Celebrating engineering excellence at convocation

Monday, June 19, 2023

Thousands of graduating engineering students cheered, laughed and shed a few tears as they crossed the stage at convocation to receive their engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo.

With family, friends and the Waterloo Engineering community in attendance, 1,408 undergraduate and 562 graduate students celebrated their academic successes across four convocation ceremonies.

“Each of you are coming to the end of an educational journey,”said Dr. Mary Wells, dean of Waterloo Engineering. that is unique to you and will begin the next journey – one that must likewise be tailored to suit you and rooted in who you are,” said Dean Mary Wells from the podium. “The mental resilience, versatility and academic ability you’ve honed at Waterloo will allow you to go forward confidently, knowing you can handle whatever comes next.”

Waterloo’s president and vice-chancellor Dr. Vivek Goel reinforced that our new graduates are “among the future leaders and change-makers who can help address the world’s largest crises and build a better future for humanity and our planet.”

Students were also addressed by their chosen class valedictorians, including Maya Bishop (BASc’ 23, computing engineering), Matthew John Linehan (BASc’ 23, environmental engineering), Yonael Debebe (BASC ’23, systems design engineering) and Toluwalope Wright (BASC ’23, mechanical engineering), who roused the room with inspiration and pride.

Rounding up the awards and distinctions

Convocation marked the recognition of several remarkable members of the Waterloo Engineering community who received the following prestigious awards and distinctions.

Honorary doctorate recipients

Distinguished honorary degree recipients presented keynote addresses at the following convocation ceremonies:

  • Dr. Cristina Amon - mechanical and mechatronics engineering
  • Dr. Rola Dagher - electrical and computer engineering
  • Dr. John Buzcott - civil and environmental engineering and management engineering

Go to Honorary doctorates bring excellence and inspiration for the full story.

Governor General’s Gold Medal

Dr. Muhammed Shehryar Khan (PhD ’23, BASc ’18, mechanical and mechatronics engineering) is one of three Waterloo recipients of the Governor General’s Gold Medal. Presented each year at the spring convocation ceremony, this award is reserved for master’s and PhD students who have completed innovative research projects and whose work demonstrates exceptional promise.

Go to Outstanding student researchers recognized with Governor General’s Gold Medal for the full story.

Pearl Sullivan Global Emerging Leaders Award

Andrea Chakma (BASc ’23, mechanical engineering) is the 2023 Pearl Sullivan Emerging Global Leaders Award winner. This award celebrates an outstanding undergraduate student who has impacted the Waterloo Engineering community through their committed leadership, extracurricular involvement, volunteerism and academic excellence.

Named in honour and remembrance of Pearl Sullivan, former dean of Waterloo Engineering, this award provides catalyst funding for recent engineering alumni to continue their commitment to excellence, leadership and change for the common good as they embark on their future careers.

Go to 2023 recipient and finalists for a complete Pearl Sullivan Global Emerging Leaders Award honorands list.

Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Gold Medal

Kiersten Ainsley Overton (BASc’ 23, electrical engineering) received the Engineers Foundation’s Gold Medal for receiving the highest academic standing in her graduating class.

Druxbury/Fisher Awards for Leadership

Kathrine Von Friedl (BASc’ 23, mechanical engineering) and Julia Baribeau (BASc’ 23, mechatronics engineering) were awarded the Roy Druxbury and John Fisher Awards for Leadership, respectively, by the Sanford Fleming Foundation. They were selected for their outstanding leadership throughout their undergraduate academic careers.

Alumni Gold Medal

Selected for his outstanding academic record and positive contributions to student life, Charles Yu (BASc’ 23, management engineering) is the 2023 alumni gold medal recipient for the Faculty of Engineering.