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Honorary degree citation - Robert Louis Papineau*

By: Terrill Fancott, June 2008

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Robert Papineau, a leader of the engineering profession and one of the great figures in engineering education in Quebec.

His remarkable career spans over 40 years of teaching, research and academic leadership, starting from his first position at the Université de Sherbrooke in 1967. He has since occupied every level of academic management from Department Chair to President. He has been an active member and has chaired the senior governing committees of engineering education: Le Comité des Doyens d’Ingénierie du Québec, the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science of Canada and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

La plus grande réussite de Robert Papineau fut d’élever l’ÉTS au rang des meilleures écoles de génie. Il en a en effet pris la direction en 1986 alors qu’il s’agissait encore d’un modeste établissement d’enseignement technologique destiné aux techniciens en ingénierie et en a fait une des principales écoles de génie offrant des programmes de maîtrise et de doctorat. Sous son impulsion, l’ÉTS a obtenu son agrément et a connu un essor fulgurant. Elle a emménagé sur un nouveau campus et s’est rapidement dotée de nouveaux bâtiments afin de devenir un véritable technopôle. Guidée par M. Papineau, elle a instauré de nouveaux programmes et a su gagner le respect de la communauté universitaire et de l’industrie, qui apprécient grandement la qualité de ses diplômés. M. Papineau a de plus mis l’accent sur les partenariats avec les entreprises et sur la recherche, qui jouissent également d’une excellente réputation. Grâce à lui, l’École de technologie supérieure est aujourd’hui l’une des plus importantes et des plus respectées au Québec dans son domaine.

In 2002, he was invited to become director of Ecole Polytechnique, Quebec’s largest and oldest engineering school. Robert Papineau quickly became a deeply respected leader of the prestigious institution, again achieving major results, including $189 million worth of new buildings, with new research facilities; 60 new faculty members; and at the undergraduate level, a new emphasis on integrated learning, soft skill acquisition and compulsory work experience.

Parmi ses nombreuses activités, il est conseiller auprès de grandes entreprises telles que Sidbec-Dosco, Alcan et Bombardier, de municipalités, de centres hospitaliers et divers autres organismes. Il travaille également à la réalisation de projets à l’étranger, soit en Afrique, en Europe et en Asie

He was the representative from universities at the National Aerospace Council and has been a member since 2001 of the Expert Committee for the revision of the law governing the practice of engineering in Quebec.

His social commitment led him to add to his already heavy workload board memberships at Sainte-Justine Hospital, Angus Developments, Collège Édouard-Montpetit, l ’Institut Armand-Frappier, and Centraide—all while enjoying a rich family life with his wife and two daughters, playing golf and riding his beloved BMW motorcycle, whenever possible!

Among Robert Papineau’s many honours and distinctions are the Engineers Canada Gold Medal, l’Ordre national du Québec, the École nationale d'administration publique’s mention of excellence and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, l’Université de Sherbrooke. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the World Academy of Productivity Science.

Robert Papineau has always been close to Concordia’s Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. We have collaborated with him on every level, from the development of programs, to mutual support in many engineering council decisions. Both ETS and Ecole Polytechnique have retained informal links with us, even after his retirement from his leadership positions.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and an honour to present to you Robert Papineau, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased

 

 

 

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