James Olson becomes the Faculty of Applied Science interim dean

Photo credit: Clare Kiernan

Effective June 5, 2017, Applied Science has welcomed our very own James Olson, PEng as the interim dean for the Faculty of Applied Science.

He follows Marc Parlange, who joined the Faculty as dean in 2013 and is now provost of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

A professor of mechanical engineering at UBC, Olson has held many leadership roles at the university, including director of the Pulp and Paper Centre, interim director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems and associate dean of research and industry partnerships at the Faculty of Applied Science.

“The past few years have seen many positive changes in UBC Applied Science — more diversity, stronger academic and industry connections, even better student opportunities for study, research and entrepreneurship — and I intend to keep us on this upward trajectory,” says Olson.

After graduating from UBC with a BASc in engineering physics and a PhD in chemical engineering, Olson spent nearly a decade as research engineer at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada. He returned to UBC as an assistant professor in 1999, where he has conducted award-winning research in the field of forest products.

Recently named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, Olson is the recipient of numerous other honours, including two NSERC Synergy Awards, two NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements, an APEGBC Meritorious Achievement Award, the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Innovation Award and nine best paper awards.

“There is nothing more rewarding than solving challenging real-world problems to improve people’s lives,” says Olson. “This is what the applied sciences are all about, and I look forward to working with students, staff and faculty members to continue to make this happen.”


Original story and photo credit: APSC News