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The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation hosted the latest of its York Leadership Roundtable series on May 3. The event brought experts in business, industry, government and academia together to discuss the new Lassonde School of Engineering and opportunities for partnership with industry to provide students with hands-on experience.
The roundtable participants discussed the program’s expected curriculum, research partnerships and community collaborations and the Lassonde School of Engineering’s goal of improving the future landscape of engineering in York Region and beyond.
“Through the York Leadership Roundtable series, we are continuing to provide opportunities to formulate mutually productive and beneficial relationships with industry and the municipal and regional leadership of York Region,” said York’s President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.
“During the session, the keynote speakers reflected on the development of the Lassonde School of Engineering and the exciting opportunities to foster collaborative industry/academic research partnerships in York Region,” said Robert Haché, York vice-president research & innovation.
Speakers at the event included City of Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Lassonde School Dean Janusz Kozinski and Paul Gilbert, CEO of Quanser Inc., a designer and manufacturer of advanced systems for real-time control design and implementation used in industry, education and research.
Kozinski spoke about the Lassonde School of Engineering’s approach to creating renaissance engineers through the intersection of engineering curricula with programming from the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School. The program will help graduates hone their skills to become entrepreneurial leaders who contribute to industry, both locally and internationally, said Kozinski, who also discussed how research partners can support the Lassonde School of Engineering by working together with students and faculty to create avenues for skills development and innovation.
Gilbert, who is responsible for the development and execution of Quanser Inc.’s business vision, related his career path to the unique structure and approach of the Lassonde School and expressed enthusiasm for the relevance and real-life applications of skill sets that Lassonde graduates will achieve.
The event was opened by Shoukri who was followed by welcome remarks from Haché. Scarpitti highlighted the economic and social impacts for growth in the engineering sector in York Region and stressed the importance of developing opportunities for continued growth and technological advancements.
During a lively question-and-answer period, the group of more than 60 industry and community leaders discussed the continuing importance of investing in research and development, strategies for addressing the innovation needs of businesses and the engineering sector, and the role of universities in fostering economic strength in their surrounding cities.