William and Rhea Seath Awards in Engineering Innovation

William and Rhea Seath Awards in
Engineering Innovation

WRSA awardees from 2012 to 2021


Profile photo of William and Rhea Seath
William and Rhea Seath

The William and Rhea Seath Awards (WRSAs) which support innovative R&D have been made possible thanks to the generosity of Faculty of Engineering alumnus, the late Mr. William Seath (B.Eng. 1952). These awards recognize outstanding students and professors who are conducting R&D with potential for commercialization.

Up to two equal awards of approximately $25,000 are given as part of the annual competition. The call for applications will open in the fall.  They will be reviewed by the McGill Engine Director and awarded by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering based on the recommendation of a committee composed of faculty, industry and alumni members. Recipients will use the awards to support the commercialization of their technologies. Examples of eligible support activities: 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 McGill Faculty of Engineering are eligible as Lead Applicants for the WRSAs. Lead applicants can be graduate students or professors. Students must be registered full-time in a Faculty of 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 technologically-based project that the candidate has been actively involved in and that they have reported as an invention to McGill's Office of Innovation and Partnerships.

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 (or CommonCV equivalent) must accompany the application. All applicants must also complete the two page application form (details below).

Applications will be judged and ranked according to the following criteria.

  1. The Innovation (20%) - Is this a novel, not obvious, and potentially disruptive technology?
  2. The Impact (20%) - Is there a strong potential impact or market need? Does the proposed solution fill an unmet need?
  3. Stage of Development and Progress to Date (25%) - Is there a proof of concept already? What progress has been made so far?  Any customer/end user validation?
  4. The Likelihood of Success (35%) - Does the proposal clearly identify the technical and/or business challenges that must be faced and milestones to be achieved before commercialization? Will this Award greatly help move the technology towards commercialization? Is this technology likely to be spun-out of McGill within 2 to 5 years?

Please fill out the application template:  File WRSA Application Process 2020-21
and submit your application (maximum 2 pages) by e-mailing the pdf version to: katya.marc [at] mcgill.ca

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