Engineering measurable results for Western

The measurable accomplishments of John M. and Melinda Thompson’s major gift in 2013 to Western Engineering are tremendous.

The John M. Thompson Chair in Engineering Leadership and Innovation has transformed Western Engineering. Held by Western professor Darren Meister, cross-appointed between Ivey Business School and Western Engineering, the Chair has remade what engineering training looks like by developing a Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation; revitalizing the core of the Integrated Engineering program; integrating case-based learning into first-year core curriculum; advancing the dual HBA-Engineering degree; and delivering selected business programming for undergraduate and graduate students, including a speaker series.

The Chair has also led the integration of Western Engineering into the Western Entrepreneurship ecosystem as a key member of its Western Entrepreneurship Steering Team (WEST).

Additionally, the John M. Thompson Case Studies and Curriculum Development Fund has facilitated the creation of 11 cases, including five in the last year alone, all registered with teaching notes with Ivey Publishing.

John and Melinda Thompson are enthusiastic longtime supporters of Western students, funding student awards and facilities that support excellence and advance innovation in engineering and business. Their philanthropic contributions include a lead gift in support of the Thompson Engineering Building, which stands as a testament to their commitment to helping Western provide an exceptional learning environment.

In Fall 2018, the John M. Thompson Award in Engineering Leadership and Innovation was presented to five Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation students and the John M. Thompson BESc/HBA Scholarship to two Engineering-HBA dual-degree students.

One of the most exciting developments in the past year has been the creation of the Centre of Engineering Leadership and Innovation, led by the Thompson chair. Approved by university Senate in April 2018, the Centre now holds the academic standing of a department and serves as an institutional focus of the Faculty of Engineering’s activities in these areas. Its flagship program is the undergraduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation, but its creation provides a strong base for furtue growth.