Alumnus Helps Grads Spark Innovation

Gerard Heffernan establishes fellowship to help kick-start new entrepreneurs

July 21, 2011 

A fellowship program at the University of Toronto founded by MSE alumnus Gerald Heffernan (MMS 4T3), is helping graduate students transfer their research into businesses.

The Heffernan/Co-Steel Innovation Commercialization Fellowship provides $20,000 annually for up to three years to postgraduate fellows wanting to further develop and implement their research. Among those who have benefited from this support is Carlos de Oliveira (CivE MASc 0T6), who transferred his graduate work on structural dynamics into Cast ConneX Corporation, which produces seismic-resistant joint for buildings in earthquake-prone regions.

Heffernan and de Oliveira were featured in a Globe and Mail article that highlights the efforts by Canadian universities to encourage innovation.