March 13, 2008


Editors: A photo of David Wilkinson can be downloaded at

Wilkinson appointed Dean of Engineering

Hamilton, ON - McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering has named David Wilkinson as its new dean.

Wilkinson is one of the world’s foremost experts in the mechanical behaviour of materials, and is director of the GM Canada Centre for Automotive Materials and Corrosion, and director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute. He helped develop the Faculty’s first course in engineering computation in 1981, and in 2004, he introduced a first year course on materials that is taught to almost 1,000 students annually.

His appointment takes effect April 1.

Ilene Busch-Vishniac, the University’s Provost, described Wilkinson as someone who has been a strong researcher, teacher, advocate and leader since arriving at McMaster in 1979.

Wilkinson’s appointment comes during an exciting period within the Faculty, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Faculty is expanding its education and research in the areas of automotive materials and manufacturing, alternative energies and sustainability, biomedical engineering, and information technologies, in addition to continued emphasis on traditional areas of engineering.  A new engineering building is also under construction and expected to open in Spring, 2009.

“I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the Faculty of Engineering,” said Wilkinson. “We live in a world full of challenges to which engineers can and must make key contributions, from the threats and opportunities afforded by globalization to the development of sustainable engineering processes and products and the ideas needed to advance the biomedical field. McMaster's Faculty of Engineering is well positioned to lead in these and other areas. My role as Dean will be to provide my colleagues with the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

Wilkinson received his undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto (1972) and his PhD in Engineering Materials from the University of Cambridge (1978).  He joined the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University in 1979. He succeeds Mo Elbestawi, who became the University’s vice-president, Research & International Affairs, last Fall.

McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 130,000 in 128 countries.


For more information, please contact:

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988

Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869