WATERLOO, Ont. (Friday, March 11, 2011) - Feridun Hamdullahpur has been appointed the sixth president of the University of Waterloo.
His appointment was approved Friday by the university’s senate and board of governors and announced by Robert Harding, chair of the board and chair of the presidential nominating committee.
"Dr. Hamdullahpur brings to the University of Waterloo presidency a deep appreciation of and commitment to what is unique about this institution at this important time in its history," said Harding. "He is an academic leader who is driven by a passion for both teaching and research and a genuine desire to demonstrate how quality education can change society and the lives of individuals."
Feridun Hamdullahpur came to Waterloo as a seasoned academic leader with more than 34 years of university teaching, research and leadership experience. Since his appointment as vice-president, academic and provost and then as interim president, Waterloo has been the beneficiary of his vision, talents and engaging intellect. As vice-president, academic and provost and as interim president, Hamdullahpur has demonstrated commitment to the university's various constituencies, including Waterloo’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and many partners.
During his term as vice-president, academic and provost at Waterloo, he spearheaded several initiatives focused on students, which have prompted organizational changes and development of plans designed to lead to excellence in student success and experience at Waterloo. Similarly, with respect to teaching and research excellence, initiatives are being put in place so that Waterloo is on a trajectory to meet the goals set out in its Sixth Decade Plan.
As interim president since October 2010, Hamdullahpur has actively pursued initiatives already underway to build on the successful fundraising campaign led by Waterloo's past president, David Johnston. Hamdullahpur is committed to continuing the sixth decade journey of pursuing global excellence and seizing opportunities for Canada.
Hamdullahpur is "known by our principal donors, our Waterloo Region community, provincial and federal ministers, and our national and international academic partners," Harding said. "I know our students, faculty and staff will benefit from the wisdom, vision and energy that Feridun will bring to the Waterloo enterprise," said Waterloo Chancellor Prem Watsa.
"I am full of admiration for what Feridun has accomplished and confident of Waterloo's future under his leadership," said His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and president emeritus of the University of Waterloo. "I predict he will be an outstanding president."
Hamdullahpur has demonstrated the passion and commitment needed to pursue excellence as the university strives to reach the overarching goals set out in the Sixth Decade Plan: to achieve a level of excellence in research, teaching and student experience comparable to the top 100 universities in the world.
"My experience to date makes it clear what an honour it will be to serve as the University of Waterloo's sixth president and vice-chancellor," said Hamdullahpur. "Waterloo is a great institution known for its leadership in innovation, industry connections, and its unconventional approach to excellence and relevance. Looking ahead, our goal as a university is to continue to provide national leadership in creativity, innovation and discovery. The opportunities are immense. Based on our rigorous academic foundation, we will provide both the practical skills and the innovative ideas that Canada needs in this new century."
Hamdullahpur received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Istanbul, Turkey, and a PhD in chemical engineering at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in Halifax, Canada.
He has been an active researcher and supervisor. His research areas include energy conversion, thermo-fluids and biomass gasification and combustion. He has published more than 160 scientific and technical articles and supervised more than 50 graduate students.
In addition to his work within the universities he has served, Hamdullahpur has been involved with various national and international bodies. He has consulted widely with organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, Ministers of Energy and Environment in several developing countries establishing human and physical infrastructure in education and energy sectors, and has served on many public and private boards, commissions, and task forces