Mary Wells will rejoin Waterloo Engineering as the Faculty's next dean.

Wells, an accomplished materials engineer, is known for her strategic leadership in building collaborative and strong relationships within a university setting and for her work in attracting, engaging and retaining women in the engineering industry.

Wells currently serves as University of Guelph’s Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, a position she has held since 2017.

Prior to joining the University of Guelph, Wells was a faculty member in Waterloo Engineering's mechanical and mechatronics department for 10 years, beginning in 2007. In 2017, she received the Faculty's and the University of Waterloo award of excellence in graduate supervision.

Wells says she's looking forward to returning to Waterloo Engineering to build on and strengthen the Faculty's strong reputation as a leader in architectural and engineering education and research.

"I am excited by the outstanding research in Waterloo Engineering and the many ways this helps to improve life, including finding solutions to global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change," she says.

While at Waterloo, she served as the Associate Dean of Outreach for Waterloo Engineering from 2008 to 2017, chaired its Women in Engineering committee for many years, and was involved in numerous programs for girls, women, parents and teachers.   

Wells was Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) from 2013 to 2018.

Her outreach activities earned Wells both the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Award for Science Promotion and the prestigious Support of Women in the Engineering Profession Award from Engineers Canada.

Mary Wells, new dean of Waterloo Engineering

Mary Wells, a respected university administrator and academic, is Waterloo Engineering's next dean of engineering.

She began her academic career as a professor in materials engineering at the University of British Columbia from 1996 to 2007 and has worked in the steel industry in Canada and internationally.

Her research focuses on the relationship between processing, structure and properties for advanced metallic alloys used in the transportation sector.

A past president of the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), she is the co-author of two books on women in mining published by CIM: Women of Impact and Women of Innovation.

Wells completed a BEng (metallurgical engineering) in 1987 at McGill University, and, following four years in industry, a PhD (metals and materials engineering) in 1996 at the University of British Columbia.

She will be Waterloo Engineering's ninth dean and the second woman to hold the post. She succeeds Pearl Sullivan, who was the first woman named to the position she held until December 31, 2019, and Rick Culham, a mechanical engineering professor, who is currently serving as interim dean of the Faculty.

Wells begins her five-year appointment on July 1, 2020.