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Honorary Degree Recipients

The awarding of an honorary degree is a recognition by SAIT of distinguished achievement in scholarship, the creative arts or public service provincially, nationally or internationally. Our honorary degree recipients proudly take the opportunity to speak to our graduates about their own experiences at our bi-annual convocation ceremonies.

As part of its ongoing quest to recognize and support excellence, SAIT's Board of Governors seeks nominations for recipients of its honorary bachelor degrees. SAIT awards the honorary degree(s) to laud distinguished achievement in scholarship, the creative arts or public service, on the provincial, national or international stage. Nominations are currently closed.

Honorary degrees will be presented at SAIT's Convocation ceremonies scheduled for June 12 - 14, 2018 and October 2018.

Spring 2018 Honorary Degree Recipients

Alan Norris

Alan Norris, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 12, 2018

As chairman and chief executive officer of Brookfield Residential, Alan Norris oversees the management and strategic direction for the Brookfield Residential business. Brookfield Residential operates in 12 major North American markets, including Alberta, Ontario, Washington DC, California, Colorado, Texas and Arizona. Under his leadership, the company's asset base grew to $3.8 billion and the employee base to more than 1,300 people.

Alan's involvement in the community includes being the chair of the recently completed Resolve Fundraising campaign to raise $120 million for affordable housing in Calgary, a collaborative campaign representing nine different agencies that are addressing homelessness. He is also a past chairman of the Calgary Homeless Foundation and a past director of Theatre Calgary.

Alan was named the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Business Leader Award by the Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber. Alan holds a B.A. degree in accounting and economics and two Chartered Accountant Designations, Scotland and Canada.

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 13, 2018

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon is the eighth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Cannon was dean of the Schulich School of Engineering.

Dr. Cannon is a professional engineer, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and an elected foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering. She is past chair of Universities Canada and currently serves as co-chair of the Business Higher Education Round Table and as a member of the U15 Group of Canadian research universities.

Dr. Cannon's research has been on the forefront of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in both industrial and academic environments. She has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. Dr. Cannon's work has been recognized with the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, APEGA's Centennial Leadership Award and the Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada in 2013.

Dr. Cannon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in mathematics from Acadia University as well as a BSc, MSc and PhD in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary.

Douglas Ramsay

Douglas Ramsay, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 14, 2018

Doug Ramsey is a co-founder of Calfrac Well Services and serves as vice chairman of the board. He also serves as a director of Tervita Corporation and as co-chairman of STARS.

As a distinguished alumnus (2012) of SAIT's Petroleum Engineering Technology program (1977), he is a proud supporter and donor to SAIT, with the naming of the Ramsay Centre of Petroleum Engineering Technology at the MacPhail School of Energy.

Doug focused his career on pressure pumping in the well completion sector of the service business which spanned the globe doing business in Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, the Middle East, USA and Canada along the way. He now calls himself semi-retired, sitting on public, private and not-for-profit boards.

He has been honoured with his induction into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame (2012) and the Calgary Business Hall of Fame (2015.) Doug and his wife, Susan are noted for their philanthropy with major donations over the past several years to SAIT, STARS and the Foothills County Hospice — their way of giving back through their good luck and success throughout the years.

Spring 2018 Distinguished Speaker

Brian Moukperian

Brian Moukperian, Distinguished Speaker
June 13, 2018

Brian Moukperian is the dean of SAIT's School of Transportation and one of the longest serving deans in the institution's recent history.

Over the past 17 years, Brian has demonstrated his passion for student engagement. To help foster student success, Brian has developed initiatives to connect with new students ahead of their first day of class, so they arrive feeling well-prepared to begin their SAIT journey. His initiatives have helped students build knowledge and confidence through opportunities such as work-integrated learning and industry nights.

In his role as dean, Brian has also worked to promote employee engagement. Through his Monday morning and good news Friday messages, staff in his school stay connected and up-to-date.

Brian represents SAIT as an advisor on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Training Board, and is a director of the Calgary Motor Dealers Charitable Foundation. Brian is a recipient of the 2010 Chair Academy Exemplary Leader Award. He also influenced the establishment of 14 awards in the School of Transportation and the Dean's Award for the top apprentice in every final-year program.

Brian is retiring from SAIT on June 29, with the hope of starting a new, bold, exciting chapter in his life.

Fall 2017 Honorary Degree Recipient

Mogens Smed, Honorary Degree Recipient

Mogens Smed, Honorary Degree Recipient
October 17, 2017

As a business leader with an unwavering dedication to sustainability, Mogens Smed has built his career on finding ways to deliver quality solutions more effectively. Mogens has over 40 years of experience in the interior construction industry. His work includes launching and growing SMED International into a publicly traded, modular interior construction company with over $300 million in annual revenue and his role as CEO of Evans Consoles, a private company providing command-control infrastructure solutions.

Recognizing an opportunity to improve the way interiors are built, he co-founded DIRTT in 2005 as a groundbreaking, technology-enabled solution for the fragmented construction industry. DIRTT combines proprietary 3D design and manufacturing software with integrated manufacturing of interior construction solutions for clients globally.

Since DIRTT’s inception, Mogens has instilled a sense of leadership and empowerment within his teams. He continuously pushes to see DIRTT’s Build better™ motto come to life in every aspect of the business. Mogens is a passionate advocate of the entrepreneurial spirit DIRTT is built on and is considered the leading voice of prefabricated interior construction in North America.

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