Provost’s report to the 710th meeting of Senate

It is customary for the the Provost & Vice-President, Academic to provide a report to each meeting of Senate outlining plans, priorities, issues and other news. As these reports are already public through the University Secretariat Office, they will also be shared regularly through this memorandum page.

Note that appendices to the report can be found on the University Secretariat Office website.


Report to Senate of the Provost & Vice-President, Academic – May 10, 2023

Dear Senators,

I’m pleased to provide an update on the development of academic programming in the area of Engineering, which as you know is a key strategic project for the University. After several years of steady progress, the project is reaching some key milestones.

The Department of Engineering was established within the Faculty of Mathematics and Science by Senate in May 2021. The Department was renamed the Yousef Haj-Ahmad Department of Engineering following the transformational gift received from the Haj-Ahmad Family Foundation in February 2022. The gift also provides additional funds to support students in the program, reinforcing the community’s commitment to help Brock build engineering in the Niagara region.

Dr. Shahryar Rahnamayan arrived at Brock in July 2022 and assumed the position of Chair of the Department. Currently the faculty complement in Engineering stands at 4.5 FTE, with one additional faculty member expected to start in July 2023.

Brock’s undergraduate program is framed around the concept of Integrated Engineering, which is not bound by traditional disciplines within engineering, seeking instead to blend and combine fundamental and core engineering principles (i.e., electrical, mechanical, software, etc.) through project-based delivery methods. The proposal for the B.Eng. in Integrated Engineering is moving through the final stages of the internal quality assurance process, with external review taking place in early April to provide recommendations for program improvement. With Senate’s approval, the program will be forwarded to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance to begin the approval process, and then to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for funding approval. We anticipate the first cohort for September 2024.

With work on the undergraduate program nearing completion, we continue the development of graduate programs – a course-based professional program in Sustainable Design Engineering (M.Eng.), as well as research-based MSc and PhD programs in Sustainable Design Engineering.

The current focus is on finalizing plans to locate Brock’s engineering programming. As IT&I recently heard, using the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) Space Standards the anticipated space needs of Engineering over the next three years is approximately 24,000 NSF, about half of which would be research space. Discussions will continue over the summer to finalize space plans for engineering.

It isn’t often that Universities undertake projects of this magnitude that have such transformational potential, not only for the institution but also for the local community. I want to thank all of those who have had a hand in ensuring the success of this critical project: Professor Rahnamayan and his colleagues in the Yousef Haj-Ahmad Department of Engineering; the Dean of FMS, Professor Peter Berg; Professor Greg Finn; and the countless other both vocal and silent supporters at Brock and in the community who have lent their efforts to ensure Engineering’s success.


Lynn Wells

Provost and Vice-President, Academic

Categories: May 2023