Science celebrates its 2016 Alumni Award Recipients

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2016 Science Alumni Award recipients pictured with the Dean of ScienceAlumni award recipients with the Dean (left to right): Nicholas Brathwaite, Kurt Gray, David Weitz, Dean of Science Bob Lemieux, Janet McDougall and Stephen Pautler.

Last week, the Faculty of Science recognized five outstanding alumni at the 2016 Science Alumni Recognition Awards Reception. The annual event, which began in 2007, recognizes the outstanding contributions of Science alumni to their profession, community and science.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from Feridun Hamdullahpur, University of Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor, and Bob Lemieux, Dean of Science, who were the two Masters of Ceremonies.

"As Dean, it is one of my proudest moments of the year to acknowledge alumni from Science,” said Lemieux. “Today is a celebration of the students who went out and made a difference."

Kurt Gray is known as a leading scholar in social cognition and received the 2016 Young Alumni Award. His research provides insight into decision-making, moral judgment and the link between perception and mortality. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo as well as a PhD from Harvard University.

The Young Alumni Award honours a Faculty of Science alumnus under the age of 40 who has demonstrated excellence in their profession and contributed to their community.

"My earth sciences courses taught me how relevant science is to everyday debates."

Three Science alumni received the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award for their significant service, contribution and achievements.

With a Masters in Chemistry, Nicholas Brathwaite has developed one of the most advanced semiconductors assembly and packing technologies. He is a successful technologist, engineer, entrepreneur, multinational business executive, and private equity and venture capital investor.

"I am grateful not only for this award but for the quality of education I gained from this institution,” said Brathwaite. “I have never applied for a job. Intel, my first opportunity, called me because I was a grad at UW."

Dr. Stephen E. Pautler is known for developing Canada’s first robotic surgery program and has also performed the most robotic surgeries of any surgeon. Paulter received his Waterloo bachelor’s of chemistry (co-op) degree in 1992 before attending medical school at the University of Western Ontario. He is a Canadian expert in hereditary kidney cancer syndromes and robotic surgery.

"Waterloo set me up for success and I will be forever grateful."

The final recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award was David Weitz. After earning his Bachelors of Science in Physics at the University of Waterloo, Weitz gained a reputation for his work in areas of diffusing-wave spectroscopy, microrheology, microfluidics, rheology, fluid mechanics, and many more. Weitz currently works as a Professor at Harvard University.

The Contributions to Science Award acknowledges the substantial service and contributions of an alumna who has proven significant citizenship to the Faculty of Science.

Janet E. McDougall is renown in the world of clinical research, developing various treatments for patients in need. In 1971, McDougall earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology, along with a minor in Biochemistry. She is also the founder of McDougall Scientific Ltd., a pharmaceutical contract research organization that specializes in statistics and clinical data management services.

The 2016 Science Alumni Recognition Awards Reception was held in the Environmental and Information Technology (EIT) building. The nominees were selected by the Science Alumni Award Committee.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients! We wish you all the best with your future endeavours.

If you know of a University of Waterloo Faculty of Science alumnus that would be an ideal candidate for any of these awards don’t delay and nominate them for a 2017 alumni award. Nominations can be made by alumni, students, staff, retirees or members of the public.