Kresta, who is currently a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, and associate dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta, will step into the role effective January 1, 2018.
“The reputation of the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan is outstanding, both in terms of research and student experience,” said Kresta, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of New Brunswick, a Master of Science at Leeds University and a PhD from McMaster University. “I was inspired by the people in the college, and taking on this leadership role is an opportunity I am very excited about.”
Kresta is an accomplished researcher in the area of turbulent mixing, who has worked in sectors ranging from drinking water to cosmetics and from hydrometallurgy to oilsands extraction. She is perhaps even more regarded for her teaching excellence, having received the Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education—the highest engineering education award in Canada—in 2014.
“Teaching is central to our work as scholars,” said Kresta, who also received the Award for Excellence in Education from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. “It is a privilege to educate and train the next generation of professional engineers and the high priority the University of Saskatchewan places on learning is one of the things that I value most about the institution.”
Kresta replaces Donald Bergstrom, who has served in this role on an interim basis since January 2016. Kresta said she wants to continue to build on the college’s proud history to ensure its academic and research programs both continue to meet the expectations of students, government and industry and step out to be a national leader in engineering education and in key strategic research areas.
“We have a very comprehensive academic offering in the college, and that is critical to maintain as we focus on training the next generation of professional engineers in the areas of great importance to the province, country and world,” said Kresta, adding that the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development, developed over the past decade within the college, is an example of how the college continues to evolve to meet changing needs. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students, as well as our industry partners, to ensure we deliver on our immense potential.”
“In Dr. Kresta, we have found an incredible combination of teacher, researcher and administrator,” said Michael Atkinson, interim provost and vice-president academic. “This search drew attention from candidates from across Canada, and Dr. Kresta was the perfect fit to continue to advance the academic and research agendas of one of our most historic colleges.”