Introducing Quanser Café

by Paul Gilbert

My name is Paul Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of Quanser, I want to personally tell you about Quanser Café. I am sharing an exciting series of conversations, over a cup of coffee (albeit virtually), with academic leaders from the engineering education and research community from around the world.

Established in 1989, Quanser has been collaborating with the academic community for over 30 years. Since I took on the role of CEO, 20 years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling the world and meeting senior academic leaders, deans, chairs and professors. One thing that I’ve realized over many conversations is that their job is not easy. This has been especially true over the past 15 years as the rate of societal, industrial, and world demands have increased exponentially. Adding to the challenge is the increase in the pace of technology and the need for diversity in the world of engineering. With many baby boomers retiring, a large gap in the work force needs to be filled by future generations of engineers – such as Gen Z and eventually Gen Alphas, both of which are digital natives. Moreover, the world is struggling to address sustainable development goals such as climate change and clean water and just in the last 12 months a world-wide pandemic!

Given all these changes, I wondered how are our educational leaders coping? So, I thought it would be nice if I could have a conversation with some of these leaders from around the world to understand a little bit about their role, the challenges they are facing, and the strategies and solutions they are bringing to the table. My hope is that through these conversations, some of the nuggets will resonate with you, and you’ll be able to share ideas with your peers back at your home institutions.

In the debut episode I’m very happy to chat with Prof. Ishwar Puri, the Dean of Engineering from McMaster University here in Canada. Ishwar has a very impressive resume. But the one thing I’d like to highlight is that he has done amazing work in transforming the first-year experience, a program he christened The Pivot, as it fundamentally changes the approach to introducing engineering to new undergraduates.

Ishwar Puri Interview

 

I am also really excited to talk to Prof. Robert Bishop. He’s a legend in the world of control systems, with a textbook that has been used around the world for many years. Currently he is the Dean of the University of South Florida. Later in this 12-episode series I will be talking to more leaders from all over the world, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, other parts of Europe, Middle East, India, Africa, China, and Latin America. So hopefully there is something in there for everybody to tune in each week. So, sit back with a cup of coffee, listen, and enjoy the conversation either on our website or on Spotify. I look forward to any feedback you may have.