After completing a master's degree in mechanical engineering at Université de Sherbrooke in 1967, Mr. Papineau obtained a PhD in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida in 1974.
His career was largely devoted to engineering education. He first taught at Université de Sherbrooke before joining the faculty of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, where he went on to serve as head of the Department of Engineering, Vice-Dean of Pure, Health and Applied Sciences, and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
After joining ETS in 1986 as Director of Education and Research, he became the institution's Director General in 1988. Without a doubt, his most noteworthy achievement in this capacity was his brilliant orchestration of ETS's transformation from a technologists' training facility to a fully accredited engineering school offering graduate and research programs. A fervent advocate of co-operative education, he was also instrumental in forging the strong industry ties that have come to characterize the institution today, as witnessed in its slogan Le génie pour l'industrie.
In 2002, he became Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnique Montréal, a position he held until his retirement in 2007. His visionary outlook, encompassing industry, internationalization and institutional growth, had a lasting impact on the establishment. The complete undergraduate program overhaul he spearheaded in 2003 gave fresh impetus to engineering training at Polytechnique. His term also saw the completion of a major expansion initiative that included construction of the Lassonde buildings -- the first university buildings in Canada to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Highly regarded by his peers, he chaired the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (NCDEAS) and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. Throughout his career, his achievements earned him many distinctions, including the titles of Officer of the Ordre National du Québec and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Engineers Canada Gold Medal Award, and honorary doctorates from both Université de Sherbrooke and Concordia University.
He was a man of courage to whom social engagement was a fundamental value. He sat on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, Collège Édouard-Montpetit, Société de développement Angus and the Centraide / United Way annual fundraising campaign.
Mr. Papineau will be remembered as an exceptional university administrator who helped shape the development of engineering education and research in Québec. Humorous and warm-hearted, he was greatly admired by his colleagues, associates and students for his ability to inspire success and spur those around him to new heights of personal achievement. His loss will be deeply felt by all those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
ETS and Polytechnique Montréal wish to extend their sincere condolences to Mr. Papineau's wife, daughters and family.