Camelia Nunez will further the innovation agenda in the Faculty of Mathematics by supporting entrepreneurial activities and facilitating meaningful collaborations between researchers and external partners, when she assumes the role of Director of Innovation and Research Partnerships on August 4th.
Nunez will promote the faculty’s mathematical innovation and entrepreneurship growth by raising the research profile, initiating and developing industry relationships, and ensuring more research funding.
“I am uber excited with a healthy dose of nervousness,” Nunez said. “I look forward to getting to know the faculty members, staff and students and taking a deeper dive into learning more about the research taking place in the faculty.”
Nunez will work with Jesse Hoey, Associate Dean Innovation and Entrepreneurship, who is looking forward to the impact she will have on the Faculty.
“I’m delighted that Camelia will be joining us to help support the amazing entrepreneurial and innovative strengths in the Faculty of Math,” said Hoey. “Camelia brings with her a highly relevant skill-set in research, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and a clear vision of working with Faculty and students to open up new opportunities that will be a driving force behind research in math at Waterloo.”
Nunez has worked at Waterloo for over a decade, starting out as a casual lecturer in 2006. She comes to the Faculty from the position of Director of Concept, Velocity’s student entrepreneurship program, having also held the roles of Associate Director at Velocity, Corporate Research Partnerships Manager in the Office of Research and Business Development Specialist with Mitacs. Nunez is also an alumna having completed her Hon BA at UWaterloo and then her Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, during which she launched an EdTech company, which she led as its CEO for more than two years.
In addition to being familiar with the University of Waterloo and the postsecondary landscape, Nunez has, over the years, developed a strong network outside of the academic world, which includes start-ups, not for profits, large and small to medium-size businesses, as well as government organizations.
“I have experienced highly successful collaborations between academics and external partners and also less positive ones,” Nunez shared. “I have led conversations in both scenarios, and I learned a lot from each. I look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge to this role and help build a leading innovation and research partnership strategy for the Faculty of Math.”
Within the next five years, Nunez aims to develop an efficient mechanism through which researchers and students in the Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics can engage in knowledge and technology exchange with industry and other external partners.
“It is important for folks in the Faculty to understand that the purpose of this role is to support their interests,” said Nunez. “I will work very hard to gain researchers and students’ trust because we cannot build a strong innovation and research partnership strategy without the trust and collaboration of those who are to participate in it.”