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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University Spring 2014


MacEngine er

y r e l l a G i D n E m L u l A EI


Dean of Engineering Ishwar Puri

I am truly grateful for the warm welcome that I have received in McMaster Engineering. My priority for the initial months of my tenure as dean was to undertake a broad-based ‘Listening Tour’ to inform our faculty’s strategic direction. The insightful conversations with alumni, faculty, students and staff provided me with a substantial education. These discussions were critical in the development of a memorandum, Invest for Excellence: A Faculty of Engineering Initiative, presented to Provost David Wilkinson in late August. In it, I discussed how our Faculty might become even more research focussed and student centred. Since then, we have engaged in a series of planning exercises to continue with our strategic plan, as defined under the visionary leadership of Provost Wilkinson, my predecessor as Dean of Engineering. Recently, we held a successful McMaster Engineering planning retreat centred on Learning and Discovery. From a student learning perspective, we explored the innovative use of technology and how to effectively incorporate blended learning into the classroom. Additionally, we discussed opportunities to inspire and reward exceptional teaching, and to maximize student engage-

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ment and success. From a research perspective, we focused on advanced manufacturing research, inter-faculty collaborations, and the cutting-edge research of many of our emerging faculty stars. This past September, we celebrated a significant milestone about which you will read with pride in this issue of the MacEngineer. Plans are now finalized to begin the design and building of the McMaster Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL). This new centre will foster experiential learning, shared community and collaboration among engineering students, and affirms McMaster’s role in defining the course for innovative engineering education, learning and discovery. ExCEL will be a living laboratory for sustainable technologies, as well as a community space for student teams, clubs and societies. This dedicated students’ centre will serve as a central hub for student-focused experiential learning initiatives and will provide engineering students with invaluable opportunities for developing their skills and competencies as engineers, entrepreneurs and leaders. I am inspired by the loyalty that our alumni have to McMaster. They have a profound affinity for the institution and our faculty, and give back in so many meaningful ways. Our alumni are mentors and role models to our students, serve on key academic and industry advisory boards, champion the hiring of our new graduates, and foster the next generation of engineering scholars as faculty members in Canada and abroad. Their philanthropic investments in McMaster Engineering reflect the support for our innovative programs, cutting-edge research, leading faculty and outstanding students. Their recommendations inform our strategic direction, and their insights sharpen our focus for the future. With the unveiling of the Alumni Gallery display, as depicted on the cover of this issue of the MacEngineer, I am honoured to pay tribute to the 17,000 McMaster Engineering alumni worldwide. They carry their learning humbly into the world with dynamism, compassion and integrity. Our alumni confer on us international renown and distinction. Our reputation is elevated by their success as engaged citizen scholars who transform the world. n

PROfiles “Engineering Is Such a Creative Field” “It was either engineering or medicine and I settled on engineering,” says Kavya Prabha Divakarla (Process Automation ‘12). However, Kavya is not one to do things in the ordinary manner. A “typical” engineering stream would not do. Instead, she decided to enroll in the BTech program. She was attracted to its mandatory co-op, the handson learning style, the smaller classes and the inclusion of management courses. “I felt the BTech program would provide me with an all-round education and prepare me very well for the workforce.” Kavya specialized in the area of process automation not only because she thought the job prospects would be better, but also because the graduate studies opportunities in this field are “amazing”. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Applied Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at McMaster under the supervision of Drs. Ali Emadi and Saiedeh Razavi. Her research work is based on studying hybrid electric vehicle drive cycles. She admits that the MASc will not be the end of her educational journey, though. “I have a lot of options after I graduate, such as obtaining a PhD, getting a good job in the ECE field, or possibly becoming a doctor.” What she is certain of is that she has made good choices to date. “I thoroughly enjoyed my undergrad experience in the BTech program at McMaster.” BTech professors such as Cameron Churchill, Ishwar Singh and Konstantinos Apostolou, in addition to her current Master’s supervisors Dr. Emadi and Dr. Razavi, have provided her with lots of guidance and support, she adds. During her undergrad years, Kavya was the 2009 recipient of the International Society of Automation Scholarship and the 2010 Canadian Process Control Association Scholarship, as well as being a two-time University Senate Scholarship winner (2010, 2012). More recently she has received an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research

Kavya Prabha Divakarla

Do you have something to say or news to share? We would like to hear from you.

Council of Canada (NSERC) scholarship for the Master’s program. When not busy with her research, Kavya enjoys Indian Classical singing in the field of Carnatic music, a very traditional form of singing, and playing the Indian string instrument called a Veena. She has also received training in Bharatanatyam, which is a form of Indian classical dancing, and plays chess and badminton. “Engineers always need to be curious of what is happening around them. Great ideas are born from curiosity.” n

Engineering Expertise in Problem-solving Sean Forkan (El.Eng. & Mgmt. ‘91) is Vice President & General Manager at Symantec Canada Corporation ( com), the company probably best-known by consumers for its Norton AntiVirus products. It also develops products that assist computer users (individuals and businesses) with managing their information and keeping it secure, whether the data is located on an individual hand-held mobile device or in a large cloud system. Based in North York, Ontario, Sean is responsible for all aspects of small-tomidsize (SMB) and very large (Enterprise), and public sector businesses in Canada, as well as the general consumer market.

Contact Carm Vespi Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24906 Fax: (905) 546-5492 e-mail: website: The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Contributors: Trudi Down, Rhiannon Russell, Arlene Fajutrao Dosen, Gene Nakonechny, Terry Milson Photography: Ron Scheffler, Michael Lalich, and reader contributions PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40063416 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 1280 MAIN STREET WEST HAMILTON ON L8S 4L7 e-mail:

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Sean Forkan

This may seem a long way from a degree in electrical engineering. However, Sean says that what he does on a day-to-day basis is not far removed from excellent advice he received in his first year at McMaster. “One of our professors told us not to consider the program as a way to acquire an engineering degree, but instead to look at it as a vehicle for becoming experts in advanced technical problem-solving.” Every day, for the past 20 years, “I have leveraged the problem-solving and technology skills I learned in order to deliver business solutions,” he adds. Sean was naturally predisposed to electrical engineering in part because his father was an electrical engineer. In addition, McMaster offered the interdisciplinary Engineering and Management program, which he admits had strong appeal. “I felt this combination would be both desirable and beneficial to potential employers.” Most importantly, though, the university did an outstanding job with its campus tour, providing an enlightening perspective not only on the program, but also on other key aspects of campus life. “I was sold!” High school and first-year students will find that the path to obtaining an engineering degree is not easy, Sean advises. But the work ethic that it instills, the collaborations that develop, and the problem-solving skills acquired “will open a vast array of exciting and challenging career options”. Sean, who is married and has a teenaged son, has travelled both with his family and on business throughout North America and Europe. To keep fit, he exercises and plays golf whenever he can – “which is not as much as I’d like, of course!” n

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The Excitement and Challenge of Engineering “Engineering is a challenging and exciting field that gives you the ability to work on the cutting-edge of new technologies.” John Kalbfleisch (Mech.Eng. & Mgmt ‘93, MBA ‘98) is commenting on why he believes a career in engineering can be so fulfilling. “It gives you skills such as problem-solving and multi-tasking, and experiences in team work, that allow you to be very marketable to employers,” he adds. John chose the mechanical stream because he had always been interested in how mechanical devices worked; he chose McMaster for its combined engineering and business degree option – a very new concept when he enrolled at Mac. An industrial design course in 4th year was particularly challenging and memorable, he remembers. “It tested my ability to be creative.” John is currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Alpha Technologies Ltd., based in Burnaby, BC ( The

John Kalbfleisch

company designs and manufactures power solutions for the telecom, traffic, security, and renewable energy industries. It provides a wide variety of products and services including AC/DC/UPS and backup power systems, indoor/outdoor power enclosures, and distribution and system monitoring controllers. His engineering degree has definitely been a key to his career successes. In addition to providing the tools to approach business very analytically, it has given him the ability to solve complex problems and understand how different technologies come together to create systems. In his position as COO, he is responsible for leading the R&D,

Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Quality teams, and for running the Canadian and U.S. Service business. He is also in charge of the newly formed Metalform Division, which manufactures sheet metal parts and products. “It’s certainly challenging, and requires that I lead a large number of departments which have people of diverse backgrounds and skill sets.” John is married to Iris and the couple has two young boys. His main hobby is cooking and, to relax, he enjoys trying new recipes from different countries. In addition to playing with his sons, John and his wife enjoy golf and family ski trips and he coaches baseball. Due to extensive work travel, John has travelled to many countries including: China, Japan, Brazil, Israel, South Africa and Europe. “While I enjoy travelling, it really makes me appreciate how wonderful a country Canada is.” n

Helping children is a privilege From Andrea Mucci’s enthusiastic comments about her time at McMaster, you know that she was fully engaged in her engineering studies. But Andrea (El.Eng ‘02, MASc ‘04) had a dream – to pursue a career in medicine, specifically working with children. She finally realized that dream when she graduated in medicine from Dublin’s University College in Ireland. She will  complete her pediatrics residency at the McMaster Children’s Hospital in 2014, and will then start a fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology in Cleveland, Ohio. Pediatrics is a specialized calling and one which Andrea has embraced. “Working with children and their families is a privilege that motivates me and provides fulfillment on a daily basis.” After Mac’s general first year, Andrea chose to enter the electrical engineering field because of its applications to telecommunications. Then she became interested in the biomedical engineering, which led to the decision to complete a Master’s degree in that field. She is pleased with both choices, and notes that the flexibility of the program allowed her to complete a concurrent minor in Biochemistry. Engineering, she says, offers opportunities for challenges and for solving increas-

Andrea Mucci

ingly complex problems. It teaches one to apply a logical, analytical and structured approach to problem-solving, which, she adds, is invaluable in the field of endocrinology with its “physiology of feedback loops and cascades”. Attending Mac was a good decision, she says. Not only is it a leading university, but it offers a balance between academics and extracurricular activities. It also has dedicated professors who willingly share their knowledge and experiences with students. “Dr. Hubert de Bruin motivated me with his passion for biomedical engineering and his support throughout my time at McMaster and beyond was invaluable.” She was privileged to travel with him to a Biosignals conference in Brno, Czech Republic, in 2004. Her award for Best Student Presentation is largely due to his support, she adds. Andrea offers the following words of wisdom for anyone considering a career in engineering: work towards a solid foundation in math and physics; understand the steps, don’t simply go through the motions; inform yourself early about the programs and requirements; visit different offices/job sites to see what courses/areas match with your goals. In addition to soccer, scuba diving and cooking, Andrea loves to travel and has visited such diverse locales as Australia, Thailand, and India, as well as countries in Africa and Europe. n

Engineering Benefits Mankind

attracted Eric as a young Mac grad and he has spent 25 years living this belief himself. After leaving McMaster, Eric enrolled in the biomedical engineering (BME) program at the University of Saskatchewan and then returned to Hong Kong to apply his knowledge to assist people with disabilities. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he is responsible for a number of courses in the BME program. Eric is also the Director of the Jockey Club Rehabilitation Engineering Centre (JCREC). Aligned with the University, the JCREC provides services for people with disabilities. These include creating prostheses, orthotics and special seating equipment, developing assistive technology, and providing clients with consultations and information resources. Interestingly, when Eric returned to Hong Kong in 1986, there was very little knowledge about the biomedical engineering field at its universities or hospitals. Both a patient’s psychological attitude and his physical abilities have an impact on the acceptance and adoption of such a device. “It is very important to understand the need of the individual patient before attempting to provide a specialized assistive device,” he notes. Through his work developing custommade devices and equipment for rehabilitation, Eric has helped both adults and children lead more fulfulling lives. For example, a number of children at the special seating clinic have spinal muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult to sit correctly. Modifying the children’s wheelchairs so that they can sit upright delays spinal deformities, and permits their hearts and lungs to develop more normally. In 1996, in cooperation with the airline Cathay Pacific, Eric together with two other Eric Tam

Professors created the Wheelchair Bank. Money collected by the stewards and stewardesses during the company’s flights goes into the fund which provides bigger model wheelchairs for children when they outgrow an older model. In addition to his interest in the application of assistive technologies for the elderly and the disabled, Eric has a professional interest in environmental accessibility, and in the etiology and prevention of pressure ulcers. Eric lives in Hong Kong with his wife, and the couple has two grown children. n

Alumni Day 2014 Class of ‘64, ‘69, ‘74, ‘79, ‘84 and ‘89 The Faculty of Engineering invites you to Celebrate your Class Reunions!

Saturday, June 7, 2014 BBQ, 12 noon, In front of Engineering Building Cost: $35/Person • Cash Bar engalumni/

If he were to advise high school students thinking of a career in engineering, Eric Tam (Eng.Phys. ‘84) would tell them that knowledge about engineering can lead to important innovations that bring great benefits to mankind. This idea obviously The MacEngineer



Power plant safety is the basis of Mac grad David Novog’s research. He creates hypothetical emergency situations – malevolent acts, equipment failures, natural disasters, and extreme weather – and tests plant models’ response. While existing designs operate according to strict safety principles, Dr. David Novog (Mech.Eng.‘95, Ph.D.‘00) strives to improve safety by constantly dreaming up new hazards. “What we do is postulate and imagine what could go wrong, and then we try to 6 The MacEngineer

put that through our simulations to see what the end result would be,” the nuclear engineering professor says. “Then we can try to decide where should we develop emergency plans, where should we improve mechanical systems, whatever we need to improve to make things safer.” Traditionally, because of limitations in computation, researchers made very conservative assumptions about safety – simply because complex, more precise modeling wasn’t possible.

“That was misleading because if you do calculations that are so conservative, it means your results are not really what would happen if we had a tornado or if we had some kind of environmental natural disaster, or a nuclear power plant had an emergency,” says Novog. Making informed decisions means we need accurate representations of plant responses, in addition to the classical conservative approaches. With more advanced computational tools and software, Novog and other researchers can develop best-estimate models. “In an effort to try to improve our understanding of how accidents might happen or might progress, we want to be as true as possible so we can determine when is the best time to add water, when is the best time to turn on this turbine or this pump or this emergency system,” he says. “Because if you don’t have an adequate view of how the accident trajectory will wind and turn and develop, you can’t determine what’s your best response plan.” When testing power plant models, international collaboration is important. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has conducted large experiments and collected real data on the topic. “Computation power has increased, but also there’s a lot more international collaboration, a lot more international co-sponsored research that gives us access to better experimental data, better data to judge how well our models are doing,” says Novog. And this collaborative approach carries over into his work with students. Novog encourages them to take international placements, as he did when working on his PhD, to broaden their horizons and give them an alternate perspective on research. In past years, his students have gone on field trips to Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Hiroshima. n


FUTURE Dr. Jeffrey Hoyt stands in front of an atom probe inside the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy on McMaster campus. The centre houses some of the best microscopes in the world.

Dr. Jeffrey Hoyt doesn’t often frequent the lab. He doesn’t have to. The materials science and engineering department chair is a computational materials scientist, so his work – creating simulations of how atoms will move or change in any given situation – can be done from his office, on his computer. “You could never do this 25 years ago,” Hoyt said. “Back in the day, when you wanted to see what a given alloying element would do to the properties of a material, you more or less had to try it. Just add the alloying element, take it to the lab, heat treat it, deform it, and then see what you get.” Thanks to computers and new software, much can be learned before the physical testing process even begins,

eliminating guesswork and saving researchers time, effort, and money. The accelerated process helps new materials get to the marketplace faster, too. Technology has also improved the microscopic characterization of materials. The Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, a leading-edge facility that houses some of the best microscopes in the world, opened on campus in 2008. “Now we have actual experimental capabilities to see what’s going on at the atomic level, much better than we did 25 years ago,” Hoyt says. “With these facilities, you can actually look at individual atoms. That’s a piece of cake now. Twenty-five years ago that was very difficult to do.” As chair, Hoyt’s goal is to maintain the materials science and engineering depart-

ment’s reputation as one of the best in Canada. He recently hired three new faculty members who specialize in research traditional to the department, such as steel-making, and new research topics such as biomaterials. Departmental research is also focusing on energy-related materials including solar cells, fuel cells, and batteries. “A lot of technology is really dependent on materials science now,” Hoyt says. “If you want to make a new efficient solar cell, that’s a materials problem … A lot of technologies are limited by materials selection.” n

The MacEngineer



Don Woods


A multifaceted person, Don was also an artist, banjo player, square dancer, builder, author and historian. But most will remember him as a world-renowned engineering educator and a pioneer of problem-based learning across many university disciplines. For five decades, Don was an invaluable member of the McMaster University community. His teaching was characterized by extraordinary devotion to his students, boundless enthusiasm for his subject and unsurpassed leadership in problem-based teaching. Students praised him for his amiable and caring manner – and the frequent kookiness of his classes. Don won numerous awards for leadership and teaching, including the prestigious Canadian 3M Fellowship, among many other accolades. It was with profound sorrow that we marked the sudden passing of Don Woods on April 26, 2013. He was honoured posthumously with a Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award at the Applause and Accolades celebration at McMaster University in May 2013. The award was presented to Diane Woods, in memory of her husband and our beloved friend.

Make Your Contribution to the Donald Woods Visiting Lectureship For details on how to contribute to the Donald Woods visiting Lectureship, please contact Terry Milson at Your gift, when combined with contributions from the many others whose lives were touched by Don, will add up to reach our goal of $100,000. Thank you!

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A Tribute to Don Woods: The Donald Woods Visiting Lectureship at McMaster University To honour his memory, the Faculty of Engineering will establish the Donald Woods Visiting Lectureship, an annual event that will bring to McMaster University a distinguished individual who has made an important contribution to engineering education in Canada or elsewhere. The Donald Woods Visiting Lectureship will honour Don’s dedication to building McMaster’s renowned problem-based learning approach, and recognize his many contributions to the engineering community in Canada and abroad. To fund this important tribute, our goal is to raise $100,000 through contributions from alumni, faculty, staff and friends. We are aiming to host the inaugural Don Woods Lecture in March 2015. n


Don Woods... “I regard Don as a pioneer in teaching methods and a leader in innovative learning practices. Don had one of the highest interpersonal skill sets of the many professional people with whom I have had the opportunity to be acquainted. He was a joy to have as a colleague - always cheerful and positive, optimistic and a dedicated contributor to any shared activity. I consider myself fortunate to have known him and to have shared part of our working lives during my graduate years at McMaster.” Kirk Bailey, McMaster alumnus and retired executive vice-president, Calgary

“He was truly one of a kind and had an impact on so many people. I feel so lucky to count myself as one whom he impacted. I loved teaching with him and learning the tricks of the trade. I loved his passion for the students and his belief in what he was trying to do. I have taken what I learned from him and incorporated it. I have often thought “how would Don handle this?” and it has helped me more than you will know.” Professor Heather Sheardown, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

“Don was the embodiment of everything that ‘a great teacher’ means, and a significant member of the 3M Fellowship. We have lost an inspiring leader, but students everywhere benefit daily from the wisdom Don passed onto the rest of us.” Ron Marken, 3M Teaching Fellowship Coordinator and Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan “Don shared his wisdom and teaching philosophies with me, when I started as a new professor in chemical engineering at McMaster two years ago. I am now the keeper of all his published books, workbooks, course packs and overhead slides. I will cherish them for the rest of my career. I know that thousands of people benefited from Don’s personality, generosity and teaching, and that thousands more will continue to hear the stories and learn the secrets of success through his problem-solving modules.”Emily Cranston, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University n

Automotive Future Dianne Craig

President & C.E.O. Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Lunch 1:00 p.m. Lecture 1:30 p.m. Reception 2:30 p.m. Celebration Hall (located in the basement of Kenneth Taylor Hall) free public lunch and lecture limited seating - please register on line The J.W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture was established by the Faculty of Engineering in 1983 as a memorial to Dr. John W. Hodgins, McMaster’s first Dean of Engineering. Each year, a prominent guest is invited to share insights into how technological and scientific advancements are reshaping our society. Dianne Craig is president and CEO of Ford Motor Company Canada, Limited, appointed to the position in November 2011. She leads Ford of Canada’s operations across the country, including a national headquarters, three regional offices, two branch offices, three vehicle assembly and engine manufacturing plants and two parts distribution centres. Ford employs approximately 6,000 people in Canada, while an additional 18,000 people are employed in the more than 400 Ford and Ford-Lincoln dealerships across the country. To register on-line for this event, please visit For more information, please contact Terry Milson, Tel. 905.525.9140 Ext. 27391, Email:

The MacEngineer




Emma Buller, who attended Bishop Allen Academy in Toronto, was committed to actively contributing to the communities of which she was a part. In high school, she led an initiative called ‘Locks for Hope’ in support of children who lost hair due to cancer or other medical conditions, participated on both the volleyball and badminton teams, was a leader of the ‘Science Gurus’ club, and volunteered with the Toronto Public Library supporting elementary school students with reading and homework skills. During her first term in Engineering I she has been involved with the Mac Eng Musical, the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and volleyball intramural athletics.

Wai Ying Lam graduated from Northern Secondary School, and participated in cross-country running, track and field, kung fu and synchronized swimming, and also captained her school’s swim team two years in a row. She was involved with the Smartrisk Peer Leadership team, the Technovation Challenge, the Girls’ Athletic Association, the Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly, and the Buddies Mentor Program. Wai Ying is pleased to be continuing her involvement in athletics at McMaster having joined the Dragon Boat Club and the Synchronized Swimming Team. She’s looking forward to competing in synchronized swimming nationals at McMaster in February.

“Overall the experience has been amazing,” Zyma said of both the Engineering I learning environment and of the broader Mac Eng and University communities. “I cannot wait for the many opportunities and experiences to come. Of course, a lot of this has been thanks to Hatch and the company’s support of my engineering education, and I am so grateful.”

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McMaster Engineering warmly welcomed Emma Buller, Wai Ying Lam, Kari Van Vliet and Victoria Zyma, proud members of the Class of 2017, this past September. All four students were each awarded a $48,000 entrance scholarship from Hatch, a global multidisciplinary engineering, management and development consultancy. The Hatch Scholarship is awarded based on exemplary academic achievement, a strong record of community contribution, and outstanding leadership experience. This year’s incoming Hatch Scholars have embraced student life and are beginning to make their mark in diverse spheres across the University: within residence life governance, Women in Engineering, Marauder athletics, and the McMaster Engineering Society.

Kari Van Vliet is from Peterborough and attended Kenner Collegiate Vocational Institute. She was a member of the Student Administrative Council for three years, participated in her high school basketball, lacrosse and tennis teams, was the student representative for the Peterborough School Consolidation Committee, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for a ten-day work trip in Guatemala helping in the construction of homes. At McMaster, Kari is a leader within the InterResidence Council, and this past term was actively engaged with Women in Engineering events and activities.

Victoria Zyma graduated from Assumption College School in Brantford. She was involved with student government, both as a fouryear student council representative and most recently as a student senate representative to the Brant Catholic School Board. Through student council, she coordinated a series of charity events to raise philanthropic support for non-profit organizations within the Brantford community. She also participated in competitive dance, choreographed and led the dance portions of her high school’s musical, captained the Varsity Cheer Leading team, participated in the Environmental and Science Clubs, and played for both her school baseball team and the Caledonia Cubs. At McMaster she is involved with the McMaster Dance Club, intramural sports team, the Mac Eng Running Club, and volunteering for events through Women in Engineering and the McMaster Engineering Society.

In November, Buller, Lam, Van Vliet and Zyma joined fellow Hatch Scholars, from upper level engineering programs, at a special event hosted by University president Patrick Deane and Engineering dean Ishwar K. Puri, to thank Gerald Hatch and the Hatch company for their philanthropic support. n

HATCH CELEBRATED FOR GIFT TO EXCEL Gerald Hatch and his namesake company were celebrated on November 28, 2013 for their support of the Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL). Gerald Hatch, founder and first president of the global engineering consultancy Hatch, committed $2M to the ExCEL project in September. At the same time, Kurt Strobele, chair of Hatch and a McMaster engineering alumnus, committed $500,000, with a matching $500,000 from the company itself. The Hatch-related gifts will cover more than one-third the cost of the $8.5M project. Once completed, the facility is to be a flexible space of about

innovative thinking, and the concept of this centre is entirely consistent with the values that drive our company.” A special on-campus event, hosted by University president Patrick Deane and Engineering dean Ishwar Puri, was held to thank Gerald Hatch and the Hatch company. The University approval process is under way to have the ExCEL centre named in honour of Gerald Hatch. The ExCEL Centre will act as a living laboratory for students, who will be able to draw lessons directly from its structure and systems. The Centre will be designed with these

Winners of the Hatch scholarship met with Gerald Hatch and members of the Hatch team to thank them for their contributions toward the Engineering ExCEL building.

18,000 square feet, adjacent to the John Hodgins Engineering Building. There, engineering students will use assembly bays, workshops, boardrooms and other spaces to collaborate on research projects, community endeavours, clubs and activities. “It gives us great pleasure to be able to support this project,” Hatch said in September. “We have worked to make Hatch a model of

functions accessible to all. The facility itself will be built as a super-efficient building, drawing energy from geothermal and solar energy systems that will see it drawing minimal energy from the public grid. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2015 and be completed by summer 2016. n


Order of

Canada Mamdouh Shoukri (Mech.Eng. ‘74, Ph.D. ‘77) has been appointed Member of the Order of Canada. Governor General David Johnston, commander-inchief of Canada, announced the 90 new appointees on Dec. 30, 2013. “I am both honoured and humbled to be recognized with this high distinction along with such an esteemed group of Canadians,” said Shoukri. Shoukri was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to “…the flourishing of Ontario’s academic institutions as an engineer, an academic and an administrator”. Shoukri will be invested into the Order of Canada later this year at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. Appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions at the local or regional level or in a special field of activity. n

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Water Policy Specialist Joins W BOOTH


Anyone interested in sustainable water management will now be able to tap into the global expertise of Professor Dustin Garrick at McMaster University. Prof. Garrick joined McMaster on January 1 this year as the inaugural Philomathia Foundation Professor in Water Policy and Research. He has a joint appointment in the Faculty of Engineer-

ing and the Faculty of Social Sciences. As part of his responsibilities, Prof. Garrick will teach in the W Booth School of Engineering Practice. His areas of focus include water policy, climate change adaptation, and drought management. “Demand is growing for water management professionals who can bridge technology, public policy and business,” said Prof. Garrick. “Solving water challenges requires an interdisciplinary approach and we need to develop the next generation of leaders who can work across disciplines to provide safe, secure and sustainable water. When asked why he decided to join McMaster and collaborate with the W Booth School of Engineering Practice, Prof. Garrick replied, “The opportunity to work on water policy across engineering and social sciences is unique and a major appeal.” Prof. Garrick will also be working to develop a water resource network at McMaster to bring together expertise throughout the university and commu-

nity, and share these capabilities globally. The Philomathia Foundation announced a $1-million gift to McMaster in 2012 to establish the Philomathia Foundation Water Project. In addition to supporting a research chair with dual expertise in engineering and global policy development, the funding supports fellowships and travel scholarships for students studying water-related issues. Prof. Garrick was most recently a research fellow at Oxford University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia where he is also a research associate at Australian National University. He serves on the Global Water Partnership / OECD task force on water security and sustainable growth. Prof. Garrick earned his PhD in Geography at the University of Arizona, MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University, and BA in Government at the University of Texas at Austin. n

ALI GOGER WINNER OF BOREALIS STUDENT INNOVATION AWARD PhD candidate, Ali Goger, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, is the winner of Borealis Student Innovation Award for 2013. He was selected from an international competition among graduate students having completed a Master’s Thesis in 2013. Ali’s Master’s Thesis is on computer simulation of counter-rotating twin screw extruders. It explores the operational characteristics of such machines and how different changes in screw design and operating conditions 12 The MacEngineer

can improve productivity.The research was carried out under the supervision of Dr. John Vlachopoulos and Dr. Michael R.Thompson. The award is valued at 3000 Euro. Ali attended the awards ceremony in Porvoo, Finland, which took place in January 2014 and made a presentation on his work. Borealis is a large multi-national corporation, employing more than 5,000 people worldwide, in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. n



“When you think about pumps and valves, the body has all of this, only it works way better,” says the chemical engineering professor. Sheardown is scientific director of the 20/20 NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Network, a multidisciplinary, multi-university partnership whose goal is to develop new materials for treating vision disorders. “The idea is to develop, rather than drugs for treating diseases of the eye, materials that can either augment the drugs or materials that can actually be used for treatment,” she explains. For example, Sheardown and her fellow researchers are working to create an intraocular lens for elderly people with cataracts, one that would be complication-free and improve their vision significantly. A second area of research is delivery of drugs to the back of the eye. Until about five years ago, drops were solely used to deliver drugs to the eye.Then researchers discovered the drugs could be injected. “But every time you inject a drug into the back of the eye, you’re breaking through a barrier and that can cause complications. It’s effective, it works very well, but you can only use it to treat patients who are elderly, and only for a specific length of time,” says Sheardown. It’s not a beneficial method for younger patients. “What we’re trying to do is develop drug-delivery systems that we can put into the back of the eye that will allow for the drug to be released for six months or a year, so it would be a once-a-year treatment as opposed to a once-a-month treatment,” Sheardown says. The network’s researchers are also trying to improve contact lenses by making them more comfortable, and even making them viable for drug delivery. The collaborative nature of the network – with scientists, medical

experts, and clinical faculty from four universities – is important given that its research spans various fields, from optometry to engineering. “I think the thing that always strikes me is that we think of engineers as doing cars and bridges, and the alumni know that we do much more than just that,” Sheardown says.“We really do have huge potential to make changes on what an engineer would typically consider a very small scale – we’re making changes to contact lenses on the nano and micro scale – but understanding all of the engineering philosophies and all of the engineering background and technology that we’ve learned applies to healthcare as well.” In its five years of existence, the 20/20 network has developed more than 30 technologies, all now at various stages of testing.At least seven are at the pre-commercialization stage, which involves clinical trials. n

Thursday, October 16, 2014 6:00 p.m. Liuna Station 360 James St. N Hamilton, Ontario

Save the date! More information to follow. The MacEngineer 13

T E R R Y FA L L I S author of The Best Laid Plans, winner of the 2008 Leacock Medal for Humour, and the 2011 CBC Canada Reads crown as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.” A six-part television miniseries based on the novel aired on CBC starting in January 2014. As well, Touchstone Theatre in Vancouver has The Best Laid Plans in development as a stage musical. The sequel, The High Road, published in 2010, was a finalist for the 2011 Leacock Medal. His third novel, Up and Down, hit bookstores in September 2012, debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal, and won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. All three of his novels are published by McClelland & Stewart. The Canadian Booksellers Association named Terry Fallis the winner of the 2013 Libris Award as Author of the Year. M&S will publish his fourth novel, No Relation, in May, 2014. Terry Fallis earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McMaster University and then spent several years working in federal and Ontario politics. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a full service communications and digital agency with offices in Toronto and Ottawa. n He blogs at and his twitter handle is @TerryFallis.

14 The MacEngineer

Applause & Accolades Awards May 8th, 2014 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. LIUNA Station, 360 James Street North Hamilton Terry Fallis B.Eng ‘83 Mechanical Engineering is to receive the L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Alumni Award on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Applause and Accolades event. Tickets $150.00 or table of eight $1,200.00 (Black tie optional.) For information contact: Terry Milson, 905.525.9140 ext. 27391 or

EARTHQUAKE RESEARCHER McMaster alumnus Vedavyasa Joshi (Ph.D. Civ.Eng. ‘80) is a professor in the Department of Earthquake Engineering at the Institute of Technology in Roorkee, India. The Department, established in 1960, is the only one of its kind in India – and one of very few such research facilities in the world – that teaches basic and applied research. It also provides consultancy services. Its objective is to mitigate disasters caused by earthquakes. The Department is busy working on many initiatives including the creation of a computer-controlled

shake table facility that tests the behaviour of equipment and building models. Much of the software used for analysis and design has been developed in-house. It has been actively involved in the formation of various codes of practice for earthquake-resistant design and construction, has offered technical services to UNESCO, and has prepared a manual on protective measures for saving educational facilities from the effects of earthquakes. Dr. Joshi specializes in geotechnical engineering, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and seismic response of ground wave propagation, and conducts research in the areas of reinforced earth, liquefaction and



drainage, earth pressures and wave propagation. He is a Life Fellow of the Indian Society of Earthquake Technology, as well as a former President of the Society (1999-2003) and former editor of its Bulletin. He is also a Fellow of the Indian Geotechnical Society. His technical papers have been published in both national and international journals. n

ALUMNUS’ COMPANY SELECTED FOR VENTURE ASSISTANCE In December, 2013, D-Wave Systems Inc. was one of 15 Canadian ventures accepted into the Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management, located at the University of Toronto. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Geordie Rose (EngPhys. ‘94), D-Wave ( is the world’s first commercial quantum computing company. The Burnaby, BC-based company builds computers that handle ultra-fast manipulation of bits of information in their 0 and 1 states at the same time. As of June 2013, the company had been granted over 100 US patents. n

The MacEngineer 15


The W Booth School of Engineering Practice at McMaster is on the hunt for engineering and science innovators. In particular, the W Booth School is looking for: mentors who can advise students in completing the project portion of their program; innovative projects; and students interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary master’s degree in public policy, engineering design, or entrepreneurship. “W Booth’s unique program structure requires that a real-world project be completed, along with course work, in order to graduate,” explains Samir Chidiac, the School’s director. “That means students need projects and mentors who will advise them. The idea is that these are significant projects that can contribute to the development of an organization and to the community as a whole.” Ideal mentors are those who have experience in launching new businesses or products, have led engineering design projects, or who have been involved in public policy development. 16 The MacEngineer


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Recent examples of projects completed by W Booth graduate students include: an automated retractable tarp system for flatbed trailers for Verduyn Tarps in Hamilton; a web-based assessment software by start-up Akindi for grading tests in schools; a policy paper on the sustainability costs of shale gas exploration; an app series to ease the anxiety of children in hospital. If you are interested, email: msep@ or call (905) 525-9140, ext. 26401 and 23486.

The W Booth School Rebrands

As the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice broadens its reach into the community, it has undertaken a rebranding program to more impactfully communicate its purpose and value proposition.

The School will use a stylized W Booth logo to convey its story as a graduate school for engineering and science innovators. “We offer a third option for graduate study, one designed particularly for the innovation-minded,” explains Samir Chidiac, the director of W Booth. “Graduate study in engineering has traditionally been siloed by discipline and focused on either research for academic careers or course-work for professional development. Innovators think more broadly and that is why W Booth graduate programs are interdisciplinary and combine both project and course work to spur innovation.” The rebranding includes the introduction of initiatives that encourage students studying in any of the School’s three Master program streams – public policy, engineering design, entrepreneurship – to share a common outlook and undertake collaboration. These initiatives include: the Innovation Studio, where students meet with the community to identify and develop projects; an Innovation Leaders Seminar Series, where students learn from accomplished innovators; and a shared curriculum outlook to introduce students to the many variables that impact on innovation. “A school for innovation should constantly be innovating,” said Samir Chidiac. “That’s what the rebranding initiative is about for W Booth. We want to take the School to another level. We see that being done by more fully exploring the nexus of business creation, engineering design and public policy, particularly as it involves sustainability.” n

PROCESS SYSTEMS ENGINEERING IS APPLICABLE TO A RANGE OF INDUSTRIES. As director of the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC), Dr. Christopher L. E. Swartz knows this first-hand. Formed 26 years ago, the MACC combines the academic prowess of four McMaster chemical engineering faculty members with the data and operational know-how of nine member companies. “The idea is to do collaborative research in the process systems area and to promote process systems engineering within the industry,” says Swartz. “The benefit for the industries is that they have access to applied research that they can incorporate into their operations, and the advantage for us as academics is that we get access to interesting, real-life problems.” Swartz’s research includes collaborations with Praxair Inc., ArcelorMittal Dofasco, and PepsiCo Foods Canada. With Praxair, Swartz is working on making the cryogenic air separation process more cost-efficient, by overproducing when the energy price is low and slowing down production when the price rises. “The goal is to operate processes in a manner that’s going to be more energy-efficient, improve the economics of the operation, while at the same time, adhering to process constraints” such as safety and the environment, Swartz says. This is accomplished by creating mathematical equations specific to the process and using specialized strategies to

The advantage for us as academics is that we get access to interesting, real-life problems.” solve them, including parallel computing. At PepsiCo, for instance, Swartz focuses on optimal scheduling for food production. “You’re trying to come up with a schedule that’s going to either maximize the amount you can produce in the week or, if it’s a set amount, how you can produce it most quickly so that you can have some downtime, so you don’t have to employ people for the entire week,” he says. The need for efficiency is nothing new, although, as Swartz points out, increased global competition and tightening environmental constraints are making it urgent for companies to operate as efficiently as possible, in a sustainable way. Fortunately, with improved computing technologies, applying complex optimization and process control techniques is now more feasible than ever before. n

MAKING TRACKS Ever since he was seven years old, Blair Morgan, a third-year Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering student, has been running and participating in triathlon events. In 2013, the Marauder Scholar and Ronald V. Joyce Award winner was voted captain of the McMaster men’s cross-country team. “I consider it a real honour to be voted captain,.” Blair says. “We are a close team, spending a lot of time together training and competing and socializing … I am thoroughly enjoying my role as captain, offering guidance and direction, and building team spirit.” The team had an outstanding cross-country season in 2013. McMaster hosted the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship in October and Blair led the team to a second-place finish — the team’s best finish since 2000 — under wet and muddy conditions. Then at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) events in London in November, the team placed fourth overall, its best showing in 14 years and its secondbest ever. “Our team faced a number of challenges this year, with injuries and illnesses, but we came through and performed. I couldn’t be more proud of our men’s team.” When the time came for him to consider which university to attend, Blair chose McMaster because it offered both strong academic and athletic programs.

He says the engineering program has been a good fit with his goals. And he credits running coaches Paula Schnurr and Rory Sneyd for excellent advice and assistance. At

the October OUA championship, he himself placed 6th overall and in November, placed 11th overall. As a result of the latter, he may be an alternate for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) at the world cross-country championships in Uganda in March. “I am a proud member of the McMaster University Cross-Country and Track teams, and I believe that my university experience has been enriched because of my role as a student athlete. I can’t imagine university life without the experience of representing McMaster University in competitions at all levels.” n

The MacEngineer 17

DR. ROBERT P E LT O N The ultimate vision is that paper that forms packaging will also warn you if your food has become contaminated

Dr. Robert Pelton’s research has the potential to make waves in two industries historically integral to Canada’s economy. Pelton, a chemical engineering professor, is a Canada Research Chair in Interfacial Technologies and director of the McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Research. In his role as the former, one major research topic is how to improve mining efficiency. “Most mining works the same way,” Pelton explains. “Most mining, you dig rocks out of the ground and, if you could look inside the rocks, most of what’s there, you don’t want. There are little nuggets of things you do want. These pieces can be fairly small, and so the whole economics of mining and mineral processing, which is what you do after you dig it out of the ground, depends upon how efficiently you can separate out the stuff you want from the stuff you don’t want.”

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Froth flotation is a standard method for this. With the ore in water, a chemical is added that binds to the desired minerals. Once air bubbles are blown through the water, the minerals stick to the bubbles and rise to the top. This method isn’t perfect. For instance, Vale, a mining company with operations in Manitoba, has used froth flotation to easily extract nickel but is now having difficulty isolating what’s left in the ground, Pelton says. “They asked us to look into this. We’ve developed something we call nanoparticle flotation collectors. These are nanoparticles that serve the function of a chemical in flotation. These nanoparticles will selectively stick to pieces of the ground rock that have a lot of nickel in them and then help them stick to air bubbles, and we think that this may lead to nickel extraction from these much more difficult ores.” Alongside this ground-breaking

project, Pelton also leads the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network, a multi-university, multi-disciplinary team exploring new uses of paper. “Some of the projects involve new ways of making antibacterial paper,” he says. One such task is creating sheets that would prevent listeria growth in sliced meats. “The ultimate vision is that paper that forms packaging will also warn you if your food has become contaminated,” Pelton says. Though Canada’s pulp and paper mill industry has been in decline for years, the federal government has contributed research funds. “Ten per cent of the world’s trees are in Canada. This is a huge asset. What do we do with them if our traditional industry is having trouble making money?” Pelton says. “There’s more people across Canada working on finding new uses for trees and cellulose than there’s ever been before.” n

d ble




Within the Heavy Construction (HC) industry, there is a strong need for emerging engineers to be exposed to practical experiences and knowledge, along with the traditional engineering curriculum, during the course of their engineering studies. With this in mind, the Engineering Co-op and Career Services (ECCS) office has partnered with the Heavy Construction Chair, Dr. Saiedeh Razavi, to develop the Heavy Construction Internship (HCI) Program. With the support of industry partners, this innovative initiative supports student learning that extends beyond regular classroom boundaries.

Certificates of Completion will be given to Civil engineering students who complete 8-12 months of HC work experience along with the two related academic courses taught by Dr. Razavi. This program is supported by the HC Chair’s sponsors and industry partners such as the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton & District Heavy Construction Association (HAND) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The interest in this initiative was very apparent by the full-house attendance of students and HC professionals at the Industry Night in October 2013, which was the official program launch. Another posi-

tive outcome of the HCI program is the formation of the HC Student Chapter. Civil engineering students have come together to help promote the internship program within the faculty, and to increase student engagement and construction experience for their fellow students. ECCS looks forward to the growth of the HCI program within the Faculty and working with students and industry partners to help McMaster students gain the knowledge and skills required for today’s construction professionals. n For more information please feel free to contact Louise Gazzola at:

NEW BOOK BY TWO OF MAC’S OWN Peter Topalovic, Gail Krantzberg (Eds.) RESPONSIBLE CARE ®


on the

Peter Topalovic, Gail Krantzberg (Eds.)


Examining the chemical industry’s efforts to address sustainability through its “Responsible Care®” initiative is the focus of a new book co-edited by Gail Krantzberg,

director of the Master of Engineering and Public Policy program in the W Booth School of Engineering Practice at McMaster University, and Peter Topalovic, a program graduate now working as Project Manager of Transportation Demand Management with the City of Hamilton. “Responsible Care: A Case Study” reviews the history and development of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s “Responsible Care” ethic. Case studies illustrate implementation of the program and discuss its effectiveness. A workshop tool kit is also provided as a guide for other industries and organizations interested in creating a sustainability ethic. “This book was written both as a teaching aid for university curriculum and to serve as a practical tool to industrial management and staff for improving sustainable industrial policies,” explains Krantzberg.

The Responsible Care ethic and principles compel companies to innovate for safer and more environmentally friendly products and processes, and to work to eliminate harm throughout the entire life cycle of their products. “Responsible Care: A Case Study” was published by De Gruyter in December 2013 in cooperation with Bernard West and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). It is available for purchase as an ebook and in paperback. Krantzberg is a member of Responsible Care’s National Advisory Panel. Responsible Care® is a registered trademark of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, which helped support development of the book. n

The MacEngineer 19

Formula Hybrid The award winning McMaster Formula Hybrid Team is hard at work developing their latest vehicle for the 2014 Formula Hybrid Competition. With a completely redesigned car, this year could prove to be the most successful year ever. With an eye on the top prize the team has developed an entirely new powertrain system, suspension, chassis, and aerodynamics package. Be sure to check the team’s website, www.formulahybrid. ca, and “like” its Facebook page, McMasterFormulaHybrid, for design updates, CAD renderings and competition results. The team truly appreciates the support of McMaster alumni and humbly asks to continue that support through our new crowdsourcing campaign. Sponsorship to the team can be made by visiting mcmasterformulahybrid/x/6084225 which will support this year’s efforts. The McMaster Formula Hybrid Team strives to better serve the growing need for fuel efficient vehicles, and is developing a new generation of engineers and hybrid powertrains with McMaster Engineering pride. n

Event Focuses on Business Intelligence The McMaster Computing and Software (CAS) Outreach program invited Torontobased Dundas Data Visualization Inc. (www., a leading provider of custom dashboard solutions, to speak to students in December 2013. The discussion focused on aspects of the Business Intelligence (BI) sector, including trends and career opportunities, and provided examples of real-world data design challenges and solutions. Attendees included students from various programs such as Computational Thinking, Business Informatics, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Mechatronics, and the e-health MSc program. Dundas Data Visualization representatives Ricky Bradnam and David Vuong presented various career options within the BI industry, including data visualization consulting, which is their company’s field. The event was organized by Dr. Christopher Anand, associate professor in the Computing and Software Department, in cooperation with the Department’s Outreach Program. The Program’s mandate is to provide students, teachers, and parents with resources to assist them with learning and inspiring fun with Computer Science and Software Engineering.

Barking Brilliant! Billed as a “dog-lover’s second best friend”, David Elsonbaty’s app is bound to become as popular as – well, your dog’s favourite treat. Elsonbaty (Computing & Software, 3rd year) teamed up with Mac colleague Adrian Domanico (MEng & Computer Science) and together they co-founded Woof Labs, Inc. ( social networking “woof app” allows dog owners to create a profile of their pet, track favourite walks and stopping spots, and take and share photos of Fido.The app is available on the AppStore for iPhones. “I’ve always loved dogs since I was a little kid,” Elsonbaty says.“I’ve had 20 The MacEngineer

Dexter (a crazy, loving Labrador Retriever) for almost two years now.” He also has a passion for iOS development, keeping up with new innovations, and building “cool things”. Elsonbaty and Domanico met Dan Seider at the 2013 Queen’s Start-up Summit. “Dan introduced Woof as an idea to us, and Adrian and I fell in love with it. We teamed up and successfully launched Woof on October 25, 2013.” In less than one month, their app garnered over 20,000 users. On its first week of release, the app was featured as one of the best new apps and ranked in the top 50 App Store’s social network apps. Cool, indeed! n

John Bandler

McMaster University and Bandler Corp.

Creativity in the Real World:

Champions, Detractors and What Certain Gurus Would Rather You Didn’t Know Wednesday, February 26, 2014 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm McMaster University, ETB room 535 Café X will be open for business for one hour, starting with a presentation, followed by questions and answers. Refreshments will be available at the start and conclusion of the event. Free admission, however seating is limited. Registration required

About John Bandler: John Bandler is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University, directing research in the Simulation Optimization Systems Research Laboratory. He is President of Bandler Corporation. He studied in England at Imperial College of Science and Technology and received his B.Sc.(Eng.), Ph.D. and D.Sc.(Eng.) degrees from the University of London. He is a Life

Fellow of the IEEE and Fellow of several societies: the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. John has published 500 technical papers and contributions to books. He served on editorial and review committees, and has been guest editor of several special issues. At McMaster he has been Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He holds the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society’s 2004 Microwave Application Award and its 2013 Microwave Career Award—both awarded to a Canadian for the first time. In 2012, he was honored by a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and by IEEE Canada’s 2012 A.G.L. McNaughton Gold Medal. John was President of Optimization Systems Associates Inc., which he founded in 1983 and sold to Hewlett-Packard Company in 1997. Based on his work, advances such as design with tolerances, yield-driven design,

and electromagnetic optimization—once academic fantasies—are now taken for granted by microwave engineers. His software implementations into commercial CAD tools have impacted high-frequency and microwave design initiatives world-wide. In 1993, John discovered “space mapping.” Ensuing algorithms have been adopted by design portfolios across the entire spectrum of engineering, enabling high-fidelity design of devices and systems at a cost of only a few high-fidelity simulations. In “Have you ever wondered about the engineer’s mysterious ‘feel’ for a problem?” IEEE Canadian Review, no. 70, pp. 50-60, Summer 2013, John writes:“It is ironic that the very same generic process [space mapping] is as easy to explain to your next-door neighbor as it has proved difficult for an expert to explain to a fellow expert in the next cubicle.” Active in artistic, literary, and theatrical endeavors, John’s work includes a novel, a screenplay and nine stage plays. He contributed to Theatre Burlington’s 2010 multiple-award-winning production of Breaking the Code—the story of Alan Turing—and received the Western Ontario Drama League adjudicator’s special award for (Greek language) dialect coaching. John’s plays have received public readings at Theatre Aquarius, the Players’ Guild of Hamilton, and the Dundas Little Theatre. He is author and executive producer of Christmas Eve at the Julibee Motel, 59 Minutes in the Maxwell Suite, and author, director and executive producer of That The Multitude May Live, all performed at Hamilton Fringe Festivals. Watch out for his science fiction play The Trial of Naomi Verne at the Hamilton Fringe Festival in July, 2014. His rump session at the 2012 IEEE International Microwave Symposium on “Human Aspects of Communication and Persuasion: First Impressions and Subtext” is available on His 2013 McMaster seminar on “From Creativity to Success via Risk and Setback: An Insider’s Perspective” is available on McMasterUTV. On February 2, 2014, he spoke at the TEDx McMaster U Conference on “Explain Less, Predict More.” n

Deceased Notices Elkholy, Dr. Ismail: died on November 4, 2013 in Richmond, BC, of terminal thymic cancer at age 67. He is survived by his wife Glira Lauris and son Alexander. Born in Egypt, Dr. Elkholy received a B.Eng in Civil Engineering from Cairo University. He earned a scholarship to come to Canada, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from McMaster University. He also received an MBA from McGill. In addition to his threedecade-long professional career, he was an accomplished ballroon dancer, and a gardener who specialized in fruit trees and roses. He was buried in his home town of Shebin El Qanater, Egypt. Memorials can be made to one of two initiatives: the Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization (EMRO; www.emaurescue. org) co-founded by Dr. Elkholy and his wife, for the rescue of street cats; or an ongoing educational scholarship fund for students in Shebin (contact: ). n Torresin, Tiziana (ChemEng. B.Eng. ‘91): At Juravinski Hospital on Thursday October 3, 2013. Tiziana, 46, was married to Dennis, and was the mother of Marcus and Anthony. n Johnson, Tyler (MechEng. B.Eng. ‘14): The University community and the Faculty of Engineering were very saddened by the death of Tyler Johnson who was tragically killed during an incident in downtown Hamilton on Saturday, November 30, 2013. He was 30 years old. Tyler was an honour student who would have graduated in the spring of 2014. He had planned to take a Master’s degree following graduation. n

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Event Highlights Connect/Reconnect Engineering students who attended the 10th Annual Social Connection Night on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, had opportunity to meet alumni and hear of their academic and career experiences. At the event, which attracted over 175 students from all engineering levels, engineering alumni offered tips on study skills and keeping up with the day-to-day pressures of courses, as well as advice on career planning, networking, and professional development. Over 40 engineering alumni “mentors” attended the event. Thanks are extended to this year’s alumni panel: Erica Barnes (CivEng.

‘11), Project Associate at Halsall Associates Limited, Declan Keough (MaterialsEng & Mgmt. ‘04, MAS ‘06), VP at PV Labs, Tom Magyarody (MechEng. ‘79), Executive Director & CEO with Ontario Dental Association, and Brittany Robertson (CivEng. & Mgmt. ‘13), who is with C.F. Crozier & Associates as an engineer-in-training. n

22 The MacEngineer

Calgary, in downtown Calgary. Following light refreshments and opening remarks by Dr. Ishwar Puri, Dean of Engineering and professor of Mechanical Engineering, guests heard an interesting and informative talk by Cynthia Klaassen, a financial services project manager, on Calgary heritage buildings and the impact to them of the recent floods. n

ENG Sisters BBQ Entrepreneur Does It Well and Good On Monday, October 7, 2013, the Faculty of Engineering was pleased to host Michael Lee-Chin (CivEng. ‘74) at a special speaking event for the benefit of all engineering students. Lee-Chin, Chairman of Portland Holding Inc., shared his insights about his journey from student to leader of one of the country’s most successful investment companies. Born in Jamaica, he came to Hamilton in 1970 to attend McMaster, and went on to achieve financial success in business based on a philosophy of “doing well and doing good”. Students were captivated by his story and enthralled with his presentation. n

Calgary Alumni Event On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, over 30 Mac engineering alumni living in the Calgary area came together for an evening of connecting and networking at the historic Fort

Female engineering students of all years had an opportunity to meet and mingle during a late afternoon BBQ outside the front entrance of JHE on September 12, 2013. The purpose of this fun event was to pair an upper-year woman engineering student with a first-year student. The Big Sister then shared her experiences, providing advice and support to her Little Sister. This was a very successful event, and offered women engineering students the chance to connect, share experiences … and enjoy some great food together. n

Top-Speed Mentoring Female engineering students were invited to learn more about various post-graduation options through a series of Speed Mentoring Workshops held on January 30, 2014. The event, held in the Dining Room of the University Club, started with a sandwich buffet at 5:30 p.m. Ten workshops were offered: Negotiating Salaries, Managing a Team, Job Search Strategies, Networking How-To’s, Moving Up the Corporate Ladder (Promotions), Benefits of Graduate Degrees (MASc/MEng/ MBA/PhD), Transition into the

Workforce, Benefits of an Internship, Taking Time Off After Graduation, and Work-Life Balance. Each workshop consisted of eight undergraduate engineering students and was facilitated by a female engineering alumna or professor; each lasted 15 minutes, so students had the opportunity to attend four speed workshops over the course of the evening. Sixty students attended this fun and informative event, and our thanks to our wonderful workshop facilitators for making the evening so successful. Alumna facilitators: Erica Barnes (CivEng. ‘11), Christine Ermarkaryan (ChemEng. & Mgmt. ‘90), Pat Greene (ComputerEng. ‘83), Anne MacDonald (MechEng. & Mgmt. ‘10), Victoria Oswell (Mate-

rialsEng. & Scty. ‘02), Gina Succi (CivEng. ‘89), and Anjali Tandon (ChemEng. ‘99). n

myriad of forks, knives, spoons and glasses at each place setting, but also on the basics of table manners, body language, and appropriate facial expressions, as well as tipping and proper distribution of business cards at business dinners. Great food and great fun, combined with useful information for anyone who expects to be entertaining the boss or business clients during the course of a career. n

Marketing for Success On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, special guest speaker Peter Gima, Sales Manager for Linkedin Talent Solutions, spoke to more than 70 engineering students on the topic: Market Yourself for Career Success. He gave an in-depth talk on the popular business network site – what Linkedin is, how it works, and the many opportunities it can provide for networking among professionals. Gima, who has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster, also provided tips for building profiles that are informative and eye-catching, and that will assist with finding that dream job. n

The Taste of Scotch Eighty-five alumni met at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on November 7, 2013, to discover and appreciate the taste of some smooth Scotches. The 10th Annual Scotch Tasting event featured three samples: a Boutique Barrel 1996, a Glen Keith 1993, and a 17-year-old Glenfiddich. Joseph Cassidy provided information about each and, at the end of the presentation, engaged in a lively Q&A with participants. n

Alumni Weekend 2013 Over 80 alumni attended Alumni Weekend 2013, which featured a special 50th Anniversary presentation by the Class of ‘63, and an electrifying Fireball Show. Class reunions were from class of ‘63, ‘68, ‘73, ‘78, ‘83, ‘88, ‘93, and ‘98. n

Of Manners & Meals Seventy engineering students are no longer confused about which spoon to use for dessert. They learned this, and much more, at the Dinner Etiquette Seminar offered by Lorna Somers on October 22, 2013, at the University Club. Over a delicious four-course meal, Somers, who is VP of McMaster University Foundation and Director of Development for the University, provided an informative and entertaining talk not only on the

continued on back cover The MacEngineer 23

Girls Go! 2014 The annual Go ENG Girl event in 2014 will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the John Hodgins Engineering Building. This half-day event is specially planned and offered to Hamilton-area girls in grades 7 to 10. The morning includes participation in hands-on activities, meeting women currently studying engineering at Mac, and listening to guest speakers who tell about the amazing things that women engineers are doing locally and beyond. It is also an opportunity for the Faculty of Engineering to showcase its facilities and inform students about the engineering program at the University, as well as available co-op work options. Usually, the video of the ever-popular Fireball Show is also presented, to the awe and delight of the audience. This event always proves to be very successful for both participants and organizers. Over 50 area schools participated in the Go ENG Girl 2013 day, with more than 125 students in attendance. n

Thank You, Debbie The Faculty of Engineering hosted a Retirement Reception on October 26, 2013 to honour Debbie Smaluck, a long-time employee of the Faculty and good friend to many engineering students. Debbie Pitkin joined McMaster 40 years ago as a young woman who wanted to work hard and help others. Now the mother of three grown boys, Debbie was congratulated on her service to the Faculty – particularly to the Department of Civil Engineering, where she worked during the 1970s and 80s, befriending and inspiring many a student. The recipient of the President’s Staff Award in 2013, Debbie enjoyed meeting and reminiscing with staff, former students, and University colleagues during the lively afternoon reception. Debbie plans to pursue a number of community interests in her retirement, no doubt continuing to inspire and help others. n

GOLF TOURNAMENT Friday, May 30, 2014 Pipers Heath Golf Club

5501 Trafalgar Rd., Hornby (Milton), ON, L0P 1E0 Tournament Package Price: $140/Person Includes: Lunch, Golf and Dinner Register early - space is limited!

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Putting Competition: 11:30 a.m. 12:50 p.m. (during lunch) Shotgun Start - 1:30 p.m.

MacEngineer Spring 2014  

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

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