While technological and digital advances are opening doors, today’s science graduates must work to find a career they truly love, said economic growth and development expert Arthur Carty.
Carty, executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo, spoke to 514 graduates from the Faculty of Science and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the Thursday, June 14 afternoon session of Western’s 299th Convocation.
Western conferred an honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D. Sc.) upon Carty in recognition of his standing as a world-renowned research program and a career as a scientific leader and administrator.
“Work hard and find your special interest. Take pride in what you have achieved but don’t ever stop learning. Your degree is a beginning, not an end,” Carty said.
Born in Newcastle, England, Carty received both his B.A. and PhD degrees in chemistry from the University of Nottingham, before beginning his independent scientific and professional career in Canada. He spent two years at Memorial University in St John’s, Newfoundland, before moving to the University of Waterloo where he developed his distinguished research program in organometallic chemistry and materials research.
In addition to his research, Carty is celebrated for his leadership roles in science. He spent 27 years at Waterloo where he was successively professor of chemistry, director of the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry, chair of the Chemistry Department for two terms and dean of research. In 1994 he became president of the National Research Council of Canada, composed of more than 20 institutes and national programs, including the National Institute for Nanotechnology, which was established during his term as president.
He has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada as well as an Officier de l’Ordre national du Mérite in France. Carty has served as chair and member of many boards of directors, including as founding chairman of the board of the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s national synchrotron research facility.
In his citation, Chemistry professor John Corrigan said Carty has have achieved great things for Chemistry and for Science as a whole in Canada.
“You motivate those around you with the high standards that you set for yourself,” Corrigan said. “I am equally delighted because of what you cannot read on a CV, but to which I can attest personally: You are a person of sincerity, integrity and generosity.”
Carty said graduates have plenty of opportunities to tackle some of the world’s grand challenges by way of new technologies – which they will also help develop.
“As science graduates form one of Canada’s leading universities, you will be influenced by – and contribute to – these developments in the future. My concluding advice is this: Recognize that your background in science opens doors to career opportunities well beyond the confines of your discipline,” Carty said. “Keep on learning, embrace change and don’t be afraid to take a risk if one is called for.”
Also during the ceremony, Chemistry professor Mark Workentin was awarded the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching.