ASN recognizes our outstanding volunteers in many ways. Read more about them here and on our Volunteer Profiles page.
Anita Rossall Lifetime Achievement Award | E.R. Ward Neale Award
Anita Rossall Lifetime Achievement Award - read more about this award →
Recipient 2018 Nick Malychuk
Recipient 2014 Lucio Gelmini Ph.D.
Recipient 2011 Godfrey Nowlan Ph.D.
E. R. Ward Neale Award - read more about this award and previous recipients →
Recipient 2019 - Mike Smith Ph.D., P.Eng.
Mike was born in East London, England. He considers himself a Cockney although not officially born within the sound of Bow Bells. He studied Physics at the University of Hull in Northern England where he got engaged to Pat, now his wife of 51.31459 years Given the opportunity he emigrated to Canada where he studied Magnetic Resonance and high-speed turbines in the Physics Department at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. On completing his PhD, he came to Calgary to do early experimental work in investigating breast cancer using magnetic resonance as a post-doctoral fellow in Physics and Pathology.
Unable to find a full-time research job, Mike took a Bachelor of Education (After) degree in Science Education and went to teach with the Calgary School Board in junior and senior high schools. He later won a Calgary School Board competition and became the first, or at least one of the first, teachers to have a computer in a Science classroom. Suddenly one day in 1980, Mike found himself persuaded to take the role as founder and president of the Calgary Region Schools Computer Programming Competition. This competition attracted Elementary, Junior and Senior High School students from around Southern Alberta from 1981 to 2000.
He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Calgary in 1981 as the professor responsible for teaching the first courses in Computer Engineering. He has remained at the University ever since but has continued with his interest in working with students in the School Systems around Calgary.
He presents what he calls Hands-on Engineering Theatre to groups of 25 to 125 Grade 4 students. He has been invited back to some of the schools he visits for more than 15 years, and says he has as much fun as the kids and teachers in the class. He gets very chuffed, meaning happy in a very proud sort of way, that he is occasionally greeted by the call “My Mum said to say Hi to Dr. Smith” indicating this is the child of an undergraduate he has taught at University
The Alberta Science Network has numbers indicating Mike has had contact with 5000+ students over the last 15 years (100 presentations to 7,737 students since database recordkeeping began in April 2006).
“You never know which student in the class may be taking their very first steps toward a career in Science.”
John Cox, ASN volunteer and Chair of Earth Sciences Mount Royal University.
“It is immensely rewarding to be able to share knowledge with others. As a Scientist & Engineers-in-the-Classroom volunteer, ASN has afforded me many unique and memorable opportunities."
Dave Fowlow, ASN volunteer.