Oct. 25, 2004

McMaster's School for Engineering Practice is new home for former Xerox VP

Dr. Rafik Loutfy, Walter G. Booth Chair for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Walter Booth congratulates Rafik Loutfy on his appointment to the Walter G. Booth Chair for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Mississauga, ON - Peter George, President of McMaster University, today announced Dr. Rafik Loutfy as the inaugural holder of the Walter G. Booth Chair for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the newly established School for Engineering Practice.

Business executive and entrepreneur, Dr. Rafik Loutfy brings 30 years of expertise in managing technology innovation to the position. As Chair he will be responsible for overseeing the new Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation Master’s program in the School for Engineering Practice, which includes the XEROX Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEEI).

“McMaster’s community is extremely pleased to welcome Rafik Loutfy as the Walter G. Booth Chair,” said President George. “We have a culture of innovation at our University which is second to none, and the Faculty of Engineering has established an international reputation for innovation and excellence. Dr. Loutfy brings a passion and vision to the School of Engineering that will be instrumental in the success of the School and furthering the University’s reputation as a leader in innovative Engineering programs and research.”

Dr. Loutfy’s previous experience with Xerox Corporation included progressive management positions in research, development, business and strategy development. He also served as manager of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada where breakthrough imaging materials, research, and technology for the corporation were developed.

“It is a tremendous honour to be the inaugural holder of the Walter G. Booth Chair, and join a University and Faculty both recognized as international leaders,” says Dr. Loutfy. “I am excited to join McMaster for the next step in my career. It's a great opportunity to be a part of establishing the new Xerox Centre in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation. My vision is that the School will soon become the new hallmark of the Faculty and further advance McMaster’s quality programs and research in entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The purpose of the Master’s program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is to:

• Provide the skills necessary to transform technical expertise into commercial success.
• Provide the opportunity to learn methods and techniques for the effective economic exploitation of engineering ideas.
• Help students learn how to develop their ideas into successful new products or services businesses within existing companies, large and small, and to spawn new, stand-alone, commercial enterprises.

“The Faculty of Engineering prides itself on thinking outside the box, encouraging new and innovative ways of teaching, learning and researching, and crossing disciplines to explore new possibilities,” says Mo Elbestawi, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “We are excited to introduce the new Master’s program that will help prepare our students to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry when they graduate. It is indeed a pleasure to welcome Rafik Loutfy who will lead this new program. I have every confidence that he will be an effective leader and mentor to our students, researchers and faculty members as he makes a positive contribution to the future of Engineering at McMaster.”

McMaster University is grateful to Mr. Walter Booth for establishing this Chair for the School of Engineering. Mr. Booth graduated from McMaster with a bachelor of engineering in mechanical engineering in 1962 and obtained his master's degree in 1965. He is chairman and president of Timberland Group, a group of three companies that specialize in various types of manufacturing. During his undergraduate years, he was a student leader, serving as the second McMaster Engineering Student (MES) president in 1962. He currently is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board.