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Professor Matthew Mackay was recognized for his work revamping labs and courses to enhance hands-on student experience within the department of mechanical and industrial engineering. (Photo courtesy MIE)

Matthew Mackay receives Wighton Fellowship for teaching excellence

January 15, 2021

Associate Professor Matthew Mackay of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering is the 2020 recipient of the Wighton Fellowship. 

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

The associate chair of undergraduate studies for the department of mechanical and industrial engineering, Mackay led a multi-year initiative to redesign the mechatronics stream, improving lab development and integration, creating new courses and revamping outdated ones to provide students with hands-on designing and building experience. Once the least-popular stream in the program, mechatronics is now the most popular – taken by more than 90 per cent of mechanical engineering students.

Mackay also spearheaded the creation of M-Space, a makerspace for students engaged in traditional mechanical and mechatronics design. He designed lab series and design projects leveraging the M-Space that were integrated into multiple mechanical engineering courses; each of these course elements gives students a start-to-finish design/build experience.

“This is terrific recognition of [Mackay’s] tremendous contributions as a pedagogical leader in Engineering, as exemplified by his revitalization of our mechatronics program and his creation of new and innovative laboratory experiences,” said U of T Engineering Dean Chris Yip

“I am so proud of his efforts and, indeed all our faculty, who are working to create awesome learning experiences and opportunities for our students.”

Read the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering story