Thank You Dean Bob Lemieux!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Bob Lemieux Headshot

After an eight-year term that began in July 2015, Dean of Science, Dr. Bob Lemieux, will be stepping down on June 30. 

Throughout his tenure, Lemieux focused on the importance of fundamental science and its cardinal intersection with innovation and social impact. He committed more than $500,000 to establish the Dean’s Teaching Innovation Fund to support teaching and learning initiatives within the Faculty of Science. Lemieux hoped that this investment would transform the undergraduate educational experience in science at the University of Waterloo. 

At the heart of Lemieux’s efforts is a commitment to innovation through science- discoveries, applications and technology to improve lives. Lemieux expanded Velocity Science, an on-campus facility for student and faculty-led businesses with an element of science needing entrepreneurial guidance. He also established a space for interdisciplinary problem solving, the Science Innovation Hub, in partnership with existing science-focused entrepreneurial groups on campus.  

His leadership and commitment to learning was evident as he steered the next generation of science students through a global COVID-19 pandemic, producing graduates with a new understanding and appreciation of science and its place in solving worldwide problems. 

Lemieux’s vision to renew Faculty of Science infrastructure began in 2019, with a masterplan for the revitalization of three science buildings; Biology 1 (B1), Biology 2 (B2) and Earth Sciences and Chemistry (ESC). Phase 1, which started this June, is a complete renovation of the third floor of ESC which will move forward UW sustainability goals as well as provide modern space layouts and increased office space for faculty, staff and graduate students. 

Bob demolition

In 2020, Lemieux announced the formation of a Science Anti-Racism Taskforce (SART). Being grounded in the experiences of BIPOC in the Faculty of Science, the SART will focus on issues and problems related to racism and will make recommendations aimed at creating policies and procedures to eliminate racism in all its forms and foster a culture of equity in the Faculty of Science. 

He led the development of the Centre for Eye and Vision Research, a collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University that performs ground-breaking research in critical areas for vision health. True to his belief that “chance favours the prepared mind,” Lemieux enabled the enhancement of multiple research facilities on campus to help the Faculty’s fundamental research across all science schools, disciplines and programs. Lemieux has also been a strong supporter and champion of the Waterloo Eye Institute, which will significantly enhance Canada’s leading eye and vision care centre. 

Bob Lemieux and Cobalt the Dinosaur

There is no question that over his eight-year term as Dean, Lemieux witnessed the steady rise of the Faculty’s international reputation, as both an institution of learning and a research powerhouse. This success was highlighted by the 2018 announcement of the University’s first Nobel Laureate, Donna Strickland, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. 

Thank you, Dean Lemieux, for your many contributions.You’re leaving behind a strong legacy in both new scientific discoveries and subsequent future applications that will continue to have a long-reaching impact. Your leadership has ensured the success of future Waterloo scientists for many years to come.