Gratitude, compassion spurs philanthropic giving
“My father is the ultimate
Energizer Bunny,” says Dr. Sheela Vijay, an internist at the University of Alberta faculty of medicine and dentistry. “He has amazing energy and has worked so hard all his life.”
As a young man, Dr. Mohan Vijay realized that if he studied hard and won
scholarships he could escape the poverty of his upbringing. His plan succeeded and he moved first to England and then to Canada, where
he earned a PhD. from the University of Manitoba in nuclear engineering. After teaching at his alma mater for eight years, Mohan joined the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa in 1975. Two decades later he resigned and formed VLN Advanced Technologies to manufacture advanced waterjet products.
“We were told he was crazy, that what he was doing could never be done,” says Willie Bloom, VLN Advanced Technologies’ vice president of
business development, who has worked with Mohan for 12 years. “It took ten years but he did it.”
In April 2011, Pratt & Whitney US purchased Mohan’s patent for a forced pulse water jet that could remove coatingsfr om parts and equipment
in the aerospace and other industries. The multi-million dollar deal allowed him to pursue his ultimate dream.
“I always thought my father worked on his inventions so he could fund the Lotus Building, an idea he’s had for at least 20 years,” says Sheela.
That work continues, even though Mohan, who has published more than 100 papers and technical reports on all aspects of water-jet technology, is now 75. “I have several new patents pending in the same field,” he says. “If everything works out they could bring in more millions for my dream.”
Some people think Mohan is now dreaming too big, that his Lotus Building can’t become a reality. “I have never doubted my father’s vision,”says Sheela, who is actively involved in raising funds for
the project. “I have seen him make other seemingly impossible
things come true. Why not this one?”
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