Carl Erik Kohn, BESc'64
President, CEK Associates
Former Vice President, Bell Canada
Mr. Kohn received the Lauchland Engineering Alumni Medal in 1981.
Q & A
Any advice you would offer an incoming Engineering student?
My advice to an incoming Engineering student would be to treasure and take part in the healthy and thought provoking activities offered on campus. You typically only have 4 years as an undergraduate -- in retrospect this will seem an extremely short but influential time in your life. There are often after hour presentations to fit into your schedule by World Class scholars and researchers that you may never get access to after graduation. If possible, include a healthy dose of sports activities as these help you focus and be more efficient in your academic activities. I know people will try to convince you that an engineering student does not have time for Mustang Team sports, but don't you believe it. Manage your time and you will do well!
Why do you value your Engineering degree?
I value my Engineering degree because of the immediate respect it garners for me and my position on a wide range of issues. My contribution to almost any discussion is, at minimum, listened to and regarded. This respect also gives me the confidence to state and discuss my position on issues.
My Engineering degree from Western opened the door to post-graduate studies, both providing a start to my lifelong learning. I graduated having only an introduction to the knowledge required to be successful but with an open mind to all of the wonderful challenges that lay before me. My degrees gave me enough of an introduction to so many facets of engineering, economics and human behaviour that I had the vision and conviction to accept the challenges that faced me.
Many people have heavily influenced my life because I went to Western. I am thankful that at Western I met my loving wife of 34 years and my lifelong friend Ron Yamada. I appreciated the teaching and guidance of J.H. Blackwell, Gordon Chess, Alan Davenport, Dick Dillon, Stuart Lauchland, and Robert Uffen at Western. They encouraged me to meet, accept and appreciate the opportunities presented by Wes Graham(UoW), Jean de Grandpre(Bell), Denis Hall(BNR), and Gene Amdahl(Amdahl).
What would you consider your most treasured memory from your time as a Western Engineering student?
My most treasured memory as a Western Engineering student was garnered in our first year physics class when Dr. Robert Uffen would take us on brief excursions from our lecture to relate our physics course material to real events in the news. As a student, this made a true impact on how I viewed our curriculum and how course material should be taught.