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Inn ova tive Lab Offe rs Ou nce e i r tstandin e p g Teaching/Learning Ex

Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Winter 2010



The MacEngineer


Dean of Engineering Dr. David Wilkinson One of the real sources of joy in my position as Dean is the opportunity to work with our best and most enthusiastic students who are engaged with the McMaster Engineering Society and the various special interest clubs and teams.This past weekend McMaster played host to the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR).The organization team consisted mostly of alumni and was led by Mike Harris (Mech.‘07). My hat goes off to the entire team for taking on this event and for doing such a professional job. This year’s event was held on the Glen Eden tube hill, which enabled side by side racing for the first time in this event. There were two McMaster teams entered in the competition. The El MacAdors had a great day eventually placing second to Calgary in the King of the Hill competition. The Outlaws, the first ever all-female team at any GNCTR event, were also outstanding and clocked the fastest speed all day at 62 km/hr.

As with all these events there was a lot of fun, a great deal of good natured competition and also a tremendous amount of experiential learning going on. During the Friday technical exhibition for example judges graded the teams for their overall design, braking and safety systems, use of high fly ash concrete mixes, technical report writing and so on. This is just one of many such clubs of this kind. The Solar Car team, as you will read later in this issue, entered the World Solar Challenge in Australia in October. The Mini Baja and McMaster Racing Club (Formula SAE) teams are gearing up for Spring competitions while the specialty vehicle club developed a new version of their hot-tub-in-a car concept. McMaster also played host to the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students Congress. This annual gathering of Engineering students engaged in some lively discussions about the future of the field. The keynote address given by Tom Jenkins (Eng. Physics & Mgt.‘82) was very well received. The national conference of Engineers without Boarders (EWB) took place in Newfoundland in January as well. McMaster Chapter members reported on some good discussions related to the concept of a global engineer. Supporting experiential learning and providing opportunities for student engagement with major societal issues is one of the pillars of the Faculty’s strategic plan. We need to continuously look for ways to support and encourage our students to con2 The MacEngineer

nect the classroom with the world at large. The new Engineering Technology Building opened on October 23rd and is proving to be a big success. The building itself has won several architectural and engineering awards and the space is providing great opportunities to expand both our teaching and research space. I am grateful to many alumni who have contributed towards making this a reality. I am especially pleased to recognize the support of Vladimir (Civil ‘80) and Chedo (Civil & Mgt.‘85) Sobot as noted on page 6. There are still naming opportunities available at any level for those wanting to invest in the future of your Faculty. As the Winter term unfolds we are gearing up for our annual Applause and Accolades event, when we recognize the achievements of faculty, staff and students. The highlight are three major awards given each year by the Faculty. The Engineering Leadership Award will be given to Paul Spekkens (PhD ‘77, Chemistry), VP Science and Technology Development at Ontario Power Generation. This award recognizes Paul’s and OPG’s contributions to the rejuvenation of nuclear engineering research and education in Ontario, in part through the establishment of the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE) involving 5 Ontario universities and several industrial partners. Tom Jenkins (Eng.Phs.&Mgt, ’82), Executive Chair of OpenText will receive the L.W. Shemilt

Alumni Award in recognition of his dynamic corporate and community leadership. Finally, Bob Pelton, professor of Chemical Engineering, will receive the inaugural Faculty Research Achievement Award. I hope that you will have the opportunity to join us on May 13th to celebrate these and many other achievements of the Faculty. I am pleased to inform you that Samir Chidiac, professor of Civil Engineering, has taken on the role of Director of the School for Engineering Practice, a position made vacant when Andy Hrymak left us to become Dean of Engineering at Western. Mike Curwin has also joined the Faculty as the manager of technology and IT services. Samir and Mike are great additions to our management team. Many of you will remember Yosh Kitimura who has been the lead hand in the Engineering Machine Shop for many years. Yosh will be retiring this Spring and we thank him for all the student projects that he helped shepherd to completion. I trust that as you peruse the pages of this issue of the MacEngineer you will sense the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster as we move into the future. Despite all the challenges and uncertainties that surround us we remain confident that our mission is clear and our role is vital. We appreciate your support and encouragement and look forward to welcoming you back to Mac as opportunities arise. n

Message from the Associate Dean (Academic) Ken Coley

Life in the Office of Associate Dean (Academic) continues to be exciting, not least because of the daily interaction with students.The Associate Dean’s position provides an excellent perspective on the wide range of talents of our students. Often these talents relate directly to their studies, but just as often they are talents that are not tied to engineering. When a student comes to you with a cumulative average greater than eleven and tells you he is ranked second in the country in an Olympic sport, you can only be impressed and proud that such an individual has chosen your Faculty. I appreciate that it is hard for such people to balance the time commitment to excel in their outside activities and in their studies. However, I am delighted that we can and do find ways to accommodate their needs. In the past semester we went through a major accreditation visit for most of our Engineering programs and, with the rest of the faculty, celebrated the opening of the new Engineering Technology Building.The opening of the building is particularly exciting for our Faculty. It provides a home for our first-year program, as well our Bachelor of Technology program, the School for Engineering Practice and some of our top engineering researchers. From my perspective,

this provides a wonderful opportunity for our first-year students. It is in first year that we build the foundations of an engineering education, and perhaps the most important aspect of this is motivation. What could be more motivating than to start your engineering education in an innovative building that embraces sustainability, and to share that building with some of the research leaders of your chosen field. As part of the celebration of the building, Brian Baetz organized an outstanding symposium on the future of engineering education. Speakers from McMaster and from outside informed us about the role of engineering in innovation, in sustainability and in international development.They emphasized the importance of these topics in the education of an engineer. I found the symposium to be very exciting because it mirrored some major planks in our strategic plan, and showed that we have many educators within the Faculty that have the commitment and energy to foster an environment that trains engineers to make a difference. n

Alumni Profiles


Engineering News


News Briefs


Departmental News


Alumni Grapevine


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


Message from the Associate Dean (Research & External Relations)

Peter Mascher We are on a roll! Following the unprecedented successes of McMaster Engineering faculty in various national and provincial granting competitions reported in an earlier issue of this magazine, there is more good news: On November 17, the Honourable John Milloy, Minister of Research & Innovation for the Province of Ontario, announced the latest round of funding through the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI) program, matching previously announced funding by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).The focus of the announcement was on clean energy, where the Faculty of Engineering is prominently represented through John Luxat’s Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems and Rafael Kleiman’s Laboratory for Advanced Photovoltaic Research. Both Luxat and Kleiman are members of the Department of Engineering Physics.The official news release is available at Full matching funds were also provided for a number of other CFI projects, either led by McMaster engineering faculty or with substantial engineering involvement. A complete list of these projects can be found at ORF111709_bd1.asp. As reported earlier, the objective of the NSERC Strategic Network Grants (SNG) Program is to increase research and training in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada’s economy, society and/or environment within the next ten years. In 4 The MacEngineer

late September, the federal Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear, visited McMaster to announce funding for the “20/20: NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Network” (20/20 Network), to which NSERC is providing $5 million over five years. Other funding is being provided by industrial and institutional partners, and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Heather Sheardown, professor of Chemical Engineering, is the scientific director of the 20/20 Network, which will focus on developing and commercializing new biomaterials, medical devices, and drug delivery devices for treating vision disorders. Informally, we also learned that McMaster will be the host of the “NSERC Photovoltaic Innovation Network”, led by Rafael Kleiman and including participation from researchers at 12 universities across the country.This Network will be a major user of –and benefit greatly from – the infrastructure to be developed within the Laboratory for Advanced Photovoltaic Research mentioned above. The Faculty’s long-standing expertise in fostering multi-disciplinary partnerships between industry and academia was recognized when Chris Swartz (Chemical Engineering) and the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) won this year’s prestigious Leo Derikx Award, one of NSERC’s Synergy Awards for Innovation. The award was presented at a ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on October 19, 2009. The summer and early fall saw several

strategic activities in the “External Relations” portfolio aimed at fostering partnerships in Russia, India, and Japan. From September 11 to 20, 2009, a McMaster delegation consisting of Mo Elbestawi (VP Research and International Affairs), Tony Valeri (Special Advisor to the VP Research), and myself visited academic and private sector institutions in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Our objective was to explore and identify the potential for research and educational collaborations.The program was developed in consultation with the Canadian Embassy in Moscow and we were accompanied by Vanessa Podgurny, the Canadian Trade Commissioner, on all of our visits. At Moscow State University (MSU), I gave an overview of McMaster University, its research infrastructure, and its priority areas, and highlighted our research activities and infrastructure in nanotechnology and materials research. MSU’s Vice-Rector suggested joint Ph.D. programs as one avenue for formal collaborations, and it is clear that a partnership with Russia’s leading university would strategically position McMaster to advance further research and other collaborations in Russia. In a meeting with high-level representatives of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO), we discussed the scope of McMaster’s research in nanotechnology, the opportunities at the McMaster Innovation Park (MIP), our Masters program in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and our experience with the commercialization of university research results, which generated significant interest. As a follow-up to a visit by a delegation of the National Institute of Engineering (NIE, Mysore, India) in late 2008, discussions have been ongoing about an educational and/or research partnership in the area of (waste) water technology.The Faculty’s principal liaison to NIE is Shiva Kumar (ECE), while NIE is represented locally by Dr. Raj Murthy, scientist emeritus, National Water Research Institute (Burlington). Dr. Murthy was previously affiliated with McMaster’s Department of Civil Engineering.These discussions now have moved to a much more serious stage as (1) NIE have started a post-graduate diploma continued on p. 22 E


MacEng Got Lucky – Three Times Three members of the Tong family graduated from MacEngineering and bring distinction to their alma mater with successful careers. Robert Tong (El. Eng. ‘81) became a McMaster engineering grad in spite of some unusual advice early in his schooling. While he was completing Grade 13 in Toronto as a foreign student, his guidance counsellor told him that he wouldn’t have grades good enough to get into the top engineering schools in Ontario, like Toronto. Instead, he was told, he should apply to second-grade engineering schools, such as McMaster. “It turned out my guidance counsellor was dead wrong – on both counts,” Robert says. The fact that Mac was anything but a second-grade institution became evident during his first encounters with the University.“When I toured McMaster, I fell in love with the campus. But more importantly, after my application had been accepted, I inquired whether or not I had been selected for a scholarship. Administration wouldn’t tell me prior to the official announcement date. I respected that and felt McMaster had integrity.” Robert did three years of computer engineering before switching to electrical in fourth year.“I still love working with computers. But I decided to switch, under the misguided impression that I would never be very good in computers. I felt electrical engineering would be a safer bet career-wise at the time.” Whether or not he was correct about that, Robert has enjoyed a successful career, having worked for Cambridge, Ontario-based COM DEV Ltd. (now the Space Group of COM DEV International), and Dspfactory Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario. Since 2008 he has been vice president of Phoenix, Arizona-based ON Semiconductor’s medical division, overseeing the division’s product development and customer relation-

ship management. Robert, who has an M.A.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo (1988) and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University (Gold Medal,1993), is married with four children and resides in Mannheim, Ontario. Robert’s fondness for McMaster prompted a recommendation to his younger brother, Roger (Comp. Eng. ’85). But, Roger admits, there were other reasons for choosing McMaster.“The world-class faculty members of the Communication Research Laboratory, the four-year entrance scholarship, and the friendly campus environment were also key factors in my decision.” He felt computer engineering would provide the best combination of hardware and software design knowledge necessary to meet the dynamic engineering environment in which he wanted to work. Roger went on to complete a Master’s at Mac (1994) and received an MBA degree from Wilfrid Laurier University (Gold Medal, 1998). He has enjoyed over 20 years working in the satellite and telecommunications industry for companies in Canada, Mainland China and Hong Kong. He currently works for satellite operator Asia Satellite Communication Telecommunications Ltd (AsiaSat) in Hong Kong as the General Manager of Engineering.“I am responsible for all the management, design, manufacturing and procurement activities for our satellites, earth stations and frequency spectrum management.” Roger is married and the couple has two daughters. He enjoys reading, hiking, swimming and time spent with family. He holds three U.S. patents and serves on several satellite industry committees. Their youngest sister Hanna (El. Eng. ’87) admits the choice of university was not hers. “My brothers recommended McMaster and, in

fact, it was pre-selected for me before I came to Canada.” Happily, though, she fell in love with the campus.“It was just the right size, with lots of beautiful architecture that made it the best environment to study.The fouryear entrance scholarship made it a no-brainer decision.” Because she had always liked math and physics, the electrical program seemed the right fit.“The EE program had many excellent professors and I felt that I would be challenged in an area I loved.” It was a smart choice. The engineering degree, she says, provided a foundation in all aspects, even assisting her transition into management. But the best part of having an engineering degree, she admits, is that it provided her with opportunity to be a role model for her daughters.“I’ve shown that a woman can be great in engineering and have a successful and balanced career with a family.” Hanna, who has an MBA from the University of Ottawa (1998), currently works for Samsung Telecommunications America as Director of Business Development, Convergence Solutions. She is responsible for developing Samsung’s emerging connected device businesses for major U.S. carriers. She lives in Plano,Texas with her husband Daniel Ho, also a Mac grad (El. Eng.‘85) and two daughters. Her younger daughter is a Level 10 competitive gymnast attending the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano (home of the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Champions), and the older daughter is currently attending the Texas Academy of Math & Science at the University of North Texas at Denton. n

The MacEngineer


Joseph Veloce – Improving mind and body While many MacEngineers were studying for exams in December, third-year engineering student Joseph Veloce was in Cali, Colombia competing in a World Cup track cycling series in the hopes of qualifying Canada for a spot in the World Championships in the team sprint event. After qualifying with the third fastest time, the Canadian team finished fourth, less than two-tenths of a second behind Ukraine, thereby setting a Canadian record. Veloce has already stood on the famed podium, having won three silver medals this year at Nationals, and one at the Pan Am Games in Mexico. In 2008, as a first-year senior, he took home three gold medals from the National Track Cycling Championships held in Burnaby, BC. Veloce, who is in electrical engineering, says it seemed a natural choice since math is his strongest subject. While he enjoys his studies, travelling to training camps in L.A and B.C.

and to competitions abroad has added a new dimension to the challenge of balancing his academic and athletic aspirations.“I am grateful for the support that Dr. Coley, Associate Dean of Engineering, Dr. Capson, Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and all my professors have demonstrated,” says Veloce. Having already participated in several team sports, Veloce says he was drawn to track cycling after watching Canadian Lori-Ann Muenzer compete in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She won Canada’s first gold medal in track cycling during those games. He thought it was a sport that he could master. “Hey, I can ride a bike,” he joked. However, he soon discovered it was no easy feat and that it required a great deal of commitment, training and discipline in order to achieve success. “I really like track cycling – the speed of it and the fact that it relies so much on individual effort. Whatever you do, you’ve earned it.” As part of his training, Veloce uses McMaster’s

high-performance lab located in the new David Braley Athletic Centre. Here he does squats and lower-body exercises to strengthen his legs. The lab’s specialized equipment measures an athlete’s fitness level and records training improvements. Veloce makes use of the Wingate Test, which determines maximum power output during a 30-second sprint on a specialized cycle ergometer, a stationary bicycle that measures power.The test is very demanding and stresses the body’s aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. The biggest benefit, says Veloce, is the feedback which, he adds, is key to being able to improve performance.“You can train for hours, but if you don’t do it right or don’t know if it is working for you, it’s almost useless.” Veloce is continuing to train hard in preparation for the final World Cup event in Beijing, China in January 2010. He has his eyes set on the World Championships that take place in Denmark in March and, ultimately, competing in the 2012 Olympics as Canada’s representative in the Track Cycling event. n

Classroom Recognizes Sobots’ Contributions The Sobot brothers Vladimir and Chedo, long-time supporters of the Faculty of Engineering, have generously donated $50,000 in support of the new Engineering Technology Building. In recognition, a classroom will be named “The Sobotec Classroom” in their honour. Their gift is indicative of their ongoing support of the mission and vision of the Faculty. The Sobots are also part 6 The MacEngineer

of a consortium of donors for a Chair in Effective Design of Structures. Through their company, Sobotec, they have hired students for co-op terms, provided fulltime employment to Mac graduates, and given freely of their time to be mentors to many engineering students. Hamilton-based Sobotec is an engineering and manufacturing firm specializing in building exteriors. Since its inception

in 1988, the company has developed a number of unique and proprietary attachment systems and manufacturing processes for the use of aluminum composite materials in building cladding. The brothers are both proud McMaster graduates: Vladimir Sobot holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, while Chedo received his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Management. n

New Engineering Building Is Open!

October 23, 2009 will be remembered as the day McMaster Engineering entered the future! On that day the new fivestory, 125,000-square-foot, glass-covered Engineering Technology Building was officially opened – exactly fifty years after the opening of the first engineering building on campus. The ETB features state-of-the art learning and research facilities, sustainability systems, and novel architectural design. The building will be home to more than 2,000 students, professors, researchers and staff. The McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership, the first-year Engineering program, the McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering, the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, a new Biointerfaces Institute, and the Centre for Research in Micro- and Nano-Systems will be located within its walls. The ETB is expected to be Gold certified under the Leadership in Energy and

Environmental Design program. This highlights the commitment to the Faculty’s five-year strategic plan, Engineering a Sustainable Future, which focuses on increased research in sustainability and the development of the ‘global engineer’. The building’s sustainability features include:

rain water harvesting for wastewater flushing and landscape irrigation; automated photosensor controlled lighting; high recycled content in building materials; inclusion of local slag (a byproduct of steelmaking) to reduce cement content in structural and landscaping E

The MacEngineer


concrete; dual duct HVAC system; and integration of mechanical systems with the building envelope and structure, incorporating the thermal mass of the structure as a heat sink. The special design also promotes ‘the building-as-a-learning-tool’. Structural and mechanical elements have been left open to allow students to view its construction and operation. Enhanced teaching and learning features include two elliptical classrooms – among the first in North America – that facilitate interaction between teacher and students, and among students. The classrooms each contain 55 computer workstations and 28 instruction monitors displaying a video signal from the instructor.

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Several artistic pieces will also be featured in the building, each with an engineering theme. These include: • Chronos Clock (north entrance) – created by a team of four engineering students and two arts students as a finalyear engineering project, this five-foot diameter clock is representative of the solar system and tells time by reading circles within circles. • Bearings Hologram Series (southeast entrance) – created by artist Stacey Spiegel, the four hologram images represent now-historical devices used to measure and articulate phenomena – camera, telescope, theodolite, sextant. • Living Legacy Showcase (west wall of main hall) – features 50 years of Faculty

collectibles, memorabilia and keepsakes donated by alumni and friends. • A History of Canadian Engineering (east wall of main hall) – this painting was commissioned by the Kipling Wardens of Hamilton and illustrates many of this country’s engineering achievements. In November, Hamilton’s Urban Design and Architecture Awards committee selected the Engineering Technology Building as this year’s recipient of the Award of Excellence for Architectural Design. The ETB has also won the Architectural Merit Awards Trophy from Concrete Canada.

Help Enhance Our Learning Environment The Faculty of Engineering recently opened the doors to an exciting and creative Engineering Technology Building. The building launches a new era in the Faculty’s growth and development. Many alumni have donated to the new engineering building in support of the Engineering 1 Teaching Studio. We are proud and very grateful for our Alumni support, and the name of each donor will be noted on a special donor plaque in the 2nd floor Alumni Lounge. For details on how you can make a contribution to enhance the learning environment for our students, please contact Terry Milson, Advancement Officer at 905.525.9140 ext 27391, or email n

Innovative Lab Offers Outstanding Teaching/Learning Experience A high-tech engineering laboratory in the new Engineering and Technology Building is one of only four of its type in existence in North America. Modelled after similar facilities at Queen’s University and Rensselaer Polytechnic (Troy, N.Y.), it was designed by Dundas-based Vermeulenhind Architects. Shaped as an ellipse, the lab has two tiers around its perimeter, with the outer ring slightly raised. Each tier includes passive monitors that provide students with graphics or instructions from the lecturer, and workstations on which students will do their actual labs. The instructor has full view of all the stations and can easily assess how the lab is progressing, or if a student is struggling. The instructor’s podium incorporates high-tech, audio-visual equipment including a Sympodium Interactive Pen Display screen (by SMART Technologies), a docu-

ment camera (eliminating the need for transparencies), and a docking station for the instructor’s own laptop. The room can accommodate 55 students at a time. Year 1 students in the engineering design and graphics course and the engineering computation course will have priority access to the lab. The lab operates on a server-based computing model, whereby the student uses a simplified thin client device in the lab to access a high-performance compute node in a server room located in the basement. This results in a considerable reduction in heat, noise, space requirement, and overall power consumed. As the thin clients have no moving parts, the lifespan is typically 9 to 10 years, considerably longer than that of a conventional workstation. The server-based model also means the operating system is cheaper and quicker

to update. Rather than have to install a new OS on dozens of individual computers, it is installed once on the server. The same is true for adding and deleting software programs. The elliptical lab is one more example of how Mac Engineering is taking its students sustainably into the future –today. n The MacEngineer


Alumni Weekend Saturday, June 5th, 2010 CLASS OF: 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 and 2000

McMaster University Student Centre, CIBC Hall, 3rd Floor $55.00 per person, Dress Code: Semi-Casual More info:

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Upcoming Events Tuesday, March 9, 2010 Etiquette Dinner Tuesday, March 16, 2010 Software Engineering Reunion Friday, March 26, 2010 Kipling Ceremony


h Annual

Alumni Golf Tournament May 27th, 2010, Copetown Woods Golf Club 1430 Concession 2 W. Copetown, Ontario

Lunch 11:30 - 12:50 pm • Shotgun Start 1:00 pm Cost: $175 • BBQ Lunch • Access to driving range, lockers and showers • Golfers will have the use of shared power cart • 18 Hole Tournament (Scramble Format) • Complimentary Golf Shirt and other great giveaways

• Seafood Bar • Plated dinner reception • Many PRIZES to be won • Various contests including: Longest drive (male & female), putting, lowest-score winning team and Closest-to-the-Pin! ... • and much, much more!

Thursday, May 6, 2010 Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls May 9-14, 2010 21st Blast Furnace Course Thursday, May 13, 2010 Applause & Accolades Thursday, May 27, 2010 8th Annual Engineering Alumni Golf Tournament Saturday, June 5, 2010 Alumni Weekend Friday, June 11, 2010 Engineering Spring Convocation Saturday, October 16, 2010 Go ENG Girl

Register early - space is limited!

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2010 Applause & Accolades An AwArds CelebrAtion thursdAy, MAy 13, 2010 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. liunA station 360 James Street North, Hamilton, Ontario Black tie optional For directions visit: dr. david wilkinson, Dean, Faculty of Engineering invites you to attend an evening in honour of 2010 Faculty of engineering leadership Award recipient

dr. pAul spekkens

Vice President, Science and Technology Development Ontario Power Generation Inc. (Ph.D. ’77 Chemistry)

Past Award Recipients the FACulty oF engineering leAdership AwArdees This award is presented to an individual who has contributed to our communities, McMaster University, and to the Faculty of Engineering John Mayberry Doug Barber Joseph Ng Joseph Liburdi

2010 l.w. shemilt distinguished engineering Alumni Award recipient

toM Jenkins

Executive Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer Open Text Corporation (B.Eng. & Mgmt ‘82 Engineering Physics)

Carl Fuerst Robert B. Magee

former CEO and Chairman, Dofasco (2004) former President and CEO, Gennum (2005) President, JNE Consulting (2006) President, Liburdi Engineering (2007) Chief Scientist, GM of Canada (2008) Chairman & CEO, Woodbridge Group (2009)

the l.w. sheMilt distinguished engineering AluMni AwArdees

2010 Faculty of engineering research Achievement Award recipient

dr. robert pelton

Professor, Chemical Engineering Canada Research Chair in Interfacial Technologies Scientific Director of SENTINEL Bioactive Paper Network Director of McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Research

This award is named after the second dean in the Faculty of Engineering, recognizing leading alumni for their contributions to the engineering profession, society, and McMaster University Mike Pley Stephen Elop Kurt Strobele

Our faculty and staff members’ many distinctions of 2009 will also be celebrated. Come share in the appreciation of all our outstanding recipients. tickets $150.00 or table of eight $1,200.00 To register, please contact terry Milson at 905.525.9140 extension 27391 or email Please indicate any food restrictions 12 The MacEngineer

Vladimir Sobot Chedo Sobot

(B.Eng. Electrical & Management ’83) President, COM DEV Space (2006) (B.Eng. Electrical & Management ’86) President, Business Division, Microsoft (2007) (Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering ’73) President & CEO, Hatch (2008) (B.Eng. Civil Engineering ’80) Co-owner, Sobotec Ltd. (2009) (B.Eng. Civil Engineering & Management ’85) Co-owner, Sobotec Ltd. (2009)

New MES President Named

MRI to Study Multiple Sclerosis (MS) In response to a recent suggestion that multiple sclerosis may be a cardiovascular problem related to the narrowing of major veins in the neck and spine, imaging is playing an increasingly important role in the study of MS. McMaster’s Dr. Mark Haacke, the Director of the Imaging Division in the McMaster School for Biomedical Engineering (BME) and an adjunct professor in electrical engineering, is helping to coordinate a study in Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) in MS patients. This work is in collaboration with Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and the faculty from the McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC), including imaging experts from Mohawk College. According to Dr. Haacke, MRI offers the ability to image the veins in 3D, as well as image iron deposition caused by damage to the endothelium of the veins. “Our general research direction is to use MRI to image the vessels in 3D, to measure flow, to measure iron, and to study the hemodynamics of the brain.” From a technical perspective, the work will use MR angiography (MRA), MR venography (MRV), flow quantification (FQ) and susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) – the most powerful tools available to identify CCSVI and excess iron deposition in the brains of MS patients. The protocol will be available for use by any site in Canada that wishes to scan patients in a similar fashion. Many of these sequences can be used even in conventional clinical sites to help assess the vascular status of patients. The long term goal is to study the etiology of MS, better diagnose MS, and follow patients (identified as having CCSVI) who are then treated for MS by vascular surgery. These three steps are critical to being able to delineate the patient population sub-types and follow better the out-

comes of the treatment itself. It is expected that the results of this research will help Canadians keep aware of ongoing developments and help speed up research related to the study of the brain’s hemodynamics and fluid dynamics – both critical to the CCSVI hypothesis. Dr. Haacke hopes to gain collaboration of the MS CCSVI studies at various sites around the world in order to leverage the knowledge gained from the small number of studies done at each research site. This would eventually expand to include clinical collaborative sites as well, which should catapult the numbers from hundreds to thousands (as will be needed for a proper statistical assessment of this new direction of research and patient care). It could make major advances possible in years rather than decades. Research funds will support the entire program related to students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, faculty, pre-clinical trials, following patients post treatment, and related research activities. The initial goal is to raise $500,000 in philanthropic support, while the estimated cost of a major three-year collaborative study on CCSVI in MS is approximately $1.5 million. Longer-term funding will be sought from the more traditional federal grant funding sources. Anyone interested in donating to the CCSVI/ SWI research at the McMaster School for Biomedical Engineering can make a donation online at and follow the prompts (Donation Designation Category: “Other”; Designation for this gift: “Other”; Special Instructions: “MS research in the MR Imaging Research Centre”). Alternatively, donation cheques can be mailed to: Terry Milson, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton ON L8S 4L7, with instructions to donate to the “MS research in the MR Imaging Research Centre”. n

Kyle Heywood, fourth-year mechanical engineering, has been elected the new president of the McMaster Engineering Society (MES). The announcement was made at the annual MES Fireball Gala on Saturday, January 30 at Carmen's Banquet Centre in Hamilton. Kyle is currently vice-president external for MES. He will take on his new responsibilities after the semi-annual general meeting in March.

BTech Rep, Awards Announced The first Bachelor of Technology (BTech) representative on the MES Council was also announced at the gala. It is Kristen Canario, who is a first-year student in the BTech program. MES award recipients were also announced and are as follows:

Council Appreciation • Bianca Giacomel • Alex Aylwin • Paul Jarzecki

Presidents Award • Stuart Grodinsky • Kyle Heywood

Image of an Engineer Awards • Jim Morris • Anne MacDonald • Mark Reinders

Faculty Appreciation Awards • Kent Wheeler, Civil Technician in ADL • Doug Culley, Materials Technician The MacEngineer 13

Bachelor of Technology Update cess Automation Technology, Automotive and It has been two years since we last provided Vehicle Technology and Biotechnology. At this an update on the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor time, we have approximately 300 students of Technology Partnership Program. In addiin the Four Year Programs taking courses on tion to the Degree Completion Program for graduates of appropriate advanced technology a full-time basis on weekdays in the fall and winter terms. The Process Automation Techprograms at Mohawk and other colleges, we nology program will graduate a small number also offer a Four Year Program where High of students this spring. We are developing the School graduates can obtain both a degree courses and labs for our third and from McMaster and a diploma fourth years in the other from Mohawk College. two programs, which started Our Degree Completion in September 2008. Over the Programs now include Manufacpast year we added several key turing Engineering Technology, faculty members including Civil Engineering Infrastructure Dan Centea, the Chair of the Technology, Computer and InforAutomotive Technology program, mation Technology and Energy Monica Sauer, the Chair of the Engineering Technologies. There Biotechnology program, Andrew are currently some 300 students Willems, Lucian Balan, and enrolled in these programs taking Konstantinos Apostolou. courses typically on a part-time Alan Murray The Bachelor of Technolbasis on evenings and weekends ogy Program has also seen changes on the in the fall, winter and summer. The Energy administrative support side. Art Heidebrecht Engineering Technologies program, led by Nafia Al-Mutawaly, was launched in September handed me the reins as Executive Director in April of this year. Ishwar Singh, our Associate 2008 and is still under development. We are Director, graciously agreed to delay his retirecurrently seeking an experienced individual ment for a year to allow us time to transition with a strong Power Engineering or Alternahis role over the coming year.The Engineering tive Energy background for a Contractually Co-op and Career Services recently hired Jesse Limited Appointment to support this effort. Sahota to join our team, and the Associate Our Four Year Programs now include Pro-

Dean’s Office of the Engineering Faculty is in the process of adding an advisor to support our students. As of September 2009, we began offering our lectures and many of our labs in the new Engineering Technology Building. Many of our full-time students are in residence here at McMaster and are benefiting from all aspects of university life as they earn their McMaster degree. Our partnership with Mohawk allows us to continue to utilize their specialized labs as needed. Coming from McMaster, Mohawk or industry, our instructors focus on experiential learning and applications. We are constantly working to expand our pool of qualified instructors. Looking forward, we plan to more than double our enrollment and are therefore seeking ways to spread the word about the many unique benefits our programs have to offer. In a nutshell, our programs are designed to offer a hands-on learning experience in industry-specific technologies. In addition, our programs provide management and breadth of learning courses to broaden our graduates' skills. Finally, our programs include a mandatory co-op element that provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and gain work experience before graduating. n

Racing Club Enters New Era As the McMaster Racing Club has matured in recent years it has transcended the limits of what was perceived to be possible and entered into a new era of design excellence.To celebrate this rebirth, the team has rebranded itself as McMaster Formula SAE – and is reaching out to all Mac Engineers, both past and present, welcoming them as honorary members of the new team. Formula SAE is an intensely competitive motorsport in which technological innovation and advanced engineering analysis methods are used to build an F1-inspired racecar with performance to

14 The MacEngineer

rival all but the top echelon of racing vehicles. Welcome to the motorsport where a student can take a dream car from concept to the track and be in the driver’s seat. Welcome to the team that builds a new racecar completely from scratch every year, that designs and builds nearly all of the vehicle’s components, and shows an unwavering commitment to performance. Welcome to McMaster Formula SAE. At McMaster University, we strive to be the best engineers and technological leaders of tomorrow. In addition to a gruelling academic schedule, the McMaster Formula

SAE team works year-round to design, finance, build, and race the best performing Formula SAE racecar ever conceived. This past year, McMaster Formula SAE competed in the Formula SAE East event at the Michigan International Speedway. It was the public debut of our MRC09 – the only full carbon fibre monocoque in Canada. Unfortunately the glory was short-lived, as circumstances beyond the team’s control forced them to withdraw from the competition’s dynamic events. With the largest team in the history of the club, McMaster Formula SAE is poised to take their place as perennial Formula SAE World Championship contenders. We invite all MacEngineers to join us in this exciting adventure and to help us realize this dream. As we look forward to F1 events in 2010, we especially need financial assistance.Your donations will be gratefully accepted and very much appreciated! Interested in helping the team? Please contact Team Captain – William Long ( n

Solar Car Team Competes in Worlds

A 13-member team from McMaster University competed in the biennial World Solar Challenge during October 2009 in Australia. The team’s fourth-generation solar car, Phoenix II, competed against 37 other entries from 17 countries in the 3,000 km sun-fuelled endurance test from Darwin to Adelaide. The teams raced throughout the day and camped by the roadside overnight. Phoenix II is engineered to achieve a top speed of 130 km/h thanks to a solar array that can produce up to 1,250 Watts of power (less than is required to run a four-slice toaster). The 215 kg car fea-

tures a solar array of 402 solar cells tiled across the gently curving nine-squaremetre Kevlar aeroshell. The chassis is made from lightweight Kevlar-Nidacore composites. A high-efficiency, lithiumpolymer battery pack and peak power trackers store and direct the sun’s energy. Phoenix II crossed the finish line on October 30th, coming in at 22nd place. While the team was thrilled to reach Adelaide and to have participated in the race, they were understandably disappointed that a mechanical failure forced them to trailer the car for the second half of the gruelling outback route. The dam-

age to the car was too extensive to repair and it would not be safe to continue the race. According to race rules, the team was credited for the kilometres they had completed under solar power. Congratulations to the McMaster Solar Car team for representing the University at the World Solar Challenge for the first time. n

Annual Lecture Featured Former Mac Prof The future of engineering in Canada was national consciousness is not aware of the topic addressed by Gilles Patry, the the role engineers play in society, he said. guest lecturer at the 26th AnHis presentation noted nual J.W. Hodgins Memorial three challenges facing the Lecture in October, 2009. Dr. engineering profession in Patry, P.Eng. and former proCanada: the need for engifessor of civil engineering neers to play a more active at McMaster, addressed not role in shaping public policies, only the issue of engineering the need to attract and retain education but also the need more women in the profesto make engineering a more sion, and the need to “re-engivisible profession. neer” engineering education Many people think engiand re-examine the accreditaneering in Canada is an invistion process. Gilles G. Patry ible profession, Dr. Patry said. Dr. Patry is a former He believes this is mainly because most president and vice-chancellor of the Canadians have only a vague and limited University of Ottawa (2001-2008), idea of what engineers do. As a result, the and served as that institution’s first

Dean of Engineering. This year’s Hodgins Lecture was held in conjunction with a Symposium of the Future of Engineering Education. The day-long event explored how engineering must adapt to remain relevant. There are many exciting opportunities for the profession through new developments in areas such as nanotechnology and biomedical, as well as new challenges, including globalization. Speakers included: Jonathan Fishbein (globalization), Doug Barber (innovation), Peter Topalovic (policy integration), Eugene Roman (entrepreneurship), Sarah Dickson (restoration of ecosystems), and Gord Irons, (sustainability). n The MacEngineer 15

Mac Hosts CFES Congress 2010

NEW FACULTY McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership Konstantinos Apostolou started his

Over 200 university engineering students from across Canada attended the 42nd annual Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) Congress hosted by the McMaster Engineering Society in January. More than 35 engineering societies were represented at the Congress, which serves as both the Annual General Meeting of the Federation and a leadership development forum for engineering students. The week-long event included leadership development sessions, informational presentations, guest speakers from industry, and a career fair. Founded in 1969, the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) is a not-for-profit organization that enhances student life by facilitating communication, the sharing of ideas, and the exchange of information between member schools. The CFES keeps abreast of the changes taking place in society that affect engineering students and the engineering profession, and actively promotes and showcases outstanding student achievements. n

16 The MacEngineer

position as CLA Assistant Professor in the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership in July, 2009. Prof. Apostolou completed a Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Minnesota in Chemical Engineering. He has been an instructor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University since 2005, while also holding a postdoctoral fellow/research associate appointment working with Dr. Hrymak. He teaches in the B.Tech. four-year Process Automation Technology Program.

Lucian Balan began his duties as CLA Assistant Professor in July, 2009. He completed his Ph.D. from McMaster, Mechanical Engineering, in 2006. Dr. Balan was also a Research Engineer in

the Robotics Lab at McMaster from 2001 to 2006, and most recently was a Sessional Professor at Mohawk College in Engineering Technology from 2007 to 2009. Prof. Balan teaches in the four-year B.Tech Automotive and Vehicle Technology program.

Andrew Willems joined the Partnership in July 2009 as a CLA Assistant Professor. Dr. Willems completed his Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Toronto, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto for one year. Subsequently, he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at McMaster with Drs. Nodwell and Junop. From 2007 to 2009, he held an assistant professor appointment in the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster, and taught undergraduate courses in biochemistry and molecular biology. Prof. Willems teaches the B.Tech.’s four-year Biotechnology program. n

In Remembrance Dr. Robert Horvath professor emeritus of civil engineering,

died suddenly on Friday November 27, 2009. Prof. Horvath taught at McMaster and undertook research studies in the area of geotechnical engineering. He was with the University for 19 years before retiring in 2001. He is survived by his wife Sylvia and family. A funeral service for Prof. Horvath was held on Wednesday, December 2nd at the Flamborough Christian Fellowship church in Millgrove, Ontario.

Tom Ricker, class of 64, taught stress analysis at Guelph

University while completing his Master’s degree at McMaster. His first position was with Westinghouse Atomic Energy Division on attachment at AECL and later at their heat transfer lab on Beach Road. In 1975 he started working independently and was a principal in a company that, among other things, worked on developing a mobile soybean extraction plant and a solvent recovery system. In 1989 he joined PBK which later became GENIVAR Consultants/ Cochrane Engineering. He worked in project management, piping, instrumentation, materials handling and stress analysis. Some of his many clients include Atomic Energy, Shell Oil, Imperial Oil, Ford, Procter and Gamble, Bruce Power, Molsons and Labatts. His last ten years were spent at General Motors Engine Plant in St. Catharines as a plant engineering specialist.

engineers without borders ingénieurs sans frontières


Members of the McMaster chapter of Engineers Without Borders attended the EWB 2010 National Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland in January. The national conference is EWB’s yearly opportunity to bring its members together. For four amazing days, overseas staff and volunteers, Canadian staff, the board of directors and the chapters are all in one place. It is four days of learning, sharing and working together to improve the organization and drive change in Canada and in developing communities. This high-calibre event drew passionate students and professionals from across Canada.


During the Conference, the McMaster Chapter was presented with the Most Improved Chapter award for its growing involvement in development-related issues. In addition to increasing its membership, the Chapter launched a series of initiatives to increase awareness of development issues among university and high school students, and the community.  These included the Root Causes of Poverty Workshop for first-year engineering students, an expanded outreach program to local high schools, lectures, and fundraising efforts. In early January, the Chapter hosted an EWB event on campus, featuring

two of its active members. Daniel Olsen and Boris Martin, gave presentations on tough and topical issues facing overseas development work: “Why Leadership Matters” and “Innovation Capacity at the Heart of Development”. Both Olsen and Martin, who are former Presidents of the McMaster EWB chapter, shared their experiences in Africa. Olsen is currently Director of EWB’s Governance and Rural Infrastructure program in Ghana; Martin is now Director of EWB’s Agriculture programs in Burkina Faso. n

L.E.A.P. & Venture NEWs Each summer, the Faculty of Engineering offers two educational summer camp opportunities: The Learning Enrichment Advancement Program (L.E.A.P.) introduces high school students to the fundamentals of engineering through lectures, hands-on activities, labs, industry tours and projects, while the Venture program of activities is specially designed for elementary students. Summer 2010 will see the introduction of some new camp initiatives. L.E.A.P. is offering five new or newly-revised courses to its stable of choices: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Physics and Energy Technology, Engineering and Management, and Chemical and Bioengineering. These courses are sure to interest high school students who are considering engineering as a profession. They also will enhance the selection for the Headstart program, whereby Grade 12 students enrolling at McMaster can apply their L.E.A.P. summer experience towards their first-year course load. Venture is expanding the Engineering and Science camps to include Novice Campers, those students entering Grades 1 and 2 in September 2010.

This camp will now include students from Grades 1 to 8. The Computers and Technology component has been opened to students entering Grade 3, so that it will include students from Grades 3 to 8. In the Engineering and Science camp, students immerse themselves in the exciting world of science through chemistry, physics and biology activities, and learn about the many fields of engineering, including mechanical, civil and

materials engineering. Students attending the Computers and Technology camp learn about the latest advancements in computing and software by designing projects and interacting with state-of-theart technology. For additional information on these initiatives and for all the details about the L.E.A.P. and Venture camps, visit our website at and n

The MacEngineer 17


Energy Audit Program Union Gas and the Faculty of Engineering are partnering on a new Energy Audit Program aimed at helping local schools and businesses reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Union Gas will provide $500,000 in funding for the program and will donate the specialized equipment needed to conduct the audits. Civil and mechanical engineering students will visit local schools and businesses to conduct detailed assessments of energy use, and recommend conservation strategies and productivity enhancements. The goal is to complete 40 energy audits over a two-year period. Professors Samir Chidiac and Michael Tait from the Department of Civil Engineering, and professors James Cotton and Mohamed Hamed from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, are overseeing the program.

Grad Students Recognized The School of Graduate Studies introduced a new award at the Graduate Students Recognition Day Awards Ceremony held in October. The Dean’s Award in Graduate Student Knowledge Translation and Innovation recognizes the ways in which graduate student research and scholarship can lead to positive societal, cultural, and/or economic change. Mohammed Swillam, a recently graduated PhD student in electrical and computer engineering, was one of the inaugural winners. He was recognized for developing new computational approaches for biomedical imaging and genetic analyses. The other engineering award winners were: Wasib S. Muhammad (engineering design) - GSA Honour Society (A Distinguished Service Award); Munir Eldesouki (electrical and computer engineering), Hassan Morsy (mechanical engineering), Kevin Ng (mechanical engineering), Olsya Peshko (computational engineering and science), Alireza Shoa (electrical and computer engineering) - The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Communicating Graduate Research; Michael Willand (biomedical engineering) - GSA Teaching Assistant Excellence Award. The GSA Award for Contributions by Non-Academic Staff acknowledges 18 The MacEngineer

contributions by staff. This year’s award was won by Lina Liu, research assistant in chemical engineering, whose work in support of graduate students has earned her the nickname “Lina the Great”. The annual awards ceremony, co-sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and the Graduate Students Association (GSA), recognizes graduate student excellence in communicating research, teaching assistance, knowledge translation and innovation, and leadership in athletics and in community service.

Canada Research Chair News Professor of materials science and engineering Gianluigi Botton has advanced to Tier one standing. The Canada Research Chair in Electron Microscopy of Nanoscale Materials is examining the composition, structure and bonding of nanostructured materials using advanced microscopy and spectroscopy. Antoine Deza, professor of computing and software had his Canada Research Chair in Combinatorial Optimization Chair renewed for a second term. His research focuses on combining theoretical and computational approaches to generate algorithms. Professor of electrical and computer engineering Thia Kirubarajan, Canada Research Chair in Information Fusion, has also had his chair renewed for a second term. He is working to develop advanced multi-source information fusion algorithms for large-scale systems. Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years. Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years.

Dean Elected to RSC David Wilkinson, Dean of the Faculty of

Engineering, has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is recognized for his significant contributions to materials engineering and science, and as a leader in the science and technology

of solid materials. Over the past three decades, his fundamental studies of the different levels of structure of metallic, ceramic and composite materials and their related properties have contributed to the understanding of advanced engineering materials. His induction took place on November 28, 2009 at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada is the country’s oldest and most prestigious scholarly organization. Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and are singled out for achieving excellence in their fields.

Toxin-detecting Paper In a paper published in the July 1, 2009 issue of Analytical Chemistry, John Brennan and his research team working with the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network describe a method for printing a toxindetecting biosensor on paper using a FujiFilm Dimatix Materials Printer. The process involves formulating a bio-ink: ink comprised of biocompatible silica nanoparticles is deposited on paper, followed by a second ink containing an enzyme. The resulting bio-ink forms a thin film of enzyme that is entrapped in the silica on paper. When the enzyme is exposed to a toxin, reporter molecules in the ink change colour in a manner that is dependent on the concentration of the toxin in the sample. (The process is similar to that of a home pregnancy test.) The goal for bioactive paper is to provide a rapid, portable, disposable and inexpensive way of detecting toxins, pathogens and viruses without the need for sophisticated instrumentation. Research showed that the printed enzyme retains full activity for at least two months when stored properly, suggesting that such sensor strips should have a good shelf life. Applications for portable bio-sensing papers include monitoring environmental and food-based toxins, performing simple biological tests in the first stages of detecting disease, and clinical applications in neuroscience, drug assessment and pharmaceutical development.

Successful Eng/Sci Olympics The 18th annual Engineering and Science Olympics and Open House, held on cam-

pus October 19, 2009, attracted over 1,000 high school students from 55 schools across Hamilton and southern Ontario. School teams participated in events such as the Build a Boat contest, Physics Paper Triathlon, Egg High Jump, Software Engineering Challenge, Mechanical Transporter, Mental Gymnastics, Engineer-

ing Jeopardy and Chemical Forensics. In the true spirit of the Olympics, they competed for prizes in categories of gold, silver and bronze. The prizes are actually McMaster tuition awards – more than $20,000 worth! The busy day included opportunities for campus tours, to visit departmental displays and to enjoy demonstrations hosted by The Let’s Talk Science McMaster Partnership Program, Engineering & Management, Engineering & Society, McMaster Engineering Society, and Engineers Without Borders. Other presentations included: “In Your Face Chemistry” by Dr. Randall DuMont from the Department of Chemistry, “How it’s Made: Engineering in the Real World”, and a lecture by Dr. Megumi Harada from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics on “Symmetry: Nature, Art & Mathematics”. Thanks are extended to the team of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students as well as staff from the Faculties of Engineering and Science who put a great deal of time and effort into this event. Special thanks to Deborah McIvor, special projects coordinator in the Faculty of Engineering. Gratitude is also extended to Dofasco who provided the lunch.

Shemilt Scholarship Established A University of New Brunswick graduate has established the Leslie W. Shemilt Scholarship to recognize Dr. Shemilt for inspiring him as a chemical engineer. Desmond

Green, the founder and CEO of MinChem

Dean of Engineering.

Environmental Services (now Indaver Ireland), completed his Master’s degree under Dr. Shemilt, who was a founding member of UNB’s Department of Chemical Engineering and inaugural head of the Department in 1960. The scholarship, with an annual value of $5,000, will be awarded to a student who has transferred from another Canadian university into the Bachelor of Chemical Engineering program at UNB Fredericton. Dr. Shemilt, the second dean of McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering and long-time faculty member, is currently an emeritus professor of chemical engineering. In December, colleagues, family and friends gathered at the University Club to celebrate his 90th birthday. The celebration and remarks were themed around the professor’s favourite pastime, the study of Sherlock Holmes and the works of Arthur Conan Doyle. During the happy occasion, Dr. Shemilt was elevated to the rank of Master Bootmaker by the Bootmakers of Toronto/Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada.

Listen to the Music

Planning Strategically to 2014 A new five-year strategic plan for the Faculty of Engineering focuses on teaching and research in sustainable engineering, the social responsibility of engineering, and increasing the number of female professors in the Faculty. Strategic Plan 2009 - 2014: Engineering a Sustainable Society, released in July 2009, is the culmination of more than a year’s work that incorporates the dreams, ambitions and goals of over 120 participants who attended a one-day retreat in 2008 – the Faculty’s anniversary year. It identifies five key themes: Enhancing Undergraduate Education, Enriching Graduate Education, Excellence in Research, Internationalization and the Global Engineer, and Outreach: Beyond McMaster. Each theme outlines specific goals and objectives to be pursued and implemented by 2014. The Faculty’s mission and vision statements have also been updated to reflect the new priorities. The strategic plan can be viewed at eng. Printed copies are also available through the Office of the

Engineering grad Steve Mann (Electrical B.Eng. ’89 and M.Eng. ‘93), an associate professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, is the inventor of the hydraulophone, a musical instrument that makes music out of water. The hydraulophone combines the simplicity of the piano with the interface of the tin flute or recorder. Sounds are made by placing fingers or the

palm of the hand over finger holes through which jets of water spout; chords can be played by stopping up multiple jets at the same time. The instrument has been patented by FUNtain, the company founded by Mann, and comes in two models. Nessie is great for individual families; the larger Poseidophone is suitable for installation in public parks and splash pools. The hydraulophone was nominated by the Smithsonian Institute for the CooperHewitt Peoples’ Design Award 2009, and it rose to be included in the top 10 of all designs nominated from around the world. Check out how it works at

Engineering Grad is Tops Kevin Mumford (PhD, Civ Eng `09) re-

ceived the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal at the Fall Convocation in November 2009. The medal is presented annually to the graduate student with the highest academic standing at McMaster during the academic year. Dr. Mumford’s research focused on identifying contaminants polluting groundwater, such as The MacEngineer 19

gasoline and PCBs, and finding ways to address problems encountered. He is continuing his research studies with an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario.

• Laboratory for Advanced Photovoltaic Research, Rafael Kleiman, professor of engineering physics and Canada Research Chair in MicroElectroMechanical Systems, $5,123,758

Funding for Labs Received

• McMaster Intense Positron Beam Facility, Peter Mascher, professor of engineering physics and William Sinclair Chair in Optoelectronics, $2,326,166

Three professors have received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund to help equip their labs. Martin von Mohrenschildt, chair of the Department of Computing and Software, together with professor Judith Shedden and professor Scott Watter of the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, received $235,407 for modifications to the motion simulator to create different immersive environments for driving and flying with high fidelity stimuli. Gregory Wohl, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received $250,000 to help establish a Laboratory for Bone Adaptation and Biomechanics, which will undertake multidisciplinary biomechanical engineering to explore how bone responds to mechanical environments such as injury, diet, surgical interventions and pharmaceutical therapies. Michael Noseworthy, assistant professor of both radiology and electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded $100,000 for his project on non-invasive imaging of healthy and diseased human skeletal muscle. His lab, the only one like it in Canada and one of only a handful globally, is geared to evaluating muscle health and disease in an non-invasive fashion.

Engineering Project Selected for Provincial Funding Seven diverse and cutting-edge research projects within the Faculty received over $24 million in funding from the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) in November 2009: • Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems, John Luxat, professor of engineering physics and NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Safety Analysis, $9,172,600 • Biointerfaces Institute, John Brash, university professor of chemical engineering and director, McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering (John Brennan, Faculty of Science, is the principal investigator from McMaster), $7,227,157 20 The MacEngineer

• G-ScalE: Gaming Scalability Environment, Jacques Carette, associate professor of computing and software, $258,884 • Extreme Dynamic Load Simulator, Wael El-Dakhakhni, assistant professor of civil engineering and Martini, Mascarin and George Chair in Masonry Design, $110,000 • Thermal Energy Recovery and Management Testing Platform, James Cotton, associate professor of mechanical engineering, $99,492

Innovation Will Promote Safer, Cheaper Drugs Ravi Selvaganapathy, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is part of a team that has developed a palm-sized, automated, micro-injector that can insert proteins, DNA and other biomolecules into individual cells at volumes higher than current procedures, and at a fraction of the cost. The micro-injector has a cell-wide channel cast on a silicon chip that guides cells and embryos to the injection site. A similar channel guides the injection reagent to a needle as thin as 10 micrometers (one-tenth the diameter of a human hair). The researchers have developed a buckling method to drive the needle through a cell’s pliable outer membrane accurately and to the proper depth. The injection dosage is controlled electrically, as is monitoring of the needle’s position. The researchers have also developed methods to sharpen the needle, ensuring minimal injection damage or interference to the cell. This important innovation will allow scientists to increase preclinical trials for drug development and genetic engineering, and provide greater control of the process. The research and paper were co-authored by Arash Noori, MASc (2008) in mechanical engineering, and Joanna Wilson, assistant professor of biology, at McMaster

Watch for Them on TV! Two women engineering alumni successfully auditioned to be hosts for a new television technology show called Gadget Girlz. Carolyn Cerny (Chemical ’08) and Ethel Macasia (Software ’07) were informed they have been accepted as hosts for the program, which starts filming in January 2010 and is scheduled to launch in March. The show will appear on Men TV, a specialty channel partly owned by Canwest Media Inc. The show is a collaboration between Positive Living Productions of Toronto and Men TV.

Professor Waguih ElMaraghy head of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Windsor, was named a Fellow of Engineers Canada in honour of exceptional contributions to the engineering profession in Canada. Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering and license the country’s professional engineers. There are more than 160,000 professional engineers in Canada. Prof. ElMaraghy is the husband of Dr. Hoda ElMaraghy, formerly of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster.

Transit Tags Provide Worker Safety Transit workers may soon be wearing radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to improve safety along subway tracks. A $1.4 million research collaboration between the McMaster RFID Applications Lab (MRAL), Bombardier Transportation and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the three-year project will develop further location awareness technology used in Real Time Location Systems (RTLS). The RFID tags will emit a signal that notifies subway vehicles of the exact location of track inspectors and other trackside workers. Currently, subway operators use various manual methods for indicating the presence of inspection crews including system-wide broadcasts, coloured lights that indicate sections where work is occurring, or lookouts who notify track workers of approaching rail vehicles. The project is funded by a $600,000 grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, with the remainder coming from project partners. n

All chemical engineering graduates and alumni are invited to attend the Department’s annual Graduate Seminar Day, to be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. The event is an opportunity for students to present their current research and for industry participants to identify and recruit talented graduates. The keynote address, given by a distinguished alumnus, will be given by Dr. Fraser Forbes, Professor and Chair of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta. Dr. Forbes’ research focuses on three areas: process modeling and identification, process control, and engineering optimization. Attendance is free, but registration is required. Please view the details on the ChemEng Graduate Club’s website. In October, the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) was recognized by NSERC for its work in multivariate statistical methods - analyzing multiple variables to predict outcomes - that have been applied to fault diagnosis systems and used to monitor operating performance. MACC researchers were recognized for pioneering real-time optimization, the continual evaluation and adjustment of operating conditions to increase productivity. Professor Christopher Swartz, director of the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC), accepted the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation on behalf of consortium members at a ceremony held at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. ChemEng student Wei Chen was named runner up for NSERC’s Innovation Challenge Award. Congratulations to Chris Swartz and the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) group for winning this year’s prestigious NSERC Synergy Award. The Synergy Awards have honoured outstanding university-industry research collaborations. MACC was recognized for its work in multivariate statistical methods – analyzing multiple variables to predict outcomes that have been applied to fault diagnosis systems and used to monitor operating performance. The researchers pioneered real-time optimization, the continual evaluation and adjustment of

operating conditions to increase productivity. Wei Chen was named runner up for the

Innovation Challenge Award. He received $5,000 for inventing a chemical additive that increases the wet-web strength of paper, preserves recyclability and uses less water in papermaking. The invention could have major implications for recycling, as much less energy would be required to recycle paper products made with this additive compared to products made with traditional additives.

the 2008/09 academic year: Giuseppe Del Gobbo, Ali Peiravian, Laura Young and Sarah Young (Pictured below, clockwise from upper left). Each received a

Congratulations to Shiping Zhu on his promotion to Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (FCIC). Congratulations are also extended to Heather Sheardown for the 20/20: NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Network. NSERC is providing $5 million to the network over five years and other funding is being provided by industrial and institutional partners, as well as the Ontario Centres of Excellence, over the same period. The Network, which includes researchers from McMaster, Queen’s, Toronto and Waterloo, will focus on developing and commercializing new biomaterials, medical devices, and drug delivery devices for treating vision disorders.

Civil Engineering Sarah Dickson, assistant professor of civil engineering, is the recipient of an Early Researcher Awards from the Ontario provincial government. Dickson is undertaking groundwater research to ensure its safety as a source of drinking water. The work combines field and laboratory experiments with computer modeling to identify situations that cause water sources to become vulnerable to pathogen contamination. The ERA award, presented in August 2009 and valued at $140,000, is used by the researcher to help build a team of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians. Each award is matched with $50,000 from the University.

The Department congratulates four undergraduate students who have been named to the Provost’s Honour Roll for

perfect score – a 12.0 sessional average on at least 30 units. This exceptional achievement is a testimony to their talents, effort and determination. These Honour Roll recipients, along with 65 Dean’s Honour List achievers, were acknowledged at a special event hosted by the Department in October 2009.

Computing and Software Congratulations to Antoine Deza, whose Tier 2 CRC in Combinatorial Optimization was renewed in September. Commercial software developers are facing a paradigm shift in which almost all software performance in the future will come from the ability to process in parallel, both at the large scale, utilizing clusters of computers, and in the small scale, taking advantage of instruction architectures originally developed to support computer graphics. Recognizing the need for new approaches, IBM has turned to McMaster researchers Christopher Anand, Wolfram Kahl and Spencer Smith

to prototype novel scheduling algorithms for computer chips containing multiple processing cores. IBM chose McMaster for this work because our Coconut development tool consistently beats standard methods by factors from 3X to 5X on small-scale parallelization.  Over three The MacEngineer 21


Chemical Engineering

years, IBM and NSERC will contribute $472,000 to support McMaster graduate students. We are sorry to say good-bye to Jan Modersitzki who will be returning to Germany in the New Year.

Electrical & Computer Engineering Barna Szabados, professor emeritus, has

been named a member of the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) Order of Honour for his outstanding record of contribution in the area of admission to the profession. Two members of the department have been awarded Ontario Research Foundation (ORF) funding. Natalia Nikolova received $111,391 to advance her research in non-invasive imaging for applications such as early-stage breast cancer detection. Alexandru Patriciu received $69,317 to advance developments of ‘smart’ robots for surgery. Congratulations to grad students Munir Eldesouki, Mohammed Swillam, and Alireza Shoa who won Graduate Student Associa-

tion (GSA) Awards. Our congratulations to Thia Kirubarajan, Canada Research Chair in Information Fusion, who had his Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Information Fusion renewed for another five years. Congratulations to Dongmei Zhao and Tim Davidson who have each been awarded an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement. The research award is worth $120,000 over 3 years. Jamal Deen has been elected a Fellow of

the American Physical Society (APS) – the first engineering professor at McMaster to receive this recognition. He was also recently awarded the prestigious Thomas W. Eadie Medal by the Royal Society

of Canada, and was presented with a technology achievement award by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce at its annual awards gala.

of materials engineering in Canada. The award was presented at the 2009 Conference of Metallurgists in Sudbury, Ontario in August.

Max Wong, Canada Research Chair Professor of Signal Processing, is the recipient of the Humboldt Research Award. The award is administered by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and granted “in recognition of a researcher’s entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in future”. Valued at 60,000 EUR, the award will be presented in June 2010, and includes an invitation to spend research time in Germany.

Mechanical Engineering Congratulations to two of our outstanding students! Andrew Lambert is the winner of the 2009 Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal award, for attaining the highest graduating average in the department. Lindsay Kettel received the 2009 Mechanical Engineering Iroquois Trophy, awarded to a graduating student on the basis of academic excellence, participation in campus life, and general leadership. n

Materials Science & Engineering Prof. Gianluigi Botton is the recipient

of the M. Brian Ives Award of ASM International for leadership and achievement in the materials science and engineering community. The award was presented at the Materials Science & Technology 2009 event in October in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Andrew Lambert

Dr. Gordon Irons, Director of the Steel

Research Centre, is the winner of the University of Alberta’s Brimacombe Prize for 2008. The prize recognizes outstanding contributions to materials process engineering with significant scientific or industrial impact, and the recipient must be an innovator and visionary for a better global society. Dr. Gary Purdy is the recipient of the

2009 ArcelorMittal Dofasco Award which recognizes members of the Metallurgical Society of CIM who have made significant contributions to the advancement

Lindsay Kettel

Message from the Associate Dean (continued from page 4) in Integrated Water Resources Management, and (2) there appears to be renewed Canadian government interest in India. Dr. Murthy and NIE have invited McMaster to send a delegation to Mysore in the February/March 2010 time frame to view their facilities and discuss prima facie the partnership opportunities. 22 The MacEngineer

Finally, on the occasion of my recent participation in a research conference near Tokyo, Japan, I had the opportunity to present McMaster’s – and in particular, the Faculty of Engineering’s – research portfolio to the Science and Technology (S&T) and Economic Development and Trade (EDT) Officers of the Canadian Embassy in Japan.There was significant interest in our activities in the automotive sector, renewable energy (solar

and nuclear), nanotechnology, and some of the world-class research infrastructure, both existing and recently funded.The S&T and EDT Offices are eager to work with us on establishing contacts with Japanese academic and private sector partners. I look forward to connecting with our readers again in 2010 with additional updates on these initiatives. n

Cecconi, Michael (Mech. ‘98): As of June 2009, my wife and two twin boys are living in Fairfax, Virginia, where I work with Exxon Mobil at their headquarters in the change management area of a major systems upgrade project, focusing on the North American lubricants and specialties business. Prior to this move, we lived in Calgary for four years, having moved there with Imperial Oil from Toronto in 2005. We are looking forward to being closer to family and friends in Ontario! Dobson, David (Electrical & Mgt. ‘86): David was appointed Executive Vice President and President of Pitney Bowes Management Services in August 2009. The division is a leading global provider of outsourced mail and document management services to large corporations, law firms, universities and government agencies. He will also lead the development and deployment of an Enterprise Sales and Solutions Group for Pitney Bowes, responsible for working closely with named enterprise customers to deliver solutions that leverage the breadth of Pitney Bowes’ products, services and expertise. Before joining Pitney Bowes in 2008, he was CEO of Corel Corporation.

Juneja, Prabhat (Computer ’88): My wife Seema and I are thrilled to announce that our three-year-old twins, Daiven and Arya, have a baby sister, Katina, born July 27, 2009. We would love to hear from old friends at:”

Ng, Kelvin T.W. (Civil B.Eng. ’02, M.Eng. ’03) and My wife Jennifer (nee Lam, B.Com.’02) have relocated to Saskatchewan from Hong Kong, and I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Regina. In 2008, I received my Ph.D. in civil engineering from HKUST. My research interests focus on sustainable solid waste management and municipal landfill design and operation. Visit me at:”

Ostrowercha, Rob (Civil ’02) and Melissa (nee Mitchell, ’02): We are excited to announce the birth of our first son, Corbin Julian, on October 17, 2009 at McMaster University Medical Centre.

Teresa Veldhuis, (Chemical ’93) Craig Duff, and big brother, Cory, welcome with love a precious baby girl, Isla Claire Duff, at 10:51 am on 15 Oct 2009 weighing 3445 g and 52.5 cm long. The name Isla is Celtic and sounds like island, which is what it means. Claire is in honour of her Opa (Clarence).

Patnaik, Prakash (Metallurgy M.Eng. ’80, Ph.D. “84): In September 2009, Dr. Patnaik was appointed to the Research & Technology Organization (RTO) of NATO, the Applied Vehicle Technology Panel. The RTO is the primary NATO organization for defence science and technology, promoting and conducting research and information exchange. Dr. Patnaik is a Director at the Institute of Aerospace Research (IAR) at the National Research Council Canada, and the Chief Defence Scientist of IAR-NRC. In July, he received a Fellow award from the Canadian Academy of Engineering.


Byrne, Mary (Civil Eng. & Mgt. ’83): After several years in natural gas, I have taken a position at Toronto Hydro, as Manager, Standards & Policy Planning. I’m responsible for electricity distribution design policy, material and construction standards, and relationship management with other utilities and external agencies such as the Electrical Safety Authority.

Rosato, David (Electrical & Mgt. ’08): married Marisa Caruso (Commerce, ’07) in September 2009. I have taken a position with Praxair as Electrical Project Specialist –EIT.

Simovic, Ljubica (Chem. M.Eng.’84): Rade and I are delighted to announce the arrival of our granddaughter Baie Vance born on October 11, 2009, weighing 8lb 5oz.  Proud parents of this adorable little girl are our daughter Nancy and her husband Matt Vance of Diamond Harbour, New Zealand.  Baie is welcomed with love by her sister Mila and her uncle Peter. Standish, Beau (Eng. Physics ’02): After graduating, I worked in Boston with an R&D start-up company, then decided to enter medicine. I was accepted into the Medical Biophysics program at the University of Toronto in 2004 and completed my Ph.D. in 2009. We took similar courses to the medical students, but our focus was on developing technology for use in hospitals. I currently live in Waterdown with my wife and baby daughter. I also run a consulting company called Anepsion Inc: helping companies develop their medically-related products for commercialization. Zorko, Andrew (Civil ‘07): Carol Ann and I are extremely happy to announce that our baby boy Caleb Alexander was born on Wednesday September 23, 2009, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz. n

The MacEngineer 23


Mac’s Special Presence at the Olympics

Most days, you’ll find Peter Jonasson running the labs for senior engineering students. Since 2000, he’s been the very capable laboratory supervisor for the Department of Engineering Physics. This year, from February 12 to 28, Jonasson will be in Whistler, British Columbia, overseeing technical operations for the broadcast of biathlon events and supporting the cross-country ski broadcast during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. As deputy venue technical manager (DVTM), he will report to Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver (OBSV),

the International Olympic Committee’s broadcast arm. It provides all Olympic pictures and images to broadcast organizations which have bought rights. His team of 168 technicians from 14 countries is responsible for ensuring that all broadcast equipment – cameras, cabling, generators and dozens of other gadgets – seamlessly transmit images of the biathlon and cross country competitions to the International Broadcast Centre. He’ll also have to contend with a number of challenges: the distances covered by these events mean that equipment and staff are strung out; snow can hamper access to equipment and cold weather can affect its operation. There is also the wide variety of equipment that needs to be monitored and maintained. To date, Jonasson has helped broadcast events for five Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games, a Pan American Game, and two Goodwill Games. Whistler will be his first Canadian Olympic Games.

He got involved in broadcasting by being in the right place at the right time. A Hamiltonian, Jonasson graduated from Mohawk College with a technology diploma and worked at Channel 11 TV for 20 years, where he was a Mobile Engineer in Charge. A colleague mentioned having trouble finding a broadcast technician who spoke German to work on the broadcast of Ted Turner’s new Goodwill Games in Russia. Since Jonasson speaks German, he got the job. According to Jonasson, working at the Olympics is the ultimate broadcasting job. The pressure is intense; if something goes wrong, the whole world will know. But like Jonasson, the technicians behind the cameras work passionately to ensure the world won’t miss one moment of the excitement. Visit to read more about Peter’s broadcast travels, and to view amazing photos submitted by his colleagues from around the world. n


24 The MacEngineer

MacEngineer Winter 2010  

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

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