New CPES Dean Appointed

July 17, 2006 - Campus Bulletin

The University of Guelph has appointed Anthony Vannelli, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate dean of research and external partnerships at the University of Waterloo, as dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Sciences (CPES).

He will begin a five-year term January 2007 pending approval by the Board of Governors. The announcement was made today by Maureen Mancuso, U of G provost and vice-president (academic), who chaired the search committee.

“Tony has incredible enthusiasm and infectious energy, and brings with him a wealth of expertise as an administrator, teacher and researcher,” Mancuso says. “He has strengths in engineering, mathematics and computer science, and this unique background underpins his approach to teaching and research. It’s also in keeping with Guelph’s educational philosophy that emphasizes the sharing of ideas. We are delighted that he is joining U of G as our new dean.”

Vannelli held the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Research Fellowship in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto from 1984 to 1987, and in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo from 1987 to 1993 .

A faculty member at Waterloo since 1987, Vannelli chaired the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1998 to 2004. During his tenure as chair, the department introduced interdisciplinary programs in software engineering, nanotechnology engineering and a new online graduate degree program in the power area. The department also grew from 40 faculty members in 1998 to 70 faculty members in 2004.

Vannelli says he is looking forward to coming to U of G and joining CPES. “The University of Guelph continues to move to a bright future by integrating newer disciplines and strategic directions into its existing well established strengths. I strongly believe that the physical sciences, mathematics, computer and information sciences and engineering disciplines housed in CPES are well positioned to develop into exciting opportunities for the College and university.”

The author of more than 100 journal articles and conference publications, Vannelli is an award-winning researcher who is known internationally for his work in electrical and computer engineering. His current research involves using advanced large-scale optimization approaches to solve integrated circuit layout problems.

He has been nominated for university-wide teaching awards at both Waterloo and Toronto and has continued teaching while holding administrative positions. He has also been a visiting professor at McMaster University and at the Mathematical Science Department, Shell Research and Technology Centre, in Amsterdam.

As a senior administrator, Vannelli is known for using consensus building to develop numerous joint math, engineering and science programs and partnerships. “I strongly believe that the future opportunities for universities to serve the research communities and society lay in developing interdisciplinary areas,” he says. But he also notes that “interdisciplinary areas can only emerge from strong foundational disciplines.”

Vannelli earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from Concordia University and holds a PhD in electrical engineering Waterloo. From 1983 to 1984, he was an IBM postdoctoral fellow at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Centre in Yorktown Height, New York.

He serves on the boards of Materials and Manufacturing Ontario and Communications and Information Technology Ontario.

In making the announcement, Mancuso also appointed an interim CPES dean for fall semester, as Peter Tremaine’s term ends Aug. 31. “I am happy to announce that Prof. Bob Balahura, chair of the Department of Chemistry, has graciously agreed to serve as interim dean until Tony’s arrival,” she says.

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