Page 1


MacEngineer Special Edition

Spring 2008

h t 0 5 Anniversary Celebrating the

of the Faculty of Engineering

You’re Invited: Engineering Fireball Gala, Saturday, October 18, 2008 (see page 12)


New Dean of Engineering Dr. David Wilkinson has been appointed the new Dean of Engineering. He assumed his new role and duties on April 1, 2008. “I am very excited to have this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to the next five years,” he said of the appointment. Dr. Wilkinson noted three priorities that he hopes to focus on during his tenure as Dean. “I want to establish the Engineering school as one that places a key emphasis on engineering for a sustainable world in all our programs.” He cites the new engineering building as being an example of how the University can lead in this area. Not only is the building a teaching tool, but it is being constructed to meet LEED Gold certification. Other priorities include supporting the biomedical engineering program because of the impact engineering solutions can have on health sciences, and encouraging an increase in graduate programs in all disciplines. “It’s an exciting time for the Faculty in terms of new initiatives and the new engineering building,” he adds. For example, the five-storey building will be home to Level 1

Dr. David Wilkinson

Engineering, which has never had its own physical home, and will house the McMasterMohawk Bachelor of Technology Program. It will also provide space for the School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Engineering Practice. One of the world’s foremost experts in the mechanical behaviour of materials, Dr. Wilkinson has been with the University in a variety of positions for 30 years. He has served as Chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, as a member of the Graduate Council Executive, and on many McMaster task forces, committees and tribunals. Most recently, he was director of the GM Canada Centre for Automotive Materials and Corrosion and the director of the McMaster Manufacturing Institute. Dr. Wilkinson is a graduate of the University of Toronto, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in England. He is the recipient of many accolades, including the Dofasco Award of the Metallurgical Society of CIM and the Canadian Materials Physics Medal.

Message from the Associate Dean (Academic)

Peter Smith We are now about halfway through the Faculty of Engineering’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and it is very gratifying to see the enthusiasm of our current students and our alumni. Our celebrations began with an official cake-cutting on January 11. On February 8 and 9, McMaster was proud to host the Ontario Engineering

2 The MacEngineer

Competition during which several hundred students from universities across Ontario showcased their skills in some friendly competition. In March, we had two very interesting and thought-provoking lectures: the first on The Nuclear Renaissance by Howard Shearer (Electrical ’77) and the second on The Digital Society of the 21st Century by Waguih Ishak (Ph.D. in Electrical ’78). On May 13, we held our annual Applause and Accolades banquet at the Liuna Station, in which many of our alumni were recognized for their contributions and achievements since graduating. During the event, Carl Fuerst, Chief Scientist at GM of Canada, received the 2008 McMaster University Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award, and alumnus Kurk Strobele (Ph.D. Mechanical Eng. ‘73), President and CEO of Hatch, received the 2008 L. W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. In addition, 50 outstanding

alumni were recognized for their contributions to the Faculty over the past 50 years, and we celebrated our faculty members’ many distinctions of 2007. On May 22, we had our very popular Golf Tournament at the Crosswinds Golf Course. On May 31, we enjoyed Alumni Weekend, during which I had the pleasure of hosting for dinner the graduating classes of 1968, 1973, 1978 (the year I started at Mac as an undergraduate), 1983 (my undergraduate graduating year) and 1988 (my Ph.D. graduating year). Looking forward, we will have a very special dinner hosted by Michael Lee-Chin (Civil ’74) on September 30 at the Crystal Pavilion at the Royal Ontario Museum. On October 18, all Engineering alumni are invited to the Alumni Gala at McMaster’s new David Braley Athletic Centre. Please contact Carm Vespi if you wish to attend either of these events.

Construction of the new Engineering building is on schedule, with a planned opening in May 2009 (just missing the end of our 50th Anniversary!). The new space will provide a much improved learning environment for our students and will allow us to pursue new lines of research. The building itself is state-of-the-art in terms of environmental impact, with recycled materials being used whenever possible, as well as promoting very high energy efficiency. On a personal note, David Wilkinson has taken over from me as the new Dean of Engineering. As many of you know, David has had a very distinguished career in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at McMaster for nearly 30 years, culminating with the receipt of the title

Distinguished University Professor (there are only eight across the entire University) at the 2008 Spring Convocation. If you have the opportunity to visit us, I encourage you to meet with David. I am sure that he will be happy to discuss his plans for the Faculty. This will be my last message to our alumni as Associate Dean (Academic). My term ends in June 2008 and I will be assuming the role of Associate Vice President (Academic) at McMaster. It has been a true privilege for me to have served our Faculty, our students and our alumni. In July, a new Associate Dean (Academic) will take over and I hope that he will enjoy working with you as much as I have. Best Wishes, Peter Smith

Alumni Profiles

Message from the Associate Dean (External Relations)

Peter Mascher McMaster, just like all the other research-intensive universities in the country, is preparing for a fierce competition for research infrastructure funding, in response to a new Call for Proposals by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). I am proud to report that researchers in the Faculty of Engineering are leading or are prominently represented in a number of very exciting proposals in very diverse areas, including automotive research, photovoltaics, nuclear engineering, advanced materials science, and biomedical engineering. In addition, it is expected that engineering faculty will participate in several regional and national proposals led by other institutions. Project Justification Forms are currently being reviewed by McMaster-internal Review Panels in order to ensure that only highly competitive projects are allowed to go forward. The submission deadline to CFI is in early October. March and April have also been busy months with regard to the “External Relations” part of my portfolio. In early March, a team of researchers from the Faculties of Health Sciences, Science and Engineering submitted a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund regarding a new Institutional Program, Unifying Population and Laboratory Based Sciences. This program is aimed at developing young researchers whose training will have exposed them to a broad spectrum of science including mathematical theory, molecular biology, and population health. The award generates $500,000 per year for five years and could support a freestanding graduate program. I am pleased to report that the LOI was accepted

and that we were invited to submit a full proposal by May 15, 2008. Dr. Ravi Selvaganapathy of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is the Faculty’s lead in the discussions. Also in March, Dr. Qiyin Fang (Engineering Physics) and I represented the Faculty at an event organized in Toronto by the UK Nanotechnology Industries Association and UK Science & Innovation, entitled UK Excellence in Nanotechnology R&D. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with academics and industry representatives from the UK, interested in forging ties with the Canadian and/or Ontario nanotechnology community. In early April, I participated in the 2008 Arizona Nanotechnology Symposium and gave an invited talk entitled Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at McMaster - A Model for an Interdisciplinary Approach. During my visit to Arizona State University (ASU), I met with the directors of the Center for Computational Nanoscience and the Center for Nanophotonics and discussed collaborative opportunities. The meetings were facilitated by Dawn Nagle, Trade Commissioner of the Canadian Consulate in Arizona. Of particular interest is the recent establishment at ASU of the Arizona Institute for Renewable Energy (AIRE), focused on photovoltaics, fuel cells/energy storage, and energy systems testing - very much in line with our own priorities. According to the industry trade magazine Small Times, ASU’s nanotech program is ranked 6th among such academic programs in the US. It is ranked #1 in commercialization and #3 in facilities for nanotechnology. Following the visit to Arizona, I participated in an international nanotechnology symposium organized by the University of Trento, one of the topranked science and engineering schools in Italy. While there, I also met with representatives of the University of Trento to discuss possible partnerships and joint Ph.D. programs in nanotechnology, computer science, international economics and cognitive science. The meeting was arranged and coordinated by John Picard, the Trade Commissioner and Director, Science and Technology, of the Canadian Embassy in Rome.


Engineering News


News Briefs


Departmental News


Alumni Grapevine


Hey Alumni! Do you have something to say or news to share. We would like to hear from you. Contact Carm Vespi Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24906 Fax: (905) 546-5492 e-mail: website: The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Writers: Trudi Down, Eugene Nakonechny and Carm Vespi Contributors: Administrative Coordinators and Terry Milson PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40063416 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 1280 MAIN STREET WEST HAMILTON ON L8S 4L7 email:

The MacEngineer 3


Allison Family – Engineering Runs in the Family It could be said that the Allison boys took to engineering as ducks take to water. That would only be half right.The other half would be their father (Gordon) who, by example and influence, encouraged each of them to pursue this field of study. The eldest, Dave (Elec. Eng. ’77), jokingly notes that when he was dithering over engineering, science or math – all courses he excelled in – his Dad offered an opinion that he should apply to engineering.Today he admits being very glad he took his Dad’s advice. It seems Allison Senior knew that engineering was going to offer a great future to those who studied and graduated in engineering. In addition, he believed strongly in the importance of a university education. He himself enrolled at McMaster in Honours Chemistry and Physics after the Second World War, and graduated in 1950 with a general science degree in Chemistry. (Family circumstances prevented him from continuing in the fouryear honours program.) Allison Père proved to be correct about the positive influence engineering would have on his sons. Dave has spent his entire professional career with the General Electric Canada. He started with the company in Toronto, and advanced through various positions including design engineer, project manager, business manager, marketing manager, to application/marketing engineering specialist in Peterborough. He is responsible for providing technical support and marketing strategy for GE Energy Industrial Services. Paul (Mech. Eng. & Mgmt. ’80, MBA ’81) moved from working at Imperial Oil in sales, to a new career in investment banking in 1985. He has held positions with Burns Fry Inc.,

4 The MacEngineer

BMO Nesbitt Burns, and Merrill Lynch Canada where he is currently Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman. Paul is also an active McMaster alumnus; he sits on the University’s Business Advisory Council and, since 2001, has been a member of the DeGroote School of Business Trading Floor Advisory Council. Mark (Mech. Eng. ’86) joined Petro Canada Inc. as an industrial marketing representative, and in 1988 moved to an analyst position with the company. In 1990 he founded Scottsdale



Contracting Inc., a contracting business based in the Toronto area.“We handle residential and commercial projects that range from several thousand dollars to several million.” After working one year for an engineering consulting company in Toronto, Bruce (Chem. Eng. ’83, M. Eng. ’86) moved to Vancouver with wife Beth (nee Cameron, B. Sc. Biochem. ’85) to take a position with FPInnovations-Paprican (formerly the Pulp & Paper Research Institute of Canada), where he is still employed. Their age differences meant that McMaster was spared any intense rivalries between the young scholars.“There was no competition between us,” Dave says.“It was the exact opposite – we actually helped each other.” For Dave, the best part of his time at Mac was the four years he spent in Woodstock Hall. “Back then it was an all-male residence,” he

recalls.“I met four other electrical engineering students who became very special friends of mine.The five of us have been getting together every year for a weekend or a dinner since 1977.” Bruce fondly recalls his M.Eng. supervisor Dr. Paul Taylor who, besides being very tough on his graduate students, had a great sense of humour. At the time, Bruce ran varsity track and cross country. Dr.Taylor had recently taken up running and kept threatening to beat Bruce



in a race.“However, in typical professorial fashion, he seemed to think he could get better by simply reading books!”As a result, Bruce’s track records were never threatened by the professor. These days, when not working, the Allison boys enjoy family time and sports. Paul, Mark and Bruce own cottages on the same lake and spend summers there with family and friends. Paul, who met and married Rose (nee D’Alessio, Elec. Eng. ’81) while working at Esso and is a former Mac varsity swim team and water polo team member, especially likes opportunity for waterskiing with his daughter and two sons. Dave’s hobby is buying and renovating old homes but he says that, now that his children are leaving home, he and wife Anne are making plans to travel.

Paul Boldt – Getting It Right Getting technology right is the catchphrase of the Ottawa-based company ned, maude, todd & rod inc. ( ). Founded by Paul Boldt (Mat.Sci. & Eng. ’90, Ph.D. ’98), the consulting company provides the financial and legal communities with an independent analysis of developments in science and technology. “There is a need for basic technological understanding in the investment banking and intellectual property (IP) law firms,” Boldt says. “Concepts need to be explained and made available in a way that is meaningful to people who will be making decisions based on their understanding of them.”The company helps keep clients up-to-date with developments in science and technology. It monitors science and technology publications for trends and background information, patent documentation for new technologies, and business publications and press releases for insight into how corporations are using technology. Clients can access the company’s custom reports, in-house publications, and training services. It’s really a natural progression from his work as a teaching assistant in grad school. “I always enjoyed TA work; I truly love helping others learn what I have learned. I still have a

plaque I received from a fourth-year class that I TA’ed 15 yrs. ago!” And the reason for the unusual company name? Boldt says he wanted a name reminiscent of a traditional consulting company that typically used the names of the founding partners.Then he got the idea of using first names for the “partners” who, by the way, are fictitious.“It is a great ice breaker!” he laughs. Prior to forming the company, Boldt worked at the National Research Council and an integrated circuit reverse engineering firm.Then he spent six years drafting and prosecuting patents at a national law firm that specializes in intellectual property. Patent work is really different, he says. “You are required to understand and argue a wide range of topics in front of an examiner at the patent office.You have to understand the salient points of the technology you are trying to patent and be fluent in patent language.”This experience was invaluable training for dealing with the type of clients who use the services of ned, maude, todd & rod inc., he notes. All of this seems a long way from the study of his original passion – aerospace. When he enrolled at McMaster, Boldt was thinking of a career in aeronautical engineering. He soon concluded that this field was moving towards computation and calculations, rather than basic engineering.“The one area where I

thought there was still room for classic engineering and science within the aerospace industry was materials science.” During fourth year, he decided there was much more to explore in both his chosen field and learning in general.That’s when he decided to complete a doctorate.“I believe completing the Ph.D. was essential in preparing me for open-ended thought and giving me the skills to tackle new subject matter without fear.This has been the story of my professional life.” Boldt says he could not have started his company without an engineering background. Engineering is a degree in problem-solving, he says.The actual discipline that each engineer studies is simply subject matter that can be picked up along the way once the basic problem-solving skills are in place. “An engineering background allows me to get the technology right.” Boldt is married to Mac grad Tamara (Chem. Eng. M.Eng ’95) and they have lived in Ottawa since 1996.Tamara works at Abbot Point of Care (formerly i-Stat).They have two young children, a girl 4 and a boy 2. Paul and Tamara are passionate about local food and, from June to November, they can be found out in the fields picking produce or supporting local farmers at community markets. In addition to collecting art, Boldt enjoys cycling in the Gatineaus.

D’Alessio Family – All in the Family It’s not often that three of seven siblings all attend the same university and study in the same Faculty.The fact that they all chose McMaster isn’t that hard to understand: it is their hometown university, which made it affordable. While Serge and John D’Alessio admit that they were inspired to follow in the engineering footsteps of older sister Rose, she chose engineering based on her aptitude for math and science. After completing the first-year general engineering course, Rose (Elec. Eng. ’81) decided on engineering physics but found it too theoretical for her liking. Fortunately, she was allowed to switch to electrical and, following graduation, worked for over ten years in software development and support. By the time she was ready to retire and raise a family, she was managing a team of eight in software application and support. “I’ve always felt that McMaster is smart not to force high school grads to decide on an

engineering stream until after their first year,” she says. Even then, she notes, it can still be a daunting decision. John D’Alessio (Materials Sci. & Eng. ’93, MA ’96) also benefited from the first-year general course. He along with his long time friend Charles Edward Becze Rose (Materials Sci. & Eng. ’93, MA ’95, Ph.D ‘02) recall being intrigued by the materials science lectures given by Dr. Gary Purdy.“Ed and I had taken (Dr. Purdy’s) course as an elective, but we found the topics to be fundamentally in depth and so interesting that both of us enrolled in Materials Sci. & Eng.” Serge D’Alessio (Eng. Physics ’86, MA ’88) admits that he initially had no plans of following an academic career. After Grade 12, he was all set to become an apprentice machinist. However, a flawed back meant he failed to meet the company’s standards. He stayed in

school and finished Grade 13 “… and the rest is history”! He completed a doctorate in Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario in 1993. Following that he pursued post-doctoral research at the University of Alberta in Ed-



monton and then at the Canadian Centre for Climate in Victoria. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. In addition

The MacEngineer 5

to teaching mathematics, Serge also researches fluid mechanics in industrial and environmental settings. Serge lives in Waterloo with his wife Lis, their daughter Anna and dog Keeper. John says that having an engineering degree “opened many opportunities to both adventure and work, and gave me confidence in achievement and a competitive edge when seeking a career”. He first worked for Falconbridge Ltd., as a Metallurgist in the R&D Metallurgical Technology Group, then later as Project Engineer at the Kidd Creek Metallurgical Division. He has also worked for Stelco Inc. as a Metallurgist Specialist in the Quality

Assurance and Technology Group. He joined Hamilton Steel as Technical Manager of Ironmaking just prior to its U.S. Steel acquisition in 2007. He is now with U.S. Steel Canada leading the Blast Furnace Engineering Technology for Hamilton Works. John is a session instructor in the Mohawk-McMaster BTech Program. John and his wife Karen enjoy country living in Flamborough, Ontario with their two boys, Giovanni and Allan. Since 1993 Rose, who is married to engineering grad Paul Allison (Mech. Eng. & Mgmt. ’80, MBA ’81), has been busy raising three children. As if this were not enough, she has

been an active volunteer at her children’s schools, at her church and in the hospital sector. Most recently, she was co-chair of the Humber Regional Hospital 2008 Gala, a fundraising event that attracted over 700 attendees and raised $300,000. About ten years ago, she audited three Italian courses at York University. “Although I was born and raised in Canada, I wanted to learn to read and write at a better level than I had acquired at home.”Trips to Italy provided opportunity to practise her new-found skills. In addition to learning to play the harp, Rose enjoys golf, travel and reading fiction.

Ben Chae – Building On a Strong Foundation

Ben Chae (M.Eng Civ. 84) is truly enjoying his present job. As Senior Project Superintendent for Bird Construction Company, Chae is responsible for the job site at the new engineering building currently under construction. He’s enjoyed being back on campus and visiting with former professors, lecturers and members.“I graduated here and it is great knowing I’m contributing to McMaster in this small way. It makes me very proud.” The 125,000-square-foot (11,670-squaremetre) facility being constructed at the Main Street entrance to the campus, is proceeding quickly and is currently on schedule.The topping off ceremony on April 9th celebrated the structural completion.The building, which is registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for environmental certification, is expected to be finished in late spring 2009. Engineering 1 and the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology (BTech) Partnership will be located in the new building. The facility will also house the School of Biomedical Engineering, the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and the research centre


The MacEngineer

in nanotechnology and micro-systems. Chae’s responsibilities include ensuring that all work is done according to the drawings, coordinating all the trades, and seeing that the project will be completed on time. Most important, he says, is making sure everyone works safely on the job.“That’s the biggest responsibility for the Superintendent.” Job sites are busy, noisy areas where large pieces of equipment and trucks are moving throughout. Accidents can happen anytime, to anyone, he notes. Chae enrolled in civil engineering because he has always been fascinated with buildings. His Masters thesis was concerned with geotechnical engineering – the study and understanding of how large buildings stay up. The five-storey engineering building has provided a number of construction challenges. The soil in the area is unstable and the water table is high, making the soil act like quicksand when excavated. Chae credits his extensive background in geotechnical engineering with the fact that the company was able to complete the foundation successfully and quickly. Another challenge was having to work through this past winter, which saw extremely

cold temperatures and near record amounts of snow. Rather than enclose the area being worked on with special winter tarps and using large heaters to cure the concrete, the work team decided to use a special winter weather concrete mix. While the mix is more expensive, its use resulted in the project saving many thousands of dollars in heating bills. On top of that, the work was completed three weeks ahead of schedule. A final challenge for Chae is the fact that the design is being done via sequential tendering. “I can only picture a small area at a time, making it difficult to coordinate the whole project.” Chae recalls his student days as being “all work, work!” He arrived from South Korea with a BA in agriculture and engineering and, in addition to the usual M.Eng workload, the University required him to take some refresher undergraduate courses. “I didn’t get many hours of sleep,” he jokes. Since graduating, he has worked only with construction firms, joining Bird Construction in 1990. Chae and his wife live in Brampton, Ontario, and they have two adult sons. When not worrying about the safety of his construction crew, he relaxes by gardening and playing golf.

Dave Dean – First Class All the Way Dave Dean (Chem.Eng. ’61, M.Eng.’68) always dreamed of completing a degree in Nuclear Physics, an area that offered exciting career promise in the late 1950s. He attended McMaster for cost and convenience reasons. The money he had saved working for a year after high school combined with a scholarship meant he could afford the tuition. And

room and board came courtesy of the family home in Hamilton. However, his Dad’s sudden death just after he had completed first year of the General Sciences program meant that there would be limited finances to help him stay at university long enough for graduate school. Dean knew he’d have to settle for a four-year program and, more importantly, one that offered career prospects immediately upon graduating. An Honours Science degree would permit him to teach high school science, but that prospect didn’t interest him in the least. No, he defi-

nitely didn’t want to teach! An understanding Dr. Hodgins accepted Dean into second year of Engineering. Ever the pragmatist, Dean opted for the chemical program as it seemed to offer the best job prospects. He very much enjoyed the subject area and the choice was a perfect match. As a result of the switch in program, Dean found himself in the second year of the Faculty of Engineering’s first engineering class. “Engineering started with 50 students in the first year; there were five of us in the graduating class of the chemical group,” he recalls. “We had the building almost to ourselves, with a classroom that we treated as a `home room’, just for us.” When he graduated, engineers were in great demand.“I had four job offers before I graduated!” For family reasons Dean chose to stay in Hamilton and joined the Procter and Gamble Co.The academic bug still had hold of him and he started taking night classes at McMaster, eventually enrolling as a part-time graduate student in Chemical Engineering with Dr. Hod-

gins as his thesis advisor. Dean was married to his wife Margaret at the beginning of his final year as an undergraduate, and by this time he had two children, a job and studies, so there was little free time. One day, he saw a posting for a math and chemistry teacher at the Hamilton Institute of Technology (later Mohawk College). He applied and spent the rest of his working life as an educator. “As it turned out, I loved college teaching! It was a unique opportunity because I got in at the start of the college system in Ontario.” Dean retired almost twelve years ago from Mohawk College. During his career he held a number of positions including Dean of Technology, Dean of Business, Dean of Continuing Education, and Director of Educational Technology. Reflecting on the Engineering Faculty’s 50th anniversary, Dean says that growth in the program was inevitable and that McMaster flourished during this period because of its strong foundation.“Mac had a much more academic, theoretically-oriented program than

most of the older, well-established engineering schools at the time. As far as I can tell, the program has kept pace with the technical needs for engineers in this country.” Dean remains interested in the application of technology to the educational process.The last five years or so have seen many technological innovations that can really impact on the way young people are educated. But, he adds, adoption in the classroom has been slow. “The challenge of the 21st century will be to grasp the explosion of knowledge and how that can be managed.” Dean is married with three children, and one grandchild. He likes to ski, golf, sail and travel. During the good weather, he enjoys life at his cottage; during the rest of the year, he is active in the Rotary Club of Burlington Central. “I have been working with young people in high school through my activity in Rotary Clubs, so I get to work with many of the best of the next generation. I think the future is in good hands.”

David Joyce – A Life of Oil and Technology Like many McMaster students in those days, Joyce worked at Stelco during the summer months. He was a switchman in Yard Services, throwing railway switches to allow locomotive trains and their cars to move around the Stelco plant.“I am one of the few Mac engineers who can say that he has actually driven a Engineering Physics & Management grad Dave train.Twenty feet – but I moved it!” Joyce (’81) came to McMaster in the fall of By graduation, the biomedical aspirations 1976 fresh from Hamilton Collegiate Institute had waned, and Joyce headed off to work (HCI) with a 93% overall mark, having excelled in the oilfield service industry with in three maths, chemistry, physics and drafting. Schlumberger of Canada in Alberta.“It was No wonder he felt a bit cocky about his future an amazing fit for engineering physics,” plans in the biomedical field. he now says.“The tools used to coax informa Unfortunately, McMaster did not have a tion out of oil and gas wells were all based on biomedical engineering course at that time; the physics I’d learned. And the five years of engineering physics was the closest program theories finally made sense.” since it would lead to work in robotic prosthet Over the years, Joyce also became quite ics. As he recounts, Joyce signed up for three proficient in computer programming, once reasons: going away to another university was rewriting an American computer program not financially possible, he was offered a Chanfor Windows that would work in metric-based cellor’s scholarship, and rumour had it that Canada, and worked to provide well site engineering physics was the hardest of data on floppy disk. all the engineering programs.“The cockiness In 1990 Joyce left Schlumberger, returned took over … and I added the management to southern Ontario and started his own option, to seal the deal,” he laughs.

computer programming consulting business. The flexibility of a home-based business meant he could take care of his two children while wife Joan completed her medical residency in Family Practice at McMaster.Then, in 1996, when she obtained work in Rochester, Indiana, the family relocated. Within six months, Joyce was asked to run the Internet department of the local Rochester Telephone Company (RTC), which had about 300 dial-up customers.“It turned out I was the Internet department!” To Joyce’s relief, RTC was anxious to keep up-to-date with technology and accepted many of his suggestions. For example, RTC was the first telephone company in the United States to over build copper with fibre-to-the-home; last year, it expanded to offer IPTV (TV broadcasts delivered over IP networks) over the fibre. Today, the Internet department has more than 4,000 customers, of which over 70% have broadband of either fibre, DSL, or wireless. Currently, Joyce is the company’s Technology Director, responsible for advancing technology and ensuring implementation. He and Joan, who is a family practice doctor in Rochester, are very proud of their two daughters. Alexandra is a graduating mechanical engineer and Christine is a first-year nursing student. The couple love to travel, snow ski and water ski.“As crazy Canucks, Joan and I enjoy walking our three dogs every day – rain, sleet, snow or shine - to the amusement of the locals.”

The MacEngineer 7

A Celebration of Engineering Achievements More than 300 faculty members, alumni, students and supporters of the Faculty of Engineering gathered at Liuna Station in Hamilton on Tuesday May 13 for the annual Applause and Accolades Awards Gala. During the event, Carl Fuerst, chief scientist for General Motors of Canada, was presented with the Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award. Kurt Strobele (Ph.D. Mechanical Eng. ‘73), president and CEO of Hatch, a global engineering consulting firm based in Mississauga, received the L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. More than 30 Engineering faculty members, staff and students who had received awards and special recognitions over the past year were also recognized for their achievements. A highlight of the evening was a tribute to more than 50 outstanding engineering alumni who attended as special guests in honour of the Faculty’s 50th anniversary: Anthony Adili, Electrical Eng. & Mgmt. ’89 Faculty of Medicine, McMaster University Head of Orthopaedics, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Acting Chief of Surgery, St. Joseph’s Healthcare. Paul Allison, Mechanical Eng. & Mgmt. ’80, MBA ’81 Managing Director and Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch Canada Dave Armstrong, Mechanical Eng. ’85, MBA ’90 President and Founder, Global Fuels Inc. Walter Booth, Mechanical Eng. ’62, M. Eng. ’65 Chairman of The Timberland Group of Companies David Bot, Engineering Physics ’80 President, Bot Engineering Ltd. Roy Bot, Civil Eng. ’81 President, Bot Construction Adam Caromicoli, Electrical Eng. & Mgmt. ’86 President, Indellient Inc. Corey Centen, Electrical & Biomedical Eng. ’07 Chief Executive Officer, Atreo Medical Inc. Pierre Côté, Civil Ph.D. ’86 Chief Technology Officer, Vaperma Paul Cripps, Civil Eng. ’81 Director, Engineering Services for the Town of Milton, Ontario Peter Crockett, Civil Eng. ’81 Commissioner of Planning and Public Works for Halton Region Roumanos Dableh, Electrical Eng. ’03 Founding member, Fifth Light Technology Ltd. Tony Dableh, Electrical Eng. ’04 Founding member, Fifth Light Technology Ltd., and Director of Field Operations

Ashok Dalvi, Metallurgy Ph.D. ’71 Director of Process, Engineering and Strategic Studies, Vale Inco Limited Jeffrey D. Daw, Metallurgical Eng., Hons. B.Sc. ’71, M.Eng. ’73 President, Republic Special Metals Inc. Tim Dobbie, Civil Eng. ’71 President, Tim L. Dobbie Consulting David Dobson, Electrical Eng. & Mgmt. ’86 Chief Executive Officer, Corel Corporation Peter Edmonson, Electrical Eng. ’80, M. Eng. ’89, Ph.D. ’96 President, Zen Sensing Stephen Elop, Computer Eng. & Mgmt. ’86 President, Microsoft Business Division Pat Greene, Computer Eng. ’83 Technical Lead, International Space Station Program, Spar Aerospace (now MDA)

The MacEngineer

Lynn McNeil, Engineering Physics ’85 Director of Quality and Information Technology, Gennum Corporation Paul Mizzi, Electrical Eng. ’80 Co-founder and Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, CIMTEK

Mike Fielding, Electrical Eng. ’77 Chief Executive Officer, StrataFLEX Corporation

John Monkman, Civil Eng. ’79 President, Soil-Mat Engineers & Consultants Ltd.

Lisa Hamielec, Chemical Eng. ’81 Founder, Citysearch Rental Network Inc.

Gary Moore, Civil Eng. ’81 Director of Engineering, Services for Capital Planning and Implementation, City of Hamilton

Duncan Hannay, Mechanical Eng. ’85 President, E*TRADE Canada Securities Corporation Hank A.P. Huitema, Civil Eng. ’86, M.Eng. ’92 Project Manager, Structural Division, Philips Engineering Ltd. Nick Javor, Chemical Eng. & Mgmt. ’80, MBA ’81 Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Tim Hortons Thomas Jenkins, Engineering Physics & Mgmt. ’82 Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Open Text Corporation Trevor Jones, Mechanical Eng. & Mgmt. ’81 Senior General Manager, Yaskawa Motoman Canada Clement Lam, Engineering Physics ’76, M.Eng. ’77 Managing Partner, ACG Global Richard K. Lam, Electrical Eng. ’72 Treasury Operations, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Don LeBlanc, Electrical Eng. ’83 President and Chief Executive Officer, The Business Accelerators Inc. Michael Lee-Chin, Civil Eng. ’74, LL.D. ’03 Chairman, Portland Holdings Inc. Charles Leung, Chemical Eng. ’64 President, Canadian Consulting Services Rob Lister, Electrical Eng. and Mgmt. ’81, MBA ’86 Vice-President, Utility Operations, Horizon Utilities Corporation Mimmo Lostracco, Civil Eng. and Eng. Mechanics ’64 President, Atkinson Engineering George A. MacCuish, Electrical Eng. ’82 Vice-President, JNE Consulting Ltd. Les McLean, Civil Eng. ’65, M.Eng. ’66 & Ph.D. ’69 Leslie C. McLean Consulting Inc.


Carl Fuerst and Dr. Kurt Strobele

Shawn Murray, Manufacturing Eng. ’84 President, Quantum Murray LP and Chief Executive Officer, SRS Industrial Services Ian O’Reilly, Materials Science B.Sc. ’80, Metallurgy M.Eng. ’83 General Manager of R&D, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Romeo Palombella, Civil Eng. ’73 Founder, Pal-tech Engineering Inc. Nilesh Patel, Electrical and Biomedical Eng. ’08 Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Atreo Medical Mike Pley, Electrical Eng. & Mgmt. ’83 Chief Operating Officer, COM DEV International Gary Pollock, Chemical Eng. Ph.D. ’67 Senior Managing Director, First Republic Investment Management Ken Pollock, Chemical Eng. ’61 Retired consultant Ted Pollock, Civil Eng. ’67, Chem. Eng. Ph.D. ’81 President, ENVIRON Canada, Inc. Nick Romano, Mechanical Eng. & Mgmt. ’94 President and Co-founder, Prinova Technologies Ron Scheckenberger, Civil ’84, M.Eng. ’84 Vice-President, Finances, and Head, Water Resources, Philips Engineering Ltd. Greg Schneider, Mechanical Eng. & Mgmt. ’76, MBA ’79 Owner and President, Precision Rolls Inc. and Precision Surface Technologies Inc. Joe Sferrazza, Electrical and Computer Eng. ’80, M.Eng. ’82 Managing Director, Health Care, Infrastructure and Real Estate Development, AIC Global Holdings Inc.

Colleen Shannon, Civil Eng. ’81 Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Howard Lincoln Shearer, Electrical Eng. ’77 President and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi Canada Ltd. Sarah Smith, Electrical and Biomedical Eng. ’07 Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer, Atreo Medical Inc. Vince Smith, Chemical Eng. ’72 Retired from Dow Chemical Canada Inc. Chedo Sobot, Civil Eng. & Mgmt. ’85 Co-founder, Sobotec Ltd. Vladimir Sobot, Civil Eng. ’80 Co-founder, Sobotec Ltd. Ralph Southward, Civil Eng. ’65 Founder, Southward Consultants Limited Ben Sproule, Civil Eng. ’79 President and Chief Executive Officer, Nustadia Recreation Inc. Pat Stevens, Chemical Eng. ’80 Senior Director, Optimization & Integration, Petro-Canada Products Kurt Strobele, Mechanical Eng. Ph.D. ’73 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hatch Associates Dominic Talalla, Mechanical Eng. & Mgmt. ’92 Managing Partner, Trellis Capital Jerry Uvira, Mechanical Eng. ‘79 Tim Valters, Mechanical Eng. & Mgmt. ’90 President, Selkirk Canada Edward Veckie, Mechanical Eng. ’00 Vice-President, Finance & Business Development, Unified Engineering Roy Verstraete, Chemical Eng. ’70 President and Chief Executive Officer, Anchor Danly Craig J. Wilkie, Chemical Eng. ’80 Executive Vice-President, Newalta Corporation Claudia Wong, Chemical Eng. ’78 Managing Partner of Dayi Capital The Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award, established in 2004, recognizes an outstanding citizen who has contributed to engineering, the University and the community. Past recipients include Joseph Liburdi, president, Liburdi Engineering; Joseph Ng, president, JNE Consulting; Douglas Barber, co-founder, Gennum Corporation; and John Mayberry, former chairman and CEO, Dofasco. The L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award was established in 2006 to recognize the contributions of leading Faculty alumni. Past recipients include Stephen Elop, president, Microsoft Business Division, and Michael Pley, president, COM DEV.

$2-million donation In February 2008, Walter Booth (’62), chairman of the Timberland Group of Companies, made a $2-million donation to the Faculty of Engineering as a way to thank the University for giving him the opportunity to enter the engineering program. After graduating from Ryerson Institute of Technology as a mechanical technologist and working at Stelco for several years, Booth was accepted into the engineering program. In acknowledgement of the donation, the School of Engineering Practice will be named after him. This is the second donation Booth has made to his alma mater. In 2003, he donated $1 million to establish the Walter G. Booth Chair in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Woodstock-based Timberland provides utility equipment and machinery to the hydro, telecommunications, marine and mining industries.

APPOINTMENTS Saeid Habibi, Ph.D., P.Eng.

he was an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. He spent a number of years in industry as a Project Manager and Senior Consultant for Cambridge Control Ltd, U.K., has been appointed the new Chair of the Depart- and as Senior Department Manager of Systems Engineering for AlliedSignal Aerospace ment of Mechanical Canada. He received two corporate awards for Engineering. Dr. Habibi his contributions to the AlliedSignal Systems obtained his Ph.D. in Control Engineering from Engineering Process in 1996 and 1997. He was also awarded an NSERC Canada International the University of Cambridge, U.K. His academic Postdoctoral Fellowship from 1993 to 1995, and more recently a Boeing Visiting Scholar background includes research into intelligent sponsorship in 2005. He is on the editorial control, state and parameter estimation, fault boards of the Journal of Dynamic Systems Meadiagnosis and prediction, Variable Structure Systems, and fluid power. The application surement and Control of the American Society areas for his research have included aerospace, of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Transautomotive, water distribution, robotics, and actions of the Canadian Society of Mechanical actuation systems. Before joining McMaster, Engineers (CSME).

Stephen Veldhuis, Ph.D., P.Eng.

In 1998, he completed his Doctorate degree from McMaster part time. While completing his PhD, he worked as a Research Engineer for the MMRI. Dr. Veldhuis is an Associate Profeshas been appointed director of the McMaster sor of Mechanical Engineering. Manufacturing Research Through his involvement in the MMRI, Dr. Veldhuis has worked with many researchers Institute (MMRI). He and companies on leading-edge manufacturing replaces David Wilkinson who was appointed technology. His research interests are in the Dean of Engineering. Dr. application of surface engineering and intelVeldhuis obtained his undergraduate degree in ligent control for high-performance manufacMechanical Engineering and Management from turing. His focus is on improving productivity and quality while reducing operating costs. McMaster University in 1990 and his Masters of Engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1992.

The MacEngineer 9

ENGINEERING NEWS Hodgins Lecture Focuses on Nuclear

McMaster engineering graduate Howard Shearer (El. Eng. ’77) was the guest speaker at the 24th Annual J. W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture in March. Mr. Shearer, son of the late former Jamaican Prime Minister Hugh Shearer, is President and CEO of Hitachi Canada Ltd. He also serves as a member of the University’s Board of Governors. His lecture, entitled “Nuclear Renaissance”, focused on the revival of nuclear as a sustainable form of energy in Canada and in the world. Nuclear energy is in the forefront for several reasons. There are 440 reactors in operation worldwide and there will come a time when they will need replacement.Then there is the issue of climate change and the role that nuclear energy plays, as it does not emit greenhouse gases. Nuclear energy offers security of supply in a competitive environment. A nuclear project brings tremendous economic benefits to the community, and it can help society’s transition into a knowledge economy. It is important to communicate with the public on the safety issues relating to nuclear power, Shearer said. The safety record of nuclear facilities in Canada is excellent and the public should be kept informed of that fact. He added that McMaster University is the best Canadian institution in the nuclear field for undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as for research. The J.W. Hodgins Lecture was established by the Faculty of Engineering in 1983 as a memorial to Dr. J.W. Hodgins, McMaster’s first Dean of Engineering.


The MacEngineer

Engineering Staff Receive President’s Award Two members of the Faculty of Engineering were recipients of the President’s Awards for Outstanding Service. Connie Barry, P.Eng., operations manager of McMaster’s GM of Canada Centre for Automotive Materials and Corrosion, and Rena Cornelius, P.Eng., a research engineer in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine were among eight individual and two team award recipients. Other award nominees from the Faculty of Engineering included Jane Mah, administrator in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Maria White, assistant dean (studies). “On behalf of the Faculty, we extend our congratulations to all the recipients and nominees,” said David Wilkinson, P.Eng., dean of the

Rena Cornelius and Connie Barry Faculty of Engineering. “It is a small way to recognize the great contributions they have made.” Both Connie and Rena earned their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering from McMaster. Connie completed her Master’s in 1986 and Rena in 1988. Shortly after earning her Master’s in ceramic engineering, Connie joined the Faculty as a research engineer and laboratory manager of the McMaster Powder Processing Facility in 1988. She helped to build this facility over a number of years and guided its transition from ceramic processing research to a focus on powder metallurgy. In 2001, she was promoted to Operations Manager for the McMaster Centre for Automotive Materials (MCAM).

Connie also played a pivotal role in obtaining Ontario research funds for the $45.5 million Initiative for Automotive Manufacturing Innovation (IAMI), a joint undertaking with the University of Waterloo, and is now responsible for the McMaster portion. She also manages the newly formed Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO). “As a manager, Connie is extremely thorough and caring in all of her work,” said David Wilkinson, the former director of the research centres managed by Connie. “Her efforts have been of immense value in bringing a team spirit to the automotive materials and manufacturing research.” Rena earned her Master’s in chemical engineering under the supervision of John Brash, P.Eng., who is now director of the McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering. She subsequently joined his research group as a research engineer. Rena’s work today now spans both research and teaching in undergraduate laboratories. In addition to preparing technical papers, presentations, research proposals, grant applications and training graduate students and laboratory staff, she is involved in planning and setting up new undergraduate bioengineering laboratories. Rena volunteers to work on the Department of Chemical Engineering’s high school outreach program and is an active member of Professional Engineers Ontario. She has also been involved in numerous advisory boards and committees both at McMaster and in the Hamilton region involving both safety and the environment. “Rena exhibits the highest level of commitment and competence in all that she does,” says Professor Brash. “Her contributions continue to increase year by year. She is a pleasure to work with and indispensable to our research efforts.” This year’s President’s Awards for Outstanding Service honours 54 employee nominees who are recognized for having made an outstanding contribution to the mission of the University. Since 1997, McMaster has celebrated the contributions of hundreds of exceptional employees and team members.

In Remembrance Engineering Co-op & Career Services Greetings to all of our alumni! ECCS has several exciting updates and events to report in this issue of MacEngineer. Our office, formerly known as Engineering Career Services (ECS), provides opportunities for Engineering and Computer Science students to pursue summer Co-op (four months in length) or the traditional internship positions (eight, twelve and sixteen months). If your company or employer is interested in hiring current students for Co-op and internship positions, please contact our Employer Development Officers. The ECCS staff are also available for consultation about typical responsibilities assigned to Co-op and internship students and average salaries/wages. The Co-op website for employers is located at As of April 2008, more than 1,600 undergraduate students were registered in our Co-op Program. The following chart includes information as to the number of Co-op students in McMaster Engineering’s degree programs.

Degree Program

No. of Co-Op Students

Engineering 1


Chemical Engineering / Chemical And Bioengineering


Civil Engineering


Computer Science


Electrical And Computer Engineering / Electrical And Biomedical Engineering


Engineering Physics


Materials Science & Engineering


Mechanical Engineering




Software Engineering


Bachelor Of Technology


ECCS also manages the Co-op Program for Bachelor of Technology (BTech) students. The BTech program is a collaboration between McMaster University and Mohawk College. Additional information may be found at http:// Our Employer Development staff can provide details as to the type of Co-op positions that would be good matches for BTech students. Perhaps your employer would be interested in hiring engineering students for full-time, permanent positions (after graduation)? Please contact our Employer Development staff members, and they will refer you to the Career Services office that handles job postings for post-graduate opportunities. Interested in providing advice and “words of wisdom” to current students? Both the Career Services Central Office and ECCS offer numerous opportunities to become involved in the career development of current students. During the academic year (and especially during the fall term), ECCS – in collaboration with student societies and degree program departments - offers Career Information Panels/Networking Events. McMaster alumni and industry representatives provide insight about careers related to the various Engineering fields. We also welcome the opportunity for alumni to conduct job search, networking,

cover letter and résumé writing, and interviewing presentations. Please contact ECCS for more information about becoming involved with these events. The Central Office offers careerLINKS, a mentoring network offered in partnership with the McMaster Alumni Association. To volunteer as a mentor to a current engineering student, please register at Please note that the annual Career Fair is scheduled for Thursday, September 18, 2008. It is a great opportunity for companies and employers to speak with current students about future career opportunities. Are you contemplating a job or career change? Have you questions about graduate school or promotions/salaries related to your field? As a graduate of McMaster University, please take advantage of Alumni Career Services. More details are available at We look forward to working with you during the upcoming year! If you are interested in participating in any of these events or wish to speak with an ECCS staff member, please contact ECCS at 905-525-9140, ext. 22571 or at Thank you for your support of McMaster students, and we wish you all the best during the summer months. Lynn Stewart, Ph.D. Manager, Engineering Co-op and Career Services

Professor Brian Ives It is with great sadness that the Faculty learned of the death of Professor Brian Ives on April 16th, after a very gallant struggle with cancer. Prof. Ives’s long career at McMaster was characterized by his strong sense of duty and his professionalism. He served as the Chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and as Associate Dean of Engineering, and was active in ASM International, including serving as President. He also organized a wide variety of educational initiatives for the University and for the profession. To all these activities he brought a sense of dedication and team spirit, along with an ability to motivate and inspire others. Prof. Ives achieved much by hard work and by treating everyone with respect. He was indeed a gentleman, courteous and careful in all his dealings with students, staff and colleagues. His humour, his love of the English language, his laughter, and his deep sincerity and honesty will be missed and remembered by those who had the privilege to know him. His legacy will be written, as he would have wished, in the lives of the students he taught, and the staff and colleagues who worked with him. A memorial service for Dr. Ives was held in Convocation Hall on Friday May 23, 2008.

The MacEngineer 11

hAnniversary 50t Dear Fellow Alumni,

This is a special year in the history of Engineering at McMaster - it’s the 50th Anniversary of the Faculty. Just think, 50 years of engineering students grinding away at calculus, relaxing with friends and attending the Kipling Ceremony. It’s time to celebrate! We cordially invite you to attend the Engineering Alumni Fireball Gala on Saturday, October 18, 2008. Jay Ingram will be our Master of Ceremonies and Tiffany Thompson and the Groove Corporation will get you up and dancing. Special guests include graduates from the Class of ‘61, the first engineering graduating class at McMaster University, past MES executives, super plumbers, student volunteers from the various Engineering clubs, and Engineering grads and professors from all years. Mark your calendar NOW. The event will be held in the Sports Hall of the new David Braley Athletics Centre - a building which engineering alumni helped to make happen. Some of the proceeds from Fireball Gala ticket sales will be used to create a special room in the new Engineering building that will be dedicated to Engineering Alumni. This event is a wonderful opportunity for you to reconnect with your classmates and professors. Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased from Carm Vespi at Yes, Carm is still working wonders on our behalf in the Engineering Alumni Office, and you can reconnect with her at the Gala, too. We are expecting quite a crowd. We hope you will join us! Sincerely, Your MES Presidents

Reconnect, Revisit

Old Memories and Create New Ones


Master of Ceremonies

5:00 p.m. Reception

One of Canada’s best-known science personalities, Jay Ingram is co-host and producer of Daily Planet, television’s first daily science show. He joined Discovery Channel, producers of Daily Planet, in November 1994 and was instrumental in helping shape the program format. From September 1979 to January 1992, Jay hosted CBC Radio’s science program Quirks and Quarks. During that time, he earned two ACTRA Awards, including one for Best Host. During the ‘80s, Jay was also Contributing Editor to Owl Magazine. In 1993, he hosted The Talk Show, a CBC Radio series about language, which also won a Science in Society Journalism Award. Following that, Jay presented items on the brain for the CBC TV’s The Health Show and contributed regular weekly science features for CBC Newsworld’s Canada Live (1993-94). In 1984, he was awarded the Sandford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute for his work popularizing science.

Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres (outside David Braley Athletics Centre Lobby)

6:00 p.m. Welcome Dean David Wilkinson Greetings from the University Dr. Peter George, President and Vice Chancellor Brief History of the Faculty of Engineering

He also earned the 1997 Royal Society of Canada McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science. In 2000, Jay was awarded a Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He holds three honorary doctorate degrees: from Carleton University, McGill University, and - most recently - from McMaster University. Jay has written eight books, three of which have won Canadian Science Writers’ Awards. When he’s not hosting or producing his weekly segment Jay’s Journal, he writes a weekly science column for The Toronto Star.

Special Guests Unveiling – ENGINEERING TIME CAPSULE 7:00 p.m. Dinner (served with complimentary wine) (brief toasts throughout the dinner)

8:45 p.m. Engineering Musical Celebrates 10th Anniversary 9:00 p.m. DRAW - TRIP FOR TWO 9:15 p.m. Thank you

The Groove Corporation featuring Tiffany Thompson

Great Prizes To Be Won!

A trip for 2, a weekend getaway, Engineering Fireball Pins

9:30 p.m. Dance And more. . . Join the Once-in-a-Lifetime Gala celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering


Engineering Alumni Fireball Gala Saturday, October 18, 2008

**Please print registration and Mail/Fax completed form by Wednesday, October 3, 2008 NAME________________________________________________________ STUDENT ID#_________________________ DEPARTMENT & YEAR OF GRADUATION_________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS____________________________________________________________________________________________ PHONE:______________________________ E-MAIL(S)_____________________________________________________ JOB TITLE & ORGANIZATION____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

BUSINESS ADDRESS___________________________________________________________________________________ BUSINESS PHONE _________________________________

BUSINESS FAX___________________________________

NAME OF GUEST (first & last) _____________________________________________________________________________ Please indicate special needs (be specific): Dietary restrictions __________________________________________

Vegetarian meal

COST: $100/person Please DO NOT send credit card information by email. Payment Options: Cash

Cheque payable to McMaster University

Credit Card

Visa/Master Card Number: _____________________________________________ Expiry: _____________


If you would like to reserve a table for your group, please read below.

If you have a group of 5 - 10 individuals who would like to sit together, we can reserve a half or full table for you. Please provide full name, department, graduation year and mark down if they are alumni or someone’s guest. Only one individual from your group needs to fill out the details. Please note that we still need a registration form from each individual. 1. _________________________________________________________________________________



2. _________________________________________________________________________________



3. _________________________________________________________________________________



4. _________________________________________________________________________________



5. _________________________________________________________________________________



6. _________________________________________________________________________________



7. _________________________________________________________________________________



8. _________________________________________________________________________________



9. _________________________________________________________________________________



10. ________________________________________________________________________________



Engineering Alumni Office McMaster University Faculty of Engineering, JHE - A201D 1280 Main Street West Hamilton ON L8S 4L7 or Fax 905-546-5492


The Living Legacy Project The Engineering Alumni Advisory Committee is undertaking a variety of initiatives in honour of McMaster Engineering’s 50th year. The Living Legacy Project calls for alumni contributions to help highlight and preserve 50 years of history through the creation of a time capsule and a living wall of history.


A time capsule will be sealed at the 50 year gala dinner/dance on October 18, 2008. It will be buried on campus to be reopened on October 18, 2058. We are looking for items in a variety of categories. Here are a few suggestions:

ACADEMICS • Textbooks

SOCIAL Mugs and keychains • Welcome Week paraphernalia • Bandannas • Pictures • Plumbline • An actual red suit • Kipling pranks • Fireball photos • Yearbook •

• Tests or midterms • Computer files on USB/CD/DVD • An upper year design project • Cheat sheet

• • • • • •

ARTS & MEDIA Pictures from the gala Musical paraphernalia Video Pictures from the year Welcome Week photos Song/cheer list

If you have an item you would like to contribute, use the form to make a submission.

living wall will be erected in a glass case in either the current or new engineering buildings. LIVING WALL The It will include items from the 50 years of engineering at McMaster. Potential items include: • • •

Engineering jackets (one from each decade) Historical red suits (in good condition) Print material (Plumbline, promo pictures, newspaper articles, MacEngineer) Fireball logos

• • •

• •

Photo albums (one for each decade) Pictures of same locations on campus from different years Handwritten stories (memories to go with the photos) Old yearbooks Formal favours/Kipling favours

Application Form

• • • • • •

Grad pins Fireball bandannas from Welcome Week Pictures of all the SP/WPs Mac Eng mugs Cheat sheets Etc!

Only half the wall will be complete while the other half will be left for each engineering class to donate items for the next 50 years. Do you have an item that you would like to contribute to the wall, a living legacy which will be placed on permanent display?

Description of Item____________________________________ ___________________________________________________

Name_______________________________________________ Grad. Year___________________________________________ Discipline___________________________________________ Degree_ ____________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Category Type:

❏ Time Capsule ❏ Living Wall of History

Picture Attached:

Address_____________________________________________ City_ _______________________________________________ Province____________________________________________ Postal Code__________________________________________ Phone_ _____________________________________________ Fax_________________________________________________ Email _ _____________________________________________ Ms. Carm Vespi, Manager, Alumni Relations Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University 1280 Main St. W. JHE-A201D, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L7, Tel: 905 525-9140, ext. 24906, Fax: 905 546-5492

CPRGlove Receives Awards The McMaster inventors of the CPRGlove have received $500,000 in funding to assist them take their invention to market. Funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Market Readiness program enables Corey Centen, Nilesh Patel and Sarah Smith to focus on market analysis, product development and the pursuit of a contract with a design and manufacturing partner. The electrical and biomedical engineering graduates hope to have a training model ready for market by the end of the year. The inventors of the CPRGlove were also honoured with University awards during the Alumni Gallery & MAA Awards Dinner & Induction Ceremony on Alumni Weekend in late May. A McMaster Arch Award was presented to Cory Centen and Sarah Smith (‘07) and Nilesh Patel (‘08), the co-inventors of the CPRGlove which guides users in performing correct CPR through sensors and an LCD screen. Centen and Patel developed the technology for the glove, and Smith is currently managing the business aspect

of the next phase of development. The award was presented during a dinner at the Dundas Valley Golf & Curling Club on May 29, 2008. The CPRGlove won Best Invention of the Year 2007 (Time magazine) and was named one of the Top Ten Inventions of the Year 2007 (Popular Science magazine). In April 2008, the inventors’ company, Atreo Medical Inc., took first prize at the Wes Nichol LaunchPad $50k regional entrepreneurship challenge held in Waterloo, Ontario. The prize was$25,000 in cash and in-kind services.

Chase the Ace - Aficionado Calculates Winning Strategies Dave Farmer (’71) writes that his colleagues in Chemical Engineering became notorious for playing the card game Chase the Ace in the study room during final year. He recalls that the year-end party featured a huge game with over fifty players, including professors and graduate students. For those who may not know the game, the rules are simple: each player receives one card, face down. The object is not to be left with the lowest ranked card at the end of play. Aces are low and kings are high. If dealt a king, the player must turn it over; he does not participate in trades during that game. Each player in turn has to decide whether to keep his dealt card or trade if for the next player’s card. Play starts with the person on the left of the dealer. When the play returns to the dealer, all cards are turned face up. Player(s) with the lowest rank must buy back into the game. Losers can buy in for up to three turns; on the fourth loss, they are out of the game. “Being an impoverished student and the stakes being three nickels (which bought a cup-and-ahalf of coffee in 1971), I either had to refrain from playing or learn how.” Putting his slide rule to

work, Farmer calculated the probabilities that a given card would lose if held for each player in the game. He boiled the large amount of data down to a single strategy: trade a card if its probability of losing was more than the inverse of the number of players. The table he developed for which cards to hold was devised for a game of 15 players, and became known as the simple strategy. He memorized it and promptly won three games in a row the next day. To forestall any unseemly accusations, he posted the table on the wall beside the Chase the Ace playing table in the study room. Despite this generous gesture, “Chase the Ace funded most of my lunches that year,” he notes. Over the years, with the help of more sophisticated computer power and simulation programs, Farmer devised what he calls an optimal strategy. He then played both strategies against each other in 3 tournament simulations. After averaging the three results, the simple strategy won 47.5 per cent of the time. His conclusions? “For a casual game or two, the simple strategy will do the job.” To learn more about Farmer’s strategies, you can contact him at

Bachelor of Technology Update The Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) Partnership has received $16.5 million in funding from the Ontario government in support of the joint initiative between McMaster and Mohawk. The Bachelor of Technology program offers a university degree-completion program, a four-year degree/diploma program, and a certificate/diploma program. The four-year degree/diploma is accepting applicants to start this September. This program designed for high school graduates who learn best by doing. It offers: classroom study, labs, workplace training, university-level course study and ‘hands-on’ experience. The three disciplines offered are Automotive and Vehicle Technology, Biotechnology and Process Automation Technology. Also starting in September 2008, the university degree-completion program will expand to offer Energy Engineering Technologies, providing graduates with the education and skills that are in demand by the Ontario energy sector. The courses offered through this degree cover topics related to the power industry, nuclear plants, and renewable energy technologies. In addition, a new McMaster certificate/diploma program beginning in the fall offers fewer courses and less time commitment than the degree program. It is ideal for engineers, technologists and internationally educated professionals working in industry. The advanced technical knowledge, skills and training will assist them to be more effective in the work field and to advance professionally. For more information about the Bachelor of Technology Programs, visit the website: http://btech. , e-mail, or call 905.525.9140 ext. 27056.

continued on page 23

The MacEngineer 17

NEWS BREIFS The 16th Annual Forum of Engineering Physics Alumni and Undergraduates was held on Friday, April 4, 2008. Dean of Engineering David Wilkinson welcomed the panel members, who then outlined their careers since leaving McMaster and described how the Engineering Physics program had prepared them for the workforce. Following the forum, everyone was invited to attend a social in Wentworth House Lounge.

Our thanks go to the members of this year’s panel: Adam Gavey (B.Eng. 06) from Bruce Power, Medhi Shahideh (B.Eng. 02) from the University of Toronto’s Department of Neurosurgery, Scott Mitchell (B.Eng. 07) from Ontario Power Generation, Lisa Diodato, Department of Imaging Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Parsian Mohseni (B.Eng. 05) currently a graduate student in the area of Nanotechnology at McMaster University. Ray LaPierre, Associate Chair (Undergraduate), acted as Moderator. This forum is a valuable learning experience for our undergraduates and the Department is eager for this contact with the alumni to continue growing. If you are interested in participating in next year’s forum or in coming to McMaster to present a seminar, please contact Fran Allen, Engineering Physics Department, McMaster University, L8S 4L7, Tel(905) 525-9l40, Ext. 24548, e-mail,

New Engineering Building

The Faculty of Engineering is constructing a new engineering building on the southwest corner of McMaster’s campus at Main Street West and Cootes Drive. The new five-storey 125,000 sq. ft structure, scheduled for completion in spring 2009, will be a dynamic and inspiring environment both in design and technology. The building will house the School of Biomedical Engineering and the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, as well as research centres in nanotechnology and energy studies. It will also be the new home of Engineering 1 and the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology (BTech) Partnership.


The MacEngineer

Teaching studios, tutorial rooms, study space and classrooms will support recent initiatives enhancing the first-year undergraduate experience. Many alumni have donated to the new Engineering 1 teaching studio with contributions of $1,000 to $5,000. We are proud of our alumni support and look forward to displaying the names of each donor on a donor plaque in the studio. Please contact Terry Milson, Advancement Officer at 905.525.9140 extension 27391 or email: for further details on how you can make a contribution to enhance the learning environment for our students. A topping-off ceremony to celebrate the structural completion of the new engineering building was held on April 10. Helping to celebrate the traditional construction milestone were representatives from Bird Construction, McMaster’s Facility Services, Vermeulen/Hing Architects, the Faculty of Engineering and University officials. Over 50 construction and tradespeople were involved in the concrete forming, and the mechanical and electrical portion of the project to date.

Peter Smith Appointed Associate Vice President (Academic), at McMaster He begins his new role as of July 1, 2008. Dr. Smith came to McMaster from Brazil as a student in 1978. He was in the first class receiving the B.Eng. & Mgt. degree in Computer Engineering and Management. He completed his M.Eng. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering prior to joining McMaster’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1987. In 2002 he was named Associate Dean (Academic) of Engineering and, in 2007, was appointed Acting Dean. He is one of the world’s leading experts in radio frequency and microwave circuits, a subject on which he has co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. He is a recipient of the R.A. Ross Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada, has led the Microwave Acoustics Library at McMaster, and is a member of the IEEE and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Art in Engineering/ Engineering in Art Fourth-year mechanical engineering students James Prine and Geoff Rivers participated in an Art in Engineering/ Engineering in Art project. Working with two McMaster Studio Art students, Allison Garrett and Benedict Lopes, they helped to create two interactive sculptures which were final-year projects for all four students. The finished art pieces were included in the McMaster Museum of Art’s annual Graduating Studio Art Student Exhibition, titled Are You With Me? during April.

Collaborative Venture A collaborative venture between McMaster University and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia has received provincial government support. Researchers at both institutions have been sharing knowledge, ideas and resources, including McMaster’s Titan electron microscope – one of the most powerful microscopes in the world. The $150,000 investment was made through Ontario’s International Strategic Opportunities Program (ISOP). It will support efforts to put McMaster’s Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy (CCEM) at the forefront of international research, and help researchers develop new techniques for using the powerful microscope. Gianluigi Botton, director of the CCEM, was in Australia when the funding announcement was made in February.

USRA Recipients Eight Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) recipients from the Faculty of Engineering got to display their research projects at a poster session in January: Aws Albarghouthi (Computing and Software), Nathan Cox, Phil Kinsman and Jason Thong (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Mihail Georgiev (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Alicja Hanebach (Engineering Physics), Shayne Love (Civil Engineering), and Gregory Stortz (Engineering Physics). The USRAs are sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities and Business, and the office of the Vice President, Research and International Affairs. Each student receives $5000 and the chance to explore possible career opportunities in a research environment under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Engineers Without Borders Nineteen members of the McMaster chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) went to the 7th annual EWB National Conference in Montreal. They attended workshops and heard guest speakers talk about sustainable development, community outreach and high-impact aid. This summer, civil engineering student Erica Barnes travels with history and political science student Vera Rocca to Africa to work with local charities and organizations to promote sustainable development. Information from the workshops will be used by first-year engineering students to help them complete the 1P03 tutorial project. For more information about the McMaster EWB chapter, visit www. .

Bioactive Paper Initiative In December 2007, The New York Times Magazine selected the bioactive paper initiative for inclusion in its annual “Year in Ideas” issue. Canadian research into bioactive paper is being undertaken by the SENTINEL Bioac-

Dave Rennalls

Congratulations ... to first-year student Yanicke Parkinson, a recipient of a 2007 John C. Holland award for community service. Parkinson received the Mount Olive Lodge Scholarship for Youth Achievement at the February awards event in Hamilton. Parkinson, who hopes to enter Chemical Engineering, is a science and math tutor, and raises money to help battle the AIDS crises in Africa. Rev. Holland was the first African Canadian to be honoured as Citizen of the Year for Hamilton in 1953.

Athlete of the Year

tive Paper Network, a consortium of 11 Canadian universities, eight industry partners, the National Research Council of Canada and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The network is based at McMaster and is led by Robert Pelton, professor of Chemical Engineering.

Top-10 Start-ups Liquid fibre display panels and high-efficiency flexible solar cells were among the winners of the 2007 Canada’s Top-Ten Competition organized by the Centre for Research and Innovation in Ottawa. These two technology start-up projects emanated from the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Liquid Fiber Displays, a project involving Professor Adrian Kitai (Engineering Physics, Materials Science & Engineering) and engineering entrepreneurship Master’s students Nimesh Bahl and Cristian Nunez, was selected for the technology category. The high-efficiency flexible solar cells – a project of Professor Kitai, along with Jesika Briones, an engineering entrepreneurship Master’s student, and Wei Zhang, an Engineering Physics Master’s student – was chosen in the clean technology category. The Liquid Fiber Display project is also the recipient of a first at the annual TiEQuest 2008 Business Venture Competition in April, winning $50,000 in cash and in-kind services along with the Ontario Entrepreneurship Trophy. TiEQuest is an annual business venture competition held in Toronto.

Norm Lockington Scholarship Master’s student Peter Topalovic is the recipient of the 2008 Norm Lockington scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the Dofasco Centre for Engineering and Public Policy at McMaster who exhibits a commitment to sustainability and academic excellence. Topalovic (Comp. Eng. & Society ’04) is currently working as a systems designer for JNE Consulting Ltd. Norm Lockington, a former Dofasco vice president, sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board for McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering.

In April, Dave Rennalls, a fifth-year chemical engineering and management student, was selected as the University’s Athlete of the Year. Dave is an all-star wrestler and a gold medalist, winning the gold at both the Ontario University Athletics and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport wrestling championships in the 72-kg class. Dave is one of five students in the Faculty of Engineering selected as the Most Value Players for their respective teams for 2007. The other MVPs are: Michael Irvine (El. Eng.), fencing; Michael May (Civ.Eng.), baseball; Ahmed Shohayeb (Mech.Eng.), squash; and Sarah Van Hoof (Mat.Sci.& Eng.& Mgmt.), rugby.

NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Signature Event A 50th Anniversary Celebration at the ROM with Michael Lee-Chin (B.Eng. ’74) Executive Chairman Portland Holdings Inc. and AIC Ltd. Tuesday, September 30, 2008 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

The Redrover Team participated with verve and gusto in the 15th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race during two days in early April. The competition took place at the U.S. Space & Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama. The Mac team consisted of Mechanical Engineering and Management V students Steve Remilli, Albert Succi, Adam Vespi, and Marc Christopher, along with Kristin Pouw (Chemical and BioEngineering V) and Jaquie Reaume (Mech. Eng. V). Students are required to design a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems similar to those faced by the original Moonbuggy team. Each vehicle must be human powered and carry two passengers, one male and one female. It must travel over a half-mile simulated lunar terrain course that includes craters, rocks, lava ridges, inclines and lunar soil. The team sends out a big “Thank you” to sponsors: Town Development Corporation, Galvcast Mfg. Inc., Razio Pizza Kitchen, McMaster Faculty of Engineering and the Engineering & Management program. For photos, visit

continued on page 23

Please join us in applauding the accomplishments of Michael Lee-Chin, McMaster alumnus, businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, at the ROM’s new Crystal Pavilion. To inquire about tickets, please contact Terry Milson at 905.525.9140 extension 27391 or email milsont@ Visit our website: In celebration of the Faculty of Engineering’s 50th Anniversary (1958 to 2008), a number of events have been planned in 2008, with the Signature Event bringing festivities to a high point.

The MacEngineer 19






Venture Camp The 8-week summer program for students from Grades 3 to 10, won “Diamond” in the best summer camps category, in the 2007 Hamilton Community News Readers’ Choice Awards. Hamilton community members cast ballots to select from a list of nominations during the first week in March. In the summer of 2007, over 1000 students participated in the hands-on science and engineering learning experiences at McMaster campus. Campers built MP3 players, metal detectors and remote control cars.

LEAP Starting this summer, the Learning Enrichment Advancement Program (LEAP) will give graduating high school students a Headstart – provided they plan to enroll in the university’s engineering program. The Headstart initiative offers students an opportunity to take two first-year engineering courses – Introduction to Professional Engineering and Engineering Design and Graphics – both of which are mandatory first-year courses. Students completing one or both of the courses will receive university credits toward their first-year fall term workload. The Headstart courses will be offered in conjunction with other LEAP activities over the four-week program. LEAP is an intensive summer program offered to top high school students who have a strong academic record and who excel in science or engineering. The lectures, design projects and laboratory experiments are held on campus in the Faculty’s facilities.


The MacEngineer

Chemical Engineering

Computing & Software

The Department is pleased to announce the The Department of Computing and Software is launch of the Engineering Design graduate pleased to welcome a new Associate Professor program in the Fall of 2007, with the enrolment Dr. Jan Modersitzki. Dr. Modersitzki joined the of 19 students. Three fields of study are offered: department in January 2008 from the Institut für sustainable infrastructure, product design, or Mathematik, Lubeck Germany, and has jumped process systems design and operation. To receive right into teaching a new course in the software their M.Eng. Engineering Design degrees, stuengineering program this term. He received his dents must complete a minimum of six graduatedoctorate at Hamburg and completed his Habililevel courses and an industrial-oriented project. tation at Lubeck in 2003. His research interests There is a strong emphasis on the development are in image processing, numerical analysis and of management and leadership competencies in optimization. He is the author of a well-known the program, in addition to adbook on Image Registration. vanced technical competencies. This is the first year that graduating Students are also being given the students in the new Software Enopportunity to work with Master gineering (Game Design) program of Engineering Entrepreneurship participated in the annual IBM and Innovation (MEEI) start-up Challenge. Students were chalcompanies on the required projlenged to design and implement ects. Courses are being taught the embedded software for a paceby McMaster faculty, industry maker on a PIC microcontroller experts, and researchers from hardware reference platform, as Canada and the United States. well as a Device Monitor and ConCongratulations to troller (DCM) program to run on a Dr. John Vlachopoulos is the David Russell (SoftPC that would be used by physirecipient of the 2007 Stanley ware & Management) cians and technicians to monitor a G. Mason Award in recognition on his election as patient’s pacemaker and control its of his short course on polymer President of the settings. More information on the rheology and processing, which McMaster Engineerpacemaker challenge is available he has given over 60 times and in ing Society (MES) for at countries. Vlachopoulos is a 2008-2009. Russell is maker.htm. Game Design students frequent lecturer (he speaks five in his fourth year, developed a 3D immersive game languages) at conferences around and was previously that could be used by psychologists the world. The award was prethe Communications and social scientists in conjunction sented in November at a special Director for the MES. with measurement equipment such symposium in his honour. The as eye-movement-tracking devices. Mason award is presented every Nadine Nichols, Manager of Human Resources, three years by the Canadian Society of Rheology IBM Toronto Services, presented awards to the for exceptional contributions to the science of top teams. The rheology. first-place team consisted of Game Design Civil Engineering students Andrew Leung, Alin Domokos, Jeff The Department is pleased to announce the Hulshof, Kam Chow and Jeremy Druce. appointment of Dr. Wael El-Dakhakhni to the Second-place honours went to Martini, Mascarin and George Chair in Masonry Software Engineering students Adrian Balij, Design within the Centre for Effective Design of Jordan Van Structures (CEDS). Dr. El-Dakhakhni’s research Schyndel, Andrew Young and Kevin Zych. focuses on the behaviour of masonry structures The Software Engineering team of Kalyan under extreme loading. The Masonry Chair posiChatterjee, David Das, Asim Mahmood and tion was made possible by the Ontario Research Hyo-min Park received a special certificate of and Development Challenge Fund, with matching funds from the Ontario Masonry Contractors’ recognition for the technical excellence of their pacemaker software and documentation. Association and from McMaster University. The Centre has four research foci: masonry - materials, design and construction; earthquake engineering; investigation and remediation of structures; and enhanced use of new and under-utilized materials. A new area of research involves analysis, design and testing of structures against blast forces. The Centre researchers comprise eight faculty members, over 30 graduate students and several post-doctoral fellows and research engineers.

Electrical & Computer Engineering Xiaolin Wu received best paper award at the Visual Communications and Imaging Processing 2008 conference, held in San Jose, California in January 2008. His paper was entitled “Rate-distortion optimized multimedia communication in networks” (Invited Paper),and was co-authored with Nima Sarshar of the University of Regina. Simon Haykin is the recipient of the 2008 R.A. Fessenden Silver Medal (Telecommunications)

from the IEEE for pioneering contributions to radar and wireless communications. Dr. Haykin is a Fellow of the IEEE. Congratulations to Jing Liu who has been awarded a Young Author Best Paper Award by the IEEE Signal Processing Society for her paper entitled “On the Design of Minimum BER Linear Space-Time Block Codes for MIMO Systems Equipped with MMSE Receivers”. The paper is co-authored by Jian-Kang Zhang and Max Wong, and was published in the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing in August 2006. Three members of the Department win Graduate Student Association (GSA) awards. Dr Shahin Sirouspour received the President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision; Cheryl Gies is the recipient of the GSA Award for Contributions by NonAcademic Staff; and Naser Faramarzpour received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Communicating Graduate Research. Canada Research Chair Natalia Nikolova has been awarded a CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund grant for $111,391. Professor Jamal Deen is the recipient of the Humboldt Research Award for his work in electrical, electronic and communications engineering. The Humboldt Research Award sponsors top-flight foreign scientists and scholars to travel to Germany to spend extended periods of time working with German colleagues. Professor Deen is being hosted until the end of June by Dr.-Ing. Georg Böck, Technische Universität Berlin and Dr. Frank Schwierz, Technische Universität Ilmenau. His research focuses on the investigation of noise phenomena in nanoscale devices. The award is administered by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by the Federal Republic of Germany for the promotion of international research cooperation.

initiative is valued at more than half a million dollars. McMaster is providing the researchers and facilities, while Cleanfield is investing $300,000 and the OCE is providing $279,000 in funding. Some of the funding will be used to add a post-doctoral fellow along with Ph.D. and Master’s students to the research team.

Master Engineering Society (MES) Teaching Appreciation Award for 2008. Dr. Veldhuis is a graduate of McMaster’s Mechanical Engineering and Management program (1990). He completed a Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon and a Ph.D. from McMaster under Dr. Mo Elbestawi. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Department.

John Preston, leader of the McMaster Initiative in Nanoinnovation, gave a lecture on “The Promise and Perils of Nanotechnology” in February. The lecture was part of a Science in the City series co-sponsored by The Hamilton Spectator and McMaster University.

Master’s student Joanne Bailey is the recipient of the 2008 AMEC Masters Scholarship in Engineering, worth $10,000. The scholarship is a partnership between the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation and AMEC, which offers consulting, engineering and project management services to energy, power and process industries. Bailey, who received a B.Eng. at the University of Waterloo (Mech. Eng. ’03), specializes in thermafluid sciences, and is studying under Associate Professor James Cotton. She will spend the work term of the scholarship at AMEC – Nuclear Safety Solutions in the Thermal Hydraulics Division. The Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation was founded in 1990 and honours the memory of the 14 women from École Polytechnique in Montreal who lost their lives on December 6, 1989.

As part of the Department’s McMaster Biophotonics Lectures, Dr. Gordon Knight, Research Operations Manager at Trojan Technologies, gave a talk on “Biophotonics in Industry: Water Disinfection and Contamination Treatment” at the University in February. Trojan Technologies is the world leader in water disinfection technology using ultraviolet light. Dr. Knight is a current member of the Ontario Photonics Technology Industry Cluster (OPTIC).

Materials Science & Engineering Congratulations to Gordon Irons, the AIST John F. Elliott Lectureship Award winner for 2008. The award was presented during AISTech 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 6.

Mechanical Engineering Stephen Veldhuis is the recipient of the Mc-

The Department is pleased to announce that Associate Professor Peidong Wu has been awarded the International Journal of Plasticity (IJP) Medal (junior) Award for outstanding contributions to the field of plasticity over the most recent five-year period. Dr. Wu will accept the award during the Plasticity Conference in Paris, France, in May 2008.

The Department is proud to announce that it won the 2007 Christmas Door Decorating Contest.

Engineering Physics In the pursuit of developing low-cost, nano-based solar cells, assistant professor Ray LaPierre is working with wires made of gallium arsenide which have the potential to be more efficient than silicon wires. Nanowave technology developed at McMaster is able to trap more sunlight and convert it to electricity more efficiently than traditional solar cells, and for less cost. The Department has entered into a partnership with Cleanfield Energy and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OEC) to pursue the commercialization of nanowave technology in the production of solar cells. The three-year

Trevor Van Eerde is the recipient of the Mechanical Engineering CSME Gold Medal. This medal is awarded annually to an undergraduate student in the graduating class who demonstrates academic excellence by attaining the highest graduating average in the department.

The MacEngineer 21


I continue to have strong ties to the world of engineering as a member of the PEO Armstrong, Marie (’99): Was a contestant in Oakville Chapter Executive Committee, the January CBC trivia show “Test the Nation” where we have showcased the McMaster as a member of the backpackers team. When Fireball Show to aspiring engineers during not engaging in trivia or traveling, Marie works National Engineering Week. as a proposal coordinator for ABB, a BurlingSimovic, Ljubica (M.Eng. ‘84): Rade and I ton, Ontario-based engineering firm. are delighted to announce the arrival of our Buchanan, Doug (MA ’72): I recently retired first grandchild Mila Vance born on January from Dofasco in Hamilton, Ontario after 35 14, 2008, weighing 7 lb 9 oz. Proud parents years of service. I am now enrolled in the are our daughter Nancy and her husband Matt Masters of Theological studies program at Vance of Diamond Harbour, New Zealand. the McMaster Divinity College, and expect to graduate in the spring of 2010. It’s ironic that I have the same student ID and am taking a second Masters degree across the lawn from where I started 35 years ago! Virtually nothing has changed – except that the students look a lot younger now!

have been in charge of subsurface microbiology, all in the context of high-level nuclear waste disposal.

MacComputerEng. Teoh, KekYee (’02): Jun Jiang (Commerce ’02) and I were married in 2006. I am currently in first year of the MBA program at the University of Toronto. I would love to hear from fellow classmates – feel free to drop me an e-mail at

MacElecEng Hager, Scott (‘92): Things have been interesting for me. I’ve ceased working in engineering to concentrate on my guitar equipment business fulltime. We now have four boys, twins who are three, a seven-yearold and a ten-year-old.

Pereira, Ashley (’83): Recently completed his Ph.D. from Capella Universities School of Business. His thesis was entitled “Doninant Mila Vance Holland Code Typology Among Project Management Professionals: Practitioner-Environment Congruence and Job Satisfaction”. His research was targeted on PMIs largest MacCivEng Chapter in Canada with over 4,000 members. Chang, Phil (’93): We moved into our He complete the work while working fullnew home in Colonial Heights, Virginia in time as Senior Engineering Leader, Defense December 2006. JoAnn and I are the proud and Space, at Honeywell International, and parents of Emily Ann, born October 15, 2007. obtaining a 6Sigma Blackbelt and filing a U.S. The dogs Cooper and Beethoven are getting Patent for a software product. Next, he plans used to her but miss the attention they once to complete the premier JSF Fighter Project received. I am still working at Kimley-Horn for the U.S. Joint Forces, while considering & Associates as a civil Project Manager, and part-time teaching opportunities. In 1993, he things are going great. received an MBA from University of Toronto’s Mendez, Etienne (73): My Trinidad-based Rothman School of Business. Contact him at company GEO Technologie Limited specializes in geosynthetic applications in civil engineerDayna Gaspari ing, membrane linings for waste containment, MacMechEng geogrids for retaining walls and coastal deD’Angelo, Greg (B.Eng. ’78, M.Eng. ’88, MD fences, and soil anchoring techniques. Ozanic, Janice (‘03) (nee Camilleri): ‘82): I am married now, with three children In addition, I also handle project development ages 8, 7 and four-and-a-half. My orthopaedic Joe (Mech. Eng. ‘02) and I were married on for marinas, dry docks, residential developAugust 20, 2005 in Brampton, Ontario. After surgery practice is doing very well. We opened both working in industry, we are now teaching ments and office buildings, with a focus on our surgery centre two years ago. developing the concept, defining the regulatomath and science to high school students. Fallis, Terry (’83): My first novel, The Best ry planning requirements and putting together Laid Plans, is the 2008 winner of the Leacock Janice & Joe the technical teams. Vanessa and I have 3 chilMedal for Humour. The award announcement dren, and I also have a 25-year-old daughter. was made on April 30th during a luncheon Stroes-Gascoyne, Simcha (Ph.D. ’83): I at the Stephen Leacock Memorial Museum in moved to Pinawa, Manitoba in 1982, and have Orillia, Ontario. worked for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) there ever since. I married Mel Gascoyne (Ph.D. Geology “80) in 1980. We have two sons (1985 and 1987) who are now engineering students at the University of Manitoba, one in Mechanical, one in Biosystems Engineering. At AECL, I worked with spent Contact Carm Vespi: reactor fuel initially and, for the past 15 years, Gaspari, Jerome (‘01) Janine (nee Crowley ‘03) We are very excited to announce the arrival of Dayna Josephine Gaspari on May 1st at 9:51 am. She weighed in at 7lbs 14oz and 21 inches long. She has a full head of hair (complete with highlights) and we are all home and doing great. Lucas is indifferent to having a baby around and was more excited to visit the cranes building the new hospital than he was to see his little sister.

Get your

MacEngineer by email!


The MacEngineer

Mohany, Atef (’07): Yasmin and I were married on December 5, 2007 in Cairo, Egypt. I am currently at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in Chalk River, Ontario.

Callum MacPhee

Atef & Yasmin

I was the Director of North America External Relations for Procter & Gamble. I have been active with Stewardship Ontario, the body that oversees the Blue Box Program, and with the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association and the Canadian Cosmetics Toiletries and Fragrances Association. Currently I’m on the boards of Opera Ontario, the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation in Hamilton, and Junior Achievement of Central Ontario.

MacElecEng & Mgmt.

the sea for its airport, while Dubai is constructing one somewhere out in the desert. I will return to Texas soon.

MacMaterialsSci & Eng Cornwall, Roy (Ph.D. ’69): In 1999, after 28 years on the faculty at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, I retired. In 2006, I joined the faculty at the Texas A&M University at Qatar as visiting professor in mechanical engineering. TAMUQ is one of five U.S. universities to establish campuses in Qatar. Qatar has the third largest reserves of natural gas in the world. Qatar and Dubai have an ongoing competition to outdo each other in building unusual buildings, not to mention the biggest airport. Qatar reclaimed some of

Seaman, Graham (01): It was a busy summer for me in 2007. I got married, we renovated our new house and I got a new job. I’m now Facility Manager of Woodbridge, Ontariobased Earth Rangers, a non-profit environmental education organization. We do road shows, much like Venture, to area schools to educate grade K to 8 kids about sustainability using our animal ambassadors. I’m the only engineer on staff and am in charge of a LEED Gold building that we plan to make energy-neutral.

MacChemEng & Mgmt. Darby, Dennis (‘84): In March, I was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association (OPA). Prior to this

Bachelor of Technology Update continued from page 17

In other B.Tech. news, employers, government officials and educators convened in January for Education Next: A Forum for Advancing Technology Education. The forum was an opportunity to provide input for building on the success of the program. Topics included training for internationally-educated professionals, energy engineering technologies, continuing education for technology graduates, careers in engineering and technology, and employment issues. The Biodiesel - Small Scale Production Automation project is the work of Dr. Ishwar Singh, Associate Director of the B.Tech. program and Program Chair of the Four-Year Process Automation Technology program, along with Omar Danta and Pedro Tondo, graduates of the first Process Automation class

from Mohawk College. The team has designed an automated prototype system that converts vegetable oil or waste grease to biodiesel in an enclosed system with little user input. The project was presented at the xplore New Automation award competition at the Phoenix Contact headquarters in Blomberg, Germany. On April 11, 2008 the B.Tech. Partnership and L3-WESCAM initiated a partnership to establish the new L3-WESCAM Leadership Program. The Leadership Program includes the B.Tech. courses in financial systems, organizational behaviour, project management and lean thinking; these courses are being offered to L3-WESCAM employees at their premises in Burlington.

Bhandarkar MacPhee, Pam (’98): We are proud to announce the birth of our first child, Callum Praveen MacPhee, born September 17, 2007. I’m now living in Ottawa.

MacMechEng & Mgmt. Bhagat, Amit (’98): I originally moved to United Kingdom for a two-year stay to take an MBA at the London Business School. I’ve been here for almost 6 years now, and currently work in London as management consultant at Berger Strategy Consultants. My wife Alyssa (Biochem. ’98) is a researcher at a hospital here. Our first son Kiran was born in November 2007.

NEWS BRIEFS continued PACE In April, the nine top teams participated in the PACE (Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education) competition. First-year engineering students enrolled in Engineering 1C03 Design and Graphics worked in teams for a product dissection and modeling project. The top submission from each lab section in the second term of the course was selected for the competition. PACE took a special interest in the modeling project because it involved a first-year engineering class. The judging panel was comprised of professionals from General Motors Canada and Siemens/UGS, and included Raymond Chokelal (GM), Philip Malcove (Siemens/UGS), Mary Thompson (GM), and John Wood (GM). For more information about the PACE competition, please contact Dr. Doyle at doylet@mcmaster. ca . For details on the PACE program, please visit

The MacEngineer 23


Now Get More!

W alter G. B ooth School of Engineering Practice

McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Program



The future of engineering education starts here, today.

Re fer en


Expand your professional horizons in a leading-edge MASTER OF ENGINEERING DEGREE program and push beyond traditional boundaries. If you like math, science, computers and business but learn best by doing, this program is for you. Earn both a university degree and college diploma in just four years. And gain valuable co-op experience.

Design Entrepreneurship and Innovation Manufacturing Public Policy s s 905.525.9140 ext 20160

MacEngineer Spring 2008  

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