The Waterloo Engineering community came together to celebrate the exceptional achievements of four alumni and an industry supporter of the Faculty at this year’s Engineering Awards Dinner.  

Hosted by Dr. Mary Wells, dean of engineering, the event recognized an advocate of applied biotechnology research, a tech business leader, an expert in novel medical devices and stem cell therapy, a globally renowned luthier and a valued friend of the Faculty. 

The recipients of this year’s awards are: 

Baoling Chen — Rising Star Alumni Achievement Medal 

Baoling Chen (PhD 2015, chemical engineering) has carved out a sterling and well-earned reputation for herself in the biotechnology research world. She has served in progressively more senior research leadership roles at Lambton College - including as the NSERC Industrial Chair for College, Bioindustrial Process Research Centre Coordinator and Canadian Bio-cleantech Applied Research Network Manager. 

Baoling ChenWaterloo Engineering alum Baoling Chen (PhD 2015, chemical engineering) is awarded the Rising Star Alumni Achievement Medal.

Chen’s colleagues at Lambton College are continually impressed by her ability to forge alliances and raise significant funding with biotechnology incubators and industry partners across the province. 

Her talent in this area has resulted in two pilot plants, five prototypes, ten developed and 14 improved technologies, processes and products that significantly benefit our community overall.  

Erin Chapple — Alumni Achievement Medal for Professional Achievement 

Erin Chapple (BASc ‘98, electrical engineering) has established an impressive 25-year career at Microsoft as a talented software builder, systems thinker and sought-after leader with deep enterprise product and business experience. 

Erin ChappleWaterloo Engineering alum Erin Chapple is awarded the Alumni Achievement Medal for Professional Achievement.

In her current role as Corporate Vice President of Product Management and Design for Azure Infrastructure, Chapple uses her deep understanding of how customers adopt technology to guide multi-billion-dollar portfolio decisions.  

In addition to her renowned technical and business expertise, she is regarded highly by her colleagues for her commitment to building diverse and inclusive teams — most notably as a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Council within Cloud + AI, which provides mentorship opportunities to thousands of women. 

Michael Scott — Alumni Achievement Medal for Professional Achievement 

Michael Scott (BASc ‘90, civil engineering; MASc ‘92, civil engineering) has built an impressive, and highly recognized, 30-year career in medical devices and stem cell therapy product development.  

As Head of Devices and Cell Therapy R&D at Novo Nordisk, Scott skillfully oversees the development of delivery technologies for critical cellular medicines and therapeutic programs, including developing novel treatments for chronic heart failure, Parkinson’s disease and insulin-requiring diabetes. 

Scott’s peers consider him a rare blend of outstanding scientist, visionary leader and consummate teammate.

Michael ScottWaterloo Engineering alum Michael Scott is awarded the Alumni Achievement Medal for Professional Achievement.

They attribute his success in creating designs for demanding clinical environments — from ground-breaking heart valve therapies to pioneering encapsulation devices — to his deep technical and regulatory knowledge, ingenuity in solving problems and ability to instill purpose within his team. 

George Yu — Alumni Achievement Medal for Professional Achievement  

George Yu (BASc ‘86, systems design engineering) spent nine years as a software engineer before he was accepted into the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City. 

Yu is now a world-renowned luthier, a maker of violins, based in Louisville, Kentucky. He models many of his handcrafted instruments on rare, centuries-old violins.

George YuWaterloo Engineering alum George Yu is awarded the Alumni Achievement Medal for Professional Achievement.

Prized by great musicians, his instruments delight the audiences who hear them played in the New York Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Lyra Baroque Orchestra and other ensembles. 

His career as a luthier enables him to combine his engineering knowledge and love of music to create award-winning instruments.

Yu’s peers say that he has contributed significantly to the modern renaissance of violin-making worldwide. 

Magna International — Friend of the Faculty Award 

Magna International, a leading developer of safer and better mobility and transportation solutions, has been a generous and committed partner of the Faculty of Engineering for over four decades.  

Julien KnutzenJulien Knutzen, senior manager of advanced technologies at Magna International accepts the Friend of the Faculty award on behalf of the company. 

With Magna's support, the Faculty has built world-class teaching and research infrastructure, advanced automotive research from the lab to the marketplace, and invested in hands-on learning opportunities for students in the classroom and beyond.  

The company’s vision for partnership — including a strong commitment to experiential education, entrepreneurship and research — deeply supports the Faculty’s aspirations to remain a global leader in engineering solutions for the greater good.  

Banner image (L to R): Baoling Chen, Dr. Mary Wells, dean of Waterloo Engineering, Michael Scott, Julien Knutzen, Erin Chapple and George Yu. Photo by Neil Trotter.