As part of Concordia's Homecoming 2009 festivities, the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science played host to nearly 100 alumni from the classes of 1959 and earlier and 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984 and 1989. Former students and current and former professors gathered for a stimulating discussion, an eye-opening tour and a heart-warming reunion to celebrate their milestone years.Back in the classroom
The day was kicked off by Pragasen Pillay
, Concordia professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Hydro-Quebec Chair in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who spoke about the timely topic of "Renewable Energy for the Future." Pillay began the early-afternoon talk by polling audience members on their interests in renewable energy and then provided an overview of the planet's current energy crisis. Pillay said he's optimistic for a future that would be shaped in part by today's engineering students. He explained how modern wind turbines, solar panels and anaerobic composting can have a positive impact on our environment.
Pillay pointed to constructive initiatives, such as Sustainable Concordia and the Solar Research Building Network, led by his colleague, Andreas Athienitis
, Concordia University Research Chair in Solar Energy and professor of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering Pillay described a potential renewable energy project, a huge industrial composter on the Hall Building roof. If the project, known as an "urban biomass system," were to receive funding, it would be the first of its kind in Canada, Pillay pointed out.
Touring the past and present
Engineering and Computer Science alumni and guests then joined Guy Gosselin
, the Faculty's manager of Planning and Operations Facilities, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building) and Hall Building.
The first stop was the composites lab on the EV Building's14 th floor, where PhD candidates explained and demonstrated in-progress research projects. Then, the visitors headed across the street to the Hall Building to see recent renovations and visit their former classrooms. One alumnus joked, "The escalators still aren't working!"Back at the bar for memories and drinks
To cap the festivities, about 60 alumni, professors and guests gathered in Reggie's Bar in the Hall Building and mingled, reminisced and happily imbibed Reggie's finest brews. Former Engineering and Computer Science associate dean Terry Fancott
hosted the reception. Fancott pointed out Jose Bakker
, S BEng 69, as the program's first female graduate. His nostalgic speech induced many laughs and he presented a slideshow featuring old photos of students and professors.
The crowd applauded the sight of former faculty members such as Clair Callaghan
, Matthew Douglas
and Jack Bordan
. Bordan, the Faculty's first dean, appeared in a pre-taped video. He warmly thanked the Faculty for establishing the Jack Bordan Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships in Engineering and Computer Science. (For more information or to contribute to the scholarship endowment, contact Sarah Kenny, development officer, Engineering and Computer Science, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 514-848-2424, ext. 7026).
The group also heard from Robin Drew
, the Faculty's current dean, and Roland Fabry, the first person to register for Sir George Williams University's Certificate Program in Engineering in 1958.
The evening wrapped up with alumni and professors sharing pints and good cheer and many said they were already looking forward to their next reunion.
Check out the slideshow
of photos from the event!