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A McMaster Engineering Society Publication | September 2011


VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1

EDITORIAL | ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT? Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year, everyone! I’m Zachary Strong, the incoming editor of Frequency. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m in my fourth year of Engineering Physics and Management. I’m looking forward to my fourth year of participation in the McMaster Engineering Musical - I play bass guitar in the Musical’s band, and am the Lighting Director this year as well. Frequency is a relatively new magazine, created a few months ago by Justin Sma (a now-graduated Mechatronics engineer) to replace the struggling EngTimes. I took hold of the reins at the end of the school year last year, and I had to think for a few weeks about what kind of publication Frequency could become. I quickly realized that the MES was sorely lacking an outlet to showcase all the amazing exploits of undergraduate engineers. There are a lot of student accomplishments that are under-reported, and Frequency is going to take a shot at changing that. Within this issue is a large collection of different things that students have been up to over the past few months; everything from researching next-generation materials, to building a hovercraft. You will also find an interview with Erica Barnes, the valedictorian of the Engineering Class of 2011.

demographic, having earned numerous awards (as well as being selected valedictorian) despite never having held an MES Council position. During our conversation, one of the topics that we found ourselves retreading was the fact that there are rather large groups of students that have limited involvement with the McMaster Engineering Society. Both Erica and I have vastly different perspectives on this issue, as there is a large disparity between our levels of involvement in the MES. One thing we could agree on, however, is the need for the MES to continue to broaden its horizons so as to appeal to a larger portion of the student body. The MES is in a unique position in that older students graduate every year and are replaced by newer students with fresh ideas. This high turnover enables the MES to grow, evolve, and improve from year to year.

There are many incredibly talented individuals within McMaster Engineering that have not previously considered being involved with the MES.. If we focus on continual growth and improvement, perhaps some of them will be encouraged to use their skills and talents to benefit their peers through the MES. The Faculty of McMaster Engineering is renowned for innovation, and it is I first met Erica in May of 2010, when we were time for the MES to build a similar reputation by teamed up to mentor a group of high school students engaging the best and brightest students more effecfor the annual Engineering Experience Weekend. tively than any other student group on campus. Throughout our experiences at the EEW, I discovered Erica to be a well-spoken and confident young I hope you enjoy this issue. If you have any comwoman who felt very strongly about a wide variety of ments, questions, or concerns, feel free to email me issues, and had no qualms about voicing her opinions at frequency@macengsociety.ca . Make sure to check on them. A 45-minute interview that I scheduled the back cover if you are interested in contributing to th with her on June 20 quickly turned into an engaging the January 2012 issue! two-hour conversation situated at the concrete table outside of JHE. One of the issues that both Erica Regards, and I talked at length about is the large number of students who have limited involvement with the -Zachary Strong McMaster Engineering Society during their time Eng Phys & Mgmt IV spent at university. Erica is a prime example of this Frequency Editor, 2011-2012 1 | Frequency

September 2011


VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1

FRQ 09.05.11 - CONTENTS 3 | Official Business 4 | Sound Waves 5 | Top of the Class

An Afternoon with Erica Barnes

7 | The Sky is the Limit

Pushing the z-Dimension with MECVT

Undergraduate Research: Page 9

9 | Undergraduate Research 11 | Talk To the Hand

Students Oppose Oil CEO’s Convocation Address

13 | Foreign Correspondence

Daniela Corsetti’s Summer in Ghana

- CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR Zachary Strong

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Emily Reid

OTHER PHOTOGRAPHY AND IMAGES Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, McMaster Engineering Custom Vehicle Team, Engineers Without Borders, Wikimedia Commons, richardheinberg.com, Andrew Toye Ojo, Fabricia Piñeiro, Casey Julich-Trojan, Leah Kesselman, Daniela Corsetti, Zachary Strong

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andrew Toye Ojo, Fabricia Piñeiro, Casey Julich-Trojan, Leah Kesselman, Daniela Corsetti, Zachary Strong

SPECIAL THANKS Erica Barnes, Emily Bot, Richard Heinberg, MSU Underground, Matt Wright, Kyla Fisher, Doyin Osuntogun Frequency is published three times per school year by the McMaster Engineering Society. The opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of the Society as a whole. JHE 121 | 905-525-6140 x23221 | mes.mcmaster.ca

September 2011

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OFFICIAL BUSINESS | NEWS FROM THE MES New MES Group Ratified

MES Council 2011-2012

At the second Semi-Annual General Meeting (SAGM) of the McMaster Engineering Society, the McMaster Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers was ratified as an official MES group. This was an upgrade to their previous position as an affiliate, and allows them to apply for increased funding for their activities.

President VP Internal VP External VP Education Co-VP Socials VP Finance Exec. Secretary

Emily Bot Laurence Rivard Julie Hemily Giuseppe Del Gobbo Paul Jarzecki Justin Panus Katie Minor Erin Middaugh

The National Society of Black Engineers was founded in 1971 at Purdue University, and has grown into an organization that seeks to increase the retention of minorities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. It also helps its members develop themselves personally and professionally. For more information, visit www.nsbemcmaster.ca or email pres.nsbemac@gmail.com.

Advertising Alumni Affairs Productions Public Relations Sponsorship Sports Chair

Andrew Macdonald Emily Reid Mohsin Kahn Lindsay McCauley VACANT Adam Lagrou

Pi Day Recap McMaster’s first annual Pi Day fundraiser on March 14th 2011 was a great success, raising over $600 for the Ronald McDonald House of Hamilton. Funds were raised by students and faculty volunteering to be Pi’d, and funds donated in order to contributed to the Pi’ing of these individuals. Pi Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated by mathematics enthusiasts every March 14th, where the numerical date coincides with the common approximation of Pi (3.14).

Fundraising Announcement The MES is holding several fundraising efforts this year. The most famous of these is the Bus Pull, which takes place on the Friday of every Welcome Week! Bus Pull (Cystic Fibrosis) (September 9, 2011) Santa Hog (Interval House) (December 2, 2011) Pi Day (TBD) (March 14, 2012)

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Executive

Directors

Department & Program Reps BEAMS Rep B-Tech Rep Chemical Rep Civil Rep Elec & Comp Rep First Year Reps Management Rep Materials Rep Mechanical Rep Mechatronics Eng Phys Rep Society Rep Software Rep

Leigh Bedford Richard Elliot Andrew Toye Ojo Elizabeth Dollimore Eric Phillips-Sheldon TO BE ELECTED Tony Huynh Jennifer Pollock Bryan Hebor VACANT Jeanette Moore Hannah Deathe VACANT

Non-Voting Members BLUE Lnge Co. CRO Comm. Coord. Co-OC’s .

Jeff Jordison Kristen Thomson Alex Aylwin Alex Aylwin Teri Lubianetzky Culture Coord. Adam Ross Drain Coord. Mike Kovacs Frequency Editor Zachary Strong Handbook Editor Zachary Strong Plumbline Editors Jaime Maitland Zachary Strong Trailer Coord. Morgan Cunningham Yearbook Editor Jordan Ward

Contact information is available at mes.mcmaster.ca/contact.html


SOUND WAVES | THE FACULTY GRAPEVINE SELECT Program Launched!

NCWIE Volunteers Needed!

Beginning this September, McMaster Engineering will be piloting an exciting new opportunity for undergraduate students. The SELECT (Student Engagement, Leadership Education, Career Training) program is a multi-level, session-based program designed specifically for engineering students who are passionate about, and involved in, any form of extracurricular activity. SELECT will utilize leadership-oriented, hands-on training exercises to help students develop skills and confidence that will enhance their extracurricular leadership experience and future careers.

McMaster Engineering has been selected to host the National Conference on Women in Engineering this November 18-20. NCWIE is an annual Canadianwide conference, whose purpose is to encourage, advance and explore the many academic and social norms that stem from having women in Engineering. Approximately 100 delegates from across the country will be attending this conference, and your help is needed! Develop professional and interpersonal skills while meeting engineering students from other universities!

Each session will combine individual assessments, group activities and reflection, and opportunities for students to apply what was learned. Prominent, young McMaster Engineering alumni will facilitate each module - a unique added value for undergraduates who want to understand how what they are learning can benefit their future careers. The first module takes place on September 28 and 29! For more information, check out SELECT’s website at: www.eng.mcmaster.ca/select

Contact Julie Hemily at julie.hemily@cfes.ca if you are interested.

Eng & Science Olympics! The annual Engineering and Science Olympics are taking place from 8-4 on Thursday, October 6th, and will be providing high school students from across Ontario with the opportunity to develop their technical skills and interest in Engineering. As always, volunteers are needed to help make this very popular outreach event a success. Email goeng1@mcmaster.ca to help out!

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e h t f o P TO When did you first decide you wanted to become an engineer? Did you have any specific goals in mind with the discipline (department, etc)? Engineering was actually the last thing on my list in high school because I didn’t associate myself with the stereotype typically associated with engineers. It wasn’t until I came here for the McMaster Engineering & Science Olympics that I began to realize just what an Engineer does. Through some online research, I came across the Engineers Without Borders website. That really changed my perspective on Engineering as a profession and helped me make my decision on the path I would pursue in my postsecondary studies. So you discovered Engineers Without Borders before deciding to become an engineer?

Erica Barnes graduated from McMaster this past June with a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. She was the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the 2011 Gold Medal Student Award (Engineers Canada), the McMaster President’s Award of Excellence for Student Leadership, the 2010 Albert Lager Student Initiative Award (McMaster) and the Image of an Engineer Award (McMaster Engineering Society). Erica has been an active member of Engineers Without Borders since her second year, having served as the President of the awardwinning McMaster Chapter in 2009, and a placement in Malawi as a Junior Fellow of the organization in 2008. If all this was not enough, she also addressed the graduating engineering class as valedictorian. Frequency was lucky enough to be able to talk with Erica about her past accomplishments, future aspirations, and reflections on her five years in McMaster Engineering. 5 | Frequency

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It was one of the deciding factors for me, actually. When I discovered Engineers Without Borders in high school, I realized there was much more to engineering than computers and math. After graduation, what are your current plans? I will be working at Halsall Associates Limited with the Structural Restoration Team in Toronto. Beyond that, however, I am also very excited about opportunities to stay involved with the development of the profession. I think there are people that would be incredible engineers, but pass on the opportunity because they do not associate themselves with the engineering stereotype. The impact that engineers have on society is very understated, and by introducing the profession to people in a different way, I believe value could be added to the profession by attracting a new demographic with broader outlooks and perspectives. Presenting Engineering in a differ-


S S A CL

a Barnes ic r E n ia r to 11 Valedic 0 2 g in r e e How do you plan to be involved with EWB postster Engin a M c M h t graduation? oon wi n r e t f a n A

ent light would also help mitigate the traditionally low enrolment of female students in the engineering faculties across Canada. What were some of the defining experiences of the overseas placement? In 2008, I had the opportunity to work with a local water and sanitation non-governmental organization in Malawi, Africa. A few weeks into my placement, I identified a significant communication gap in which the front line staff were not receiving the information they needed to effectively and efficiently plan and execute their work. As well, senior management was not receiving the information they required from the experiences of front line staff to assist in the development of future organizational strategic directions and policy. By working directly with senior and middle management as well as with front line staff, I facilitated the identification of information and communication needs at each level and created a number of forums through which these could be shared across the organization. This resulted in the creation of new reporting and communication practices and a more empowered staff.

EWB is very good at providing opportunities for graduated engineers to stay involved. I have an interest in working with our Global Engineering Team and to share my knowledge and experience working with the McMaster Faculty with other EWB chapters throughout Canada. What are some of the things you’ve accomplished at McMaster that you are most proud of?

The thing I’m most proud of is working with the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster to realize the value in student ideas and opinions. Over my five years at McMaster, I have seen the Faculty of Engineering become much more active in seeking out student leaders to provide their insight into high-level strategic planning and curriculum changes. It has been rewarding to be a part of such a positive change. Are there any organizations or teams you wish you had time to be a part of? There’s always been a part of me that wishes I had been more involved with Welcome Week. I think creating a welcoming environment for incoming first years is very important and it would have been rewarding to be a larger part of it.

Living and working within a new cultural context Many people that should, in my opinion, be inwas an amazing learning opportunity in which I volved with Welcome Week choose not to particilearned as much about myself as those I lived and pate for various reasons. Some are turned off by the worked with. Not only is there a focus on personal activities that promote the engineering stereotype. experience within an EWB placement, but the opportunity to share these experiences with the McMasI would like to see a more inclusive recruiting ter and Hamilton community. process for Redsuits. This would expand the Redsuit persona and ensure that a significant subset of inOver the years, EWB has had many vocal oppocoming first year students were not left feeling marnents at the Semi-Annual General Meetings held ginalized or alienated by the Welcome Week experiby the MES. Why do you think this is? ence. The McMaster EWB Chapter has thought a lot about this issue. I believe EWB must work even Further Reading harder to share information and experience with the For more information on Halsall Associates Limited, visit: entire student body. I also think that the MES and EWB would benefit from a strengthened relationship http://www.halsall.com/ through which to work on shared goals and common For more information on Engineers Without Borders, visit: interests. It would be wonderful to see more students www.ewb.ca participating in both the MES and EWB. mcmaster.ewb.ca September 2011

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The SKY is

Pushing the z-Dimension with the McMaster Engineering Custom Vehicle Team

s many of the attendees of Hamilton’s annual Santa Clause Parade will tell you, the McMaster Engineering Custom Vehicle Team is one of the most visible student clubs in the faculty. Their fantastic fleet of vehicles has made an appearance at football games, parades, car shows, and during Welcome Week. However, constructing vehicles such as the ‘Motorized Shopping Cart’ or the ‘Carpool III’ (a hot tub installed into the back of a car), is not enough for this team of talented students. After sitting in on an executive meeting held in late July, I learned about their latest efforts to take things in a new direction – upwards.

A

This year, as always, the MECVT crew is devoting time to maintaining old favorites, such as the Carpools and the Motorized Shopping Cart. However, new on the agenda at this meeting is their latest work-in-progress: a hoverThe lift motor & fan in operation with safety cover temporarily removed. craft. When finished, this vehicle will be able to carry multiple passengers across a variety of surfaces, including open water. The team has opted for a two-engine design, which means that one engine will be devoted to maintaining the cushion of air underneath the hovercraft that keeps it aloft, while another will provide forward thrust. They have made significant progress on the construction of this vehicle over the summer, but there is still much that remains to be done. Most notably, the propulsion system has yet to be fabricated and mounted. They hope to finish this project by the end of the school year, in order to have it functioning for next summer and Welcome Week 2012 - provided they can get McMaster’s Health and Safety officials to approve its existence on campus. Membership in MECVT is open to all undergraduate Engineering and B.Tech students, and no previous automotive experience is required. It is an excellent way to develop hands-on skills in a variety of different automotive-related areas.

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The polystyrene portion of the body was carefully cut using a superheated wire back in May 2011. Pictured: Jerry Vo, Co-Captain


the LIMIT

McMaster Engineering Alumni Stuart Grodinsky, Co-Captain Jason Olynik, and Murali Kulachandran restrain the floating hovercraft in a parking lot.

Hovercraft Specs: Dimensions: 5.5’ x 11.5’ Body Material: Polystyrene and fibreglass Skirt Material: Tear-resistant vinyl Current Weight: 350 lbs. Est. Top Speed: 60 MPH Motors: Lift: 6.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Lawn Mower Motor 26” composite fan Propulsion: 40 HP 1979 Yamaha RD 350 40” propeller Passengers: 2-4

The MECVT Executive: Kelvyn Panici, Co-Captain (Elec & Society III) Andrew Toye Ojo, Co-Captain (ChemBio III) Jerry Vo, Co-Captain (B.Tech Energy IV) Jason Olynik, Project Manager (B.Tech Auto IV) Mike Kovacs, Project Manager (Civ & Society III) Justin Panus, Finances (Eng Phys & Society IV)

www.mecvt.ca the.mecvt@gmail.com ‘McMaster Engineering Custom Vehicle Team’ on Facebook

On the Cover: Co-Captain Jason Olynik salutes from the functioning hovercraft.

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UNDERGRADUA

ANDREW TOYE OJO Chem & Bio Co-Op III I have always been interested in problem solving, chemistry and biology. The Chemical and Bioengineering program at Mac is great and allows me to pursue these interests and apply principles learned in the classroom.

This summer I received an NSERC undergraduate student research award which gave me the opportunity to work with Dr. Shiping Zhu`s PolyMac Research group. The nature of my research project is the valueadded conversion of canola oil into an effective emulsifying agent through maleination at high temperatures and through the Alder-Ene reaction mechanism. Canola

oil was used as the substrate for the addition of hydrophilic anhydride groups in order to produce an amphiphillic emulsifying agent. Three reaction parameters were investigated with regards to their impact on the grafting efficiency of maleic anhydride (MAH) and its degree of grafting: (i) Temperature; (ii) MAH Concentration; (iii) Reaction Kinetics. The surfactant produced was compared to analogous emulsifying agents in to assess effectiveness in such measures as emulsion droplet size, foaming and stability in the presence of electrolytes and upon centrifugation.

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~

FABRICIA PINEIRO Engineering Physics IV I am working under Dr. Novog’s supervision designing and building a new lab experiment for Eng Phys 4L04: Industrial Monitoring and Detection Techniques.

The objective of this course is to instruct students on real world process engineering applications and to give them hands on experience with some detection and control methods. The new lab consists of a replica (with some adjustments) of a CANDU reactor Liquid Zone Controller. This control unit serves to decrease reactivity of the Core by adding light water to the moderator and thus favoring neutron absorption. The apparatus built replicates all the salient features of an actual liquid zone

controller and consists of a 50’ tall acrylic tube where water and air are constantly supplied. An Arduino microcontroller is used to monitor the differential pressure of the test section (via a pressure transmitter) and a PID controller program is used to automatically (after adjusting PID constants) achieve a desired water level. The objective of the lab is to familiarize students with PID controllers and time/frequency responses as well as to recognize the importance of accuracy and repeatability of the instruments tested.


ATE RESEARCH CASEY JULICH-TROJAN Materials Engineering IV Welcome back everyone to a new year of school! Many of you either know, or will soon come to realize, how important summer internships are to your education. They help you learn the skills you will need later on in industry or in post-graduate studies, and they teach you things about your field that classes might not be able to do.

LEAH KESSELMAN Chem & Bio V This summer, I worked with Dr. Filipe and Dr. Hoare making microgels. Microgels are micron-sized gel particles that have potential to be used for drug delivery. They can be loaded with drugs and injected into patients, where they release the medicine over a long period of time. This way, patients don’t need as many injections.

This past summer I worked in the CCEM lab (Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy); a worldrenowned microscopy lab located here at McMaster. I did research primarily on oxide layers forming on steels exposed to supercritical water, in order to explore differ-

My job was to make, purify, and measure drug release from these microgels. I also tried trapping DNA inside microgel particles so they could act as biosensors. This picture I took under a microscope shows microgels being created inside a device called a microfluidic chip.

ent types of steels that could be potentially used in nuclear reactors..

Contributions Wanted!

I worked a lot with the SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) to do a full analysis of oxide layers forming on the steel. The above image is an SEM image of the oxide layer formed on 304SS (20%Cr, 10%Ni, balance Fe) exposed to supercritical water for 100 hours at 550°C.

If you are an undergraduate Engineering student that is working on an exciting project, (as part of a capstone, MES Club or Team, etc.), Frequency would be happy to feature your work! Drop us a line at: frequency@macengsociety.ca

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TALK to the HAND ExxonMobil CEO’s Convocation Address Falls on Deaf Ears

Editor’s Note: As some undergraduate students may know, it is customary for business leaders or public figures to address them and their peers upon their graduation from university. At Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, the students discovered that they were to be addressed by Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, an American oil and gas company. This choice was decidedly unpopular among the graduating student body. In a letter written to the president of WPI, they expressed their dissatisfaction; “[W]e, as conscientious members of the WPI community and proud members of the Class of 2011, will not give [the Exxon CEO] the honor of imparting ... his well-wishes ... for our futures ... when he is largely responsible for undermining them.”

But oil and gas are finite resources, so it was clear from the start that, as we extracted and burned them, we were in effect stealing from the future. In the early days, the quantities of fuel available seemed so enormous that depletion posed only a theoretical limit to consumption. We knew we would eventually empty the tanks of Earth’s hydrocarbon reserves, but that was a problem for our great-great-grandkids to worry about. Yet U.S. oil production has been declining since 1970, even with huge discoveries in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Other countries are also seeing falling rates of discovery and extraction, and world crude oil production has been flat-lined for the past six years, even as oil prices have soared. AccordThe students then presented the WPI administration with ing to the International Energy Agency, world crude an alternative speaker – Richard Heinberg, of the Post Car- oil production peaked in 2006 and will taper off from now on. bon Institute. A compromise was eventually made, and the university allowed Heinberg to take the podium immediately ExxonMobil says this is nothing we should after Tillson’s address. To make a point, many students decided to walk out while Tillerson spoke, only returning to hear worry about, as there are still vast untapped hydrocarbon reserves all over the world. That’s true. But Richard Heinberg’s address . Here is an excerpt of what we have already harvested the low-hanging fruit of Heinberg had to say. our oil and gas endowment. The resources that remain are of lower quality and are located in places xxonMobil is inviting you to take your place that are harder to access than was the case for oil and in a fossil-fuelled twenty-first century. But I gas in decades past. Oil and gas companies are increasingly operating in ultra-deep water, or in arctic would argue that Exxon’s vision of the furegions, and need to use sophisticated technologies ture is actually just a forward projection from our like hydrofracturing, horizontal drilling, and water or collective rear-view mirror. Despite its high-tech gadgetry, the oil industry is a relic of the days of the nitrogen injection. We have entered the era of extreme hydrocarbons. Beverly Hillbillies. The fossil-fuelled sitcom of a world that we all find ourselves still trapped within This means that production costs will continue may, on the surface, appear to be characterized by to escalate year after year. Even if we get rid of oil smiley-faced happy motoring, but at its core it is market speculators, the price of oil will keep ratchetmonstrous and grotesque. It is a zombie energy ing up anyway. And we know from recent economic economy. history that soaring energy prices cause the economy Of course, we all use petroleum and natural gas to wither: when consumers have to spend much more on gasoline, they have less to spend on everyin countless ways and on a daily basis. These are thing else. amazing substances—they are energy-dense and chemically useful, and they yield enormous economic But if investment costs for oil and gas explorabenefit. America started out with vast reserves of oil and gas, and these fuels helped make our nation the tion and extraction are increasing rapidly, the environmental costs of these fuels are ballooning just as richest and most powerful in the world.

E

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quickly. With the industry operating at the limits of its technical know-how, mistakes can and will happen. As we saw in the Gulf of Mexico in the summer of 2010, mistakes that occur under a mile or two of ocean water can have devastating consequences for an entire ecosystem, and for people who depend on ecosystem services. The citizens of the Gulf coast are showing a brave face to the world and understandably want to believe their seafood industry is safe and recovering, but biologists who work there tell us that oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is still working its way up the food chain. Of course the biggest environmental cost from

The oil spill as seen on May 24th, 2010 by NASA’s Terra satellite.

burning fossil fuels comes from our chemical alteration of the planetary atmosphere. Carbon dioxide from oil, gas, and coal combustion is changing Earth’s climate and causing our oceans to acidify. The likely consequences are truly horrifying: rising seas, extreme weather, falling agricultural output, and collapsing oceanic food chains. Never mind starving polar bears—we’re facing the prospect of starving people. But wait: Is this even happening? A total of nearly half of all Americans tell pollsters they think either the planet isn’t warming at all, or, if it is, it’s not because of fossil fuels. After all, how can the world really be getting hotter when we’re seeing record snowfalls in many places? And even if it is warming, how do we know that’s not because of volcanoes, or natural climate variation, or cow farts, or because the Sun is getting hotter? Americans are understandably confused by questions like these, which

they hear repeated again and again on radio and television. Now of course, if you apply the critical thinking skills that you’ve learned here at WPI to an examination of the relevant data, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion as has been reached by the overwhelming majority of scientists who have studied all of these questions in great depth. Indeed, the scientific community is nearly unanimous in assessing that the Earth is warming, and that the only credible explanation for this is rising levels of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. That kind of consensus is hard to achieve among scientists except in situations where a conclusion is overwhelmingly supported by evidence. I’m not out to demonize ExxonMobil, but some things have to be said. That company plays a pivotal role in shaping our national conversation about climate change. A 2007 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists described how ExxonMobil adopted the tobacco industry’s disinformation tactics, and funded some of the same organizations that led campaigns against tobacco regulation in the 1980s—but this time to cloud public understanding of climate change science and delay action on the issue. According to the report, between 1998 and 2005 ExxonMobil funneled almost $16 million to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that misrepresented peer-reviewed scientific findings about global warming science.

Further Reading Heinberg’s address in its entirety can be found at: http://bit.ly/mCljVt The letter to WPI administration can be found at: http://wpi2011.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/letter-to-wpi-president-berkey/

The Post Carbon Institute is an organization that “provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, environmental, and equity crises that define the 21st century”. http://www.postcarbon.org/ Richard Heinberg is a senior fellow at the PCI, and has authored several books that address climate change and Peak Oil Theory, including Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, and The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality. http://richardheinberg.com/

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FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE | DANIELA IN GHANA Ah finally! I survived first year and made it to my first 4 month summer! So many possibilities! Thankfully, I didn’t have to look too far because when I came to McMaster on Fall Preview day, I ran into this table that said Engineers Without Borders. It didn’t take a long time talking with the volunteers there to figure out I had the opportunity to make the most of my summer, with a Junior Fellowship in International Development.

Kwadaso Agricultural College. I got feedback and recommendations from the students to see if there are any improvements that can be made, and to potentially scale the project to other Ministry of Food and Agriculture colleges in Ghana. The feedback from the project can also play into the participatory education aspect of my placement. By seeing how students respond to a very hands-on learning approach can feed into improving teaching methods at the school. All in all, I’ve been put in a place that Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a Canadian gives me the opportunity to make change happen, non-governmental organization that has chapters and hopefully, I will have left something behind to across Canada in universities, professional firms and make impact in the future. cities. These chapters raise awareness about things like government policy, fair trade, and EWB’s work Beyond my work, I’ve gotten to experience a in Africa. EWB works in four African countries: nation that is very different from where I grew up. Ghana, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Zambia. There are I’ve gotten the unbelievable opportunity to open my volunteers in both the private and public sector, fo- mind and develop skills that will be very useful in the cusing on capacity building, data management and years to come. And I think that’s what attracted me overall investing in people. During the summer, this to EWB that Fall Preview day; I saw an organization is where I fit in. that allows you to gain communication and critical thinking skills, while getting the chance to impact I was selected as one of two Junior Fellows from positive change. Mac, and was placed in Ghana where I would be a part of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture team Daniela Corsetti working on Agricultural Colleges Strategy. My role is Chemical Engineering and Society II to evaluate and assess an entrepreneurship project http://danielainghana.blogspot.com/ created and implemented by one of the lecturers at

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PHASE SHIFT - JANUARY 2012 ISSUE | Opinion Pieces

Provided there are opinions submitted.

| NCWIE 2011 Coverage

Theme: ‘Shaping a Changing and Diverse World’

| Mac Eng Musical Preview

Get a sneak peek at this year’s theme!

| Charity Event Coverage

Bus Pull and Santa Hog results, plus Pi Day info!

- UPCOMING EVENTS Sept. 9 | Bus Pull Pull a bus around downtown Hamilton to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. McMaster Engineering is typically one of the best-performing faculties in the Shinerama fundraiser that takes place every Welcome Week, and makes the CH evening news every year while doing so. Sept. 15 | EngFest Come find out about all the great McMaster Engineering clubs and teams you can join! It takes place from 9 AM - 2 PM in front of JHE. Email vp.internal@macengsociety.ca for more details. Oct. 6 | McMaster Engineering & Science Olympics The Olympics and Open House introduces high school students to the exciting world of Engineering and Science through a visit to the McMaster University campus and a day full of academic competitions and engaging activities.

Nov. 18-20 | NCWIE 2011 The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Shaping a Changing and Diverse World’. Guest speakers and social mixers will take place over this weekend. Interested delegates and volunteers should contact Julie Hemily via email at julie.hemily@cfes.ca.

Dec. 2 | Santa Hog Volunteers dress up in red and disrupt classes with engineering-themed holiday carols in order to raise money for Interval House Hamilton, an abused women’s shelter. Be sure to either donate your voice or your spare change to this very enjoyable - and very loud - fundraiser. Keep an eye on mes.mcmaster.ca for details on these events, and more! September 2011

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WANT TO

CONTRIBUTE TO

FREQUENCY? You are welcome to send in any opinion pieces or columns! Frequency is also looking for staff reporters and dedicated writers.

frequency@macengsociety.ca There will also be a meeting for those interested in contributing on

September 14th, 2011 in JHE 121 at 6:30 PM


Frequency September 2011