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Cristina Amon

What is your current job?

I am the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto. I am also the Alumni Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering. My job description is quite broad and detailed but ultimately, as Dean, I am responsible for leading one of the world’s most distinguished Engineering Faculties. I see it as my prime responsibility to ensure the promise and potential of U of T Engineering is realized. From our students, to our faculty, to our alumni, U of T Engineering is a community filled with remarkable people who have boundless potential. I want to make certain we put in place the curriculum, the resources and the support that is necessary to harness this potential to have meaningful impact on the engineering profession and the world.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I was attracted to engineering because I wanted to create things that could have a direct, immediate impact on society and on people’s lives. Einstein said, “Scientists investigate that which already is, engineers create that which never was.” I love that quote.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

As Dean, I have the privilege to lead the premier Engineering school in Canada and one of the very best in the world. I also get to interact with a wonderful diverse group of students who inspire me day after day. My favourite part of my job is working with those students. Their curiosity and energy is inspirational and keeps me focused on what is important.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month? I typically celebrate National Engineering Month by participating in the many activities and events that U of T Engineering is involved with. For example, I love to see how U of T Engineering students compete in the Purple Power challenge to light the CN Tower. This year, National Engineering Month’s theme is ‘Design the Future,’ and I will be away from the campus, helping to design the future of U of T Engineering by raising funds for Boundless: the Campaign for the University of Toronto.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field?

Don’t let anyone tell you no. No, you’re not smart enough. No, you don’t have the math and sciences aptitude. If you love it, if you find pleasure in discovering how things work, in creating what didn’t exist before, and you want to make the world better, don’t listen to “no”. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.


Cristina Amon has been the Dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Alumni Professor of Bioengineering in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering since 2006.

Dean Amon received her Mechanical Engineering diploma from Simón Bolívar University and her MS and ScD degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to her appointment at the University of Toronto, she was the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.

A pioneer in the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics for formulating and solving thermal design problems subject to multidisciplinary competing constraints, Dean Amon also conducts research in nanoscale thermal transport in semiconductors, energy systems and bioengineered devices.

Dean Amon has received numerous professional and leadership awards, including the ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award, ASEE Westinghouse Medal, ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, Society of Women Engineers’ Achievement Award and the YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction award. In 2012 she was recognized as one of Canada’s most Influential Women.

Dean Amon has been inducted to four academies: Canadian Academy of Engineering, Spanish Royal Academy, Royal Society of Canada and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. She is an elected fellow of all major professional societies in her field and has authored more than 350 refereed articles in education and research literature.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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