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Engineering Change Lab

The engineering profession in Canada has made huge contributions to society. As the pace of global change continues to quicken and challenges become increasingly complex, there is a need to more actively evolve the profession in order to unlock its full potential to benefit society. 

The Engineering Change Lab is a platform for collaboration to allow individuals and organizations from across the profession to take action to address the systemic challenges (i.e. ethics failures, lack of diversity, and low levels of innovation) that have been holding back the profession’s full potential. 

The core Lab Team consists of 40 senior leaders (CEOs, VPs, Deans, Directors) representing 35 organizations from across the engineering profession. They represent a microcosm of the Canadian engineering profession: companies, universities, government agencies, associations, and non-profits.  

The group convenes three times a year to share their wide range of perspectives in order to deepen a shared understanding of challenges and progress a portfolio of initiatives aimed to address them.  In between workshops, the Lab Team works in a distributed manner to progress the initiatives, seeking to engage other individuals and organizations to join or support the work of the initiative teams. The duration of the Lab is currently open ended, as it is conceived to be an ongoing platform for innovation at the leading edge of the profession.

So far there have been two successful workshops: the launch in January 2015 in Montreal, and the second in Kingston in June 2015. The third workshop is scheduled for October and will be hosted by the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. 

The current Lab portfolio includes 9 initiatives that are focused on a wide range of topics (i.e. diversity, innovation, ethics, curriculum change, etc.) and targeting different parts of the system (K-12, University, Workplaces, Regulators, and the General Public).

  • National Network for Communities of Practice for Engineering Leadership
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Canadian Engineering Education Challenge (CEEC)
  • Expansion of the Engineers in Residence Program
  • Communications Strategies to Shift Perceptions
  • Establishing Clear Pathways from Grade School (K-12) to Engineering Careers
  • Reducing Barriers to Admission to Engineering Degree Programs
  • Industry Innovation: the Engineering Water-Cooler
  • Ethicist On Call

Organizations and individuals who participate in the Change Lab are exercising a powerful and visible role in helping to shape the future of our shared profession. 

To find out more about the Engineering Change Lab and the nine current initiatives, download this overview document. To learn how to get involved as an individual or as an organization, email Mark Abbott at

For more information

For more information contact Julia Chehaiber, Practice Lead, Community Engagement at