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Ontario Tech University: Celebrating a year of milestones and achievements

Highlights from 2023

Ontario Tech University Project Arrow team celebrates the creation of the Arrow, the highly anticipated all-Canadian concept electric vehicle (inside the ACE Aerodynamic Climatic Wind Tunnel at Ontario Tech).
Ontario Tech University Project Arrow team celebrates the creation of the Arrow, the highly anticipated all-Canadian concept electric vehicle (inside the ACE Aerodynamic Climatic Wind Tunnel at Ontario Tech).

Two decades after first opening its doors, Ontario Tech University continues to shine brightly as a highly sought-after post-secondary education institution for learning, teaching and working. Its vibrant campus is home to 11,000 students, 29,000 alumni and 2,500 employees who are positively shaping the future remaining committed to enhancing the lives of our communities and the planet.

As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we present 20 selected highlights from 2023:

  1. Celebrating 20 years at Ontario Tech

The university kicked off its year-long 20th anniversary in early September with a barbecue for the campus community. Numerous events and initiatives will continue through next summer to showcase the university’s past, present and future, as we celebrate with students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, donors, the community and beyond.

  1. Ontario Tech named 2023 Canadian Research University of the Year

As one of the country’s youngest research-intensive institutions, over its first two decades Ontario Tech has climbed to the top of the Research Infosource rankings, in its tier, for its research portfolio, reputation among partners, and solid growth in industry-sponsored research income.

  1. Ontario Tech ranks second among Canada’s youngest universities

Ontario Tech University is keeping strong international company in the latest list of the world’s best young universities, as compiled by influential international ranking organization Times Higher Education.

  1. Ontario Tech rises again in annual Maclean’s university rankings

The Maclean’s data further affirms Ontario Tech wide-ranging quality, as the university placed No. 8 nationally in the ‘overall/combined’ category, up one spot over last year. By comparison, in 2012, Ontario Tech ranked No. 15 overall. Ontario Tech also placed in the Top-5 in six different performance indicators.

  1. Ontario Tech’s R&D capacity and leadership are key factors in its Project Arrow connection

Throughout 2023, Project Arrow, the all-Canadian zero-emission concept vehicle, inspired hearts and minds about the country’s collective engineering capacity. Ontario Tech was selected as the lead academic institution, to complete the engineering design and build phase of the national project. On December 15, the Toronto Star named Project Arrow as one of biggest Canadian tech stories of the year.

  1. Ontario Tech leads province’s universities for year-over-year percentage growth in applications

For the second consecutive academic recruitment cycle, Ontario Tech University is posting province-leading numbers for growth in overall applications for Fall enrolment (20.3 per cent increase).

  1. More high school graduates choosing Ontario Tech than ever before

In June, the number of Ontario high school applicants confirming offers of admission to Ontario Tech for the 2023-2024 academic year rose above 2,000 for the first time. This represented an 11.7 per cent increase in confirmations over the previous recruitment cycle, outpacing the provincial university system’s year-over-year average, which declined overall by 1.2 per cent.

  1. Ontario Tech’s Spring Convocation is complemented for the first time with a Fall Convocation ceremony

A new annual tradition began in October with Ontario Tech’s first-ever Fall Convocation. The event allows the university to celebrate the achievements and milestones of its Summer-semester graduates in the same calendar year. Between the eight combined Spring and Fall ceremonies, Ontario conferred more than 2,750 degrees and 10 honorary degrees.

  1. Moose Hide Campaign designates Ontario Tech as an Ambassador Campus

Ontario Tech recently earned official designation as a Moose Hide Campaign Ambassador Campus, in recognition of the university’s commitment to do the work to create a safer society for all. The Indigenous-led grassroots movement engages men, boys and all Canadians in ending violence against women and children.

  1. Ontario Tech’s men’s soccer team earns Top-10 national ranking all season, advances to provincial semi-finals

Ranked nationally in the U SPORTS Top-10 throughout the 2023 season, Ontario Tech’s men’s soccer team posted eight wins and three draws in 12 regular season matches to place second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Division standings. The team advanced to the provincial semi-finals. Ontario Tech will be the host university for the U SPORTS 2024-2025 eight-team national men’s soccer championship tournament at Vaso’s Field. This will be the university’s first time hosting a national U SPORTS tournament.

  1. Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education formally named

Through a landmark gift agreement of $3 million from the Frazer family, the Faculty of Education has been renamed the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education. As one of only two donor-named faculties of education at Ontario universities, and the third in Canada, the Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education becomes the first donor-named faculty at Ontario Tech.

  1. Ontario Tech’s commitment to sustainable practices earns national Fair Trade Campus Designation

In October, Ontario Tech University was awarded a Fair Trade Campus Designation by Fairtrade Canada, in recognition of the institution's dedication to promoting fair trade practices and sustainability on campus.

  1. Ontario Tech begins work to pursue licence to enhance high-tech nuclear laboratory facilities

Known as the Subcritical Assembly Project, the new equipment at Ontario Tech would enable enhanced hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for students, a key aspect of many of Ontario Tech’s highly regarded energy and engineering programs, including Canada’s only undergraduate Nuclear Engineering degree program.

  1. Ontario Tech Engineering Outreach team receives national funding to promote science and engineering

A new three-year PromoScience grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada will expand Engineering Outreach’s support of Indigenous and Black youth hands-on STEM education activities, and inspire the next generation of innovators.

  1. Ontario Tech establishes partnership with Kinectrics Inc. to advance nuclear research and innovation  

The new partnership with the nuclear lifecycle services company will create opportunities for students and graduates to gain hands-on experience, mentorship, as well as networking opportunities that help create clear paths for talented minds to embark on fulfilling careers in the nuclear industry.

  1. 8 80 Cities: Ontario Tech research team explores healthy, active transportation strategies and solutions for urban spaces

The Ontario Tech Faculty of Health Sciences led a team from the City of Oshawa and Durham Region to an international, immersive five-day workshop in Denmark, hosted by the Toronto-based organization 8 80 Cities, which seeks to create healthier, equitable, and sustainable cities for all people. In June 2024, the Ontario Tech team will host ‘Data-driven decisions for healthy, equitable mid-sized cities’, an on-campus learning and networking event. 

  1. Ontario Tech expands its global partnerships with Japanese, Thai and Egyptian institutions

Building and maintaining strong relationships with local and global partners is a top priority and a key component of the university’s Strategic Research Plan. In November, Ontario Tech Chemistry faculty members and graduate students participated in the sixth-annual Kyutech-Ontario Tech Symposium in Chemistry and the International University Exchange Symposium in Chemistry, hosted at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan.

  1. Ontario Tech experts lead discussion on the implications of AI chatbots for education at universities and in our workplaces

With the advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) language models such as ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer), researchers at Ontario Tech University are attempting to understand what happens when you automate language and writing, and what AI technology means to education and our world as a whole. Ontario Tech’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities hosted a March symposium on the implications of AI chatbots for academia and higher education. 

  1. Ontario Tech establishes partnership with CNIB to develop explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) accessibility standards

Fully aligned with the university’s ‘tech with a conscience’ ethos, this important research project on the accessibility of AI technology, conducted through a collaboration between Ontario Tech and CNIB, will develop recommendations for Accessible Standards Canada. The findings will help establish new national standards that explain the decisions made by AI-based tools in human-understandable terms, and eliminate accessibility barriers.

20.  Brilliant Farm Project: Ontario Tech’s Brilliant Catalyst entrepreneurship ecosystem helps secure $1 million grant to investigate winter season food production in Canada

In another example of how Ontario Tech connects local business startups with research expertise to produce innovative tech solutions, Brilliant Catalyst is helping develop a ‘controlled environment agriculture’ project with Willowtree Farm in Port Perry, Ontario that will outperform traditional greenhouses in the production of strawberries—particularly during Canada’s cold winter months.