Tony Vysniauskas receives 2019 L.S. Lauchland Engineering Alumni Medal


Western Engineering News | April 23, 2019

Each year, Western Engineering presents the L.S. Lauchland Engineering Alumni Medal to a worthy alumni based on their outstanding contributions to the engineering profession, business leadership and community.

The 2019 recipient of the Lauchland Medal is Tony Vysniauskas, BESc’74 & MESc’76, CEO of Virtual Materials Group (VMG), former lecturer at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Engineering and former CEO & President of Hyprotech Ltd.

“I feel honoured and fortunate to be in a position to receive this award and join the other distinguished recipients of the Lauchland Alumni Medal," said Vysniauskas. "Being a former student of Professor Lauchland, I’ll always remember his lab coat and teaching style, and am glad that I was able to absorb some of his principles to contribute back to the engineering community. It’s been a long journey from the tobacco fields of Tillsonburg, but the experience gained at Western opened up opportunities that were rewarding and productive.”

Since graduating from Western and the University of Calgary, Vysniauskas has been involved in the design and application of engineering software for the oil and gas industry. He has authored over 20 technical papers and lectured at universities in Canada and the US. He has worked with a number of oil and gas startup companies, providing consulting advice and helping to secure investment funds. He is currently CEO of VMG, a subsidiary of Schlumberger, headquartered in Calgary, AB, and employs a global team of engineers and experts in delivering process simulation software for the oil and gas industry.

Prior to joining VMG, Vysniauskas co-founded Hyprotech and built it into a leading world-wide software company. He was instrumental in building the company, serving as Vice President from 1982 to 1992, and President and CEO from 1992 to 1997, where after the company was purchased by Atomic Energy Authority of the U.K. The main software product developed by Hyprotech, called HYSYS, became the industry standard in the oil and gas industry and is used by virtually every company in the energy sector. After a 12 year hiatus, he decided to rejoin the engineering software development community and is again responsible for delivering advanced simulation technology to the oil & gas processing industry. 

In addition to his achievements as the head of VMG and Hyprotech, Vysniauskas has lectured on process simulation at universities around the world and taught Computer Aided Design courses at the University of Calgary and Houston's Rice University.

“With the rapidly evolving digital world, chemical engineering science is being challenged to keep pace with new technologies and application expectations while having to manage a world that is full of resource constraints," said Vysniauskas. "To better prepare students for industry and the new norm, I believe it’s imperative to create collaborative programs between universities and industry. Universities like Western teach students about the governing building blocks of science needed to understand and optimize processes, and industry can help in providing resources and funding for developing the intellectual property we need to remain competitive in the international community. I feel fortunate to be in a position to give back and provide some of that support.”

Vysniauskas’ philanthropy has been instrumental in supporting Western Engineering initiatives. Through the Vysniauskas Family Foundation, established in 1997, several labs have been created throughout Western’s Thompson Engineering Building, the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion and, most recently, the Amit Chakma Engineering Building.

Vysniauskas will receive the L.S. Lauchland Engineering Alumni Medal at the 45th annual Alumni Awards Dinner on Friday, June 7th at The Great Hall, Sommerville House.

RSVP to the Alumni Awards Dinner.

View the full list of past Lauchland Medal recipients.