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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Winter 2011



Classmates Donate $3 Million to Support Eco-Entrepreneurship – page 4

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Dean of Engineering – Dr. David Wilkinson are in business, creative disciplines or social sciences for example. A further development involves moving entrepreneurship down to the undergraduate level through the introduction of a stream in the Engineering and Management program. I am very excited about the way in which our entrepreneurship activities are developing. They offer the real opportunity for our students and for the Faculty by helping Hamilton to become a hub for the genesis of successful knowledgebased businesses. Coming back to sustainability you will see a story on page 9 about Clare Blakelock’s journey which has led her to an internship on waste management in the Philippines. Clare is a student in engineering and public policy and this six month project will enable her to This issue of the MacEngineer, as always, will apply her new knowledge first hand. give you a sense of the many and varied activi- The other story with a strong sustainability ties that the Faculty has been up to over the twist is on page 12. It outlines a concept I past months. You will perhaps notice on a have been working on for the past year to couple of themes that I would like to address establish a McMaster Engineering Centre for and perhaps set in context. The first theme Experiential Learning – ExCEL for short. I am is sustainability, the other entrepreneurship, more convinced every day that our best stuand the strong connection between them. dents gain as much from the work that they Let’s start with the announcement of a new do outside the classroom as in. We certainly endowed chair in eco-entrepreneurship, due pride ourselves on the quality of our formal to a gift from the 1962 class of Mechanical teaching and on the outstanding grasp of funEngineering. This group, from the Faculty’s damentals with which our students graduate. second graduating year, has maintained The value of that education cannot be overesstrong contact over the years and decided to timated. Reinforcing that knowledge though celebrate their upcoming 50th anniversary by enabling students to put it to practical use by giving back to the Faculty. The new chair also pays enormous dividends. To that end will be housed in the Walter G. Booth School our co-op programs have now expanded to of Engineering Practice (BSEP). It will enable the point where over half of our students will the school to specialize in entrepreneurship have at least 12 months of engineering-related driven by eco-effective design and governwork experience under their belts prior to ment policy on environmental sustainability graduation. For many of our best students linked to sustainable business practices. This experiential learning means getting involved represents a tremendous growth opportunity in our many clubs and teams – Solar Car, Mini for BSEP. You will notice that we are also Baja, Formula SAE,Troitsky bridge building expanding entrepreneurship education in a team, Concrete toboggan team, robot racing different direction though the introduction team, Engineers without Borders – and the list of the team-based technology entrepreneurgoes on. These teams are small businesses in ship and innovation program that will enable a way. They need to raise and manage their students with technology backgrounds to own funds, address critical safety and regulateam up with other students whose degrees tory issues, innovate to develop better tech-

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nology than the competition, take calculated risks and so on. Unfortunately we have never had a dedicated space to house these activities, nor the funding to properly support the work that the students do.The ExCEL building would foster more collaboration and feed the creativity and entrepreneurial aspirations of the students. A critical part of the concept for ExCEL is to make it a building that showcases emerging technologies for sustainable infrastructure. This has captured the attention of our students who have come forward with proposals to work on various aspects of the building through their capstone design experiences. I am very gratified by the interest and creativity shown by these students. Later this year we will be approaching the students formally through a referendum to approach a voluntary fee that would pay for a portion the building and its operation. I will also be drawing up plans to solicit donations to this venture from alumni and corporations. ExCEL has the opportunity to transform the Faculty by producing graduates that are ready to innovate, right out of the blocks. Finally, on a personal note I want to add my sincere congratulations to Stephen Elop on his new position as CEO of Nokia. I knew Stephen as a student when he was a summer intern working on the first Engineering computing course in the early 80’s, and have followed his meteoric rise through the IT corporate world with great interest. As Stephen will readily tell you, the experiences he had working on Faculty projects as a student had a tremendous impact on his career. As I travel around the globe and meet many of our most accomplished alumni I am struck by how many of them had such experiences while students at McMaster. That is why I have made the Engineering Student Experiential Learning Fund my highest priority for alumni annual giving. My most heartfelt thanks to those of you who continue to support your alma mater in this and other ways. You are providing the margin of excellence that will enable our students to be the best that they can be. n

On the Cover: Mechanical Engineering class of ‘62: Walter Booth, Irvine Hollis, Del Smith and Julius Brokloff. Missing: David Male and George Menzies.


John Saw – A Clear and Rapid Future All engineering students eventually have to decide on one particular discipline. That decision was easy for electrical and computing alumnus John Saw (B.Eng. '85, M.Eng. '86, Ph.D. '88). "Electrical engineering is a broad field and offers a lot of opportunities and options," he notes. When he entered the program in the early 1980s, wireless and the Internet were just starting; he believed they would play important roles in the future of engineering. As it turned out, he made an excellent choice. But an even better decision, he says, was to attend McMaster University.The Brantford teen fell in love with the campus during a pre-application tour. In addition, the University was well-known and respected for its engineering program. But the fact that the Faculty of Engineering offered him a fouryear scholarship covering "tuition and more" clinched the deal. ("Mac really wanted me," he jokes.)   Currently, John Saw is the Senior Vice-President and CTO of U.S.A.-based Clearwire Corp. Clearwire, founded in 2003 and based in Kirkland, Washington, is a provider of mobile broadband services through its 4th Generation (4G) network based on the IEEE 802.16e standard called WiMAX. It is the first wireless carrier in North America to roll out a nationwide 4G network. It supplies the super-fast wireless service to its own customers, and also wholesales the network to a diverse group of large corporations like Sprint, Comcast, BestBuy, CBeyond, Brighthouse and Time-Warner. Saw, who calls himself one of the company's "founding employees" (he was its second hire), is currently responsible for the company's advanced wireless network infrastructure

and technology, and is managing its network development. "I am managing one of the largest construction projects in the United States at this time.   And we are building this network at a rate that has never been done before in wireless.  We are bringing up about two cell sites per hour."   Saw came to Clearwire following stints at Nortel and AT&T. He was instrumental in developing AT&T Wireless' digital wireless broadband product, one of the industry's earliest. He also holds five U.S. patents in wireless technologies.   But none of this would have been possible without Mac and the educational opportunities it offered, he says. When preparing to enter graduate school, he knew he wanted something more than straight theory. Dr. Colin Campbell was a great mentor, he recalls. "We got our hands dirty in the lab where we built and tested stuff." Much of that stuff turned out to be ground-breaking work that would eventually have application for handheld devices. 'Everything I learned about wireless, I learned at Mac."   Saw came to Canada from Malaysia as an international student, and completed his high school studies in Brantford, Ontario. "I came to Canada with nothing as a foreign student. McMaster played a key role in my development as a wireless engineer, and that has helped me rise through the ranks. It all goes back to those days at Mac, working closely with Dr. Campbell, Dr. Simon Haykin at the CRL and Dr. Max Wong."   Saw is married to Mac alumna Diane (B.A. Hons. English, 1986 and the couple has two boys who keep them busily involved with sports and music. He enjoys spending time with the family, and plays a little golf "when I have the time".  Just recently, Dr. Saw was honored by Seattle Business Magazine as one of the city’s Top Innovators in 2010. n

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 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 email:

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Classmates Donate $3 Million to Support Eco-Entrepreneurship A class of engineering graduates from 1962 has banded together to donate $3,043,000 to support entrepreneurs developing and bringing sustainable technologies to market. The funds will establish the Class of ‘62 Mechanical Engineering Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship and a Fund for Sustainable Entrepreneurship.The Chair will reside in the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, with funds available to support students in developing innovations. A search date for the chair holder has yet to be determined. The six alumni making the donation are: Walter Booth (Burford, ON), Julius Brokloff (Mallorytown, ON), Irvine Hollis (Chatsworth, ON), David Male (Saskatoon, SK), George Menzies (Hamilton, ON), and Del Smith (Markham, ON). It is the largest donation ever made to the Faculty of Engineering. “We thought a gift from past students to support future entrepreneurs would be an ideal way to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the class,” said Walter Booth on behalf of the donors, who still keep in close contact.“Being part of a first class and entrepreneurial ourselves, we appreciate the type of support and encouragement new ventures need to succeed.” The Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship will investigate how public policy can be developed and implemented to encourage entrepreneurship in sustainable technologies. Government environmental and regulatory

policies can strongly influence potential opportunities to develop new products and services, and determine the ability of a business to succeed. A recent example is Ontario Power Authority’s feed in tariff (FIT) program. It provides a guaranteed rate for clean energy generation that has spurred a wave of investment in solar technology in Ontario.

“This is a generous, visionary and necessary donation if we are serious about building a sustainable future,” “This is a generous, visionary and necessary donation if we are serious about building a sustainable future,” said Patrick Deane, president and vice-chancellor of McMaster University.“The donation shows the impact a group of friends, who came together in a class some 50 years ago, can have on the future.That’s the power of universities in building lasting and influential friendships.That’s the power of alumni.” Today’s gift builds on the $3 million previously donated by Mr. Booth to help establish the School of Engineering Practice. The School was formed in 2003 to provide engineers and scientists with the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary Master’s studies in entrepreneurship and innovation, public policy, engineering design, and manufactur-

ing engineering. There are 120 students currently enrolled. “There is no one better at taking ideas and turning them into reality than engineers who are also entrepreneurs,” said David Wilkinson, dean of the Faculty of Engineering.“If anyone is up to the challenge of building a sustainable environment, they are.They already have the problem-solving skills. We provide the guidance and environment for them to become entrepreneurial.The support our alumni have shown today is both inspirational and practical in terms of achieving success.” The Faculty launched a five-year strategic plan in 2009 focused on engineering a sustainable society. “Generating an idea is just the first step in addressing a problem or opportunity,” said Samir Chidiac, director of the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice.“Developing marketing strategies, addressing regulatory requirements, financing, and design and manufacturing, all weigh heavily in achieving viable solutions.The new Chair will help bring together these considerations to increase opportunities for success.” The Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice is home to three centres supported by academic, industry and government partners: the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, General Motors of Canada Centre for Engineering Design, and the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation. n

Frank Neuperger – Successful Mac Grad Proud To Be a Mentor PROFILE

Frank Neuperger comments that his engineering degree equipped him with the analytical skills that assist with the solving of complex technical problems. The Electrical Engineering grad (’85) says the Mac degree has also greatly helped the business side of his career. Neuperger is owner and General Manager of Buffalo-based SIMREX Corporation, a company that develops and builds licensed and unlicensed frequency radio modems for many data applications. Its radios are used in such

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diverse applications as NASA’s Space Shuttle landing system and the Electric Light Parade at the Disney Theme Parks. “Having the engineering degree gives me an edge in negotiating/structuring partnerships and contracts,” he says.“As General Manager and front man for the company, I have to think on my feet, and having the technical depth gives an additional edge in winning the confidence of our prospects and customers.” Neuperger has always been keen about digital signal processing (DSP), optics, holography and control systems. Prior to attending McMaster, he had obtained a two-year and a three-year diploma from Mohawk College

in electronics and computer electronics, respectively. He happened to enroll in a threeday DSP seminar offered by McMaster’s Drs. Simon Haykin and Max Wong, which covered much of Oppenheim and Schafer’s book on digital signal processing. He was equally impressed by the professors and by the wealth of material covered.“I was sold on the CRL (the Communications Research Laboratory).” After taking additional courses at York and the University of Toronto part-time, he entered second-year engineering at McMaster in 1982. Most of his experience has been gained from working in the wireless industry as research engineer, laboratory supervisor and consultant, before founding SIMREX E

Alumnus Takes Helm of Nokia Computer Engineering & Management graduate Stephen Elop has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia. The Finland-based mobile communications giant appointed the 46-year-old McMaster grad to his new position on September 10, 2010, making him one of the most prominent Canadian-born executives in the world. Elop, a software expert, comes to Nokia from Microsoft Corporation, where he served as President of the company’s business division. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer of Juniper Networks, a leading provider of high-performance network infrastructure and, prior to that appointment, he served as President of worldwide field operations for Adobe Systems Inc. The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree to Stephen Elop in 2009. n

le Future The Mobile Future

Corporation in 1992.“I’ve done lots of really challenging technical work, ranging from military displays and guidance systems and satellite/terrestrial communications to optical data storage.” He also has three patents. He is most proud of his involvement as a mentor in FIRST Robotics at the high school level. Founded in 1989 in the United States, FIRST Robotics is a program for young people from ages 6 to 18 that is designed to inspire them to enter the science and technology fields through mentorships that build B.E ng.M ' 8 6, B.Eng.M '86, D.S c. ' 0 9 D.Sc. '09 science, engineering and technology skills. “One hundred percent of the graduating high President and CEO, President and CEO, school student robotics team members with whom I’ve worked over the last four years A pril 1, 2post011, 2 : 3 0 p.m. April 1, 2011, 2:30 p.m. have gone on to technical or science secondary studies, with most entering110 5 MDCL – MDCL – 1105 the engineering field.” SIMREX is a sponsor of the program and provides tools as well as workspace. Neuperger, who divides his time between Niagara/Buffalo and Arizona, is married and he free public lecture free public lecture and his wife have two children. His leisure-time passion is speed sailing.“I spend a lot of time in the summer speed-sailing my hydrofoils at 30-plus knots on Lake Ontario – a Canadian record attempt is planned.” n


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Matt Pringle – Staying the Course Engineering alumnus Matt Pringle has a job that many would envy. He’s Manager of Research & Development with the United States Golf Association (USGA). Yes, he’s visited some of the most famous golf courses in the world and, yes, he has met some famous people. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Queens University in 1993, Matt worked for the engineering firm of Hatch Associates in Toronto. When he decided to obtain a doctorate in finite element analysis and applied mechanics, he chose McMaster because of its well-respected reputation in these areas. But the decision was also a pragmatic one, he admits – his wife, Dr. Tracy Clarke-Pringle, was a grad student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the time. At the USGA, Matt is responsible for overseeing the research on the physics and mechanics of playing the game of golf. With his team of three staff members and two consultants, Matt explores what he calls

“the impact mechanics and dynamics” between the ball and club, the aerodynamic properties of the golf ball, and the very complex impact of the ball with the playing surfaces, both turf and sand. Because the USGA is a regulatory body, there are additional challenges such as working with equipment manufacturers and with sister organization, R&A Rules Limited. (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews is the governing body of golf worldwide, except in the United States.) Matt says his engineering degree has been invaluable to his career. “Basic research consumes about 50% of my time. Having a Ph.D. in engineering has given me the skills to pursue research in a systematic manner. Having a doctorate, especially one from McMaster, also lends me credibility with my colleagues and peers, and gives my superiors confidence that my work is competent and reputable.” That “work” includes the development of two devices which have become integral to the management of the sport. Matt devised and created, with the help of his R&D colleagues, a device for measuring the flexibility of golf club heads at impact. It has been adapted as the worldwide standard for

limiting the flexibility of golf clubs. The PGA TOUR asked him to train their rules officials. That was a tough job, he jokes – three weeks at the Rules Office in Maui overlooking the Pacific Ocean with humpback whales breaching in the distance. The first person to arrive for testing was Steve Williams, caddie to Tiger Woods. The second device, called the TruFirm, measures the impact firmness of the turf. He’s tested green firmness at many US Opens and other championships, as well as putting surfaces at such famous courses as Pinehurst #2, Winged Foot, Cherry Hills, Oakmont and Torrey Pines. He is adamant about the quality of the education at McMaster. “Having worked in the U.S. for ten years with peers from this country, Japan, China and the UK, I can say without hesitation that the education I received … is clearly world class.” Matt travels a great deal and fortunately, for now, the couple’s two children are young enough to accompany them. He spends time enjoying their 85-year-old home in Bordentown, New Jersey and maintaining a 1967 MG Midget. n

Engineering Masters and PhDs On Rise The Ontario government, recognizing that the province is moving away from a reliance on manufacturing to a more knowledge-based economy, wants to ensure there will be trained professionals who can handle the newer typically high-level jobs. The government’s initiative of providing funding to encourage university graduates to continue on to Masters and PhD programs seems to be working. “McMaster has done very well under this new mandate,” says Heather Sheardown, associate dean, School of Graduate Studies for Engineering.The Faculty of Engineering in particular, she adds, has seen a healthy increase in the number of students continuing on in their studies, especially in Masters’ programs.“Our numbers of domestic Master’s students have risen by almost 100 in five years.” She notes that the percentage increase in international Masters’ students has grown at a similar pace.“So our mix of domestic

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and international students has not changed, which is good because one of the great things about graduate school is the diverse population of students and the experiences that this group brings to their programs.” David Wilkinson, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, actively supported the initiative by offering signing bonuses for domestic students opting to do a Master’s at McMaster, and by providing extra funds to young faculty members to hire domestic graduate students to assist with research. Everyone realizes that a Master’s program trains students to think like a researcher.They learn to develop independent thinking skills and are expected to work independently. A student who graduates with a Master’s degree is well-suited to enter the types of jobs supported by a knowledge-based economy: government management positions, research and academia. A student entering a two-year Master’s

program can expect to lose two years of income. However, because of the high level of job opportunities that are open to such students when they graduate, they can quickly make up those losses, Dr. Sheardown explains.There is an added bonus for female graduates: their job opportunities are more likely to provide a better work/life balance than offered by jobs obtained with a Bachelor’s degree. The next focus will be on doctoral students, Dr. Sheardown says, to encourage more students to continue into Ph.D. programs. n

Emily Bot Elected MES President Emily Bot has been elected president of the McMaster Engineering Society for 2010/11. The announcement was made at the annual Fireball Gala held Saturday, January 15.  Her term officially begins in March, after MES’ semi-annual general meeting. When asked what her plans are as the incoming MES president, she responded: “The opportunity to grow and develop both academically and personally through the services provided by the McMaster Engineering Society has been very

rewarding for me.Therefore, one of my main objectives is to improve the accessibility of the MES as I feel it is important that all students are able to take advantage of these opportunities.” Emily is the 14th female president of MES and the first since the 2006/07 academic year. In level three of the electrical and biomedical program at McMaster, Emily is actively involved in MES and Faculty initiatives. She was co-chair of this year’s Fireball Gala, is the MES representative for the De-

partment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and works as assistant director for Venture Engineering and Science Camps, a Faculty supported program for elementary school students. Emily was also a member of McMaster’s first, and winning, robotics race team. Last July, the team competed in the fifth annual International Autonomous Robot Racing Challenge (IARRC) held in Windsor, Ontario. Their robot, Dash, won the drag race competition, and placed third in the circuit race. n

From Theory to Marketplace Practice The Faculty of Engineering believes the concept behind the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice (SEP) is unique to McMaster and – indeed – to the whole world.The idea is to provide the training, tools and real-world practice opportunities that will give engineers and scientists the skills to be effective policy makers, leadingedge business entrepreneurs and/or creative product and process designers. SEP was established in 2004 through a generous donation from Mac alumnus Walter Booth to provide engineering and science graduates a professional education at the Master’s degree level.The school is comprised of three centres. The Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship & Innovation (XCEEi) looks for students with great business ideas and entrepreneurial spirits and provides them with a proven business methodology that guides them through the start-up process.The 18-month (fulltime) or 36-month (part-time) program is led by a group of industrial and business practitioners who act as both teachers and mentors. Graduates receive an M.Eng. in Engineering Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The ArcelorMittal Dofasco Centre for Engineering & Public Policy (AMD-CEPP) addresses issues concerning the safety, efficiency and societal sustainability of engineered products and services. Because engineers can become key advisors to policy makers, it is important that engineering grads have a good understanding of environ-

mental issues, economic externalities and cultural settings, and the public policy process for a sustainable future.The 12-month (fulltime) or 24-month (part-time) program requires students to select an area of focus: water or air quality, energy and its alternatives, land use and sustainability, the transportation sector, public health, telecommunications, and more.The ADM CEPP offers the degree of M.Eng. in Engineering & Public Policy. The program of the GMC Centre for Engineering Design (GMCED) focuses on the development of competencies in the areas of leadership, creative thinking and interdisciplinary design.The goal is to produce innovative thinkers who will be leaders in introducing novel products and systems that are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of society.The 12-month (full-time) or 24-month (part-time) program provides an opportunity for students to build technical expertise in one of three fields: product design, sustainable infrastructure or process systems design and operations. Graduates receive an M.Eng. in Engineering Design. “Each Centre complements the other, and provides students with a true interdisciplinary education,” says Samir Chidiac, SEP’s Director. All three are industry-sponsored, reflecting a need for trained leaders and management-level personnel with creative thinking skills. Future graduates in engineering need to have more than technical background and skills. Fundamental research is still

important, Chidiac says. But more immediate is the need for graduates with the knowledge, tools and practice to help solve current societal problems.“We are helping to train new leaders – people who look beyond the science.” SEP, which is housed on the 5th floor of the new Engineering Technology Building, has approximately 120 students. All students are encouraged to consider what they want to do with their undergraduate degree, assess their strengths, and consider how best to develop their skills, before applying to the School. The School has received positive feedback from students and the industry/ business teachers and mentors. Industry and public service partners are encouraged to interact with the Centres and the students, especially by identifying real-world problems that students can tackle, increasing development of skills and providing practice opportunities. Recently, SEP was the recipient of a generous donation that will help student entrepreneurs wishing to develop and bring sustainable technologies to market. In September 2010, Mechanical Engineering graduates of the Class of 1962 donated over $3 million to establish the Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship, as well as a fund for sustainable entrepreneurship.The donors are: Walter Booth, Julius Brokloff, Irvine Hollis, David Male, George Menzies and Del Smith. The donation is the largest ever made to the Faculty of Engineering. n The MacEngineer


New Team-Based Entrepreneurship Master Program A new Master’s degree program announced in October 2010 is designed to bring together social science, humanities, arts, business, and engineering and science graduates interested in starting up technology-based businesses. The Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) degree program will start in September 2011, pending approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies. MTEI was announced during a networking breakfast organized as part of the University’s first-ever Entrepreneurship Week (October 18 to 22).The MTEI program complements the University’s popular Master’s of Engineering Entrepreneurship and

Innovation (MEEI) degree, which was launched in 2005. The Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation will administer the program. Rafik Loutfy, director of the Xerox Centre, says the program is designed to respond to inquiries from non-engineering and non-science students interested in starting businesses that required expertise in technology but who lack the technical background. It also expands on something that is already happening: students in the engineering entrepreneurship program were informally teaming up with students in other disciplines to gain the marketing, finance or

discipline-specific insight that they lacked. The 16-month program will focus on the development of teams comprised of individuals who specialize in marketing, finance, and a field-specific discipline – health or energy, for example. Each team will include at least one engineering student.Teams will work on investor-ready proposals including business, marketing and financing plans. They will also develop a support network of both technical and business mentors from academia and industry. Applications are now being accepted. More information can be found at n

EEG Predicts Response to Medication for Schizophrenia A commonplace electroencephalography (EEG) test may hold the key to predicting whether a person will respond to certain prescribed drugs, particularly those related to psychiatric conditions. In a study, engineering and health sciences researchers at McMaster University applied machine learning to EEG patterns

sampling is required. “Some people can suffer terrible side effects from clozapine,” said Dr. Gary Hasey, associate professor at McMaster and director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation laboratory at St. Joseph's Healthcare Mood Disorders Clinic in Hamilton.“The logistic difficulties for the patient and treatment

and successfully predicted how patients with schizophrenia would respond to clozapine therapy. Clozapine is recognized as an effective treatment for chronic medication-resistant schizophrenia but can produce serious side effects such as seizures, cardiac arrhythmias or bone marrow suppression. Some patients can develop blood problems that are life-threatening. Weekly to monthly blood

team are also substantial. A method to reliably determine, before the onset of therapy, whether a patient will or will not respond to clozapine would greatly assist the clinician in determining whether the risks and logistic complexity of clozapine are outweighed by the potential benefits.” To conduct the study, EEGs were taken from 23 patients diagnosed with medication-resistant schizophrenia before they

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began taking clozapine.Twelve were men and 11 were women, all of middle age. The brainwave patterns and response to the clozapine therapy of these patients were used to “train” a computer algorithm to predict whether or not a specific patient will respond to the drug.The prediction accuracy was approximately 89 per cent. This algorithm showed similar predictive accuracy when it was further tested in a new group of 14 additional patients treated with clozapine. This innovative work grows out of the close collaborative relationship between members of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Prof. James Reilly, Ph.D. student Ahmad KhodayariRostamabad), the School of Biomedical Engineering (Prof. Hubert de Bruin), and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences (Drs. Gary Hasey and Duncan MacCrimmon). Funding for the research was provided in part by The Magstim Company Ltd., a developer and manufacturer of medical and research devices for the neurological and surgical fields, based in Wales, U.K. The researchers now plan to test their findings on a larger sample group. n (Left to right): Dr. Gary Hasey, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences; Prof. James Reilly and Ph.D. student Ahmad KhodayariRostamabad, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Prof. Hubert de Bruin, School of Biomedical Engineering. Missing: Dr. Duncan MacCrimmon, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences.

MEPP Grad Helps Clean Up in the Philippines that she did not have the right education for the kind of work she wanted to do and began to look for a program that would help her meet her goals. That is when she came across information about the Master’s of Engineering and Public Policy (MEPP) program at McMaster. “I did my undergraduate degree at McMaster and I liked the school,” said Clara. “The MEPP program looked really interesting to me, and I applied even though I wasn’t sure I had exactly the right background for the program (since I don’t have an engineering degree). When I received a scholarship to cover tuition it solidified my decision to come do this program. I’m really happy with this decision because I met great people and developed a lot of new skills that complement my existing skills.” Clara and Stu will be the third group of interns to work on the waste services initiative. A total of 12 interns will work on the program over three years.They take over the residence of the previous interns, which is a house on the beach in the nearby town of San Juan. “I’m most looking forward to getting hands on experience in community engagement and in waste management,” says Clara. “This is also by far the furthest I have ever travelled, so I am really excited to meet as many people as I can and immerse myself in the culture.” Clara notes that the MEPP program has helped her prepare for her internship. “I think the MEPP proRECIPIENTS gram has given me a good basis in theory which I am ENGINEERING L.W. SHEMILT DISTINGUISHED FACULTY OF ENGINEERING eager to apply in practice,” LEADERSHIP ENGINEERING ALUMNI RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENT explains Clara.“The proJuergen Schachler Pierre Côté Kon Max Wong gram emphasized stakePresident and President, Côté Membrane Professor, Electrical and holder consultation which Chief Executive Separation Ltd. & former Computer Engineering, Officer, ArcelorMittal Chief Technology Officer, Canada Research is going to be a large part Dofasco Inc. ZENON Environmental Ltd. Chair in Signal Processing of my job in San Fernando. I also think that the THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. decision-making methods TICKETS $150.00 or table of eight $1,200.00 we learned in the systems LIUNA STATION 360 James Street North, Hamilton, Ontario engineering course may be useful in the work I TO REGISTER, please contact have to do. In general, the Terry Milson at 905.525.9140 ext. 27391 MEPP program solidified or email my interest in working for sustainability by highlight-

She has spent much of her life studying mathematics. But a change in studies to public policy has put Clara Blakelock on a flight to the Philippines this week to start a six-month internship on a waste management project with the city of San Fernando. Clara has been hired by Sustainable Cities International under a grant from the International Youth Internship Program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She will be traveling with fellow Hamiltonian, Stu Campana, to help set up a waste services program for an un-serviced neighbourhood in San Fernando. It’s a new adventure for Clara, one she hopes will help improve people’s lives. She explains that after earning her undergraduate degree in mathematics at McMaster, she enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Michigan but sensed a need for a change in direction. “After about two years I began to realize that I was unsatisfied by this work,” explains Clara.“I wanted to do something that was much more practical and would directly affect people. I have always been an environmentalist and began to think about working in environmental policy.” In December 2008, Clara left the PhD program and began applying for government policy jobs. After a few months, she realized

2011 Applause Accolades

ing so many local and global critical environmental issues.” Clara did her inquiry project for the MEPP program on Ontario’s Waste Diversion Act, so is familiar with waste management policy in Ontario. It is knowledge she hopes to apply to her job in San Fernando. She also has some experience in community engagement through volunteer work with Green Venture in Hamilton. “I’m interested in waste management because it is such an immediate problem and something that we are all faced with every day,” says Clara.“I feel that waste reduction and proper disposal is an issue that many people can get behind, even those who might not consider themselves environmentalists. Unlike carbon emissions (also an important issue) waste is something you can see, touch and smell, and so I think it is a good place to start when trying to get people to become more environmentally aware.” Clara spent the week of January 10 at a training session run by Sustainable Cities International in Vancouver to prepare her, and other interns traveling to destinations worldwide, for their placements. The sessions discussed the development philosophies of Sustainable Cities and CIDA, as well as strategies for dealing with cross-cultural communication, community engagement, culture shock, and other challenges interns may face. Sustainable Cities is a nonprofit organization based in Vancouver. Its focus is on urban sustainability, assisting with projects in a network of cities around the world. If you are interested in Clara’s work, you can follow her on her blog: garbageintern. We look forward to hearing more from Clara on her experiences in San Fernando when she returns. n

The MacEngineer



Leandro Escalante

MacCivilEng Escalante, Carlos (’98): Laura and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of Leandro Patricio Guillermo Escalante on Friday October 22, 2010 at 7:14 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs, measured 19.5 inches, and looks exactly like his brothers Carlos and Diego did. Hayman, Michael (‘08): Emily and I got married on August 21 in the Rose Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington after more than 7 years together. We shared the day with many family and friends, including a rowdy McMaster alumni crowd.

another over the CPR railway tracks at Hespeler Road. Previously involved in a small way on the 12.9 km Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, double-checking engineering calculations. Oversaw construction of a steel skeleton for a sky-watching observatory on a Hawaiian volcano.

MacChemEng Brown, Jeremy (’04) and Kimberly Atkinson (Engineering Physics ’04): We are so happy to announce the birth of our beautiful, healthy baby girl, Parker Alice Brown, on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at 8:37 p.m.

Emily and Michael

MacCiv&Mgt Stephenson, John (‘92): Living in Cambridge. Currently working on two large bridge projects for Waterloo Region – one over the Grand River at Fairway Road in Cambridge, and

Alumni Weekend

com) and Jillian is completing her Pediatrics residency.

Parker Brown


It was short but intense labour for Kim, but turned out well. Parker weighed in at 8 lbs 1.5 oz, and was just over 22 inches long.

García Muñoz, Salvador (PhD '04): I was the recipient of the first AIChE Pharma division award for Excellence in Quality by Design, for outstanding contribution to quality by design (QbD) for a drug product.The award was presented during the AIChE annual meeting in November 2010, held in Salt Lake City, Nevada. I am currently Senior Principal Scientist for Pfizer Worldwide R & D.

D’Cunha, Mark (’85): Appointed as Chief Operating Officer of MyScreen in September, 2010. MyScreen (www. ) is a mobile advertising technology platform that delivers full-screen, incentive-based ads directly to mobile phones. Mark joined the company in 2008 as Chief Technology Officer and was involved in advancing the company’s technology from concept to market trials to successful deployment with wireless operators worldwide. Mark has 20 years of experience Jillian and Mark

MacComputerEng & Mgmt Archambeault, Mark ('05, M.A.Sc. '07) and Jillian Salvador (Electrical '04, M.A.Sc. '07, M.D. '10) married in May 2010. Mark runs a product and consulting company; Proto Advantage (www.proto-advantage.

Saturday, June 4th, 2011. Class Reunion: 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2001.


COMPUTING ENGINEERING - 30th Anniversary Inviting all classes from 1981 to 2011. For more details please visit

10 The MacEngineer

If you would like to help organize your class reunion please contact Carm Vespi,

Arwen Nieuwenhuis

My role is Systems Architect on an IT team that designs and develops Internet Information Systems.

Lucas Pettit

MacMechEng Harris, Michael (’07):“On

with telecom operators, having worked previously for Unitel, AT&T Canada, Rogers, Bell and Vodafone.

for the Ontario badminton team that will compete at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax in February 2011.

Nieuwenhuis, Fred ('98):

Migliore, Dino (’89): I moved

Fred and wife Evelyn welcomed their fourth child and second daughter, Arwen Joy, on July 23rd, 2010. Life is busy but great. I am in my seventh year with General Dynamics Canada in Ottawa doing Hardware and Systems Engineering. Evelyn is a stay-at-home mom with a private piano instruction business on the side.

in September 2010 from Turin, Italy to Copenhagen, Denmark, to begin work at the United Nations. Laura and I were married on July 3rd, 1989.

Pettit, Laura (nee Pydberg) (’07): I got married on October 10th, 2009 to Kevin and we had a little baby boy, Lucas Alexander Pettit, on May 18th, 2010.

MacMechEng & Mgmt Succi, Albert (‘08) and Mazzetti, Vanessa (Materials) (‘08), will be getting married in 2011.

Tevya Kurczak


Kurczak, Branden (‘03):

Hill, Melissa (‘05): Currently completing a doctorate at the University of Toronto in the area of medical biophysics, and is part of a research group focusing on the early detection of breast cancer. Melissa has been selected as the assistant coach

August 14th Michael and Melanie Foley (Electrical ‘08) were married in Hamilton, ON. Both Michael and Melanie are thankful for their years with Mac Eng, and are excited for what their future will bring.

Michael and Melanie

Brooke and I are very excited to welcome our first child,Tevya Elizabeth Jean, who arrived safe and sound on November 17, 2010, weighing in at 5 lbs. 6.5 oz. I am still at Kitchener-based Enermodal Engineering Ltd. as Division Head, Green Buildings.

Albert and Vanessa

Sawyer, Stephanie (nee Holliday) (CerEng ’88). Following the onset of a high fever and serious infection and the removal of her gallbladder, Stephanie developed spinal meningitis and infectious colitis. Her heart failed on October 20th and she slipped into a coma on October 26th, she was removed from life support November 2, 2010. After graduation, Steph worked at Liburdi and then moved with Jeff to Santa Fe and found work at Nambe Studio. In 2005, the family moved to Kohler, Wisconsin, where Steph worked for the Kohler Company. She and Jeff recently moved to Memphis,Tennessee, and Steph accepted a job as Product Development Manager with Whitmar. She is survived by Jeff, her husband of 21 years, and daughter Alex and son Adam.

(ChemEng & Society ’97). Beloved sister, wife, mother and artist, Lynn Nickerson passed away quietly in her 39th year, having sustained those around her with typical optimism and courage. Lynn was a notable 1997 graduate from McMaster’s Chemical Engineering and Society program, serving a year in the Engineering Society. Classmates may remember that she Wonder Plumber for MES in 1995. She is survived by husband Shawn and daughter Audrey.

Deceased Notices

Nickerson, Lynn

The MacEngineer 11


Silicon Photonics Research Profiled CMC Microsystems has profiled research by Andrew Knights, associate professor of engineering physics at McMaster, in its December 2010 newsletter. Prof. Knights’ research is in the field of integrated silicon photonics. He has recently been able to integrate all the photonic devices needed for tunable waveguide detection on a single silicon device.

One potential outcome of this work is achieving smaller, less expensive and faster fiber optical telecommunications. Prof. Knight conducted this research in collaboration with Prof. Paul Jessop, previously chair of the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster and now dean of Science at Wilfred Laurier University. n

Dr. Andrew Knights (top) and his colleague Dr. Paul Jessop, in the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University E

Engineering Students Plan for Green What better way to have students learn than to have them do? That’s the idea behind a proposed Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL), to be housed in a new building designed with “green” in mind. The building will house extensive facilities for the Faculty’s many student teams working on vehicles (solar car, Mini Baja and Formula SAE) and other projects (e.g. concrete toboggan, autonomous robots). There will also be meeting rooms, study space and a common area to enable student collaboration Shortly after becoming Dean in 2008, David Wilkinson identified a lack of space dedicated to experiential learning as a critical need for the Faculty. He envisioned a student centre that would incorporate cutting-edge green technologies, and that would be planned and designed using a significant element of student input. When this idea was presented to engineering students at their

spring 2010 AGM, some interested students were motivated to develop projects covering the design process and a needs assessment. A group of seven Mechanical Engineering students under the supervision of Jim Cotton, associate professor in Mechanical Engineering and associate director of the McMaster Institute of Energy Studies (MIES), is conducting a feasibility study.This group is working in collaboration with Hamilton chapters of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA).The students are looking specifically at the building’s energy requirements based on the student needs assessment, such as heating/cooling and electrical, with a view to modifying and/or enhancing them by means of green technology. Another group of six Engineering & Management students, supervised by Dr. David Reid, is conducting a needs assessment to identify space requirement through surveys and interviews, as well as performing an independent survey of green technologies. The stated goal is to produce as much energy onsite over one year as the building will use. Students will explore and consider all current technology such as combined heat and power generation, geothermal, wind and solar photovoltaic, along with the

environmental issues of the technologies. Other initiatives to be considered include LED lighting, extreme insulation approaches, appropriate use of shading, passive solar lighting, and a green lining roof system. Over the course of the project, it is expected that students from many engineering fields will become involved.“The idea is to produce a net-zero-energy building,” says Dr. Cotton. The current group of students understands that this is a long-term project.The short-term benefits, however, are very valuable. Students have an opportunity to interact with industry and professional organizations, and they are working on something that is practical as well as related to coursework. Dr. Cotton notes that the local ASHRAE and MCA chapters have been very supportive.“These organizations realize there is a growing need for green buildings in the future and, as a result, a need for engineering graduates with the knowledge and expertise who can accept the challenge.” If the building is ultimately approved, it will be funded in part through a student levy, with the remainder to be solicited from alumni and corporate partners. n

MacEngineer Winter 2011  

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

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