1.1 SELM SIG History and Mandate


The Sustainable Engineering Leadership and Management (SELM) special interest group (SIG) is a self-formed group of CEEA-ACEG members working together to advance a common goal relevant to the mission of CEEA-ACEG. CEEA/ACEG’s mission is to “Enhance the competence and relevance of graduates from Canadian Engineering schools through continuous improvement in engineering education and design education.” It is expected that the SELM SIG members meet on a regular basis.

The SELM SIG will explore ways to integrate Sustainable Engineering Leadership and Management concepts more fully into the existing engineering curriculum and explore the meaning of sustainability in engineering education. An over arching objective is to develop engineering leadership and management skills in design courses and across the engineering undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

The Sustainable Engineering Leadership and Management (SELM) mandate is focussed on how we educate engineers in order to better achieve societal goals now and in the future.  In the middle of the last century societal goals were centered on technological achievement and engineers delivered with space missions, air travel, better life through chemistry, and the energy to supply the current standard of living. It made sense to focus on technical development to achieve historical aspirations.  Societal goals have been shifting over the last seventy years towards global sustainability concerns, diversity, and equity.  As societal goals have shifted, the demands on engineers and organizations have also been shifting.  How are we responding? How will we respond? Engineering contributions have shaped many aspects of our society and our interpersonal interactions and reactions.  Are our graduates prepared?

Philosophical Premises

  1. Engineering leadership and management are a necessary part of engineering work and practice. They have been historical, are now, and will be in the future.
  2. Sustainability (Safety, environmental, and economic) aspects of engineering design and operation are a result of engineering management practices and not just technological superiority or competency.
  3. Sustainability encompasses more than the triple bottom line and requires social and cultural understanding of the impact of complex engineering designs and systems operating in society.
  4. Engineering leadership is a key aspect of engineering work and is not the same as engineering management or technical competence.  One cannot be an engineering leader without being technically competent and one cannot design effective engineering management processes without being technically competent. In addition, engineering leadership competences form a basis for leadership activities beyond the technical, including societal leadership beyond the scope of traditional engineering practice.
  5. Innovation is a result of technical competence and engineering leadership.  The success of an innovation is a result of the viability of the innovation and the management of the innovation process.
  6. Innovation can be supported in the context of both large and small organizations with an engineering skillset that includes technical competence, engineering leadership, and management.
  7. The foundational requirement for engineering undergraduate education is to develop the engineering practitioner (not only the engineering scientist) with well-developed technical, management, and leadership competences.

We previously elected to focus our educational curriculum on the technical aspects of engineering – this has gotten us to now.

Objectives of SELM SIG:

The key objective of the Sustainable Engineering Leadership and Management SIG is to explore the mandate and premises above in the context of better aligning engineering education with the requirements of engineering work and practice. This is further elaborated here with respect to exploration, application, and dissemination of learning and pedagogical approaches.

What does sustainable engineering mean?  How would we define it?

In the context of sustainable engineering design, we would talk about the economic, safety, and environmental constraints from a regulatory and responsibility perspective.  We might engage in net social benefit, social, and cultural responsibility discussions.  We might consider the circular economy and the project or product lifecycle in the design evaluation. Is this the core of sustainable engineering? What else does it mean?  Does it support the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Does it support our current lifestyle? One of the objectives of the SELM SIG is to ask these questions and seek to understand the impact of engineering education on graduates and society.

Sustainable Engineering Leadership and Management (SELM) is about how we educate engineers to get to where we want to be in the future.  In the middle of the last century societal goals were centered on technological achievement and engineers delivered with space missions, air travel, better life through chemistry, and the energy to supply the current standard of living. It made sense to focus on technical development to achieve historical aspirations.  Societal goals have been shifting over the last seventy years towards global sustainability concerns, diversity, and equity.  As the goals have shifted, the demands on engineers and organizations have also been shifting.  How are we responding? How will we respond? How and what will we teach in order to prepare engineers to meet these challenges?

How do we prepare engineering students for this work?

Developing leadership knowledge, skills and attitudes is key to engineers being able to influence and steward the impact of technology on society. As a result, engineering programs and educators are increasingly involved in the development and study of engineering leadership.  Management and project management skills tend to be developed from a student self management and extra curricular activity perspective.  We believe leadership and management concepts need to be considered, delivered, and experienced as core content, integrated with the technical content within the engineering curriculum in order to meet the sustainable engineering objectives and support the UN sustainable development goals. A parallel objective is to provide a primary point of discussion and dissemination regarding the value of engineering leadership and management in engineering education.

Where and how will these questions be explored?

The SELM SIG will provide a forum for discussion, interaction and dissemination of the pedagogical approaches to the delivery of SELM, as well as to support and identify the need, basis and positioning of engineering leadership within society.  This includes, but is not limited to, the perspectives of the engineering student, the engineering graduate, the engineering practitioner, accrediting bodies, and from those outside of engineering. Specifically, the SIG will look to:

  1. Create opportunities for sharing and discussion of SELM within the SIG membership
  2. Facilitate a community that allows SELM members to expand their networks nationally and international as it relates to SELM (e.g. to NICKEL, Minerva Safety Management Education, ASEE LEAD, ASEE Engineering Management, KEEN, others?)
  3. Provide resources to engineering educators to enhance the development of SELM skills in engineering students.
  4. Establish a forum for best practices in SELM education
  5. Disseminate knowledge on SELM efforts in engineering education
  6. Encourage efforts to improve design, implementation, and assessment of SELM; and
  7. Enhance the status of SELM teaching and learning in institutions of higher education
  8. Provide professional development opportunities for CEEA-ACEG membership and engineering educators.

CEEA-ACEG SELM SIG Activities and Membership

To be recognized as a SIG, CEEA-ACEG requires that a Chair be named, terms of reference be developed, and a minimum of 5 CEEA-ACEG members participate. SIGS may receive some administrative support from CEEA-ACEG, and the following activities are scheduled for the SIGs at the CEEA-ACEG annual conference:

  1. SIGs have a 1-hour meeting time and room scheduled at the annual CEEA-ACEG Conference.
  2. A SIG planning meeting with the CEEA-ACEG Membership Committee and all SIG Chairs will be scheduled.
  3. There will be a SIG Meet and Mingle scheduled immediately following SIG conference meetings. SIGs are encouraged to display a poster highlighting their SIG and activities for the past and upcoming year at the Meet and Mingle.

SELM SIG Membership Requirements

Members must be active CEEA-ACEG members. Periodically we may invite participants for discussions and presentations that enhance the activities to the benefit of the SIG members present.

  • The SELM SIG’s membership list will be maintained by the SIG Co-Chairs, and will be sent to the Membership Committee and the CEEA/ACEG Office when there are changes. Otherwise, the SIG membership list will be updated/confirmed once per year. This will take place when renewing CEEA/ACEG membership each year.


  1. Develop an Annual “Poster” or “White Paper” on the state of SELM in Canada, and perhaps in relation to the world – for dissemination to NCDEAS.
  2. Monthly meetings – Share experiences, discuss a paper, workshop or breakout-room sessions
  3. Foster, run an annual Sunday workshop or paper presentation session at CEEA-ACEG conference
  4. Create a list of “key” SELM papers or resources as base for introduction to this space.
  5. Recruit interested members to SIG
  6. Creation of a Sustainable Engineering Leadership and Management Institute Workshop

Membership Communication and Resources:

  1. General communication through email to those that are in the SIG
    1. Purpose – formal communication
  2. Repository of papers and other materials in CEEA SIG shared Google Drive.
    1. Purpose – resources for members – what should we create?
  3. Interactive Communication – Zoom
    1. Purpose – Chairs and/or members to host “monthly” sessions.
  4. Ad-hoc communication – WhatsApp
    1. Purpose – connect in real time to activity

1.1.1 Profile of co-chairs

Marnie Jamieson, MSc

Marnie V. Jamieson, B.Sc., M. Sc., Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering), P.Eng. (Alberta) is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta, and holds the William and Elizabeth Magee Chair in Chemical Engineering Design. In her current role, she designs, teaches and coordinates the chemical process design and first year design courses in a blended and experiential learning environment. She leads the first year and process design teaching teams, including mentoring and developing a large group of graduate teaching assistants. She managed and was a key contributor to a two-year pilot project to introduce Blended Learning into Engineering Capstone Design Courses. She introduced the ongoing process design program improvement process, and has extended this work to the development and design of the first-year design course. Dr. Jamieson also mentors the University of Alberta Engineering and Commerce Case Competition team and actively engages students in interdisciplinary initiatives between business and engineering including internal case competitions and an undergraduate interdisciplinary course.

She is a Fellow of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACÉG) and a founding member of the Institute for Effective Engineering Teaching and Engineering Education Research. She currently teaches and develops engineering education research workshops. She has developed and led national and international workshops to teach professors about metacognition, lifelong learning, teaching process design, assessment and accreditation, and process design course construction and implementation, most recently teaching in Peru and Egypt.

She focuses her mixed methods research on the applications of metacognition, innovation, leadership, sustainability and graduate attributes to engineering design. She has an ongoing interest in learning culture, engineering identity development, student engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion. She has co-authored a number of journal articles, book chapters, and conference contributions. She has co-chaired multiple engineering education sessions and workshops at the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference and the Canadian Engineering Education Society. She is a regular presenter at these conferences and the American Society for Engineer Engineering Education. She continues to teach, lead, and manage the chemical and first year design programs, now recognized as related and focus courses for the Certificate in Sustainability at the University of Alberta with the support of an engaged community of practice

John Donald, PhD, PEng.

Professor Donald holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (1993) with a focus on Water Resources Engineering and received his professional engineering designation (P.Eng.) in 1994. He has ten years of industry experience as an engineer and senior manager, including seven years at an international environmental engineering consulting firm, and three years with information technology startups.

His 19+ years of experience in academia include ten years in executive appointments in Ontario Colleges in roles such as Dean of Engineering and Information Technology, Vice-President of Business Development, Applied Research and External Relations, and Vice President of Community and Business Development.

Professor Donald has been an Associate Professor in the University of Guelph School of Engineering since 2013, and have led a wide variety of activities to support maximizing the potential of engineers to both lead and support society.  This includes activities such as teaching interdisciplinary undergraduate engineering design courses; teaching engineering leadership graduate courses, serving as President of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (2017-18), organizing national conferences on Engineering Accreditation and engaging in scholarly activity in the areas of engineering leadership, engineering accreditation, and teaching and learning in engineering.