|The Peter Brojde Center for Innovative Engineering and Computer Science is devoted to acquiring, generating and disseminating knowledge at the frontiers of science, and directing it towards the advancement of science and technology.|
Perhaps the most exciting technological trend we are witnessing today is the “merger” taking place between the physical world and the Cyberspace. This trend is leading towards a new post desk-top computing paradigm often termed “Ubiquitous Computing”. Ubiquitous computing involves information processing that is thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities, and usually invisible, unnoticed, and indiscernible to the general user. Ubiquitous computing is becoming a defining factor not only in the information and communication technologies, but in practically every field of human enterprise including medicine, industry, transportation, energy, environment, military, even art and entertainment. Further manifestation of ubiquitous computing is implemented in the form of “Internet of Things”.
Realizing the vision of ubiquitous computing requires elevating physics, engineering and the information sciences to a new level of synergism. The Brojde Center for Innovating Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University is a leading participant in this mission due to the exceptional relationship it fosters between computer science and applied physics. A major goal of the Center is to scout for technological needs before they become pervasive, and pursue the scientific and engineering principles that can be the basis for their implementation. As such, the Center fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary research and education in science and engineering that addresses the future needs of society. It exposes the research community of the Hebrew University, faculty and graduate students alike, to research development that are at the very fledgling phase, but has the potential to become the chassis for mainstream technologies. In addition, it promotes the exploration of these developments further, by fostering internal collaboration among the researchers at the Hebrew University, and external collaboration with researchers from other universities and from high-tech industries, both in Israel and abroad.
Peter Brojde was born on February 12, 1945 in Moscow, the youngest of three sons of WWII Jewish resistance heroes Leopold Trepper and Luba Brojde. The Trepper-Brojde family moved to Poland after the war, where Peter eventually enrolled at the Warsaw Polytechnical Institute. There, he became a leading member of Club Babel, a Jewish student organization, where he met Anna, whom he married in 1967. He graduated from the Institute with a Masters degree in solid-state physics in 1969.
With the worsening political and economic climate in Poland, especially for Jews, Peter was denied a job working for the university. Furthermore, the government accused members of Club Babel of instigating unrest among Polish students.
Thus Peter and Anna Brojde fled Poland to start a new life in Canada. In 1974, Peter co-founded Micom Data Systems, which was acquired by Philips N.V. in 1979. As vice-president of R&D at Philips until 1984, Peter managed the product development area, generating over $1 billion dollars in revenues.
In 1984, Peter, together with his brother-in-law Maks Wulkan and another colleague at Philips, co-founded Eicon Technology Corporation, a pioneer in innovative computer and network connectivity. The company grew under Peter's leadership as President and CEO from 3 employees to 700 employees in 70 countries around the world, and ranked fourth largest among Canadian software manufacturers.
Peter received numerous awards for his contributions to the high-tech industry sector. In 1995, he received the Canadian Advanced Technology Association award for Leadership in the Private Sector, and Eicon Technology received the Canada Export Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing outstanding success in the international market. Peter was honoured at the Gala du Commerce, an event that highlights the merit and professional success of major personalities in the Quebec business world. In 2001, he received a fellowship from the Canadian Academy of Engineers.
Peter was a generous donor to many noble causes, particularly those that helped to support the Jewish community in Montreal.
Peter died in 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer. Anna Brojde and their children, Ari and Karen, established the Peter Brojde Award for Excellence in Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University in his memory as a symbol of his ethic of personal and business success through hard work, perseverance and community involvement. Peter Brojde's guiding principles have now found further expression in the establishment of the Peter Brojde Center for Innovative Engineering and Computer Science at the Selim and Rachel Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.