Professor Thomas Coyle on New CEIE Building

Outside of the unfinished CEIE Building, Photo Credit : Fletcher Clugston

Being an engineering student, one can not help but ponder about the upcoming new building, The Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEIE). An interview with Professor Thomas Coyle, the Vice-Dean of the Undergraduate department, clarifies some questions students may be having.

1) How will U of T’s engineering curriculum/program be transformed by this building?

“When it opens, the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship will elevate the student experience in many ways. For example, the 500-seat auditorium is designed to facilitate discussion, group work, and direct communication with instructors and peers. This space will be the only lecture hall of its kind in North America. When conversation and collaboration is facilitated by a unique space like this, we as faculty members can be creative in our teaching methods. This will certainly have impact in the curriculum as we tailor our courses to take advantage of the capabilities of this space. Take the first-year course Engineering Strategies & Practice for example — the new auditorium will make group work and class feedback much more collaborative and immediate. The technology enhanced active learning (TEAL) rooms will provide opportunities for instructors to design new courses, or redesign existing courses, incorporating more interactive and participatory teaching approaches.”

2) How will the new design space benefit the student body?

“Student experience is at the core of the Faculty’s motivation to create the new CEIE, and experiential learning is the focus of many of the innovative spaces in its design. The design studios and adjacent fabrication facilities and makerspaces will enhance the design experience in first year and upper year courses. There will be project rooms and lockers for students to keep everything they need for the intensive process of engineering design in one place. The makerspace will be open to students for extended hours to enable them to take their inventions and entrepreneurial ideas even farther. The CEIE’s lower level will be home to many student teams and clubs with flexible meet/work spaces, as well as a place for student groups and EngSoc to host events.”

3) Share with us anything that would be useful for students to know.

“When it opens in spring 2018, I believe the CEIE will become the heart of student life here in U of T Engineering. The building is designed to foster collaboration, cooperation and conversation .It is where students, faculty, alumni and industry partners will meet to accelerate development of their bold ideas and launch new companies through The Entrepreneurship Hatchery. It is where events will bring the diverse U of T Engineering community together to celebrate big milestones in the Faculty. And, even after graduation, it’s where former students will return as alumni, to network with each other and mentor the next generation. The building will embody the of U of T Engineering spirit of creativity, fearlessness, inclusivity and innovation.”

4) Before it is completed, how can a student at U of T gain temporary access or visiting privileges to preview it? Furthermore, who can they contact to provide comment/feedback to this building?

“The Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship is currently an active construction site, and safety protocols dictate that it not be accessible to the public — including faculty, staff and students — until its official opening in spring 2018. Ahead of the official opening, please share thoughts and feedback with Steve Miszuk at”

For more information about the upcoming building, such as why the building was made, the building’s unique features or key numbers/facts/stats, visit

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