Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research introduces two new Associate Deans

By Greg Duck Posted: January 7, 2019 5:00 a.m.

Dr. Lisa Watson (left) and Dr. Bill Zeng (right) take on additional roles with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
Dr. Lisa Watson (left) and Dr. Bill Zeng (right) take on additional roles with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Lisa Watson photo: Francois Deslauriers; Bill Zeng photo: External Relations

Two established U of R professors are taking on new roles with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR). Dr. Lisa Watson and Dr. Fanhua (Bill) Zeng will work with the dynamic FGSR team in a collaborative way to lead and advance the graduate studies and student experience for the University of Regina. 

Dr. Lisa Watson

Watson has been with the U of R since 2005, and works as an associate professor of marketing with the Hill and Levene Schools of Business. Her research, in its most broad sense, involves helping people to make decisions to improve their overall wellbeing. This includes examining personal influences on consumer choices, and social marketing research to help people make healthier and more sustainable choices. In January 2019, she takes on the additional role of Associate Dean (Strategic) – a new position that will work with a larger variety of researchers.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with researchers in every faculty on campus. This is an incredible opportunity that will require lots of listening and a willingness to try new things,” said Watson.

Outside of teaching and research, Watson puts her expertise to use on numerous University committees and not-for-profit boards, where she helps to steer strategic planning, governance, policy, funding, and marketing issues. She also has a strong focus on the student experience, having been a faculty advisor for many successful student teams.

“This role will allow me to put my business background and service experience to work in ways that help generate positive change for our campus and for our students,” said Watson.

Kathleen McNutt, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, knew this role would be perfect for Watson, and is excited to have someone so accomplished in the position.

“Lisa has won awards for her research, teaching, and academic service. She adds a wonderful passion, community connection, and skill to our research portfolio,” said McNutt.

Dr. Fanhua (Bill) Zeng

Zeng’s journey with the U of R began in 2003 when he arrived here to complete his PhD in petroleum engineering. For the past 10 years, Zeng has been an assistant professor with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is the Program Chair of the Petroleum Systems Engineering program. Along with his research groups, Zeng is working on developing new technologies on enhanced heavy oil recovery, understanding the fundamentals of fluid flow in porous media, and developing technologies to unlock unconventional resources. This past September, Zeng took the additional role of Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) and is thrilled to help grow the University’s reputation.

“We are building competitive programs that not only meet local needs, but of the global community,” said Zeng.

Prior to joining the U of R, Zeng worked as a research engineer with Saskatchewan Research Council. He has also supervised or co-supervised more than 50 graduate students.

“In my role as Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) I am here to do all I can to provide the supports and services needed by our graduate students and their supervisors,” said Zeng.

An advocate for the advancement of petroleum engineering, Zeng also contributes as an associate editor for Transport in Porous Media, Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Journal of Porous Media, and International Journal of Oil, Gas, and Coal Technologies. As well, he serves on the editorial committees for Petroleum and The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering.

McNutt noted Zeng’s tremendous resumé as being an asset in this role.

“We are truly lucky to have someone with so much research and industry experience helping to facilitate the career goals for graduate students,” said McNutt.