2022 Excellence in Education Award Recipient
This award is presented to members of APEGA who have made exemplary contributions to teaching and learning at a recognized post-secondary institution in Alberta.
Dr. Samer Adeeb, P.Eng.
From the minute professional engineer Samer Adeeb, PhD, entered high school, he felt the weight of its significance. If he was to secure a spot in the fiercely competitive Egyptian post-secondary system, every grade he received from that moment on was crucial. When presented with the opportunity to attend an extracurricular study program taught by one of his school’s most beloved teachers, he didn’t hesitate.
Not long after, and quite unexpectedly, the teacher fell ill. “Before he passed away, he phoned me and asked me to help some of the students because he knew he wouldn’t be able to,” remembers Dr. Adeeb. He had been informally tutoring his friends for years, so it was an easy yes.
By the end of that endeavour, Dr. Adeeb had fulfilled his promise while achieving some of the highest marks in the country. He was accepted into Ain Shams University in Cairo, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He later moved to Canada, where he received a master’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in structural engineering.
In 2007, Dr. Adeeb accepted a position in the University of Alberta’s civil engineering department. As a new university professor, he aspired to teach students the way he wished he’d been taught—and to ease their academic and financial burdens. For each of his courses, he developed a comprehensive package, including online tutorials, quizzes, videos, and open educational resources to provide as much support as possible.
One of his biggest challenges was improving student success in his Introduction to Continuum Mechanics course, considered one of the toughest courses in the civil engineering curriculum. To do so, he incorporated a tool called Mathematica that enabled students to focus more on theory than on formula manipulation. He also sought to reduce course costs for his students by providing online access to the material and creating a series of videos covering the entire syllabus to supplement his in-person lectures.
Last summer, Dr. Adeeb was appointed associate dean of the faculty of graduate studies and research. Although this leadership role leaves him with less time to teach, it remains his passion, and the Excellence in Education Summit Award is deeply meaningful. “I set out to do these things without expecting recognition,” he notes. “But this is huge for me.