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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Fall 2012



The Power of Internship

Dean of Engineering – Art Heidebrecht Art Heidebrecht Returns as Acting Dean Many Mac Engineering alumni who know me either from having taken one of my Civil Engineering courses or later, from my time as Dean of Engineering (1981 to 1989), will no doubt be surprised to see that I have once again returned to take on the responsibilities of Dean of Engineering. David Wilkinson, who served as Dean of Engineering until June 2012, has been appointed Provost and VicePresident Academic at McMaster and began his work in that role as of July 1st. I was then asked if I would be Acting Dean while McMaster conducts the search for a new Dean of Engineering.

neering student levy of $50.00 for a period of 10 years in support of the ExCEL building. While this demonstrates the commitment of our students to this project, we very much need the financial support of Engineering alumni to enable this building to come to fruition. Please consider joining with our students in supporting ExCEL with a gift. Alumni contributions will go towards ExCEL-based initiatives, both large and small, so I can assure you that every contribution will provide a distinct benefit to engineering students. n

During the months that I will be in this position, my priority is to provide continuity of leadership, bridging between David Wilkinson and the new long-term Dean. As a result of David’s leadership, the Faculty of Engineering is in a strong position with lots of momentum; it will be important to ensure that this momentum continues during this time of transition. I do want to highlight one important project which is now moving forward, namely ExCEL, the Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning. ExCEL is an approach to learning and to preparing students for the workplace through a focus on entrepreneurship, responsibility and leadership, which will come to life in a new ExCEL building. The current undergraduate students, in a referendum held this past spring, voted in favour of an annual engi-

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New Provost for McMaster David Wilkinson is McMaster’s new provost and vice-president (academic). The appointment was effective July 1, 2012. Prof. Wilkinson has served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering since 2008. As a researcher, he is one of the world’s foremost experts in mechanical behaviour of materials. He is also recognized as a committed teacher, and an effective leader and administrator. The Faculty of Engineering congratulates Prof. Wilkinson on this appointment. n

Profiles Engineering: Powerful Education Eric Gagnon (Elec.Eng. & Mgmt. ’94) applied for and was accepted into the electrical engineering stream, but he’s eternally grateful for the “management” component of the program. “The ‘Management’ part put an interesting spin on engineering. I didn’t know it as much then as I do now, but nothing in the real world is purely technical.” No matter the job, he says, you will always have to deal with issues involving people, management and finances. He selected electrical engineering because of his real interest in the subject and the belief that there would be lots of jobs available. Just to be sure, he focused on power distribution, but when he graduated the job market had vanished. At that time in the mid-1990s, Ontario Hydro was restructuring and its suppliers weren’t hiring. He ended up working at the Ford Motor Company in the business systems IT department. “I’ve been in software development ever since!” Eric notes that engineering courses provide a strong background and experience in solving very large problems by teaching one how to break items/issues down into manageable pieces. It’s an invaluable skill and one he has used every day since graduation, he says. The focus on power distribution turned out not to be a waste of time either, he adds. It was a factor in securing software opportunities at such companies as Alberta Electrical and SAS, where knowledge of power distribution was a definite asset. Currently, Eric works at Risk Advisory, a division of SAS. RA is a Calgary-based analytics software company that develops an energy trading risk management software package for use by firms in natural gas,

Do you have something to say or news to share? We would like to hear from you. Contact Carm Vespi Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24906 Fax: (905) 546-5492 e-mail: website: The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Contributors: Terry Milson and Administrative Coordinators.

Eric Gagnon crude oil and electricity ( Eric is married to Mac alumna and Occupational Therapist Gina (nee Figliomeni; B.HSc. ’95). The couple met in Whidden Hall. They have one son and live in Calgary. Eric enjoys both road and mountain biking, and snowmobiling in winter. “Snowmobiling completely changes your perspective on winter” – and that’s a good thing, given where he lives! n


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Pursuing the Best Profession If Maged Ibrahim (MechEng. ’02) were to offer advice to graduating high school students, it would be to definitely consider taking engineering at university. “Engineering is one of the best professions you can pursue. It provides you with the skill-set to take on any challenge, whether it be in

After obtaining his degree in mechanical engineering, Maged did graduate work under the supervision of Dr. Mo Elbestawi. Maged says Dr. Elbestawi inspired him to pursue a graduate degree and was “a great mentor”. Maged obtained an M.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 2004, as well as a certificate in Metallurgy in 2008 and an MBA from the University of Toronto (Rotman School) this year. He is also a 2012 Rotman Citizenship Award recipient. Since graduating, he’s had experience with large projects both domestically and abroad in China, India and Europe. The engineering degree certainly provided the foundation for his career, he says. “The Mac program was very challenging, but once I completed it, I felt able to handle anything that comes my way.” Maged is married to Sherry and the couple have one son. n

Engineering: A Key to Problem-solving Maged Ibrahim engineering or in another career path.” Maged speaks from experience. He is enjoying a very successful career. Currently, he is with BHP Billiton (www.bhpbilliton. com) and has responsibility for strategic planning and business development for the company’s new potash pipeline projects in Saskatchewan. With headquarters in Australia, BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified natural resource company, with interests in copper, coal, iron ore, nickel, silver and titanium, among other commodities. “I always wanted to be an engineer but was not sure which field to specialize in,” he says. “Mechanical engineering included a broad range of industries such as automotive, aerospace and manufacturing, so I thought that I could not go wrong choosing it until I knew exactly what I wanted to do.” Selecting a university wasn’t as difficult. “McMaster is one of the top engineering universities in the country and the only one that provides a first-year general program. It’s a fantastic way to get introduced to all the disciplines before you have to choose.”

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According to Scott Kinnear (ChemEng.’88), it was not so much that he chose McMaster University as that it chose him. It so happened that, on visitors’ day in 1983, Dr. Phil Wood provided Scott and his family with an outstanding tour of the campus and the chemical engineering area. “Dr. Wood’s ability to explain the engineering principles to a high school student was instrumental in my overwhelmingly positive view of McMaster.” Scott has always been tremendously pleased that his applica-

Scott Kinnear

tion to McMaster was accepted. The engineering degree has, he says, equipped him to solve any and all problems. He adds that he benefitted greatly from many of the professors encountered while at Mac, including Drs. Don Woods, Andy Hrymak, Les Shemilt and Cam Crowe. However, the most important piece of knowledge acquired comes from a third-year heat transfer course: “Unsteady state heat transfer of a liquid-filled aluminum cylinder immersed in an ice-bath – an extremely useful life-skill I utilize every day around 6 p.m.,” he jokes. Scott owns and manages four Tim Hortons restaurants in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with a payroll of about 150 people. While he started as owner he had a chance to fill the roles of donut baker, drive-through and front counter clerk, supervisor and manager. Why Winnipeg? The opportunity came up when Scott was working for a small chemical engineering firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He had been wishing to run his own business and discovered that Winnipeg was not, at that time, over-run with Tim Hortons. “Unlike Ontario,” he laughs. Scott is married to Betty Ann and is the proud father of two boys: Tyler aged 22 and Jacob 19. He’s a “fishing fanatic” who has fished the major areas around the world, and includes salmon, musky, bass, walleye, marlin, tuna and lake trout as some of his favourites. He is also a board member for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, co-owner of a Junior B Lacrosse franchise, a Winnipeg Jets fan, and “a proud, grateful, blessed Mac alumnus”. n

Randy Park

The Value of Collaboration Randy Park (EngPhys. ’81) came all the way from Vancouver to Hamilton to study fibre optics at McMaster based on the conviction that the Faculty of Engineering had “the best research program in Canada” in that field. Although he has not worked directly in fibre optics for some time, Randy says the engineering degree he earned at Mac has been invaluable to his career. “Engineering teaches systems thinking, clear problem definition and problem-solving”, factors he says are often missing in the business executive and management circles. The university experience taught him something else: “From Mac, I took the power of collaboration, of bouncing ideas off colleagues.” After graduation, Randy worked for a small company designing fibre optics test equipment. After six years at this, he decided to launch out on his own, offering consulting, training and custom design of fibre systems. In 2002, his focus shifted to developing and presenting programs on thinking, problem-solving and decisionmaking. During these presentations he makes good use of visual tools, system dynamics modelling, and “other ‘engineering’ approaches to organizational development and decision-making”. Currently, he is a partner with Lighthouse NINE Group (www.lighthouse9. ca), a consulting company specializing in providing innovative and collaborative busi-

ness solutions with a focus on human resources issues such as change management, engagement, sales force effectiveness and leadership development. The move to join Lighthouse after 25 years of running his own business was prompted by the opportunity to focus specifically on two of his skills: systems thinking and strategic modelling. “It’s also giving me the synergy, the satisfaction and the advantage of working with others – the real benefits of being on a team,” he says. In his presentations, he has always talked about the value of collaboration. “With Lighthouse NINE, I personally have the opportunity to benefit from collaboration.” As an added bonus, he offers that his partners are not only experts in their fields, but also “genuinely nice people”. Randy is a member of IEEE and the System Dynamics Society, and volunteers with a Toronto-based citizen’s group that is concerned about the future of energy. He and his wife Nora spend their summers sailing on Lake Ontario. n

The degree also gave him the knowledge and confidence to move on to other challenges. Currently, Rod is COO and President at VizzEco Inc. (, a cloud applications and Linux-services company, based in Toronto, Ontario. In addition to cloud applications, VizzEco is involved in such technologies as social media and custom open-source solutions. He is also the owner of Motivated Publishing Studios, a multimedia, IP creation and publishing company that he founded in 1999. And he executes specialized project management for Toronto-based Highspot Inc., which assists successful business owners to package their intellectual capital into information products such as self-published books. In his spare time, Rod enjoys travelling to warm climes during the winter months with his wife Debbie. The couple live in

Out of Controls and Into the Clouds After graduating from Mechanical Engineering in 1985, Rod Schulhauser began his career with Elsag Bailey Controls (ABB), based in Burlington, Ontario, in the computerized process controls field. But the draw to explore other options was too strong. In 1997, he left the company to give free rein to his entrepreneurial spirit. “I originally chose Mechanical because it was a blend of all the disciplines. I felt it was the perfect option for giving the best all-round engineering education.” Mac Engineering, he continues, had a good reputation as an engineering school. Rod has fond memories of Prof. Ross Judd, of his well-formulated lessons and notes, and those pants that were just a touch too high up. “He was a great man and I learned a lot in his Heat Transfer course. That experience is indelibly engraved on my memory.” Having a mechanical engineering degree, he says, opened opportunities in the computerized process controls field at Bailey Controls, where he worked for 13 years and became an engineering manager.

Rod Schulhauser Burlington and have raised three children. He devotes time to such diverse hobbies as photography, golf and salt water reef aquariums. Somehow he also finds time to coach the Burlington Skyhawks, the city’s basketball club, and an elementary school team. He is proud that his U17 boys team won the Ontario Gold Medal last year. n

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Left to Right: Dr. Ross Judd, Dr. Jimi Tjong, Mr. Walter Booth, Dr. David Wilkinson, Ms. Caroline Hughes, and Dr. Mo Elbestawi

Applause & Accolades 2012 Mac alumnus Walter G. Booth (B.Eng ’62, M.Eng. ’65) is the 2012 recipient of the L.W. Schemilt Award. Mr. Booth was one of the first leaders of the McMaster Engineering Society and, since graduating, he has continued to be a strong supporter of McMaster and a leader in his community in Woodstock, Ontario. He has served on the Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board and his strong passion for developing more engineering entrepreneurs led him to support the establishment of the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, along with the Booth Chair in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation and, more recently,

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the Booth Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship. As a result, McMaster is the only university in North America that connects entrepreneurship, sustainable design and public policy in an engineering context. The recipient of this year’s Faculty of Engineering Research Achievement Award is Dr. Mo Elbestawi (Ph.D. ’80), professor, mechanical engineering and Vice-President (Research & International Affairs). The award recognizes his accomplishments in and contributions to the field of machine tools and advanced manufacturing technologies for over three decades. He has been published in numerous publications, contributed to four books, and has authored or co-authored some 40 industrial research

and technical reports, as well as delivered over 100 presentations at conferences and Universities around the world. Since 1986, Dr. Elbestawi has helped shape the research activity and curriculum in manufacturing engineering at McMaster, most particularly through his active involvement in the creation of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute – considered by experts to be Canada’s most advanced and bestequipped manufacturing research laboratory. Ford and McMaster have forged a strategic partnership in the area of hybrid vehicle technology with the creation of an Industrial Research Chair (IRC). As a result, the

University will develop hybrid technology and hybrid powertrain testing in Ontario. Caroline Hughes, Director of Government Relations at Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. is a 2012 recipient of the Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award for her vision of the automobile of the future. She is responsible for developing Ford’s long-range forecasts for new vehicle sales in Canada, and for tracking and reporting Canadian economic trends to senior management. She was part of the Ford team that converted the Oakville Assembly Plant into a world-class flexible assembly plant, and a member of the team that is presently working to convert Ford’s Essex Engine Plant in the same manner. Dr. Jimi Tjong, technical leader and manager of the Powertrain Engineering, Research & Development Centre (PERDC) and an

adjunct professor at the University of Windsor, McMaster University and the University of Toronto, also received a Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award. Under his direction, the Centre, with links to the Ford Motor Company, provides a range of services, from problem definition to the actual design, testing, verification and implementation of solutions or measures.The Centre is currently the hub for engineering and research and development involving other Canadian universities, government laboratories, and automotive parts and equipment suppliers. At this year’s Applause & Accolades event, the Faculty of Engineering presented a Special Achievement Award to Dr. Ross L. Judd for “50 Years of Teaching Excellence”. Dr. Judd, currently a professor emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has received praise from

his students for the clarity and organization of his lectures, for his enthusiasm and knowledge about his area of specialty, for his ability to combine theory and practice as a result of his expertise and practical experiences, and for his genuine concern for students. Dr. Judd has been a member of the Academic Requirements Committee for the Professional Engineers of Ontario for 20 years, providing technical evaluations of the qualifications of foreign-educated applicants. At the same time, he served as a member of the Professional Practice Examination Committee which manages the PEO law and ethics examinations. Dr. Judd was inducted as a Member of the Professional Engineers Ontario Order of Honour in 2002. n

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Awards for Dr. Razaqpur

Prof. Deen Receives High Honour

Dr. Ghani Razaqpur, professor of civil engineering and a leading expert in infrastructure durability and sustainability, has received an Award of Merit from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group. The award is in recognition of “inspirational leadership, pioneering work and passionate commitment to standards for infrastructure durability, sustainability and security”.

Professor M. Jamal Deen has received a Doctor Honoris Causa from La Universidad de Granada in Spain in May, 2012, in recognition of his exceptional achievements as a scholar, academic, educator and collaborator. The Canada Research Chair in Information Technology and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Deen gave the address at the investiture entitled “From Humble Beginnings to Life at the Intersection of Engineering and the Sciences”. He described his early years in Guyana and the values he learned from the many exceptional teaches he had. He then spoke about some emerging trends in education and research, using examples from his own scholarly work, and concluded by noting that his ability to adapt and adjust to a variety of cultures and experiences has been key to his success. n

Dr. Razaqpur chairs a number of CSA standards/guidelines technical committees, including the Technical Committee S806 Design and Construction of Building Components with Fibre Reinforced Polymers which, under his leadership, has developed the world’s first and (to date) only official design code of this kind. A professor of structural engineering and concrete design, Dr. Razaqpur is a member of TC S807 Specification for Fibre Reinforced Polymer Reinforcement and also serves in an advisory capacity for the Ontario Building Code. In February, 2012, Dr. Razaqpur was the recipient of the 2012 A.B. Sanderson Award from The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering for outstanding contributions to the development and practice of structural engineering in Canada. n

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Endowed Chair in Eco-entrepreneurship Dr. Lotfi Belkhir has been appointed to The Class of 1962, Mechanical Engineering Endowed Chair in Eco-entrepreneurship. A generous gift of $2,000,000 from alumnus Walter Booth, along with contributions from fellow classmates from the class of 1962, helped to establish this endowed chair as a celebration of 50 years of graduates in mechanical engineering. n

Engineering Faculty Receive Teaching Awards Brian Baetz, professor and chair of civil engineering, has received a 2011-2012 MSU Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented to the instructors who have shown dedication to teaching at McMaster University for at least ten years and who have been previously nominated for an MSU Teaching Award.This award recognizes the significant contribution by an instructor to the McMaster community based on their years of outstanding teaching and their contributions to academia. Dr. Baetz is also Director of the Engineering and Society Program. Civil engineering associate professor Cameron Churchill, who is also program chair of the Civil Engineering Infrastructure Technology stream in the Bachelor of Technology Program, is the recipient of a MSU 2011-2012 Faculty Award.The award recognizes outstanding all-round teaching performance based on such considerations as ability to communicate, approachability and enthusiasm. n

Top Innovators Recognized McMaster Innovator Awards recognize researchers who contribute to the University’s goal of building a culture of innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship through the transfer of their research discoveries and inventions to society via the creation of an innovative product or service. Professor of electrical and computer engineering Simon Haykin was recognized with the Lifetime Innovator Award for his work in the field of cognitive radio. McMaster has filed eight patents based on this research. Haykin also contributed to VitaSound Inc., winners of this year’s Industry Partner Award, which recognizes corporations who have made a significant contribution to developing the University’s research mandate. VitaSound uses patented technologies to create solutions for those with hearing problems.The company

helped to commercialize the NeuroCompensator hearing aid, developed by Suzanna Becker, professor of psychology, neuroscience & behaviour, out of earlier research by herself, Haykin and Ian Bruce. Chemical engineering professor Heather Sheardown was named Innovator of the Year. Sheardown is well-known for her work using hydrogels in biomaterial development for ophthalmic applications. She has developed two inventions with significant promise: material for intra-ocular lenses used in the treatment of cataracts, and material designed to deliver therapeutic drugs to the back of the eye in a controlled and sustained manner. Both Haykin and Sheardown received sculptures by local glass artist Kelly Lowe. n

Alumni Weekend 2013 Class of ’63, ’68, ’73, ’78, ’83, ’88, ’93 and ’98 The Faculty of Engineering invites you to Celebrate your Class Reunions!

Saturday, June 1, 2013 CIBC Hall - McMaster University Student Centre Cost: $60/Person Dress Code - Business Casual

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New Chair – Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Tim Davidson is the new Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, commencing July 1, 2012. The appointment is for a five-year term. Dr. Davidson, whose research interests lie in the general areas of communications, signal processing and control, is a professor in the Department and holds the (Tier II) Canada Research Chair in Communication Systems. Previously, he held research positions with the Communications Research Laboratory, McMaster University; the Adaptive Signal Processing Laboratory, University of Western Australia; and the Australian Telecommunications Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth. He is the 1991 recipient of the J. A. Wood Memorial Prize (for “the most outstanding [UWA] graduand” in the pure and applied sciences), and the 1991 Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia. He has been in various editorial positions for a number of journals and is currently serving as an Associate Editor of Optimization and Engineering. He is also Vice-Chair-Elect of the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s Technical Committee on Signal Processing for Communications and Networking. n

President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction Dr. Philip Koshy is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. An associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Koshy was recognized for his teaching passion and enthusiasm, and for his dedication to his students. He is well-known for his

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caring and thoughtful approach to teaching and his ability to develop an excellent rapport with students. He is also an active researcher with a substantial portfolio of research publications, patents and honours. The President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction, established in 1993, recognizes outstanding contributions to education. n

Mascher and Luxat Named Fellows The Faculty of Engineering congratulates Drs. Peter Mascher and John Luxat who were recently inducted new Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. The honour recognizes their outstand-

Peter Mascher

Spirit & Determination Merits Award Civil Engineering and Management student Ryan Loveday is the recipient of The Bruce Cochrane Award, presented to a student who best demonstrates unwavering dedication and service to their team, club or group. The announcement by the Athletics and Recreation Department notes that Ryan, who was forced off the football field due to an injury, provided tremendous support to the staff during the season. He served as Film and Scout Team Coordinator, and as lead spotter for the offence. He also became involved in recruitment, planning the Marauder summer camps, and organizing the Football Gala Dinner. Congratulations, Ryan! n

Engineering and Society 20th Anniversary Saturday, October 13, 2012 University Club

John Luxat ing contributions and their distinguished achievements in engineering. The Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) includes many of the country’s most accomplished engineers who have expressed their dedication to the application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises. Members of the Academy are nominated and elected by their peers. The Academy is an independent, self-governing and non-profit organization established in 1987. n

For more information visit our website: events/society_20th.html

The Power of Internship In a tough economy, gaining valuable experience for a newly graduated Engineer can prove to be difficult. Neil Mohan (Chem.Eng.‘09) took advantage of two critical avenues that McMaster University offers to ensure that he stood out from the thousands of new engineering graduates.

Sarnia Refinery. Neil spearheaded a diverse range of projects, from coordinating the refinery’s longest outage safety tour to proactively driving initiatives that ensured regulatory compliance at the refinery. His achievements were recognized by senior

The first was the summer research programs that professors often offered to undergraduate students. In 2006, Neil worked with Dr. Petric, professor of Materials Science and Engineering, at his worldrenowned fuel cell laboratory, studying the effects of various substrate interconnect and cathode materials for solid oxide fuel cells.

... the recruiters stated that over 6,000 resumes were screened and only 26 would get hired. Once again, Neil attributed his job offer to the strong undergraduate experience...

The second was the Co-Op/Internship program. Every year, various employers post Internship and Co-Op positions specifically designed for those with little-to-no engineering experience. Neil was quickly able to land a 16-month position at Suncor Energy, Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, at its

management who presented him with a pregraduation job offer with the company. This proved to be a pivotal moment in his career, especially when numerous students were struggling to obtain jobs post-graduation.

By taking advantage of these two avenues to gain undergraduate experience, Neil was able to build a foundation of strong engineering experience prior to graduation. Neil has since left his full-time position at Suncor Energy to pursue a career in nuclear energy with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the Pickering Generating Station. When Neil applied to OPG, the recruiters stated that over 6,000 resumes were screened and only 26 would get hired. Once again, Neil attributed his job offer to the strong undergraduate experience which helped him break into the job market and change careers easily. Today, Neil is responsible for the day-to-day operational support of various areas of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, and applies all the knowledge and tools he obtained from his education and past experience so as to be successful in his new position. n The MacEngineer 11

Lab Supervisor Wins President’s Award Civil Engineering ADL Lab Supervisor Kent Wheeler is the recipient of a President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 2011. According to the letters of support, Kent provided outstanding support to all students in civil engineering, as well as to the users of the ADL.The Department congratulates Kent on receiving this award. The President’s Awards were presented at a reception for all staff award winners held in May 2012. n

A Bridge to Success Congratulations to the Civil Engineering team that won the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Troitsky Bridge Building Competition at Concordia University in Montreal in March of this year.This is the second year that a team from McMaster has won the competition. Well done! n 12 The MacEngineer

The ExCEL Referendum Receives Strong Response A question of whether or not current undergraduate engineering students would pay a levy in support of an Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL) received a decisive answer – Yes! Slightly over 71% of the votes cast accepted a proposal that undergrad McMaster Engineering Society (MES) students would pay a $50.00 annual levy for a period of ten years, once the building receives University approval. Voter turnout was 1061 of a possible 4045 voters, representing 26.1% of MES members. The proposed ExCEL will provide a home for student clubs and societies, collaborative workspaces, design studios, display and demonstration spaces, areas for students to meet, relax and work together, as well as selected student services. It will be a place for hands-on learning, and serve as a living laboratory for sustainable building technologies. It is expected that engineering students will have an active role in designing the building and, to date, a number of student teams have worked on designing the energy systems, the structure requirements and how the building can best meet student needs. n

ExCEL Alumni Appeal Often graduates will reflect on their most valuable lessons learned, and realize many significant learning experiences often occur outside the classroom, through extracurricular activities.You will read in this MacEngineer and previous issues that Engineering is preparing to make ExCEL – the Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning – a cornerstone of the engineering student experience. ExCEL is more than just adding additional space for engineering students. It is an approach to learning, preparing students for leadership in their profession and communities. The ExCEL program links to a goal of creating opportunities for hands-on learning, while connecting with the student classroom experience. We are appealing to our engineering alumni to provide a gift to the ExCEL Fund to assist us with our experiential education initiative. It will give engineering the capacity to support more student projects, to attract more off-campus partners, to support more practical student projects, and to be more ambitious in our experiential learning strategy. The power of ExCEL is compelling. If you are considering making a first gift to the Faculty of Engineering, this is the project that should inspire your generosity.

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Profiles Alumnus an Expert on Indoor Air Quality Doug Walkinshaw (M.Eng. in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics ’66) recently received an Alumni Honour Award from the University of Alberta where he received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1970. He is an expert in indoor air quality, and is perhaps best known for his introduction of the idea that “the integral of exposure with time as well as occupancy density, not simply ventilation rate (and definitely not air-exchange rate), are important factors in determining risk of air-borne infections. What this means is exposure to one very sick person nearby in a typical crowded

subway car trip is not nearly as dangerous as exposure to that same person in an overseas aircraft flight, or even a class room situation or a crowded hockey rink. Walkinshaw led the establishment of an indoor air quality research program at the National Research Council in 1982, and later was appointed scientific advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), participating in that organization’s drafting of sick building syndrome (SBS) guidelines. Currently, Walkinshaw is owner of three companies. Indoor Air Technologies Inc. ( investigates and provides solutions to poor air quality in buildings. ECHO Air Inc. employs technology to depressurize and vent humid and contaminated air to the outdoors from specially constructed tightly sealed walls – in basements or around truck off loading areas, for example. In aircraft, this same technology pressurizes the insulated space between the aircraft cabin liner and the aircraft exterior skin to prevent humid cabin air from entering and condensing behind the insulation. As well, if there is an electrical fire, such as occurred in the 1998 fatal Swiss air flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia, it can extinguish the fire and exhaust the smoke directly to the outdoors.The third company, VEFT Aerospace Technology Inc., is working with the commercial passenger airline industry on new diffuser technology which filters the air near each occupant, reducing the risk of infectious disease transmission between occupants. His ventilation technology systems have received patents in a number of countries around the world, and he is the recipient of awards from the Ottawa Carleton Home Builders’ Association and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Doug Walkinshaw

Craig Smith

Walkinshaw is a Fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ). n

A Solid Foundation for Success McMaster University has played an important role in Craig Smith’s life. It granted him an engineering degree (Elec.Eng. & Mgmt. ’92), and it was the place where he met future wife Jessica (Commerce (Hons) ’92). Craig says he became fascinated with electronics at an early age, designing circuit boards and building power supplies when elementary school kids his age were climbing trees and playing tag. He selected McMaster as his university of choice because it offered the combined Engineering & Management Program. More importantly, he says, “When I arrived on campus for the first time, I experienced an unmistakable feeling of community. As I toured the facility and met with students, McMaster started feeling like home.” No other university came close to providing that feeling, he adds. That sense of community, combined with the kind friendship and supportive mentorship of Dr. Timothy Field, helped to make the five-year Mac experience very enjoyable indeed. “The Engineering & Management program gave me a critical blend of technical and business proficiency,” he says. “The finance

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The Future of Water & Energy What the future might hold for global water and energy issues was thoughtfully addressed by Andrew Benedek in February during the annual J. W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture. Dr. Benedek, Chairman and CEO of Anaergia Inc. and founder and former Chairman and CEO of ZENON Environmental Inc. spoke on “Water, Energy and a McMaster Spin Out”. During his presentation, Benedek related how ZENON, a small McMaster spin-out company established in 1980, became the global technology leader in the battle to provide clean water to the world through the company’s advanced membrane technologies. He shared lessons learned and reviewed the current global water and energy issues, followed by some insights on future challenges and possibilities. n

Hoyt Appointment Dr. Jeffrey Hoyt is the new Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His appointment was effective January 1, 2012. Dr. Hoyt, who joined the Department in July 2007, engages in research on the utilization of molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques to model phase transformations. n

News from Simcha Stroes-Gascoyne, Recently, MacEngineer heard from Simcha Stroes-Gascoyne. Over the past year, she has been involved in an OECA/NEA international review of the Swedish license application to build a geologic repository in that country for spent fuel. In addition to her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, she has the equivalent of B. Eng. and M. Eng. in Environmental Engineering from Agricultural University, Wageningen,The Netherlands. Sim’s area of research experience for the past 30 years has been in the field of geological disposal of high-level nuclear fuel waste.

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Since 1982, she has been Senior Research Scientist at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Whiteshell Laboratories, Pinawa, Canada. AECL is Canada’s leading nuclear science and technology laboratory. Initially her work was focused on the dissolution of spent fuel in groundwater under a wide range of geochemical conditions, on determining instant release fractions of radionuclides for source term development, and on determining the effects of alpha-radiolysis on the dissolution mechanism of UO2. She was also active in various fuel characterization and dry storage projects. Since the mid-1990s, her main interest has been subsurface microbiology in the context of nuclear waste disposal, in order to determine the effects of microbial reactions on nuclear waste disposal. She was in charge of the experimental program in microbiology at AECL’s Underground Research Laboratory until its closure in 2010. Sim is the author of more than 60 published articles and conference proceedings, as well as more than 65 published reports, and has collaborated with scientists and engineers in Switzerland, Belgium, France, UK, Japan and USA. She is an Associate Editor for the journal Applied Geochemistry. Sim is married to Owen, and the couple have two sons both of whom are pursuing studies in engineering.“If not at Mac, at least we produced some more engineers for Canada!” n

Dr. Capson Moving On The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering congratulates Dr. David Capson on his appointment as Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria, effective August 1, 2012.This is a fiveyear appointment. Formerly the Chair of the Department, Dr. Capson also served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Acting Dean of Graduate Studies while at McMaster. He is the recipient of several teaching awards, and has been a registered professional engineer in Ontario since 1987. He will be missed by his colleagues who have admired his dedication and commitment to students and learning. n

Deceased Notices Dr. Nyal Wilson, former long-time faculty member of the Department of Civil Engineering, passed away on Saturday, March 17, 2012. Well-known for his love of cars, Dr. Wilson was an also avid sailor and a world traveler who always returned to enjoy his beloved home in Ancaster, Ontario.

Alumni Grapevine Adriana & Paul

Waguih ElMaraghy Waguih ElMaraghy (Mech. M.Eng. ’72 and PHD ’75): Inducted as a Fellow in the Canadian Academy for Engineering (CAE) in June 2012, during the 25th anniversary meeting of the Academy in Ottawa.The citation notes Dr. ElMaraghy’s role in the development of the award-winning GO Bi-level commuter coaches. He is also a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), and Engineers Canada (FEC). Dr. ElMaraghy is professor and Head of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) at the University of Windsor.

Emilia & Simon

Andriana Kwiatkowski (Civil ‘09) Paul Howatt, Health Science ‘08): On Tuesday May 15th, Paul and I exchanged vows and rings in a civil Italian ceremony. We are planning to have a ceremony and reception in Canada (all plans TBD, next summer) and share these special times with you all.Thank you so much for all of your love and support for us as individuals and as a couple. We look forward to sharing the many stories from our trip and wedding with you soon. Ostrowercha, Rob (Civ.Eng. ’02): Rob and Melissa (nee Mitchell, Civ.Eng. ’02) are pleased to announce the birth of their second child, Elena Isabelle, on March 30, 2012. Her big brother Corbin is thrilled to have a little sister! Rob continues to work as construction manager at Valery Homes in Hamilton, and Melissa will return after maternity leave to her job as design engineer at Ausenco Sandwell in Burlington, Ontario. We’d be glad to hear from former classmates at .


Harris, Michael (Mech.Eng ’07) and Melanie Harris (Elec.Eng ’08) welcomed their first child Elizabeth Joy on March 7, 2012. Elizabeth is a happy, healthy bundle of Joy.

Ellena & Corbin


Adam (Mech Eng & Mgmt ‘08) and Lisa (Civil Eng & Scty ‘08) Vespi welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Joshua Thomas Vespi into the world on March 29, 2012. Nonna Vespi spoils me too! Emilia Wilk (Eng Physics ’12) married Simon on June 29, 2012. They moved to Germany where he will be starting his PhD and Emilia will be starting her Masters in Biomedical Engineering. The MacEngineer 15

Profiles continued and accounting knowledge combined with my technical skill set served me very well during my years of self-employment.” In the final analysis, he adds, a solid university education should prepare one not just for success in a career, but also for life-long learning. These days, Craig is President of SICK Ltd. Canada, located in Richmond Hill, Ontario. SICK Ltd is part of the German-based global organization SICK AG, a leading producer of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. He is responsible for all sales,

Alan Murray reappointed Executive Director of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership Alan Murray has been reappointed as the Executive Director of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership effective July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015. Over the past three years Alan has been instrumental in facilitating the ongoing development of the Bachelor of Technology Partnership. His leadership, hard work and dedication have contributed to the growth and success of the B.Tech. Programs.

marketing and operating activities within SICK’s factory, logistics and process automation business segments in Canada. Newly appointed to this position, Craig is focusing on developing a higher level of presence in the Canadian market. Craig and Jessica have their hands full raising two young daughters. In addition, Craig referees minor ice hockey, something he’s been doing for over 30 years. With a partner, he also makes his own wine and bottles it under the “Smith Estates” label. n

Alan Murray is the founder of Burlington, Ontario-based TriFusion Consulting. From 1999 to 2007, he served as Gennum Corporation’s VP of Human Resources. For seven years beginning in 2000, he was also a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Business where he taught Strategic Management of Technology to MBA students. n

ExCEL Alumni Appeal ExCEL will build on our world-ranked engineering curriculum to develop more than just academic excellence. ExCEL will help McMaster produce graduates who are practiced and skilled in their approaches to leadership, entrepreneurship and community service. In March 2012, engineering students went to the polls, and voted in support of a student levy in support of ExCEL. Please join our students, by donating to the ExCEL project – giving students the opportunity to engage in an experience we have yet to imagine. If you would like to donate on-line, follow this weblink – If you have questions, kindly contact Terry Milson at 905.525.9140 extension 27391 or email: n

16 The MacEngineer

Engineering Scotch Tasting Event Thursday November 8, 2012 The Hamilton Club

For more information please visit our website: events/scotch_tasting_12.html

MacEngineer Fall 2012  

The MacEngineer - The magazine for McMaster University's Faculty of Engineering Alumni