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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Fall 2013


MacEngineer The New Dean of Engineering

Ishwar Puri

Dean of Engineering Ishwar Puri

First, let me say how honoured I am to be appointed Dean of this well-respected Faculty of Engineering. I am committed to continuing on the path that has proven so successful for us: fostering innovation, developing experimental learning programs, providing students with hands-on and co-op opportunities, and promoting co-operation between our faculties, both here at McMaster and at other institutions around the world.

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The McMaster Faculty of Engineering has a well-deserved reputation for innovative programs, cutting-edge research, leading faculty, and aspiring students. We are ranked among the top engineering schools in Canada and worldwide, having earned a strong reputation as a centre for academic excellence and innovation. In our various engineering disciplines, we create new knowledge and share that knowledge by educating and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders. These leaders go on to make a difference for Canadians and for people around the world. The Faculty attracts approximately $40 million in annual research funding. Our faculty, staff, and students pursue research and learning in more than 22 research centres, institutes, and networks. In addition, we collaborate regularly on research projects with  partners in universities and government agencies, and with more than 100 companies in Canada and abroad. I am also committed to strengthening our emphasis on sustainability, dedication to ethics and integrity, educational outcomes that place students in the centre of the learning process, and outreach that enhances not only our communities but the world. This Faculty will continue to emphasize discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  These strengths will help us address a number of current challenges: the impact of online education on teaching and learning, the desperate need to grow the manufacturing sector in North America, and the creation of collaborations at home and abroad. This last point is very important, I believe. Through collaborations, we have the opportunity to improve the human condition, to weave interdisciplinary methodologies in every aspect of learning and discovery, and to ensure opportunities that fulfill our capabilities and aspirations. The world is changing. We will lead those changes by working with others in our Faculty, throughout our distinguished University, and beyond – to enable better learning, significant discoveries, greater engagement, improved commerce, and overall competitiveness. n

Profiles Engineers – Changing the World McMaster’s reputation for water treatment research in the 1990s attracted the attention of Sandra Ketchen (M.Eng, (Civil) ‘94). The chemical engineering grad from the University of Waterloo (1992) planned to study how chemical by-products, such as metals and plastics, could be transformed into something useful, or removed from the water sources altogether. “I chose McMaster because there was (and still is) a high calibre of teachers working on ground-breaking research in wastewater treatment.” Two mentors in particular stand out. Anna Robertson, who ran the water treatment lab, was always there for the students, to assist, coach, and mentor, Sandra recalls. “She helped us be successful but, at the same time, made the experience a lot of fun.” Dr. Keith Murphy, now deceased, asked a lot of tough questions. “He made us think about what the research was telling us and how to apply it in the real world.” After working in the area for about three years, Sandra left the water/wastewater treatment field. “Perhaps,” she says, “it was a bit before its time then (mid-1990’s).” However, she feels that the experiences and skills gained by completing her Master’s thesis have been invaluable to her career. “It taught me selfdiscipline, critical thinking and collaboration, and prepared me well for coaching clients and customers through their own challenges.” Sandra is Senior Vice President of Products at ATS Automation in Cambridge, Ontario. She is responsible for all aspects of the products segment, including sales, engineering, operations, financial performance, and customer

Sandra Ketchen

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.

satisfaction. From product assembly and testing to specialized process assembly, ATS delivers custom automation technology and expertise to deliver turnkey manufacturing solutions. In addition, she has become a passionate booster of Canadian technology and innovation. “Engineering is about creating things that don’t exist – products, software, applications, or even just ideas. Canadian engineering can change the world. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?” n

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profiles continue on p.4

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Engineering Opportunities Abound Brad Merkel (ChemEng.‘85) chose chemical engineering because of his love of chemistry, and because he realized that grads with this particular background were employed in a wide variety of industries. He opted for the management program because it fit in well with his interest in business. It was, he could add, the perfect choice, given how his career has developed over the years. Brad is currently Vice President and General Manager at Imperial Oil, with responsibility for sales and marketing of petroleum products across Canada. He lives in Calgary, Alberta. He has been with the company for 28 years, starting in an engineering technical support role

and moving through sales, marketing and finance positions. He’s lived in many cities across the country including Toronto, Regina and Sudbury, as well as in Dallas and Washington in the US, and even spent some time in Singapore. There is no better time to get into engineering, he says. Almost every sector of the Canadian economy – oil, gas, mining, manufacturing, construction, transportation - needs continued development of leadingedge technology in order to remain competitive. “The demographics of our workforce will see large numbers of experienced engineers retiring in the next 10 years – there has never been a better time to choose engineering as a career. The opportunities will be plentiful.” Brad has fond memories of two McMaster engineering profs – Dr. Les Shemilt and Dr. Phil Woods. “The late Dr. Shemilt was loved and respected by all his students over the course of his remarkable career. And Dr. Woods was without a doubt the most effective and enthusiastic teacher’ I had at Mac.” The most important take-away from the University’s engineering program, he adds, “is the discipline and rigour it provided in breaking down complex problems and in solving them with the right blend of efficiency and effectiveness.” It’s something he’s used daily during his successful career. In his leisure time, Brad enjoys golfing, snowboarding and biking, as well as playing the guitar. He is the father of three sons, the eldest of whom recently graduated with a degree in Engineering from the University of Toronto. n

Skills Directed to Application

Brad Merkel

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For Mark Ottensmeyer (MechEng & Mgmt. ‘94), the decision about post high school education came down to a toss-up between mechanical engineering and engineering physics. Mechanical engineering won the toss because, he says, of his passion for LEGO and all things mechanical/robotic, and having seen the movie Aliens with the cargo-lifter in the climactic battle scene a few years before. By adding on the management tack, Mark felt he would better be able to turn his tinkering hobbies into a fulltime career. He made excellent use of his time at McMaster. During one summer, he worked

Mark Ottensmeyer

under Dr. Ozden Turan in the wind tunnel facility, learning experimental techniques, sensor technologies, and the basics of machine shop fabrication. He also gained valuable knowledge working in Dr. Hoda ElMaraghy’s lab, where he learned about robotics and got experience with electronics and optical sensors, as well as programming robot controls. All these experiences were instrumental in his successful application to graduate school at MIT in the mechanical engineering program, Mark asserts. “I am certain that the opportunities for research at Mac provided key elements that led to the MIT acceptance.” In addition to the summers of work and the years of courses, Mark managed to have some fun while at Mac. One fond memory is being on the 1992 Supermileage car team (3-wheeled, rear-drive, with a Briggs and Stratton two-stroke engine). At the test track at Kalamazoo, he did his lap with the contoured cover off because the car was so small. “Touring around that track at about 50 kph with the rain in my face and my butt in a canvas seat about three inches off the ground is something I’ll always remember!” Since finishing a Ph.D. in 2001 at MIT, Mark has worked for the Simulation Group at the Massachusetts General Hospital as the lead mechanical engineer. “We develop training devices and systems to teach physi-

cians, first responders and other in a wide range of procedures.” One example is the full-body trauma victim robot with modular limbs, which was licensed to Montreal-based CAE Healthcare and for which a patent has recently been issued. Married in 2011, Mark and Emily are expecting twins in November. A certified SCUBA diver and an aficionado of Latin and ballroom dancing, he expects to find his time devoted to the new adventure come the fall. n

Engineering – a Passion Anand Sinha (Computer Eng. ‘85) thinks McMaster University’s unique common firstyear engineering program is important for helping students determine their speciality. “In my case, it gave me the opportunity to learn about both computer engineering and engineering physics programs without having to make a commitment to either immediately.” He ultimately selected computer engineering which offered the full gamut of computer science and electrical engineering courses. “I was able to combine my love for electronics and computers in a practical way.” A favourite class was Dr. A. H. Kitai’s Digital Logic courses. “He was a fun teacher who took the time to explain things. He brought a positive energy to every lecture, Anand Sinha

and obviously enjoyed what he was teaching.” The majority of Anand’s career has been in software development. At the present time, he is Director of IT at Hamilton-based Mabel’s Labels, a company that makes and sells labels for all those items that kids don’t want to lose. Despite its down-home-style name, the company is very high-tech. “We built the software for the production system, imaging software, printing and cutting controls, customer management, order fulfilment, as well as the automation of our printing, cutting, packing, and shipping systems.” Prior to this, Anand was one of the original employees at Waterloo-based RIM and a member of the team that designed and built the first BlackBerry hand-held device. He was also one of the lead developers of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, for which he received two patents (two additional patents are pending). For high school students thinking of a career in engineering Anand has this advice: “It must be a passion for you. If you want to stay abreast of new technology and its applications and want to learn cool things for the rest of your life, then engineering is the way to go.” In addition to hiking, Anand follows sports: hockey (Montreal Canadiens), baseball (Toronto Blue Jays) and football (Hamilton Tiger-Cats). He owns a Telsa Roadster, one of the world’s first fully electric cars. However, much to his chagrin, none of his four children has the passion to be an engineer. n

Looking Beyond the Lab In 1989 Robert Leaker (ChemEng ‘96) came to McMaster University intent on taking a science degree. During molecular biology and biotechnology classes, he had a sudden realization. “If I was not going to work in a lab the rest of my life, I might want to explore more the applied sciences.” That’s how he ended up with degrees in both sciences and chemical engineering. Following graduation, Robert worked as a process engineer for an oil and gas refining company, but gradually shifted into business and management positions. Currently he is the Vice President, Emerging Markets and Innovation for Meridian Credit Union in

Robert Leaker

Ontario. His responsibilities include devising and testing new lines of business and business opportunities that will be of benefit to the institution’s members. His most recent initiative is the development of a new financial services distribution model that creates full service agencies operated by third parties. “If successful,” he says, “this will be the first of its kind in North America.” Robert is particularly grateful for the advice offered by McMaster professor Dr. Don Woods. “He taught me to avoid dog projects’ and to be sure to re-invent myself and my job frequently.” Robert, who also has an MBA from Queen’s University (2001), estimates that over 80% of his career has been self-directed. This was possible, he feels, because of the training and skills learned from engineering, which gives its grads a definite edge. Engineering, he adds, is a very practical discipline, and one that is very transferrable. He went from studying genetic engineering to working in the petro-chemical field, then on to retail, finance and general management positions. “Few degrees will give you that flexibility.” Robert is married to Andrea and the couple are raising four children in Hamilton. “I fell in love with Hamilton while at Mac, and we have settled here to raise our family.” In addition to martial arts, Robert enjoys photography and trail running, particularly ultra-marathon running. n

The MacEngineer


Making a difference



at a time

Devin Ramphal (MechEng ‘11) had an idea that would save millions of litres of fuel every year. Devin, a Manufacturing Project Engineer at General Motors, has in his spare time developed a new spout design for fuel nozzles that stops the flow of fuel as soon as the pump handle is released, thus preventing those few remaining drops from falling to the ground and being wasted. Not only is the fuel not wasted – which is important for station owners and customers alike – but the environment benefits as well. Devin, founder of DRAM Innovations, and his team have prepared a YouTube video clip of the spout and its benefits ( Many of the team’s members are also McMaster grads: Simon Oomen-Hurst (BEng ‘10, M.A.Sc ‘12), Jason Harrison (BEng ‘11), Vishal Singh (BEng ‘11), Oscar Yinan Liu (MEng candidate ‘13), and Reshma Ramphal (BSc ‘13).

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In March 2012, the team submitted the design concept to the popular TV show “Dragons’ Den” ( watch?v=VhE38Q60jLk) and were thrilled when it was nominated for second place over hundreds of applicants from across Canada. After the show aired in June, the team gained international exposure through various on-line news sources such as phys. org, gizmodo, and gizmag. As a result, Brampton-based DRAM Innovations has successfully entered into and completed an exclusive testing and development agreement with one of the largest nozzle manufacturers in North America. In April 2013, DRAM Innovations received a Fed Dev grant through McMaster University’s Innovation Factory. “We’ve used some of these funds to hire a McMaster Masters of Engineering Design Student for the summer to help accelerate our product development,” Devin explains. “For our next step, we will be launching a

campaign on a crowd funding site known as Indiegogo, to help raise additional seed capital for the business.” The Indiegogo campaign launches in early September and DRAM Innovations gladly welcomes any support from the McMaster community. DRAM Innovations focuses on profitable, green technologies. The company’s goal is to inspire society into a greener way of thinking through its technologies, resulting in a more environmentally aware population, says Devin. “It’s more than just saving millions of liters of fuel, it’s about sending a message that if there ever were a time for conservation and eliminating waste, that time is now. The fuel nozzle drip retainer, now called the ND-1, is only one of many green ideas we have in our quest for a cleaner world.” n

New Appointments

New Dean for Engineering – Ishwar Puri has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering for a five-year term. Dr. Puri, who is a graduate of the Delhi College of Engineering at the University of Delhi (B.Sc.) and the University of California San Diego (Ph.D., M.S.), comes to McMaster from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Most recently, he was the university’s head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. Dr. Puri is a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and the N. Waldo Harrison Professor at Virginia Tech. His research interests include combustion and transport phenomena, and nanoscale heat and mass transport. He is a leader in nanotechnology education, engineering ethics, and the globalization of higher education and research.

Faculty Appointments

Chemical Engineering associate professor Carlos Filipe has been appointed Acting Associate Dean, Academic, a one-year appointment commencing July 1, 2013. Dr. Filipe will serve in this role in order to relieve Dr. Kenneth Coley for his Administrative Leave. Dr. Filipe, who joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2002, is currently an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Associate Chair for the Department.

The Faculty of Engineering is pleased to announce the following, effective July 1, 2013:

Marilyn Lightstone has been appointed Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective July 1, 2013. The appointment is for five years. Dr. Lightstone has been professor in the Department since 1999. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Engineering at Queen’s University and then a Master’s and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Mr. Cam Churchill Director, Engineering and Society, for 5 years

Spencer Smith, associate professor of computing and software, has been reappointed director of Engineering I, for a one-year term. Engineering I is the common firstyear program taken by all engineering students at McMaster. It provides an introduction to the engineering profession, support services and programs to help students transition from high school into university. Professor Smith obtained his B.Eng., M.Eng. and Ph.D. from McMaster University.

Appointments Dr. John Preston Chair, Department of Engineering Physics, for 5 years Dr. Michael Soltys Acting Chair, Department of Computing and Software, covering for a 6-month research leave

Dr. Lotfi Belkhir Acting Director, Xerox Centre for Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, for 6 months Dr. Sarah Dickson Associate Chair, Department of Civil Engineering, for 3 years

Reappointments Dr. Brian Baetz Chair, Department of Civil Engineering Dr. David Potter Director, Engineering and Management, for 1 year

The MacEngineer


Greetings from the ESSCO President The McMaster Engineering Society (MES) has had significant support for decades from the Engineering Student Societies’ Council of Ontario (ESSCO). ESSCO was formed by Ontario undergraduate engineering students in 1987 as a response to perceived issues within engineering academia. Thirteen member societies, representing thousands of students, formed the organization as a means to voice students’ opinions to professional organizations and the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering (CODE). It was also a venue to support those engineering societies as they grew in size. Fast forward to 2013, and the now 16-member council of ESSCO has elected a McMaster engineering student as its president. My name is Mike Kovacs and I am a proud McMaster Civil Engineering & Society student entering my final year. I ran for ESSCO President at the Council’s Annual General Meeting in May 2013 I recently completed my term on the MES Executive as VP External Relations, and have actively participated in external events and conferences for several years. I feel I have grown immensely as a person during that time. My participation quickly transitioned from delegate to volunteer over the years, as I often led discussions and offered my experience from past student society roles. These include multiple years as store (“The Drain”) manager and Welcome Week planning committee member, in addition to volunteering and sports team management. I have received awards from the student society for the contributions, and I credit my success with these roles to my strong connection with Alumni and the Engineering & Society program which has encouraged critical thinking and a holistic approach to societal 8 The MacEngineer

My name is Mike Kovacs and I am a proud McMaster Civil Engineering & Society student entering my final year.

development. It is the ESSCO President’s responsibility to liaise with the PEO, OSPE, and CODE, in addition to other organizations that could affect the engineering student experience. ESSCO will also continue improving communications between student societies across Ontario, in a transparent manner. I am already pursuing the opportunity to raise awareness for professional and extracurricular engagements and organizations (like the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy) to a larger population. To do that, I will be working with my Executive team to increase awareness of ESSCO and its

partners through increasingly valuable services. A strong theme amongst the Executive seems to be the pursuit of partners to provide discounts on useful student society services, or to offer more job-search, personal/professional development, and networking tools across Ontario. In the coming year, ESSCO will be hosting four conferences, including one in partnership with the PEO, and several outreach initiatives in which it will be looking for partners and sponsors. These include President’s Meeting, PEO Student Conference, First Year Integration Conference, and the Annual General Meeting, in addition to National Engineering Month and Wonderland Math & Physics Day. The AGM will be hosted at McMaster University in the second quarter of 2014. I welcome McMaster Engineering alumni to help ESSCO with these conferences in any way. Partners and sponsors can provide extremely valuable advice and services to students, and it is with this input from the community (especially engineering alumni) that today’s Engineering students can increase their personal and professional value upon graduation. I would be as excited as ever to hear from alumni who may have been involved with ESSCO or the MES in the past. It has helped me to grow thus far, hearing from you at networking events and other run-ins. Please feel free to send me a message at The coming year will be full of new opportunities to grow as a community of engineering students, as well as personally, and if you would like to follow that progression, keep an eye on for a blog and regular Council updates. n

Formula Hybrid Team Successes In May 2013, the student-led McMaster Formula Hybrid team won two impressive awards during the 2013 Formula Hybrid Competition held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in London, New Hamp-

shire. The team placed first in the GM Best Engineered Hybrid Systems Award category, and also took the IEEE Engineering the Future Award. As well, the team placed third in the Hybrid Results competition — just

behind Yale University and Lawrence Technological University — taking home a $500 Chrysler Innovation Award. The Mac car was designed and tested by a team of engineering students who are divided into specific crews: chassis; suspension; brakes and pedal tray; powertrain; high voltage; low voltage; safety; and business. Dr. Ali Emadi, director, McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO), is the faculty sponsor for the team. Formula Hybrid is a well-known engineering challenge for undergraduate and graduate students. Participants must design an open-wheel, single-seat, electric or plug-in hybrid race car, which then races in a series of tests against similar vehicles by other institutions from across Canada and the United States.n

The MacEngineer


Q A &

1. What have you heard about McMaster University? Do these qualities match what you have seen so far? McMaster is known worldwide for its emphasis on experiential learning. I am struck by the loyalty that McMaster students, alumni and those who work here have to McMaster. They have a great affinity for the institution and carry their learning into the world with compassion and integrity. We are collaborative. We work together to accomplish the McMaster vision of creating and sustaining the best educational programs, conducting the highest quality research that bring amazing breakthroughs, and engaging responsibly with our society, communities, region and the world. 2. What are your expectations regarding the current and incoming students in engineering? I want students to become not only very capable engineers but also interesting persons and engaged citizens. The McMaster engineer will engage you in a wonderful conversation, regardless if you’re discussing technology, computer software, sustainability, travel, or the future of the world. Our students and alumni are interesting and valued not only for their high professionalism but also because the McMaster engineer is multi-dimensional, compassionate, and understands that our world is changing. The McMaster engineer wants to change the world for the better. 3. What are some of your long-term goals as Dean of Engineering? Our Faculty will produce the best engineers who are responsible, of the highest caliber,

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with Dean


Our frequency team sits down with the newly appointed Dean of Engineering. Originally from New Delhi, Dr. Ishwar Puri has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi University, and his Masters and Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of California, San Diego. He served as Department Head of Engineering Science & Mechanics at Virginia Tech for the past 9 years and has now made a 5-year commitment to our school.

with the strongest ethics, and are leaders who drive technological innovation. McMaster Engineering will enhance its transformative research to enable our students and faculty members to facilitate the next high innovation. They will create and power the next Blackberry, Google, GE, or GM. They will be inventors and innovators, and they will change the world by contributing to its economic, social, and emotional well-being.

4. What are some qualities you learned at Virginia Tech that you would like to implement here at McMaster? Each institution has its own culture. Hence, one can’t assume that what one has previously learned is immediately relevant to another institution. McMaster has its own set of values and qualities. One of my challenges is to learn exactly what these are and embrace them. However, a quality that I learned at Virginia Tech is resilience. Through a singular unfortunate catastrophe, I learned about compassion and community. I learned that in times of crisis, one doesn’t just have to count on one’s own self but that the entire world will offer support. Thus, Virginia Tech imparted to me a trust that our

world is essentially good, people are kind, and you should never feel abandoned or alone. If you need help, just whisper. 5. Do you feel that sustainability should be a main concern in the development of each engineering program? Our world will eventually run out of resources. If we are to promise each individual in the world the same quality of life that we have in North America, we would need one or two carbon copies of our earth. We just don’t have the resources to meet our future! Sustainability doesn’t imply that we must diminish our quality of life, or constantly sacrifice, or wear sackcloth and ashes everyday, rather it encourages us to rethink how we do business. Hence, sustainability is an ethically sound and economically necessary method to plan for the long view. Moreover, such thinking diminishes worldwide conflict over scarce resources. It is in the interest of our domestic security and global stability. So, yes, sustainability and engineering are intertwined. 6. How have we eased your transition and invited you into the McMaster University family? McMaster has done so through its many courtesies. It is an embracing and inclusive institution. Our Faculty has been particularly warm and welcoming. Thus, it has been very easy for me to fit in. I look forward to coming to work everyday with an eagerness and happiness that sometimes amazes me. I am excited and proud to lead this distinguished Faculty. Our great university is exactly where I want to be. Life is wonderful!



Lab Officially

Opens On May 9, 2013, the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) opened its doors. The $26-million facility, funded in part by Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), is one of a handful in the world located in an academic setting. The state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot facility is in the McMaster Innovation Park. The Centre’s team of researchers, students and industry professionals, in partnership with industry leaders such as Ford, Chrysler and GM, will develop, design and test electric and/or hybrid cars, and will work to resolve serious issues facing the automotive industry. These include building highly efficient and cost-effective powertrain components, identifying lighter materials to make cars more fuel efficient,

and developing cars and smart controls that allow members of an aging society to drive safely for longer periods. The Centre will be led by Ali Emadi, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain, and the director of the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO). n The MacEngineer 11

Honours for

Jamal Deen

It was a busy spring 2013 for Professor Jamal Deen. During the month of May he received the McNaughton Gold Medal, the highest award for engineers in Canada. It was presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and recognizes distinguished and outstanding contributions and achievements of engineers. Dr. Deen received the Medal in recognition

of his pioneering contributions to modelling of semiconductor devices. He is also the recipient of the McMaster Engineering Research Award at the Faculty of Engineering Annual “Applause and Accolades” gala, in recognition of his world-class status and peer-recognitions as a researcher, as well as his sustained research efforts and leadership in the Faculty of Engineering at the University. Later in the month, Dr. Deen was guest lecturer for the 2013 Winegard Lecture at the University of Guelph. The lecture was titled, “Biosensors: Playing at the Crossroads of Engineering and the Sciences” and outlined much of the fun he has enjoyed while doing research over the past three decades. Then the University of the West Indies presented him with a Vice Chancellor’s Award in recognition of his “exceptional scholarly work in engineering and science,

exemplary professionalism and dedicated volunteerism”. Dr. Deen is a senior Canada research chair in Information Technology; professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; professor of Biomedical Engineering; and director of McMaster’s Micro- and NanoSystems Laboratory. n

World Out of this

While in Kenya, Sarah Wu, 16, and a Grade 11 student from Brantford, Ontario, noticed that current malaria testing methods are too costly and/or require a trained technician. As the result of working with McMaster’s chemical engineering assistant professor David Latulippe and grad student Jieting Shang during a McMaster March Break learning placement, she devised a test that identifies a specific protein in the human body that is an indicator of malaria infection. A sample from the patient is placed on a paper filter, and then incubated with a solution containing aptamer-nanoparticle conjugates. A positive test (red dots on the paper strip) indicates that the protein is present in a patient – that means malaria is present. The process is simple, affordable, and highly effective, and the potential for misdiagnosis is very low. 12 The MacEngineer

Her project, entitled “Colorimetric Detection of Plasmodium Falciparum via Aptasensor Technology” (a method for use in diagnosing malaria), won the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Pinnacle “Best-in-Fair” award at the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair, held at Hillfield-Strathallen College in Hamilton in March 2013. As a result, she had an all-expenses-paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona in May, where the project won two awards: the Sheikh Zayed “Junior Scientist” category and second place in the grand award (medicine) category. She not only earned $4,000, but will have an asteroid named after her! A tradition since 2001, student award winners at national and international science fairs have asteroids named in their honour as part of the Ceres Connection program at Lincoln Laboratory, in conjunction with the

International Astronomical Union. Wu has been accepted at Pearson College in Victoria, BC and will begin its intensive two-year, pre-university program in September 2013. n

Co-op a Win–Win for Students and Employers

As a student (many years ago), I did not take advantage of a Co-op placement. I didn’t know much about Co-op and I didn’t consider it important. My thinking has since changed – I have become tremendously passionate about Co-op. This is why I am excited about my recent appointment as Manager, Engineering Co-op and Career Services at McMaster University. Although new to the Faculty of Engineering, I have been working in Co-op for several years, having previously supported both Commerce and MBA students at the DeGroote School of Business. Simply put, Co-op works! I’ve seen Co-op in action and the results are phenomenal and undeniable.

New Manager of Co-op Services Jeff Ollinger has been appointed to the position of Manager, Engineering Co-op and Career Services (ECCS), effective June 17, 2013. For the past four years Jeff was Manager, Program and Corporate Development for the Centre for Business Career Development at McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business. In this position, he was responsible for developing and supporting career opportunities for Commerce and MBA students. Jeff brings to the ECCS a passion for employer and community engagement, dedication to student success, and a commitment to develop and support the strategic directions of ECCS and the Faculty of Engineering.

During my first weeks in the Engineering faculty, I have learned that our students are doing some truly amazing things while on Co-op. Whether it is working on the leading edge of new technologies, supporting the oil and gas or nuclear energy sectors, engaging in process improvements in the automotive sector, or developing the newest and latest software applications, there is no shortage of exciting opportunities for our students. These experiences and the skills our students develop while on Co-op are in demand, and employers do turn to those with Co-op designation for hire after graduation. Co-op has the ability to open so many doors for students that every McMaster Engineering student should give considerable thought to getting involved. It is my goal to offer Co-op to every student and employer who wishes to participate. Our client-focused team at Engineering Co-op and Career Services is dedicated to helping students realize the benefits and possibilities associated with Co-op by matching them with worthwhile co-op work opportunities. Employers: hiring Co-op students is your talent pipeline for the future leaders of your organization. I encourage all Engineering students and all potential employers to connect with our office and begin the discussion of how Co-op can transform your learning experience and your employment strategy. by Jeff Ollinger, Manager, Engineering Co-op and Career Services

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A Unique Teaching T o o l ...

The Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL) is part of the Faculty of Engineering’s commitment to a more student-centred learning environment. The Centre’s goal is to provide more resources for student professional development activities that are outside the traditional lecture style of education. It is the learning experiences that happen inside and outside ExCEL that will help develop a student’s competencies. Can a building by itself provide those experiences? Our research has demonstrated that effectively designed programs and activities, supported by a specially designed building, can indeed provide learning situations from which students develop skills. Hence the ExCEL Initiative — whereby the building design and learning programs are developed together in an iterative process, with each one affecting the development of the other.

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ExCEL Kelton Friedrich (MechEng and Mgmt. ‘09, MechEng M.A.Sc ‘11) leads the development of the ExCEL Initiative as ExCEL Project Coordinator and Experiential Learning Coordinator. One of the initiatives Kelton facilitated during the summer of 2013 is the development of a stronger link between the features of the ExCEL building that could be used as teaching tools and the undergraduate curriculum. To do this, a team of summer students was hired, nearly one per department within the Faculty of Engineering, to work with the professors within their respective departments to develop tangible examples of how data and information from ExCEL can be used directly in the courses the professors teach. This would include using live or historical data collected from the building features as inputs to in-class examples, assignments, and undergraduate labs. An example for a thermodynamics course would be an assignment to add up all the measured energy flows into and out of the building for one hour, then do an energy balance and

see what is driving the need for cooling or heating in the building. This direct connection to a physical real-world example is part of what makes experiential learning such an enriching experience. As part of the ExCEL Initiative, the Faculty of Engineering will be looking for Alumni to volunteer as mentors and role models, using their real-world experiences to inspire students to value the learning gained outside the standard curriculum as key to their professional development and long-term career goals. Through the enhanced programs and courses, and with the assistance of alumni mentors, it is hoped that students will come to use the ExCEL building not just for socializing, but for richer learning activities that can help develop the capabilities they came to McMaster to acquire.

“Great Innovator” Winner

In June, third-year BTech process automation technology engineering student Mugdha Mulay was a member of the team that won the 2013 RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge. Mulay, who was on an eight-month co-op work term at RBC in the role of Technical Systems Analyst, was recruited to the team through a Facebook group of RBC co-operative education students. The Challenge is a 24-hour prototyping marathon that requires students to develop the next great idea that RBC could implement in its business. Over 150 post-secondary students from 23 institutions across

New Scholarship for Aboriginal Students

Canada competed to build an innovative prototype for a mobile, tablet, Web or desktop application that utilizes the power of social media seamlessly to integrate banking into the daily lives of clients. Mulay’s team received $5,000 for their prototype that focused on transferring money, product, and educational information between mobile devices by tapping them together. n

The Faculty of Engineering is proud to announce the establishment of a scholarship specifically for aboriginal students (status or non-status First Nations, Métis or Inuit). Students must be entering McMaster on a full-time basis in any undergraduate program; however, preference will be given to a student registering in the Faculty of Engineering. The scholarship is sponsored by Mississauga-based HATCH Ltd., an engineering, project, and construction management services company. The four-year $32,000 award ($8,000 per year) requires that the student remains full-time and achieves a Cumulative Average of 8.0 with no failures. n

John Bandler Honoured Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor emeritus John Bandler is the recipient of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society’s 2013 Microwave Career Award. It was presented in June during the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Seattle.This is the first time in the Society’s history that the Award has been given to a Canadian. Dr. Bandler’s work includes yielddriven design, design with tolerances, electromagnetic optimization, and space mapping, a concept he pioneered 20 years ago and which has been adopted across all engineering fields by researchers and industry designers. During his long career, he has received numerous awards and has published over 480 technical papers. Dr. Bandler, who received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond

Jubilee Medal last November, is also the author of short stories, a novel, a screenplay, and nine stage plays. n

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Spring Convocation 2013 The spring 2013 Faculty of Engineering Convocation ceremonies were held on Wednesday, June 12 at Hamilton Place in downtown Hamilton. This year, there was a total of 867 graduating engineers from the Faculty’s 13 departments and programs. A number of students received special recognition.

Mark Armstrong (Hons Computer Sci Co-op) received the Gerald Keech Medal, awarded to the graduating student from a program in Computer Science who attains the highest Cumulative Average. The medal was established in 1994 by friends and colleagues in recognition of Gerald L. Keech’s 33 years in Computer Science and computer services.

16 The MacEngineer

Simon Broadhead (Hons Computer Sci) won the Binkley Medal. The medal was established in 2000 by the University, and friends and colleagues of Margaret Belec (nee Binkley) on the occasion of her retirement. Along with a cash amount of $350.00, it is awarded to a graduating student from an Honours program in Computer Science who completed the program on a part-time basis and attained the highest Cumulative Average.

Leo Eikelman (B.Tech Computing & Info Tech) is the 2013 MAPS Gold Medal winner. This medal is awarded by the McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS) to a graduating student who completed studies on a part-time basis and who attained the highest Comulative Average.

Two Honorary Degrees were presented by the Faculty during the Convocation ceremonies, and both recipients are alumni of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Chandra Kudsia (M.Eng. ‘66 and D.Sc. ‘13), a leader in engineering technologies for satellite communication and aeronautics, and Robert Walker (M.Eng. ‘75, Ph.D. ‘77 and D.Sc. ‘13), President and Chief Executive Officer of Atomic Energy Canada Limited, were both awarded a Doctor of Science degree.

Outreach & Engagement by Lynn Stewart In 2012 the Faculty of Engineering created a new portfolio, Outreach and Community Engagement. I am very proud to be selected as its first Director. This initiative continues the Faculty’s commitment to excellence in engineering education, to supporting an engaged community of students, and to fostering collaborative relationships with research, industry and other community partners. Included in this portfolio are Engineering Co-op and Career Services, Engineering 1 Outreach and Recruitment, Engineering Alumni, and Engineering Advancement. We have created a collaborative team dedicated to enhancing the quality of student life, promoting and supporting student professional development, recruiting exemplary students, creating and developing relationships to support the myriad activities of faculty and students, and connecting the Faculty to the local community. This is a particularly eventful time for all of us in the Faculty of Engineering. We have a new Dean, an outstanding new initiative in the ExCEL project, and increasing activity with respect to experiential education. The later will not only equip students with the knowledge, skills, and professional competencies necessary for their success as engineering professionals, but will also help create citizens and future leaders who will embody the values and principles of community and sustainability. Our alumni are an important part of the McMaster Engineering community. We would welcome your participation as mentors, as guides to students while they develop leadership and other professional skills, as hosts for experiential learning activities, or as supervisors of Co-op students.  Please join us on this exciting journey! To discuss these or other ideas for outreach and engagement, please contact me, Lynn Stewart, at, or by phone at 905-525-9140, ext. 20074. I look forward to hearing from you.

Outstanding Teacher Recognized Tom Doyle, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a 2013 recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning. The Award is given in recognition of those who have significantly enhanced the quality of their students’ learning experiences through superior innovative teaching methods. Dr. Doyle’s teaching philosophy led him to pursue a project-based idea that integrates theory and practice across the curriculum from a first-year to a final-year project. He encouraged students not only to produce theoretical designs, but also to apply and see function. Dr. Doyle introduced computer simulation software to his design students so they could visualize their theoretical model (MapleSIM). Dr. Doyle has demonstrated many creative development tools to aid teaching needs, and has made many contributions to the advancement of teaching and learning on campus. n

Tops in Steel Jeremiah Vanaderlaan (CivEng & Mgmt. ‘13) is a recipient of a scholarship from the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC). Vanaderlaan, one of six 2013 CISC scholarship recipients in Ontario, received an award of $2,000. The scholarships recognize students with very high marks in university steel design courses, and the program is intended to encourage engineering students to explore steel as a main building material. Vanaderlaan is currently employed at steel fabricator, Walters Inc. in Hamilton, working as a junior engineer. n


Events Thursday, September 12, 2013 Big Sister/Little Sister BBQ

Friday, September 27, 2013 9th Annual Wine Tasting Event

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Calgary Event

October 4 - 6, 2013 Homecoming Weekend

Saturday, October 19, 2013 GO Eng Girl

November 7, 2013 10th Annual Scotch Tasting Event

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Social Connection Night

February 16-22, 2014 National Engineering Week

Saturday, March 1, 2013 Girl Guide Day

Friday, March 28, 2014 Kipling Iron Ring Ceremony

Friday, May 30, 2014 12th Annual Golf Tournament

Friday, June 6, 2014 2014 Alumni Reunion Day Classes of ‘64, ‘69, ‘74, ‘79, ‘84, and ‘89

The MacEngineer 17

Alumni Grapevine by a fabulous honeymoon in Hawaii, where we visited the lovely islands of Maui and Oahu. Belau, Grant (ElecEng. ‘80), founder of Invest Green Inc., has been awarded the 2013 National ENERGY GLOBE Award Canada for the website project www. The ENERGY GLOBE Award jury receives submission from over 160 countries; the Award is given to projects focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energies, and the conservation of resource. Recipients receive an ENERGY GLOBE Certificate that highlights the applicant and the project, and is signed by jury chairperson Maneka Gandhi and ENERGY GLOBE initiator Wolfgang Neuman. Salman and Ghaznia

Alvi, Salman (Eng & Mgmt. ‘08) and Khan, Ghaznia (Hon. Life Sciences, ‘11) are excited to announce our marriage on March 9th, 2013! We had a gorgeous three-day wedding in the GTA with family and friends. The first day we sang and danced with close family and friends; on the second day we performed the religious ceremony; and the final day was a modern Reception that celebrated our unity. This was followed

Elnomany, Shamel (MechEng & Mgmt. ‘06) married Malak on Thursday, August 30, 2012 in an Egyptian-style wedding ceremony in Alexandria, Egypt at the Four Seasons Hotel. Over 1,000 guests where in attendance for the 10:00 p.m. traditional Egyptian entrance, “zafa”, of the bride & groom. Then everyone enjoyed the various entertainments which ended at 4:00 a.m. I am grateful for all the friends and colleagues from McMaster and Canada who made it to the wedding.

Hussein, Esam

Hussein, Esam (Ph.D. EngPhys ‘83): In February 2013 Dr. Hussein was appointed Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Regina. Prior to this, he was Associate Dean of Engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, and a member of that university’s Board of Governors. His is the former President of the Association of UNB Teachers. Outram, Ian (ElectEng. M.Eng. ‘67): After working for 6 years for Northen Electric/BNR in Ottawa, then for a year in Australia as a college lecturer in communications and electronics, and finally with the UK Scientific Civil Service, I have retired. Recently I met a Mac grad doing a Ph.D. at Oxford University, and has a chance to get caught up with the University news. So many things changes, yet still the same! I currently live in Worcestershire, England. Perrons, Robert K. (MechEng. ‘95): In December 2012, I was elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers based in London, England. I am now living in Australia with my wife and three sons, and am an Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Malak and Shamel

18 The MacEngineer

Deceased Notices Woods, Donald Robert Professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical Engineering, died suddenly on Friday, April 26, 2013. Dr. Woods was at McMaster from 1964 until his retirement in 2000. His work in developing innovative teaching methods, particularly focused on problem-based learning, is known and recognized nationally and internationally. For these innovations, he was the recipient of many teaching awards at McMaster and elsewhere. He was to receive the 2013 Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award; it was presented posthumously at the Applause & Accolades celebration on May 8. Dr. Woods is survived by Diane, his wife of 52 years, and by his children Russell Glen (predeceased), Suzanna Lynn Peters (Denis Dallaire), and Cynthia Jane Veals (Scott), and five grandsons. Many of his former students may not know that Dr. Woods was also an artist, banjo player, square dancer, builder, author, and genealogist. 

Kirkaldy, John Samuel Gibson (Jack) Passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at the Sunrise Retirement Home in Mississauga, after a long illness. Dr. Kirkaldy received his Master’s in Nuclear Physics at the University of British Columbia. He came to McMaster in 1957 and was a founding member of the Department of Metallurgy and Metallurgical Engineering (which predates the founding of the Faculty of Engineering in 1958), and later, a founding member of the Department of Engineering Physics. From 1966 to 1969, he held the Steel Company of Canada Chair of Metallurgy. In 1967 he was elected president of the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations; from 1969 to 1971 he served on the Wright Commission on post-secondary education in Ontario. de Métallurgie et de Materiaux. He retired from McMaster in 1989. During his 40-year career, he published over 250 academic papers and was recognized by numerous lectureships and medals, as well as three honorary doctorates. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, the American Society for Metals, and TMS (the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. He was an honorary member of the Societé Francais. He was predeceased by his wife Anne in 2011, and is survived by his children, John, Lorne, Barbara, and Jennifer.

The MacEngineer 19


We inspire future engineers to become engaged citizen scholars who will transform the world

Founded in 1958, our Faculty of Engineering is ranked among the top engineering schools in Canada and worldwide. It is recognized internationally as a centre for academic excellence and innovation in learning and research. Students join an engaging and inclusive community dedicated to developing socially responsible, globally-minded engineers. After first year, undergraduate students choose from one of the widest ranges of engineering program options in Canada.


MacEngineer Fall 2013  

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

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