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Black-and-white photo of U of T Engineering's first building with illustration of Erwin Hart
Erwin Hart. Photo from U of T Archives (with illustration by Andrea M. Listro)

Alumnus Leaves Landmark $20-Million Bequest to U of T Engineering

Hart Professorships will boost early-career research and more

A $20-million bequest from the estate of alumnus Erwin Edward Hart (BASc 1940) will bolster early-career research and education at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering – and provide enhanced opportunities for graduate students.

The income from the Hart Trust will fund the Percy Edward Hart and Erwin Edward Hart Professorships. Seven faculty members, each within the first 10 years of their academic career, receive $75,000 per year for three years for research and graduate student support. The recipients are nominated by their department or institute and have demonstrated a high level of research excellence and exemplary graduate mentorship. The first cohort of Hart Professors began this September.

Erwin Edward Hart was an employee of Massey-Ferguson Ltd. and served as the company’s chief welding engineer. The professorships are named in honour of Erwin and his late father, Percy.

“The Hart Professorships are an outstanding example of the impact that can be made when visionary generosity meets visionary leadership,” says U of T president Meric Gertler. “Mr. Hart’s legacy gift will bolster the work of promising researchers at a crucial stage in their careers.”

The professorships will foster the next generation of engineering research leaders and educators, and strengthen the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering’s position as one of the world’s great engineering schools, says Dean Cristina Amon.

“Investments in early-career faculty will accelerate research and innovation,” Amon says. “This gift will support generations of professors and deepen our faculty’s culture of research and teaching excellence. It will also strengthen the faculty’s ability to recruit top early-career educators and researchers from around the world. Our students will benefit by working with faculty members who are committed to mentoring the next generation of innovators.”

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