Five alumni make Maclean’s list of ‘changemakers’

Friday, March 17, 2023

Five graduates of Waterloo Engineering are featured on an annual list published by Macleans magazine of the top 100 people shaping Canada.

The Maclean’s Power list for 2023 includes the brains behind a local robotics startup, as well as alumni in the fields of architecture, artificial intelligence (AI) and healthcare.

Faizan Sheikh and Pablo Molina (both BASc ’11, mechatronics engineering) are the co-founders of Avidbots, a company busy disrupting the global industrial cleaning sector with smart, autonomous robots that learn on the job.

Joelle Pineau (BASc ’98, systems design engineering) is the co-managing director of AI Research at Meta. Her research work involves improving how AIresponds to uncertainty, guiding Meta’s expansion into the metaverse.

Carol Phillips (BArch, ’92) is a partner at Moriyama & Teshima Architects. She leads the Limberlost Place project in Toronto’s east end, which will be the largest and greenest mass-timber structure in the country.

Tomi Poutanen (BASc ’96, computer engineering) is the co-founder and CEO of Signal 1. The company is using its AI software to improve patient flow in and out of Canada’s overcrowded emergency rooms and hospital beds, with a pilot project currently underway at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener.

Other names on the list include the singer, producer and actor Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, Sarah Polley, the director of the Oscar winning film Women Talking and Gabor Maté, the physician and author of The Myth of the Normal.