Entrepreneur Normand Brais donates $500,000 to support the PolyFab workshop and student entrepreneurship

November 3, 2016

Normand Brais, a graduate and former professor at Polytechnique Montréal, has made a major donation to support the self-service prototyping workshop and create scholarships for student entrepreneurs at the learning and research institution.

Of the $500,000 donated by Dr. Brais to Polytechnique Montréal as part of the Campus Montréal campaign, $250,000 dollars will go towards the maintenance and improvement of the PolyFab workshop, which is used by student entrepreneurs, tech companies and Polytechnique Montréal personnel who wish to conduct rapid prototyping.

In addition, a bequest of $250,000 dollars will be used to set up and fund “Famille Normand Brais” scholarships, which will aim to encourage entrepreneurship and community involvement by students at Polytechnique Montréal.

Dr. Brais, an engineer who graduated from Polytechnique Montréal in 1982 and who holds a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering and earned a PhD in nuclear engineering from Polytechnique in 1993, was an assistant professor at the Polytechique’s Energy Engineering Institute – now the Institute of Nuclear Engineering – from 1992 to 1996.

He went on to apply his entrepreneurial technology skills, founding eight companies in sectors that include air/surface disinfection, combustion, atmospheric pollution and water treatment. For 25 years, he has headed the Brais Malouin & Associates engineering firm, which specializes in combustion.

Concurrent to his professional activities, Dr. Brais has remained actively involved with Polytechnique Montréal as a member of the school’s advisory committee and Chair of the Board of Directors of Fondation de Polytechnique from 2013 to 2016.

Recognition and appreciation

During a recognition event, in appreciation of this exceptional donation by Dr. Brais, Polytechnique Montréal announced that the site in the Lassonde pavilion that houses the self-service prototyping workshop would be named “PolyFab Normand Brais.”

Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique Montréal, emphasized the generosity and altruism of Dr. Brais towards the institution and the entrepreneurial activities he has made possible.

“Through your actions and donations, our entire community is benefiting from your passion for entrepreneurship, philanthropy and training of the next generation. On behalf of the Polytechnique community, I wish to express our deep appreciation for your dedication to our institution and science in general. Thank you for your loyalty and unwavering commitment over these many years,” said Dr. Guy to Dr. Brais.

Created in 2012, the PolyFab self-service workshop is dedicated to developing and making accessible leading edge manufacturing and prototyping technologies, notably in 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, electronic editing and programming. It also hosts training and networking sessions for Polytechnique students and employees who are interested in rapid prototyping.


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