Written By Elizabeth Murphy
Photos by Ainslie Coghill
It was an opportunity to share Carleton University’s commitment to engineering excellence with an international audience as the research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Designhosted a delegation from France on June 6. Consisting of French Members of Parliament, research and university leaders, as well as government officials, the group toured the Maker Lab and had the opportunity to learn about research from the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering.
The French delegation was in Ottawa to accompany President Emmanuel Macron as he visits the region in advance of the G7 Summit this week in Charlevoix, Quebec.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to give them a small taste of what we have to offer here at Carleton,” said Karen Schwartz, acting associate vice-president (Research and International). “Out of these kinds of interactions can come faculty exchanges, student exchanges and cotutelle agreements.”
“Often it starts with brief meeting, then there is follow-up – it develops into something bigger and a more long-term relationship.”
Following an introduction by Department Chair Yvan Labiche, engineering students presented their work that included a project on Internet of Things (IoT) integration with home energy usage, as well as a demonstration of autonomous and connected vehicle technology.
“We are so appreciative of our departments – the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, for example, is what you were seeing here – the work that they do at their level is so important for the faculty,” said Fred Afagh, interim dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design. “We really value these sorts of visits because it’s usually visits like these that triggers the first light for future collaborations.”
Afagh noted that university-affiliated delegates that take part in these types of events have an opportunity to share with their non-academic counterparts the importance of visiting and building relationships with other post-secondary institutions.
“It’s a trilateral communication between various groups that I think is very valuable for all of us.”
The visitors to Carleton included Jacques Samarut, co-president of the France-Canada Fund for Research, Khaled Bouabdallah, president of the University of Lyon, Jean-Marie Panazol, director general of the educational network Canopé, Marianne Beseme, secretary general of the Franco-Québec Office for Youth, Gilles Wainrib, president of Owkin France – a company specializing in medical artificial intelligence, as well as French MPs Annie Chapelier, Jean-Luc Lagleize, Sébastien Nadot and Cédric Villani, winner of the 2010 Fields Medal for mathematics.