Cafe X

Café X will bring together faculty, staff, students and the broader community, to cultivate and develop “blue sky” thinking about topical issues and leading edge ideas. Invited speakers will share experiences in exciting innovative areas that will spark discussion, provoke debate and elicit thoughtful ideas.

Featuring ...

Rick Huijbregts

Dr. Rick Huijbregts

Vice President, Digital Transformation and Innovation, Cisco Canada

Disruptive Technologies

Thursday, April 6, 2017
3:30 - 4:30 pm

McMaster University
John Hodgins Engineering Building, Lobby

Free admission, however seating is limited. Registration required.

Register here »

Café X will be open for business for one hour, starting with a presentation, followed by questions and answers. Refreshments will be available at the start and conclusion of the event.


What does the City of the Future look like? The future city will have no traffic congestion and no crime; have plenty of green spaces; be walkable; have inspiring and beautifully designed environments for people to live, congregate and collaborate; be 100% environmentally sustainable, renewable, and rechargeable; will be able to produce and provide ample food, with unlimited access to clean water; have buildings that respond to the needs of those that live, work, learn, and live within; be economically thriving, innovative, and ultimately, stimulate happy and healthy living. Too good to be true?

About Dr. Huijbregts:

As Vice President of Digital Transformation and Innovation, Dr. Rick Huijbregts is responsible for business development, digitization, and Cisco Canada’s Innovation program.

​Rick oversees the digital transformation practice for industries with a focus on healthcare, oil and gas, mining, financial services, real estate, manufacturing and education. He is also responsible for Cisco Canada’s smart city strategy, and a frequent speaker on topics of urban digitization, innovation, and disruption.

His team includes experts and investments in Corporate Social Responsibility, Cisco’s Networking Academy program, the Cisco Canada Innovation Centre, Academic relationships and Research Chairs, Cisco Canada’s $150M Ventures Fund, and it’s Canadian Customer Experience Centre.

For Cisco Canada, Rick and his team fuel and lead the digital transformation of customers, industries, institutions, governments, and ultimately the country.

In previous roles, Rick was responsible for digital transformation for the commercial sales segment for Cisco Americas, and a key stakeholder in business development of Cisco’s real estate sector in the United States, Canada, and the Emerging Markets.​

In addition to his responsibilities at Cisco, Rick is currently the Executive-in-Residence at George Brown College in Toronto; a faculty member of the Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education; and serves on several boards of Canadian academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations.​

Prior to joining Cisco in 2005 as a member of its corporate real estate team, Rick was executive director of the Center for Design Informatics at the Harvard Design School. He was also co-founder and CEO of internet start-up Edificium; and consulted numerous international clients on matters of digital transformation and innovation.​

Rick holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the Tilburg Polytechnic University in the Netherlands; a master’s degree in real estate development and project management from Delft University in the Netherlands; and a doctorate from Harvard University with a specialization in real estate technology and investment management.

In 2012, Rick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his transformational work in municipal innovation in Canada; and also recognized at numerous occasions as a game changer in the real estate industry.

Rick lives with his wife and two sons in Toronto, Ontario.

Past ...

Lisa Brown, Service Manager, Power Systems at Toromont CAT

Dwayne Wasylyshyn, Independent Consultant

Trueman Goba, Chairman of Hatch - Africa, Europe and Middle East

Barbara Oakley, Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan

Sohail Murad, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Illinois Institute of Technology

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Detlef Zühlke, Director Innovative Factory Systems Department German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence DFKI - Kaiserslautern/Germany - April 2016

Catherine Booth, Senior Project Executive at University Health Network, Managing Director and Owner at Vision Ridge Ventures, Inc. - March 2016

Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University - February 2016

Robert Walker (M.Eng '75, Ph.D. '77 EngPhys & D.Sc. 2013) Past President, Atomic Energy Canada Limited - December 2015

Greig Mordue, Associate Professor, Master of Engineering and Public Policy, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chair in Advanced Manufacturing Policy - November 2015

Nicholas Brathwaite (Class of '82), Co-Founder & General Partner at Riverwood Capital - October 2015

Raffaella De Vita, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech. - September 2015

Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute, Ryerson University - April 2015

Karim Lakhani (B.Eng.M '93 Electrical Eng) Associate Professor, Technology & Operations Management Unit, Harvard Business School - April 2015

J. Paul Santerre (PhD '90 Chemical Engineering), Professor, Faculty of Dentistry and Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto - March 2015

Tim J. Nohara, President & CEO, Accipiter Radar Technologies Inc. - January 2015

Danielle Zyngier, Optimization Specialist, Hatch - October 2014

Sanjeev G. Shroff, Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh - September 2014

Jay Gore, Reilly University Chair Professor of Engineering, Purdue University - March 2014

John Bandler, McMaster University and Bandler Corporation - February 2014

Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited - January 2014

Jordan Banks, Managing Director and Head of Global Vertical Strategy Facebook Canada - November 2013

For event information, please contact Terry Milson,, 905-525-9140, ext. 27391.