Utah governor visits Lassonde School to see entrepreneurial engineering in action

Governor speaks with students
Governor speaks with students
Pierre Lassonde and the UTAH governor
Pierre Lassonde (left) speaks with Utah Governor Gary Herbert during the governor’s recent visit to the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. As part of his visit, the governor toured the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence.

The Lassonde School of Engineering played host last week to the governor of Utah and a delegation of business leaders from the state.

The visit was part of a trade mission led by the Governor Gary Herbert to learn more about higher education, advanced technology and entrepreneurship in Canada.

Utah is home to the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, also founded by Pierre Lassonde, and the governor was particularly keen to learn more about the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. Lassonde joined the visit along with Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The governor speaks with Lassonde students

Herbert and his delegation were given a guided tour of the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence led by Lassonde students Semi Hasaj, Sogand Talebi, Akhil Khurana and Andre Barreto. During the tour, the visitors met students working on a variety of projects, including unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic cars, 3D printing and startup technology ventures.

“We were truly honoured to host Governor Herbert here at our magnificent new space in the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence,” said Janusz Kozinski, founding dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering. “The governor was highly impressed with the flexible classroom spaces, the world-class technology in our research labs and the startup ventures emerging at Lassonde. Most of all, he and his delegates were captivated by the creativity and ingenuity of our ‘renaissance engineer’ students who presented their projects with such passion and poise.”

Lassonde's Founding Dean presents Governor Herbert with a 3D replica of the Utah crest
Lassonde’s Founding Dean Janusz Kozinski (right) presents Governor Herbert with a 3D model of the State of Utah’s symbol emblazoned with the state’s motto. The model was created for the governor by Lassonde students.

Following the tour, students, faculty and staff gathered for an informal reception with the governor, his delegation and Lassonde.

The audience listened attentively to remarks from Kozinski, Lassonde, Herbert and D’Ambrosio before mixing with the delegates and posing for “selfies.”

At the conclusion of the visit, Herbert presented Kozinski with the official seal of the State of Utah and in return, on behalf of the Lassonde School of Engineering, Kozinski offered a 3D-printed model created by Lassonde students of the state’s symbol, the beehive, emblazoned with the state’s motto, “industry.”

The special guests posed with students for photos
Pierre Lassonde (centre) and Governor Herbert posed with students for photos during a reception at the Bergeron Centre

“The governor’s visit is recognition of a strong, and growing, bond between the two schools that were made possible by the generosity of one extraordinary individual: Pierre Lassonde,” said Kozinski. “Together, we intend to connect our entrepreneurial students here in Toronto with their counterparts in Salt Lake City to exchange imaginative ideas, develop solutions to shared challenges and create new startup ventures.”