This issue of the Dean’s Report highlights the importance our Faculty places on innovation and entrepreneurship. Equally important, it shows how partnering with alumni results in a better education for students.
Alumni and industrial partners provide expertise, serve as role models, and generously support programs to spur our engineers, architects and urban planners to become even more adept at commercializing their ideas. We need their partnership and involvement.
Let me be clear. The Faculty of Engineering’s priority is not the creation of new companies per se. Rather, new businesses will be an important by-product of what we do, but as a university, our role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem is the education we provide that will help to create entrepreneurs. Our focus, therefore, is creating the next generation of innovators.
Alumni like you play a key role in this process. This past year alumni donations funded two William and Rhea Seath Awards in Engineering Innovation, three Faculty of Engineering Innovation Awards, and the Ian McLachlin Prize for Entrepreneurship in Engineering.
Several of the students and professors who benefitted from these awards are featured in this newsletter, but they are just a small sample of the industrious people working here to transform their knowledge into products and services that benefit society.
The questions I ask you to consider are these: ‘How many other valuable projects could have moved forward if more alumni support had been available? How many missed opportunities could have become true success stories?’
You’ll be hearing much more about these themes in the months ahead. When you do, I ask you to do everything you can to help our Faculty’s innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed.
Jim A. Nicell