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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Winter 2013



Time Honoured Tradition MES Past President Erin Middaugh, Engineering Physics & Society IV passes sword to new MES President Emily Au, Electrical & Biomedical Engineering III

Dean of Engineering Art Heidebrecht

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As mentioned in the previous issue of the MacEngineer, I’m “back at Mac” in a short-term role as Acting Dean of Engineering during the search for a new Dean of Engineering. This has been a great experience, although it is somewhat unusual to be back at the same job that I held at McMaster for most of the 1980’s. I’m really enjoying getting to know and working with the Engineering faculty and staff, most of whom were not on the scene during my previous tenure as Dean. What I find exciting, interesting and motivating is to be involved with and facilitating initiatives and connections which will enable the Faculty to continue to move forward. While many of these initiatives are low-key and often exploratory in nature, some are very much on the “centre stage” and I want to mention a few of these. The most visible project and one which has the potential for a significant impact on the learning experience of our students is ExCEL, the Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning. This building project was approved by the University’s Board of Governors in December 2012 and the detailed planning and design process is now underway. As with the initial conceptual stages of this project, students will have a major role in its development, participating in the project steering committee, as well as doing a great deal of background work to define the scope and features of the building. Student participation is important to ensure that the building will serve its main

purpose of providing an innovative and stimulating learning environment. While approximately 70% of the estimated cost has already been secured, due to commitments from donors and the student-approved levy, we very much need the financial support of Engineering alumni to enable our total goal to be achieved; please consider joining with our students to support the ExCEL project with a gift. An equally important aspect of ExCEL, in addition to the building, is the development and enhancement of experiential learning practices, both within the curricula of our programs and, of equal importance, outside of the scheduled lectures, tutorials and laboratories. To facilitate these developments, the Faculty has established an Experiential Learning Task Force with participation from faculty, students and staff members. This task force, in addition to providing input and advice to the ExCEL steering committee, will provide assistance to faculty members in implementing experiential learning in their courses and act as a point of contact for any student or faculty member interested in learning more about experiential learning. Another important and very much related set of activities concerns the involvement of the Faculty of Engineering in McMaster’s “Forward with Integrity (FWI)” initiative. This initiative, which is the response to a letter with President Patrick Deane sent to the McMaster community in September 2011, is providing an enabling environment for a variety of actions, with particular emphases on the student experience and community engagement. Experiential learning is very much part of that environment and provides additional impetus for the emphasis which Engineering has already placed on experiential learning. Best wishes for a successful and meaningful 2013!

Profiles The Benefits of Internships Richard Aranha is in his fourth year of Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing, a four-year program that he will complete in 2013. He has just finished a 16-month internship at ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc. in Hamilton, in a reliability engineering role. He says the experience has expanded his skills, and he is confident it will prove to be beneficial to his career. One of the primary issues for Dofasco is maintaining the equipment in good condition in order to get the maximum output and realize its maximum life-span. Richard worked in the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) facility which, he says, is like working with lightning in a box. “There are three giant electrodes connected to a 44,000 V three-phase transformer, and electric arcs are used to melt the metal.” Any equipment in the vicinity, he adds, needs to be engineered and re-engineered to keep up with changes, such as new innovations or a change in environmental requirements. The experience offered him an opportunity to work on multiple redesigns – some for safety reasons, some to increase the longevity of the equipment, and some to accommodate new instrumentation. “I was the process manager for a critical equipment installation, and then the go-to person to solve the typical problems that arise from such an installation.” During the internship, Richard interacted with a variety of professionals, from tradespeople — such as millwrights, pipefitters and electricians — to technical professionals including civil, electrical and computational engineers, and middle management, as well as some VPs. He also had to deal with external sales representatives, business owners and suppliers. “The only constraint on the opportunity to work with others was the duration of my work term,” he jokes.

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

He says the company permitted him the freedom to apply his initiative and education to the issues at hand, and to find and implement a solution based on its business merits and cost-effectiveness. Richard was drawn to engineering because “to be an engineer means to be a problemsolver”. He chose Mechanical because it seemed the most direct representation of problem-solving – being able to assess a situation, analyse its components, discover the problems and fix them. He always knew that engineers were valued for these problem-solving skills, but the internship demonstrated to him how much this is so. “Until my work term, I didn’t realize the extent of the respect and trust given to engineers and people in the engineering disciplines.” Originally from India, Richard came to Canada in 2008 to attend McMaster. Not only has he attended classes, he’s travelled extensively around the country. He is also a musician who plays the guitar and piano, and an artist who enjoys painting murals. n profiles continue on p.5

Contact Carm Vespi Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24906 Fax: (905) 546-5492 e-mail: website: The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Contributors: Terry Milson, Trudi Down 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:

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Left holding cube: Emma Badowski Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2013, Right: Joséphine Gilgert Exchange Student, ENIM, Metz France

Manufacturing Research

Partnership In the past the true test of a machinist was their ability to make complex parts using their hands and ingenuity. Now with access to state of the art equipment and the same ingenuity we can make in minutes the complex parts that would have taken a machinist many hours. One example of this is the turner’s cube, which highlights the capabilities of the five-axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machine which was generously donated by Mori-Seiki USA and Mitsui Canada in June to the MMRI.The machine’s five axes allow us to mill multiple faces of the cube without the need to manually remove and rotate it, this saves time and helps achieve tight tolerances. n

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Alex Buczek

Mac Engineering Provides Great Grounding There are many reasons why Alex Buczek (Computer and Electrical 2002) picked McMaster as his university of choice. “McMaster was the best blend of academic program and reputation,” he recalls. In addition, it was close to Mississauga where his family lived and where he had a part-time job. “I could easily commute home on weekends.” He soon realized Mac also had a great overall atmosphere, with terrific amenities and a vibrant campus life. Since graduating from Mac, Alex has held a variety of positions including R&D, product development, marketing and project management at a number of companies including Celestica, Scotiabank, Husky Injection Molding and, most recently, at ATS Automation Systems Inc. Based in Cambridge, Ontario, ATS specializes in the assembly and testing of automated manufacturing processes. Currently, Alex is a Project Manager, leading a cross-functional group of engineers, designers, and supply chain, manufacturing and sales team members to provide outstanding solutions to customers. He especially likes the fact that while he works closely with team members on issues and is responsible for decision-making, he also works directly with customers. Along the way, Alex obtained his MBA from the Schulich School of Business (2008). The most valuable aspect of the McMaster engineering experience, he says, was the internship program. He recalls a 16-month hands-on stint that was a wonderful opportunity and a real boost to his confidence in feeling prepared to join the workforce. “I believe it truly helped my ability to perform well in an organization immediately after graduation.”

Alex lives in Milton with his wife and three children, Brynn the newest member of the Buczek family was born January 8, 2013. In his spare time, he is a soccer coach with the Milton Youth Soccer Club. He also admits to being a “hardcore NFL addict”, cheering for the Chicago Bears. n

Making an Inspiring Difference Ed Kusmirski (El. & Mgmt. ’86) admits he never had thoughts of being a “pure” engineer. He was drawn to electrical engineering out of a general interest and opted for the management stream because he saw the value of learning about the business side of things. After graduation, Ed worked for a variety of telecommunications companies in Canada. It was a very volatile field, where mergers and buyouts occurred regularly. His last position was in Calgary with Bell Canada; he was to plan a reorganization of the company’s Western Operations to be

more efficient. His plan was a success, and his own position was declared redundant! After over 20 years in telecommunications, Ed joined the Calgary Science Network (CSN) in 2008 ( Founded in 1991 as a registered charity, CSN’s programs bring science to life for kids through hands-on activities, and provide educators with the tools and resources needed to get kids excited about science. Every year Calgary Science Network volunteers deliver presentations to over 350 classrooms in Calgary and surrounding communities – at no cost to the schools. It also provides about 30 Alberta Education Science Curriculumlinked professional development workshops annually to over 650 teachers. Initially, Ed volunteered on the CSN Board. Then he became a volunteer “Scientists & Engineers-in-the-Classroom” presenter. Currently, he is the organization’s part-time Executive Director. “CSN believes that the key to inspiring the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow is to spark an interest in the sciences at an early age,” he says. The objective is to show students that science is fun and easy so that more of them will be enthused about choosing a career in science or engineering. One of Ed’s classroom presentation especially stands out. It was for a grade 2 class and the topic was Buoyancy and Boats. “It went very well, and I didn’t think anything more about it until I received an email from the teacher in June. continued on p.13

Ed Kusmirski The MacEngineer


Mac Tuberculosis Research Rewarded for Innovation In November, 2012, Faculty of Engineering’s Leyla Soleymani and Ravi Selvaganapathy each won a $100,000 research grant from Grand Challenges Canada, a federal government program recognizing innovations in global health. Soleymani, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Physics, and her team created a hand-held, solar-rechargeable device for diagnosing TB at the bedside. The device electronically analyzes a saliva sample. It will tell doctors if the patient has the bacteria in his or her system and what the bacteria count is.The device can determine if a patient has TB in a matter of hours, unlike existing test methods that can take

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weeks. It’s charged by solar power, so it can be used in remote areas. An associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Selvaganapathy’s research focuses on new ways to cut the testing time for tuberculosis, and to diagnose and detect drug resistance. Cell culture is the main method currently used to diagnose TB, but it takes 4-6 weeks to test a sample. Selvaganapathy is working on techniques to reduce testing time to a few hours. These are important improvements, because quick detection of TB can make treatment easier and reduce the chances of a patient spreading the disease to others. The Grand Challenges Canada’s Stars in Global Health program supports research and development projects that integrate science, technology, social and business innovation, and that are aimed at improving health in Canada and overseas. n

Leyla Soleymani

Schreiner Awarded Husky Grant Ken Schreiner (Mech. Eng.) is the recipient of a 2013 Husky Injection Molding Systems Academic Grant. Ken is currently in his final year of mechanical engineering and is looking forward to a career in the automotive or aerospace industry. His work experience includes two Milton-based automotive manufacturers, Karmax Heavy Stamping and Modatek Systems, and the engineering consulting firm of Remy Consulting Engineers Ltd. (RCEL) of Brampton. The monetary award, valued at $5,000, is given to students who have completed level II or III of mechanical engineering, attained a high session average, and demonstrated financial need. n

Top Innovators Showcased At the McMaster Innovation Showcase held in June, 2012, distinguished university professor and professor of electrical and computer engineering Simon Haykin was recognized with the Lifetime Innovator Award. Dr. Haykin was honoured for his work inventing the field of cognitive radio, which has significant potential for making a difference in wireless communications. In fact, McMaster has filed eight patents based on Haykin’s research. Dr. Haykin also contributed to the work of VitaSound Inc., winner of the Industry Partner Award which recognizes corporations who have made a significant contribution to developing the University’s research mandate. The Ontario-based company looks for ways to assist those with hearing problems, and was recognized for its role in commercializing the Neuro-

Compensator hearing aid.The device was developed by Suzanna Becker, professor of psychology, neuroscience & behaviour, out of earlier research performed at McMaster by Haykin and Ian Bruce. Chemical engineering professor Heather Sheardown was named Innovator of the Year. She was recognized for the development of two inventions with significant promise: material for intra-ocular lenses used in the treatment of cataracts, and material designed to deliver therapeutic drugs to the back of the eye in a controlled and sustained manner. The University’s Innovator Awards recognize researchers who contribute to the University’s ongoing efforts to build a culture of innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship by creating a product or service that will transfer research discoveries  and inventions to society. n

Professor Emeritus Awarded D.Sc. In October 2012, Raymond Findlay, professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, was awarded a D.Sc. (honoris causa) from Memorial University of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The honorary degree was received in recognition of Dr. Findlay’s many contributions to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), as well as his long career in engineering education. Dr. Findlay joined McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering in 1981. He taught electrical machines at both the undergraduate and graduate level for 24 years. He is a former Assistant Dean, Professional Affairs, and former Director of the Engineering & Management program. A lifelong active member of the IEEE, he served as its President in 2002, and is currently IEEE Canada Director Emeritus. n

Gold Medal Winner Giuseppe Del Gobbo (Eng. & Mgmt.) is the recipient of the 2012 Chancellor’s Gold Medal.The medal, given to the top graduating student of any program at McMaster who ranks highest in scholarship, leadership and influence, is the highest-ranking undergraduate award in the University. An outstanding student, Giuseppe also served as Vice-President Academic of the McMaster Engineering Society and ran the Undergraduate Engineering Mentorship Program. He has won 15 awards during his academic career, including the Provost’s Honour Roll Medal (three times), the F.W. Paulin Scholarship and the Stanley Robertson Scholarship. To top off these successes, he was also named a finalist for a 2012 Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world’s most prestigious academic awards. He was one of just a handful of Ontario candidates to make it to the final round of selections. While he won’t be attending Oxford University, he has done McMaster proud.This is the second year in a row that a McMaster student has been named a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. n

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“Start-up” Winners At the end of the Toronto-based 2012 Start-up Weekend in mid-November, three top Canadian innovations were selected. The first place winner is GroupNotes, the brainchild of McMaster students Jason Moore and Matt Gardner (Eng. & Mgmt.) and Greg Connell (MEEI). GroupNotes is an app that assists online

collaborators (students doing group work, a corporate project team) to keep track of and record messages on the web pages that have been visited, so that colleagues can view them in real time and not repeat work already completed by a member of the group. Winning is no small feat.The GroupNotes

Left to right: Greg Connell, Jason Moore, Matt Gardner, Graham Kennery and Mathieu Gosbee

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team had 54 hours to develop an idea and pitch it in a 60 - second presentation. Following Friday night’s pitch, the team landed its first sale from local educators. Upon being announced the overall winner of Toronto Start-up Weekend, GroupNotes was awarded over $35,000 of in-kind prizes including Google cloud, legal support, design assistance, and PR services.The following Tuesday, GroupNotes opened on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Start-up Weekend is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington.This year’s Global Start-up Competition attracted over 10,000 entrepreneurs from 60 countries. Teams battle it out to attract backers and orders for their inventions during an intense weekend of presentations.The GroupNotes team members have earned a tour of Googleplex in San Francisco and will meet with investors, founders, and mentors. In March 2013 they will fly to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress. n


Applause Accolades

Left to Right – David Wilkinson, Provost, McMaster University; Blake Stacey, Electrical Engineering student and VP Financial, McMaster Engineering Society; and David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

Funding for Internships In December, 2012 the Government of Canada announced an investment of $1,133,000 to provide internship opportunities for recent McMaster science and engineering graduates and current graduate students. Offered through FedDevOntario’s Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI), the funding allows not-for-profit organizations and post-

secondary institutions to arrange internship and mentoring opportunities with small- and medium-sized enterprises. It’s an opportunity for the graduates and graduate students to get professional experience, mentorship and business skills needed for their future careers, and provides a bridge from academia to the working world. n

John Bandler Awarded IEEE Medal John Bandler, professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been awarded the IEEE Canada McNaughton Gold Medal for 2012. The citation reads:“For pioneering contributions to optimization technology and microwave CAD”. Prof. Bandler received the award at the award ceremony in Montreal in April 2012 at the 25th IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE). As a result of Prof. Bandler’s work, yielddriven design, design with tolerances, direct electromagnetic optimization, electromagnetic optimization with design tolerances — techniques that used to be only academic fantasies prior to the 1980s — are now taken for granted by high-frequency and microwave engineers. He is also recognized as having introduced the space mapping concept in 1994, and it has been adopted across the entire spectrum of engineering by researchers and industry designers. Space mapping makes possible the optimal, high-fidelity

design of engineering devices and systems at a cost of only a few high-fidelity simulations. Through the A.G.L. McNaughton Award, General McNaughton’s contributions to the engineering profession in Canada are remembered and acknowledged by IEEE Canada. Recipients of the McNaughton Award are outstanding Canadian engineers recognized for their important contributions to the engineering profession. n

This year’s annual Applause & Accolades celebration takes place on Wednesday, May 8, at LIUNA Station in downtown Hamilton, starting at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $150.00 per person or $1,200.00 for tables of eight. The following awards will be presented: McMaster University Faculty of Engineering Leadership award to Jennifer Jackman, Director General of the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory. The L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni award to Kim Woodhouse (ChemEng Ph.D. ’93), Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at Queen’s University. Faculty of Engineering Research Achievement award to Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Jamal Deen, Senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology. Faculty of Engineering Education Achievement award to Don Woods, professor emeritus, Department of Chemical Engineering. For additional information, or to register, please contact Terry Milson at or 905.525.9140 ext. 27391. n

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Peter Mascher

John Luxat

CAE Fellows Dr. Peter Mascher and Dr. John Luxat were inducted new Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.The Faculty of Engineering would like to extend its appreciation to both Dr.’s Mascher and Luxat for their outstanding contributions and their distinguished achievements in engineering. The Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) comprises many of the country’s most accomplished engineers, who have expressed their dedication to the application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises. The Academy is an independent, self-governing and non-profit organization established

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in 1987 to serve the nation in matters of engineering concern. The Academy is an active member of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS), which involves 26 leading countries. Members of the Academy are nominated and elected by their peers to honorary fellowships, in view of their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. Members work closely with the other national engineering associations in Canada, and with the other Canadian academies that comprise the Council of Canadian Academies. n


McMaster Engineering Musical – The Eng King

Rule the stage

ReviewedThe by Danielle De Rango story around Disney’s Lion King! The show Thisshow, year, thetransforming McMaster Engineering ing was a fantastic Simba’sMusical chose to base their story around Disney’s The Lion King! The show th McMaster Engineering Musical – The Eng King to be Saturday March 17th. The Eng King was a fantastic show, transforming Simba’s ran from Thursday March 15can ourney through Eng Land. Only praise Reviewed by Danielle De Rango classic story of his growth into manhood, into Simon’s hilarious journey through Eng Land. Only praise can be onderful givenyear, to this production; the cast was outstanding, This themusical McMaster Engineering Musical chose to basewith theirwonderful story around Disney’s The Lion King! The show th th rrific and singers and dancers, the band was awesome, the stage crew was terrific anda fantastic show, transforming Simba’s was ran from Thursday March 15 to Saturday March 17 . The Eng King utdone the script hadofeveryone laughing. The Engineering Musical has outdone classic story his growth into manhood, into Simon’s hilarious journey through Eng Land. Only praise can be themselves year, production; and I cannotthe wait to was see what the musical up given to thisthis musical cast outstanding, withcomes wonderful mes up

with next year! singers and dancers, the band was awesome, the stage crew was terrific and the script had everyone laughing. The Engineering Musical has outdone themselves this year, and I cannot wait to see what theReviewed musical comes up by Danielle De Rango with next year! This year, the McMaster Engineering Musical chose to base their story around Disney’s The Lion King! The show ran from Thursday March 15th to Saturday March 17th.The Eng King was a fantastic show, transforming Simba’s classic story of his growth into manhood, into Simon’s hilarious journey through Eng Land. Only praise can be given to this musical production; the cast was outstanding, with wonderful singers and dancers, the band was awesome, the stage crew was terrific and the script had everyone laughing.The Engineering Musical has outdone themselves this year, and I cannot wait to see what the musical comes up with next year!

11 | Frequency

April 2012

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Have Recipe will travel

Stephen Childs (CivEng & Soc,‘04) grew up in Buckhorn, Ontario at the family’s small business, Scotsman Point Resort. Food has been a central part of his life since he was old enough to touch the stove.“From helping my mom in the kitchen make veggie soup and lasagna to trying to make baked Alaska (what 8-year-old can resist a recipe that puts ice cream in the oven?) and creating after-school snacks with my dad, cooking is at my core.” In January 2012, Stephen had an opportunity to see just how good he is in the kitchen. He took part in an open-call audition for a Food Network TV show called “Recipe to Riches”.The series showcases Canadian home cooks and gives them a chance to win $25,000, as well as have their original idea marketed as a President’s Choice product. “My submission was a one-of-a-kind original creation called Chipotle Chili Bites — essentially chili without a bowl.” The recipe won in its category of Savory Snacks,

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and Stephen found himself selected as one of 21 finalists from the thousands across Canada who had applied. His Chipotle Chili Slam (re-named by retailer) creation is now in President’s Choice stores across Canada. Stephen says that his Recipe to Riches journey has been an incredible life-changing experience. He donated $3,000 of the $25,000 winnings to local food causes in Victoria, BC, where he currently lives. He notes that the food bank can purchase $3 of food for every $1 donated — an astonishing return on investment! “I believe that gathering around food is central to the human condition.That teaching others how to cook and empowering those in our community who do not have access to quality food and nutrition are central to building community where we live.” The TV series ran until the end of November 2012, after which time Canadians voted online during early December at www.reci- for their favourite finalist.The winner receives the $250,000 grand prize. Unfortunately, Stephen’s culinary effort was not the grand prize winner, but you can find his recipe at ca/Recipe-to-Riches/season2/default.html. To see a behind-the-scene video and watch Stephen’s episode, visit http://www. video.html. He adds that there has been a big focus on the show about the fact that he’s a Civil Engineer. Stephen says his Recipe to Riches journey, as well as his success in the engineering profession, stem from the teaching of his parents, who taught him and his siblings that anything is possible.“I never thought that such an upbringing would land me on national television and a chance to win $250,000!” n

She had been creating end-of-year scrapbooks for the kids and several of them had listed my presentation as their ‘most memorable moment of the year’. I thought, “Wow” – a ninety-minute presentation in January and in June a bunch of seven-year-old kids still think of it as their most memorable thing that happened during the year!” Ed is enthusiastic about the work CSN does. “The best part is working with other passionate staff and volunteers to inspire the next generation with a love of science.” n

Engineering’s Problem-solving Skills Led to Career Success McMaster’s initiative to include a business component along with the various engineering streams has certainly proved to be popular with high school students looking for added value in a university degree. James Politeski (MechEng & Mgmt, ’92) says he chose to attend McMaster primarily because of the management option. “No other engineering school offered [it] at the time,” he says, and it was a key factor as he reviewed the various institutions offering engineering programs. “I had no idea how good the course would really be,” he adds. “It has been a big help in my career.” Over the years, his career path diverged from pure engineering. But the take-aways from the McMaster program have been beneficial. “I have not been practising engineering for many years, but the key benefit was the problem-solving skills learned in engineering. Life changes, as do careers, but these skills are very transferrable.” James is currently President of Samsung Electronics Canada, and is responsible for the sales and marketing of the company’s core business units which include information technology, consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances. He was promoted to this position in early 2012, following five years based in the United States as the company’s head of the home appliance business unit. “The business component that Mac Engineering offered has served me well.” James got more than a degree while at McMaster. He also met his future wife there. Laura Klemenchuk received an honours degree in Psychology and Gerontology (’93),

James Politeski

and she is currently pursuing a Master’s in Health, Aging and Society at McMaster. The couple were married on campus in 1993, and they are the proud parents of two teenage daughters. For many years, James has been a supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society and, since 2006, has acted in a team leadership role for the annual Relay for Life event. He is an avid traveller and enjoys visiting exotic locations with the family. He is also a “passionate” red wine collector. n

Three Keys to Success When he was quite young, Peter Popowycz (MechEng ’92) often told people that he wanted to be a pilot or an astronaut. Later, he developed a keen interest in automobiles. “I obtained my driver’s license the day after I turned 16 years of age, and soon thereafter I bought my first car!” He spent countless hours fixing and repairing that car in the family garage. “Given my interests in airplanes and automobiles, the field of mePeter Popowycz

chanical engineering was a natural choice.” He chose to attend McMaster for a variety of reasons. He liked the look of the campus, the engineering facilities, the libraries and residences. The size was just right, too; not huge and overcrowded like some of the larger universities he had toured. And, the campus was close to his home in Toronto. However, the biggest factor in his decision was the Engineering & Management program. “I felt this offered the best of two worlds – engineering and business – and that graduating from this unique program would make me better prepared to face the challenges I would encounter in the working world.” Peter says his degree from McMaster was key to landing a job at Canadian Pacific Railway. “CP had a history of recruiting graduate engineers from McMaster University, believing that the McMaster program produced qualified and talented individuals.” During his time at CP, he progressed as a systems specialist, team lead and project manager, all while taking courses in information technology and project management. When CP relocated their offices from Toronto to Calgary in 1997, Peter left to join a professional services consulting firm providing technical and project management services for clients in the banking, finance and insurance industries. When that company was sold, in 2002 he started his own consulting company, 5 Nines Inc., based in Oakville, Ontario. Clients have included the Government of Ontario, local Health Integration Networks and Canadian Tire. To be successful in your own small business, he says, you need three things: an open mind, flexibility, and the ability to maintain clear direction with a positive attitude – qualities that Mac engineering instills in its graduates. Peter and his wife have raised two sons, and the whole family enjoys the company of an affectionate Golden Retriever named Max. Always interested in a variety of sports, Peter admits that his real passions are golf and ice hockey. n profiles continue on p.15

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New Scholarships Offered by L.E.A.P. & Venture The Faculty of Engineering’s two summer camp youth programs, Learning Enrichment Advancement Program (L.E.A.P.) and Venture, are now offering scholarships to girls who want to attend the programs.

L.E.A.P. will provide an entrance scholarship to the summer program, valued at $650, to a young girl who shows a keen interested in science and engineering. The applicant must be entering either grade 9 or 10 in September 2013. In the application, students are being asked to write a one-page letter outlining why they would be the best applicant for the scholarship, and to provide a written answer to one of three questions. The submission package must also include a copy of the student’s school transcript.

Appointment Peter M. Crockett (Civil ‘81) was appointed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the County of Oxford in Ontario, starting on October 29, 2012. He brings over 31 years of experience to the position, having held senior municipal roles in Toronto and the Regions of Halton, Hamilton and Peel. His focus has been on the planning and management of public works infrastructure. Most recently, Mr. Crockett was head of the City of Toronto’s Technical Services Division, with responsibility for over $500 million in construction works annually. He and his wife Mary live in Hamilton. n

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Venture is offering a scholarship to a female student to attend a full week of camp, valued at $240. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in learning how things work and how engineering and science can affect one’s life. Applicants must be entering either Grade 6, 7 or 8 in September 2013. Anyone interested in this scholarship must provide a 200-word answer to five questions, along with a school transcript. Full details, including how to submit, are available at: www.eng.

Deadline for applications to both scholarship opportunities is April 1, 2013.

Alumnus Gives Student Lecture

Alan Murray Reappointed

In November Dr. Michael Frendo (El.Eng. Ph.D. ’89 & M.Eng. ’83), Senior Vice President of Architecture at Infinera, visited McMaster and gave a student lecture entitled “Silicon Valley Magic - A Retrospective on the Last 20 Years”. Dr. Frendo shared his experiences working in California, and reminisced about the changing landscape in information technology. Infinera, based in Sunnyvale, California, has developed world-class technologies in the areas of photonic integration and system design. Dr. Frendo joined Infinera in 2010 and currently leads the architecture team responsible for all aspects of systems and optical architecture within the company. Since graduating from McMaster in 1989, Dr. Frendo has held various positions at such companies as Avaya, Juniper Networks, and McDATA Corp, as well as Bell Northern Research, where he was a leading development manager for the Magellan Passport product. n

On July 1, 2012 Alan Murray was reappointed as the Executive Director of the McMasterMohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership. His new term expires on June 30, 2015. During the past three years, Murray facilitated the ongoing development of the Bachelor of Technology Partnership and his hard work and dedication contributed to the continued growth and success of the B.Tech. Programs. Murray came to McMaster from the corporate field. He is the founder of Burlington, Ontario-based TriFusion Consulting, and has served as Gennum Corporation’s VP of Human Resources. For seven years beginning in 2000, he was also a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Business where he taught Strategic Management of Technology to MBA students. n

Happy Birthday, Dr. Gerald Hatch

John Bianchini, CEO; Hatch, Art Heidebrecht, Acting Dean; Gerry Hatch, founder of Hatch; David Wilkinson, Provost; Kurt Strobele, Chair, Hatch

Work Placement Provides Great Benefits Bhavin Shukla (B.Tech – Process Automation) recently completed an eight-month work placement at Suncor Energy in Calgary. While at Suncor, Bhavin’s responsibility was as an automation analyst, which fit perfectly with his overall career goal of becoming an automation engineer. He was aligned with the Technical Services Department which provides technical support and reliability improvement services to the plant. As part of the Automation Team, Bhavin found himself working with Major Projects, Operations, and Maintenance and Reliability departments, assisting with projects that focus on continuous improvement in maintenance and inspection issues. One of the areas he became involved with was Alarm Management, which is concerned with the proper design, implementation, operation and maintenance of plant alarm systems. Safety issues are not an option in any industry, he notes. “It’s a requirement, and automation plays a huge role in helpBhavin Shukla

ing to keep a plant safe.” Bhavin, a graduate of the Electrical Control Systems program at Humber College, was attracted to the Bachelor of Technology’s process automation technology stream because he believes automation is key to success in the current world of supply & demand and rapid technological change. McMaster, he adds, is the only university offering this unique program. The McMaster professors are all subject specialists, classes are small, and the technical courses are highly geared to meeting current industry demands. Students are provided with both theory and practical knowledge through lectures and labs, and must complete a mandatory 12-month co-op experience. “[My] work term experience provided me with a grand opportunity to use all the theoretical and practical knowledge learned in the classroom.” He found the business management component of the program was also a great help in adjusting to the transition from school to the work placement. Bhavin,

A special tribute lecture was held on November 8, 2012 to celebrate the 90th birthday of Dr. Gerald G. Hatch, founder and former president of Hatch, a global professional and technology firm based in Mississauga, Ontario. The lecture was given by Dr. Gordon Irons, Dofasco Professor of Ferrous Metallurgy and Director of the McMaster Steel Research Centre. The lecture recognized Dr. Hatch’s contributions to metallurgy, entrepreneurship and business excellence.

who previously spent four months in a work placement on campus in the Mechatronic Lab, is confident these work experiences will assist with his career as an Automation Engineer and is very grateful for the opportunities they have provided him. Campus life is not all about studying and work, however. Bhavin is active as president of ISA (McMaster Chapter) and involved with the Engineering Leadership Development Program as a mentor. One of the extra benefits of working in Calgary, he says, was the opportunity to travel around the area. “I love travelling, and it was a great chance to explore the Rocky Mountain area, including Banff and Jasper National Parks and British Columbia’s Yoho National Park.” n

A Solid Education Some engineering alumni remember most the campus, some think fondly of the pub nights, and some regard the collegial atmosphere as their best memory. For Chris Thewalt (CivEng 1981), McMaster engineering was all of these … and more. “I remember my Mac days fondly, from the faculty and staff to a whole bunch of great friends. continued on p.16 The MacEngineer 15

Chris Thewalt

The Department was very helpful and friendly, and the Admiral (Colin diCenzo) was always entertaining. I still communicate with – and sometimes visit – the friends I met at Mac, like Ron Scheckenberger (CivEng) and Deno Lavdas (MechEng).” After a year in the architecture program at the University of Waterloo, Chris decided that engineering would be a better choice. He gravitated to McMaster, following in the footsteps of his father (civil engineering) and brother (physics) who both attended the University. “I knew it was a solid school that could provide me with a solid education.” Following graduation, Chris studied Earthquake Engineering at Berkeley, completing a Master’s and PhD there. He also received a Master’s in Computer Science. For many years he taught at Berkeley, eventually leaving the university to head up the software department at Cyra Technologies. The California-based start-up company developed the first 3D mid-range terrestrial laser scanner that takes 3D images of buildings and bridges, as well as terrain. In 2001, Cyra was acquired by Leica Geosystems AG headquartered in Switzerland, and Chris is currently VP of the Scanning Software Business, located in San Ramon, California. Chris lives with his partner Debby, his teenage son Matt and two dogs, and enjoys exploring different parts of the San Francisco Bay area including Sonoma and Napa Valley. In addition to enjoying cooking, he continues to watch Formula 1 racing – a sport that he enjoys with Ron Scheckenberger. They’ve been to many races in Montreal, and even attended the Monte Carlo Gran Prix in 1981 where they watched Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve win the race. n

16 The MacEngineer

No Challenge Too Big It may sound a bit strange but Ray Tribe (CivEng & Mgmt ’94) was drawn to McMaster because of its ambiance. “I loved the look of the McMaster campus – it had the elegance of what a university should look like.” Equally important, he adds, was that first year engineering was a general year, which provided an opportunity to get a feel for the various engineering disciplines prior to making his final choice. After graduating Ray discovered that he much preferred business management roles rather than doing traditional engineering work. He was especially drawn to the Supply Chain sector. “Managing various functions which are all connected like gears in a motor keeps my curiosity satisfied, while also matching my desire to manage a business.” Currently, Ray, who also has a certificate in Executive Supply Chain & Logistics Management from Schulich School of Business, is Director of Operations at Lynden International Logistics, based in Toronto, Ontario. He’s responsible for leading a Canadian 3PL (third-party logistics) network of pharmaceutical and consumer health distribution centres. “I help other people find ways of doing their jobs easier and more efficiently, by analyzing processes and looking for waste.” The hardest part of the job, he adds, is getting employees to recognize the need for, and to embrace, change. While his current position may seem far removed from engineering, Ray Tribe

his alma mater provided skills and confidence that he’s drawn upon over the years. “I gained the ability and skills to take on the largest challenge and break it down into manageable tasks; I have moved on with the confidence that no challenge is too big.” In addition to his busy work schedule, Ray volunteers as a member of the Logistics Quarterly Magazine Advisory Board, and sits on the board of Directors of Supply Chain Logistics Canada. Ray is married and the couple have their hands full raising their two active young boys. The family loves to travel and Ray coaches the boys in hockey, skiing and soccer. n

Engineering Training a Great Platform Many engineering alumni say that the skills learned and knowledge acquired at university have proven to be beneficial to them regardless of where their careers take them. Electrical engineering grad Don Weaver (’71) would agree. “Engineering is absolutely a great basis for a career in business, technology, even finance,” he says. “The engineering training was a great platform … you learned to think logically, solve problems, etc. I found the statistics course and the math and optimization courses especially useful in my work.” Following graduation, he spent several years in design. Then he obtained a MBA from York Uni-

Finding Fulfilment in Hong Kong

Don Weaver

versity and went into marketing, operations, and finally general and executive management. Although he specialized in electronics and computers at university, he wound up working in the electrical power industry. Don has just retired from the Osborne Group, a company that provides senior managers and executives on contract to small and mid-sized businesses needing to fill these positions on an interim basis. His last assignments were to run an automation company’s offshore businesses, for six months in Singapore and for 5 months in Penang, Malaysia. “Singapore is absolutely great, as are the people I worked with both there and in Penang,” he says. His reason for choosing electrical engineering was two-fold: he’s always had an interest in the subject, but that interest was further piqued after reading a book in which the hero went to MIT! A Hamiltonian, Don attended Mac on a scholarship from Westinghouse. His dad worked at the Hamiltonbased company, which offered scholarships to children of employees who enrolled in science or engineering at McMaster University. Aside from the convenience and financial assistance aspects, he believes “Mac is one of the better engineering schools.” Don remembers liking all his profs, especially Dr. Kitai in Electrical Engineering, and most of the courses. “Except Fluid Mechanics - it was awful.” Much to his chagrin, electrical students no longer had to take it the year after he graduated. Don and his wife, who is also retired, have two grown children, a son who works in the aerospace field and a daughter who works in the business and programming side of the television industry. The couple spends their time playing tennis and golf (“badly!”).n

Ming Tai Tim Wong graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, majoring in the Structural and Geotechnical stream. In November 2012 he obtained an MSc. from the University of Hong Kong in Construction Project Management, majoring in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution. In 2008, he joined a British engineering consultancy firm named Arup in Hong Kong, and experiencing the construction boom in his hometown. In Hong Kong, Tim has worked on the design project of two new railway lines for Arup Rail Group – the Kwun Tong Line Extension (KTE) and the South Island Line (SIL) – in addition to being involved in the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel.

as a member of HKIE’s President's Protégés Scheme for 2010–2011, which provided opportunities to observe senior figures in the industry and meet the influential leaders. On 18 January 2013, HKIE has awarded the “Trainee of the Year Award 2012” second prize to Tim to acknowledge his achievements in the Scheme “A” Training provided by the HKIE and his contributions to the community and Arup. Hong Kong is not all about work. From 2009 to 2011, Tim managed the Arup Rail Group Basketball team which participates in the MTR Partnering Basketball Tournament. The team won the first runner-up in the 2009 and the championship in 2010 and 2011. Tim takes every opportunity to encourage Canadian engineering grads to explore op-

Ming Tai Tim Wong

For the KTE project, he was responsible for the civil and structural design of Whampoa Station, including the cut-andcover station box, the cavern tunnel and the reprovisioned footbridge. The Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel project is attempting to alleviate flooding in Northern Hong Kong Island. As an Assistant Resident Engineer, his responsibilities included supervision in temporary traffic management, and construction for tunnel and intake. While at McMaster he was president of the McMaster Chinese Engineering Society (2007) and participated in a variety of events planned by the Canadian Chapter of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) in Toronto. In Hong Kong, Tim was selected

portunities in Hong Kong. In March 2009, he was invited by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office's representative office in Canada to be featured in a promotional video entitled Destination Hong Kong (http://www. Moreover, Tim was also featured in a number of local media interviews to share his insights and to promote engineering to the community. Tim is currently a director of the McMaster University Alumni Hong Kong Branch. He mentors engineering students on the latest development of Hong Kong’s booming infrastructure sector, and shares insights and working experience in Hong Kong with the current students. n The MacEngineer 17

GOLF TOURNAMENT Friday, May 10, 2013 Pipers Heath Golf Club 5501 Trafalgar Rd., Hornby (Milton), ON Lunch - 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Shotgun Start - 1:30 p.m. Tournament Package Price: $140/Person Includes: Lunch, Golf and Dinner Register early - space is limited!

Deceased Notices ing father to Naomi, Jackie and Helen and grandfather to Catherine. Senior lecturer in Mathmatical Physics at Birmingham University and professor emeritus of Applied Mathematics, McMaster University, Hamilton. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Cnadian Cancer Society, Hamilton Unit 905-575-9200. Condolences to n

Pengelly, L. David

Feild, Dr. Gerard (Gerry) Formerly of Birmingham, UK and Dundas ON. Dr. Field died on November 12, 2012, at age 91. Much loved husband of Joan, lov-

18 The MacEngineer

Dr. Pengelly died peacefully at his home in Dundas, Ontario on October 23, 2012. His is survived by his wife, and his son, daughter, and step-sons and their families. A graduate of the University of Toronto (El.Eng., 1956) and McGill University (Ph.D. Physiology, 1969), Dr. Pengelly came to McMaster University in 1971 as associate professor in the Department of Medicine. In 1972 he joined

the Department of Engineering Physics and in 1997 was appointed professor emeritus of the Department. He had many interests outside of academia, including the family summer home on Soyers Lake, radio-controlled airplanes, and music. n

Poehlman, William Frederik Skipper (Skip) Dr. Poehlman died on December 1, 2012. He was a member of the Department of Computing and Software until his retirement on October 1, 2011. Over the course of his long career at McMaster, he developed and taught an extensive array of courses, and supervised over 50 master’s students and 8 Ph.D. students from five different departments. He is survived by his wife Barbara Ley, daughter Catharine and son David. n

Alumni Grapevine Paul Tomasik (Civ.Eng. ’07) and Meghan Attridge (Civ.Eng. ’07) are thrilled to welcome their 7 lbs 10 oz baby girl, Annelie Emma, who was born on November 20, 2012 at 5:10 a.m.

Marion and Elliott

Braden, Brooke, Tevya and Quinley

Braden Kurczak (Mech. B. Eng. & Mgt. ‘03): Braden, Brooke and big sister Tevya announced the birth of their beautiful baby girl Quinley on November 25, 2012 at 10:27 p.m., who weighed in at 7 lbs 12 oz.

Kyla Sask (Biomed. Eng. PhD ’12) and Mark Machado (Chem. & B. Eng. ’06) were married on July 28, 2012 in Oakville, Ontario. Family and friends who travelled from Alberta and around Ontario celebrated with them at Piper’s Heath Golf Course. Mark and Kyla met at McMaster when they both started their graduate studies in engineering and were co-captains of the Channel 5 News Team in the GSA summer softball league. Mark and Kyla

Shawn & Elysia

Shawn Keating (Elec. & Biomed. Eng. ’10) and Elysia Jellema (Chem. & Biomed. Eng. ‘11) Elysia and Shawn were married on January 2nd, 2013 in sunny Jamaica.They met in their first year of Engineering at McMaster University. Shawn graduated in 2010 from Electrical and Biomedical Engineering and Elysia graduated in 2011 from Chemical and Bioengineering. Bill & Meghan

Evan, Elliott and Krista

Evan Monkhouse (Mech. Eng. ’04 and Krista Monkhouse (B. Sc. (Hon) ‘04): Krista gave birth Elliot Isaiah on May 16, 2012.“He is of course super smart and Evan is the BEST dad ever.”The couple still resides in Sydney, Australia where Evan has completed a Master’s in Engineering and Asset Management with a particular interest in the rail industry. He volunteers as a coach for under-12-year-old boys in basketball, and continues to run in marathons. Romeo Palombella (Civ. Eng. ’73) and Carol Palombella (C.A.P.E. ’73) announce the latest family additions – twin grandchildren Marion and Elliott Enright, born on February 9, 2012. Ecstatic parents are Jessica Palombella-Enright (Mac Commerce ’00) and Michael Enright (York MBA ’05).

Annelie Emma

Bill White (Civil Eng. & Society ’04) married Meghan Keelan on October 8, 2012. Bill recently started with GHD Canada, continuing his practice specializing in process design and treatment plant construction management; he also just finished his M.Eng. at the University of Toronto. Meg works as an urban planner for the town of Newmarket. They have settled in Newmarket. The MacEngineer 19

2nd Annual

McMaster Engineering

Alumni Weekend 2013

Fashion Show Featuring

Westdale Boutiques

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Class of ’63, ’68, ’73, ’78, ’83, ’88, ’93 and ’98 The Faculty of Engineeringinvites you to Celebrate your Class Reunions!

Saturday, June 1, 2013 Cost: $60/Person • Dress Code - Business Casual


McMaster University CIBC Hall, 3rd Floor MUSC $20/person Agenda

6:30 p.m. Doors Open – 7:00 p.m. Fashion Show Followed by: Chocolate Fountain, Italian Pastries, Desserts, Coffee & Tea, Raffle Prizes, Cash Bar DJ: Rey Rimando

Register online!

McMaster Stratford

Shakespearean Seminar Series July 8-14, 2013 If you enjoy live theatre, you will love the McMaster Stratford Shakespearean Seminar Series. Everyone is welcome! Lectures with university professors prior to productions Top-priced tickets to eight performances Discussion groups following plays and talks with festival actors and staff Weeklong, weekday, and weekend options are available

For more information visit: or call 1-888-217-6003

MacEngineer Winter 2013  

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

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