David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management


Project Overview

Start the ripple effect. Your gift to the endowment fund supporting the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management creates generations of ESRM-educated engineers in your industry.

  • Students benefit from many touchpoints with industry: speaker series, industrial research projects and programs, workshops and more.
  • Starting in 2016-2017 the school will offer ESRM to all third- and fourth-year engineering students. By 2017-2018 every graduate will have taken an ESRM course.
  • Graduate-level ESRM programs become available in the medium-term. Longer term, undergraduates are able to pursue an ESRM minor.
  • The school will recruit faculty to teach, research and develop ESRM programming. Work has started toward endowing research chairs in the school. More industry professionals will deliver lectures.

Your World is About to Get Safer

Chris Coles, ′88 BSc(PetEng), ′93 MSc(Eng), is vice-president of manufacturing performance with Cenovus Energy, a company focusing on oil sands operations in northern Alberta. And he's an industry expert in safety and risk management who lectures at the new Lynch School.

Most workplace incidents that happen, he says, "involve a confluence of factors."

"In engineering safety and risk management, we call it a hierarchy of controls." Cole teaches students that the application of industrial safety and risk management practices gives engineers strategies to reduce risk to people, the environment and business.

"If you leave the program with curiosity, with the ability to ask the right questions, you'll understand risk so you don't have to learn it on the job," he says. "The Lynch School builds it into an engineer's DNA."

Recently appointed director of the Lynch School, Gord Winkel, '77 BSc(MechEng), '79 MEng, is keen to see "the ripple effects of the Lynch School," the overall improvements to engineering design and practices that will spread across industries and jurisdictions.

"Part of the value proposition we offer students," he says, "is that none of them will ever be the author of a case study for our risk management class."

Winkel brings 30-plus years' experience in industry, most recently as vice-president for Syncrude Canada. He joined UAlberta in 2010 as chair and industrial professor of the safety and risk management program.

The Impact of Your Donation

A first in Canada, the school builds on 25 years of ESRM teaching, research and outreach at UAlberta's Faculty of Engineering. Grads will become engineers ready to assess risk and take into consideration high public expectations around risk management in engineering, from the design of a safe intersection to plans for a sprawling refinery. Good ESRM protects communities, businesses, enterprises and people. Guidance from industry leaders has built in an ESRM curriculum that creates graduates who don't have to learn basic safety and risk management on the job.

How to Help

"Investing in ESRM is not nearly as expensive as dealing with the aftermath of an incident," Lynch School director Gord Winkel says. "We have the responsibility to manage any enterprise safely to benefit and safeguard society." A gift to the endowment fund supporting the Lynch School makes the world a safer place.

Engineering safety into every grad

Engineering grads will operate more safely, protecting people, the environment and the profitability of business enterprises.

Giving Theme

Science, Technology

Ways to Give

Memorial/Tribute Gifts, Charitable Gift Annuities