Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering,
University of Waterloo, Canada •
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo, Canada
Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering
Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RS)
Presentation Title: (TBA)
Is Global Carbon Neutrality Achievable: The Critical Role of Universities and Industry
Every company, everycommunity, everycareer pathway will be impacted by climate change over the next fifty years. They must either mitigate their footprint, adapt to changes, or both. Are our graduates ready for this? Not just in traditional disciplines associated with climate change and sustainability, but among every learner? Universities and industry partners are critical in the transition to a carbon neutral economy. Specifically for universities, the transition is possible through at least four distinct but clearly connected pillars. First, universities must continue and accelerate foundational research efforts in finding solutions to complex problems like climate change and clean energy. Second, they must become a more effective hub for educating future leaders. Third, partnerships with industry, government, and civil society to mobilize quickly: accelerated research, development, and deployment of clean energy and carbon-reduction technologies; joint commercialization support for cleantech and low-carbon innovation; build strong relationships with governments to leverage policy and governance expertise to make good public policy; and establishing meaningful engagement and relationships with civil society. In so many cases, it isn’t the technology or policy that’s the problem – it is social acceptance. So how do we work with communities to ensure that policies which will have meaningful impact can be socially accepted. And, fourth, each of the three pillars above cannot overlook the need for decarbonization in our own operations as corporate entities.
Professor Feridun Hamdullahpur is the President and Vice-Chancellor and professor of mechanical and mechatronic engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He has more than 35 years of university teaching, research and leadership experience. Dr. Hamdullahpur has spearheaded several initiatives and has pursued projects already underway that focus on research excellence and impact, innovation, international collaboration, student experience and success, and teaching and research excellence. He is committed to placing Waterloo on a trajectory to meet its strategic goals. His research areas include energy conversion, thermo-fluids, bio-mass gasification and combustion and fuel cells. He has published over 150 scientific and technical articles and supervised more than 40 graduate students.