John McPhee, a systems design engineering professor, was presented with this year’s Engineering Medal: Engineering Excellence from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) at its annual gala held earlier this month in Mississauga.
McPhee was recognized for his innovative work into the modeling, simulation and design of dynamic physical systems
In a video shown at the gala, McPhee said he is “extremely thrilled’” to receive the prestigious engineering medal.
“What I’m most proud of, after my three children of course, is probably the developments we’ve done in graph-theoretical modelling and the fundamental ideas that we’ve discovered but also implemented in practical form that engineers in industry can easily use,” he said in his video presentation included below.
The impact of McPhee’s research has been influential. He pioneered the use of linear graph theory and symbolic computing to model dynamic systems, providing a powerful systems-level design methodology that allows engineers to model and simulate the impact of individual components on overall performance of multi-domain systems (such as hybrid electric vehicles) within a single design package.
McPhee, Canada Research Chair in System Dynamics and a Waterloo Engineering alumnus, said that the keys to his career success have been an interest in learning and discovering new ideas.
“Without that, I don’t think a professor can be successful or sustain the level of research that’s required to achieve your goals,” he said.
McPhee offers two pieces of advice to students after they graduate and start building their careers.
“First is to never stop learning,” he said. “And the second is to make sure that you are able to enjoy working in a team. Because I think the best advances are made as a team as opposed to individuals.”