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New Biosystems Engineering instructor enjoys helping students tackle complex ideas

November 29, 2022 — 

Ella Morris joined the Department of Biosystems Engineering as Instructor I (Indigenous Scholar) on September 1, 2022. Memories of coming to campus with her mother, who worked in the Price Faculty of Engineering, influenced her decision to study Mechanical Engineering. As a teacher, her goal is to help students succeed, and she will be helping the Department enhance Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in the curriculum.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. I received my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Being that I am Metis, I was part of the ENGAP program during my undergraduate degree, which is a program for Indigenous students in Engineering. I am currently working on my Ph.D. studying turbulent flow here at the University of Manitoba.

Why did you get into this area of study?

I had a summer student research position during my undergraduate degree studying turbulent flows. From there, I developed an interest in research, which led me to pursue a M.Sc. and Ph.D.

Will you be teaching? What appeals to you about being a teacher?

I am currently teaching Fluid Mechanics (BIOE 2790) and Design in Engineering (ENG 1430). What appeals to me about teaching is that I enjoy helping the students. I also enjoy the challenge of finding ways to take complex ideas and turning them into simple concepts.

Any interesting stories you’d like to share about your career path to date?

My mom worked in the Price Faculty of Engineering for about 40 years as support staff, so I have memories of coming to campus from a young age. I think this was a big influence in my career path.

From your perspective, how can the Department integrate Indigenous knowledges and perspectives into the curriculum?

There are many opportunities to integrate Indigenous thought into the curriculum. One example would be by incorporating design projects collaborating with Indigenous communities. The projects would allow students to engage with Indigenous communities and build relationships. It is also essential that more Indigenous people hold academic positions. More Indigenous representation in the faculty would result in more diverse perspectives being included in curriculum decisions.  

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