SoE Alumni Honours and Awards

2023 Award Winners

Award of Excellence
Graham Gagnon, B.Sc.(Eng.) '93
Graham Gagnon, PhD, P.Eng., is a proud alumnus of the School of Engineering and is a graduate of the first environmental engineering class ('93) from the School. Dr. Gagnon is presently the Dean of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie University, where he also serves as a Professor and Director of the Centre for Water Resources Studies. Dr. Gagnon's research program addresses emerging priorities for the water and wastewater industry. Through this program he has contributed to the training of more than 250 research trainees, over half of whom are women. In addition to his research program, Dr. Gagnon is deeply proud of his work with Elders, Chiefs, and operators in Mi'kma'ki, which has led to the Atlantic First Nation Water Authority. The AFNWA is the only First Nation owned and operated organization that is focused on ensuring safe water in its supporting communities.
Mid-Career Award
Kirsten Hogan, B.Sc.(Eng.) '00, MASc. '02
Kirsten Hogan earned both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in environmental engineering at the University of Guelph. Early in her career, Kirsten founded Aperture Consulting Inc., an environmental consulting firm that operates across northern and western Canada. After more than 15 years running an independent consulting engineering practice, she has a wide variety of technical experience. Most recently, Kirsten is excited to be leading multi-discplinary teams contributing to a better future in the Yukon. These teams are working on projects that include renewable energy heating sources for northern buildings, renewable electricity production for the Yukon's grid, and design of a water treatment and distribution system for a growing Yukon community. Kirsten is an active volunteer and a thoughtful and compassionate leader. In the engineering community she has served on the Engineers Yukon council since 2017 and was President from 2020-2022. Under Kirsten's leadership, Engineers Yukon was the first regulator in Canada to recognize caregiving as part of a continuing professional development. Kirsten recently served as the co-chair of the Yukon Climate Leadership Council, an advisory body to the Government of Yukon tasked with developing a plan to reduce the Yukon's GHG emissions by 45% by 2030. Outside of her professional career, Kirsten enjoys the beautiful Yukon wilderness as often as possible with her family and friends.
Young Alumnus of Honour
Stephen Bacchus, B.Eng. '15

Stephen Bacchus completed his Environmental Engineering degree in 2015. Studying at the University of Guelph has provided Stephen with the knowledge and experience to assume significant responsibilities across various organizational levels early on in his career. Since the age of 19, he was a people leader, and was accountable for major engineering and financial programs at a number of large-scale private and public sector organizations.

Today, Stephen stands as a visionary leader who makes influential decisions that directly benefit the residents of his community. He has diverse expertise in infrastructure asset management, engineering design, and finance. Stephen's continued comitment to prioritizing climate action and spearheading fleet decarbonization initiatives has paved the way for cleaner and more sustainable future in public transportation.

Within the industry, Stephen has had a profound impact, and serves as an inspiration for aspiring future young leaders as they embark on their own journey.


2022 Award Winners

Award of Excellence
Dr. Pascale Champagne, B.Sc.(Eng.) '93

Dr. Pascale Champagne joined the NRC as the Director General of the Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre in 2021. Prior to her appointment, she was the Scientific Director at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Quebec. During her career, she has held various roles in the private sector and as a faculty member in academia. As a researcher, her studies focus on the development of alternate water and waste management strategies and environmentally sustainable approaches, and on integrated bioresource management. She has collaborated and evolved synergistic relationships with several researchers to develop new integrated bioresource management practices to introduce alternate aqueous and solid waste management approaches, as well as to create unique opportunities for the bioenergy and bio products sectors. Dr. Champagne earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology from McGill University and a Bachelor’s degree in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph. She also holds a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Carleton University. She is the author and co‑author of over 265 peer-reviewed publications.

Mid-Career Award
Aimée Smith, B.Sc.(Eng.) '98


Aimée graduated from Guelph’s Environmental Engineering program in 1998.  She then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering in Ottawa.  Immediately following the defense of her Master’s thesis, she was hired by RWDI, a world-renowned engineering consulting firm located in Guelph.  Over the past 22 years at RWDI, she has worked on laboratory and healthcare projects across the globe to deliver on highly specialized building performance requirements. Outside of her work on projects, Aimée is the Director of Technical Excellence at RWDI providing oversight for all of the technical practice areas within the company and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors.  Being located in Guelph has allowed Aimée to stay connected to the School of Engineering. She actively provides support through participating in activities such as alumni/industry focus groups, judging 4th year capstone projects, speaking at student conferences and events and she is a Warden of Iron Ring Camp 17. She is passionate about supporting the school, mentoring the next generation of engineers, and influencing gender diversity within the profession.      

Young Alumnus of Honour
Naif Siddiqui, B.Eng. '10

Naif Siddiqui graduated from Biological Engineering at the University of Guelph. He started his career managing and establishing rehabilitation clinics before venturing into the nuclear industry in 2016. Presently a Section Manager in the Project Management Office at Kinectrics of a team that provides proposal and project management/controls services to company projects and programs. Naif continues to lead world changing innovation projects in the nuclear industry such as medical isotopes, small modular reactors and proper nuclear waste disposal. Naif also volunteers for North American Young Generation in Nuclear where he was elected to serve on the board of directors as the Public Information Officer. Naif has been involved with developing young leaders to energize the future of nuclear with many youth initiatives. He continues his efforts to be involved in helping Canada and the US in achieving Net-Zero emissions. Naif has published a children’s book for Nuclear Science Week and will be speaking in Japan for International Youth Nuclear Congress in December 2022.


2021 Award Winners

Award of Excellence
Engineering Classes of '76, '77 and '78
As part of a class project, the '76, '77 and '78 graduating Engineering classes set an ambitious goal of fundraising among their peers to establish a student leadership award, in honour of former U of G engineering professor Peter Chisholm. In 2021, they achieved their fundraising goal—an incredible milestone for this type of fundraising project. Congratulations to the class leads John Patterson, Myron Pestaluky, Geoff Parker, Dale Downey, Rui De Carvalho and John Lackey, and the classmates who generously donated to the project. One award will be handed out each year to an engineering student who best demonstrates outstanding leadership skills in the School of Engineering and/or community. In addition to a scholarship of $5,000, the award recipients are provided a unique opportunity to build connections within the professional engineering community; they will receive mentorship and career advice from the Engineering alumni who established this award.
Mid-Career Award
Mark Bassingthwaite, B.Sc.(Eng.) ‘02
Mark Bassingthwaite, P.Eng. graduated from Water Resources Engineering at the University of Guelph in 2002 after completing co-op terms at provincial and municipal governments as well as a consulting engineering firm. After graduation, Mark held progressive positions in the consulting and non-profit environmental industries before starting a consulting engineering business (Resilient Consulting Corporation) in 2018. Over the years, Mark has been a firm supporter of the Guelph Engineering co-operative education program and has been involved in the hiring of over 20 students from the University of Guelph. In 2016, while Mark was a Vice-President at Cole Engineering Group Ltd., the firm received the Co-op Employer of the Year award from the University of Guelph. Building on his passion for the outdoors, Mark has completed numerous wetland and watercourse restoration projects across Southern Ontario, resulting in lasting enhancements to the natural environment. Mark has also completed numerous flood assessment and mapping projects as well as leading design and implementation of numerous flood reduction and infrastructure improvement projects, which have resulted in lowering risk to several flood prone urban areas within the Greater Toronto Area.
Young Alumna of Honour
Amanda Pinto, B.Eng. ‘18
Amanda Pinto is a Land Development Engineering Intern at C.F. Crozier and Associates. Since joining the team in 2018, she has assisted with the design of stormwater management ponds using modelling software to help control the increase in runoff within developed lands. She has worked on a variety of projects involving the design of residential developments within the floodplain and institutional properties that require detailed civil grading and servicing. She is also part of the research collaboration between Crozier and Wilfrid Laurier University which focuses on how vegetation in stormwater management ponds can enhance water quality. In addition to her professional work, Amanda serves as the Chair of the PEO Grand River Chapter 30x30 Committee to help promote the number of licensed women in the field of engineering.


2020 Award Winners

Award of Excellence
Bill McLean, B.Sc.(Eng.) ‘83

Having spent over 30 years in manufacturing and operations, Bill was no stranger to business challenges and operational issues. Then, the pandemic hit. As the Chief Supply Chain Officer for LIXIL Americas region, Bill led the COVID-19 response to keep 5000+ employees safe. A dashboard of COVID-19 data at the country, state, county and plant level was developed. Safety protocols were documented, implemented and audited. When the data became compelling, sites were shut down to protect employees. Employees went home with pay, PPE for their family, a comprehensive information package about the virus, access to medical support, health benefits and access to an information website. Dedicated bus transportation was provided for workers at LIXIL's Mexican plant so public transit could be avoided. Bill's group provided free tooling to assist an outside firm to produce face shields and gave away 50,000 face shields. Bill shares that this was the most challenging time in his career, however the approach to managing the response to COVID-19 was similar to what he learned during his time at UofG: with clear values in mind, assess the problem and apply the appropriate data to solve the problem.
Award of Excellence
Attilio Di Fiore, B.Sc.(Eng.) ‘92
Attilio is the Co-Founder, President and CSO of ATTWILL Vascular Technologies as well as the Managing Partner and COO of its manufacturing and development subdivision, ATTWILL Medical solutions. The 35,000 sq. ft. Wisconsin facility houses seven - ISO 7 clean suites and six industrial lyophilizers. Attilio is engaged in medical device design, medical and drug freeze drying process development, and solution chemistry manufacturing. Attilio and his team have just received their first 510(k) from the FDA and are involved in a number of CDC and BARDA (US government funded programs). They have also submitted proposals to the US government under project WARP Speed and the initiative to onboard critical drug manufacturing back to US shores. As of 2020, they were working on six COVID-19 diagnostic (PCR) programs, one COVID-19 clinical drug treatment program (ATTWILL patent – Canadian Technology), and one COVID-19 vaccine development (phase 1 Clinical) program in play at the facility. The vaccine is the first and only tablet-based vaccine that will be available on the market with the potential to fulfill worldwide vaccine needs.
Mid-Career Award
Dave Bullock, B.Sc.(Eng.) ‘99, MASc. ‘02
Dave has built a career on building businesses. A strategic leader with the unique ability to translate technological innovation into sustained business success, Dave is currently leading RWDI Ventures, a startup incubator within the world-renowned, Guelph-based engineering firm, RWDI. Most recently, Dave's group at Ventures launched Songbird Life Science, a company utilizing science and technology to keep shared spaces, and the people inside them, safe from pathogens, including COVID-19. Within three months of operation, Songbird was extending the capacity of provincial testing programs across the country to service remote communities and essential workers with the only commercially available Point-of-Care testing device approved by Health Canada. Dave is especially proud of Songbird's team of building-performance engineers and genomic scientists committed to developing new tools, including R&D in air and water testing, to battle today—and tomorrow's—pathogens.
Young Alumna of Honour
Heather Murphy, PhD ‘10
After Dr. Murphy obtained her PhD in Environmental Engineering, she left academia and worked overseas with UNICEF as a Water Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist in Mali and Madagascar. She returned to Canada in 2012 and did postdoctoral research with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the University of Guelph. In 2015, Heather joined Temple University's College of Public Health in Philadelphia as an Assistant Professor. In September 2020, she returned to UofG as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathobiology in OVC. Heather's research interests involve understanding and addressing water and health challenges in both developed and developing countries with a focus on One Health. She leads the Water, Health and Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Lab. Once the pandemic hit in March 2020, Heather worked with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Water Department to start monitoring sewage at three wastewater treatment plants for the City of Philadelphia for SARS-CoV-2 as an epidemiological surveillance tool and this work is on-going. She is also collaborating on a similar project at Guelph with Drs. Ed McBean and Larry Goodridge.