Appointment of Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek is appointed University of Alberta’s next Vice-President (Research and Innovation) effective July 1, 2021


I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek as the University of Alberta’s next Vice-President (Research and Innovation). Dr. Robinson Fayek’s five-year term as VPRI commences July 1, 2021.

Throughout her academic career, Dr. Robinson Fayek has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, innovation, and partnership on a number of fronts. Upon completing her PhD in construction engineering and project management at the University of Melbourne, Dr. Robinson Fayek joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering in 1997 and became full professor in 2004. Since 2008, Dr. Robinson Fayek has held the Ledcor Professorship in Construction Engineering, with a mandate to advance research, scholarship, and learning in construction. In 2017, she was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Fuzzy Hybrid Decision Support Systems for Construction, a position she continues to hold. She is also currently serving her third term as NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair in Strategic Construction Modeling and Delivery.

Dr. Robinson Fayek is a renowned expert in fuzzy logic and fuzzy hybrid modeling techniques for intelligent decision support in the construction industry, and has created an internationally recognized research program in the use of artificial intelligence to reduce costs and improve productivity in design and construction. She is the editor of Fuzzy hybrid computing in construction engineering and management: Theory and applications (2018) and is author or co-author of 97 journal articles, 13 book chapters, and 92 conference publications. Her research has changed the way in which the construction industry models operations and decisions, leading to more accurate and realistic representations of the expert reasoning process and the uncertainty involved. In the past two decades, Dr. Robinson Fayek has successfully secured more than $11.7 million in research grants and contracts. 

A respected member of Alberta's construction industry, she has built long-standing partnerships with industry and the public sector in Alberta and beyond. In 2019, she was appointed as the first director of the U of A’s Construction Innovation Centre, which brings together more than 30 engineering professors, including nine research programs supported by more than 50 partners in industry, professional associations, and funding bodies. The centre provides an integrated research platform that delivers high-impact solutions to construction practitioners, developed in collaboration with industry partners.

Dr. Robinson Fayek is an elected fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and an elected member of the National Academy of Construction. She has received many awards at national and international levels, including a commendation award from the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, the Peurifoy Construction Research Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Walter Shanly Award from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.

In addition to her work with industry and academic partners, Dr. Robinson Fayek brings many years of service on policy and research committees external to the U of A, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), where she served three years on the Advisory Committee on University-Industry Grants. She has also served with the City of Edmonton’s Program and Service Review Challenge Panel, and the Global Leadership Forum for Construction Engineering and Management Programs.  

Dr. Robinson Fayek’s proven leadership in building effective and productive relationships at all levels of research and innovation will be instrumental as the U of A continues to strengthen its role as a key driver of innovation in Alberta and beyond.

I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Walter Dixon for his outstanding leadership as interim VPRI through both the pandemic and the restructuring of the research administration stream. He has also played a key role in recent changes to the city and province’s strategies for research, innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship which will underpin the university’s future innovation strategy. Walter will be returning to his role as Associate Vice-President (Research and Priority Initiatives) to support the VP transition.

I would also like to thank the members of the Advisory Search Committee for the Vice-President (Research and Innovation) for their time, expertise, and guidance throughout the process. 

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek to her new role.

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-Chancellor