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Remembering George Soulis, father of systems design engineering

Thursday, February 1, 2018

George Soulis

Retired Engineering professor George Soulis died on January 19 at the age of 92.

A furniture designer and factory manager for the Snyder's Limited Furniture Company, Soulis joined the University of Waterloo in March 1961 as an assistant professor at the invitation of Douglas Wright, dean of engineering. To burnish his academic credentials (he had graduated with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1950), Soulis received a grant to study at the prestigious German design school, the Hochschule für Gestaltung.

Returning to the Waterloo campus nine months later, Soulis taught early classes of engineering students, some of them in the campus maintenance building, next to the snowplows and tractors.

“He was largely responsible for bringing the discipline of design into the curriculum for engineering, not just at Waterloo, but across Canada,” writes retired professor Ed Jernigan. Together, with Professors Peter Roe and Vir Handa, Soulis wrote The Discipline of Design, the first engineering design textbook in Canada. [Read more]