Queen’s Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science celebrated 125 years of engineering excellence on Friday, March 29, with a special event honouring 125 alumni for their life and career achievements. The event, the first of its kind for engineering alumni, highlighted the diverse ways that Queen’s engineers demonstrate leadership through contributions to society.
“Last fall, we put out a call to ask who is engineering a better world,” said Dean Kevin Deluzio, Sc’88. “We were overwhelmed by the nominations. Tonight, we celebrate your success as engineers, scientists, business leaders, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. And we take some pride in the role that Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science had in your formation.”
Award recipients included Mac Evans, Sc’64, LLD’14, the former President of the Canadian Space Agency and Mary Ann Turcke, Sc’88, MBA’97, the COO of the National Football League. Veena Rawat, PhD’73, the first Canadian woman PhD student in electrical engineering, was recognized, as was Erum Afsar, Sc’95, named a Top 40 under 40 by Avenue magazine for her work leading transformative transportation projects and supporting artisans in India and Pakistan.
Jennifer Buechel, Sc’92, Artsci’97, was recognized for her work developing and launching novel drug therapies and the world’s first early detection blood test for cancer. Kevin Doucette, Sc’02, has combined his background in engineering and music composition to create an artificially intelligent musician, work that has attracted the computer science division at MIT.
Over 275 people attended the gala, which also included student leadership awards, as well as project displays and opportunities for students and alumni to connect. Award winners included six Order of Canada recipients and 15 Canadian Academy of Engineering Fellows. One award winner expressed that she was “so inspired by my fellow award recipients and gratified to see the tradition of excellence in engineering embodied in the talented students we chatted with over the course of the weekend.”
Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has grown and changed significantly from its beginnings as the School of Mining and Agriculture in 1893. One of the top engineering schools in the country, the faculty offers ten dynamic engineering programs, and recently introduced Ingenuity Labs, a new interdisciplinary engineering research initiative focused on the design and use of intelligent systems and robotic machines. Last year, over 6,300 students applied for 730 first-year positions.
The faculty also offers a number of outreach programs, such as the Aboriginal Access to Engineering program, which has engaged over 20,000 indigenous youth, and the Tech ‘n Tinker trailer, a mobile makerspace that travels to schools and events in the region to provide experiential learning for elementary students.
During the event, Dean Kevin Deluzio noted that many alumni have said how much their time at Queen’s has shaped who they’ve become, both personally and professionally. “Our program engenders teamwork and strong bonds among classmates,” he said. “Our network of Queen’s engineers supports students on campus, but also in life and work long after graduation. You are exceptional role models for our next generations of leaders and groundbreakers, and we thank you for engineering a better world.”