Phil Wood (1993)

woodAffiliation at the time of the award: McMaster University, Chemical Engineering.

Citation: “Phil Wood is the best professor I have had yet!” This accolade from students appears at least once on just about every course evaluation Phil receives. A winner of numerous student-initiated teaching awards (he has been nominated for the McMaster Students’ Union Award four times and was selected best overall within the Faculty of Engineering), a living model of continuous improvement, a provider of concrete activities that bring excitement into the learning experience – that’s Phil Wood. Equally effective at all levels of teaching, Phil has unquestionably demonstrated over the years that he is a superb educator. He is an example of how to facilitate learning that makes a difference!

Phil has developed a number of innovative teaching tools which are specific to engineering (including a very much discussed “beer cooling” experiment) and has published several scholarly papers on teaching and learning. In 1989, he was asked to take on the responsibility for Level I Engineering. With characteristic energy and scholarship, he sorted through the problems and created a series of new programmes to support first year students. The success rate of Year I engineering students rose dramatically. These leadership skills made him a natural choice for serving on the University Committee on Teaching and Learning and for work on a university-wide task force to introduce self-directed learning into more McMaster Year I courses.