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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Winter 2012

THE

MacEngineer

Applause and Accolades

June 6, 2012


Dean of Engineering – Dr. David Wilkinson

In September 2011, McMaster University President Patrick Deane released his visionary statement on the future of McMaster entitled “Forward with Integrity” (http:// dailynews.mcmaster.ca/images/forwardwithintegrity.pdf). This carefully crafted and insightful document relates McMaster’s proud history and current status to an exciting tableau of future possibilities. It has caught the imagination of many of us on campus and has also received a considerable amount of positive attention from outside. The President speaks passionately about experiential learning and community engagement as an internal part of a student’s education. This is certainly something that is near and dear to the hearts of many of us in the Faculty of Engineering. Indeed, at a Faculty of Engineering planning retreat this past December, Forward with Integrity served as a lens through which we examined our own priorities and proposed initiatives. In particular, we are looking very seriously at how we can offer a rich and rewarding undergraduate

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experience to McMaster engineers in the face of increasing class sizes and finite resources. The answer lies in rethinking the very nature of student learning and in providing a greater range of pathways to success. These form the basis for several major initiatives we are planning. One, led by Associate Dean Ken Coley, called the Success Program, is designed to improve retention rates amongst first year students. The program will be enhanced by the increasing attractiveness of McMaster as an Engineering school of choice. This has enabled us to be increasingly selective about the students we accept, and we are anticipating another significant jump in student entry requirements this year. As a result of the mentoring and support elements inherent in the Success Program, we anticipate a large increase in student retention. Another major step to building student success at McMaster and beyond will be the development of the Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL) as a place where engineering students will be better able to collaborate on everything from capstone design projects to competition teams like the solar car. ExCEL will also house programs we are now developing such as the SELECT program in leadership training. This program is currently being piloted by a cohort of 50 students. SELECT offers students training in self-awareness, leadership styles and skills, along with practical experience which they can use within clubs, teams and a new ambassadors’ program. We are very grateful to a number of alumni who are serving as facilitators for various SELECT modules. We are one of only a few Engineering schools in Canada offering this kind of leadership training to our students. Of course, we are also hoping to create a physical space where students can exercise leadership and teamwork – the ExCEL building. This will be a living laboratory for

sustainable building technologies, a place where students can learn about and experiment with new ideas in building design, encompassing materials, structures, energy systems, interactive control processes, and so on. Students are helping to design the building – both the ways it will be used and the technologies it will showcase. We have reached the end of the celebrations surrounding the Faculty’s 50th anniversary. They began in 2008 with a gala to recognize 50 years since the formation of the Faculty and ended in November 2011 with a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Kipling ceremony and the establishment of Camp XIII at McMaster. The event was well attended by McMaster graduates of all generations. The highlight was a renewal of the Kipling ceremony vows for all obligated engineers who attended. Speaking of our history, it is with tremendous regret that we note the recent passing of the Faculty’s second dean, Dr. Les Shemilt. There is a tribute to Dr. Shemilt on p. 6 of this issue. On a personal note, I was one of the last professors that Les hired in the spring of 1979 before he retired from the Dean’s office, so this really does feel for me like a very significant transition. You will note throughout this issue of the MacEngineer much to celebrate, including some very interesting career profiles of a number of alumni, acknowledgement of a major gift to the Faculty that helped to establish the Don Pether Incubation Centre at MIP, and recognition of the Order of Canada to alumnus Tom Jenkins. I trust that you will find it rekindles some fond memories of your days at McMaster, and the connections you made and still have. With all my best wishes for a successful and rewarding 2012. n


Profiles A Solid Springboard As founder and President of Value Solutions (www.value-solutions.ca ), Barry Yungblut (ManufacturingEng. ’88) believes that “if you approach work and life in an unselfish way and focus on serving others, you will be more satisfied and more successful”. This attitude has definitely led him to great success in his business and personal life. Being an entrepreneur, he says, is challenging, and everything that people tell you about starting a business is true. The Hamilton, Ontario company, established in 2009, Barry Yungblut provides waste reduction, project management, problem-solving and training services to the service and manufacturing sectors. “Getting a sound education through the engineering program at McMaster was a solid springboard for my career. The program also helped to develop my critical thinking, problem-solving and planning skills.” Although he was mechanically inclined, Barry was not interested in design. He felt the manufacturing engineering program would give him a practical edge for securing a job, and because it provided computer-related courses, it was different from programs offered elsewhere. When asked for stories relating to his time at Mac, Barry laughs. ‘I have memories of the brutality of algebra with Dr. Yip, the torture of 2nd year English, and the abstraction of Electric Theory. The cover page of that text read ‘Reality is a Concept’ — I knew I was in trouble!” He also recalls the willingness of Dr. Yellowley to put up with the egos and humour of fourth-year students while maintaining a firm grasp on teaching. Dr. Bob Sowerby is another favourite professor. “Aside from a unique accent and vocabulary, he presented all his ideas in a simple and logical manner

that made it easy and enjoyable to learn.” Barry is married with three children and two grandchildren. His passion for helping people extends far beyond his clients. He has been involved in several international development building projects in Mozambique and Sri Lanka, and in Haiti, where he assisted in building of a community centre and relief housing as well as the development of a trade school and medical clinic. n

Propelled to Success Wes Amos (Ceramic Eng. ’91) has nothing but the highest praise for his alma mater and for the degree in engineering that has helped him realize much success. “My engineering degree enhanced and propelled my career in all corporate settings,” he says. He secured a job immediately on graduating and received many promotions over the years. Today he owns and operates ENECON Ontario of St. Catharines, which is affiliated with the Medford, New York-based ENECON Corporation (www.enecon.com ). Wes chose Ceramic Engineering after reading an article in Popular Science that explained how car engines would be made to utilize ceramic components so that they Wes Amos could operate at high temperatures, thus boosting efficiency. He recalls being accepted at Queens University, the University of Toronto and McMaster University, but chose Mac. “Mac offered me residence, and the city, the campus and the overall feel completed the picture — I never once questioned my decision.” An engineering degree gives a person an “edge” and opens doors. Still, there is no substitute for hard work, he adds. “Our profs were very hard workers, always pushing ahead on projects, working late, and constantly challenging their students to do more. They taught the facts, but they also taught by example.”

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: vespi@mcmaster.ca website: www.eng.mcmaster.ca The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Contributors: Terry Milson and Administrative Coordinators. 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: vespi@mcmaster.ca

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One shining example, Wes recalls, was Doc Nicholson. He is fondly remembered for his interest, dedication and leadership to students, and for “guiding our class through the rigours of the program, as well as the ups and downs of undergrad life”. ENECON Ontario specializes in materials used in the repair and protection of all types of equipment and plant structures that are subject to corrosion, erosion, abrasion, chemical attack or hydrostatic pressure problems. Clients are from such industries as heavy manufacturing, mining, transportation, nuclear, marine, and the military. Wes is married to his university sweetheart Alison (nee Knowles, BA Gerontology (Hon) ’92) and the couple has three children. Daily life is busy and involves a variety of sports for the children, golfing for Wes, and family vacations to sunny places. n

Father Knew Best There are probably as many reasons for selecting McMaster as one’s university of choice as there are alumni. Martin Lensink’s reason is one that many probably would not admit. “I selected Mac because my father told me to,” he laughs. Not only Martin Lensink that, but he also took his Dad’s advice to enrol in the Mechanical Engineering and Management program, based on the argument that it is the most general of engineering disciplines. “I have no regrets at all on either account,” Martin (Mech.Eng.&Mgmt. ’80) says. Martin, President of PlanET Biogas Solutions Inc. (www.planet-biogas.ca ), has always been grateful he opted for the engineering and management stream. “Management comes up on a daily basis. In fact, I find that in my current position, engineering and business intersect all the time.” PlanET Biogas Solutions is a partnership with PlanET Germany.

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Prior to forming PlanET Biogas, Martin started CEM Engineering. Established in 2001, the company offers mechanical and electrical engineering services to clients in the power generation industry. The company employs two Mac grads, Stephen Quinlin (CompEng.&Mgmt. ’08), and Michael Fuller (MechEng. ’07). PlanET Biogas, based in St. Catharines, Ontario specializes in design, construction and operation of anaerobic digester facilities. Briefly, the company accepts organic streams produced by factories and farms (referred to as “off-farm” and “on-farm” inputs) and breaks them down using the anaerobic digester process to produce methane gas. Organic off-farm inputs include animal biproducts from food processing plants, grape residue from wine and juice industries, and waste from vegetable processing. Martin notes that it’s a very environmentally-friendly process because many these waste items are diverted from landfills. The St. Catharines-based PlanET Biogas, employs ten people, including two other McMaster engineering grads. Matthew Lensink (MechEng.&Mgmt’09), Martin’s nephew, works in business development, while Derek Hundert (MechEng.&Mgmt, ’05) is General Manager. Future plans include becoming more active in Canada, expanding into the American market, and entering the emerging green methane market. Martin is married to Linda Plug (BA English ’79) and the couple has four grown children. Although he enjoys college basketball, Martin’s true love is music and he dreams of one day learning to play the bass guitar. n

Goal-oriented and Flourishing Joseph Edl (ChemEng.&Soc. ’98) has this to say to high school students who are considering engineering as a profession: “Engineering is a wonderful discipline and foundation for a career because it challenges you to think and it enhances your ability to solve problems.” In addition to this, he says the teaching and mentoring he personally received from the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster had a powerful influence on his career and successes. He particularly recalls Dr. Don Woods’ approach to problem-based learning and the professor’s generally positive and supportive disposition towards his students.

Dr. Andy Hrymak is also remembered fondly for his inspiring career guidance and support. Joe credits his chemistry high school teacher, who had tremendous enthusiasm for science, for pointing him in the direction of engineering as a Joseph Edl career. After attending an engineering experience weekend at McMaster, he knew he had found his university home. “I felt immediately that I belonged, and that it was the university at which I wanted to learn, grow and develop. It’s a very warm, welcoming place.” After graduating, Joe worked at Torontobased Celestica for 11 years prior to becoming President of Techcentive Services Inc. (TSI) (www.techcentiveservices.com) in 2008. “I owe a lot to my Engineering and Society courses. They helped me to pursue the practice of inquiry, which is a life skill that can be used during all phases of one’s life.” Science and engineering are not his only passions. In his youth, Joe lived for hockey, played often, and received tremendous support from his parents. Hockey, he notes, teaches one a great deal about teamwork and about working hard to achieve results. TSI, based in Vaughan, Ontario, is a management consulting company that offers a wide range of services focusing on helping companies grow, reduce costs and improve profitability. Services include identifying innovative solutions to accelerate growth opportunities, assisting with government funding support, initiating tax recovery or cost reduction activities, and providing case or technical writing expertise. “I enjoy helping Canadian companies thrive and create new jobs.” While he still dons the skates and shoots the puck from time to time, his more recent sports activity include running and “pretending to golf”. n


Making the Most of an Education David Chamberlain (Eng. Phys. ’97) likes to gather information about an issue before making a decision. That habit helped him select a university and determine a course of study. After checking out a number of Ontario universities, David “felt that McMaster offered a valuable degree with significant reputation combined with a comfortable campus atmosphere — the last thing I wanted was to go to school in a concrete jungle.” He chose Engineering Physics based on the comments from dorm mates who chatted David Chamberlain about the exciting and cutting-edge technologies with which they were working. They also talked about how difficult a course it was proving to be. Despite those warnings, he enrolled. “I had a keen interest in the nuclear and optics programs being offered in third and fourth years … call me a sucker for punishment!” He’s had no regrets. Because an Engineering Physics degree covers a wide range of disciplines (civil, mechanical, electrical and software), David says he’s been able to understand and co-ordinate designs with other engineers from those other disciplines. “During my undergrad days, we used to joke that we were jacks of all trades and masters of none” David is currently Vice President and General Manager of Eramosa Engineering Inc. (www.eramosa.com ), where he can claim to be one of the company’s original employees. The engineering consulting firm, established in 1998 and based in Guelph, Ontario, provides services primarily to the municipal water and wastewater sector. Eramosa designs, tests and commissions large and small power distribution systems, and provides custom software and graphical interfaces to control and monitor that equipment. His advice to high school grads thinking of a career in engineering is straightforward: no degree will automatically set one up for life. “Education is what you make of it.

The successful ones are those who work at it and make the best of the opportunities they have.” Given how David likes to conduct careful data research, his final piece of advice is no surprise. “Professor Google is no substitute for critical thought and innovation.” Married with two young children, David enjoys spending time with family, training for MS Ride bike races, curling, downhill skiing and golf.

Engineering Degree: A Great Investment Marlene Lenarduzzi (ChemEng. ’92) and Bruce Watson (ChemEng.&Mgmt.’91, MEng ‘95) came away from McMaster with more than engineering degrees — they have each other. The couple, who met in an upper-year course when management and nonmanagement classes were together), married in 1995. They share much in common: both enjoyed math and science in high Marlene & Bruce school, both were keen on senior school chemistry, and both have enjoyed the kind of success in their careers that they say is directly related to the engineering program. It’s an interesting observation, given that neither currently works in an engineeringrelated industry. Marlene, who also has a Masters of Applied Science and an MBA, was recently promoted to VP of Enterprise Risk & Portfolio Management at BMO Financial Group, and Bruce is Director of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) at Rogers Communications Inc. Moving from engineering to the banking sector is not really such a stretch, Marlene says. “Engineering provides a strong quantitative foundation in analysis and a background in qualitative application.” It helps one understand information from a variety of sources, and learn to use data in a practical way. As part of her responsibilities, Marlene analyzes data and assesses risks from the viewpoint of both the customer and the bank. After graduating from McMaster, Bruce

worked for five years as a chemical engineer specializing in environmental engineering. He then returned to school to obtain an MBA at the University of Western Ontario, and decided to enter a more business-focused industry. He worked for Sprint Canada in various capacities and ended up in M&A shortly before the company was sold to Rogers in 2005. His work with M&A includes responsibilities for valuation, due diligence, and post-deal integration. The engineering and management program let him combine two main passions, Bruce says: engineering and math. It also gave him and excellent position from which to start job hunting. “Engineering opens doors. Employers know that engineering grads have demonstrated problem-solving and quantitative analysis skills.” Marlene and Bruce both have fond memories of their Mac engineering experiences, including Dr. Cameron Crowe’s Reactor Design course that brought them together. Dr. Phil Woods’ famous beer experiment (the outcome of which will not be disclosed here, to protect all involved) was definitely a highlight class, Bruce recalls with a laugh. Marlene and Bruce have 3 young daughters. The family enjoys spending time together camping, swimming and skiing. n

For This Grad, Engineering is a Blast Sarah Bond (Materials Eng. ’08) started working for Lafarge Canada directly after graduating in June 2008. Currently she is Drill and Blast Supervisor at the company’s Texada Island operation in British Columbia. “I am responsible for the management and performance of the Drill and Blast Sara Bond program on-site, including tasks such as determining blast hole locations to control product quality and supervising both the drillers and blasters, and making sure everything runs smoothly and safely.” She was promoted to this position in 2010, after completing the Lafarge Leadership Development Program (LLDP), a two-

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Leslie Webster Shemilt 1919 – 2011

Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Engineering, Les Shemilt passed away on December 20, 2011, five days short of his 92nd birthday. Professor Shemilt came to McMaster in 1970 from the University of New Brunswick, where he was the founder and first Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. At McMaster, he served as the Faculty’s second Dean from 1970 to 1980, and played an important role during a time of rapid growth in Faculty programs.

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He served on many Boards including those of the National Research Council and the Council of Royal Society of Canada, and was Chairman of an advisory committee on the nuclear fuel waste management program for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1985) and of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (1987), an Officer of the Order of Canada (1991), and was the recipient of three honorary degrees

(St. Staszic University, Poland, 1992; McMaster University, 1994; the University of Waterloo, 1996). A long-standing member of The Bootmakers of Toronto and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, Professor Shemilt was installed as a “Master Bootmaker” on the occasion of his 90th birthday celebration held at the University. He is survived by his wife Beth, and daughter Roslyn and son Roderick and their families. n


Don Pether Incubation Centre Opens

The Centre will assist selected engineering students and recent graduates of the Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation master’s degree program through start-up support for their technology businesses.

The new Don Pether Incubation Centre officially opened on October 4, 2011. Located on the third floor of the Atrium building at McMaster Innovation Park, the Centre will assist selected engineering students and recent graduates of the Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation master’s degree program through start-up support for their technology businesses. In addition to providing office facilities, the young entrepreneurs will have access to the University’s Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the McMaster Industry Liaison Office, as well as to other commercialization specialists at the Innovation Park. Pether, former CEO and president of Dofasco Inc. and recent chair of McMaster’s Board of Governors, made a gift of $1 million to the University’s Faculty of Engineering in 2010 in support of the creation of the Centre, as well as the Don Pether Chair in Engineering and Management. n

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Jenkins Receives The Order of Canada Tom Jenkins (BEng & Mgmt EngPhys. ‘82), Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text Corporation, is the recipient of the Order of Canada. The presentation was made on December 30, 2011. Mr. Jenkins, who is known to be passionate about making Canada a global powerhouse in digital media, was being recognized for his innovative contributions to the development of the high technology industry in the country. Mr. Jenkins is involved with many organizations including Chair of the Canadian Digital Media Network and an appointed member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Previously, he served on the Government of Canada’s Competition Policy Review Panel and the Province of Ontario’s Ontario Commercialization Network Review Committee. He is the recipient of the 2010 Faculty of Engineering’s L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award for his contributions to the industry. n

Engineer of the Year Chemical Engineering professor Heather Sheardown is the 2011 Engineer of the Year. The award is jointly presented by the Ontario Society for Professional Engineers and the Hamilton/Halton Engineering Week Committee at the annual gathering in October. It recognizes a person who exemplifies the character of the profession, inspires and mentors young engineers, and who has excelled as a researcher. Dr. Sheardown, who is also Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at McMaster, is a leader in the field of ocular research. Her lab uses smart biomaterials to deliver drugs to the eye, which reduce side effects and improve outcomes. She is Scientific Director of the 20/20 Network which will oversee the training of 200 students and post-doctoral fellows, and active in improving the engineering experience for engineering students, especially women. n

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Honorary Degrees Presented at Fall Convocation McMaster alumnus and engineering grad Michael Lee-Chin, Civil Engineering ’74, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa ’03) is the recipient of the McMaster University Distinguished Alumni Award for the Arts. The Chairman of Portland Holdings Inc. whose philosophy of “doing well and doing good”, has made a number of important philanthropic contributions in the arts and education both here in Canada and in Jamaica over the years. Dr. Lee-Chin has supported the creation of the AIC Institute for strategic Business Studies in McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business, the expansion of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, and the founding of a world-class nursing school at the Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica. Dr. Lee-Chin is the recipient of a number of other honours including the Order of Jamaica, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. He is a member of the McMaster Alumni Gallery and the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction. n

2012 Applause & Accolades AN AWARDS CELEBRATION Wednesday, June 6, 2012 LIUNA Station | 360 James St. N., Hamilton 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. — $150.00 L.W. Shemilt Award Mr. Walter Booth Mechanical Eng. ‘62, M.Eng. ’65

Faculty of Engineering Research Achievement Award Dr. Mo Elbestawi Vice President, Research and International Affairs

Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award Ms. Caroline Hughes

Director of Government Relations, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd.

Dr. Jimi Tjong

Manager, Staff Technical Specialist Powertrain Engineering Research and Development Centre, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd.

For more information please visit: www.eng.mcmaster.ca/engalumni or contact Terry Milson at milsont@mcmaster.ca

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50th Anniversary an Outstanding Success

There was dining and dancing and fundraising for a good cause. But most of all, Camp XIII, Kipling, 50th Anniversary event gave everyone who attended an exciting opportunity to greet colleagues and professors, renew friendships, and celebrate a milestone for Kipling, The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. The long-awaited event, held in Hamilton on October 28th, attracted over 300 alumni and friends. Guest speaker Dr. Stephen Elop (B.Eng.M ’86, D.Sc. ’09) gave a wonderfully engaging address on how the engineering profession shaped him and his professional career. Dr. Elop, a software expert, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Finland-based mobile communications giant Nokia. The Silent Auction raised $7,050 which will be used to create a bursary fund in Camp XIII’s name to assist students who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend university. All obligated engineers had the opportunity to participate in a special oath renewal

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ceremony with family, friends and co-workers in attendance. This was an important part of the evening’s proceedings, and was attended by 170 obligated engineers. John Dinsmore, Past Chief Warden, Corporation of the Seven Wardens, delivered the renewal obligation. Other Wardens in attendance included Gary Hysop, Romeo Palombella, Bill Filer, Dr. Phil Wood, Olga Delvecchio, Lynn McNeil, Dr. David Weaver, Dr. Ross Judd, Dr. Ray Findlay, Dr. Don Woods and Noel Thomas. Engineered by the Engineering Alumni office staff who did an amazing organizational job in every respect, the event was an outstanding success! n

Guest speaker Dr. Stephen Elop gave a wonderfully engaging address on how the engineering profession shaped him and his professional career.


Enhancing Student Learning The proposed Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL) will showcase sustainable building technologies and become a living laboratory that offers hand-on learning about green technologies. The multi-storey facility will be located adjacent to or near the John Hodgins Engineering Building. Engineering students will have an active role in designing the building through the formal Integrated Design Process. The building’s open concept will show construction techniques and building materials, while its energy use will be available in real time, showing the energy cost of the building’s operation. Engineering students from all disciplines will have access to the student clubs and

societies, collaborative workspaces, design studios, and display and demonstration spaces planned for the building. Current students, alumni and friends of McMaster will be asked to contribute to the construction of the building. Additional funding could be forthcoming from government for support of the

Class of ‘62 ’67 ‘72 ’77 ‘82 ’87 ‘92 ’97

Engineering Alumni Weekend Saturday, June 2, 2012 4:30 pm CIBC Hall – McMaster University – Student Centre Cost: $60/Person Dress Code - Semi-Casual

sustainable technologies used in the building. For more information on the ExCEL initiative or to inquire about donating, please contact: Terry Milson, Faculty Advancement Officer, milsont@mcmaster.ca or by phone at 905-525-9140 ext. 27391 n

Enjoy a mini-tour of McMaster’s new Engineering facilities. Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances For more information please visit http://eng.mcmaster.ca/engalumni or email: vespi@mcmaster.ca


Gold Medal Winner is Valedictorian It’s hard to understand how the 2011 Gold Medal recipient had any time for her studies. Civil Engineering graduate Erica Barnes was an active member of the Faculty of Engineering Sustainability Task Force, sat on Faculty’s Student and Professional Affairs Committee, and was a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board. During her term as president of McMaster’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter in 2009, she successfully expanded EWB membership to several other Canadian universities and, along with fellow EWB members, developed an educational program for students and a Root Causes of Poverty Workshop for first-year Engineering students. In 2008, she volunteered in Malawi as a Junior Fellow. During her years at university, Barnes actively promoted issues of sustainability and encouraged her colleagues to take a global perspective to engineering problems. Barnes received the Engineers Canada award at convocation in June, 2011, at which time she gave the valedictorian address. n

Engineering and Society is celebrating it’s

20th Anniversary Saturday, October 13, 2012 Faculty Club

Mark the date in your calendar More information to follow: www.eng.mcmaster.ca/ engalumni/events/society_20th.html

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Software Grads Needed Associate professor of Computational Engineering and Science Christopher Anand has crunched the numbers and come up short. The increasing demand for software developers is not being met by qualified graduates from Canadian universities. The problem? Not enough high school students are taking math and science, resulting in fewer who qualify for enrolment in computational courses at university. Prof. Anand has devised a two-pronged approach to this problem. He has prepared an outreach program that uses presentations and interactive activities to demystify

the concepts of algorithms and writing code. With a group of McMaster students, he presents the program to Grade 8 students in the hope of encouraging them to consider careers in computing and science. In addition, he has created a new university course to equip computing and software students for success in the world of business. The Software Entrepreneurship course was offered for the first time in the Fall 2011 semester. The course teaches key business skills and guides students to take a concept from prototype to market. n


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year program that trains employees in the operations of various departments so that they understand better the business as a whole, and can determine where they best fit within the company. Prior to the Texada Island assignment, Sarah worked in the Land Department on developmental permits and mine plans with local environment agencies. Being a woman engineer has only been a positive experience, she says. “The crews that I work with have always been nothing but respectful, helpful and friendly. I find I bring a different perspective to challenges in the field, and some compassion for the working environment.” Only occasionally has she encountered a man who did not want to deal with a woman on the job site. “It didn’t bother me – it’s their loss!” Sarah took engineering based on the belief that it was a good ticket to finding a job. As well, she was attracted by the fact that there were several areas of specialization within the Faculty. She had not intended to enter the Materials field, but was hooked after completing the first year Materials course. “Having the engineering degree opened doors immediately. It shows that you have the dedication, intelligence and organizational skills to have been able to complete the program.” She says that many employers are looking for engineers in general; the specialization is a secondary factor. She advises young women entering engineering not to be intimidated. “If this is what you want to do, just do it!” When not supervising blasting operations, Sarah enjoys boating, hiking, fishing, baseball and reading on the Island’s beaches. n

Professors Earn Recognition Pelton Elected Fellow

MacGregor and Zhu recieve R.S Jane Memorial Award In the 61st Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering Conference held in London Ontario October 23-26, John MacGregor received R.S. Jane Memorial Award. This premier award of the Society is presented to a person who has made an exceptional achievement in the field of chemical engineering or industrial chemistry. At the same conference, Shiping Zhu received the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award. The Institute is the national umbrella organization that encompasses the three societies for chemistry, chemical engineering and chemical technology. n

New Appointments in Engineering Jeffery Hoyt

has been appointed Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, effective January 1, 2012. He has been a member of the Department since July 1, 2007. A highly-regarded instructor, Dr. Hoyt’s research focus is on the utilization of molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques to model phase transformations.

Professor Nik Provatas

of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is leaving McMaster for McGill University. He has accepted a position as Professor in the Department of Physics and will be a member of the Centre of Materials Physics. Dr. Provatas has also been appointed Scientific Director of McGill’s New Super Computing Facility named CLUMEQ.

Chemical Engineering professor Robert Pelton, best known for his work developing pathogen-detecting paper, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was officially inducted into the Society in Ottawa on November 26, 2011. The paper, developed by the McMaster-led Sentinel Bioactive Paper Strategic Network, uses chemically or biologically impregnated paper to provide fast, easy and inexpensive detection of pathogens and toxins in food, water and air. Pelton is Sentinel’s scientific director. n

Honours for Jamal Deen It’s been a busy year for M. Jamal Deen, Canada Research Chair in Information Technology and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In May, he received the 2011 IEEE Canada R.A. Fessenden Medal, awarded to researches for pioneering contributions in electronics and optoelectronics for communications. In June, he received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Deen, who has been at McMaster University since 1999, is recognized for innovation and cutting-edge research in optoelectronic, microelectronic and nanoelectronic devices, work that has brought world-wide recognition to McMaster and Canada. He is a Fellow of eight societies, holds six patents, and has received many research awards. n

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Skills for Future Vanier Canada Success Scholarship Winner SELECT, a new student leadership development program for engineering students, offers workshops and hands-on skills in leadership training. Launched in the fall of 2011, the program’s objectives are to invest in transferrable skills to help students be successful in their post-graduation endeavours, and to enhance the community experience within the Faculty. Program Coordinator Minha Ha explains that the idea of leadership training arose from Dean Wilkinson’s desire to enhance the educational experience for engineering students. It was determined that workshop-based projects are most suitable, and research of similar programs helped to shape the topics for discussion and the program format. Completion of the mandatory modules, combined with an evaluation, leads to a SELECT Leadership Certificate. During this first year of operation, the Level 1 Certificate includes four two-hour interactive workshops which must be completed during one academic year. Workshop topics are: identifying and understanding team members’ personality differences and how this affects the team; communication skills; values and goal-setting; decision-making. (Level 2 is currently in development.) Students who are interested in participating must be actively involved in some way with a campus-based extracurricular activity, team or club, and must have a desire to increase their leadership potential. The program offers opportunities to meet other like-minded engineering undergrads, learn effective leadership and team-building skills, and interact with young engineering alumni. SELECT is currently funded by the Faculty of Engineering and donors, and there is no cost to the student at this time. Ms. Ha notes that alumni are encouraged to participate by being speakers, workshop leaders and mentors. For more information, contact her at englead@mcmaster.ca n

14 The MacEngineer

In August, Frances Lasowski, a master’s student in the Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, was one of six McMaster scholars awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships for 2011. Each will receive $50,000 a year for up to three years. The only engineering student to win the prestigious scholarship, Frances is currently researching a cure to prevent retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that often affects kids by the age of three. In addition to her research, she is co-ordinator of Let’s Talk Science, an educational program for young students. An accom-

Frances is currently researching a cure to prevent retinoblastoma plished hockey, water polo, volleyball and field hockey player, Frances participates in the McMaster Marauder Mentor program providing academic and social support to other students. She plans to use the award to fund her research efforts by traveling to Australia to use equipment not currently available in Canada. n

Vanier Cup Win–A First! In case there are any alumni who still haven’t heard the news… On November 25, 2011, the Marauders’ football team won the Vanier Cup for the first time! The 2011 Canadian interuniversity championship game pitted the McMaster Marauders against Laval Rouge et Or. Mac’s 4138 win in overtime represented only the second time in the tournament’s history that the game has gone into overtime. The 47th edition of the football classic was Robert Babic played for the first time in British Columbia, at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. Four engineering students were members of this winning team: Adam Dickson (Eng. Physics & Mgmt. 2nd year) Michael Smith (Year 1) Jacob Hopper (Electrical & Bio. Year 2), and Robert Babic (CivEng. & Mgmt., 4th year). “Winning the Vanier Cup was something that we strived for as a team for all my four years at McMaster,” says Rob, who plays slot receiver on offence. “It has been an honour to play at the post-secondary level, and winning the Vanier Cup is nothing short of a dream come true.” Asked what it felt like when he realized the team had won its first Vanier Cup, he says: “So few players get to experience the sheer elation that comes with such an accomplishment and it is still a feeling that overwhelms everyone who was involved with it. It is something that all of my teammates and I know we are going to be able to look back on years down the road and rekindle all of the memories that went along with this unforgettable season.” n


Alumni Grapevine William

Kamel, Ashraf (Elec.Eng. ‘93): Julia and I recently had our third baby, Lolo Minoush in early October. Joey Kish (Mat.Eng. ’92, PhD. ’99): Big brother Ayden is proud to announce the birth of his baby sister Allison Josephine Kish on November 7, 2011, weighing in at 5 pounds and 10 ounces

Ayden and Allison

Roddi and Mireilla Roddi Basserman (Chem.Eng. ‘01) married Mireilla June 2011 in Ottawa, ON. Geoff Boyd (Chem.Eng. ‘04) and Elizabeth Clark (Chem.Eng. ‘04): I am in Corporate Sales for Echologics Engineering Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario. In June 2011, Liz and I welcomed William Thomas into the family. Things are going great!

Geordie Rose (Eng.Phys. ‘94): Geordie is co-founder and CTO of D-Wave Systems Inc., a quantum computing company based in Burnaby, BC (www. dwavesys.com).The company’s D-Wave One, the world’s first commercially-available quantum computer, was purchased by Lockheed Martin-USC Center for Quantum Computations at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Geordie is currently seeking a Canadian location for a D-Wave One.

Abigail Zen Yee

Herman Poon (Comp.Eng. ’03): My wife Hannah (nee Nichols, B.Com (Hon.) ’03) and I are proud to announce the arrival of our daughter Abigail Zen Yee on September 14, 2011, weighing 8 lbs 4 oz. I am working at McMaster in UTS and have been teaching for the B.Tech. Program since 2006. Mohammed Tauhiduzzaman (Mech.Eng.’11): It is a great pleasure for me and Tasneem (MechEng ’09) to share wonderful news with you.We have been blessed with a wonderful baby girl.Yara Tauhid Zaman was born on the 19th of August, 2011.The word Yara means “the loved one”. Yara weighed 7 lbs 10 oz. and was 20 inches tall at birth.

Yara Tauhiduzzaman

Deceased Notices Linda Jairam (nee DeCecchi) (Engineering Physics ‘89). Passed away on October 25, 2011, at the age of 46, following a courageous battle with breast cancer. Linda leaves her husband Rick, and children Rachel and Sean.

Robert Piercy Passed away in late August, 2011. Dr. Piercy joined the Faculty of Engineering in 1969 as Department Chair for the Department

of Metallurgy (now Department of Materials Science and Engineering). During his tenure as Chair, Dr. Piercy advocated for a balance between research and teaching. He promoted an educational approach that later became known as “problem-based learning”. Dr. Piercy retired in 1989.

George Frederick Round The Department of Mechanical Engineering is sad to announce the passing of Dr. George Round on January 21, 2012 in Burlington, Ontario. Dr. Round was from England where he attended the University of Birmingham, graduating with a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. During

this time he met his future wife, Jean Codling, and they married in 1956. In 1957, the family moved to Edmonton, Alberta where Dr. Round worked as a Research Officer at the Alberta Research Council specializing in fluid dynamics, and pipeline and pumping systems design.The family moved to Burlington in 1968 when Dr. Round became a full professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University. He remained in this position until 1995; he served as departmental chairman from 1970–1973. During the course of his career, he authored over 125 scientific papers and 5 books, and held 6 patents. Predeceased by his wife, Dr. Round is survived by his five children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held on January 26 at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Burlington. The MacEngineer 15


GOLF TOURNAMENT Thursday, May 31, 2012 Hidden Lake Golf Club 1137 #1 Side Road, Burlington, ON Price: $130/Person

Includes: Lunch, Dinner and Golf + 10 Raffle Tickets

MacEngineer Winter 2012  

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

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