Honorary Member  (2005)


Dr. Gary Polonsky – nominated by the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering

  Gary Polonsky is the founding President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He is the only individual in Canada to be concurrently president of a university and of a college of applied arts and technology. He currently serves this function for both Durham College in Oshawa and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He is not an engineer but holds a B.Sc. from Lakehead University, an MA from Gonzaga in Spokane and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto.

He began his educational career in hi home town, Thunder Bay, where he conceived and initiated the Dorion Trades Building, the first of four as he carried this concept to Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta, Red River in Winnipeg, and Durhan College in Oshawa. During this journey of discovery he led a team of community advocate who saw the need for a new kind of university. And Dr. Polonsky’s personal views are embedded in the very act of creation of this university, which he collaborated on with the Government of Ontario at the century’s turn. He believed that, because of global forces that favoured excellence and innovation, Ontario and Canada should have a university founded on the strengths of great universities, but that risked being different in five area:

*Focusing on education for selected professions;

*Delivering the highest level of research and facilitation of learning in these professions;

*Is market driven through partnerships with strategic employers;

*Incorporates laptops computers and other IT/Communications technology, and

*Facilitates efficient transfer of students between college and university and produces thinkers, doers and leaders.

And the UOIT is off to an impressive start under Dr. Polonsky leadership. It currently has 1830 students and about 100 faculty and staff, en route to tripling in this decade. UOOIT is on track to become what the Government who created it publicly intended, the “MIT of the North.”

 How does this relate to the profession of engineering and the EIC is of particular interest to CSME is the fact that many of the inaugural engineering programs are in Mechanical Engineering, or such related area as Manufacturing Engineering and Automotive Engineering. These programs have helped Canada meet a specific need, since they come a time when the demand for mechanical engineering is at record levels across the country. In addition to meet the cry for greater business and management skills UOIT immediately launched the necessary changes to their programs. Dr. Polonsky has contributed greatly to the engineering profession, since this new university has adopted a strong Engineering Faculty. This leadership and innovative approach to developing engineering in Canada, is the reason the EIC has chosen Dr. Polonsky as Honourary Member of the Institute.
Ladies and gentlemen and Madam President, the new honorary member of the EIC – Dr. Gary Polonsky

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