Skip navigation

Honorary Degree Recipients

Carleton University will be awarding one honorary doctorate to a member of the wider Carleton community during Convocation in November 2022.

Dafydd Rhys Williams

Dafydd Rhys Williams

Dr. Dave Williams will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, at the 4 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, November 12, “in recognition of his contributions to space medical research and space exploration, and his leadership in promoting and enhancing the health of astronauts.”

Williams is an astronaut, aquanaut, pilot, physician, scientist, and CEO. He has flown to space twice, once on the space shuttle Columbia and once on Endeavour, logging over 13,000,000 km in space and over 17 hours of spacewalks. He holds the Canadian spacewalking record and was the first Canadian to have lived and worked on the world’s only undersea research habitat. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees, the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Williams was an emergency physician in Toronto prior to being selected as an astronaut by the Canadian Space Agency in 1992. After his first spaceflight in 1998, he was chosen to be the Director of the Space and Life Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, while concurrently serving as the Deputy Associate Administrator of the Office of Spaceflight at NASA Headquarters. After retiring from the space program, he became CEO at Southlake Regional Health Centre and is now the CEO of Leap Biosystems.

A highly respected speaker and consultant, Williams regularly shares guidance in the fields of leadership, teamwork, risk management, organizational agility and resilience. He is a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and is on the board of several organizations, including the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

Williams is the author of eight books including his memoir, Defying Limits, Lessons from the Edge of the Universe, a highly acclaimed leadership book entitled Leadership Moments From NASA, Achieving the Impossible, and his latest Why Am I Taller? What Happens to an Astronaut’s Body in Space.

Watch Dafydd Rhys Williams’ Convocation Address