University of Waterloo will honour A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former president of India

Thursday, September 23, 2010
WATERLOO, Ont. (Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010) - The University of Waterloo will hold a special convocation next week to honour A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, a highly regarded space engineer and former president of India.

On Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 at 11 a.m., Waterloo will award Kalam with an honorary doctor of engineering degree during a ceremony in the Humanities Theatre, located in the J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities.

A notable aeronautical engineer, Kalam is widely regarded as one of India's greatest presidents and popularly known as the People's President.

"Dr. Kalam is recognized as one of India's most progressive mentors, innovators and visionaries for his scientific and humanitarian work," said David Johnston, president of the University of Waterloo. "We are very pleased to confer the honorary degree doctor of engineering, honoris causa, on Dr. Kalam."

Later the same day, Kalam will deliver a public talk, entitled Strategic Policy Development in the Canada-India Corridor. The lecture will take place at 3 p.m. in the PAS (psychology, anthropology and sociology) building, Room 1229. Admission is free.

Kalam previously spoke at Waterloo in April 2008, when he shared his insights on the growing ties between his country and Canada in furthering global development.

As the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007, Kalam made it a top priority to turn India into a developed nation by 2020. He has long sought to engage young people in the country's national development.

As chair of a national technology council, Kalam worked with 500 experts to draw a road map - Technology Vision 2020 - to transform India from a developing country into a developed one.

He has served as the principal scientific adviser to India's government and was responsible for crafting policies, strategies and missions for development.

In 2001, Kalam became a professor of technology and societal transformation at Anna University, one of India's premier engineering and technology schools. He is author of four highly respected books - Wings of Fire, India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, My Journey and Ignited Minds.

As one of India's most distinguished scientists, Kalam has been awarded two coveted civilian awards, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, along with the highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post- secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. For more information about Waterloo, visit


John Morris, Waterloo Media Relations, 519-888-4435 or

Waterloo release no. 74

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