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Lassonde professor receives Minister’s Award of Excellence

This story originally appeared in YFile.

Professor Andrew Maxwell has been recognized with the government of Ontario’s 2022-23 Minister’s Award of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is given to people within the province’s post-secondary institutions and career colleges who demonstrate dedication and achievement in their respective fields.

Recipients of the Minister’s Award of Excellence are selected based on their accomplishments in teaching excellence, research innovation, student engagement and community partnerships. The award aims to not only recognize individual excellence, but how winners have made an impact in shaping the future of Ontario’s education sector.

This year, the minister received over 480 nominations. In his award category – Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Maxwell represented one of the three total winners, demonstrating his and Lassonde’s leadership in the field.

Professor Maxwell, Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship, was recognized for his dedication to transforming student educational experiences and driving economic development through pioneering initiatives.

Those initiatives have included the establishment of the living lab, which fosters collaboration between academia and industry through strategic partnerships. Among collaborations overseen by Maxwell is the prototyping, testing and deployment of the SARIT micro-mobility electric vehicle on campus. The SARIT vehicles are a flagship project for the new Manufacturing, Technology & Entrepreneurship Centre, which has provided students with invaluable opportunities to engage directly with industry leaders and work on cutting-edge technologies poised to impact mobility and the growing electric vehicle industry.

Maxwell has also helped secure multidisciplinary research funding from York and the Ontario Research Fund to explore the social impact of the SARIT and enhance its safety and ride experience. This funding includes a recent $955,881 grant from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence program which will help support the development of a new category of micro-mobility electric vehicles for local and last mile fleet applications.

As the director of the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (BEST) Lab, he has also been instrumental in supporting entrepreneurial ventures, enhancing university research commercialization and revolutionizing educational paradigms.

As a professor, Maxwell was also recognized for his efforts to link sustainability, experiential learning and community with innovative pedagogical methods – including weekend hackathons, multidisciplinary entrepreneurship certificates and intense, three-week, experiential international visits.

Further information about the Minister’s Awards of Excellence can be found on the Government of Ontario website.

Read the full story on YFile.