Nancy Nelson

Director – Teaching Innovation

Nancy Nelson, PhD, FEC, P. Eng

About Nancy

An award-winning teacher and educator in Engineering, Nelson has long served as a leader and pioneer in the implementation of improved methodologies, including active learning, project-based learning, flipped learning, gamification and the implementation of educational technologies. She also has extensive experience in academic leadership, faculty development and mentoring, program design and curriculum development.

Nancy Nelson’s passion is engineering education, and her quest for student success is contagious. This quest has defined and directed Nancy’s professional journey, influencing her every idea, decision and effort as an educator. She is a vital role model for female engineers. As several of Nancy’s students commented, “She has provided the much-needed support that we women need by meeting with us many times and sharing her wisdom and experiences.” Time spent with Nancy is inspiring, productive, and satisfying.

In 2016, she was recognized by Engineers Canada with the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education, the first college professor ever to receive the medal. Colleges and Institutes Canada recognized her exceptional leadership skills with their Leadership Excellence Award for Faculty – Gold in 2017 for consistent excellence in teaching and making an impact on the personal and academic growth of students. In 2020, Nancy was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Canada’s most prestigious recognition of excellence in educational leadership and teaching at the post-secondary level.

Nancy was instrumental in bringing one of the first baccalaureate programs to Conestoga, and led the design, implementation, and accreditation process for the engineering program. Nancy was one of the first to bring project-based learning into engineering education, helping her students solve real-world problems. Her devotion to their success is evident in her innovative and award-winning career, her academic leadership in the electronic systems engineering program, her willingness to share effective, evidence-based practices with local, national, and international colleagues, and her commitment to continuous professional growth. As a colleague said, “Nancy is the ultimate educator, seeking to help others rise to their full potential by constantly bettering herself and sharing her insights in creative and thoughtful ways.”

Nancy is an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) Facilitator and Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW) Trainer. See ISW Network