Uttandaraman Sundararaj (2010)

UT-SundararajAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Calgary, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

Citation: The key to Uttandaraman Sundararaj’s success as a teacher is best summed up by one of his students: “Teaching ability is only part of being a great professor. The relationship a professor builds with his students is an equally important aspect of great teaching.” UT (as he is better known) actively engages students, connecting engineering concepts to their life experiences, developing the skills of a professional engineer, and sharing his passion for the work of engineers.

They build Lego robots, learn the concept of capillary break-up by analyzing a video produced by UT and his wife Suzy, discover more about each other and about teamwork on the basketball court, and play with silly putty to learn about how polymers flow. Challenged by his principle of “continuous activity” and supported by diverse learning opportunities, his students rise to high expectations, while “having so much fun, you just want to learn more and more.”

UT is a generous colleague. He led the development of active learning and co-led effective assessment practices in Engineering and cultivates teaching development through peer consultation, mentoring, and teaching triads. A colleague observed, “Dr. Sundararaj has had a profound impact on the level of scholarship of teaching and on the teaching effectiveness of the entire faculty.”

3M Speaker
Discipline of Study / Research Field: Chemical Engineering/Polymers Presentation


  • Active Learning (Education);
  • Conductive Polymer Nano Composites (Research);
  • Morphology in Multiphase Polymer Materials (Research)