Kopp, Cheng named Acting Deans

Two Western faculties recently named interim leadership as the university begins the process of searching for new deans to lead its two largest professional faculties.

Engineering professor Greg Kopp and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor Davy Cheng were appointed to the position of Acting Dean within their respective faculties, following recent departures of long-serving deans.

With former Engineering Dean Andrew Hrymak stepping into the role of Provost & Vice-President (Academic) last month, Western Engineering announced Kopp would serve as its Acting Dean until June 30, 2019. Hrymak served in the role for nearly a decade.

Arriving at Western in 1997, Kopp is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and previously served as Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) in the faculty. He is also the Director of the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory and lead researcher for the Three Little Pigs Project at The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes. Kopp is a former Canada Research Chair in Wind Engineering.

His expertise and research projects relate to mitigating damage to structures during extreme wind storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes. He was recently featured in one of Western’s Be Extraordinary spotlight stories, Building Resilience, which looks at how Kopp’s research provides affordable measures to make more resilient homes, from Canada to the Caribbean.

“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Kopp said. “Our faculty is in an excellent position right now, and I hope to keep the positive momentum going for the next year.”

“Greg is highly respected within the Western Engineering community for his academic leadership, and I am very pleased that he has accepted the role of Acting Dean for the coming year,” Hrymak said. “He has also been closely involved in the planning of a number of our recent major initiatives, including the School of Biomedical Engineering and Centre of Engineering Leadership and Innovation.

As former Schulich Dean Dr. Michael Strong transitions into his new role of President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dr. Davy Cheng, a professor in the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine will step into the role of Acting Dean within the faculty, effective Oct. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Strong served as Shulich Dean for nearly a decade.

Cheng is a Distinguished University Professor who currently serves as the Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs within Schulich. He is recognized as a world expert in perioperative outcomes and resource utilization in cardiac surgery/anesthesia, critical care medicine, and perioperative evidence-based medicine. Prior to his current role, Cheng served as the Chair/Chief of the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine (2001-17) and also as Chair of the Committee of Clinical Chairs (2012-16).

Prior to joining Western in 2001, Cheng was a professor and Deputy Chief of Anesthesiology at Toronto General Hospital and he also served as Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Surgery Program for the University Health Network in Toronto.

“I am confident (Cheng) will provide strong leadership during the interim period that we undertake the search for the next Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry,” Hrymak said.