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Cambrian welding prof receives national recognition

Trades instructor takes home Canadian Welding Association award
Robbie Duncan and Deborah Mates_edited
Cambrian College welding-fabrication professor Robbie Duncan with Deborah Mates of the Canadian Welding Association.

Cambrian College welding and fabrication professor Robbie Duncan has taken top national honours for being among the best in his field.

Duncan was in Montreal this month to accept the Canadian Welding Association (CWA) Foundation’s Exceptional Educator Award in the post-secondary category.

Considered an inspiring educator with a penchant for instilling pride in performance in his students, a college news release said Duncan felt humbled at being honoured on the national stage by foundation executive director Deborah Mates at the CWA’s CanWeld Conference and Expo.

For the last decade, Duncan has been coaching students for provincial and national skills competitions with many of them earning medals.

Thirty-eight years ago, Duncan was a former Cambrian student who chose the trade because he enjoyed working with his hands, alongside his father and uncle.

“I didn’t get there on my own,” said Duncan in a Sept. 19 Cambrian College news release, on earning the award.

“You can’t do it alone. Whenever I had an idea (at Cambrian) someone would find a way to make it happen so that we could make the program better, and make things better for students. It might take a little time, but we make things happen.”

Duncan is noted for his dedication to his students, the college, and his community. Over the years he has engaged students in community volunteer projects, including fabricating structures like an observation deck and bridge on Sudbury’s Rotary Trail.

He also contributes to applied research projects, supervises apprentices, and serves on the Skills Canada technical committee and the Cambrian Foundation board of directors.