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Chairholder Profile

Sanjeev Bedi

Sanjeev Bedi

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo

Chair Title

NSERC Chair in immersive design engineering activities (IDEAs)

Chair Program

Chairs in Design Engineering Program


Senior Chairholder since 2016


The NSERC Chair in Immersive Design Engineering Activities (IDEAs) will lead a bold new initiative to provide authentic, hands-on design experiences for all engineering undergraduates: the IDEAs Clinic. The Clinic will provide a rich range of activities to bridge the gap between traditional academic classes and labs, on the one hand, and the modern engineering workplace, on the other.

Over the course of the five-year Chair program, the objectives of the IDEAs Clinic are to:

  • Develop a diverse range of hands-on design activities for all engineering disciplines. Curricular and co-curricular activities will be integrated throughout the program, building connectivity and forging connections across multiple years, courses, and degree programs.
  • Develop, with direct input from our industry collaborators, specific options for enriched programs targeting key real-world design challenges.
  • Establish an infrastructure to support the growth and development of the IDEAs Clinic.
  • Integrate design engineering activities across all years of all undergraduate engineering programs.
  • Build expertise in pedagogical research and outcome evaluation, and apply this knowledge to the development and assessment of design engineering education.
  • Promote a culture of innovation and excellence in design pedagogy.

The IDEAs Clinic will train a new generation of design engineers, enriching the education of over 8,000 engineering undergraduates. IDEAs Clinic activities will be carefully scaled to allow them to be included in existing programs and will catalyze a real change in perspective from siloed programming to multidisciplinary engineering problem-solving.

Activities build student intuition and open-ended projects build the confidence needed to deal with uncertainty. These will direct students to innovate solutions and provide insight into existing engineering challenges. All our graduating engineers will put their design experience to work at hundreds of companies across Canada.

Private-sector partners have been closely involved in planning Clinic activities and will provide guest lectures, ongoing mentorship and insight into their current design challenges alongside direct cash contributions. They are also supporting the Clinic with industrial equipment, software development kits and analysis tools, so that our design activities will have genuine relevance to their operations.

Dr. Sanjeev Bedi earned his PhD from the University of Victoria in 1987. As a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, cross-appointed with the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Bedi is a distinguished researcher who has held many senior leadership roles. His research focus is machining, and he is well known for developing innovative five-axis tool-positioning and flank-milling techniques.

Dr. Bedi’s greatest contribution has been to lead the development of the University of Waterloo’s mechatronics engineering undergraduate program, serving for six years as its Director. In 2000, with support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, he led the university’s successful effort to establish the $4.5 million Integrated Centre for Visualization, Design and Manufacturing – a forerunner of the IDEAs Clinic. Between 2006 and 2011, he coordinated Waterloo’s International Industrial Training Program. He received the 2012 Sandford Fleming Foundation Teaching Excellence Award for his success in developing and enriching engineering education at the University of Waterloo.


  • Rockwell Automation Canada Inc.
  • D2L
  • SkyJack (Linamar)
  • Quanser

Contact Information

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo
200 University ave W
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 3G1

Tel.: 519-888-4567, ext. 32178
Fax: 519-888-5862

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