Renaissance engineering in Toronto – a Polish professor’s vision


This story was featured in: Episode 5

Janusz Kozinski

Prof. Janusz Kozinski, a Pole from Krakow, whose academic training and career took him all over the world: Krakow, Oxford, Harvard, MIT, McGill U. in Montreal, Sasktajetweb, University of Utah, the University of Leeds, Imperial College, and Queen Mary College, London.

He is is the founding dean of Lassonde School of Enigineering at York University in Toronto. He created the idea of Renessaince engineering, a product of his own multidisciplinary soul – globally trained academic, multidisciplinary researcher, creative thinker, arts connesieur, entrepreneur, polyglot (he speaks five languages) and an approachable and caring people person.

“Lassonde School of Engineering” is a truly unique fusion of highest quality education, humanistic breadth, warmth, deep human sympathy and intense need to look at every angle of an issue.” And educates “entrepreneurs, leaders and agents of social change – Renaissance Engineers – curious adventurers who will strike out in new directions.”

Listen to my full interview with Janusz Kozinski:

I visited Lassonde School of Engineering three times. During my first visit I took part in the very first guided tour and saw the incredible building – The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence – being built, soon to be finished although it still looked very much like a construction site:

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I met Pierre Lassonde, the benefactor of the School and a generous philanthropist, and was invited to a luncheon with the students who won Lassonde scholarships. They enjoyed talking to their Dean and to Pierre and listening about their life journeys:

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Then I visited The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence already completed:

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And on April 8th our POLcast team attended the official opening of the The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. The award-winning building was designed by Toronto’s ZAS Architects + Interiors, built by UK-based construction firm Laing O’Rourke in partnership with the Gillam Group and named in recognition of alumnus Douglas Bergeron and his wife Sandra for their $10 million donation. The provincial government invested $50 million in the construction of this advanced learning and research centre. The 169,500-sq-ft centre with five floors and a green rooftop boasts a façade of 8,000 triangular metal panels and windows in a mathematically derived Penrose pattern that never repeats. The design drew its inspiration from Georgian Bay and the iconic Canadian image of a cloud floating over a rock (more).

What a ceremony it was, with all the benefactors in attendance and many guests:

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