Western appoints Meister to Thompson Chair

By Communications Staff
July 08, 2014

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MEISTER_profileSpecial to Western News

Ivey Business School professor Darren Meister has been appointed the inaugural holder of the John M. Thompson Chair in Engineering Leadership and Innovation for a five-year term, which started July 1. The Information Systems and General Management (Entrepreneurship) professor is also the former faculty director of Ivey’s HBA and MSc programs. 

In this new role, Meister will work to develop case-based courses to foster students’ leadership and innovation skills through the Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation and the Integrated Engineering program within Western’s Faculty of Engineering.

“The combination of business and engineering knowledge has long been viewed as a powerful skill set for providing leadership in industries during transformative technology change,” Meister said. “As a person educated as an engineer and having taught in a business school for nearly 20 years, I’m thrilled to be working with Western Engineering to foster programs that will develop the engineering and business leaders of tomorrow.” 

New courses that incorporate business and innovation education into the Engineering program will be delivered to Engineering students, many of whom will be working to earn the Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation. These new courses will use Ivey’s proven Case-Method Learning and build on the success of the BESc/HBA dual degree program as well as Ivey’s expertise in developing leaders of high-growth entrepreneurial firms.

“Through this Chair, we have an opportunity to differentiate our engineering graduates who learn all areas of engineering and will also excel in management, leadership and innovation,” said Andy Hrymak, Western Engineering dean. “Working together with Ivey, we will offer our students a learning opportunity that is unmatched in Canada.”

Meister will continue as a faculty member at Ivey and have a cross-appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering within Western Engineering. His interests focus on the role of technology decisions in creating new products, processes and services, specifically in new venture and corporate entrepreneurship settings.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Western Engineering to create this new Chair,” said Bob Kennedy, Ivey dean. “Darren has demonstrated strength in research as well as teaching excellence in both the Ivey HBA and MSc programs. He is perfectly suited to this new opportunity.”

The Chair is named in honour of John M. Thompson, Western engineering alumnus and 20th chancellor from 2008-12, who, with his wife Melinda, made a generous donation in 2013 to support the endowed Chair. He was appointed president and CEO of IBM Canada in 1986 and later served as vice-chairman of the board of IBM Corporation. He has also served as non-executive chairman of the board of Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Corporation from 2003-11.


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