With a goal “to nurture graduate talent and push creativity forward,” Chemical Engineering professor Aris Docoslis has been appointed the new Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at Queen’s Engineering as of July 1, 2022.

“This is a key appointment for the faculty, given the prominence of graduate studies at Queen’s Engineering,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean of Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Graduate students come to Queen’s from all over the world to contribute to our research mission. Increasing our research capacity, including graduate students, is a key part of the Driving Curiosity Forward strategic plan released earlier this year, and Dr. Docoslis has the ideal academic profile and experience for this role.”

With several years as Graduate Studies Coordinator in the Chemical Engineering department, Aris Docoslis is a former NSERC Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Colloids and Nanoscale Engineering, as well as the co-author of over 80 peer-reviewed research articles and two issued US patents, the latest of which gave rise to a local start-up company (Spectra Plasmonics, Inc) in 2017. His vision for the future of graduate studies at Queen’s Engineering is one that champions not only research, but research translation.

“I have been blessed with success when it comes to the industrial application of research that translates into something useful for society,” he says, “which requires a combination of innovation and collaboration with the corporate world.”

“I see and understand the excitement, the effort, everything that students do as they follow a path of learning to exploration to accomplishment. We need to create a supporting environment for them, so they can be productive: an environment they feel welcome in, where they feel appreciated. An intellectually stimulating environment that encourages students to give the best they have and transform it into something that serves everybody.”

Harnessing the innovation and creative drive of graduate students is core to Docoslis’ mission as the new Associate Dean. “Engineering is the bridge between what people need and what science can create. We need to nurture graduate talent and push creativity forward -- give the student outlets to translate creative work; to be empowered to take something from a lab bench and create an industry around it.”

Fundamental to an augmented spirit of research and innovation is ensuring graduate students at Queen’s Engineering are well supported. “Our students should not only succeed in research, but have a great learning experience here in a welcoming and inclusive environment. Graduate studies should improve their quality of life as well as providing a quality degree,” Docoslis says. “Our strategic plan has called for an increase in research capacity, which goes hand-in-hand with an increase in graduate student enrollment. This requires more than marketing and recruitment activities. It requires facilities, infrastructure, offices, lab space. We have to raise Queen's profile and show exactly what Queen's offers to grad students, while making the experience of being a grad student at Queen's Engineering even better.”

Docoslis also views this new role as an opportunity not only to lead, but to learn. “I want to create a better experience for the students while also learning how to accomplish this,” he says. “With seven years as Graduate Studies Coordinator in Chemical Engineering, as well as 20 years as a professor at Queen's, I have experience with the challenging issues students face. I am excited to be given the opportunity to bring that knowledge to a bigger role and broader scope.”