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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 are presented at SAIT's Convocation ceremonies scheduled for June and October 2019.

Spring 2019 Distinguished Speaker

Alex Zahavich

Dr. Alex Zahavich, Distinguished Speaker
June 11, 2019

Alex Zahavich has been a member of the SAIT family for nearly 20 years, joining us in February 2001 as the Dean of our School of Manufacturing and Automation. Between 2001 and 2005, Alex was also the Dean of the School of Energy and SAIT’s Innovation and Technology Development Office — now SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department.

He envisioned an applied research model that is now being mirrored by institutions and countries worldwide.

With Alex at the helm, ARIS was named Canada’s Top Research College in 2013 — the first institution to receive this designation.

In 2014, Alex became SAIT’s Vice President, Corporate Development, Applied Research and International Projects. Bringing together sales, research, business intelligence and international projects, he executed SAIT’s first Global Strategy.

Alex holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University.


Spring 2019 Honorary Degree Recipients

Geoff Gosling

Geoff Gosling, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 12, 2019

A native Calgarian, Geoff is the award-winning visionary behind the design and development of DIRTT Environmental Solutions.

He has nearly three decades of experience in the design and interior construction industries. Before co-founding DIRTT, Geoff was the Director of Research and Development at Evans Consoles and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Environmental Design.

Among his accolades, Geoff is a recipient of the distinguished Manning Innovation Award and holds the patents for more than 300 of his inventions. Geoff holds a Master of Environmental Design, Industrial Design degree from the University of Calgary, and is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design in Sculpture.


Cindy Klassen

Cindy Klassen, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 12, 2019

Cindy Klassen spent her childhood in Winnipeg, Manitoba playing many different sports. It wasn’t until she was 18 years old, though, that she discovered and fell in love with the sport of speed skating.

After being inspired by the Canadian Speed Skating team’s results at the 1998 Olympics, she moved to Calgary the next year, putting all of her focus into qualifying for the 2002 Olympic team. Not only did she qualify, she also won a bronze medal in her first race. Cindy went on to the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy, where she won five medals, including a gold in the 1,500 metre race.

Cindy is grateful for the opportunity to give back through charity work and involvement in sport. Currently a police officer with the Calgary Police Service, she feels privileged to serve and make a difference in her community.


Doug Horner

Doug Horner, Honorary Degree Recipient
June 13, 2019

A graduate from SAIT with a business diploma, Doug Horner now chairs the Canada Asia Synergy Group — a company involved in business-to-business transactions with Asia.

He is the president of Timber Wolf Investments, a partner in Canada Asia Trading Corporation, the principal business advisor for Timber Wolf Advisory Services, as well as a board member for the Edmonton International Airport.

As a politician, Doug has held such portfolios as Deputy Premier, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, Minister of Enterprise, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology, Minister of Agriculture and most recently as Senior Advisor to the Premier on Internal Trade and Federal and Provincial Relations. Having served in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve, he was proud to also be the first provincial liaison to the Canadian Forces as Deputy Premier.

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