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F A L L 2016


Driving a Culture of Innovation How McMaster Engineering is fostering Hamilton’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs

Why We Innovate, How We Educate INNOVATION IS DRIVEN BY OUR desire to better our lives: New products and solutions that address our yearnings and needs create value and wealth. Context matters. Those who work towards narrow prescribed goals are poorly placed to further responsible innovation. Despite the persistent pronouncements and trite cliches about its importance that are now ubiquitous, innovation is not an end by itself or a magic answer. For millennia, while it has served as a means to better the human condition, innovations have also led to seismic social adjustments. Engineers should understand this. While our profession requires rigorous technological capability, engineers must also be intellectually and socially aware to be innovative. For that reason, we educate engineers to think creatively and strategically, and provide them with the capacity to lead. Simply because a product or solution is technologically superior, it need not also be financially viable or culturally appropriate. Engineers must learn that while innovations induce change, with the good can come the bad. A financially lucrative innovation can be inconsistent with our ethics, principles and morals. An awareness of the true possibilities and limitations of innovations helps universities define their role. At McMaster Engineering, we educate innovators who are contextually aware. Therefore, our students and graduates become engaged citizen scholars who will transform our world. Just over twenty years ago, the extraordinary innovator Steve Jobs similarly stated, “The people who built Silicon Valley were engineers. They learned business, they learned a lot of different things, but they had a real belief that humans, if they worked hard with other creative, smart people, could solve most of humankind’s problems. I believe that very much.”



Academics must remember that, much more often than not, universities do not produce innovative products and solutions by themselves, even through their significant upstream research activities. Instead, it is typically our students and graduates who translate university knowledge and education into viable innovations. They do this through their work in start-ups, small and large companies, and also in the public sector by developing and influencing public policy. Our primary role as educators is not to produce products and solutions ourselves, although this is a welcome accompaniment, rather it is to facilitate the education and research that promotes innovation and produces innovators. To do so effectively requires that we reflect upon the in- and out-of-class experiences that our students have and change them if necessary through educational innovation. Engineers must be more than just engineers. In History as a System (1934), the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset wrote, “To be an engineer and nothing but an engineer means to be potentially everything and actually nothing.” In my role as an educator, innovation is all about drawing students more fully towards the centre of relevant and responsive learning. Recently, I joined upper year McMaster Engineering “redsuit” students in welcoming the incoming engineering class. The redsuits led a chant, “Who are we?” “Engineers!” The resounding reply from over a thousand incoming students. “What do we do?” “We serve the world!” The realization that we serve the world indicates a profound awareness of self and context. That’s the first step McMaster Engineering students take towards becoming innovators. After they reach that milestone, we expose them to a rich innovation ecosystem that provides many possibilities to address the challenges and wicked problems facing our world.

Contents 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 The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni OfďŹ ce. Editor: Carm Vespi Managing Editor: Monique Beech Art Direction and Design: Steve Janzen Contributors: Pauline Mitchell’, Kim Arnott, Kara Aaserud Photography: Daniel Banko, BANKOMEDIA, Michael Lalich, Jin Lee, and reader contributions Publications mail agreement No. 40063416 Return undeliverable canadian addresses to circulation department:

Why We Innovate, How We Educate




18 Obituaries


Alumni Profiles

4 Engineering Excitement and Enthusiasm for 25 Years F E AT U R E :


Driving a Culture of Innovation

Researcher Heather Sheardown


10 The J.W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture




Flixel Q & A


1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7

Alumni Ambassadors Reach Out to High School Students



Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology


Alumni Events

34 Gift Planning


Fall 2016


Alumni Profiles There are no longer any real boundaries between all the various engineering specialties

Engineering the Profession of Tomorrow THE FUTURE OF ENGINEERING IS RARELY FAR from Bob Dony’s mind. Each September, it arrives in his University of Guelph classroom in the form of a new cohort of would-be engineers, who undoubtedly will work their careers in a world continually reshaped by changing technology. It falls in his lap in his role as president of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), as the association grapples with questions of self-regulation and continuing education of the province’s engineers. And it even looks him in the eye at family dinners, when he sees his three children at the beginning of their own careers as engineers. “The engineering profession is at a crossroads,” Dony (Ph.D. ’95, Electrical and Computer) recently wrote in a blog posting as he sought election as the president of PEO. “How do we move forward to keep the profession both strong and relevant for the next generation of practitioners, the university students I see every day?” His volunteer engagement with various engineering-related task forces, committees and



conferences goes back decades, but the coming year will bring his involvement to a peak. In addition to serving as president of the PEO, he’ll also sit as the Ontario representative on the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). “I’ve always had an interest in the role between academia and the broader community,” says Dony. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively to help shape the next evolution of engineering education both provincially, through PEO, and nationally, through CEAB.” In addition, he will continue his own research into intelligent and adaptive signal and image processing methods for use in biomedical engineering, and continue his teaching duties. “I enjoy teaching in a multidisciplinary environment since there are no longer any real boundaries between all the various engineering specialties,” he says. “One of my favourite courses is a common core engineering systems course, which shows how the fundamental mathematics and analysis is essentially the same across the various engineering disciplines.”

Alumni Profiles An engineer uses the resources available to solve a problem given certain constraints

Building Bridges and Then Some CHRISTINA VICKERY’S RESUME BOASTS SOME OF the province’s most impressive and high-profile construction projects. As a project manager for the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, she’s currently helping to ready the ground for a new international bridge between the two cities by overseeing a variety of enabling works projects, like an access road and utility relocations. The McMaster grad (B.Eng. ’06, Civil) started her career in the private sector with Dufferin Construction. She worked on the Niagara Tunnel Project, which saw a tunnel boring machine dig a new 10,400 metre tunnel to help harness the hydroelectric power of the Niagara River. She also took part in the widening of the QEW through St. Catharines, focusing on the construction and rehabilitation of a number of bridges. And prior to moving into her current role, she spent three years working for Infrastructure Ontario on the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway project in Windsor. “I was born and raised in southwestern Ontario so it is very special to me to be a part of these mega projects in my own backyard,” says Vickery. “I have also been able to move closer to my family, which has really been the best part.”

When she started at McMaster, Vickery was originally focused on Mechanical Engineering, but she says the general first year program gave her the opportunity to consider her options and recognize her interest in architecture and construction. She ended up opting for Civil Engineering, focusing on structural and geotechnical, which prepared and qualified her for the type of work she was interested in. “By the time I graduated from Mac I was sure that project management was what I wanted to pursue, but I did not fully appreciate what that meant at the time,” says Vickery. Now living in Windsor, where her hobbies include camping, hiking, home renovation projects and oil painting, she encourages students to pursue engineering studies. “You cannot go wrong with engineering,” she says. “It can be a stepping stone for so many things. “Being an engineer does not mean that you will only design bridges or skyscrapers, though it certainly can if you want. It can mean so many different things. At the core, an engineer uses the resources available to solve a problem given certain constraints. This skill is transferable to many facets of life beyond work.”

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Alumni Profiles Looking back at what our team was able to accomplish in a very short timeframe to position ourselves to win the project is very satisfying The Sky’s the Limit IT’S NOT LIKE FRANK SCREMIN IS SINGLE-HANDedly in charge of managing the airplanes in the sky at New York’s La Guardia airport. But over the next few years, the Mac grad will play a big role in keeping one of the world’s busiest airports flying. Scremin (B.Eng. ’94, Mechanical) has recently been named project manager for a $4 billion redevelopment of the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building. The job will put him in charge of the challenging logistics and transitions of keeping multiple airlines and agencies on the same page as a new terminal replaces an existing airport building that serves about 13 million people a year. The project – the largest public private partnership in the United States – has brought Scremin and his family to New York after a decade working for Hamilton International Airport. “I’ve always loved airports and aviation, but never would have guessed that I would end up running one or working on rebuilding one,” he says. “Airports are incredible places to work because of the diversity that you get exposed to.”



Employed by the airport management and development company Vantage Airport Group, Scremin joined the Hamilton airport in 2006, and was named CEO in 2012. The job involved working with a small entrepreneurial team looking to take advantage of new market opportunities. “Hamilton is an incredible city with huge potential, and the airport is in the same position,” says Scremin. The last two years also gave him the opportunity to be involved in Vantage’s bid pursuit for the LaGuardia project. “Looking back at what our team was able to accomplish in a very short timeframe to position ourselves to win the project is very satisfying,” he says. After earning his engineering degree from McMaster, Scremin completed an MBA in 2004. He spent 12 years with Union Gas working in variety of roles, including engineering, business development and operations management, before moving to the Hamilton airport.

Alumni Profiles I chose structural engineering because I’ve always enjoyed seeing things built

The Business of Buildings AS CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER OF Atkins + Van Groll Consulting Engineers, Jonathan Atkins (B.Sc. ’77, B.Eng. ‘87) is exactly where he knew he wanted to end up. “Having watched my father create and manage his architectural firm growing up, I knew I wanted to run my own company one day,” he says. Today, he and partner Raymond van Groll head up a full-service structural engineering consulting firm that’s nearly two decades old and boasts experience with more than 10,000 projects. But Atkins’s route into engineering was somewhat circuitous. He initially graduated from McMaster with a degree in biology. Experience working in the construction industry for several years led him back to McMaster for a degree in civil engineering. “I chose structural engineering because I’ve always enjoyed seeing things built,” says Atkins. “From planning right through to construction, I enjoy the entire process.”

With a focus on commercial, industrial and self-storage facility projects, he’s had the opportunity to work on projects around the world, including Kuwait City and Beirut. Atkins has also developed a national reputation for his expertise with self-storage facilities. Along with serving as an official consultant to the Canadian Self Storage Association, he is responsible for working with them to make changes to the National Building Code for self-storage facilities in Canada. Among the “tightly-knit team” at Atkins + Van Groll are several other Mac engineering graduates. VP of engineering Shahid Shaikh graduated with Atkins in 1987, while project engineer Mike Criscione earned his degree in 2003. Along with building his company, Atkins enjoys cycling, skiing, sailing and adventure travel. Among his most memorable trips were trekking to Mount Everest base camp and cycling through Israel and India. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Ghislaine and two grown children Stevie and Gavin.

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Alumni Profiles You can do anything with an engineering degree. I think it’s useful for any direction you go

From Wrestling Mats to Eye Surgery ASK LULU BURSZTYN (B.ENG. ‘04 CHEMICAL) TO trace the path that led her to a career in neuro-ophthalmology and she’ll name a few unusual waypoints—like wrestling and Dofasco—as part of her tale. It was the combination of McMaster’s academic reputation and its wrestling team that initially brought Bursztyn to Mac engineering. And during her four years at the school, she excelled at both. In addition to wrestling her way to two OUA medals, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal in recognition of her scholarship, leadership and influence, and was named a “Top 8 Academic All-Canadian” by Ontario University Athletics. A fourth-year co-op placement took Bursztyn to Dofasco, where she says she earned good money, had a great experience and decided engineering wasn’t the right career for her. Looking for something with less computer modelling work and more hands-on involvement, she applied to both medical schools and post-graduate programs. When she was accepted at Queen’s University for both programs, she arranged to do them concurrently, earning both a medical degree and a master’s degree in neuroscience.



Discovering a love for ophthalmology led her to combine her interests. She now works as a neuro-ophthalmologist in London, where she does eye surgeries for conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma, as well as treating patients suffering from neurological problems like multiple sclerosis that can interfere with vision. But even if her career doesn’t involve engineering, Bursztyn says her undergraduate degree helped differentiate her from the crowds applying to medical school with a life sciences background, and provided her with a myriad of practical skills. “I spontaneously tell people all the time how grateful I am to have studied engineering,” she says. “I just feel really competent in a lot of useful areas because of what I learned.” Along with the ability to understand statistics, analyze scientific literature and use Excel, her days at McMaster gave her the skills to design and build her own backyard deck. And thanks to the renowned concrete toboggan competition, she can even pour concrete. “Honestly, you can do anything with an engineering degree. I think it’s useful for any direction you go,” she says.

Alumni Profiles Studying engineering was one of the best decisions I ever made

Eyeing up the Future AS A SENIOR RESIDENT IN OPHTHALMOLOGY AT the University of Ottawa, Stephanie Chan has set her sights on the world of vision. From emergency eye care for children and adults, to procedures for problems like cataracts and eye misalignment, she uses surgical skills to help people maintain their sight. But her first glimpses into the world of medicine came when she was an undergraduate in McMaster’s Electrical & Biomedical engineering program. A summer co-op position with generic medication manufacturer Apotex was followed by an internship working for a biomedical engineering firm that made radiofrequency medical devices for nerve ablation. Along with allowing her to explore the world of manufacturing, those two experiences helped open her eyes to the possibilities in health care. Shortly after earning her engineering degree in 2008, Chan was accepted into McMaster’s medical program. In 2012, she graduated with her medical degree.

But her engineering training continues to serve her in a variety of ways. As a new ophthalmology resident in 2012, Chan spent two weeks volunteering in India at the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology. While too early into her training to help with the medical work, she put her data skills to work to develop a report detailing demographic information of patients, outcomes after cataract surgery and disease distribution. The report helped the clinic identify geographic and demographic areas for added outreach efforts. “Looking back, I have to say that studying engineering was one of the best decisions I ever made,” she says. “The knowledge base and skills I learned, including practical thinking and effective team work, were easily transferable.” Once she completes her residency in 2018, Chan hopes to start a practice in the Ottawa region where she currently lives with her husband and two children.

Fall 2016


Driving a Culture of Innovation How McMaster Engineering is fostering Hamilton’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs



IT STARTS WITH A GREAT IDEA. BUT BUILDING A sustainable business today requires a whole lot more—from startup capital, resources and professional connections to business savvy, persistence and grit. McMaster Engineering understands the intricacies involved in bringing a great idea to market and, as such, has spent the last three years creating an infrastructure that’s helping to launch Hamilton’s next generation of star entrepreneurs. “Our goal is to build a pipeline that runs all the way from undergraduate recruitment through to graduation [and beyond],” says John Preston, Associate Dean Research and External Relations, McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering. Certainly, McMaster Engineering has always been at the forefront of innovation. A decade ago, the Faculty established the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology to offer interdisciplinary graduate education through experiential learning, mentorship and real-world applications. But to truly foster a culture of entrepreneurship that rivals Silicon Valley, the Faculty knew it needed to offer these resources to students from the very start of their post-secondary path. The initiative—to integrate entrepreneurship courses, extracurricular activities, shared workspaces, funding and mentorship into the undergrad experience—is ambitious, but critical at a time when Hamilton is becoming increasingly known as an entrepreneurial city. It’s also a goal that will put McMaster on the global map. “Innovation is such an important part of the global knowledge economy. If we don’t enhance our participation in it now, we’ll be left behind” says Ishwar K. Puri, McMaster’s dean of engineering. “We

decided that we wanted to involve a large number of undergraduates in the discussion,” he adds. Aside from its outstanding academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, McMaster Engineering has partnered with members of Hamilton’s entrepreneurial community, the Innovation Factory and the Forge, which offer start-up competitions, workshops, networking opportunities and a speaker series, primarily to young grads of McMaster University and Mohawk College. To date, the Forge has helped 27 startups develop business strategies, build teams, land customers and earn revenue. Monika Yazdanian, director at the Forge, estimates of the 30 companies currently incubating there, a third are Mac engineering students or recent graduates. In a world where venture capitalists and angel investors are swarmed with code and software,

Fall 2016


Feature this is a refreshing change: “We’re seeing tangible machines and inventions,” says Yazdanian. “They’re working on a diverse set of problems across the sector—from medical devices to aquaponics.” But partnering with accelerators, such as these, is just one piece of the innovation ecosystem pie. McMaster Engineering also has a slew of award-winning student-governed clubs that facilitate the meetings of great minds; it’s working to establish The Faculty of Engineering Student Entrepreneurship Fund, which will provide concept grants, resources and mentorship to kick-start outstanding student entrepreneurial ventures; it’s primed to open its first maker

space in the basement of the Thode library this fall, which will serve as a home base for student entrepreneurs; and, for the first time ever, it’s initiating a living and learning residence aimed at creating a community of like-minded innovators. “We want to break silos,” says Preston. “The idea is to make [an ecosystem] so robust that programming becomes peripheral—[we want it to] develop a life of its own.” For at least three startup businesses born from McMaster Engineering, these supports are paying big dividends. Meet the entrepreneurs who are carving deep niches, and taking their great ideas straight to the bank.

Cinnos Mission Critical Incorporated DATA MAKES THE WORLD GO ’ROUND, AND Hussam Haroun knows it. The CEO of Hamilton’s Cinnos Mission Critical Incorporated and recent McMaster grad (Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation) has spent the last three years developing a data centre solution for businesses to better manage the vast amount of information coming their way.



Traditionally, data centres are built from scratch, which requires a lot of time, money and planning. But Cinnos is offering a different solution. Born from a student project with co-founder Samih Abdelgadir at the W Booth School in 2013, the Smart MC-X units are modular, customizable and pay-as-you-grow; Picture IKEA but for data centres. Resembling a fridge, the units fit together like Lego blocks, thereby allowing clients to easily scale their hardware to meet current demands. The first of its kind, the proprietary product is in stark contrast to the massive data centre’s most companies invest in, when they often don’t need a fraction of that space. “Our product is the only solution in the industry that allows customers to scale without giving up on performance or capability,” says Haroun of the product that can be assembled or disassembled in as little as a week. It also saves a ton of energy. Not only is Cinnos an exciting new start-up it is also involved with a McMaster-born partnership between research and business. Cinnos shares an office with McMaster’s Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC), a research group comprised of engineers, graduate and undergraduate students. While Cinnos staff brings the business acumen, CIRC supplies the big ideas and innovative products with global appeal.

Feature “Our lives are half digital now, so about three- to- five per cent of the total energy produced worldwide goes into data centres,” says Suvojit Ghosh, who heads up McMaster’s CIRC, which operates alongside Cinnos. “Most of that energy ends up being wasted,” he adds. “Our vision is to eliminate these wastages.” That’s an idea Cinnos’s first client, Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks, which is one of the most sustainable spaces in Canada, can get behind. Since converting their server to these modular units, it

has increased efficiency by 33 per cent, effectively eliminating .71 metric tons of C02 emissions annually. The concept has won Haroun and his team a number of accolades, including being chosen as one of the only startup companies to represent Canada at the prestigious Falling Walls Venture competition in Berlin, Germany. Since launching in 2014, Cinnos has tripled its sales each year achieving profitability and a positive cash flow. And Cinnos continues to pay it forward by mentoring McMaster co-op students.

HINT (Healthcare Innovation in Neurotechnology) WHEN 25-YEAR-OLD NAWAL BEHIH ARRIVED IN Canada from Algeria to complete a Master’s degree in engineering design at McMaster, she couldn’t have guessed one year later she’d be sitting at the helm of one of the most promising ventures to come out of the university this year. Still in its incubation phase, HINT (Healthcare Innovation in Neurotechnology), the company Behih is helping grow alongside McMaster entrepreneurship students Ahmed Elmeligi and Jacob Jackson, aims to save lives with a wearable monitoring device for high-risk stroke patients. “Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world, so we started asking doctors what problems they were facing with stroke patients,” says Behih. What they found would plant the seed for a business idea so viable it’s already earned close to $30,000 in seed funding from local pitch competitions. “When a stroke occurs, you have a window of four and a half hours to receive treatment,” says Behih. But if it happens in the middle of the night, there’s no way of knowing when it occurred. The result, then, is a lot of frustrated doctors who can’t properly treat their patients, and a lot of patients at an increased risk of experiencing a second, more debilitating stroke. HINTs device, when worn at night, will wake up the patient and alert the associated healthcare provider, so that treatment can be administered more effectively. Without the community fostered within

McMaster’s engineering faculty, Behih admits she might not be at a place where she’s working to lift an entrepreneurial firm off the ground. “But everyone appreciates everyone’s work,” she says, “and knowing that we will eventually be able to save lives means a great deal. It’s just an honour for me to be a part of this team.”

Fall 2016


Feature Nix Color Sensor When McMaster engineering alumnus Matthew Sheridan was named recipient for the 2015 Ernest C. Manning Foundation Award of Distinction last October, he admits he was both incredibly honoured and a little surprised. “In my opinion, it’s probably the highest award in Canada for innovation,” which, he says, is often reserved for life-saving technology. While he may not be saving lives, his niche product is truly groundbreaking, and Nix Sensor’s rapid rise to success a testament to Sheridan’s business prowess. The Nix Color Sensor is a handheld device (about the size of a ping pong ball) that uses Bluetooth technology to scan and measure the colour of any surface, and then send that information to a user’s smart phone. By using its own light source to provide incredible accuracy, the tiny device effectively eliminates the need for paint chips and fan decks traditionally used in many different industries—from paint, printing and cosmetics to food and agriculture. Based out of Hamilton’s McMaster Innovation Park, Nix Sensor launched in 2014 as one of Canada’s first Kickstarter projects where it quickly raised $70,000 (double its goal). Since then, Sheridan has sold 4,000 units to customers in more than 31 countries, including L’Oréal and DSM, a Netherlands-based food-industry company, and he was named the 2015 Ontario Young Entrepreneur of the year. Nix Sensor won the top prize at the 2016 Lion’s Lair start-up business competition in Hamilton in September. He credits his entrepreneurial success to mentorship he received from both the Innovation Factory



and his time at McMaster managing the solar car team. “The textbook skills aren’t going to help you in the real world,” he says, “but managing people on a team, raising funds from donors, figuring out how to run marketing campaigns and working 24/7 in the basement of the engineering building are all good lessons on how entrepreneurship works.”

Sheridan may be running a global operation, but his future remains firmly planted where he got his start: “I’d like to see us still in Hamilton,” he says when asked about his future goals. “But if everything works out, I’d like to trade our corner of Innovation Park for the whole top floor.”

Flixel Q & A McMaster Engineering alumnus Mark Pavlidis is the Co-founder and CTO of the Toronto-based start-up Flixel Photos, Inc., a social network for creating photo/video hybrids the company has coined ‘cinemagraphs.’ The living picture company’s success stories range from a partnership with Facebook to create moving profile videos, announced in April, to a deal with reality TV sensation America’s Top Model and its supermodel creator, Tyra Banks, who is also a key investor. Flixel counts Nike, Kraft and Panasonic among its impressive clientele. Pavlidis (B. Eng & Mgt, M.A.Sc., Software Engineering) leads the development of tools and distribution for the platform. In this interview with the MacEngineer, Pavlidis talks about the rewards and challenges of being an entrepreneur. MACENGINEER (ME): What was it about the start-up culture for you that really sucked you in? MARK PAVLIDIS (P): For the most part I would definitely say it’s the ability to work on new things, push boundaries and invent the future. That’s been my path over the last eight years, working the eBook reader, a personal safety service and then Flixel and being able to create this new digital medium called cinemagraphs.

ME: How did you get involved with Flixel? I know you’re one of the co-founders but, how did that happen? MP: I started early on as a contract position because I spent so much time with it and was so involved and put so much into it, it was only natural to come on as a full time employee. It kind of happened shortly after the (platform) launch.

ME: That’s been about four years for you now? MP:

Yeah, just over four years.

ME: What has that journey been like for you? MP: There have been a lot of highs and lows. We’ve been on the brink of running out of money a couple of times and it’s been one of those things where you keep going. We knew we might only have a few weeks to go in terms of money in the bank. We could keep our heads down and keep plugging through until it was over. Fortunately for us, we were able to go on.

ME: What was it like getting a deal with Facebook? MP: It was exciting but also not unexpected. We worked hard to make that happen. When profile videos were announced (by Facebook) back at the end of (2015) we recognized that this would be something great for people to do using our app. We sort of used Facebook against Facebook and created an ad to show people how to use cinemagraphs on Facebook. One of the things we did with that ad was geo target the ad to Menlo Park, which is the city that Facebooks head office is in to help guarantee that the employees of Facebook would see that

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Flixel Q & A here is a great way, another way that you can make these profile videos really quick. It just so happened we were able to reach the people responsible for the profile video so when they were looking to work with third parties we were a natural choice for that.

and putting yourself out there in order to create those opportunities, to be able to create those connections.

If you could offer a piece of advice to students looking to follow a similar career path what would it be?

MP: Going through the Engineering and Management program was something I feel is fundamental to what has given me the opportunities to have these experiences and, as some would call them, successes along the way. I had a very strong and sound technical background and from the management program being able to have a very strong business background.


MP: If I had to pick one of the things it would be to create your opportunities string. What that entails is laying the foundation for being able to deliver or execute on what opportunities might come about

ME: How did McMaster help you prepare for your career?

- This interview has been edited for length.

Co-op Internship Called ‘First Look at the Real World’ GOING IN T O HE R C O - OP P L AC E M E N T, J E S SIC A Wodzak simply wanted work experience to bolster her resume when she graduates from her Materials Engineering program. Today she describes her 16-month experience at the GM Assembly Plant in Oshawa as her first look at the real world. “ I didn’t know anyone, I knew nothing about a union environment, and I really didn’t have any work experience to lean on,” says Wodzak. “I relied on problem solving and team work,” explains Wodzak. During her time at GM she held three different positions. She started out as production supervisor in the (paint) trim department, overseeing 40 unionized employees. That role was extended when the elimination of the Camaro model



meant she was needed to retrain workers. She then moved onto paint process engineering working with 15 various tradespeople recalibrating robots for top coating. When her internship ended, Wodzak was a Quality Group leader managing 30 workers at two GM Oshawa plants inspecting vehicles and providing technical troubleshooting. “My time at GM was amazing. I’ve come back to McMaster for my final year with a different way of learning, and a different view of what teamwork means.” Leaving no doubt about how much she values her time at GM, Wodzak named her new puppy Chevy. She’s already received offers to return to GM when she graduates.

Co-op Test-driving Career Options ALEX L AO BELIEVES T WO VERY DIFFERENT CO-OP placements gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about different industries and possible career paths before he headed into his final year in Computer Engineering “It can be difficult later to change career paths, so co-ops tend to be the only time in your life you can experiment and try an industry out,” says Lao. Lao spent nearly a year in Silicon Valley working at Altera on IP cores or the reusable blocks that are featured in their IP portfolio. Intel acquired the company while he was there. Interviewers at the Toronto office had no positions available but Lao impressed them enough they found an opening in San Jose for

him. “I had two hours to decide, because the offer coincided with the deadline for other placements.” His second co-op placement was much closer to home, in Kitchener at OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics. “It’s an amazing company. I spent four months in their industrial division working as an electrical designer on a new line of self-driving robots designed to transport materials in factories and warehouses.” Lao now has a better idea of where he wants to head career wise, even though he’s undecided at this point about post-grad studies. “I really like robotics and I like electrical design but eventually I’d like to work on high level software topics such as artificial intelligence as well.”

NASA Co-op “ Opportunity of a Lifetime” RECENTLY BACK FROM A FOUR-MONTH CO-OP placement at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Mitchell Kurnell is still pinching himself over what he considers the opportunity of a lifetime. The fourth year Physics and Society student spent his summer working on the Advanced Energetic Pair Telescope (AdEPT) project, given the task to demonstrate the satellite’s behaviour in a space environment. “It was a huge learning experience and my supervisors were incredibly helpful in the direction they provided me,” says Kurnell. One of his supervisors on the project was Dr. Andrei Hanu, a graduate of the Medical Physics program at McMaster and now a

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Centre. Hanu was familiar with Kurnell’s work and helped him make the connections necessary to land the placement in the first place. “ It’s not easy when you’re a Canadian citizen applying to a US government agency so Dr. Hanu’s recommendation was really valuable,” says Kurnell. Kurnell has his long term sights set on a career in the space industry, hopefully with NASA. “ Completing my task on the project let me feel I made a real contribution to the team and I hope I get the opportunity to return either to the Goddard Space Flight Centre or another space agency.”

Fall 2016


Alumni Ambassadors Reach Out to High School Students

Elio Cozzi, Civil and Management ‘81 SUCCESSFUL ALUMNI ARE AMONG THE BEST advertisement an engineering school can have. And with McMaster graduates making their mark in a myriad of industries across Canada and around the world, the school’s brand continues to grow. In an attempt to harness the enthusiasm of alumni willing to act as McMaster champions and use it to attract new students, recruitment staff have launched a pilot project that will send Calgary alumni into high schools to talk about Mac engineering. “Ontario students are eager to come to Mac, but we want to increase our visibility and reputation among students in other provinces,” explains Arlene Fajutrao Dosen, the engineering faculty’s manager of strategic recruitment and enrolment. “Who better to talk about our successes than our alumni?” Earlier this year a team led by associate professor Dr. Qiyin Fang headed to Calgary to meet with Mac grads willing to be alumni ambassadors. As well, they visited local high schools to establish relationships and spread the word that well-established engineers would be willing to take part in career days.



And while many McMaster graduates migrated to Alberta’s oil and gas industry to work in traditional engineering jobs, the alumni ambassadors in Calgary include some who used their engineering degrees to launch successful careers in such diverse fields as law and education. Building on what is learned in Calgary, recruitment staff hope to look to other cities, regions and countries to engage alumni in recruitment. Along with growing the school’s profile, wider recruitment will help attract a diversity of students and maintain the high standards required for incoming engineers. “It’s wonderful to see the generosity of spirit and the desire to share that our alumni demonstrate,” says Dosen. “They’re eager to give back by sharing their memories and inside tips from their days as students.” A range of recruiting initiatives has paid off in recent years, with an increase in application and growing incoming classes. In 2015, Mac welcomed 950 new engineering students, while 2016 saw an incoming class of 1,100. A focus on attracting exceptional high school students with graduating averages of 95 per cent or higher by offering a combination of scholarships and summer research opportunities has also been effective, adds Dosen. “We’re investing in potential and in future success.”

Engineering Excitement and Enthusiasm for 25 Years McMASTER’S VENTURE Engineering and Science program was launched in 1991 with the vision of inspiring a love of science and engineering in kids through fun, hands-on activities. In that first year, 160 students took part in the program. As it celebrates its 25th year in 2016, Venture workshops, outreach programs and summer offerings will engage more than 16,000 young people. Despite its growth, Venture has remained true to that original vision. Every week of the summer, hundreds of elementary school students fill McMaster’s classrooms, hallways and labs. Diverse activities give them the opportunity to explore how science and engineering impact on their lives. “The kids really love it. They’re incredibly enthusiastic and inspired by what they can accomplish and build,” says Jamal Habash, a fourth year Computer Engineering & Society student and the 2016 Venture director. Evidence of just how keen kids are can be seen in the

number of students who return to the program year after year, building their knowledge base and reconnecting with friends. And some, like Habash himself, attend Venture, graduate to McMaster’s summer high school engineering program L.E.A.P., then make their way to the engineering faculty as undergraduates. “It definitely was the reason I decided to pursue engineering, and specifically why I came to McMaster,” says Habash. Through the years, Venture has expanded to offer several specialized streams. The extremely popular Codemakers allows young digital consumers to explore the world of computer programming and envision how they may become digital producers. An all-female program, Yes SHE Can, offers senior elementary girls a chance to explore science and technology and develop confidence in their ability to pursue a STEM career. A year-round outreach program has become a key component of Venture. It aims to bring science and engineering programming to students who might not normally access it, explains director Rebecca Weatherall, a fifth year Civil Engineering & Society student. “This helps empower students to feel like engineering and science are something they can do,” she says.

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Engineering Excitement

Each year, more than 10,000 elementary students take part in free workshops that supplement their classroom science curriculum and encourage their enthusiasm for applied sciences. Aboriginal programming connects students with Venture workshops in classrooms and community centres. A week-long summer camp that brings students in from the nearby Ohsweken community to explore the university campus focuses on connecting engineering and science with traditional knowledge.



But McMaster’s efforts to build enthusiasm don’t stop at the end of elementary school. For high school students, L.E.A.P. offers a sneak peek at university life as an undergraduate engineering student, complete with a taste of residence experience. The two-week summer program attracts students from across Canada, as well as many international students. Hands-on workshops and design challenges across a range of engineering disciplines allow younger students to explore different areas of engineering, while older students have an opportunity to focus their attention. Design challenges, lab work and industry tours give students a chance to see what engineering is all about,” says L.E.A.P. director Lauren Macwhirter, a fifth year Material Engineering & Society student. “They’ve already got an interest in engineering and we give them the tools to extend their skills and knowledge.” Like Venture, L.E.A.P. is staffed by Mac’s undergraduate engineering students, who can share their experiences of post-secondary life and leadership in self-directed learning. Venture is proud to have been chosen 2016 Readers’ Choice (DIAMOND) for nine consecutive years.

Applause & Accolades

ENGINEERING CELEBRATED OUTSTANDING FACULTY and alumni during its signature awards event on May 18. Gilles Patry, Howard Shearer, David S. Wilkinson and Philip Wood were all recognized at the Faculty’s annual Applause and Accolades celebration. Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation, was given the Faculty’s Engineering Leadership Award. Patry was a professor of civil engineering at McMaster University from 1983 to

in 1977. After working at a number of high-tech firms after graduation, Howard moved in 1984 to Hitachi Canada Limited, an International Japanese firm. He moved through the ranks to Chief Executive Officer and President to Chief Executive today. Wilkinson, Provost and Vice-President Academic, was the recipient of the Engineering Research Achievement Award. Wilkinson has differentiated himself throughout his academic career as an

1993. Patry has had an illustrious career in academia and industry, creating a successful wastewater treatment company during his time at McMaster. Shearer, Chief Executive, Hitachi Canada, earned the Faculty’s L. W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. Shearer, the son of Jamaica’s third Prime Minister the late Hugh Shearer, came to Canada as an International student to study at McMaster University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering

outstanding hands-on administrator, researcher and educator, who possesses a strong complement of operational and leadership skills. Wood, Director, Engineering I, was given the Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award. Wood has been an invaluable member of the McMaster community. His teaching is characterized by an extraordinary devotion to students, boundless enthusiasm, and leader in self-directed learning. This year’s celebration was held at Hamilton’s LIUNA Station.

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32 McMASTER Engineering hosted its annual J.W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture on March 15, 2016. Established by the Faculty in 1983, the Hodgins Lecture is a memorial to Dr. John W. Hodgins, McMaster’s first Dean of Engineering. Each year, a prominent guest is invited to share their insights into how technological and scientific advancements are reshaping our society. This year, higher education expert David Goldberg addressed the crowd on the topic of ‘What’s Love

got to do with it? Educating the Professional of the Future.’ Goldberg explored the need to educate students in “communications, collaboration, and soft skills,” in addition to technical skills, and discussed why students, parents, and a growing cadre of critics question the value of higher education. In 2010, Goldberg resigned his tenure and distinguished professorship at the University of Illinois to help transform engineering education and higher education more generally in alignment with the creativity imperative of the 21st century. He is author or co-author of over 400 papers and numerous books, including his most recent book, A Whole New Engineer. Using his background as the co-founder of a Silicon Valley start-up, his experience in starting an educational incubator for new programs, and his training as a leadership coach, Goldberg works with administrators, faculty, and students to bring a new level of student and faculty engagement to classrooms the world over.

FACULT Y OF ENGINEERING INTRODUCES THE “new” Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Two McMaster powerhouses of practice-oriented engineering have come together to form one new school. On July 1, the Faculty of Engineering’s Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, which offers graduate programs, and its School of Engineering Technology, home to the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership, became The Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology.



Walter G. Booth School

Walter G. Booth, a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and 1962 Faculty of Engineering graduate gave generously to McMaster, the only university willing to take a chance on his non-traditional route through the post-secondary education system. The new W Booth School will bring together its existing strengths in practice-oriented engineering teaching and learning at both the undergraduate and graduate level to support McMaster’s international reputation. Retiring from his post as W Booth School of Engineering Practice Director, Dr. Art Heidebrecht said he is confident that the W Booth School will thrive under this new model. “We are providing engineering education that is in line with industry and community needs. The unparalleled technical skills of Bachelor of Technology undergraduates and innovative capacity of our Master’s students is a winning combination,” Heidebrecht said. W Booth students at the graduate and undergraduate level are connecting with the community, spending time in the lab, or working collaboratively with industry as part of their education. The unique program specializations focus on the cross-section of technology and society; in

small classes, students work closely as groups to find creative solutions for a changing world. “The coming together of the two Schools makes perfect sense,” says School of Engineering Technology Acting Director Dr. Dan Centea. “The possibilities to build on already existing pathways for undergraduate to graduate studies are immense. W Booth School graduate programs are a popular choice for our B.Tech. alumni because of the similarity in program themes and approaches.” Ishwar K. Puri, McMaster’s Dean of Engineering, said the joining of the two schools is a significant step in building capacity and resources for students. “The New Booth School will foster synergies between our existing undergraduate and graduate programs and will leverage our strengths in engineering practice,” Puri said. “I’m confident the school will thrive under this new model and I look forward to the many successes of the school’s students and faculty members in future.” The opportunities for student collaboration between undergraduates and graduates in the School have already begun to blossom and will continue to grow over time. For instance, Callan Yan, a B.Tech. alumni now in his second term of the M.Eng. Design program, is part of a team working on autonomous vehicle technologies. They are designing an electric vehicle as part of their graduate level studies that will be used in the future as learning tool for future B.Tech students. The W Booth School will continue to operate out of the Engineering Technology Building, with a satellite location at the McMaster Automotive

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Walter G. Booth School Resource Centre for undergraduate studies in Automotive and Vehicle Technology and an incubator space for new Master’s graduates in the School’s Don Pether Centre within McMaster Innovation Park. Starting in fall 2016, a series of 400/600 level courses will be offered to allow B.Tech. students to gain advanced credit in graduate school later on. In addition, proposed changes to the M.Eng. Manufacturing Engineering program that would

broaden the scope of topics to more closely match B.Tech. fields of study are also under discussion. While the administrative structures of the departments have changed, and a new Director will be appointed, the programs themselves remain distinct. Students can still pursue undergraduate degrees in seven Bachelor of Technology disciplines and five Master’s degree programs.

New Director ON JULY 1, 2016, MO ELBESTAWI ASSUMED THE role of director of the newly-established Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology. Elbestawi has had a storied career at McMaster University, including Dean of Engineering, Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute, Vice-President Research & International Relations and, most recently, director of MacAUTO. “I am both honoured and excited about being selected as the Director of the School for Engineering Practice and Technology (SEPT),” Elbestawi said. “A key focus for me will be to build on the top priorities of the Faculty and the work of my predecessors to ensure the highest possible standard of quality

teaching and learning experience for students and a strong emphasis on strategic partnerships with industry. I look forward to working with the SEPT team and students to help it evolve to the next level of excellence.” Elbestawi assumed the role from W Booth School Director Art Heidebrecht and Dan Centea, Acting Director of the School of Engineering Technology.

Kudos Young researcher award A rising McMaster University chemical engineering star has been recognized with an award for her research on renewable materials. Emily Cranston, an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, recently earned the inaugural KINGFA Young Investigator Award



from the American Chemical Society’s Division of Cellulose and Renewable Materials. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions of promising young researchers in the field of science and chemical technology of cellulose and renewable materials. Cranston’s research work explores the use of trees and materials from nature and how to break them down into their smallest components, such as nanocellulose, and reuse them in a wide range of sustainable and renewable products ranging from cosmetics to food to energy applications.

Kudos University Scholar

MIIETL Fellowship Grant Award

Engineering’s Steve Hranilovic was named a University Scholar in May. Hranilovic was one of three McMaster researchers who were given the title, which is intended to recognize faculty members in mid-career who have already distinguished themselves as international scholars. Hranilovic, an Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor, and his team develop information theory, signaling design and experimental prototypes for these systems operating in the infrared, visible and ultraviolet bands. Each University Scholar was awarded for a period of four years (beginning July 1, 2016), and received $15,000 per year provided by McMaster provost David Wilkinson and the applicable faculty dean.

Ayse Turak, an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Physics Department, has been awarded a $15,000 grant in recognition of her leadership and commitment to teaching. A recipient of the Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship grant from McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (MIIETL), Turak intends to experiment with different teaching methods to improve the lab experience for students.

New Fellow In July, Peter Mascher was appointed as Fellow of the Electrochemical Society in the Class of 2016. Having been a member of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) since 1990, Mascher has been at the forefront of a forum whose mandate is the open exchange of scientific information among leading experts in the field and the development of new collaborations. Mascher is the Associate Vice-President, International Affairs and a professor in the Department of Engineering Physics. As only the second elected fellow from McMaster, Dr. Mascher enters a tradition where the promotion of science and technology as well as the critical assessment by one’s peers are at the forefront.

Royal Society Scholar A McMaster engineering researcher has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Wael El-Dakhakhni (Engineering) has been named a new member of the College, which recognizes the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. Members of the College are researchers who, at an early stage in their career, have demonstrated a high level of achievement.

Appointments Joe McDermid, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, was appointed as Acting Associate Dean of Engineering, Academic, for a year-long period starting July 1, 2016. Ken Coley, Associate Dean of Engineering, Academic, will be taking a year-long administrative leave. The Associate Dean of Engineering is responsible for

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Kudos all of the undergraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Engineering. The portfolio includes admissions, curriculum development, administration of academic regulations, review of student progress, special accommodations for students and other issues that directly impact undergraduate students. Colin McDonald was appointed as Director, Engineering 1 for a fiveyear period commencing July 1, 2016. He is a creative and highly regarded teacher who has been committed to teaching within the Engineering 1 program for the past three years. McDonald, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering, also played a pivotal role in the development of the proposal for the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (IBEHS) program. Faiez Alani was appointed to the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology as a teaching-track Associate Professor in July, 2016. Alani obtained his M.Sc and Ph.D from the University of Strathclyde. Prior to joining McMaster University, Alani was a Visiting Scholar & Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering (Biochemical Engineering Group) at the University of Waterloo, and was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Biology, at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada. Charles-François de Lannoy joined the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor in July, 2016. His research focuses on developing separation technologies in



aquatic systems, novel materials and processes in gaseous separations, and the environmental applications and implications of new materials. Charles received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University in 2014, with a Certificate in Nanoscience. Zeinab HosseiniDoust joined McMaster in July, 2016 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She completed her PhD at McGill University, where she investigated the challenging concept of evolutionary robustness in biohybrid/biointegrated system. Zoe Li was appointed to the Department of Civil Engineering as an assistant professor in July, 2016. Her research interests include environmental risk analysis and assessment, water resources management, and environmental systems analysis. Mehdi Narimani joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an assistant professor in July, 2016. His current research interests include power conversion, high power converters, control of power electronics converters, and renewable energy Systems. AndrĂŠ Phillion was appointed to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an associate professor in January

Kudos 2016. Phillion’s research interests are in mathematical modelling of materials and processes, and 3D materials science, with a special emphasis on solidification and casting of steel and aluminum alloys. Wenbo He was appointed to the Department of Computing and Software as associate professor in January 2016. He joined McMaster from McGill University where she was an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science from 2011 to 2015. Prior, she served as Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering department at University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2010 to 2011, and as Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at University of New Mexico from 2008 to 2010. Tohid Didar was appointed to the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an assistant professor in January 2016. Previously, Didar was a postdoctoral

fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. There, he designed and developed a robust and clinically relevant extracorporeal dialysis-like treatment (DLT) device for sepsis treatment, leveraging medical grade hollow fibre filters. Douglas Stebila was appointed to the Department of Computing and Software as an assistant professor in April 2016. Stebila’s research focuses on modelling and improving the security of Internet protocols such as SSL/ TLS and SSH and the design of provably secure cryptographic protocols, especially in the areas of authentication and key exchange.

Retired civil engineering professor Dr. Ahmed Ghobarah (M.Eng. ’67, Ph.D. ’70) has received global recognition for his research in structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, tsunamis and rehabilitation of structures. Dr. Ghobarah was listed among Civil Engineering’s Most Cited Researchers, a list developed for Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016 by Elsevier. The prestigious list is issued by the agency that produces the annual Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities. Dr. Ghobarah, who retired in 2008, chaired McMaster’s Civil Engineering department from 1989 to 1995, and held the Joe Ng/JNE Consulting Chair in Design, Construction and Management of Infrastructure Renewal from 2001-2008. “This outstanding and well-deserved recognition of Dr. Ghobarah’s scholarship in the area of civil engineering is also a source of tremendous visibility for McMaster University,” said Dr. Ishwar Puri, Dean of Engineering.

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Obituaries ROBERT T. H. (BOB) ALDEN passed away on May 23. Alden was the founding Director of the Power Research Laboratory at McMaster, with his research program leading the development of computer-based prediction methods for the behaviour of large interconnected electric power systems. Beyond his research, teaching and mentorship activities at McMaster, he was also a volunteer leader in the IEEE for over 40 years, during which he served an extended term as President of the IEEE Canadian Foundation, and authored the column “travelling the information highway” in the IEEE’s “The Institute” magazine for nine years. He was a Fellow of the IEEE and the Engineering Institute of Canada, and he received both Centennial and Third Millennium Medals from the IEEE and the John B. Sterling Medal from EIC. He will be fondly remembered for his passion for power engineering and for creating opportunities for students and young professionals to engage with their technical community.

JOHN A. DAVIES, research professor emeritus of Engineering Physics, passed away on July 25. Davis held adjunct positions at McMaster since 1970 and joined the department on a part-time basis in 1985 after his retirement from the Atomic Energy of Canada Labs (AECL) at Chalk River. From 1989 to 1992 he served as director of the McMaster Accelerator Laboratories. Davies earned a PhD in electrochemistry from the University of Toronto and spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Leeds in the UK before joining Chalk River Nuclear Labs in 1956. He worked in the newly developing field of radiation effects in matter and is widely considered a pioneer of ion implantation in solids. Together with colleagues at Aarhus University in Denmark and other institutions world-wide, he developed the concept of ion channelling, which leads to anomalously deep penetration of ions in crystalline materials. Davies’ standing in the research community and the importance of his work led to McMaster hosting the International Conference on Atomic Collisions in Solids in 1979 and the International Conference on Radiation Effects in Insulators in 1989.

Join us on

Thursday, November 10, 2016 at

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Researcher Heather Sheardown No longer lost in the blink of an eye: McMaster researchers create eye drops that last. IT’S A PROBLEM AS OLD AND AS AGGRAVATING AS eye drops themselves: as soon as the medicine goes in, almost all of it washes right back out again. Now, McMaster chemical engineer Heather Sheardown and the graduate students in her lab have developed a better way to deliver medicine to the surface of the eye. They have created microscopic packets of medicine that lodge themselves imperceptibly in the base of the tear film that makes up the wet surface of the eye. There, the molecular packets, or depots, dissolve gradually, releasing medicine slowly and making it possible for people with conditions such as dry eye and glaucoma – which require daily drops – to receive the same degree of treatment from using drops just once a week. Sheardown, a Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials and Scientific Director of the 20/20 NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Research Network, says that partners in the field had named the problem with conventional eye drops as one of the top issues in all of eye care. The problem is that the eye does a good job of defending itself against foreign substances, making

it difficult for the active ingredients in eye drops to do their work before the eye sheds them. With conventional drops, 95 per cent of the medicine is typically lost before it has a chance to work, a frustrating inefficiency, especially for patients. “It’s a lousy delivery system,” Sheardown says. “If you can deliver drops to the front of the eye at lower concentrations that work over a longer period, it could be huge.” Drug delivery depot that stays on the front of the eye delivering medication continuously over a period of 5 to 7 days. Sheardown’s team is in the final stages of proving the safety and effectiveness of the new technology, which was described recently in the journal Biomacromolecules. The research was funded by the 20/20 NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Research Network and The Boris Family Foundation. Sheardown is presenting the new technology to the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society in France in September. She says there has been interest in commercializing the technology, and she hopes it will be on the market in the near future.

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News FIRST Robotics coming to McMaster University McMASTER UNIVERSIT Y WILL BE HOSTING ONE OF Canada’s premier science, technology and engineering competitions for high school-aged students in 2017. More than 1,000 students, volunteers, parents and sponsors are expected to come to campus for a FIRST Robotics Canada District Competition from April 7 to 9, 2017. The district competition for high school students will pit the best young minds in a qualifying match to design and build robots to solve a problem. This is the first time McMaster will host a FIRST Robotics competition. McMaster is among nine post-secondary institutions in Ontario to host district competitions in 2017.

McMaster’s W Booth School wins International Entrepreneurship Award McMASTER UNIVERSITY’S W BOOTH SCHOOL OF Engineering Practice has been recognized with a prestigious international award for its graduate entrepreneurship program. The school earned the coveted International Council of Small Business & Entrepreneurship (ICSB) Award for Entrepreneurship Education Excellence for best Master’s program in the world.

The Booth School was honoured during an awards ceremony at the ICSB’s World Conference on June 15 to 18 in New York City and New Jersey. The Entrepreneurship Education Excellence recognizes innovation in the classroom. Part of McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering, the W Booth School offers professional graduate degree programs in such areas as design, entrepreneurship and innovation and public policy.

Software Ph.D. student wins major award A SOF T WARE PH.D. STUDENT HAS BEEN honoured with a prestigious award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Monika Bialy is a recipient of an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program

(CGS D) award. The scholarships provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in a doctoral program in the natural sciences or engineering. Awards are offered to top-ranked applicants. Bialy will receive $70,000 over two years.

New Industrial PhD offers students’ flexibility McMASTER ENGINEERING PHD STUDENTS NOW have the option of earning a doctoral degree while staying on the job.



The flexible Industrial PhD option enables students to remain in their own company

News or research institute and use labs at work to complete their research and eventual thesis. The traditional PhD path requires research to be done on the university’s campus, which can pose a barrier for mature students who often need to negotiate time off at their own expense.

The new option will cut down on the time it takes to complete a PhD for those trying to balance a career and studies. Currently, doctoral students who remain on the job take about seven to 10 years to complete their degrees or about twice the time it takes their full-time peers.

Federal government investing $12M towards Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing centre THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS INVESTING almost $12-million to develop McMaster’s new Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing centre. Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development made the announcement at the site of the new Centre, joined by McMaster leaders and other officials. The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) research facility, will be home to several of McMaster’s leading researchers operating from a state-of-the art facility to be constructed at the McMaster Innovation Park. There, researchers will work to improve the quality of life of Canadians and those all over the world, including the development of novel technologies for eye care, point-of-care medical devices and cancer treatments. The overall value of McMaster’s BEAM project is more than $33-million with significant investments

from the University, Fraunhofer IZI, the Government of Ontario and the City of Hamilton, as well as other organizations and private sector partners.

New Institute to help prepare communities for disasters CIVIL ENGINEER WAEL EL-DAKHAKHNI AND HIS research team have launched the McMaster Institute for Multi-Hazard Systemic Risk Studies (Interface), an initiative that aims to combine research in engineering, natural and social sciences and medicine to evaluate risk from disasters.

The Institute was awarded a $1.65 million NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE)Program grant in April to train students within the Canadian Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Resilience under Seismic System Risk (CaNRisk) program.

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News Engineering deans from around the world come together to discuss climate change

ENGINEERING DEANS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE came together at McMaster University to brainstorm ways to address climate change using innovative technology. The inaugural Carbon Free Innovation Network (CaFIN) event, hosted by the university’s Faculty of Engineering, brought together academics, industry experts and government officials on July 6 to explore challenges to reducing carbon emissions; pathways to creating a

carbon-neutral economy; and how to better incorporate green technology approaches into engineering education. A declaration was signed between the engineering deans of McMaster University, Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Notre Dame, Seoul National University, University of Hong Kong and leaders from the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) to pledge their commitment to developing carbon neutral innovations, spurring local and national economies as a result and improving the well-being of nations.

Provincial funding for engineering research FIVE McMASTER ENGINEERING FACULT Y members were among those recognized with more than $4.2 million in provincial grants during an announcement at McMaster University on Sept. 9. Engineering Physics assistant professors Leyla Soleymani and Ayse Turak each earned an Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the



government of Ontario. The duo were among four researchers awarded $140,000 each by the provincial government’s ERA program, which recognizes early career researchers for their potential to become world-class innovators. I Other researchers recognized by the Ontario Research Fund’s infrastructure program:

News ‚‚Qiyin Fang, Canada Research Chair in Biophotonics, received $149,036 to develop intelligent home sensor networks for the elderly.

‚‚Materials science engineer Kathryn Grandfield received$61,889 to develop new methods to identify the underlying mechanisms involved in the bonding of implant materials to bone.

‚‚Mechanical engineering professor Stephen Veldhuis, director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute has won $398,380 to improve the performance of tooling using an integrated coating strategy involving material and process parameter optimization

Schulich Leaders T WO ENGINEERING STUDENTS WHO HAVE already distinguished themselves as academic and community leaders in high school are starting their first year at McMaster with special support and recognition, having been named Schulich Leaders. The Schulich Foundation has designated four 2016 Schulich Leader Scholarships for McMaster: two in Engineering and two in Science, providing each of them with financial support that allows them to concentrate on their studies and develop their potential as future leaders. The students, Kaylie Lau and Erin Puersten,

are among 50 Schulich Leaders starting their studies at leading universities across Canada. Launched in 2012, the $100-million scholarship fund supports 50 undergraduate scholarships each year in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). A similar program is conducted in Israel, where an additional 50 scholarships are awarded annually. Twenty-five scholarships, valued at $100,000 each, are designated for students pursuing an Engineering degree. Twenty-five scholarships, valued at $80,000 each, are designated for students studying Science, technology or math.

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Alumni Events

Alumni Weekend @ The Faculty Club THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO CAME OUT TO celebrate their class reunions on Saturday, June 4, 2016.

Class of 2020 and Parents Welcome BBQ Saturday, September 10, 2016 ANNUAL EVENT FOR FAMILIES OF INCOMING Engineering, Computer Science, and Bachelor of Technology Program year 1 students!



Alumni Events

Big Sisters/Little Sisters BBQ Thursday, September 15, 2016 ANNUAL EVENT THAT GAVE FEMALE Engineering students the opportunity to meet and mingle with each other and female faculty. The goal of the BBQ was to have upper year students share their experiences and give advice to first year students.

Beer Tasting Event @ Shawn & Ed Brewing Company Friday, September 16, 2016 AMAZING NIGHT RECONNECTING WITH FELLOW alumni and making new friendships over a cold one. Shawn Till, Civil Eng. ‘93, Vice President and Co-Founder of The Shawn & Ed Brewing Company was there to discuss his adventure in opening a craft brewery.

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Alumni Events Lunch & Learn Series Dr. Anthony Adili, Electrical Eng. & Mgmt. ‘89 & M.D. ‘97 Thursday, September 22, 2016 GUESTS ENJOYED AN INTELLECTUAL AND ENGAGING TALK WITH Dr. Adili, exploring the current state of “robotic technology” in surgery, and the pros and cons of its use.

Detroit Alumni Event @ The Dearborn Inn Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Car of the Future – What will we see in Car Technologies in 2025? DR. SAEID HABIBI, SENIOR NSERC Industrial Research Chair and Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster, shared with guests some of the vehicle technology research currently being conducted at the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC).



Gift Planning A New Gateway to Engineering CLASS GIVING IS LEAVING ITS MARK ON MAC’S historic John Hodgins Engineering building. Thanks to generous reunion gifts from the Class of 1985, the building’s lobby and entranceway has been renovated into a comfortable gathering space. Now the Class of 1990 is taking up the challenge to expand that public space to an outdoor landscaped common area. The JHE Quad project aims to create an attractive gathering space for casual networking, collaborative learning and special events like Engineering Olympics and welcome week activities. “We want to breathe energy and a sense of community into this historic building and its surroundings, creating an enjoyable space where students and faculty can gather or meet between classes,” says Dr. Ishwar Puri, Dean of Engineering. The area north of the main entranceway is slated for a patio with tables and chairs, while the south side will feature amphitheatre seating. The McMaster Engineering fireball (on coloured and sandblasted concrete) will serve as a focal point to the plaza, with a mounted iron ring planned for the centre of the logo. The Class of 1990 is challenged to raise $100,000 to contribute to the Quad renovation and establish an endowment for ongoing maintenance of the area. Donations are also welcomed from individuals from other graduating years or faculties, with the Faculty

of Engineering matching all gifts made to the project. Class giving offers a way to pool resources to create meaningful and lasting gifts that leave a permanent mark on Mac Engineering, says advancement officer Terry Milson. For more information about contributing to the project, contact Terry at milsont@mcmaster. ca or visit the website at http://www.eng.

The Chemistry of Generosity: Sharing Knowledge, Skills and Resources CHEMICAL ENGINEERING STUDENTS TODAY AND into the future will benefit from the generosity of a number of recent donors. A few of the people whose contributions have inspired others and helped build a stronger faculty: Dr. Cameron Crowe (professor emeritus, Chemical Engineering) made a generous donation of $75,000 to create The Cameron Crowe Studio

for Student Collaboration in the John Hodgins Engineering building and establish an endowment fund for annual equipment upgrades within the space, or for other departmental needs. In 2013, Dr. Crowe established the Dr. Cameron M. Crowe Scholarship for the student entering Level II Chemical Engineering with the highest sessional average. This award has been given out to three

Fall 2016


Gift Planning outstanding students (2014, 2015 and 2016). Dean Chambers (B.Eng. ’78, Mgmt), CFO and executive vice president of Sherritt International Corporation, provided funding to establish the Chambers Experiential Learning and Discovery Fund. Helping promising students develop careerready skills, this fund allows Chemical Engineering undergraduate students to participate in a paid summer research placement with an industry component. This is a five year program, running from 2016 to 2020, with David Latulippe serving as faculty supervisor for the first student recipient. As a supporter of hands-on learning, Chambers has also contributed to the development of the Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning, which will provide space for student collaboration. His generosity will be recognized with the naming of the Chamber Family Board Room. In 2012, Chambers created a student award (The Chambers Academic Grant) in memory of his father Leslie Wayne Chambers, who inspired his educational and career choices. That award supports a student who has completed at least Level II in a Chemical Engineering & Management program. Bob Kulperger (B.Eng. ‘63 Chemical) made a leadership gift of $500,000 to support undergraduate chemical engineering students. He established the Robert J. Kulperger Scholarships and the



Robert J. Kulperger Experiential Learning and Discovery Fund. Bob and his wife, Arlene Price McKay established this fund in 2015 in memory of Bob’s parents, John and Magdelan Kulperger, who understood the importance of education and hard work to succeed in life. The award is designated for a chemical engineering student who has completed Level I and is to participate in a paid research placement. The scholarship is designated for a student who has demonstrated academic achievement, leadership on campus or in the community, and an interest in future entrepreneurship. On Sept. 22, 2015, Bob Kulperger died peacefully at home. Dr. Richard Jones (B.Eng. Mgmt.’82, Ph.D ’93) and Kathryn Jones (B.Eng. ’81, M.Eng.’86) established the Jones Family Academic Grant in 2015. The first awarding of this needs- and merit-based scholarship will be in the 2016-17 academic year. “We are pleased to support McMaster Engineering in a very tangible way,” said Kathy Jones. “It is important to support the bright young future engineers of tomorrow. We look forward to meeting the inaugural recipient of our award this academic year.” Dr. Terrence Hoffman (professor emeritus, Chemical Engineering) made a generous gift towards the Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning, which will be recognized with naming of the Terrence Hoffman Collaboration Room. He also provided a donation for undergraduate and graduate scholarships to create the Professor Terrence Hoffman Scholarship and the professor Terrence Hoffman Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Major donations from Chemical Engineering alumni to the Hatch Centre include Brad Merkel (B.Eng. ’85); Paul Galachiuk (B.Eng. ’82) & Matt Galachiuk (B.Eng. ’13); Kirk Bailey (B.Eng. ’87, M.Eng. ’91) & Sheila Bailey (B.Eng. ’88), and Roy Verstraete (B.Eng. ’70). The Chemical Engineering Inaugural Don Woods Lecture was held on March 22 at McMaster, with chemical engineering professor Richard Felder from North Carolina State University presenting, “What Don Woods Taught Me About Teaching.” The lectureship was created thanks to a $100,000 endowment.

Gift Planning

Across the generations:

Watching history unfold T

“ here’s a very different feel at McMaster,” says Rotimi Fadiya, a fourth-year electrical and biomedical engineering student. “It’s very tight-knit, very friendly. I chose Mac because I knew it would be a place where I could succeed both academically and personally.” As he entered his second year, Rotimi learned he had been awarded the Brash Academic Grant. “My first thought was, wow, someone took the initiative to support students. I’m very grateful,” says Rotimi, who has also been recognized as a Scotiabank Scholar by Toronto’s Black Business and Professional Association. “There are a lot of talented black individuals in situations that make it difficult to pursue a post-secondary education,” he says. “Just knowing there are people who want you to succeed – that has a tremendous impact. It changes lives in a very meaningful way.” Ron Brash (1932-2006) graduated from McMaster with his BEng in 1964. As part of his estate planning, he established the Gordon and Agnes (Twambley) Brash Academic Grant in memory of his parents. “If I could have met Mr. Brash, first of all I would have said thank you!” says Rotimi. “I applaud him for looking out for students and for knowing the value of higher education.” The award has given Rotimi a greater appreciation for the importance of giving back to future generations. For the immediate future, though, he’s focused on his studies in the Faculty of Engineering. “The Faculty is building a reputation as the premier engineering school in Canada,” says Rotimi. “I feel as though I’m really part of something – like I’m watching history unfold.”

Ron Brash (1932-2006) graduated from McMaster in 1964. His bequest established an academic grant that will help generations of students like Rotimi.

To learn more about leaving a gift in your will, please contact: Kelly Trickett Project Team Leader University Advancement McMaster University Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 21990 Email:

Fall 2016


McMASTER Faculty of


We are one of the world’s top 100 universities and we are changing the world.








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two offered at


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We invite applications from incoming McMaster Engineering undergraduate students who want to be mentored by the best engineering researchers and teachers… and who want to change the world.



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24 offered

Entering Engineering I, Comp Sci I, or B.Tech. I as of Sept 2017 Eligibility average ≥ 94% + strong leadership experience and community contributions *One (1) of two scholarships at $32,000 for an Aboriginal Student ($8,000 per year over 4 years) #ThinkEngineering DEADLINE DATE FOR APPLICATION: APRIL 4, 2017

Profile for McMaster Engineering Alumni

MacEngineer Fall 2016  

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

MacEngineer Fall 2016  

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

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