Canadian engineering students take in Chinese tech, culture via Huawei’s Seed of the Future program

Huawei Canada’s annual Seeds of the Future program is once more sending 20 engineering students to China to experience the country’s culture and technology up close.

Students selected for the Huawei Canada program through a competition will be given first-hand learning opportunities through interactions with Huawei personnel and officials and visit the company’s Huawei laboratories where they will witness live demonstrations of advanced communications technologies.

The company’s Seeds of the Future program is now in its third year. It aims to build links between Canada and China, promote a greater understanding of career opportunities in the telecommunications sector, and to encourage participation in the international ICT community.

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The program also includes an opportunity to experience Chinese culture and will include a visit to some well-known landmarks, including the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.

Feedback from students who have been through the program has been extremely positive. “This program was a life-changing experience in every way,” said Karl Tanguay-Verreault a student at Carleton University who participated in the program last year. “Not only did it open my eyes to the beauty of Chinese culture but it also gave me hands-on experience with the technologies that will power the future of ICT.”

Canadian engineering students participating in the 2017 Seeds of the Future program of Huawei Canada

According to Huawei, some program participants have so far experienced successes in their careers like Colin Armstrong, who has gained recognition in his field.

In high school, he created a startup that stored nearly half a million dollars worth of bitcoin from users around the world. His startup Yeplive received a $2.5MM acquisition offer.

Armstrong also attended a hackathon at MIT and won the Best Cryptocurrency award.

Jose Pereira, director of the Engineering Career Centre and the University of Toronto said the program helps students focus their career goals

“Our partners at Huawei have been fantastic. We look forward to continuing to develop these bright young minds and set them on these promising future career paths,” said Pereira.

These year’s participants are:

Name University Hometown
Ann Gunaratnam Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario
Allison Sherwin Carleton University Stittsville, Ontario
Kyle Bjornson Carleton University Stittsville, Ontario
Sandryne David École Polytechnique de Montréal Sainte-Julie, Quebec
Rodolphe Brossard École Polytechnique de Montréal Montreal, Quebec
Olivier Carpentier École Polytechnique de Montréal Montreal, Quebec
Rana Fouad Khalil University of Ottawa Ottawa, Ontario
Mohammed Amin Shanti University of Ottawa Ottawa, Ontario
Zhi Jiang Ye University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
Alireza Nickooie University of Toronto Thornhill, Ontario
Dawn Chandler Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia
Gabriel Soares Simon Fraser University Vancouver, British Columbia
Sumreen  Rattan Simon Fraser University Surrey, British Columbia
Serena Chao University of British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia
Colin Armstrong University of Waterloo Aurora, Ontario
Anna-Maria Nalepa University of Waterloo Mississauga, Ontario
Anshuman Gehlan University of Waterloo Brampton, Ontario
Cameron David Mulligan University of Western Ontario Oakville, Ontario
Riel Castro-Zunti University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Elizabeth Adams University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


In 2017 Huawei will invest $10 million directly into research projects with universities across Canada.

“We are proud to offer this opportunity to another talented group of engineering students from across the country,” said Sean Yang, president of Huawei Canada. “This award-winning program has grown in popularity and we’re happy to see that nearly half the students participating this year are women. This hands-on experience provides students with a once in a lifetime work and cultural exchange, with an opportunity to see China and its industry-leading innovation.”



Nestor Arellano is a seasoned media veteran who specializes in technology and business news. Before joining ITinCanada and WRLWND Nestor worked as a journalist for IT World Canada, Mortgage Broker News and Thomson Reuters. His work has also appeared in other major news and tech publications in Canada and the United States both in print and online. Nestor also regularly blogs and tweets on the latest technology trends and gadgets.

Follow on Twitter: @ITIC_NestorA

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