Degree granted to deceased SFU Surrey student

Andrew Wade, a graduate student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Andrew Wade, a graduate student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology's visual analytics program at SFU Surrey, was among 19 people killed in a plane crash in Nepal while on a sight-seeing trip to Mt. Everest Sept. 25. He was granted his master of science degree posthumously on Oct. 6.
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A 26-year-old Surrey SFU student whose research focused on airplane safety and who died in a plane crash in Nepal late last month has been granted his master of science degree posthumously.

Andrew Wade was a student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) and was returning from a sightseeing trip to Mt. Everest when the plane he was on crashed, killing all 19 passengers.

His SFU degree was granted at a convocation ceremony Thursday (Oct. 6).

Wade had recently completed his master's program. He travelled to India to work with a B.C. software company, and was supported by SFU’s India Initiative.

The American-born student planned to return in November to take up a new position with The Boeing Company in Seattle, where he had earlier completed co-op terms.

At Boeing, Wade applied his skills to significantly impact the company’s approach to airplane safety. His research focused on minimizing the damaging effects of bird strikes to airplanes.

“Andrew excelled at finding visual analytics solutions to real-world problems,” said SIAT associate professor Brian Fisher, Wade’s supervisor. “During his internship at Boeing, his collaborative analyses related to airplane safety resulted in changes to five different airplane models – and a change to the Boeing pilot training manual. The result will ultimately be even safer airplanes.”

Boeing created a full-time position that would draw on Wade’s abilities.

“Andrew touched all who knew him with his optimism, ability, and enthusiasm for his work and for the adventure travel that he loved," said Fisher. "His warmth and good nature lifted the spirits and enriched the lives of his lab mates and colleagues. He will be sorely missed.”

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