Canada’s top Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students receive $100,000 and $80,000 scholarships

Meet the 2019 class of Schulich Leaders, entering university this Fall

Toronto, June 25, 2019 --- The names of the 50 high school students who will receive Canada’s top STEM entrance university scholarship in 2019 were announced today (see here). 

In 2012, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Seymour Schulich, established the $100 million Schulich Leader Scholarships to empower Canada’s best and brightest and create the next generation of Canadian technology innovators. 

One of the scholarship award winners for 2019 is wasting little time in his quest to put Canada further on the map with technologies that are expected to help transform civilization over the next decade.

Thomas Moffat, from Assumption Catholic Secondary School in Burlington Ontario, is receiving the $100,000 entrance scholarship to attend University of Toronto.  But he’s going to delay starting at U of T for one year so he can work for the next 12 months as an engineer at Rigetti, one of the world’s leading quantum computing companies based in Berkeley, California.

Moffat knows it’s not every day that a student gets hired out of high school by a global leading company.

“My goal is to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” Moffat says.  He adds “Quantum computing and machine learning are a couple of technologies that are expected to change the world in the next decade, and I am so fortunate to get a chance to work with some of the most cutting edge researchers on the planet in an area that has become my passion.”

He says Rigetti has a philosophy of learning by doing and he’s hoping to bring that knowledge back to his studies at U of T.

“The thing I’m most excited about becoming a Schulich Leader is that I’ll be able to surround myself with all these like-minded people, and just have an instant network of really brilliant minds who have the same ambitions as I do,” Moffat says.

Schulich Leaders are highly driven youth, and over the years several have come up with innovations they are perfecting to improve the lives of people in their communities.  One Scholar is in the lab this summer at McMaster University working on a prototype for a new device to help those with ALS communicate, while another at McGill is developing a mind-controlled wheelchair with Google. These are just two of hundreds of advanced research pursuits to elevate society and increase Canada's global competitiveness as a knowledge-based economy.

Every high school in Canada can nominate a student to be a Schulich Leader Scholar.  Out of a pool of 300,000-plus students, 1400 were nominated this year, of which 50 received the prestigious award.

Moffat has already consulted for some Fortune 500 companies including Airbnb.  He provided recommendations to their top executives in San Francisco about how they could better use their network of infrastructure to assist with the global refugee crisis where people were desperate to find places to stay.

He has also spoken at some of the world’s biggest technology conferences.  In one keynote, he shared his excitement at the way quantum computers are able to simulate patterns to a degree that is near impossible on traditional computers.  He says this has huge implications for the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, where it normally takes decades of research and millions of dollars to develop a drug.

Moffat’s passion for science and STEM began when he was 10 after he entered robotic competitions in Oakville with a robotics club called E-Bots Robotics.  Eventually, he became one of the leaders on that team. They placed in the top 6 out of 10,000 teams from around the world for four consecutive years. 

He also gives a lot of credit for his development to a program he joined called the Knowledge Society in Toronto.  It aims to develop ambitious young people to impact billions of people using emerging technologies so they can be the next Elon Musk or Sheryl Sandberg.

Of the 50 Schulich Leaders for 2019, 25 receive $100,000 to pursue an engineering degree and 25 receive $80,000 to pursue a science, technology or mathematics degree at 20 Canadian partner universities.

These students will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale,” says program founder Seymour Schulich.

He adds, ‘With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are Canada’s next generation of technology innovators.”


About Schulich Leader Scholarships Canada

Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarships awarded to 50 high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at 20 partner universities in Canada. Each year, every high school in Canada can submit one Schulich Leader Nominee based on academic excellence in STEM, entrepreneurial leadership and financial need. 

Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100 million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage our best and brightest students to become the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation. 

To date, 370 Canadians have been awarded a Schulich Leader Scholarship. Of this national network, 130 Schulich Leaders have moved beyond their undergraduate degree.

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For media looking to speak to 2019 Schulich Leaders Scholars in their area, please contact: 

David Goodman

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