On August 1, 2010, Dr. Gilles G. Patry became the fourth President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Following a long and distinguished career as a consultant, a researcher, and a university administrator, Dr. Patry brings to the CFI a wealth of experience from both the private and academic sector.
Dr. Patry holds a B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Ottawa, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in environmental engineering. He was an environmental engineering consultant (1971-78) before becoming professor of civil engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal (1978-83) and then at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. (1983-93). Dr. Patry’s research program at McMaster led him to develop an innovative modelling concept for the simulation of wastewater treatment plant dynamics, and ultimately, to launch a Hamilton-based consulting company, Hydromantis, Inc. His research focuses on modelling, simulation and control of environmental systems.
Returning to the University of Ottawa as Dean of Engineering in 1993, Dr. Patry was instrumental in the creation of the School of Information Technology and Engineering, which was designed to provide leading-edge information technology research and education. In 1997, he became Vice-Rector (Academic) and fostered the creation of new institutes, academic programs and partnerships among the private sector, government and other post-secondary institutions. During his tenure as President and Vice-Chancellor (2001-08), Dr. Patry led the development and implementation of the university’s strategic plan Vision 2010, promoted the development of multidisciplinary initiatives, spearheaded the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of the University and initiated more than $300 million of capital investments on campus. He is now President Emeritus at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Patry is a Member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Order of Ontario and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Waterloo and McMaster University, and was named Executive of the Year in 2004 by the Regroupement des gens d’affaires of the National Capital Region. In 2009, he was also named Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.