From his workplace of the Thorold biotechnology firm he based greater than 20 years in the past, Yousef Haj-Ahmad can see two essential issues for Niagara: Brock College and a world of potential.
Haj-Ahmad (BSc ’80, MSc ’82) launched Norgen Biotek Corp. in 1998 whereas he was a Professor of Organic Sciences at Brock, the place he additionally earned his undergraduate and grasp’s levels, and he has grown Norgen right into a world-renowned firm advancing the sphere of biotechnology analysis and testing.
Haj-Ahmad retired from Brock to run Norgen full time, however all through the years has supported the College and its college students each financially and by launching the careers of numerous graduates.
Now, by a $5-million present from the Haj-Ahmad Household Basis, “Dr. Haj,” as he’s recognized to the 80 or so staff at Norgen, may have one other game-changing impression in Niagara and past by the Yousef Haj-Ahmad Division of Engineering at Brock College.
The choice by Haj-Ahmad and his household to make a transformational present to the College is the results of their lifelong collective connection to Brock, and their perception that their alma mater can play a significant position in an rising sector.
“That is the century of data and science, and engineering is throughout the entire sciences,” says Haj-Ahmad. “Brock College can have a significant impression locally and worldwide. I’m grateful that I’m capable of give again to a neighborhood and a college that put me heading in the right direction.”
Formally launched in 2021 with the providing of a minor in Engineering, the newly-named Yousef Haj-Ahmad Division of Engineering now consists of six college members (with extra to be employed) and plans to welcome its first cohort of undergraduate Built-in Engineering college students for the 2024-25 educational 12 months.
College students will discover matters akin to huge information, synthetic intelligence, medical gadgets, sustainability and local weather change, robotic automation, manufacturing and transportation.
“Launching educational programming within the space of engineering is a big milestone within the historical past of Brock College. As one among solely three Canadian universities providing Built-in Engineering applications on the undergraduate stage, this transfer fills an essential want for a wide-ranging sector,” says Brock College Interim President Lynn Wells. “The contribution from the Haj-Ahmad household may have a significant impression on the lives of generations of Brock college students, on the native financial system and on broader society as effectively.”
Gord Arbeau, Brock’s Affiliate Vice-President, Development and Exterior Relations says the Haj-Ahmad household present is a transformational act of generosity, saying it would go a good distance in serving to college students.
“This beneficiant present advances a brand new Engineering program, and with it the careers of the following era of engineers who will use their research to deal with probably the most complicated issues confronted by these in Niagara and world wide,” says Arbeau. “All the Brock neighborhood sincerely thanks the Haj-Ahmad household for this glorious present and for his or her ongoing help of Brock college students.”
Built-in Engineering takes key ideas from conventional engineering fields — akin to mechanical, civil and electrical — and brings them collectively right into a single coherent program the place college students find out about every area in addition to the connections between them.
“Brock’s progressive strategy may have a big impression as a result of, in contrast to specialised engineering applications, our college students will graduate with a various and broad set of abilities,” says Interim Division Chair Beatrice Ombuki-Berman. “We need to entice college students who could not have thought-about engineering as a profession, however who carry different abilities and abilities to their careers. Trade leaders all through Niagara are longing for Brock to get began as a result of there may be already a big want for this strategy and sort of engineering schooling.”
College of Arithmetic and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed says the Division of Engineering is “an essential subsequent step” within the College’s future.
“It will open the doorways to new potentialities for our college members and college students from instructing, studying and analysis views,” Ahmed says. “It’ll present a broad talent set needed to unravel most of the world’s most difficult issues.”
As somebody who has watched the biotechnology and engineering fields merge and evolve, Haj-Ahmad says Brock can grow to be a world chief.
“Brock College is within the strategy of competing with the main universities world wide and it has its place,” he says. “Universities will need to have a world impression. Brock is not only Niagara, it’s international.”
An essential a part of the Haj-Ahmad Household Basis’s present to the College is the institution of the Haj-Ahmad Engineering Scholarship for Ladies, which is able to help feminine college students pursuing STEM (science, know-how, engineering and math) schooling every year, paving the best way for generations of expert feminine engineers.
For Haj-Ahmad’s daughters Lila and Miriam, who’re each Brock graduates, it was an essential a part of the contribution.
“My mother was an engineer in Syria and my sister and I are each within the STEM sector, so it simply felt like subsequent step,” says Lila Haj-Ahmad (BSc ’16). “It actually helps advance the educational neighborhood at Brock, particularly with the built-in program.”
Miriam Haj-Ahmad (BA ’19) hopes the household’s present will encourage others.
“It’s thrilling to have the ability to say that on the place the place I went to College, we’re serving to to determine a brand new division and program,” she says. “Hopefully the folks I went to high school with at Brock and the opposite alumni will have a look at our household and be impressed to additionally do issues like this.”
Sibling Zak Haj-Ahmad (BSc ’17) says lots of his personal achievements and people of his household are because of Brock.
“Everybody at Brock is admittedly a part of an enormous household and that’s what Brock means to me,” he says. “Brock welcomed my circle of relatives and helped us obtain our objectives in life. Figuring out we are able to do the identical for future generations is admittedly an unbelievable feeling.”
With such a detailed household connection to the College, the Haj-Ahmad partnership will definitely open the doorways for a lot of future built-in engineers, Ombuki-Berman says.
“It’s so becoming that the Haj-Ahmad household is the primary donor as a result of we wish this Division to be very neighborhood concerned with work-integrated engineering,” she says. “By having a area people member give on this manner, it’s a testomony to the truth that they’re going to help us and we’re going to work with them to get our college students the expertise they want.”
Go to the Brock College web site to study extra in regards to the Yousef Haj-Ahmad Division of Engineering.
“By this funding, the Yousef Haj-Ahmad Division of Engineering at Brock and the Haj-Ahmad Engineering Scholarship for Ladies is poised to alter the sport as it would open doorways to a high-quality schooling, after which careers in engineering for generations of girls. I applaud the Haj-Ahmad household and Brock for advancing STEM schooling.”
- Stephanie Thompson, Engineering Chief/Founder, STEM by Steph
“One of the essential engineering feats in Niagara is popping its best renewable useful resource, the Falls, into electrical energy that powers our companies and houses. Hatch is proud to have performed a number one position in energy era each domestically and globally, with a historical past in Niagara that goes again almost 100 years to the formation of its predecessor, H. G. Acres. We sit up for seeing a brand new era of engineers popping out of the Brock Engineering program who might be essential to Niagara’s financial development and who may have the talents and information to fulfill the calls for of our quickly altering world.”
- Jonathan Atkinson, Director, Enterprise Growth and Regional Supervisor (Ontario) Hydropower and Dams at Hatch
“We depend on engineers who take a mean of eight years after commencement to develop. Retention is important and proves to be overwhelmingly profitable solely with engineers who’ve a previous nexus to the Niagara area. Whiting Tools Canada absolutely helps the event of the Yousef Haj-Ahmad Division of Engineering and really a lot seems to be ahead to carefully collaborating with Brock College after its implementation.”
- Rudi Kroeker, President and CEO, Whiting Tools Canada
“We regularly rent engineers outdoors of Niagara and convey them to our area, however that’s usually troublesome. An Engineering program at Brock would enable native college students to check engineering and stay with their households in Niagara upon commencement. We sit up for collaborating with Brock within the growth of the area’s future engineers.”
- Edward Spencer Fox, MEng, MBA, PEng, President, E.S. Fox Restricted
“As a longtime companion, Niagara Area is happy to share its help for Brock College’s plan to develop an engineering program. Brock’s status for instructional excellence offers a strong basis for the growth into the engineering schooling area, and its dedication to enhancing the vitality of the Niagara area can’t be understated. The creation of this program will serve to boost the area’s standing throughout the province and throughout the nation.”
- Jim Bradley, Chair, Niagara Area