April 2, 2012
“You are the most important generation in history. If you don’t get it right, nobody after you will.”
That was the challenge issued to 140 U of T Engineering students by Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Honourable Glen Murray, on March 30.
Engineers think differently, he explained. “What you think is important, are things that others wouldn’t even think of.”
It is that kind of mind- and skill-set, he went on to say, that allows engineers to innovate, prosper in the marketplace, and change Canada’s economy – even the world. It all starts with an idea.
Minister Murray’s remarks were part of a special seminar called myPatent. Organized by the Electrical & Computer Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow working group (ECE LOT
), myPatent is an opportunity to guide and inspire students to take their ideas beyond the lab and into the marketplace through a series of workshops and seminars.
In addition to Minister Murray, students heard from a variety of dynamic speakers, including:
- Peter Fonseca, former Ontario Minister of Labour and Minister of Tourism;
- Wilson Teixeira, President of WAT Group Inc. and Able Translations Ltd.;
- Adjunct Professor Joseph Orozco, Director of U of T Engineering’s The Entrepreneurship Hatchery; and,
- Hadi (ECE 1T2) and Marwan Aladdin (ECE 1T1), Co-founders of CoursePeer Inc. and Angstron Technologies Inc.
U of T Engineering’s enriched undergraduate experience has helped students such as Hadi Aladdin, the Mentorship Chair for ECE LOT, become a full-fledged entrepreneur. Aladdin created myPatent this fall to help students succeed in the marketplace, whether it be advice on filing a patent, prototyping or starting a business.
“You can't learn business, you can only learn from the mistakes other people made in the business world,” said Aladdin. “I wanted the series to be a concentrated dose of practical advice from the experience we gained.”
“We at U of T Engineering recognize the important contributions that our researchers and students – both former and present – can make to Ontario’s knowledge economy,” said Acting Dean Yu-Ling Cheng
, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, who opened the session.
“First, we educate and inspire a new generation of leaders who will bring their skills, knowledge and passions into the marketplace and society. Second, the research and discovery that is generated here can create new businesses, new industries and new possibilities,” she said.
The advice coming from speakers at the March 30 session was practical, but also inspirational. As Minister Murray concluded, “You’re the best educated generation, you live in the most open society in Canada, and have access to the best technology. We’re counting on you to go out and change the world.”