Posted November 18th, 2016 by Jamie Hunter

U of T Engineering industry partners celebrated at inaugural awards ceremony

  • Professor David Sinton presents and award to IBM's Allen Lalonde

    Professor David Sinton presents IBM Canada’s Allen Lalonde with the Corporate Research Partner Award at the Industry Partner’s Reception. (Credit: Kevin Soobrian)

U of T Engineering recognized two landmark partnerships with its inaugural Industry Partnership Awards announced Wednesday.

Hatch, a global engineering and management consultancy, received the Corporate Academic Citizen Award. IBM Canada was presented with the Corporate Research Partner Award. The awards were conferred at the annual Industry Partners’ Reception held at the University of Toronto’s Faculty Club.

“We’ve done a lot of collaborative research over the years with U of T and the partnership has really helped our business,” said Jim Sarvinis (MechE 9T5), global director, nuclear at Hatch, who was in attendance on behalf of the company. “One of the key things Hatch is known for is bridging the gap between research and commercial operations and having a close linkage with U of T has been an important part of that journey.”

Hatch’s leadership is visible across a number of the Faculty’s advisory boards, including the Lassonde Institute of Mining, the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead) and the Institute for Sustainable Energy. Hatch also supports engineering scholarships and continually engages the Faculty on a number of collaborative research opportunities.

IBM has a long track record of supporting U of T Engineering research. Perhaps the most notable example of IBM’s contribution to the Faculty is its role as the anchor partner for the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) — a consortium created in 2012 to support collaboration between academic researchers and industries using advanced computing and big data analytics.

“IBM’s partnership with U of T is incredibly important,” said Allen Lalonde, senior innovation executive director at the IBM Canada R&D Centre, after accepting the award on behalf of IBM. “We’ve done a lot of great work together on projects that foster high-value jobs, help create new businesses and positively impact the University, IBM and the broader community.”

In his keynote address, Song Zhang (ECE MASc 9T6), director of technology planning & partnership at Huawei Canada, emphasized the importance of both small startups and large multinationals partnering with universities at the early stages of innovation. This sentiment is reflected in Huawei’s recent agreement to commit $3 million to a wide range of U of T Engineering projects.

“A cornerstone of our Faculty’s vision is to increase our engagement with industry partners in the GTA, in Ontario, across Canada and around the world,” said Professor David Sinton (MIE), U of T Engineering’s vice dean, research. “Whether it is in training the next generation of engineers for the Canadian workforce, licensing and commercializing the outputs of our research, or exploring new frontiers in fundamental research, U of T Engineering can be the catalyst that drives innovation for our partners.”

View and download photos from the event on Flickr.

With files from Kevin Soobrian.