Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence for Winter 2020

Starting in January 2020, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will introduce the Engineer-in-Residence initiative, and is very proud to announce the inaugural Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence, Mike Murray, M. Eng., P, Eng.

Mike MurrayMike Murray is currently the Chief Administrative Officer with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo where he has overall responsibility for all of the Region’s functions including Community Services; Public Health and Emergency Services; Transportation and Environmental Services; Planning, Development and Legislative Services; Corporate Services; and Human Resources and Citizen Service, and all related corporate support functions. Mike has been with the Region of Waterloo since 1992, in a variety of positions, including Manager of Engineering and Planning, Director of Water Services and Commissioner of Transportation and Environmental Services.

Before joining the Region, Mike worked as a consulting engineer, mainly in northern and western Canada where he was involved in the planning, design and construction of numerous water and wastewater treatment facilities. Mike has also been involved in several international projects including projects in Brazil (groundwater protection), China (environmental sustainability) and Ukraine (regional governance development).

Throughout his career Mike has fostered collaborative working relationships with diverse stakeholder groups. He was a founding member of the Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network, Waterloo Region Tourism Marketing Corporation, and the Creative Enterprise Initiative. Mike has also served on the Boards of numerous industry associations and not-for-profit organizations including the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, Ontario Center for Environmental Technology Advancement, Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc., the Canadian Urban Institute, and The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.

In 2002, Mike was appointed by the Province of Ontario to serve on the Central Ontario Smart Growth Panel. He has also been honored by the Ontario Waterworks Association for dedication and leadership in the water industry, and by the Grand River Conservation Authority for significant contributions to the Grand River Watershed.

Mike has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University and a Master’s Degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Toronto. He has also completed the Queen’s University Program for Public Executives, and leadership programs at the Banff Center for Management and the Niagara Institute.

The Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence program

The Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence (EIR) program is a new initiative in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, which falls within the mandate of the Turkstra Chair in Urban Engineering, who would lead the selection and oversight of the Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence. Accredited undergraduate programs often engage with senior professionals to serve in multiple capacities as a resource for faculty and students. Under the Turkstra Chair’s direction, the Department would invite a practicing engineer who serves in a leadership role in industry to fill this position. Engaging EIRs is one way that the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering fosters a diversity of perspectives in the education of future and current graduate engineers.

The Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence program is very fittingly named after the first Dean of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Douglas Wright. Students and faculty of the University of Waterloo know that the DWE building is the Douglas Wright Engineering (DWE) building, which was the first engineering building on campus.  

The EIR program more broadly is an avenue for mutually beneficial engagement between the academic community and the engineering practice community. The Turkstra Chair’s activities are grounded in educational collaboration with the practice community, where the EIR is selected to foster and develop industry-academic engagements as they promote leadership among engineering students for the betterment of our cities now and into the future.

Informed by a scan of EIR programs across Canada,

"…the EIR programs are introduced as an academic-industry engagement, and take on various organizational frameworks from their inclusion as advisory or outreach to an immersion into the core-teaching mandate at universities. With EIR involvement on- or off-campus, lasting one term or one year or more, their effectiveness stems from their reason for being,…" (Friesen, Ibrahim, McSorley and Mattucci, 2019).

Marcia Friesen, Nadine Ibrahim, Grant McSorley, Steve Mattucci, 2019. “Engineers-in-Residence Programs as a Framework for Industry Engagement in Undergraduate Engineering Education: Challenges and Opportunities.” Proceedings 2019 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACEG19) Conference, Ottawa, June 8-12. Download (PDF)

Roles and responsibilities

The Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence aligns with the vision for urban engineering by offering expertise in a variety of contexts including leadership, mentorship, technical guidance, in addition to teaching support, and other roles that leverage specific skills of the EIR.

The main objective of the EIR program is to empower civil engineers to take on authority and leadership in significant areas of urban engineering, and to motivate students to use emerging technologies and engineering methodologies to tackle the world’s toughest urban challenges. They can also support student hiring to mutual benefits for students and employers. The EIR will be selected and invited for a minimum of one academic term, and will have oversight by the Turkstra Chair in Urban Engineering. In this role, the EIR will engage with students and faculty in various capacities depending on the activities during the academic term of engagement.

Interested in nominating yourself or a senior professional you know? Please email Nadine Ibrahim