Globe Drive contributor and engineer Charles Bombardier received the award for Most Innovative Person in Industrial Design at the 10th Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit held at the United Nations headquarters New York last week.
Past recipients include tech leader Bill Gates, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Bombardier received the award for Imaginactive, a non-profit that shares ideas about the future of transportation on land, air and sea and aims to inspire the next generation of designers, engineers and scientists. It also brings students, consumers and scientific minds together with the hopes of creating new products. He is trying to invent something new every week and doesn't patent the inventions so others are encouraged to work on them, too. Bombardier funds the organization and pays the designers out of his pocket using money earned from other ventures.
Bombardier's work appears in Globe Drive's Prototypes column. Since 2013, Bombardier has written about concepts ranging from a personal flying vehicle to skip traffic to a new type of driverless bus and a large hovercraft for transporting goods to the Arctic. Bombardier's work appears Sundays online at Globe Drive. One of his most popular ideas was about a passenger plane concept that could travel five times the speed of the Concorde.
"In 2013, I started creating and publishing concepts in order to share my ideas and those of others," he said. "I've become a free radical alongside collaborators that are thousands of kilometres away."
When Bombardier was 16, he began working for his family's company on the Ski-Doo assembly line in Valcourt, Que. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering seven years later in 1998. After graduation, he moved up through the ranks at the company his grandfather founded, eventually managing three development projects – an ATV, a side-by-side snowmobile and the Can-Am Spyder roadster. Bombardier went out on his own as an entrepreneur in 2006.
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