UAlberta Facts

Inspiring Accomplishments

From the invention of early sonar to art direction for the movie Avatar, see how UAlberta is changing and shaping the world.

A university education will help you broaden your horizons, and UAlberta is the perfect place to be inspired. UAlberta opened in 1908 under the leadership of President Henry Marshall Tory, who promised that the University would be for the "uplifting of the whole people." This pledge holds true today.

UAlberta students live to inspire, uncovering new ideas and thought through their studies and using their education to make a difference in the world.

Here are just some of the inspiring people, accomplishments, and discoveries to come from UAlberta.

  • University of Alberta researchers discovered the first fossil of Tyrannosaurus Rex skin, finally answering the question, “What would it be like to pet a T-Rex?”

  • The Canadian Maple Leaf flag was designed by Arts grad George Stanley

  • University of Alberta researcher Dr Philip Halloran and his team developed a new diagnostic tool for measuring gene expression in transplant patients.

  • Alumnus Todd Cherniawsky was a Supervising Art Director on the Oscar-winning Art Direction team for the movie Avatar!

  • Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin is an alumna and the first appointed to serve on Canada’s Supreme Court.

  • Alumnus Joe Clark is a former Prime Minister of Canada.

  • Play Around the World is an annual three-month placement in South America, Asia, or northern Canada where U of A students provide opportunities for play and recreation to populations in need, such as people with disabilities, young offenders, and orphans.

  • The Oral Calculator was invented by student Ephrem Tekele to help those in the world unable to use fingers or arms. The idea came to Ephrem because his neighbour in Ethiopia had no hands and such an invention would help him run his business.

  • The Kenya Water Ceramic Project, which is bringing innovative ceramic water filters and high-efficiency wood-burning stoves to rural areas of Kenya, was founded by student Abdullah Saleh.

  • Protective clothing expert Guowen Song of the Department of Human Ecology is researching how certain clothing materials store heat, helping to create safer clothing for firefighters.

  • The SHINE Youth Clinic, a health clinic that provides free services to Edmonton’s underserved youth, is run and managed entirely by UAlberta health sciences students in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Counselling Psychology, Physiotherapy, Social Work, and Nutrition.