On February 28th, 2014, the University of British Columbia’s Chemical and Biological Engineering Department hosted the award ceremony of the Thomas Bennett Student Enrichment Memorial Awards in Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Ally Amin and Lee Rippon, this year’s recipients, were selected based on their participation in student enrichment activities, social and environmental concern, academic achievement, and leadership qualities.
The awards were officially endowed in 2012 as a legacy of Thomas Edward James Bennett, an accomplished alumnus of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department who graduated in 2007. During his time at UBC, Tom made a positive and lasting impression on students, staff, and faculty in the Faculty of Applied Science, many of whom were devastated by his untimely death in a tragic mountain climbing incident on April 1st, 2010, at the age of 26.
As an engineer, Tom was passionately committed to environmental sustainability, and to making a difference through his profession. He played a key role in bringing a biodiesel production project to UBC, and his dedication is remembered by a plaque hung in his honour near the project’s reactor.
Tom also participated in and advocated for student enrichment activities both during and after his studies at UBC. Fittingly, February’s award ceremony marked the third year in a row that the awards in his name have supported undergraduate engineering students in their enrichment initiatives. To date, Tom’s legacy has benefitted six deserving students, thanks to the generous support of donors from the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, and across British Columbia and Canada.
In attendance at this year’s ceremony were 2014 award recipients Ally Amin and Lee Rippon, Tom’s mother Mary Kenny, Chemical and Biological Engineering professors Naoko Ellis and Jim Lim, and Gladys Conroy and Oliver Zihlmann of UBC’s Applied Science Development Office.