President of U of Alberta March Speaker

Professor Indira V. Samarasekera will be talking at the Canadian Club of Edmonton on 15 March 2005 at noon at the Chateau Lacombe on her vision forthe University of Alberta.

Indira V. Samarasekera

President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

By the time she reached her early teens, Indira Vasanti Samarasekera knew her calling was engineering. In 1974, as a newly graduated mechanical engineer, she joined the petroleum industry in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the country of her birth and formative education. With an imposing natural talent for mathematics and physics, the young engineer was quickly drawn back to university - this time in the USA, where she earned a master's degree, as a Hayes Fulbright Scholar, from the University of California.

She moved to Vancouver in 1977 to pursue doctoral studies in metallurgical engineering at the University of British Columbia. She remained at UBC for close to three decades, where she built a world-wide research reputation in the Department of Materials Engineering.

Dr. Samarasekera's specialty was the development and use of mathematical models to predict defect formation during continuous casting and mechanical properties of hot-rolled steel. In continuous casting her work led to the development of designs for moulds for the elimination of defects, which have been implemented in steel plants world-wide. She has consulted extensively for the global steel industry.

Her last position at UBC was in the role of Vice President Research, where she served for five years. In that capacity, her natural gifts as a leader were evident. She relentlessly drove her university's research agenda and advocated for greater provincial and national funding across disciplines. She enhanced the participation of undergraduate students in research, stressed the integral role of graduate students in the modern research university, and advocated for expanded support for knowledge and technology transfer.

Dr. Samarasekera is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIMM). She is a recipient of the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, the British Columbia Science Council New Frontiers in Research Award, the Dofasco Award, and the UBC Killam Research Prize.

Dr. Samarasekera served on the boards of Discovery Parks Inc., Genome BC, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Provincial Health Services Authority, the Canadian Microelectronics Corporation, the Stem Cell Network, and the Canadian Genetics Diseases Network. She was a member of Industry Canada's panel on Commercialization, on the Council of the National Research Council (NRC), and on numerous committees for NSERC. She is currently on a visiting committee for MIT.

Her international experience has greatly informed her view of the world, and her deep connection with Sri Lanka shaped her humanitarian consciousness. She is passionate about eradicating intolerance, as she is passionate about the value of education as a means of achieving prosperity and wellbeing, both in Canada and around the world.

Dr. Samarasekera is devoted to her family, including her children, Dinesh and Anjalika, both students in Canada, and her parents. Dr. and Mrs. A.C. Arulpragasam retired and living in Sri Lanka.

Michaelle Jean Patron Announced


Canadian Club Media Release

Governor General Michalle Jean, Honourary Patron of the Association of Canadian Clubs

Kelowna, BC, 1 February, 2006: In a recent announcement from Government House in Ottawa, Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michalle Jean, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada, has agreed to be the Honourary Patron of the Association of Canadian Clubs.

The Association of Canadian Clubs, with a proud history stemming back almost one hundred years, today enjoys 29 clubs in many towns, cities and college and university campuses across Canada, as well as more in several countries. The Association challenge is to Promote and Share Our Passion for Canada. One of the ways the Association achieves this is by providing forums across Canada that promote an increased understanding and sense of pride in being Canadian.

Speakers for the Canadian Club address topics regarding Canadian heritage, culture, institutions and issues affecting the welfare of our country. Canadian Club meetings are routinely announced in many local newspapers, and are open to the public. For further information, please see the Association of Canadian Clubs website:

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