When the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEIE) opens in 2017, it will include a room named in honour of Professor Emeritus Ronald D. Venter (MIE).
The Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE) Board of Advisors raised $100,000, matched by the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, to name the Ron Venter Design Meet Room. The space, which will function as a studio in the CEIE that supports design courses, was named partly to celebrate Venter’s recognition as an Engineering Alumni Association (EAA) Honorary Member last November — only the third time the EAA has bestowed this honour. Venter is also the chair of the CEIE Project Planning Committee, which was instrumental in developing the much-anticipated new building.
“Ron’s dedication to ensuring U of T Engineering had a new, state-of-the-art facility was inspirational,” said John Weber (MechE 7T9), leader of the MIE Board of Advisors’ Ron Venter CEIE Room campaign. “He’s dedicated his career to educating future engineers, and his passion and commitment to supporting Dean Cristina Amon’s vision for the CEIE were instrumental in seeing this project through to reality. He inspired me to support the building, personally, with a gift of $100,000 to name the John Weber Design Meet Room as well.”
Venter expressed his gratitude for this tribute.
“I am truly delighted and deeply honoured,” Venter said. “I want to thank all members of the MIE Board of Advisors most sincerely for their imaginative triggering of the Ron Venter Design Meet Room Campaign and all those who graciously responded to make the room a reality in CEIE. It is an amazing accomplishment that will serve all future students.”
Born in South Africa, Venter became a professor at U of T Engineering in 1975 after working for DeBeers Diamonds. He has served in leadership roles at the University, most notably as chair of Mechanical Engineering and vice-dean of the Faculty. He has volunteered his time and expertise on a number of committees and was a member of the Governing Council. In 2009, he received the University’s Vivek Goel Citizenship Award in recognition of his exemplary service.
— Jennifer Lancaster