Ariel Chan (photo by Tyler Irving)

Ariel Chan recognized with 2022 Wighton Fellowship

Ariel Chan, an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the department of chemical engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, is the 2022 recipient of the Wighton Fellowship.

Awarded by the Sandford Fleming Foundation to just one recipient nationwide each year, the fellowship recognizes excellence in the development and teaching of laboratory-based courses in undergraduate engineering programs. 

The primary instructor for two key lab courses that consolidate lab components from all third-year chemical engineering core courses, Chan completely redeveloped these courses so that the labs integrate concepts that students have learned in the classroom to date. She also pivoted from traditional “recipe-driven” lab exercises to open-ended, problem-based projects conducted over several weeks. 

Chan oversees the Unit Operations laboratory, refurbished recently with support of the Dean Strategic Fund. When the university shifted to online learning during the pandemic, Chan and her team mapped out the entire space to create a virtual lab tour in close-up view that can be accessed by mobile devices and virtual reality headsets, allowing students to replicate the experience of conducting a lab experiment, right down to putting on a lab coat and gloves.  

“Professor Chan’s achievements in revamping the Unit Operations lab curriculum, developing virtual educational tools and creating a cutting-edge hands-on learning space have greatly enhanced the learning experience for our students,” says Christopher Yip, dean of U of T Engineering. “On behalf of the Faculty, my warmest congratulations to her on this richly deserved recognition.”

Read the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering story