While growing up on a farm near Rivers, Manitoba, James Blatz realized he enjoyed learning how things worked. Further, he realized that he had a genuine interest in soil; its properties and composition, and how it could be employed effectively for construction.
Skip ahead a few years and James is now associate professor and associate head of the civil engineering department in the Faculty of Engineering sharing with students the geotechnical know-how and passion he cultivated in those early years. He refers to his transformation from farmer to educator as 'serendipity.'
James’ curiosity and enthusiasm is well-known among his students and in the university community resulting in two University Merit Awards in the Teaching category (2004, 2006).