Schulich Leader Scholarship winner Raaj Chatterjee studying Mechantronics Systems Engineering at SFU’s Surrey campus



LAST month, The VOICE in a report titled “Five South Asians, including Raaj Chatterjee of Surrey’s Semiahmoo Secondary, awarded prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship,” mentioned that Raaj Chatterjee would be pursuing engineering at Simon Fraser University.

This week, SFU in a press release gave out more details about Raaj, a young Surrey jazz musician with a passion for the environment.

It said Raaj, the recipient of an $80,000 scholarship, is studying Mechantronics Systems Engineering (MSE) at SFU’s Surrey campus.

Chatterjee developed his interest in the environment and sustainability in high school, where he began a school composting project, and later organized a conference at Science World to link high school students on environmental issues. Last year he became co-chair of the Surrey Youth Sustainability Network, which includes giving leadership clinics at local elementary schools and supporting environmental stewardship.

“I’m hopeful that my contributions result in strong, lasting collaborations among students across Surrey and Metro Vancouver,” said Chatterjee, who also hopes to work and volunteer abroad through the UN and Engineers Without Borders to improve living conditions in developing nations.

Together with his family, Chatterjee developed a bi-weekly homemade food delivery program to distribute hot, nutritious food to the homeless in North Surrey.  He also finds time for music, earning the 2013 Best Surrey Senior Trumpet Player award at the annual Envision Jazz Festival.

Seymour Schulich, a Montreal-born Jewish Canadian business leader and philanthropist, created the annual awards program three years ago to cultivate the next-generation pioneers of global scientific research and innovation in Canada and Israel.

Managed by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto in Canada, the awards go to two promising high school graduates entering 20 selected universities. They must demonstrate two of three attributes: academic excellence, social and / or business leadership and financial need.