Memorial University and Vale celebrated the ongoing legacy of one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most outstanding citizens in the field of engineering and research-based innovation by renaming a building on the university’s St. John’s campus in his honour this week.
The Inco Innovation Centre was renamed as the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation after Dr. Angus Bruneau, Memorial’s founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, during a special ceremony. The large, well-utilized lecture theatre in the building will now be known as Innovation Hall.
Memorial University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Vale General Manager Mr. Tom Paddon and numerous special guests joined Dr. Bruneau and his family – including his son, Memorial engineering professor Dr. Stephen Bruneau – to recognize Dr. Bruneau’s many contributions to Memorial and to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dr. Angus Bruneau has a close and multi-faceted relationship with Memorial. His tenure as dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science from 1968-74 saw the development of the co-operative education program – one of only two such programs offered by Canadian universities at the time. Upon his 2006 retirement as chair of the board at Fortis Inc., Dr. Bruneau’s colleagues at the corporation contributed $100,000 towards the renovation the main lecture hall in the university’s S.J. Carew engineering building. The lecture hall has since been known as the Angus Bruneau Engineering Lecture Theatre.
Dr. Bruneau is also a tireless volunteer in several capacities at Memorial as well as a longtime donor. In 2007 the university was the recipient of a generous $1 million donation from Dr. Bruneau and his wife Dr. Jean Bruneau. The gift continues to fund the Angus Bruneau Student Leadership and Innovation Fund in Engineering, which provides life-changing opportunities to students in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
“There is no better way to acknowledge Dr. Angus Bruneau’s outstanding 40-year career, one that was strongly focused on technology-based innovation and research, than by renaming the Inco Innovation Centre to the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation,” said President Kachanoski at the ceremony today.
Mr. Tom Paddon, general manager of Vale Newfoundland and Labrador, said Vale has always appreciated Memorial’s tradition of naming its buildings after noteworthy citizens. And, as a key member of Inco’s board of directors during the purchase of Voisey’s Bay in 1996, Dr. Bruneau came top of mind when discussions with Memorial began on the need to rename the Inco Innovation Centre following Vale’s acquisition of Inco.
“Dr. Bruneau played an important role in advancing the Voisey’s Bay development during a very challenging period,” said Mr. Paddon. “We are very pleased to see that his drive and commitment to research and innovation has been captured by Memorial in such a meaningful and respectful way.”
Dr. Stephen Bruneau, Dr. Angus Bruneau’s son and professor of engineering in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, offered words of appreciation for the gesture on behalf of his father and his family.
“This is a great honour for my father and we as a family are humbled and touched by this profound gesture of appreciation,” said Dr. Bruneau. “That Memorial and Vale would collaborate to dedicate this university building in his name was entirely unexpected and a great surprise. Though the motivation for his life’s work did not contemplate this kind of recognition, it is a meaningful and lasting symbol of it, and something for which we are deeply honoured.”