Dr. Allan Carswell | Founder and President of the Carswell Family Foundation

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, Eatery

Entrepreneurs: Born? or Created?

Presented by Dr. Allan Carswell

From pioneering laser radar to full time philanthropist, Dr. Allan Carswell will share his extraordinary entrepreneurial journey with highlights and lessons learned along the way.

Dr. Carswell’s decades-long research and business career has been as bright, focused and intense as the subject of that career: lasers. The world-renowned physicist pioneered laser radar, or LiDAR (light detection and ranging), a remote sensing and environmental diagnostics technology that has dramatically improved how we map physical features on the Earth’s surface, as well as below and beyond it.

Dr. Carswell was a Professor of Physics at York University, where he conducted laser research. In 1974, Carswell founded Optech and led the company from its inception. He became Chairman of the Board of Optech in 2000. Carswell founded Optech to develop the more practical applications of lidar systems, and the company has since grown to become a world leader in laser ranging applications, because of its widely recognized expertise in advanced electro-optical systems. Since 2015 Optech is now owned by Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. Teledyne Optech is based in Toronto, Canada, with offices in the USA, Europe and China and representatives worldwide.

He is author of over 250 scientific and technical publications and has won awards for achievements in R&D, Innovation, Space Science, Entrepreneurship and Engineering & Construction Technology. Dr. Carswell is also Founder and President of the Carswell Family Foundation supporting community work in Education and Health Care.

What is the Mercier Lecture?

In an effort to inspire and empower future generations of chemistry students at York with a sense of the possible, Mr. Mercier’s wife, Dr. Eileen Mercier, a York graduate (MBA ’77), established the lecture series in her late husband’s name. Bridging the worlds of business and commerce with the intensive research world of chemistry, the series will present an entrepreneur and renowned scientist who has used his/her own science education as a springboard to other enterprises.

“Ernest believed that the benefits of discipline and analytical thinking, which his engineering education provided, were basic to understanding the cause-and-effect laws of business.” says Ms. Mercier. “This lectureship will hopefully inspire others to use their education in similarly unique ways.”

Who is Ernest C. Mercier?

Past Mercier Lectures

2017 Mercier Lecture: Reach Every Learner “Transforming the Future of Education”

2015 Mercier Lecture: Suneet Singh Tuli Interview

2015 Mercier Lecture: Connecting the Forgotten Billions

2012 Mercier Lecture: Me, Myself and My Network

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