Honoured to Have Donna Strickland as the University of Waterloo's First Nobel Prize Winner

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
by Feridun Hamdullahpur

Nobel prize winner Donna Strickland

It was a tremendous day to be part of the University of Waterloo, women in science and all of Canada as Associate Professor Donna Strickland was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Professor Strickland received this well-deserved honour for her research in the field of laser physics that has transformed what we thought was possible with lasers and dramatically impacted entire industries from laser eye surgery to printing. The impact her research has had on the field of physics and on society exemplifies the power of a commitment to basic, fundamental research.

It was Professor Strickland’s curiosity and love of science and physics that drove her to discovery. Her work became a catalyst for many practical applications of laser technology and it all began with a deep curiosity about what is possible. This is where change happens and positive change is sure to continue.

Inspiring a New Generation

This is the first time in 55 years that a woman has been honoured with a Nobel Prize in Physics. It is my hope that the time until the next woman is awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics will not be that long.

Professor Strickland has done something exceptional and she deserves the recognition she has and will continue to receive, but her momentous accomplishment will also have an even bigger impact in inspiring a new generation of women in science. I cannot understate the impact this will have on the future as we bring more diversity of ideas and skill to fundamental science research. It will be extraordinary.

As the President of the University of Waterloo, a colleague and as a Canadian, I am extremely proud that Professor Strickland’s scientific contributions have been recognized with a Nobel Prize.

This is a time to celebrate together and acknowledge the exceptional researchers that we are privileged to have at the University of Waterloo. Please join me and congratulate Waterloo’s first Nobel laureate, Professor Donna Strickland on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.