Blair McArthur (BASc ’85)

60th Anniversary Alumni Award Recipient

Blair McArthur’s (BASc ’85) connection with Waterloo runs deep, not only because he’s a proud engineering graduate but also because his company, McAsphalt Industries and Miller Paving, has enjoyed an incredible partnership with this University. 

“The school provided me with an excellent education that combined theory and practical training,” says McArthur, president and CEO of The Miller Group. “It taught me to problem solve and to be disciplined. Engineering is a demanding degree and the program challenged me to be the best I could be. I also had the opportunity to work for Professor Ralph Haas where I saw firsthand how research was contributing practical solutions for industry — just one of several life lessons I learned while working for him.”

Despite the rigorous demands placed on him as an engineering student, McArthur found time to play varsity hockey — and through his volunteering, advocacy and philanthropic support, he is a longtime supporter of both the engineering faculty and athletics, namely Warrior men’s hockey.  

McArthur has personally donated more than $50,000 to the Faculty of Engineering and athletics, and more than $440,000 through his companies. The Miller McAsphalt Group has also been instrumental in forming the Faculty of Engineering’s Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology. Its support for the centre has had a huge impact on advanced research and education, leading to improvements in Canadian standards and specifications, including the development of recycled asphalt pavement.

As a proud alumnus, McArthur reflects on the incredible life lessons and friendships nurtured at Waterloo that have stood the test of time. “The strong sense of togetherness never ceases to amaze me whenever our class reunites at an event — it is as though time had not passed us by,” he says. 

“Waterloo continues to evolve as a university, following its roots as a higher learning institution but also changing the way it provides education and the type of programs it offers. The learning environment is fostering teamwork and partnership amongst students — it’s a great way to encourage students to make a difference and to be leaders in whatever they set their minds to.”