June 2022

Burnaby/New West Branch AGM and Astronaut Guest Speaker

Hosted By The Burnaby/New West Branch

Status: Registration is now closed.
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM–1:30 PM Pacific Time
Location: Webinar
Presenter: Dr. Robert Thirsk, P.Eng., MD, MBA
Credit: Eligible for 1.5 CE Hour(s) of Technical Learning
Cost: Free
Contact: For more information, please email the Burnaby/New West Branch.
Note: Registration deadline Sunday, June 5, 2022.
Join the Burnaby/New West branch at their Annual General Meeting, hosted by their esteemed guest speaker. Dr. Thirsk, P.Eng, MD, MBA. Dr. Thirsk is a Canadian Astronaut who holds the Canadian record for most days in space (over 204!).

During this meeting, the Burnaby/New West branch will briefly review their branch goals, financials, events held, and elect our incoming executive team for the 2022–2023 session. Following the AGM, Dr. Robert Thirsk, P.Eng., an esteemed engineer, physician, and astronaut will share with us some of his adventures in space, his experience with advanced technology, and his passion for exploration, innovation, and encouraging STEM leaders of the future.


Dr. Robert Thirsk, P.Eng., MD, MBA

Dr. Robert (Bob) Thirsk was born in New Westminster, BC, and raised in Western Canada. He received degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bob also holds a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

In 1983, Bob was selected as a member of the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut corps. During a 28-year career, he received training on space shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) systems and developed skills in spacewalking, robotic operations, and Russian language. He served as crew commander for 2 space mission simulations: the 7-day CAPSULS mission in 1994, and the 11-day NEEMO 7 undersea mission in 2004. He also served as backup astronaut on 2 space missions—a 1984 space shuttle mission and a 2005 Soyuz mission to the ISS. In 1996 Bob flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia with 6 international crewmates as part of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission. This 17-day mission was devoted to the study of life and materials sciences. In 2009, he launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station. As members of the ISS Expedition 20/21 crew, Bob and his crewmates performed cutting-edge interdisciplinary research from around the world, robotic operations, and maintenance and repair work of Station systems and experiments. Upon return to Earth, he had lived and worked in space for another 188 days.

Bob is a strong promoter of a national economy based upon exploration and innovation. He takes every opportunity to encourage youth to work outside of their comfort zones, to participate in collaborative team-oriented ventures, and to pursue audacious dreams. He recommends that these dreams be built upon a solid foundation of advanced skills and lifelong learning. Bob proudly served as Chancellor of the University of Calgary from 2014–2018. He is a member of the Order of British Columbia and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Robert Thirsk High School in Calgary is named in his honour. He has received several honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Laws from his home institution The University of Calgary. The degree was conferred while he was in orbit aboard the International Space Station.

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