February 2019

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The story of Ken Julien is the story of Trinidad and Tobago.

This was one of the themes presented by UWI St Augustine Campus Principal Professor Brian Copeland speaking at a conference held to honour Professor Julien on his 86th birthday.

Julien, Chairman of the University of Trinidad and Tobago [UTT], is a pioneer in West Indian engineering, a major contributor to the growth of UWI, and one of the architects of the country’s energy sector-driven development. In 2003, he received the Trinity Cross, the highest honour in the country at the time.

The Professor Kenneth S. Julien Festschrift Conference, hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), brought together leaders from the energy industry, heavy industry, manufacturing, education, economics, telecommunications and politics, to pay tribute to one of the nation’s most influential citizens. Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley, in a moving message of appreciation, called Professor Julien “one of the most distinguished citizens of Trinidad and Tobago” .

Speaking on the topic of Julien’s impact on education at the November 26 2018 conference, Copeland focused on the Professor’s holistic vision of national development and nation building.

“His rise as an educator, scholar and innovator helped in no small way to fuel the development of our independent republic,” said Copeland to the conference participants at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

Copeland, himself an engineer, recounted his experiences as a student under Professor Julien and as an administrator at UWI.

“The powerhouse under his cool exterior first became evident at our hand-over meeting on his retirement as Head of (the) Department of (Electrical Engineering), when he provided advice in the following words: ‘Brian, let no one run this department but you’. Those words grounded in me an appreciation for the responsibility of leadership that I use to this day,” remarked Copeland.

Ken Julien was one of the first West Indians to join the newly created Faculty of Engineering at the then fledgling UWI. He became the first Dean of the Faculty from the region, and led it through its difficult early phase from 1964 to 1974, laying the foundation for its eventual massive expansion.

Click here for full version of the speech.