Dr. Leonard Lye receives President's Award for his exceptional community service
The President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service recognizes faculty or staff who have demonstrated exceptional voluntary contributions to communities and/or organizations, with significant impact beyond what might normally be considered academic or professional service. Not only is he associate dean of graduate studies and a professor of civil engineering in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Dr. Lye’s commitment to the people around him goes well beyond his professional life and is what makes him so deserving of this award.
Dr. Lye has a history of exceptional voluntary contributions that have demonstrated his commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. From establishing a local branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada to helping persons with disabilities to enriching the lives of high school students, he has made a huge impact.
He is founder and co-ordinator of the Tetra Society’s St. John’s Chapter, and for the past 20 years he has taken on numerous projects and solved many problems for persons with disabilities in the province. His ability to listen effectively coupled with his strong desire to help people have created independence, equal opportunities and improved the quality of life for many people in the province with disabilities. This selfless giving of his time and expertise has earned him the respect and admiration of his clients, his colleagues at the Tetra Society of North America and in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science as well as his friends and family.
Dr. Lye is also program director of the Shad Valley Program at Memorial – a four-week summer enrichment program that caters to high school students who have a keen interest in science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM subjects. His dedication to the program has made a lasting impression on participants and several have gone on to Harvard, Oxford, Cornell, Brown, among others; developed innovative products; and become entrepreneurs.
“Dr. Lye leads by example, inspiring students and volunteers and helping those around him to develop an understanding of conscience and the importance of volunteerism. His community service work is a model for others to emulate,” said Sam Sullivan, O.C., founder of the Tetra Society of America.
For Dr. Lye, this recognition isn’t about him. It is about the people he has come to know and admire along the way.
“I am so fortunate to have the help of so many other volunteers, especially MUN Tech Services with many of the Tetra projects. They deserve much of the credit as well. I have learned so much from them, said Dr. Lye.
Dr. Lye has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the Bolton Institute of Technology and a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba. Other awards this year include Tetra Society's Lifetime Achievement Award; PEGNL's Community Service Award; and the NL Bridging the Gap Award. In 2013, Dr. Lye and Tetra’s St. John’s Chapter received the Glenn Roy Blundon Award. This is the second President’s Award for Dr. Lye. In 2003, he won the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.
He invented the FootworkerTM, a line of products for improving footwork and fitness for squash and badminton players, which has been endorsed by a former world champion; and the DOE-GolferTM, an innovative and fun toy for teaching design of experiment principles.