University of Toronto: Schulich Leaders
In high school, um I was convinced that I was going to become a theoretical physicist and spend my whole life in an academic hallway with a coffee cup, just kind of investigating the mysteries of the universe. My name is Emma Hansen, I’m a third year undergrad physics and philosophy student at the University of Toronto I’ve also since become very captivated by different issues, I think with similar complexity, but on a different level. So studying issues of justice from the perspective of science and society, that sort of thing. One of the things that really interests me is not creating products that people necessarily use all the time, but creating products that actually help people in their day to day lives. I’m Daniel McInnis, and I’m a first year mechanical engineering student at the University of Toronto. In high school I was playing hockey, I had a few concussions and I thought it would be cool to work on the other side of the field where you’d not just be playing the game, but you’d be influencing the game. I started working on a helmet project, and it took off from there. Testing helmets that lead to then designing my own helmet, it was a cool process. I dreamed about arriving at U of T for years, and when I actually arrived here, I couldn’t have predicted what would’ve happened because my world just expanded tenfold, and I was able to understand and experience so many different perspectives. I was really interested in the University of Toronto because it’s a large university that has interest in research, in science and engineering, but also in the side that’s gonna support students with their ideas, whether it’s leadership or entrepreneurship and that’s something that means a lot to me. As we were going through the patenting process for the helmet, I needed a new project, I found out about um the prosthetics industry. I designed a 3D scanner that would scan the body of an amputee, meaning if you’re missing your right arm, we can scan your left, mirror that over to see what your your right arm would need to look like, then 3D print all those custom components, so you’d have your very own prosthetic that’s personal to your body, but it’s also a low-cost solution. From the innovation side, and Daniel certainly has been an incredible example of what you can accomplish at such a young age, we have lots of opportunities to support that. We have the entrepreneurship hatchery that brings students together that allow these students to kind of collaborate on ideas, put ideas forward, but also have this experience of mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs. I’ve become very interested in security issues and how scientific knowledge is applied, because I’ve become very conscious of the power that scientific knowledge gives to the people who hold it. We offer such a great intellectual tradition in both science and also in the social science and humanities and that’s what’s really needed to try to tackle students who have a genuine passion for interdisciplinary work. Emma Hansen is one of those students, they’re quite rare, and when we encounter them, we need to make sure they have the opportunities here in Canada. When I found out about the Schulich leader scholarship, I was really interested because I found out about the Schulich network that’s behind the scholarship, all the electrical engineers, the mechanical engineers, the chemists, the biologists, all the people within these spaces that have done really cool things, and want to help out the younger generation, they want to come back, and give back really, and I think that’s the coolest part of this. I think Seymour Schulich recognized this need, that we need people that have both the strong technical foundation, the aptitude for science and mathematics, the aptitude to apply those in an engineering setting to create this amazing technologies that we’ll need in the years to come but couple that with the ability to be a leader in that work. I love that it was geared towards students that were going to pursue STEM disciplines, because I was one of the only women in my grade 12 physics class for example, so pursuing a scientific career wasn’t something that was very popular for women, and so having a scholarship that specifically motivated people to go into science, tech, engineering, and mathematics was very appealing to me. Mr. Schulich, I’d like to take this chance to say thank you, and I’m immensely grateful to have this opportunity, it wouldn’t have been possible without you. The opportunities you’ve given us throughout this whole process, and moving forward, is absolutely priceless. As for new ideas, who knows, one could be coming soon.