2016 Centennial Leadership Award Recipient
J.J. Roger Cheng, P.Eng., PhD
Dr. J.J. Roger Cheng, P.Eng., has served as Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta since 2002. Since then, Dr. Cheng has excelled in his work by fostering an ideal platform for teaching and conducting research.
Dr. Cheng has shaped the department into one of the largest civil engineering departments in North America. In fact, the school is consistently ranked as one of the top 100 places to study civil engineering in the world. Over his term as chair, undergraduate enrolment in the department has more than doubled to more than 1000 students, and graduate enrolment has seen a 50 per cent increase to almost 500 students.
His passionate support for research and teaching has been a driving force behind the 56 per cent increase in faculty positions. In fact, Dr. Cheng routinely uses his personal time to help other faculty members realize their own aspirations, and many faculty members can cite specific examples of how Dr. Cheng has directly impacted their research and teaching.
He has also assisted in establishing numerous large-scale research consortia, including eight Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Chairs, five endowed research chairs, multiple professorships and fellowships, eight centres for research, and two engineering schools: the Hole School of Construction Engineering and the Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering.
Recently, much of his time has been spent establishing the Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering as a long-lasting and impactful centre for innovative research and education, and through collaboration with faculty, administration, and industry, Dr. Cheng has worked tirelessly to bring this goal to reality.