UBC alumna Pearl Sullivan named Dean of Engineering at Waterloo

Vancouver, Canada—February 2, 2012—Dr. Pearl Sullivan (PhD ’90, MTRL), award winning professor, accomplished researcher and UBC alumna, has been appointed as the University of Waterloo’s Dean of Engineering effective July 1, 2012.

Originally from Malaysia, Sullivan earned her PhD in Materials Engineering at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Anoush Poursartip.

“Pearl was my second PhD student, and we set her a very ambitious goal for her thesis,” says Poursartip. “But she succeeded. She was tenacious and motivated, as well as an excellent experimentalist. Her work had a profound impact on the UBC Composites Group, perhaps more than she realizes: her initial difficulties in making good composite panels led to my interest in composites manufacturing, which has now grown into a major part of UBC’s research and industrial impact.”

After completing her PhD at UBC, Sullivan became a faculty member in mechanical engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and then at the University of New Brunswick. She joined the University of Waterloo as a professor in 2004, and since 2006 has been the chair of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.

“In hindsight, my experience at UBC was the seed of my formation as an academic,” says Sullivan. “The UBC Composites Group provided an environment that nurtured ingenuity and taught me perseverance, whether in teaching, research or administration. Anoush defined the standard of excellence and showed us that we need to take on the difficult problems if we want to make a mark.  My PhD work was the most important period of learning in my ten years of university studies.”

Sullivan’s term as dean will run five years, ending June 30, 2017. Her distinctions include receiving Waterloo’s Outstanding Performance Award in 2009, and receiving two Faculty Merit Awards for Excellence in her earlier career. She holds a professional engineer (PEng) designation from Professional Engineers Ontario, and a Chartered Engineer (CEng) from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in the United Kingdom.


ErinRose Handy
Manager, Marketing & External Communications
UBC Faculty of Applied Science
Tel: 604.822.1524
E-mail: erinrose.handy@ubc.ca