with a diverse community of scholars and students. The campus covers 1,000 acres in the heart of the City of Waterloo. The Region of Waterloo, with a population of 600,000, is an hour west of Toronto, with its global-hub airport.    

Three reasons to apply:   

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office (  

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as Indigenous peoples (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit/Inuk), Black, racialized, people with disabilities, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.