Professor Matei Ripeanu receives Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Photo credit: Lukas Chrostowski

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) professor Matei Ripeanu is the recipient of the 2018 Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring in the mid-career category. The award recognizes outstanding mentorship of numerous graduate students over many years.

Professor Ripeanu’s approach to mentoring is very much catered to the needs of his students.

“I try to match students with projects that best fit their skillset and discover with them specific problems they care about so that they can find their maximal motivation,” says professor Ripeanu.

His students will be the first in line to acknowledge the impact of his mentorship and why he is an excellent advisor and mentor.

“One aspect that stands out concerning professor Ripeanu’s mentoring approach is his adaptability,” explains Hassan Halawa, a PhD student in the department. “He deliberately adjusts it to each mentee – according to their particular traits, skill sets, motivations, circumstances and ambitions.”

“His mentoring style is to let the students’ curiosity and interest be the driver of their own research journey,” says Hao Yang, an ECE masters student.

There are four aspects to professor Ripeanu’s approach to mentorship:

  1. Find out in what areas students can excel
  2. Discover what projects motivate them
  3. Fostering a climate of respect and intellectual honesty, and
  4. Enabling students to own their career path and make sure they do not lose their sense of happiness in the process.

Ultimately, professor Ripeanu hopes that his students will find success both professionally and personally.

“My experience is that if we are successful with the above, then the desired professional and often personal accomplishments follow.”

Learn more about professor Ripeanu’s research at Networked Systems Laboratory.