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Mechanical engineering graduate leaves behind legacy

Jad Saleh embraced his time at Concordia, serving on student associations while achieving academic distinction
June 19, 2012
By Lesley De Marinis

Moving across the globe to attend university can take some adjustment. Add to that a demanding four-year program to obtain a mechanical engineering degree, and the challenge might be too much for some students to handle.

Few would believe this was once the case for Jad Saleh, who graduated this week. He made a name for himself around campus because of his generous spirit and dedication to extra-curricular activities.

Mechanical engineering student Jad Saleh donated $3,000 to create a student award. Photo by Marc Bourcier
When Jad Saleh won a scholarship, he decided to pay it forward and created the Jad Saleh Student Life Award for Undergraduates, in memory of his late uncle. | Photo by Marc Bourcier

Saleh moved from Lebanon to Montreal in 2007. After completing a year of prerequisite courses, he began pursuing his mechanical engineering degree. However, a death in the family and trouble finding an apartment left him with little time for classes or studying and, as a result, his grades suffered.

With determination, he was able to get back on track by his second year in the program. He then assumed an active role in many engineering associations on and off-campus, including serving as a member of the Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Engineering and Computer Science Association.

Saleh also became involved with Concordia’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders in 2008. As vice-president of communications and, subsequently, president, Saleh worked to expand the chapter among Concordia’s relevant faculties. His most recent venture has been working with Concordia’s vice-president, services, to implement fair-trade certification standards at the university.

Despite Saleh’s heavy involvement in extracurricular groups, and work as a teaching assistant for three courses, he finished his university career with distinction.

A rare feat, according to Robin Drew, dean of Engineering and Computer Science: “This often isn’t the case when students get involved in extra-curricular activities, but Jad is obviously smart and has great time-management skills that enabled him to keep up with his courses.”

Saleh has been honored with several awards for his academic achievements. He recently received a scholarship from the Association des ingénieurs-conseils du Québec. While most students would have cashed in the scholarship, Saleh chose to use the money to create the Jad Saleh Student Life Award for Undergraduates, in memory of his late uncle, a doctor in Lebanon.

“The Faculty was astounded at the news and extremely pleased because it is unprecedented for a student to make such a donation prior to graduating,” says Drew. “This is very admirable and he is clearly very mature and unselfish in his view of his achievements.”

Saleh will soon begin working at CAE, a leading maker of flight simulators. He also plans to pursue an MBA.

He says he will always have warm memories of his time at Concordia. “I will for sure keep in touch with professors and classmates, dropping by every now and them to say a quick hello to them,” he says. “I hope that my work in student life, my final year project, and my scholarship will be the legacy that I leave to a university I am very fond of.”

Related Links:
•   Read about more 2012 Great Grads in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
•  “Recognizing Student Achievement in Engineering” – NOW, May 1, 2012
•  “Engineering Student Pays it Forward" – NOW, March 26, 2012
•  Undergraduate Student Profile


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