Mech professor, Dr. Peter Ostafichuk, has recently been named a 3M Teaching Fellow by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He is recognised as being “a catalyst for change in engineering education” for his innovative teaching approaches.
Peter Ostafichuk is a catalyst for change in engineering education. His students’ projects compel them to design engineering solutions for society’s most pressing needs. Examples include a device to detect and remove landmines, a vehicle to rescue survivors of a natural disaster, and a mechanical chair to help persons with neurological diseases perform therapeutic exercises. He writes, “I believe my peers and I have a duty to instil in our students the societal, environmental, and ethical responsibilities that all engineers carry.”
Dr. Pete, as he is known to a generation of students, is deeply committed to a personalized and very human approach to engineering education. At UBC, he was instrumental in transforming elements of the Mechanical Engineering program that had followed a traditional format, and he introduced such new features as team-based and project-based learning and organized design competitions involving engineer-client simulations. He has become a role model for other professors and has worked with other institutions, supporting them as they revise their programs in engineering. His teaching is about the kind of “deep learning” that is transformational for the lives of students and that strives to change the world.