Dr. Keith Pilkey named department head of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Posted on April 16, 2018

Dr. Keith Pilkey has been named head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering here at Queen’s for a five-year term starting at the beginning of 2018.

“As the new head, I’m interested in connecting with alumni, community, and industry partners to ensure everyone is aware of what we’re doing,” says Pilkey. “We have a lot of new faces, new research activities, and innovative programs.”

Pilkey will guide the department through a process of growth and renewal started by his predecessor, now Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Dean, Kevin Deluzio. That process includes building new research groups – adding faculty, facilities, and programs – in areas including additive manufacturing, nuclear materials, and mechatronics.

“We have three positions for which we’re hiring now,” says Pilkey. “Soon, fully one third of our faculty complement will have started in the last four years. Guiding these new people in their career and research aspirations is one of my biggest priorities.”

There is also a demographic shift underway among undergraduate students in mechanical and materials engineering.

“We have historically struggled to attract women to our program, but 50 percent of the students who choose our relatively new biomechanical engineering option are women,” says Pilkey. “It’s just fantastic. We have an immediate goal to fill more faculty positions with women who can act as role models to those students.”

Pilkey came to Queen’s in 2000 after earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Waterloo and his PhD at Carleton University. He served for a time as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton.

While at Queen’s he was associate and acting head of Mechanical and Materials Engineering from 2008 to 2014, and is a three-time recipient of the Silver Wrench Award, and a nominee for the Frank Knox Award.

Keith Pilkey
NEW LEADERSHIP: Queen’s engineering professor Dr Keith Pilkey has been named Head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering for a five-year term.