The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering launched a new era in engineering education and research today with the official opening of the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Named in honour of the Myhal family — including George Myhal (IndE 7T8) and his wife Rayla, two of the Faculty’s most ardent supporters — the building embodies key engineering qualities such as collaboration across disciplines, experiential learning, leadership and entrepreneurship. It includes flexible, technology enhanced active learning spaces, fabrication facilities to support both curricular and co-curricular design projects, and dedicated space for student clubs and teams.
“The Myhal Centre is where tomorrow’s solutions, technologies and industries will be born,” said Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “Its state-of-the-art facilities will spark new multidisciplinary collaborations, foster rich learning experiences and create further opportunities to enhance how we develop the next generation of global engineering leaders.”
Michael Wilson, Chancellor of the University of Toronto, and more than 200 donors, alumni and friends joined Claire Kennedy (ChemE 8T9), Chair of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, President Meric Gertler and Dean Amon for the official opening event.
“Ever since Dean Amon first identified the need for a building dedicated to engineering innovation and entrepreneurship, the U of T community has rallied to the cause,” said Gertler. “The opening of the Myhal Centre heralds an incredibly exciting future for U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering as a key driver of prosperity in the Toronto region, across Ontario and Canada, and around the world. On behalf of the University, I congratulate all those whose generosity and commitment has made it possible, including George and Rayla Myhal, the Province of Ontario, the Engineering Society and so many faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.”
The Myhal Centre provides a new home to many of the faculty’s multidisciplinary research institutes and centres, including the Centre for Global Engineering, the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Institute for Water Innovation, as well as innovative educational initiatives such as The Entrepreneurship Hatchery, the Institute for Multidisciplinary Design & Innovation and the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering.
“The spaces where we meet, study and create together have a powerful impact on the engineering student experience,” said Shivani Nathoo (Year 4 EngSci), President of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Society. “The Myhal Centre is the ideal environment to stimulate our imaginations, enabling us to reach new heights, both inside and outside the classroom.”
“Ontario’s students need spaces that reflect the work they’re doing — spaces that are modern, innovative and promote collaboration,” said Mitzie Hunter, Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. “The Myhal Centre is exactly that kind of space, and by supporting the facility our government is creating room for the next generation of talented leaders to get an education and succeed in Ontario’s growing economy.”
George and Rayla Myhal have a long history as passionate volunteers and advocates for Engineering and the University of Toronto. George Myhal served for more than a decade on the University’s Governing Council, and continues to advise the Faculty through the Dean’s Strategic Council. George and Rayla have championed the new building from its inception. Last June, George Myhal was named a member of the Order of Canada for his achievements as an investment and finance leader, and for his philanthropic contributions, notably in support of innovation in engineering. This fall, he will be recognized with an honorary degree from the University of Toronto.
“Post-secondary education is vital solving today’s complex environmental, social and technical problems,” said Myhal. “In this time of rapid change and uncertainty, engineering has never had a bigger relevance to our lives, or a greater future. We need to make sure that our school remains on the vanguard of engineering education, by making it the very best it can be. Today, we have world-class faculty, a world-class student body, and world-class infrastructure.”