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Engineering More than one hundred years of teaching and research excellence

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Big Lift

solving an engineering challenge right in Halifax Harbour

From The Dean The 2015-2016 academic year is winding down and another large class of Dalhhousie engineers has graduated. As you will read in this issue, the Faculty of Engineering is a very busy place. We continue to grow in size and in the breadth of our research activities. The year ahead is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years for the Dalhousie Engineering/TUNS/TECH family since its founding in 1907. We hope to break ground on our IDEA project, which includes two new buildings, as well as a variety of major renovations on campus. We are also looking forward to welcoming new research chairs and the formal announcement of some very exciting scholarships. Please stay tuned. Although I am sorry to say I can’t provide much detail yet, I can say nothing would have happened without the tremendous support of our alumni and the larger engineering community. On behalf of all of the faculty, staff, and students at Dalhousie Engineering, please accept our most heartfelt thanks. Joshua Leon, Dean, Faculty of Engineering

On our cover The Big Lift in action: deck replacement taking place on Halifax's Macdonald Bridge [Dale Wilson photo]

Contributors Editorial Paige Black, Mark Campbell, Kelly D'Agostino, Ryan McNutt, Jennifer Moore Photography Danny Abriel, Bruce Bottomley, Craig Buckley, Nick Pearce, Dale Wilson Design Jane Lombard Contact Jennifer Moore, Editor, at

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The Big Lift is a big deal Replacing Halifax's macdonald bridge spans while keeping it open to traffic poses many challenges For Jon Eppell (BEng’88, Civil) every night at 7 p.m. is show time. That’s when the Macdonald Bridge that has connected Halifax’s and Dartmouth’s downtown cores for 61 years closes for an upgrade that has been in the works since 2009. There is much to be done, and all of it must happen seamlessly, because that bridge has to reopen to traffic each weekday morning at 5:30 a.m. “It’s kind of like conducting a symphony orchestra,” says the chief engineer and project manager of The Big Lift, a $150-million project involving the complete replacement of the bridge’s suspended spans. “If we get it exactly right and everybody plays every note at the right time, then it all comes together as planned. If not, we go astray and end up running late. It’s quite an exercise.” An orchestra may seem an odd analogy for this undertaking. But if you’ve watched any time-lapse video of the effort involved in cutting, lowering, lifting and bolting each deck segment, you begin to appreciate the comparison. Everyone needs to work in concert to meet each daily deadline—the bridge’s closure and opening. And like any orchestra, the team has grown more cohesive, assured and accomplished over the course of this grand collaboration. That’s reflected in the significant reduction in the time it takes to replace each deck segment—from 62.5 hours for the first one to an average of 15 hours now. But what is particularly impressive about The Big Lift is that it marks only the second time that the suspended spans of a bridge have been replaced while keeping the bridge open to traffic. The first was Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge, which was completed in 2001. Although they are sister bridges, and the same engineering firm is involved— Buckland and Taylor, now known as COWI—Eppell notes that there are key

differences that make this project particularly challenging. “We have higher winds than Vancouver. We have more intense rain. We get more freeze-thaw and we get colder temperatures. There are lots of other nuances to this project that make it very interesting.” Compounding the complexity of the project is the fact that there are vessels travelling into and out of the harbour, shipbuilding activity at the Irving Shipyard, and naval and armed forces bases below that must be accommodated. But even then, there’s also the lack of staging area to contend with, not to mention the difficulty involved in reconnecting a bridge that is in constant motion each time a deck segment is replaced. Given what Eppell and his colleagues are contending with, you can appreciate that there have been some scheduling hiccups along the way. “We’ve had three late openings and there have been some minor safety incidents. But we’ve kept our crews, the people working under the bridge, people driving across it and the structure safe. We’d much rather open late than compromise our commitment to safety. For those reasons, I’d gauge the project as very successful.” Thomas McNutt (BEng’08, Civil) agrees. A bridge engineer with COWI, he’s been involved in both the final design of the structure and facilitating communication between the contractor, the client and the engineers. “I think it’s really coming along well now,” says McNutt. “The team is really hitting its stride, so I think we’re going to see progress happen quicker.” For McNutt, it’s particularly exciting to see a project like this in his own backyard, not just because it is rare to work on something of this magnitude, but also to see so many of his Dalhou-

“I think you’ll see that these types of projects where you try to do the work and keep the structure open will become more common.”

sie alumni involved. “At COWI alone, we have at least five other Dalhousie graduates, all with varying degrees of experience. There are graduates working in everything from the fabrication shop to analysis and modeling, as well as management, so Dalhousie’s been incorporated into every aspect of the project from an engineering perspective.” Although he has heard the occasional grumble about the late openings, overall McNutt says the reactions have been predominately positive. “People I talk to have lots of questions about how it’s going, why it is being done with daily closures as opposed to just shutting it down. But there’s real excitement about this and what it means for the municipality.” There’s also excitement that stretches well beyond the region, as evidenced by the fact that the 2016 International Cable Supported Bridge Operators Conference (ICSBOC) is being held in Halifax. Eppell says that the infrastructure deficit and the pressure of dealing with bridges in an urban environment have made retrofits like The Big Lift more appealing than building something new. “I think you’ll see that these types of projects where you try to do the work overnight or on a weekend and keep the structure open as much as possible will become more common,” says Eppell. Work will be continuing on The Big Lift until fall 2017. Over the coming months the bridge height will be adjusted to increase shipping clearance by 2.1 metres and a dehumidification system—which McNutt helped design— will be implemented to extend the life of the bridge’s main cables. The plan is that the deck segments

will be fully replaced by the end of 2016.“I’ve been working on this since 2009, so I’ve gone through a mix of emotions,” says Eppell. “There have been times when it has been stressful and exhausting. But the satisfaction of getting something built that started with an idea in your head, something that will benefit our port and keep our communities connected is gratifying. I’m really proud of everyone for pulling together and making this happen.”

Top: Barge and support vessels in place during the deck segment replacement process. Above left: An existing segment of the Macdonald Bridge is lowered to the barge waiting below. Above right: The new segment is attached to the lifting gantry and is beginning its journey to be installed.


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Distilling the Dalhousie spirit Student entrepreneur Riley Giffen applies classroom knowledge to a new liquor business

An organic chemistry class, an entrepreneurial spirit and a family history of innovation helped Riley Giffen distil his passion for the business of beverages. A chemical engineering student and young entrepreneur, Riley owns and operates Coldstream Clear Distillery with his parents Elaine and Robert Giffen (Agriculture’89). Riley hails from West St. Andrews, near Stewiacke, N.S. He completed his Diploma in Engineering at Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus. He then made the move to Halifax to continue to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering from Dalhousie Faculty of Engineering Riley is quick to acknowledge that his studies at the Agricultural Campus started the chain of events leading to Coldstream Clear. He learned about distillation in an organic chemistry class, and says his studies have taught him the science and mindset to help get his business going. “I vividly remember day-dreaming in class and having this vision of how awe-

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some it would be to start and run a real liquor company. I knew it had potential, but I had no idea how much. The possibility of creating something that people recognized and genuinely enjoyed was what inspired it all.” Under the supervision of Andrew Mac­Intosh, assistant professor in Process Engineering and Applied Science, Riley did some work in the Faculty of Engineering’s CIFT Institute. The Institute

aims to provide a wide-range of services to the local food industry including technological advances to the fermented food and distilled beverage sector. Coldstream Clear officially launched in September 2015, and hasn’t looked back, growing in both consumer popularity and its variety of products. Its current products include four liqueurs (apple pie, coconut, salted caramel and coffee), a candy cane-flavoured liqueur for the holiday season, two different vodkas, and rum that is currently aging in the barrel. Considering fermentation, distillation, bottling, labelling, sealing and checking—all of which happen on-site—the products can take upwards of three weeks to make from start to finish. With strong community presence through events and food galas almost every weekend as well as a retail store, the Giffens are busy working as a family to build their brand. “We support the vision Riley has,” explains Robert. Together, the family tackles different facets of the business. Elaine works with the finances and product packaging, Robert is involved in developing and making the products, and Riley’s brother and sister are involved in developing recipes and helping out around the distillery wherever possible. The Giffen family even has a unique historical link to distilling—the first Giffen to settle Nova Scotia was Simon

Coldstream Clear offers four liqueurs (apple pie, coconut, salted caramel and coffee), a candy cane-flavoured liqueur for the holiday season, two different vodkas, and a rum that is currently aging in the barrel.

Giffen, also a distiller, and keepsakes to his memory are featured at the on-site retail outlet. “Unlike most things in this world, making rum hasn’t changed a whole lot from way back then,” says Riley. “When we found out the first member of our family to settle in Nova Scotia was a distiller, it seemed that starting a distillery was meant to be.” Riley and his family also recognize present-day challenges. “You have to be ready to adapt in the agrifood industry. If things aren’t working out, you have to be ready to change,” shares Robert. Social media has played a significant role in launching Coldstream Clear’s products. “Social media was and is a key way of creating brand awareness for us,” explains Riley. “We try to be personal and let people know what we’re up to. It’s great for spreading the word but also for sharing the excitement.” explains Riley. Now studying in Halifax, Riley stays busy balancing school and business responsibilities. And he still tries to give back to the Agricultural Campus as well, recently launching his products in the campus pub, The Barn. When asked about the best part of Coldstream Clear’s journey so far, Riley says “Making a product that people associate with celebration and bringing people together is what it’s all about. People are happy and excited to purchase the products, which is awesome.” Riley is set to graduate with his Chemical Engineering degree from Dalhousie Engineering in June and has big dreams for the future direction of Coldstream Clear Distillery. “I’d like to give my full attention to Coldstream Clear after graduation and see where we can go with this business, because it’s only the beginning.”

Upstreet is brewing up a storm in Charlottetown Like many Dalhousie Engineering alumni, Michael Hogan takes great pride in showing people what he has been working on. But unlike many of his colleagues, he also takes pride in how it tastes. The 2004 computer engineering graduate is the co-founder and beer engineer at Upstreet Craft Brewing. Launched in June 2015, the Charlottetown-based brewery has made quite an impression since then. Not only can you find ­Hogan’s creations on draught at the brewery’s taproom and restaurants across PEI, you can also purchase bottles at liquor stores in PEI and Nova Scotia, or on tap at several Halifax pubs and bars. That’s impressive growth for a business that has not yet celebrated its first anniversary. Hogan had always wanted to study engineering, and envisioned a career building musical instruments and equipment. But his time at Dalhousie inadvertently changed all that. “I started developing a passion for beer while I was there,” he explains. “I was particularly interested in the microbrews that I discovered in Halifax and it inspired me to apply my engineering skills to try making my own.” Hogan began home brewing with friends in 2006. They made basic kits, which lacked the full flavour of microbrews. He decided to dive into the

fine details of customization, which could only be achieved by brewing from scratch. In 2009, Hogan acquired ingredients and equipment, and after a long day of assembly and brewing, he had beer. “It turned out okay. It was supposed to be 5 per cent alcohol, but it was more like 3 per cent. So I kept at it.” By the time the PEI born Hogan returned to the Island in 2011, he was well versed in the craft, refining his recipes and talking about turning his passion into a business. That, he says, is when his Dalhousie training proved invaluable. “Brewing is a creative process, but you need technical know-how, particularly if you want to do it on a larger scale. I definitely am grateful to the university for honing my skills and knowledge.” Of all his recipes, Hogan says he is proudest of Upstreet’s Do-Gooder, a 5.5 per cent American Pale Ale that lives up to its name. Proceeds from its sales are donated to community arts groups and events on the Island. Hogan continues to develop new recipes, still drawing on his Dalhousie experience to ensure everything comes out just right. “I look forward to having as many people as possible experience the beers and the flavours that I’ve created. As we grow, it will enable us to create more unique recipes for people to try.”


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From bridges to pipelines—affirming a commitment to research Dr. Pedram Sadeghian appointed Canada Research Chair in Civil Engineering On a snowy February day, big things were happening inside the Sexton Campus Heavy Structures Laboratory. The object of everyone’s attention was a pressure test overseen by Pedram Sadeghian, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Infrastructure In the demonstration, Dr. Sadeghian applied incredibly intense pressure on two concrete columns, each about 150 mm in diameter. The difference in the second column was that it was wrapped in fiber-reinforced polymer, or “FRP”—an advanced material that Dr. Sadeghian’s lab is studying. The second column was able to sustain more than double the pressure, evidence that with further testing FRP could prove to be a crucial part of revitalizing Canada’s aging infrastruc-

ture, from bridges to pipelines. But the buzz in the room wasn’t just about what was being tested, but who was watching: a crowd that included The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board. The two were on-hand as part of national announcement of funding for the Canada Research Chairs program, a federal initiative that aims to support and attract the world’s best researchers in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences. In particular, Ministers Bains and Brison were present to announce six new Canada Research Chairs at Dalhousie, including Dr. Sadeghian. “There really is no better place to hold this event, [as]

this world-class research and training that takes place here at Dalhousie University is really what drives Canada’s research and development engine,” said Minister Bains. “You’re doing exactly the kind of innovative work that the Canada Research Chairs program targets.” Dr. Sadeghian's research has distinctly Canadian—and Atlantic Canadian—applications. “We’re in the Maritimes, so we’re exposed to harsh environment of ocean,” he explains. “At the same time, like much of Canada, these structures are exposed to lots of freezing and thawing. We need to keep water and particles out of concrete, and especially out of steel. [With our technology], we are not only increasing strength, but the durability of the infrastructure.” Dalhousie hosts 50 Canada Re-

'The Iceman' recognized for work in air safety

Jim Macleod is only the fourth canadian to receive the NATO Science and technology board's highest award. He was recognized for his work in Safety testing for airplane engines.

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From Bruce Wayne to Peter Parker, every hero has an alias they’re known by when keeping the world safe from harm. National Research Council research officer Jim MacLeod has one too: The Iceman. “That was given to me by the president of NRC,” says MacLeod (BEng’82, Civil). “He’d heard about the work I was doing and, when we met for the first time, he said ‘Oh, you’re The Iceman.’ It kind of stuck.” It’s ironic, in a way, because Mac­ Leod’s work has mainly focused on ensuring that ice doesn’t stick to airplanes, particularly the engines. In the winter, you can typically find him at The Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) in Thompson, Manitoba conducting certification testing for engines from around the world. “We have a system that sprays them

with super-cooled water, so it is water that exists at temperatures below freezing,” explains MacLeod. “And it will stay in liquid form until it hits the engine, when it instantly freezes and forms ice. To pass certification, the engine has to be able to ingest that ice and keep running with no damage or interruption of power.” A typical test can last anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes depending on the conditions MacLeod is investigating. Up to 30 tests are run on each engine to simulate different cloud densities and liquid concentrations, which means certification can take weeks. But not every engine passes MacLeod’s rigorous testing. “Over the years, I’ve had one catch fire and be destroyed. I had one that blew a whole bunch of blades out the back of it. But that’s the thing: if they’re

search Chairs (CRCs)—the most of any university east of Quebec. Inclusive of February’s announcement, Dalhousie receives approximately $5.7 million each year from the Government of Canada to support those chairs.“Research really is the lifeblood of a country’s innovation ecosystem,” said Richard Florizone, Dal president. “We need innovation: the kind of hard work, experimentation and creativity that Dalhousie is known for,” added Minister Bains. “And this innovation must be supported by sound scientific research —both discovery-driven and also [in] commercialization.” Learn more about the Canada Research Chairs program at chairs –

going to fail, you want them to do it here on the ground and not in the air. That way, there’s an opportunity for the designers to go back and get it right.” MacLeod’s dedication to aviation safety extends beyond testing into developing regulations that govern certification, as well as new instrumentation to detect ice. He also has an extensive history of collaborating with NATO members on engine testing which has been recognized with the 2015 von Kármán Medal, the NATO Science and Technology Board’s (STB) highest award. After more than 34 years of safety testing, MacLeod is now mentoring a new generation of ‘icepeople’ to carry on his legacy. But he’s not ready to retire yet, not when there are new challenges on the horizon, such as larger engines that will require an expansion of NRC’s

Above: Dr. Sadeghian explains the stuctures test to The Honourable Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development) Left: Dal Chancellor Anne McLellan and AVP Research John Newhook examine a concrete column wrapped in fiberreinforced polymer.

The Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) in Thompson, Manitoba

current facilities, or quieter, more fuel efficient ones that demand a rethink of certification standards. Much like any hero, he finds it hard to walk away from his work. He also continues to take great pride in it.

“I always enjoy watching planes take off at airports and thinking ‘I had a hand in that one’ or ‘I tested that one.’ To know that you’ve helped keep the airways safe, that’s an incredible feeling.”


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FOCUS ON Research

“There’s no silver bullet. Each material used in a landfill or other containment application has its strengths and weaknesses.”

Contamination containment research impacts our environment Craig Lake knows his last name is kind of appropriate, given that his research is focused on preventing contaminated soil and water from reaching clean environmental areas. “I get that a lot,” he says, laughing. “But I’ve always had this fascination with how our society interacts with our outdoor environments.” For the past 20 years, this Department of Civil and Resource Engineering professor has been exploring that interaction in detail, specifically which materials provide the best possible containment solutions. Although he is relatively modest when it comes to his achievements, the fact that his work is referenced multiple times in a stateof-the-art review of current knowledge about containment solutions commissioned by, amongst others, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives you some idea of its significance. His research is also extensively used in the design of landfill systems to ensure contaminants are kept in check. “I’m reticent to talk about myself in terms of impact,” he says. “I think the problems that we work on as researchers

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are very specific and no one person could ever answer all the questions.” Even so, Lake’s research is advancing our understanding of how materials such as cement and geosynthetic clay liners can protect our soil and water. He has worked extensively with stakeholders on all sides of the issue, from industries that are decommissioning properties to regulators tasked with making decisions about best practices for treating contamination. Given that wide-ranging experience, you might wonder what his key finding has been over the course of his research. “There’s no silver bullet,” Lake replies. “Each material used in a landfill or other containment application has its strengths and weaknesses. The key is to understand how these engineered containment materials “work” when in contact with different contaminants, and then use a combination of computer models and engineering judgement to assess their appropriateness for each individual situation.” Meanwhile, Lake continues to draw on his extensive knowledge for a second-

ary line of research on how waste material can be used as a beneficial product in construction. “I’ve been working with a company in the UK that manufactures aggregates out of waste materials. There are certain benefits to using these aggregates because they tend to be cheaper and lighter, and they can be marketed as carbon-neutral, which is a big trend over there. So this whole idea of creating useful products from waste material really appeals to me.” It’s one of several research areas that Lake would like to explore further. As excited as he is about the possibilities for our environment, he says the most rewarding part of his work is the opportunity to mentor students who will build on his breakthroughs. “To see students go on to apply the skills they learn at Dalhousie as consultants, regulators and entrepreneurs, that’s what excites me. This research is helping to create a whole new generation that will apply their knowledge to addressing these issues. That’s the essence of engineering.”

New tools for research: CFI funding provides access to equipment In mid-April, the Government of Canada announced nearly $20 million in funding at 33 universities across Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). The fund is designed to help universities attract top research talent from around the world by giving them access to stateof-the-art research tools and equipment. “When researchers are equipped with the right tools, they can make the kinds of discoveries that improve our environment, economy and wellbeing,” said Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science. “Investments like this increase our capacity for innovation and discovery, as well as benefit Canadians for generations to come.” Azadeh Kermanshahi-Pour, assistant professor in the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science was among four Dalhousie researchers included in the announcement. Support to the university, across four different faculties, totalled more than $350,000.

Dr. Kermanshahi-Pour joined Dalhousie’s Faculty of Engineering in December 2013. Her research is in the broad area of biochemical engineering, with a specific focus on microalgal biotechnology, integrated biorefinery and bioremediation process development. Her work heavily involves use of advanced analytical and extraction equipment to identify specialty and commodity products in microalgal biomass as well as derivation of these products from biomass. “Lack of availability of analytical equipment has been a major challenge for our research team,” says Dr. Kermanshahi-Pour. “Our work involves cultivation of microalgae to generate biomass, which must be harvested, characterized and processed in a timely manner and as such it is crucial to have a dedicated infrastructure.” Dr. Kermanshahi-Pour says her team is excited for this funding, as it will enable dedicated infrastructure for microalgae cultivation, characterization and

Azadeh Kermanshahi-Pour

product recovery, which will form the foundation of Biorefining and Remediation Laboratory at Dalhousie. “The funding will significantly impact both fundamental and applied aspects of our research, enables us to broaden our collaboration and provides an exceptional training environment for graduate students and postdocs,” she says.

Researcher for a day In April, the Centre for Water Resources Studies (CWRS) and the Civil and Resource Engineering Department hosted Grade eight student Rachel Brouwer for a day jobshadowing director Dr. Graham Gagnon. At 13 years old, Rachel designed an innovative water pasteurization unit made from materials that are readily available in Third World countries. “It took a lot of research,” Rachel explained. “Basically, the water heats up from the sun and the water inside the pipe goes through the charcoal and cotton filters, effectively eliminating the bacteria. The design is really important because it’s a clean way of doing things, and it’s an easy way also.” The system relies solely on the sun to eliminate the bacteria from water. When her design was tested, it killed 100 per cent of the E.coli in the samples. Rachel

currently has a patent pending for her design. She hopes to become an environmental engineer and said she would love to study engineering at Dalhousie.

Grade eight student Rachel Brouwer gets some lab experience with Dr. Gagnon at CWRS.


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Expo’16: Engineering hosts third annual Design Expo From Classroom to Industry—Design students take on real-world challenges Throughout the month of March, engineers across Canada celebrate National Engineering Month—an opportunity for practitioners, researchers, teachers and students to celebrate the possibilities of a career in engineering. One of Dal’s highlights of the month took place March 22 when Faculty of Engineering students got the chance to show off their skills at the third annual Engineering Design Expo and Poster Competition. The Design Expo features senioryear Capstone Projects, which integrate course work and engineering design skills and provide innovative solutions for local industrial partners. In the fourth-year course that spans two terms, students take on an industry or community-based project and work with the client to solve a specific problem. “The Capstone Projects give students from all engineering disciplines an opportunity to use their technical and design skills, in a professional engineering setting, to see how they can benefit clients and society in their role as an engineer,” explains Clifton Johnston, associate professor and NSERC Chair in Design Engineering. “It’s an incredible learning opportunity for the students and the clients are always happy with the outcome.” Some of the industry/community projects are designed to be used by the clients, while others are simply an opportunity for students to get to work with detailed, real-world scenarios to enhance their skills. On one project this year, Civil Engineering students collaborated with Dalhousie’s capital planning team in Facilities Management, completing their own proposal for the structural design and cost estimate for the IDEA Building. The forthcoming 72,500 square foot project aims to provide modern, hands-on learning space on Dal’s Sexton Campus that increases interaction and collaboration between students in the

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L-to-R: Students Dal Seamone, Rory Hastey, Andrew Smith, Sean Bent collaborated with Dal's capital planning team to prepare a structural design for the future IDEA Building.

Faculties of Engineering and Architecture & Planning. “We were excited to take on the IDEA Building project,” explains team member Sean Bent. “The site location was convenient, we knew we wanted to design a building and it was cool that it was going to be a Dal building. “We met with Nathan Rogers, assistant director, capital planning for Dal. He provided us with the architectural drawings and laid out the purposes within the building. From there, we began to develop the design.” Participating companies and clients are matched with student teams in September. Through regular site visits and client meetings, project scope and requirements are developed and data are collected and analyzed. Solutions are designed, tested and presented by early April. Hundreds of Dalhousie Engineering students demonstrated their group projects at the Expo. “I think it’s important for the public to see what our students have been working on, explains Dr. Johnston. “The Capstone Projects are a result

of four years of intense engineering study. The students put a lot of creativity and effort into these projects that have a goal and real-world applications.”   Each team is paired with a professional engineer who acts as a mentor and consultant to the group. In the case of The IDEA Building design team, they were paired with Geoff Axell, a senior contract engineer for CBCL and a Dal grad. The team met regularly with Geoff to review their plans and get feedback on any issues or concerns. “The project really forces you to utilize your four years of training,” shares team member Rory Hastey. “At times we were in over our heads, but we learned so much during the process.” Sean adds: “In the classroom setting, the problems are very structured and everything kind of works out smoothly as you go through it. But with a real-world project like this, there isn’t always a right answer. So, you’re going through the process and meeting problems where you didn’t expect them and having to work through them.” The team agrees that even with vari-

ous frustrations along the way, the process is incredibly valuable. The project exposed them to everything that goes into the structural design of a building, including the amount of hours that go into a project of this caliber. “It’s was really up to us to stay on top of this project. There were times that we put in seven hours but really didn’t get seven hours of work out of it because it can take a full day to figure out a problem that just isn’t working,” explains Sean. “But eventually, we always found the solution.” Approximately 70 projects were featured at the Engineering Design Expo. The projects ranged from LaMP (Lower arm Mechatronic Prosthetic), a project to create an upper limb mechatronic prosthetic solution for amputees located in global conflict zones; to a team of students working with Emergency Health Services (EHS) to improve how biomedical devices are tracked for the EHS LifeFlight critical care transport program. The Design Expo is about celebrating student work, supporting local businesses, strengthening Dal-industry relationships and promoting innovation in our province. Interested in getting involved? Do you have a design problem that needs a solution? If you or your organization would like more information about the Capstone program, please contact Dr. Clifton Johnston at clifton.johnston@ or 902.494.8985

Senior Design students defend their Capstone Projects in front of a panel of industry judges. The teams had been working since September on hands-on solutions to engineering problems posed by industry or community groups.

Design expo 2016 POster winners The Faculty of Engineering would like to thank all of the companies and supporters that provided the projects and exceptional learning experiences for our senior year students. Davis Pier Award for Best Poster in Industrial Engineering “Dal Adopts Lean” Abdullah Abdullsalam, Mohamed Fadhel, Khalid Al-Hammadi Shell Award of Excellence for Best Poster in Process Engineering & Applied Science “Multi-Effect Falling Film Evaporation” Kaitlyn Guterson, Peter Phillips, Matt Duff, Mark Grady Faculty of Engineering Award of Excellence for Best Poster in Civil Engineering “Burnside-Akerley Roundabout” Devin Bell, Brendon Colwill, Megan McColl, Matt McNeil Shell Award of Excellence for Best Poster in Mechanical Engineering “Compressed Gas Powered FX Squib” Dante Manchester, Malcolm Angus, Joseph Hill, James Chisholm NSERC Chair in Design Engineering Award of Excellence for Best Poster in Electrical & Computer Engineering “Selective Plane Illumination Microscope” Hady Sarhan, Jordan Worona, Ilias Lekkas engineering

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Engineering gets real at Dal—from day one First-year students invent everything from guitars to knife blocks for visually-impaired clients

First-year engineering students showcase their inventions, designed to help the visually impaired

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Living up to the ethos of the new Halifax Central Library where shushing is kept to a minimum, first-year engineering students enlivened that space to showcase prototypes of inventions they came up with after a study project paired them with clients from the CNIB. Examples? A pebbled rubber mat for use at construction sites after one client said his cane often misses sawhorses set up as barricades. A knife block with a cord attached to both the block and the knife handle so, if the knife is dropped, it can be picked up without accidentally grasping the blade. A wire-mesh face shield that attaches to a backpack, designed to keep low-hanging tree branches out of the face of a walker. The idea to work with the visually impaired came from first-year engineering professor Holly Algra, who has a friend who works with CNIB, and who put Algra in touch with a client. “Then she found other people in the community with vision loss who agreed to act as clients.” There are more than 400 first-year engineering students at Dal. One group worked with a client who wanted to improve his guitar playing. “Imagine trying to play the guitar without being able to see where your fingers are on the fretboard,” said spokesman Connor Patterson. “When we talked with him, he said he had no problem identifying the first four frets, so we began at the fifth one and implemented different indicators on every second fret. They’re different shapes and textures, so there’s a smooth, flat square on the fifth, then a rough triangle on the seventh, a smooth circle on the ninth and a rough strip on the 11th fret. He can feel the shapes with his thumb and know where his fingers are relative to the back.” Another group invented the “whoop whooper” for their client, a woman who struggles to find her bus stop.

“She’s completely blind and was struggling to find the bus stop because they’re placed irregularly throughout the city. We put this little FM transmitter inside the bus stop and it emits a specific frequency. In her hand, she’s going to be holding this device, which, when it is pointed toward the bus stop, it makes a noise,” said Derek Snow, one of the students who came up with the device. His group demonstrated by having visitors to their table hold the device and slowly spin in a circle. When it was pointed at the tiny transmitter several feet away, it did indeed 'whoop whoop'. “I think it’s important for the public to see what they’ve been working on, and also we wanted to open this up so that other members of the visually impaired community could come in and see what had been built,” said Algra. “Accessibility is important to instil in engineers, and empathy for people besides themselves. I really like the human aspect of engineering, and I think it’s a part we miss sometimes. There have also been studies done that show you have a higher retention of females in engineering if there is a real-world application to their project.” All engineering schools have design courses, but Josh Leon, dean of engineering, said Dalhousie differentiates theirs by making it more hands-on. “Ten years ago, ours was typical. They did basically drafting, learning how to draw. They still do that … but we put more creativity into it, with different projects that actually have a goal,” said Leon, who determined the showcase of inventions was a success almost as soon as it started. “I saw a few that were incredibly clever, that somebody could turn into a real product. There’s one I could envision being in Home Hardware tomorrow.” [Reprinted with permission from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald]

IDEA start-up boot camp This marks the second year that the Innovative Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) is holding its six-week Design, Development and Innovation Start-up boot camp. Running from late April ’til early June, the boot camp is a collaboration between the Dalhousie Faculties of Engineering and Management, and NSCAD University. During the second and third week of the camp, 18 ideas are streamlined into six concrete group projects. Six interdisciplinary groups then work together to come up with a prototype that has the potential to be taken to market. “The groups are made up of Dal engineering and business students, as well as students from the NSCAD design program,” explains Clifton Johnston, NSERC Chair in Design Engineering and Mechanical Engineering professor. “We also have two students from the

Faculty of Health Professions in the camp this year.” In his leadership role at the boot camp, Clifton is joined by David Roach, Assistant Professor, Rowe School of Business and Glenn Hogan, Associate Professor at NSCAD. “The IDEA Start-up boot camp is a tremendous opportunity for these students to create something from a theme through to prototype, and create a business model that has the commercial potential to be taken to market. The innovation that the camp provides is a substantial experience for students.” The designs that the students have come up with are showcased to the public at the end of the six weeks.



SuperCHARGE your summer with SuperNOVA’s hands-on, minds-on programs for ALL youth! Register online at or by calling 902.494.6220.

Plug and play CAR CONVERTED from gas to electric BY mechanical ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Above: Dal Engineering students Gregory MacDonald (left) and Grant Poulain, taking the car they converted for a drive. Left: Grant and Greg with Dr. Lukas Swan.

You may have thought about buying an electric car at some point. You may even be one of the more than 11,000 Canadians who own one. But chances are you haven’t built one. Gregory MacDonald and Grant Poulain have. The second-year Mechanical Engineering students had the opportunity to create a new battery pack for a Toyota Rav4, a conversion from gas to electric, as part of their work with the Faculty of Engineering’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Lab and its director, Lukas Swan. Greg worked on the car as part of a co-op term, while Grant did so as summer employment. The six-month project required a tremendous amount of work as nearly all systems were redesigned, but the end result was well worth it. “This was such a big project,” says

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Grant, especially considering where the two students were in their Engineering education. “Going into it you don’t know how it’s going to work out, but the most exciting thing is working through each problem and seeing it come together.” The students were inspired by the design and the sustainability aspects of the project. “Electric cars and renewable energy go hand in hand,” says Greg. “Renewable energy is a career path I’d like to pursue, and electric vehicles is a great start down that path.” To ensure that the EV would function with great performance and safety, the component layout and control strategies were carefully designed, built and tested. Dr. Swan gave the students the freedom to work through the process and provided feedback on the technical aspects of the rebuild. Grant was focused on the battery pack design, while Greg was responsible for controlling the battery packs in a safe way during the discharge and charging cycles. “Greg and Grant were tasked with a big job,” explains Dr. Swan. “The battery, controller, charger, battery management

system and user display system all had to be envisioned, conceptualized and brought to fruition for the EV to function properly. A project such as this one provides the opportunity for a multitude of engineering skills to be mastered: design, fabrication, commissioning, testing, debugging and documentation all come into play.” The vehicle was provided by EV enthusiast and Prince Edward Island resident Harry Smith. Smith loaned the vehicle, bought all of the supplies and paid student stipends to permit this teaching and learning project. In return he received his now customized Toyota Rav4 back as a fully functioning EV with 150 km range. But before the car was returned, the team tested it all over Halifax and beyond to ensure they were delivering a high-quality, reliable vehicle. This is the first time an EV project involving a full size car was completed at Dalhousie Engineering. To accommodate the project, a new lab space of 1,000 square feet was renovated, complete with the installation of a vehicle lift. “The goal with the EV Lab is that future projects of this scale will occur more frequently,” Dr. Swan explains. “This experience greatly benefits the students, and produces useful vehicles. It is inspiring a new class of engineers dedicated to sustainable technologies industry. We want to do more advanced vehicle builds of electric cars. And we intend to start taking them racing across North America.” Both students agree say they came away from the project with a vast set of new skills and enjoyed the project immensely.“Learning about the components of the car was fantastic,” says Grant. “I knew a lot about gasoline vehicles coming into this but after this project I now know more about EVs than gas-powered cars.“We are grateful for the opportunity to get to do this,” he continues. “We had so much fun the entire time we worked on it. It was awesome.”

Top Co-op prof

Can-do canstruction

Congratulations to Associate Professor, Dr. Mark Gibson. Dr. Gibson was awarded the Co-op Top 6 Employer Award in the education category, on behalf of the Atmospheric Forensics Research Group (AFRG), Dalhousie, Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Gibson is the PI of AFRG and was nominated for the award by Thomas Bartnett, his former co-op student, and former MASc Environmental Engineering student. Thomas is now the the Senior Laboratory Manager of AFRG.

Civil and Resource Engineering Professor and Department Head, Yi Lu and her students participated in the 2016 Canstruction competition which is an annual event organized by FEED Nova Scotia. The Civil Engineering Team has participated in the event for the past nine years. This year they won both the Structural Ingenuity and People’s Choice Award. 

Hire new energy.

Hire a co-op student. • • • •

Gain new knowledge and fresh perspectives. Recruit efficiently by using our time-saving co-op employer services. Boost operations during special projects, peak periods, vacation or leaves of absence. Test-drive young talent now to support your long-term recruitment plans. Post your co-op job today:

Science, Information Technology, Engineering Co-operative Education 902.494.6083 |


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Honorary degree for Marjorie Lindsay Philanthropist, volunteer and tireless advocate for engineering education As both a philanthropist and a lifelong volunteer, Marjorie Lindsay’s tremendous contributions to the social fabric of Nova Scotia have touched tens of thousands of lives. In the last few years, Mrs. Lindsay and her family have been responsible for some of the most substantial charitable contributions in Halifax, including a transformative 2014 donation in memory of her husband that will make the new John W. Lindsay YMCA a reality. Organizations that promote inclusion and lifting people up are particularly dear to Mrs. Lindsay. She was a longtime board member of the IWK Health Centre Foundation and made a key 2013 donation to support a new inpatient mental health unit. She is a founding board member of Northwood and a significant contributor to its mental health program, the first established in a long-term health care facility in Atlantic

Canada. In 2014, Mrs. Lindsay’s family gave a substantial donation to the new Halifax Central Library to establish the Lindsay Children’s Room. She received the Maritime Philanthropy Awards’ Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award in 2013. Mrs. Lindsay has been a stalwart supporter of Dalhousie for decades. She is a benefactor of brain research through the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and gave a major gift toward mood disorder research. She has also tirelessly supported the Faculty of Engineering. In 2008, she made a critical donation to the IDEA Building Project, which will revitalize the Sexton Campus and provide modern space for students in the Faculties of Engineering and Architecture & Planning to collaborate. Mrs LIndsay was awarded her honorary degree at convocation ceremonies in Halifax on June 4.

The Legacy Effect Wickwire Bursaries Hundreds of Dalhousie engineering students, like Janna Boutilier, have benefited from Lloyd Wickwire’s generosity. He was inspired by his mother’s tenacity and the struggles he and his brothers faced. If you’re thinking of including Dal in your estate plans, we can help. Explore the possibilities at or get in touch, we’re here to answer your questions. Ian Lewer 902-494-6981 Ann Vessey 902-494-6565

Janna Boutilier, Wickwire Bursary recipient

Read more about the Wickwire family at

engineering on campus

New year, old beer "It tasted terrible. Beer does not age like wine. Don’t go drinking random bottles you find in the harbour.”

DAL PROF HELPS TEST CENTURY-OLD BREW A bottle of Keith’s kept Dal Engineering prof Andrew MacIntosh busy this past winter. Don’t worry: it’s all on the up-and-up. Dr. MacIntosh, from the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, found himself answering media calls from around the world after helping test a long-lost bottle of Alexander Keith’s beer recovered from Halifax’s Northwest Arm. The unopened bottle dated back to the 1800s. “For some reason this is a story that really took off,” says Dr. MacIntosh. “We’ve been in contact with Canadian Press, we chatted with Global News on their breakfast show and the Discovery Channel TV show Daily Planet.” Amateur scuba diver John Crouse found the bottle in late November 2015, near the Northwest Arm’s Dingle, buried in the mud under several meters of water. The bottle’s markings suggest it dates sometime between 1872 and 1890, with ink preserved on the cork indicating it as a product of “A. Keith’s Brewers.” The discovery was covered in local news outlets, which is where Dr. MacIntosh heard about it. “I thought to myself that it would be a fun opportunity to test that,” he recalls.

Another person who noticed the news coverage was Christopher Rey­ nolds of Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar. He approached Crouse and, together, decided to get the bottle’s contents tested. “They contacted Propeller [Brewery],” says Dr. MacIntosh, “and their QA manager Jessica Forbes is a former student of ours—she went through our Food Science program and completed research in the brewing field under Dr. Alex Speers. She was familiar with the lab and what we are capable of doing so she pointed Chris in our direction.” “I specifically study fermentation which takes many forms,” says Dr. MacIntosh. “[There’s] pharmaceutical fermentation, when you are trying to create an antibiotic. We do bio algae fermentation to try to make biofuels and, of course, production of food products such as beers, ciders and spirits.” Dr. MacIntosh says the department does “a lot of work with the local brewing market to try and advance their technology” and that their connections to the Canadian Institute of Fermentation Technology (CIFT) help make that happen. Dr. MacIntosh also teaches a class called Advanced Brewing Science. It’s a

class that’s well-aligned with the rising popularity of craft brewing.“The students coming into that course are now more educated than they have been previously about the many different styles and techniques that are used in brewing," says Dr. MacIntosh. Many of the students are able to take what they’ve learned into careers in brewing. Dal grads are working at Olands, Propeller, a brewery in England and at a brewing research station in the United States. “One of our professors, Alex Speers, is on leave from Dalhousie but he’s now acting as the chair of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in Scotland. So we’re really able to collaborate with people all around the world.” Dr. MacIntosh is looking forward to the science that will come from fully testing the contents of the discovered bottle. “All of the chemicals that make up a beer, whether it’s skunky or buttery, all of those have a peculiar chemical that contributes to that flavor. We can identify those, quantify those and it will give us some clues about the raw materials that were used in the production of that beer. They are set up to do that in Scotland with Dr. Speers, so we’ve taken a sample that we’ll be sending to him and between our two analyses we’ll be able to paint a complete picture of that beer which we plan to publish.” Which begs the question: did Dr. MacIntosh get the chance to taste the 130-year-old brew? “At the end [of the testing] we had a couple of millilitres left that couldn’t go back into the bottle. It tasted terrible. Beer does not age like wine. Don’t go drinking random bottles you find in the harbour.” engineering

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engineering on campus

Noted and notable

Dalhousie Engineering Excellence Graduate Scholarship

Congratulations to Dr. Farid Taheri’s PhD student, Zohreh Asaee. Zohreh received the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship. This highly competitive fellowship of US$10,000 is awarded annually to 35 talented women, pursuing PhD/doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering around the world.

Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship

Appointed University Research Professor Congratulations to Dr. Graham Gagnon, Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, and Director, Centre for Water Resources Studies. Dr. Gagnon was recently appointed the title of University Research Professor, for achieving distinction in scholarship. Dr. Gagnon will hold the title from July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2021.Â

Gillespie Graduate Scholarship

Engineering's Sexton Scholars Congratulations to all the Engineering students that received Sexton Scholar designation for 2015-16. The Sexton Scholar designation, named for Frederick H. Sexton, PhD., is unique to the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie University. This honour is bestowed upon students who achieve a GPA of 3.85 or higher; an average of 85% or above.

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EXPLORE summer program designed for high school girls This will be the third consecutive year that the Faculty of Engineering is ­offering the EXPLORE summer program. EXPLORE Engineering Design is an intensive two-week course for girls starting grades 11 or 12 who may be thinking about a career in engineering. Participants will learn how to design and build in a hands-on fun and practical way. The course lets the girls explore engineering while improving teamwork, presentation, and computer skills. “It’s a great chance for the girls to experience engineering,” shares EXPLORE instructor, Libby Osgood. “They develop leadership skills and design a project for the community. Last year the client was CNIB and the year before they did a project for the Children’s Wish Foundation. They are also introduced to mentors who can give them a real sense of what engineers do and help them select a discipline that’s right for them.” An added benefit is that the participants get to interact with Dal students and become familiar with the university. In addition, if an EXPLORE student decides to attend Dalhousie to study

Participants in the EXPLORE summer program for girls starting grades 11 or 12 get to build, use the workshop and program robots.

engineering, the summer course may be counted for the ENGI 1101 Engineering Design and Graphics credit. “They really do a lot in the two week program”, says Libby. “They get to build, use the workshop, program robots, design, and present their final designs in front of an audience. I am really inspired

by how much work the girls do in a short amount of time, how quickly they learn advanced programs, and their eagerness to make the world a better place.” This year, the EXPLORE program will be held July 4-15, 2016, Monday to Friday 8:30 - 5 pm at Dalhousie Faculty of Engineering.

Explore Engineering Design

A hands-on summer program for girls entering Grade 11 or 12 Experience engineering | Design projects for the community | University credit possible

2016: July 4-8 July 11-15 | Mon - Fri, 8:30 am - 5 pm NSERC Chair in Design Engineering 902.494.8431 |

engineering on campus

Academic All Canadians balance sport and study

Scholarship student JenniFer

Thompson is able to maintain

an a average (over 80 per cent) as a third-year Mechanical Engineering student, all while playing Varsity hockey for dal

In Memoriam Brian M. Worrall Dr. Brian M. Worrall, retired Professor of Industrial Engineering, passed away on March 27 at the age of 80 while visiting family in Kingston, Ontario, following a long battle with cancer and respiratory issues. In 1966 he joined the newly formed Department of Industrial Engineering at the NS Technical College. He taught the students who would become the first graduates of the Industrial Engineering program in 1967. He played a leading role in the ongoing development of the department, taught several courses, and served as Department Head from 1970 – 1976.

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Like many engineering students, third year Mechanical Engineering student Jennifer Thompson, enjoys the thrill of setting and achieving her goals. Not only is she busy setting academic goals, but Jennifer is also a member of the Dalhousie University Women’s Hockey team. When asked how she juggles the demands of her studies and the commitment of varsity sport, she said, “It’s really about time management, and knowing you only have so much time to complete an assignment. There isn’t a lot of room for procrastination. If we have an out of province game, you will find the majority of the team studying and completing assignments on the bus.” Her hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. For the second consecutive year, Jennifer has been recognized as an Academic All Canadian. The designation is bestowed upon post-secondary athletes who are also able to maintain an A average (over 80 per cent) in the classroom, which is no easy feat when pursuing an engineering degree. She has also received recognition in

two other areas. Nominated by Mechanical Engineering Professor, Lukas Swan, Jennifer was the recipient of an NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award, as well as the Bruce and Dorothy Rosetti Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship. Jennifer points out that a great deal of her success comes from having an incredibly supportive family, as well as a supportive team. “What I love about our hockey team is that we all work hard and try to bring out the best in each other. My parents have also always been a great source of support. From a young age they encouraged me to explore the field of engineering.” Jennifer plans to pursue a career in the field of renewable energy. Congratulations to each of the Academic All Canadian recipients from the Faculty of Engineering: Logan Baillie, volleyball; Monica Diab, soccer
; Angus MacIntosh, cross country
; Matt McNeil, cross country
; Jennifer Thompson, hockey
; Jacob Wing, cross country

Dr. Eldon Gunn Dr. Eldon Gunn, Professor Emeritus of Industrial Engineering, passed away on February 11, 2016 at the age of 66. Eldon was instrumental in building and developing Industrial Engineering in Atlantic Canada. He transformed the Industrial Engineering department by establishing a strong research program, and revitalized the graduate studies programs, creating the Master of Applied Science and PhD in Industrial Engineering. He was the Head of the Industrial Engineering Department at Dalhousie from 1996 - 2004 and 2007 - 2010, and was primarily responsible for the growth and success of the TUNS/Dalhousie program. Eldon was a source of deep knowledge in many areas, which he shared freely. Passing conversations in the hall could turn into detailed discussions of complex topics. He will be remembered for his insistence on "doing the right thing", and his meticulous attention to detail in his teaching, research and graduate supervision. He will be missed by his colleagues and students.

Alumni News & Notes

Class Notes Steve Willson, BEng’81 (TUNS civil) After 3 great years back in Halifax we’re back to Toronto to continue our ongoing businesses and look after our kids…not that they need it as they are both in their 30’s. Thanks to all the folks we met or were reacquainted with. Let us know if you’re coming up here. We’re happy to meet up for a beverage. We’ve traded the view of St. Margaret’s Bay for a view of the Toronto skyline. Timothy Cleveland, BEng’97 (TUNS electrical) joined the Toro Company in Bloomington, Minnesota, as a Principal Software Engineer in their Commercial Products Division.

Laura Weeden, BEng’12 (civil) was nominated and selected as one of Oilweek’s Rising Stars class of 2016. Laura’s been working tirelessly to educate Quebec’s energy regulators and public interest groups on both the technical and environmental dimensions of drilling and establish a positive oil and gas presence in the province. Through that initiative and her work with the Girl Guides of Canada, she’s also inspiring and empowering the next generation of girls to explore their own potential. Joseph Randell, BEng ‘76 (NSTC industrial), president and chief executive officer of Chorus Aviation Inc., received the 2016 Alumni Honour Award from Memorial University’s Faculty of Business Administration in April. He has an MBA from MUN.

Memory School

Angel Lai, BEng’06 and Andy Fong, BEng’06 share a special bond besides that of their marriage—they are both masters of memory. Lai is the 2012 champion of the Canadian Memory Championships. Her husband Fong is a Grand Master of Memory, a title bestowed by the International Memory Championships. The couple are both Dalhousie Electrical Engineering graduates and run a memory training school in Hong Kong to

help teach such tactics to students. Memory sports are currently much less popular in Canada than in China, with only two Canadians in the world memory ranking system. Fong would like to increase this number, and with the couple considering moving back to Halifax to open a memory training school someday, he may be able to do just that.

Vernon Doucette BEng ’52 (NSTC), a 94-year-old Second World War Veteran from Wedgeport, Yarmouth County, was awarded the rank of the Knight of the French Legion of Honour—the highest national honour of France. The Legion of honour is a French order that was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to thank his best soldiers. James Robert Flemming, BEng ’50 (NSTC) At 90 years young, James has always worn his his Iron Ring with pride. He was disappointed to lose it just before Christmas. Luckily his daughter Heather was able to connect with the Dean’s Office staff and had it replaced for him before the holidays. He is pictured above with his grandson, Adam, a Carleton University grad.

French Consul General Vincent Hommeril presented Vernon Doucette (at right) with France’s highest military decoration.


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Alumni News & Notes

Alumni volunteer shares experience with students

Chris Gräpel (BEng ’93, Civil) always looked forward to classes at the Technical University of Nova Scotia, particularly when his professors invited practitioners to talk about the work they were doing. “I thought it was immensely invaluable,” says the senior geotechnical engineer with Klohn Crippen and Berger (KCB) in Edmonton. “The fact that they came in to talk about how what we were learning played out on the job gave me

a sense of what my career would be like. It connected the classroom to the real world.” Inspired by those professionals, Chris decided he should share his experiences too. For the past 12 years, he has been giving an annual presentation to Dalhousie engineering students on various projects he’s done, connecting the learning they are doing now with the work they will do one day.

Congratulations to Michel Comeau, BEng’77 (NSTC civil), partner in Campbell Comeau Engineering, a wellrecognized provider of structural engineering and civil engineering consulting services in Atlantic Canada. For years, Michel has been lauded as both an engineer’s engineer and an architect’s engineer, accomplishing both with style and precision. Michel was awarded a 2016 Keystone Award for his role as an enabler of great design. The biennial Keystone Awards, recognize architectural excellence in the community. Awards are presented to architects and individuals involved in the Nova Scotia design, development and construction industries. Congratulations to Dominic Groulx, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Groulx was elected to the Scientific Council of the International Center for Heat and Mass Transfer (ICHMT). The general objective of the Centre is to foster international cooperation in the science of heat and mass transfer and its applications. In his role, Dr. Groulx will participate in the organization of conferences lead by the ICHMT, including the International Heat Transfer Conference which receives over a 1000 researchers every 4 years.

22 |


“The opportunity to tell undergraduates what it is like to be a civil engineer is an honour for me,” says Chris. Given that Chris is responsible for project management of multidisciplinary teams, he’s able to provide students with insights on everything from multidisciplinary design, analysis and contract/ construction management to environmental issues. “That’s the best kind of presentation, because I can provide them with the whole scope of the project, not just the geotechnical engineering. It gives students a proper context for the work they will do.” Chris has also been able on occasion, to use his presentations as an opportunity to recruit Dalhousie students, giving them hands-on experience to complement that context. “When I started doing this, my thenemployer EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. said, ‘Why don’t you post a couple of jobs, and if any Dalhousie students apply, you can interview them while you’re there.’ “The presentations and recruiting have continued with KCB, and the quality of graduates coming out of Dalhousie never ceases to impress me. But I’ve also made myself available to students who are looking for advice on their senior project or where to pursue a master’s degree. It’s just the right thing to do if you are able to do it.” Chris’s intent is to continue his annual presentations and occasional recruitment efforts as long as Dalhousie will have him. And while he finds it rewarding to open doors for students and give them a glimpse of their futures, he really hopes it encourages them to think about giving back to the university. “I’ve never really thought about this as creating a legacy,” he explains. “It’s always been about volunteering. But if the students I talk to one day decide they’ve got a presentation they’d like to make – and one already has – or they can help another student, then that would be a good legacy to leave.”

Come on over, the coffee's on For the past ten years the Dalhousie Faculty of Engineering, has been hosting a series called the Dean’s Coffee Club. The informal meetings are an opportunity for our engineering alumni to come and enjoy some lively discussion and catch up with one another. Five Coffee Clubs were held this season: Dr. Pedram Sadeghian presented on exploring sustainable solutions that can be applied to different features of our infrastructure including bridges, marine and waterfront structures, pipelines, sewer systems, and hydro poles. Dr. Andrew Corkum shared a presentation on the stability of quarry floors under high natural stresses. Dr. J.F. Bousquet presented the story behind the engineering design and construction of the Breizh Tigresse, an autonomous sailboat, that attempted a TransAtlantic challenge last fall 2015. Dr. Dominic Groulx presented on the area of thermal storage and management through solid-liquid phase change heat transfer. Dr. Robert Bauer showcased his robots with the group during Homecoming weekend, and had everyone participate in some interactive demonstrations that involved humanoid robots. Frank Gervais, a long time member

of the Dean’s Coffee Club, shared the following, when asked what he enjoys best about the Coffee Club. “To tell the truth, I enjoy it all. I enjoy the engaging conversation; the presentations are top notch. I enjoy seeing the fantastic projects that the students are working on. The equipment is mind boggling in comparison to what we had. All in all, I really do appreciate the fellowship that the Dean’s Coffee Club provides.” The next season of the Dean’s Coffee Club will begin again this fall. Everyone is welcome to attend. The dates and presentation topics will be available on our website as they are confirmed.

Reunion attendees enjoy Dr. Robert Bauer's presentation on robots at Dean's Coffee Club last October.

See you this fall Homecoming 2016 | october 13-15

Looking forward to a great weekend on campus. Dean’s Coffee Club | sexton tour anD WelCome reCeption | Class of ’66 50th reunion Contact or 902-494-3267 for more information.


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Eighth Annual

Engineering Golf Tournament Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Glen Arbour Golf Course 40 Clubhouse Lane, Hammonds Plains, NS Co-hosted by Sarah Devereaux, BEng ’93, MEng ’99 (Civil) and Geoff Moore, BEng ’97 (Industrial)

For more information and to register, contact Terri Mann: 902.494.2071 |

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Alumni & Donor Relations Office Faculty of Engineering Suite 108, Morroy Building, 5269 Morris Street PO Box 15000 Halifax NS B3H 4R2


Dal Engineering Spring 2016  
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