Maclean's magazine has named the University of Waterloo as the most innovative university in Canada for the 22nd consecutive year.

Waterloo also excelled in the magazine’s 2014 national reputational rankings - moving up to second spot in both the Best Overall and Leaders of Tomorrow categories.  Waterloo stood at number three in both areas last year.

University of Waterloo students collaborate

The University of Waterloo attracts top students from around the world, united by a spirit of curiosity and a passion for innovation.

“For nearly a quarter of a century, this university has been recognized as Canada’s leading institution for innovation. We consistently rank amongst this country’s best universities,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice chancellor at Waterloo. “We have charted a course for the University of Waterloo to build on this foundation — as well as our distinctive experiential education and transformative research — to become one of the world’s top innovation universities." 

Innovation for climate change

One example of innovative research at Waterloo is the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment in the Faculty of Science that initiated and tested an instrument on board the Canadian satellite SCISAT-1 that was launched by NASA. The instrument measures more than 30 different molecules – the most ever measured from space – and recently celebrated it’s tenth anniversary in orbit.

“This experiment is helping to improve our understanding of the depletion of the ozone layer, especially the changes happening over Canada and in the Arctic,” said Terry McMahon, Dean of Science. “What started at the University of Waterloo ten years ago has become an international project to examine the effects of refrigerants on climate change.”

Student innovators​

Waterloo also supports student innovators with programs such as VeloCity, the university’s startup program, the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, and GreenHouse, a new social entrepreneurship incubator.

More than 45 companies have been established through VeloCity including Thalmic Labs, whose MYO armband allows users to control computers, smartphones and other digital devices with simple hand gestures. Thalmic Labs was founded by three graduates of Waterloo's mechatronics engineering program.

The reputational rankings result from a national survey of high school guidance counselors, university officials, heads of national organizations, recruiters, and CEOs of companies across Canada.

Maclean’s also places universities into one of three categories to recognize the differences in levels of research funding and the type graduate and professional programs offered.

University of Waterloo excelled in the comprehensive category, ranking first for reputation again this year. It also took the top spot among comprehensive universities for awards for full-time faculty and for students.  It invests the most in student scholarships and bursaries, and Waterloo’s faculty attracted more social sciences and humanities grants than the 14 other universities in the category.

Waterloo moved up to second spot from third among comprehensive schools for medical and science research grants awarded to faculty. The University had a third-place finish among comprehensive universities for total research for full-time faculty.

Comprehensive universities have a significant degree of research activity and a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.