Owner of Thorold company donates $5M to Brock

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Brock University's engineering department has received a $5M gift from a local family.

Yousef Haj-Ahmad, who launched Norgen Biotek Corp. in 1998 while he was a Professor of Biological Sciences at Brock, made the announcement today.

Haj-Ahmad retired from Brock to run Norgen full time, but throughout the years has supported the University and its students.

The $5-million gift from the Haj-Ahmad Family Foundation was celebrated today.

“This is the century of knowledge and science, and engineering is across all of the sciences,” says Haj-Ahmad. “Brock University can have a major impact in the community and worldwide. I’m thankful that I’m able to give back to a community and a university that put me on the right track.”

Officially launched in 2021 with the offering of a minor in Engineering, the newly-named Yousef Haj-Ahmad Department of Engineering now includes six faculty members (with more to be hired) and plans to welcome its first cohort of undergraduate Integrated Engineering students for the 2024-25 academic year.

Students will explore topics such as big data, artificial intelligence, medical devices, sustainability and climate change, robot automation, manufacturing and transportation.

Gord Arbeau, Brock’s Associate Vice-President, Advancement and External Relations says the Haj-Ahmad family gift is a transformational act of generosity, saying it will go a long way in helping students.