LaFrenz’s curiosity has opened many industries to him, including earth observation, defence, telecommunications and health care systems. His latest endeavour is VizworX Inc., a company that creates industrial applications using augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and data visualization. And yet, he’s still found the time to serve on numerous UCalgary boards and committees and volunteer for scores of causes since he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1985 and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering in 1988.
But what, exactly, fuels this propensity to serve — especially in demanding roles such as president of the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), a position that required 20 to 30 hours a week of LaFrenz’s time, as well as his six-year term on UCalgary’s Senate?
“It comes back to seeking an understanding of the bigger picture,” LaFrenz explains. “All the volunteer roles I took on at the U of C gave me tremendous insight into the operations of the university and the challenges and opportunities that exist within an academic environment.”
LaFrenz says “aligning interests” is vital when selecting volunteer opportunities, alongside the countless roles he’s assumed as a mentor, speaker, advisor and leader of other volunteers, mostly within UCalgary’s Schulich School of Engineering and Cumming School of Medicine.