Faculty & Staff


Former Academic Director

When we were developing the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) degree programs, we asked our industry partners what skills they felt their employees most needed to develop. At the top of the list were skills in communication, leadership and change management.

This led to our decision to build the professional programs using a common platform: a series of courses focused on the skills our industry partners highlighted and material on visual analytics, project management, organizational behaviour and sustainability. These courses will be delivered by instructors from both the Faculty of Applied Science and the UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School and will give students a working understanding of these topics.

Individuals in technical positions often transition into management or leadership roles without having all the background or skills they will need for these positions. The leadership classes component of the MEL and MHLP degree programs lays the groundwork to make this transition easier. Students will become very familiar with the language of business and will develop a range of skills that today’s employers are seeking.

The leadership courses will also bring together students from all of the MEL and MHLP programs. Being part of a larger cohort is an excellent opportunity for students to build their professional network with people from different backgrounds and industries.

I came to UBC in 2014 after completing my PhD in environmental engineering at Oxford. I’m also an entrepreneur and am very involved in the tech start-up industry. I was the first winner of Singularity University’s (SU) Canadian Global Impact Competition, which allowed me to spend 10 weeks in Silicon Valley developing a start-up through SU’s Graduate Studies Program.

At UBC, I continue to bridge the gap between engineering and business: I am the first person to be co-appointed to both the Faculty of Applied Science and the UBC Sauder School of Business and I teach in both faculties. This speaks to how highly the two faculties value the interdisciplinary approach that is the foundation of the MEL and MHLP degree programs.


Dr. Tamara Etmannski has worked in the oil and gas industry in Canada, reverse-engineered water filters using user-centred design principles and sustainability metrics in rural India, facilitated start-up boot camps in the UK, and completed Singularity University’s exclusive Graduate Studies Program at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley. She has also owned a motorcycle training school, done independent technical consulting and was the founder/co-founder and CEO of three tech start-ups.