Engineering Leadership

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Being an engineer is about more than solving equations and complex technical problems. It’s about working with people, building strong teams and creating positive social change. Leadership education complements your technical education by offering opportunities for personal, interpersonal and professional development. Knowing who you are — your strengths, talents and preferences — empowers you to effectively collaborate with others (teams) and work toward a larger vision (organization) in order to influence positive change (society).

ISTEP supports the integration of leadership and team-learning into core courses across U of T Engineering and supports the multi-pronged work of the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (Troost ILead), our Faculty’s very own leadership institute.


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Undergraduate Programming | Graduate Programming| Additional Opportunities

Programming for Engineering Undergraduates

Students sitting together discussing a group project
Troost ILead invites engineering student teams to meet with a Teamwork Support Instructor for advice on ways to work more effectively together.

Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Take three of Troost ILead’s undergraduate courses to earn a certificate in Engineering Leadership (see courses listed below). Leadership education is about learning how to effectively handle complex, human challenges that often mean the difference between success and failure. Engineers are taught to think analytically and systematically. Leadership skills build on these strengths to make you a more effective engineer. This certificate allows you to demonstrate your commitment and learning in this sought-after area.

Engineering Leadership Courses

Troost ILead offers five undergraduate courses that explore different aspects of engineering leadership. Any of these courses can apply to either the Engineering Leadership certificate or the Engineering Business minor.

  • APS 343H – Engineering Leadership
  • APS 442 – Cognitive and Psychological Foundations of Effective Leadership
  • APS 445H – The Power of Story: Discovering Your Leadership Narrative
  • APS 444H – The Happy Engineer: Positive Psychology for Engineers
  • APS 447H – The Art of Ethical and Equitable Decision Making in Engineering

Co-curricular Leadership Programming

Troost ILead created several ways for undergraduate students to kickstart their leadership journeys. Many of the opportunities below count toward the Co-curricular Record (CCR).

  • Leadership Labs: Interactive, skill-building and community-oriented workshops for first-year students.
  • Transition to Workplace workshop: Excellent preparation for those heading into the workplace, whether for a short-term summer job or a longer-term PEY Co-op position.
  • Summer Fellowship: An eight-week cohort program for student leaders who want to excel as they lead their club.
  • FIELD Summer Program: An 8-week summer program with an emphasis on self-discovery, professional field trips and community building.
  • Work Opportunities: Apply to work on the Troost ILead student team. Jobs are advertised in August.
  • Deep Dive Cohort Programs: An in-depth, full-day workshop to help students deepen their confidence and mastery related to a variety of leadership skills.

Leadership Awards and Scholarship Opportunities

The Registrar’s Office maintains a list of scholarship and award opportunities — several of which align with demonstrated leadership potential. While some are U of T awards, many are supported by external organizations and companies that value engineering leadership.

Programming for Engineering Graduate Students

Graduate students standig in a group
Grad PACS is a peer-to-peer initiative designed to hep graduate students in the career-planning process.

U of T Engineering Leadership Courses

Troost ILead develops and delivers the Faculty’s graduate leadership courses. These courses are open to all MEng, MASc and PhD students:

  • APS 1501H – Leadership and Leading in Groups and Organizations
  • APS 1026H – The Happy Engineer: Positive Psychology for Engineers
  • APS 1029H – The Science of Emotional Intelligence and its Application to Leadership
  • APS 1030H – Engineering Careers: Theories and Strategies to Manage your Career for the Future
  • APS 1502H – Leading Engineering Design Projects
  • APS 1010H – Cognitive and Psychological Foundations of Effective Leadership
  • APS 1027H – Engineering Presentations
  • APS 1011H – Concepts and Applications of Authentic Leadership

MEng certificate in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation & Technology in Engineering (ELITE)

MEng students can take graduate-level leadership courses through Troost ILead toward the ELITE certificate. This certificate is specifically designed for those engineers who wish to take on a leadership role in their work environments — whether by learning to better motivate teams, foster and manage innovation or by embracing global opportunities.

Co-curricular Programming

Troost ILead offers two programs to help engineering graduate students increase self-awareness and career readiness: Grad PACS and OPTIONS Program. Read more about both on the Career Development page.

Additional Opportunities for Leadership Development

Graduate Engineering Council of Students

GECoS is a forum for representatives of all engineering graduate student associations at U of T to collaborate on a variety of initiatives, including academic, social and professional events. Check out upcoming events and leadership opportunities on the GECoS site.

Student Clubs and Teams

Engaging in a club is a great way to explore and practice your leadership skills. At U of T Engineering alone, take your pick from 100+ clubs — from design teams and social clubs to cultural groups and advocacy organizations. It’s best to think about your purpose (whether its building community, sustainability, or practicing your technical skills) and go from there. Involvement in student club opportunities often counts toward the Co-curricular Record (CCR).

Entrepreneurship

If you are interested in leading your own startup, The Entrepreneurship Hatchery is a great place to start. Read more about how ISTEP is supporting entrepreneurship development in engineering students.

U of T Leadership Development

The University of Toronto offers several programs, conferences and training modules for aspiring student leaders. Learn more about these opportunities by exploring the Student Life website.

Community Leadership

If you are interested in community-based leadership check out the Centre for Community Partnerships.