Engineering for Everyone

Smith Engineering is working toward a more diverse and inclusive community – to make our learning and working environment better, and to advance the practice of engineering.

Engineering thrives on diversity. Thinking differently means embracing viewpoints, cultures, and perspectives from all angles. When teams are diverse, they have better potential to create more opportunities for everyone and find solutions to challenges.

Addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion matters is a collective responsibility and as a community we will work together to address these challenges in a spirit of mutual respect for our different backgrounds.

How can we collaborate to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion at Queen's?

How do we make engineering for everyone?

The Power of Inclusion

Diversity happens. It is a fact of being human and living our lives. Inclusion doesn’t just happen. It is a deliberate and conscious effort regarding decision-making in allocating resources and creating access to opportunities for every one of us. Smith Engineering will make mindful efforts to ensure everyone feels valued, respected, and able to participate with dignity and contribute to their fullest potential.


Get involved!

Join us in exploring ideas and solutions to make Smith Engineering a better, more diverse place where equity and diversity result in broader, better thinking to solve the world’s biggest challenges – and advancing these principles in the learning and practice of the profession.

Find out how…

Review our Diversity and Inclusion Framework

Learn about the guiding principles and high-level priorities that will guide Smith Engineering in its EDI initiatives and behaviours process.

Learn more…

If we can train AI to empathize with humans…

robot embracing female human with heart floating next to it

We can work as a community to champion listening, compassion, and cooperation.

In today’s world, empathy and cultural humility are as important as technical excellence. If we want to prepare the next generation of engineers, we need to add emotional intelligence to the curriculum. Engineering is for everyone.

How do we ensure equity-deserving groups are empowered to make a meaningful difference?

Moving from dialogue to action with the Black student community

Following the 2020 #ShutDownSTEM movement, a global call to action to end anti-Black racism, Dean Deluzio championed open conversations on race in STEM. At the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers’ #EDIAdvantage conference in November 2020, the co-President of Queen’s EngiQueers, Nicholas Ramsubick, appeared with the Dean in a talk on the challenges of race and representation. Since the fall of 2020, the Dean has met monthly with representatives of the Smith Engineering Black community.

Smith Engineering is allocating permanent space in our Integrated Learning Centre for a Black student meeting and workroom.

Smith Engineering is also proud to be part of a new cross-Ontario fellowship to improve inclusion of Indigenous and Black students pursuing doctoral and other degrees in engineering. The Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) PhD Project aims to address the urgent need to encourage and support studies by groups in Canada that have been historically ignored as potential candidates for academia in the pursuit of graduate studies. IBET recipients will receive funding support and a Momentum Fellowship which includes access to industry partnerships and additional networking opportunities.

Making EDI an integral part of our curriculum

Smith Engineering is part of a university-wide program of mandatory EDI training for all staff and faculty. All Queen’s employees have been part of "Working Together: Building an Inclusive Queen's Community", a training module developed and offered by the university’s Equity and Human Rights Office.

Diversity is also on the curriculum at Smith Engineering. First-year students must take a module on diversity and representation in engineering as part of their core APSC 100 and APSC 151 courses. The APSC 200 course includes EDII elements in lectures and workshops, as well as being considerations in team design projects. Upper-year courses that integrate EDI principles into the curriculum include:

  • MECH 333 – Gender, Engineering and Technology
  • CIVIL 400 – Professional Skills
  • MINE 422 – Sustainability
  • CHEE 361 – Engineering Communications, Ethics, and Professionalism

Curricular inclusion of EDI ideas and principles is in constant evolution at Smith Engineering. Information on this page may not represent the full scope of EDI integrated learning in our courses.


If we can develop an app that connects us virtually…

smartphone with a people chatting about a rocket competition

We can build a more inclusive engineering community in reality.

In a post-pandemic world, we must continue responding to community challenges by ensuring that everyone succeeds at Smith Engineering, regardless of their backgrounds. Engineering is for everyone. Engineering is for everyone.

How can we ensure that equity-deserving groups have access to supports and resources and are provided with opportunities to reach the full extent of their potentials?

Expanding nationally leading work with Indigenous Futures in Engineering

For almost a decade, Indigenous Futures in Engineering has increased Indigenous awareness of STEM at the school-age level while supporting to Indigenous engineering students at Queen’s. This award-winning program, led by Principal’s Teaching Award winner Melanie Howard, saw more Indigenous students graduate from Smith Engineering than any other Ontario school in 2020, and cohorts continue to grow. Indigenous Futures in Engineering uses dedicated work space in the Integrated Learning Centre and a vibrant on-campus community support system. It also engages in direct educational outreach to Indigenous communities, with a national book program that introduces youth to engineering ideas and subjects, and a classroom workshop series that physically and virtually explores STEM concepts with Indigenous youth.

In 2020, the program extended with Black Youth in STEM, a Kingston-area program to engage school-age children in STEM education.

In 2021, the Indigenous Futures in Engineering student services model was expanded to create STEM:InA, a cross-faculty program that supports Indigenous STEM students across all of Queen’s University.

Creating the Chair for Women in Engineering

Queen’s is a signatory of the Engineers Canada 30 by 30 program, created to ensure that at least 30% of newly licensed engineers are women by 2030. This effort, and many others, are championed by the Chair for Women in Engineering. Funded by our alumni, the Chair engages in awareness-raising, skills-training, funding, and other projects to inspire and encourage women in STEM.

In her first year in the role, Heidi Ploeg – the inaugural Chair – has established a significant web presence, offering resources, events, funding sources and much more to women in engineering, as well as an international project to change how engineers are viewed through an ever-growing gallery of images.

Increasing 2SLGBTQ+ Visibility

In November of 2020, Dean Deluzio spoke with EngiQueers co-president Nicholas Ramsubick on the challenges of inclusivity in engineering education.

Pride Month 2021 saw a series of profiles featuring Smith Engineering alumni who were foundational to the creation of the Queen's chapter of EngiQueers. Rob Litwin and Matthew Panetta shared their experiences as queer people at Smith Engineering, as well as thoughts on paths forward for the Faculty.

If we can create the ultimate wireless network…

robot embracing female human with heart floating next to it

We can diversify our administrative network.

As a community committed to growth, we need to ensure that a sense of belonging and representation extends beyond the student body – it must be part of our staff and faculty composition. Engineering is for everyone.

How do we change the composition of the Faculty’s staff and professors to ensure diversity and equity are properly reflected?

Making strides in representation at the Faculty level

Smith Engineering currently has approximately 40% women at our assistant professor level, and we have changed our hiring practices including how and where we advertise positions and the way we present and word our postings to encourage faculty recruitment from diverse global communities. As our faculty continues to grow and evolve, greater diversity and representation is a key priority.


Help engineer our future!

It will take the entire Smith Engineering community’s creativity, dedication and passion to make this transformation meaningful and real.

Get involved! Join us in exploring ideas and solutions to make Queen’s a better, more diverse place – and ensure we’re making the profession itself a place where equity and diversity result in broader, better thinking to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Get Involved!