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Polytechnique Convocation 2019: over 1,600 degrees awarded, including the 50,000th in its history!

June 19, 2019 - Source : NEWS

At this year’s convocation ceremonies, Polytechnique Montréal awarded its 50,000th degree to Eva Terriault, in addition to Honorary Doctorates granted to Rubén Caballero and Hélène Desmarais. Awards of Excellence were received by Professors Jamal Chaouki and David Ménard.

Approximately 800 degrees were presented to graduates over two ceremonies on Friday, June 14, 2019. This year’s convocation was held in Montréal’s Palais des congrès – an exciting new change. Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal can now boast some 50,762 graduates since its inception.

As luck and chance would have it, Computer Engineering student Eva Terriault received the 50,000th degree granted by North America’s premier French-language engineering university. With this noteworthy Polytechnique milestone, Terriault can proudly add her name to a long list of female engineers - the first of which was Gabrielle Bodis, who earned the title of engineer 60 years ago.

Terriault is an ambitious and determined individual who aspires to become an astronaut. In addition to her studies, Terriault headed Élikos, a student-driven club that designs autonomous drones – and whose drones recently earned first place at the International Aerial Robotics Competition.

Pierre Langlois, la récipiendaire du 50000e diplôme de Polytechnique Montréal Eva Terriault et Yves Boudreault. (Photo : Service de photographie Patrick)

Left to right: Pierre Langlois, Polytechnique Montréal Department Director and Full Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering; Eva Terriault, Bachelor of Computer Engineering graduate, and recipient of Polytechnique Montréal’s 50,000th degree; Yves Boudreault, Polytechnique Montréal’s Director of Engineering Studies in the Academic and Research Directorate and Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering (Photo: Service de photographie Patrick)

In 2018–2019, Polytechnique will have awarded a total of 1,604 degrees - including 938 Bachelor of Engineering degrees, 17 Bachelor of Science degrees, 35 Specialized Graduate degrees, 291 Master of Applied Science degrees, 215 Master of Engineering degrees, and 108 Doctoral degrees.

Honorary Doctorates

On Polytechnique Montréal’s recommendation, the Université de Montréal awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Rubén Caballero, a Québec engineer and founding member of Apple’s iPhone team.

Caballero holds a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering (Class of ’91) from Polytechnique Montréal, and a Master of Science degree from New Mexico State University (1996). While he began his career with the Canadian Armed Forces as an aerospace engineer, he leveraged his talents to secure a spot at tech giant Apple, where he worked until very recently.

Creative, visionary, and innovative, Caballero is a passionate manager who has taken wireless technology miniaturization to new heights, via the California company’s well-known iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and other flagship devices. Since leaving Apple, he has committed to select confidential projects that no doubt are sparking tech-hub Silicon Valley’s curiosity.

Alexandre Chabot, Louis Roquet, Guy Breton, Rubén Caballero, Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Philippe A. Tanguy. (Photo : Service de photographie Patrick)

Left to right: Alexandre Chabot, Université de Montréal Secretary General; Louis Roquet, Université de Montréal Chancellor; Guy Breton, Université de Montréal Rector; Rubén Caballero, Honorary Doctorate recipient; Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Polytechnique Montréal Principal, and Chair of the Board of Directors; Philippe A. Tanguy, Polytechnique Montréal President. (Photo: Service de photographie Patrick)

Also at Polytechnique Montréal’s recommendation, the Université de Montréal awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Hélène Desmarais, a remarkable, distinguished businessperson.

A HEC Montréal Finance graduate, Desmarais is a well-known figure in the Canadian business world. The author of numerous accomplishments, she is a determined entrepreneur who is constantly striving for excellence, no matter the nature of her ambitious goals. Throughout her career, Desmarais has been invited to sit on the boards of several companies and associations, and has thus had the opportunity to share her leadership skills and experience as a director.

Among her most recent accomplishments, Desmarais played a key role in establishing Canadian artificial-intelligence super-cluster SCALE AI, as well as its main laboratory, IVADO Labs. As President and Chief Executive Officer of IVADO Labs and Co-President of SCALE AI, Desmarais oversees the activities of these two entities, in conjunction with their respective management teams.

Alexandre Chabot, Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Guy Breton, Hélène Desmarais, Louis Roquet, Philippe A. Tanguy. (Photo : Service de photographie Patrick)

Left to right: Alexandre Chabot, Université de Montréal Secretary General; Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Polytechnique Montréal Principal and Chair of the Board of Directors; Guy Breton, Université de Montréal Rector; Hélène Desmarais, Honorary Doctorate recipient; Louis Roquet Université de Montréal Chancellor; Philippe A. Tanguy, Polytechnique Montréal President. (Photo: Service de photographie Patrick)

Prix d’excellence en recherche et innovation

Polytechnique Montréal’s Senate awarded the 2019 Prix d’excellence en recherche et innovation (“Award For Excellence In Research and Innovation”) to Jamal Chaouki, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal.

Professor Chaouki holds a Master’s degree and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnique Montréal, and was hired as a professor in 1987. He has supervised the work of roughly 100 Master’s and PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows. Students trained by Professor Chaouki are unanimous in their assertion that he elevates thinking and opens minds via his creativity throughout the supervision process, combined with his ability to cultivate innovation within them.

Professor Chaouki has some 30 different patents to his name, related not only to the development of a single technology, but rather to various applications stemming from his numerous research projects. In addition to these patents, his research has led to the creation of companies such as Formmat, Hibe, Ecolomondo, Pyrowave, Pyrocycle and TM Technologies.

Throughout his career, Professor Chaouki’s work has focused on developing green processes in a circular-economy context. Often, the raw materials used are waste, biomass and complex raw materials, and products developed range from energy and electricity to fuels and chemicals. Professor Chaouki’s scientific contribution ranges from the design of multiphase reactors to that of a novel measurement method using radioactivity, as well as the pioneering production of composites, and the application of microwaves to the processing of plastic waste.

François Bertrand, Jamal Chaouki, Philippe A. Tanguy, Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Louis Fradette. (Photo : Service de photographie Patrick)

From left to right: François Bertrand, Polytechnique Montréal Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Officer of the Academic and Research Directorate; Jamal Chaouki, Full Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and recipient of the 2019 Prix d’excellence en recherche et innovation de Polytechnique Montréal; Philippe A. Tanguy, Polytechnique Montréal President; Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Polytechnique Montréal Principal and Chair of the Board of Directors; Louis Fradette, Department Director and Full Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal. (Photo: Service de photographie Patrick)

Prix d’excellence en enseignement

Polytechnique Montréal’s Senate also awarded the 2019 Prix d’excellence en enseignement (“Excellence in Teaching Award”) to David Ménard, a professor in the Department of Engineering Physics.

Professor Ménard holds a Bachelor’s degree and a PhD in Engineering Physics from Polytechnique, and joined the faculty of his alma mater in 2003. Professor Ménard is recognized by students and colleagues alike for his excellent teaching abilities, his attention to detail, his creativity, and his humanity - qualities that earn him praise each year in teaching evaluations. He received the 2003–2004 Prix Méritas de la recrue de l’année, and is consistently nominated for the Prix Méritas du meilleur professeur de génie physique, a title he’s earned on three separate occasions: 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Students attesting to Professor Ménard’s teaching abilities mention his mastery of many aspects of the undergraduate engineering physics program as one of his strengths, and it is this in-depth knowledge that has made him an authority among students and colleagues. Professor Ménard is able to teach all subjects in the compulsory degree program, and demonstrates a deep love of physics paired with a keen desire to pass on this passion to students.

As the head of the Engineering Physics Program Committee, Professor Ménard is orchestrating a program structure reform, which will strengthen students’ essential knowledge in specific courses, while bridging that learning to job market skills, and graduate studies. The latter reform effort reflects Professor Ménard’s willingness to put students and their learning at the heart of his considerations and commitments.

Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, David Ménard, Philippe A. Tanguy, Michel Meunier, François Bertrand. (Photo : Service de photographie Patrick)

Left to right: Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Polytechnique Montréal Principal and Chair of the Board of Directors; David Ménard, Polytechnique Montréal Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and recipient of the 2019 Prix d’excellence en enseignement; Philippe A. Tanguy, Polytechnique Montréal President; Michel Meunier, Polytechnique Montréal Interim Director and Full Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics; François Bertrand, Polytechnique Montréal Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Officer of the Academic and Research Directorate. (Photo: Service de photographie Patrick)

Congratulations to all graduates and recipients of all awards and honours!

Learn more

Q&A with Eva Terriault, from Poly magazine
Profile Honorary Doctorate recipient, Rubén Caballero
Profile Honorary Doctorate recipient, Hélène Desmarais
Profile Prix d’excellence en recherche et innovation recipient, Jamal Chaouki
Profile Prix d’excellence en enseignement recipient, David Ménard

Suggested Reading

NEWS |  November 6, 2018
Professor Jamal Chaouki receives the R.S. Jane Memorial Award from the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, a first for Polytechnique  |  Read
NEWS |  June 18, 2012
2012 convocation - Polytechnique Montréal awards honorary doctorates to Marc Parent and Éric Mazur  |  Read