The Arch Award recognizes McMaster's most recent graduates for their unique and interesting contributions to society, their local community, and to McMaster University. Arch Award recipients are remarkable individuals who have convocated from McMaster less than 10 years ago with a graduate degree, or less than 15 years ago with an undergraduate degree. Created in 2002, this award was developed to acknowledge the achievements of our younger alumni who have made exceptional accomplishments in their lives and careers since graduation. The McMaster Alumni Association invites nominations of any graduates worthy of the Arch Award.

Click here to submit a nomination


Visit the Alumni Arch Award Recipients Archive to see past recipients of the award.



2015 McMaster Arch Award Recipients


Daniel Bida

2005 Faculty of Business

Daniel is a Chartered Financial Analyst that spent the first 6 years of his career as an energy analyst before leaving to pursue the development of community-owned biogas projects. ZooShare is North America’s 1st zoo-based biogas plant. Each year, ZooShare recycles 3,000 tonnes of animal manure from the Toronto Zoo and 14,000 tonnes of inedible food waste from local grocery stores into renewable power for the Ontario grid. This process reduces greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer.


Lisa Brown

2003, 2010 Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Business

Graduating from McMaster with both a Bachelor of Engineering and Management and an MBA, Lisa has progressed through increasingly challenging roles in an industry traditionally underrepresented by women. Lisa is an avid supporter of women in leadership and STEM, and is currently focused on the management of prime power generation projects for Toromont CAT, one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealerships by both revenue and geographic territory. Lisa donates her time as a board director, fundraising participant, and member of various non-profits including the Joseph Brant Hospital Auxiliary, the Canadian Association of Women in Construction, McMaster Engineering and Halton Industry Education Council, and is a member of, and a guest blogger for, the Women’s Executive Network.


Jonathan Thon

2004 Faculty of Science

Jonathan is pending promotion to become an Assistant Professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His research is focused on developing bio-mimetic microfluidic platforms to generate functional platelets and new targeted therapies for thrombocytopenia. At the start of his research, he worked closely with Canadian Blood Services for the improvement of the processing and storage of blood platelets and the identification of mechanisms regulating their storage-related deterioration. His research continued at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he studied the cytoskeletal mechanics and signaling pathways regulating platelet formation. This work led to the co-development with Drs. Linas Mazutis and Joseph Italiano of a biomimetic human platelet bioreactor and surrounding intellectual property, founding Platelet BioGenesis Inc.


Shane Turcott

2001, 2005 Faculty of Engineering

After graduating with a Masters in Materials Engineering from McMaster University, Shane gained experience working at Dofasco, Bodycote and Liburdi Turbine Services. In 2008, he started Steel Image which specializes in a unique process of metallurgical failure analysis and in‐situ metallography. He is currently the Chair of ASM Ontario (Materials Society) and regularly speaks at events on failure analysis and in‐situ metallography. Shane is also an artist, bringing art and technology together in a gallery exhibit of metals and materials taken through an electron microscope.


Clifton van der Linden

2004 Faculty of Social Sciences

Clifton is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He holds an honours BA in economics and political science from McMaster University and an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He is the founder and Executive Director of Vote Compass, an interactive electoral literacy application. Vote Compass offers an accessible framework for learning about party platforms, stimulates discussion on a wide variety of election issues, and encourages democratic participation within the electorate. In 2012 he was named one of Toronto’s top young innovators by Post City Magazine. He has written for The Globe and Mail and Policy Options Magazine, and appears regularly on CBC News.