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Innovation Awards

Awards in Engineering Innovation

William and Rhea Seath

The William and Rhea Seath Awards (WRSAs) to support innovative research in engineering have been made possible thanks to the generosity of Engineering alumnus Mr. William Seath (B.Eng. 1952).  These Awards recognize outstanding students, at undergraduate and graduate levels, and professors, who are conducting innovative research with potential for commercialization.

Two equal awards of $14,000 are to be given through this year’s competition. The Faculty of Engineering is now accepting applications for this year’s call, which closes at 5:00 pm on Monday December 1, 2014. The two winners will be announced in February 2015 at the Faculty Council Meeting. Applications will be reviewed and awarded by the Dean of Engineering and a committee composed of faculty, industry and alumni members.  Recipients will use the Awards to support the commercialization of their research. Examples of eligible support activities include development, testing, prototype construction, specific market research, creation of a business plan, reduction in teaching time for professors, or salary stipends for students.


Only candidates who are full-time members of the McGill Faculty of Engineering are eligible as Lead Applicants for the WRSAs.
Lead applicants can be students or professors. Students must be registered full-time in an Engineering program. Professors must hold an appointment in a department or school formally affiliated with the Faculty of Engineering.
A candidacy must be based on a current research project that the candidate has been actively involved in and that they are interested in commercializing, that is, transferring from the lab to the marketplace.
For students, an up-to-date CV must accompany the application. The CV should provide information on contributions to publications (including patents) and collaborative research activities.
For professors, an up-to-date NSERC Personal Data Form 100 must accompany the application.
All applicants must also complete the two page application form (details below)

Evaluation Criteria

The Innovation (40%)
Is this a totally novel, not obvious, and potentially disruptive technology?
Is there a proof of concept already?

The Impact (40%)
Is there a strong potential impact or market need?
Does the proposed solution fill an unmet need?

The Likelihood of Success (20%)
Does the proposal clearly identify the technical and /or business challenges that must be faced before commercialization?
Will this Award greatly help move the technology towards commercialization?
Is this technology likely to be spun-out of McGill within 5 years?

How to apply

Please fill out this application_template.docx and submit your application (maximum 2 pages, not including appendix for graphs and/or figures if required) by e-mailing the pdf version to: katya [dot] marc [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Katya Marc).

After successful project completion, winners may be nominated by the Dean for consideration to additional follow-on funding from McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations).