Engineering Alumni Chirag Variawa (MSE 0T9, MIE PhD candidate) and Keith Thomas (MechE 8T7) have been elected to the 2011-2012 U of T Governing Council.
Variawa is the first graduate student governor from Engineering. As of July 1, Variawa will represent graduate students from across the University’s Constituency II, which includes Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering (School of Graduate Studies Divisions III & IV).
Variawa credits the Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow program as his platform and motivation to pursue a role in university governance. “As the current co-chair of the graduate constituency of this program, I’ve experienced first-hand how leadership affects team dynamics, communication and growth,” he said.
Now a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Variawa believes that his current research in artificial intelligence for engineering education will benefit from his involvement with Governing Council.
“Chirag has been highly engaged in LOT both as an undergraduate and graduate student,” said Professor Greg Evans (ChemE), Co-Leader with Professor Doug Reeve (ChemE) of Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow. “It’s therefore gratifying to see him take some of what he has learned and put it into practice. His enthusiasm for leadership and commitment to making a positive difference is inspiring.”
Thomas, who is the CEO of Vive Nano, a company based on technology developed in U of T’s Department of Chemistry, was elected to the Alumnus Constituency. Prior to launching Vive Nano, he built and managed Vector Innovations, a healthcare software firm. Thomas has also led a number of large-scale projects – restructuring companies in 3 countries, managing strategy and operations projects and completing corporate finance transactions at Citibank in the U.S. and Europe.