Jimmy Ngo wins Readers’ Choice Award for best construction and engineering professor

24-year-old lab technician took over as a millwright professor after the strike

It was just two years ago that Jimmy Ngo was a student. But the lab technician, and former millwright professor has made a strong impression for his teaching chops.

While the George Brown College (GBC) mechanical engineering technology program graduate might be a novice in the teaching profession, Ngo believes that being new to the game gave him a boost in the classroom.

“It was my first time teaching, and you know when it’s your first time doing something, you put your heart into it,” he said. 

The 24-year-old took on a role as a millwright professor after the fall strike for around seven weeks, something he said was a bit of a “weird subject” due to post-strike tensions. He said he was surprised he was offered the position and finished out the semester before returning as a lab technician in the winter term. 

Ngo has found that being so young in his role generates different responses depending on the age of the student. The fall semester students are generally younger and look up to him, he said. But students with more experience, who Ngo explained often start in the winter semester, are generally a tougher sell.  

“For the winter guys, they’re older. They can smell it when you don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

Ngo has been a lab technician at GBC since March 2017. Though in a teaching role now, he hasn’t left the classroom as a student either, pursuing a passion for coding on his own and through a computer science certificate at Ryerson University. 

His first time coding was in a class as part of the mechanical engineering technology program at GBC. Describing his first experience as “scary,” the Readers’ Choice winner now believes that coding is his calling and plans to pursue it after he’s finished at Ryerson.

“It’s very cerebral,” he said. “I like working on my own, and a lot of coding is working by yourself in a room.”

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Jimmy Ngo wins Readers’ Choice Award for best construction and engineering professor