McMaster Engineering Puts Innovation to Work

· by Richard Allen

We’re in a “golden age of university-industry collaboration” that’s delivering unprecedented levels of innovation.

Dr. John Preston, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University, shared this assessment at the second annual Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit in Toronto earlier this month. It was hosted by a partnership of chambers of commerce and boards of trade in southern Ontario, including the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights of Dr. Preston’s remarks.

Preston said McMaster’s reputation as a leading research-intensive institution reflects a growing “swagger” among Canada’s top universities at the forefront of new and emerging technologies. “Canada is in a great place,” he said, referencing strengths in AI, robotics and automation.

The McMaster Faculty of Engineering contributes to Canada’s innovation prowess in several areas of focus, including automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing. “I think we’re beginning to crack health tech and other areas,” added Preston.

Preston unpacked the meaning of a phrase that sums up McMaster Engineering’s mindset: Go big, go deep and be practical.

“Go big” describes a preference for large-scale, interdisciplinary initiatives that hold the potential to create significant and lasting impact. This entails articulating a value proposition that an industry partner can measure in financial terms.

“Go deep” speaks to an emphasis on helping industry embrace disruptive change along side incremental improvements.

“Be practical” references a commitment to follow through on a given innovation to help ensure its successful application in the workplace. This ties to McMaster Engineering’s  training element that is often delivered in cooperation with the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, Mohawk College and others.

Preston’s remarks contributed to a daylong event intended to help Hamilton and other communities across Canada’s Innovation Corridor commercialize research.

A special thanks to Gowling WLG, the presenting sponsor of Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit. The Hamilton Chamber also acknowledges the generous sponsorship of Canadian Pacific Railway, City of Hamilton, McMaster Innovation Park, McMaster University and Meridian Credit Union.