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Photo: Daniel Banko, BANKOMEDIA.

Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Fall 2014




Dean of Engineering Ishwar Puri This new academic year – my second at McMaster Engineering – is a good time to reflect upon on what inspires me about our Faculty and our alumni. Over the past months, my travel schedule has been packed as I have travelled across Canada, the US and globally. During my travels I have been privileged to meet with alumni across various career stages. These meetings have been a constant reminder that McMaster Engineering is a community whose members share a commitment to making a difference by improving our world. In this issue of the MacEngineer, you will read several stories showing how alumni and faculty are putting their considerable talents to work by improving water quality, ensuring accessibility of vaccines, improving energy efficiency, and developing materials for joint replacement. This is what McMaster Engineering does best: collaborative, interdisciplinary work with broad applications that contribute directly to positive change in people’s lives. As a Faculty, we continue to be at the vanguard of innovations in teaching and learning that enhance our students’ skills in collaboration and critical thinking, skills that are necessary to prepare for careers that meet the challenges of the 21st century. We are excited to begin work with Diamond Schmitt Architects on the design phase of the Hatch Centre for Experiential Learning. This new phase again offers students more opportunities for learning as they participate in the design of the building that will soon be at the heart of McMaster Engineering student life. The Hatch Centre will be a vibrant hub of activity where students will work in teams, student clubs will collaborate on common issues, student entrepreneurs will develop and present their ideas, and students from different engineering disciplines will actively engage with one another. We have also proudly met the challenges of online education by offering McMaster University’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that was delivered by Kevin Dunn. Students can also look forward to additional new initiatives incorporating technology and blended learning. These initiatives further support our commitment to innovations in experiential and active learning, to enhancing the student experience, and to developing

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future alumni who have a hands-on, minds-on approach to their engineering education. All of these initiatives will strengthen our McMaster Engineering community. Our alumni act as mentors to our students and to new graduates when they enter the workforce, they support the Faculty through service on advisory boards, and through their philanthropic contributions provide valuable support. I am proud to partner with our alumni in educating the next generation of engineers – engaged citizen scholars who will transform the world!

PROfiles Making a Difference When Tina Traini (Electrical Eng ’00) choose to enroll in Electrical Engineering and Society at McMaster, she had no idea how that decision would impact her future. The Society facet of the program was a big draw, she admits. “My brother (Christopher Traini, Civil ’97) was in the program, so I was lucky to understand what it all meant. I knew it would add an important dimension to my education.” After graduating in 2000, Tina worked for Accenture, a technology consulting firm. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but during a campus career fair, I met an alumnus who convinced me to look at consulting. I was hooked!” Tina spent the next 14 years working with many industries, including government, commercial banking and public transit, solving clients’ problems and making their businesses more effective. In 2007, the company participated in a program that offers consulting services to charity groups. Tina worked with Plan International. “I was fascinated to see how the skills and experience I had in IT could be useful in the not-for-profit world. It was a very rewarding experience.” Moreover classes with McMaster professors Bob Hudspith and Brian Baetz had impressed upon her how engineering can make a difference in the world. This year, Tina has left Accenture and joined Right To Play, a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity www.righttoplay. com. She is the organization’s Global Director of IT Systems and Solutions. “I manage all IT Services used by the offices across the seven fundraising and 20+ program-delivery countries around the

Tina Traini

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

world. My team is responsible for making sure that Right To Play employees are globally connected and that the systems, processes and policies they need are in place and well-supported.” The organization, she adds, has a positive effect on the lives of over 1,000,000 children every week. It’s a big leap from electrical engineering, but she has no regrets. “Engineering taught me how to work hard and solve any problem, skills I use every day.” She adds that engineering is not the exclusive domain of nerds or males — everyone has something unique to contribute to the field, and the more diverse and inclusive the field, the more creative and visionary the results. n

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

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George Despinic

MacEng a Great Pathway Unlike many young people planning to attend university but not sure where to apply, George Despinic (EngPhys ’87) had an advantage. Both older brother Milan (M.Eng ’88) and sister Dragica (Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting, 1982) were attending Mac when he was still in high school, and they introduced him to McMaster’s vibrant campus life – The John,

From BMX Bikes to Business Development “I like to build and fix things – always have. It started with taking apart BMX bikes in my driveway and evolved to dismantling computers.” That’s why Craig Thornton (Computer Science ‘02 ’02, Entrepreneurship & Innovation ’06) decided to take electrical engineering at university — he wanted to understand how computers work. These days, though, he builds and fixes businesses. As Director, Cloud Strategy and Business Development at TELUS Business Solutions ( business/on), Craig is responsible for revitalizing existing businesses and developing new cloud related ventures within the Business to Business market.  

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The Rat, the sports. He was accepted at the University of Toronto and Queen’s University, but chose Mac. “There was a comfort level there,” he admits. But more importantly, the McMaster Engineering program “had a great reputation and a very high job placement rate”. It’s a decision he’s never regretted. Because of the smaller class sizes and campus layout, it was easier to make friends and talk to professor and TAs. “The collaborative environment I felt at Mac has left a lasting impression on me, and I still keep in touch with some of my classmates.” Because of an interview arranged by the Engineering Career Services, he was hired by Northern Telecom (later Nortel) shortly after graduating. Since 2009, George has been with Unify ( ) (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications), a global communications software and services company based in Reston, Virginia, that focuses on unified communication (UC). UC makes it possible to join separate modes of communication into a single user experience. A message can be

Engineering, he notes, is an excellent foundation for many different careers, as it teaches a logical and analytical approach to problem-solving. Any young person considering a degree in engineering will discover this. Craig would particularly encourage prospective engineering students to combine their program of choice with an MBA or business experience. “It’s a great combination and differentiates you in the job market” The Mac program is a demanding one, but he acknowledges that it prepared him well for the demands of a fast-paced career in technology marketing. Craig chose McMaster because of its “great reputation” and because “the campus was inviting and people-friendly.” His fondest memories are of the people he met and worked with “well into the night” on projects and studying for exams. “I met many of my closest friends at Mac, and I frequently tap into my alma mater when building (business) teams.”

sent out in one medium and received in another; a voicemail message, for example, can be accessed through email. George is the company’s Senior Solutions Marketing Manager. He’s responsible for the development of core marketing content related to the company’s products and services for use in a variety of communication media: website, brochures, white papers, video and social media. In his spare time George enjoys travelling, backcountry hiking, camping, fishing and canoeing, as well as playing soccer and basketball. He has two grown children who are attending university. George has this to say to anyone wondering about the value of an engineering degree: “You’re not going to find a better path to discover who you are and what you’re made of.” He adds that it can be a stepping stone to careers in other areas, just as it was for him. “It can take you places you never imagined.” n

Craig Thornton

Craig lives in Toronto with his wife Jess and their son. In addition to having his private pilot’s licence, he is an avid sailor, cyclist, snowboarder, and hockey player. “People often question my choice of undergraduate degree given my current occupation. If I could do it all over, I wouldn’t change a thing!” n

NEW SCHOOL OF SMART SYSTEMS ENGINEERING PROPOSED The world is changing — and fast — especially in the field of technology. Google and Facebook only appeared very recently, yet they have fundamentally changed how we live our lives. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. Universities need to keep pace. They need to educate the leaders and build the expertise to understand and harness the world’s changing landscape. For that reason the Faculty, led by Dean of Engineering Dr. Ishwar Puri, is proposing a new research centre, the School of Smart Systems Engineering. The research done within its walls will envision and respond to the future of engineering in the digital age. That means more than simply creating new software or highly engineered products. “Rather than only looking at an object (such as a car),” Dr. Puri explains, “the

research at McMaster’s School of Smart Systems Engineering will examine the systems pertaining to that object (for example, traffic jams and traffic patterns).” The benefits to society, he adds, will include greater efficiencies, higher productivity, and lower energy consumption. The changing global economy requires that organizations of all kinds improve quality, connectivity and productivity. This has created an urgent need for the problem-solving expertise of systems engineers who have the sophisticated, up-todate training, skills and knowledge needed for the 21st-century world. The School of Smart Systems Engineering will focus on the effective use of ondemand provisioning and geographic mobility of complete applications in all areas of engineering, networks, data centres and systems; and how we might enhance the efficiency of hardware components, sensor

and device-level integration, and future paradigms for power and engineering project management. Students at the School will work to enhance systems, such as manufacturing facilities, distribution warehouses, hospitals, airports, railroads, banks and even amusement parks. They will make leading contributions to management consulting, defence and government organizations. They will augment the performance of integrated systems, by improving quality, productivity, costs, efficiency, worker safety and customer satisfaction. The School will be immediately relevant to the global knowledge economy, Dr. Puri says, by applying scientific and practical knowledge in an integrated systems approach to all areas of engineering that encompasses both people and technology. “In essence, we will teach `the systems of systems’.” n The MacEngineer


Dr. Kathryn Grandfield (Ph.D. 2012 Uppsala University, Sweden) knew exactly where to find the resources she needed to conduct the research she hopes will make life better for recipients of artificial joint replacements. Now Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Dr. Grandfield has returned to familiar ground at McMaster. It’s where she earned her B.Eng. and M.A.Sc., and how she knew that technology critical to her research was available on campus at the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy. “The CCEM is a world class facility notes Grandfield, “and it allows the Grandfield Research Group to be the first group to use

high-resolution 3-D imaging to study how bone bonds to implants.” Her research team is equally first rate. The group studies artificial joints and dental materials, both new and those that were removed from patients when they needed to be replaced because of wear or other failures. The focus of the research is the development of biomaterials and characterization techniques for bone–interfacing materials. The “explants” reveal how implants interact with bone and tissue for important clues to developing improved joint materials. Dr. Grandfield explains that it is very exacting work due to the small sample sizes examined. “For electron tomography



we produce samples that are only about 100 nanometers thick. To do this, we have to employ a specialized microscope called a Focused Ion Beam Microscope. So we’re looking at a very small region of bone tissue and implant for these studies, which requires very precise instruments.”

It’s these instruments that allow the group to study the bone–implant interface with unprecedented resolution. It’s a collaborative process. The research team reflects a wide range of disciplines including cell biology, chemistry, physics, materials engineering and medicine. They also work with the medical community and manufacturers in pursuit of materials that will benefit joint replacement recipients. Anyone with an artificial knee, hip or even dental implant will likely one day benefit from this research. People live longer today and the age of patients receiving their first joint replacement is decreasing. According to the Canadian Joint Replace-

ment Registry 2013 Annual Report there were 93,446 hospitalizations for hip and knee replacements in Canada in 2010-11, which was a 13 per cent increase from five years earlier. As Dr. Grandfield points out, “ Subsequent joint replacement surgeries are often more challenging, so if we can make joint replacement materials that will last longer we can reduce the number of surgeries patients will need over time. Even small improvements to materials to enhance their bonding with bone can be very meaningful to thousands of people and improve their quality of life.” n

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ENG PROF Takes the Challenge

The Stars in Global Health initiative, funded by the Canadian federal government, supports “Bold Ideas with Big Impact”. The initiative’s Grand Challenges hope to attract the best and brightest researchers who are using scientific/technical, social, and business innovation to address some of the most pressing global health challenges. Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Carlos Filipe has taken up the challenge. His team recently created a very simple method for long-term preservation of labile enzymes at room temperature. Up to now, preserving these enzymes required a refrigerator. For the Stars in Global Health Competition, the team aims to apply this technology to vaccines, so

they can be shipped around the world without the need of a cold-chain distribution system. At the present time, distribution can account for up to 80 per cent of the cost of a vaccine due to the need to maintain refrigeration. Decreasing this cost would have a tremendous impact on the extent of coverage of immunization programs. The Challenge requires participants to submit a video presentation of less than two minutes. Winners will receive up to $100,000 over a period of 12 to 18 months to demonstrate proof of concept of the idea.  Prof. Filipe says that winning would provide his team with the funds to collaborate with researchers in the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Chemical Engineering, as well as the Faculty of Health Sciences. n

FACULTY MEMBERS GIVE BACK TO MAC In 2013, professors emeriti Cameron Crowe and Terrence Hoffman gave the Faculty of Engineering generous donations in support of student education at McMaster. Their gifts will not only assist engineering students, but they are a won-

Terrence Hoffman, Ishwar Puri and Cameron Crowe

derful legacy of the professors’ dedication and commitment to the Faculty and to McMaster University. Dr. Crowe’s gift of $130,000 establishes the Dr. Cameron M. Crowe Scholarship, valued at $5,000. The scholarship is to be

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awarded to students who have completed Engineering Level 1 with the highest Sessional Average and who are entering a Level II program in chemical engineering. It should also be mentioned that this past summer Dr. Crowe’s wife, Professor Jean Crowe, a former clinical professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science, made a generous gift of $130,000 to the School with which she was affiliated from the time of its inception in 1989. “I believe it is important to support students advancing from the general first-year program into a specific area of engineering,” said Dr. Crowe. “I am happy to be able to encourage a promising chemical engineering student to aim for outstanding academic success.” Dr. Hoffman provided a total gift of $250,000, the majority of which established two scholarships for the benefit of undergraduate and graduate students. The Professor Terrence Hoffman Scholarship, valued at $5,000, is to be awarded to the

student who has completed Level 1 with the highest Sessional Average and who is entering a Level II program in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The Professor Terrence Hoffman Ontario Graduate Scholarship will contribute to the funding of Ontario Graduate Scholarships in the Faculty. The award will go to a graduate student in chemical engineering, with preference given to students conducting research related to the process industries and involving laboratory experimental work. “I feel supporting engineering education at this time through scholarships is an important way to ensure that the brightest and best students continue to advance at McMaster,” Dr. Hoffman commented. In addition, Professor Hoffman made a generous gift of $62,000 towards the Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning. n

Applause & Accolades

On Thursday, May 8 the Engineering Faculty celebrated outstanding faculty and alumni during its annual Applause & Accolades event. The gala was held at the LIUNA Station in downtown Hamilton. John Bandler, a professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering, was the recipient of the Research Achievement Award. Michael Duhaime, the global director responsible for electrified powertrain at Chrysler, was given the Faculty’s Leadership Award. Alumnus Terry Fallis (MechEng’83), President of Thornley Fallis Communications and author of several novels including The Best Laid Plans, earned the L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. Carlos Filipe, an associate professor of chemical engineering, was given the Special Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence. Recently, Prof. Filipe was part of a team that developed a way to test water safety through a pill. The work has the potential to enhance access to quick and affordable water testing around the world. n

JOE IP GIVES BACK Alumnus Joe Ip (EngPhys ’79, M.Phys ’79) has made a generous donation of $1 Million to the Faculty of Engineering. The former executive at what is now JDSU wanted to recognize that the education he received at McMaster University was a key factor in his successful career. The gift establishes both the Entrance Scholarship Program, with the aim of attracting bright minds into engineering studies, and the Distinguished Engineering Fellow Program, which will provide support to young faculty members. “I truly believe that these two programs will help to produce the next generation of leaders in the engineering industry and within McMaster University itself,” Ip says. “Hopefully, the beneficiaries of these programs will also

share their success and give back generously to the University in the future.” The two programs were planned with assistance and guidance from Dean of Engineering Ishwar Puri, he adds. McMaster’s professors equipped him with the tools to face various challenges throughout his engineering career, Ip says. “During my employment at Nortel, BNR, and JDSU, I was very fortunate to have worked alongside many fellow graduates from McMaster University. They are all great, hardworking, and knowledgeable people. I have benefited and learned a lot from them. In some ways, my gift to the University is also a tribute to these McMaster people who have contributed to my success.” n

Commitment to Standards Recognized

Ross Judd has been named an Officer of the Professional Engineers Ontario Order of Honour in recognition of his advocacy for the fair assessment of international engineering graduates seeking licensure in Ontario. He was inducted into the Order at a gala on April 25 in Niagara Falls. For over 35 years, the semi-retired

mechanical engineering professor has made noteworthy contributions to the development of national standards for engineers. Prof. Judd continues to promote the value of licensure and professional ethics to undergraduate students. In 2012, he was recognized by the University for his significant contributions to the faculty for more than 50 years. The Order of Honour pays tribute to individuals who have rendered conspicuous service to the engineering profession. The rank of Officer is bestowed upon those who have served the profession for many years and whose sustained leadership has contributed greatly to its operation or improvement in its status. n

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AWARD WINNERS Ian Hill (EngPhys ’04 and MAS ‘06) is the 2014 Arch Award recipient. Hill is a nuclear physicist with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) who preserves data from reactor physics experiments. He is responsible for performing technical reviews of benchmark experiments, designing databases for benchmark information, and organizing international meetings to facilitate the sharing of experimental information. During his career, he has acquired expertise in reactor design, reactor physics modelling, nuclear data processing, and code validation methods. Created in 2002, the Arch Award recognizes McMaster’s younger alumni for their unique and interesting contributions to society, their local community, and McMaster University since graduation. Nominees must have received a graduate degree not more than 10 years previously, or bachelor’s degree within the previous 15 years. Nominations are received and considered by the McMaster Alumni Association. n

Paul Allison, (MechEng ’80, MBA ’81) Chairman and CEO of Raymond James Ltd., is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Faculty of Engineering. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers. Since graduating, Paul has enjoyed an active career in the wealth management, capital markets and investment banking sectors, having worked at Imperial Oil, Prudential-Bache Securities, Nesbitt Burns Inc., Merrill Lynch and, since 2008, at

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Raymond James Ltd. He oversees the growth and development of the firm’s Canadian operations in private wealth management, capital markets, and corporate services. Paul volunteers with many charitable and industry organizations including as Board Chair of the Humber River Hospital and Director of the investment industry’s Regulatory Organization of Canada. He has also served on the Dean’s Business Advisory Council at the DeGroote School of Business. n McMaster ChemEng students Ephrem Chemali and Lucas McCurlie took second place at the 2014 MATLAB and Simulink Student Design Challenge. Their entry, “Passive and Active Balancing of Li ion Battery Cells”, improves the lifespan and overall performance of batteries. Working with MATLAB software (The MathWorks, Natick, MA) and Simulink, the duo used the powerful combination of code generation and real-time processor-in-loop to test and verify their system design. Ephrem Chemali Simulink is a part of MATLAB that can be used to simulate dynamic systems. In its “block diagram windows”, models can be created and edited by mouse-driven commands. In order to master Simulink, a designer must become familiar with manipulating model components within these specialized windows. n Zachary Strong is the recipient of the 2014 Albert Lager Prize for Student Initiative. The final-year Engineering and Physics Management student was recognized for his leadership and volunteer efforts on campus. He is involved with Welcome Week, is an organizer of the National Conference on Women in Engineering, and a mentor of at-risk youth with

McMaster’s U-Turn program. Other activities include May@Mac, the Engineering Experience Weekend, the Engineering & Science Olympics, and MARS Apprentice, for which he was co-chair. Zachary also works as a teacher’s assistant in both the Faculty of Engineering and the DeGroote School of Business. n

Frances Lasowski, a chemical engineering PhD candidate, has been named the 2014 Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Graduate Scholar. The $15,000 award, presented by the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, recognizes female leaders in the field of engineering. Lasowski’s work focuses on the delivery of therapeutics to prevent and treat childhood ocular conditions. The award was presented at the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation awards ceremony in May. n In May, at the annual President’s Awards ceremony, Justyna Derkach, Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Department of Chemical Engineering, was recognized for exceptional efforts in enhancing the campus community. Congratulations, Justyna. n

The annual ECE Poster Day, hosted by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was held on Tuesday, April 8 in the Student Centre’s CIBC Hall. This year’s event featured nearly 150 final-year engineering students, providing them with an opportunity to showcase software, prototyping, and problem-solving skills that they have refined over the last seven months. The projects are the focus of their Capstone course and are under the supervision of Dr. Hubert deBruin, Dr. Steve Hranilovic, Dr. Mohamed Bakr and Dr. Xun Li. A total of 40 innovative projects were presented during the day-long event.

This year’s projects included: • a mobile app that helps one navigate the McMaster campus • an automotive safety system that detects cars approaching in a vehicle’s blind spot and vibrates to alert the driver • a 3D-vision system that provides a more immersive visual experience and could have applications in remote site inspection, surgery, or video conferencing • a wireless headset that monitors brain waves and could be used to prevent driver fatigue • a translation system to identify American Sign Language (ASL) characters using a video feed that recognizes hand shapes


Despite the challenges faced during the development of their prototypes, many students remarked on how satisfying it was to use the skills they have learned. The 2014 ECE Poster Day was sponsored by Husky Canada, Texas Instruments, BlackBerry, Hatch, General Motors, and McMaster Engineering Co-op and Career Services. n

SHIPING ZHU NAMED RSC FELLOW Dr. Shiping Zhu, a world leader in polymer reaction engineering, has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The induction ceremony will take place in November in Quebec City. A professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Zhu’s research focuses on

developing new plastics, as well as better approaches for preventing rejection of implanted plastic materials. He is recognized as a leader in industrial polymer chemical engineering research. Being elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada is the highest honour a scholar can

achieve in the Arts, Humanities and Sciences. Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada. Its mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence. Currently, there are 85 McMaster-affiliated Fellows in the Society. n

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FACULTY APPOINTMENTS Congratulations to the following on their recent appointments.

Effective July 1, Dr. Ken Coley is the Faculty’s Associate Dean, Academic. The appointment extends to June 30, 2019. Dr. Coley joined the Faculty’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 1996 and has been active administratively, serving as Department Chair from July 2005 to June 30, 2008 and Associate Dean, Academic from 2008 to 2013. Currently he is Co-Director of the Steel Research Centre. Dr. Coley has also served on the University Bargaining Team for CAW negotiations as ViceChair in 2009 and Chair in 2012. n

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On July 1, Dr. Michael Thompson assumed his new position as Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Engineering which extends to June 30, 2019. Dr.Thompson obtained his Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University in 1992; he is currently a Professor and Associate Chair, Graduate Studies for the Department. Dr. Thompson, who received a PhD from the University of Waterloo, joined the Department in 2001 and his research focus is polymer processing. n

On July 1, Dr. Phil Wood was appointed Director, Engineering Level 1, and will hold the position until June 30, 2016. Dr. Wood joined the Faculty of Engineering in 1983 and has served the Faculty in numerous positions: Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department from 1991 to 1997, Associate Dean, Academic of the Faculty from 1998 to 2002, Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs) and Dean of Students from 2002 to 2012. He is the recipient of a provincial OCUFA teaching award and a national 3M Fellowship. Dr. Wood is highly respected as a teacher and actively promotes problem-based learning across many university disciplines, for which he has been recognized with engineering education awards from around the world. n

Dr. John Preston has been appointed Associate Dean, Research and External Relations, commencing July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019. Dr. Preston joined the University as an Assistant Professor in Engineering Physics in 1984. Currently he is a Professor and Chair of the Department and the Director of the NSERC CREATE PV Training Program, as well as a member of the Engineering Finance Committee (ad hoc), Engineering Co-Op Operating Committee, and Engineering Dean’s Council. He previously served on many committees including the Brockhouse Institute Advisory Committee, the Intellectual Property Focus Group, the HR Consultation Group for Research Staff, the Sustainability Task Force (Faculty of Engineering), and the Co-op Operating Committee (Faculty of Engineering). Dr. Preston also finds time to serve as the Faculty Advisor for the McMaster Solar Car Team. n

Dr. Arthur Heidebrecht has been appointed Director of the Walter G. Booth School for Engineering Practice and will hold the position through to June 30, 2016. Dr. Heidebrecht began his career in the Faculty of Engineering in 1963. During his tenure, he served as Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from 1968 to 1971 and 1974 to 1977, as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 1981 to 1989, and as Provost and Vice-President Academic from 1989 to 1994. Since his retirement in 1997 Dr. Heidebrecht has remained an active member of the McMaster community through his involvement in a number of special projects within the Faculty. He served as the Executive Director of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership from March 2006 to April 2009, as interim Dean from August 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, and, more recently, chaired the Task Force on Sustainability in Engineering Education. n

Stands John Hollick

with Ford & Edison

McMaster Engineering welcomes Dr. Emad Mohammad as Director of the Engineering and Management Program commencing July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019. Dr. Mohammad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Kuwait University, an MBA from Georgia State University as well as a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Georgia State University. He has been employed at McMaster since 2004. Dr. Mohammad has served as Chair of the Accounting and Financial Management Services Area in the DeGroote School of Business, and is currently serving as the Associate Dean (Academic) of the DeGroote School of Business. n

Alumnus John Hollick (CivEng. ’68) and his SolarWall® were featured in a curated exhibit created by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in May in New York City. Hollick’s technology was part of the Energy & Power category, one of nine categories in the display. It stood alongside such prior breakthroughs as the steam engine, the jet engine, incandescent light bulbs, and the electric generator. SolarWall® technology created the global solar air heating industry. It’s ranked by the U.S. Department of Energy as being in the top 2% of energy-related inventions due to its unique design and the efficiency at which it converts sunlight into usable thermal energy. SolarWall® is currently in use in thousands of commercial, industrial, and agricultural applications around the world.

The exhibit, entitled Engineering the Everyday and the Extraordinary, showcases the people and inventions of the past that have shaped the world, as well as current breakthrough inventions. The other categories are Environment, Food, Safety, Manufacturing, Transportation, Health, Exploration, and Communications. ASME chose a total of 80 engineering feats that have made a difference, and the display will be a permanent feature in the lobby of the ASME Manhattan building for the next 15 years. Hamiltonians can view a SolarWall® installation on the roof panel of the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory at the McMaster Innovation Park on Longwood Road. n

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Health and Safety is

JOB1 Paula Gremmen and Doris Stevanovic are the recipients of McMaster’s 2014 Health and Safety Award of Excellence, presented by University President Patrick Deane during North American Occupational Safety & Health (NAOSH) Week. The award is presented to a person or group from the McMaster community who has done an outstanding job of promoting health and safety in the workplace.

Laboratory technician Paula Gremmen, who has a Bachelor of Technology degree, is a member of the Faculty of Engineering Safety Committee. Doris Stevanovic, who works at the Centre for Emerging Device Technologies (CEDT), is a member of both that Committee and the Central Joint Health and Safety Committee. NAOSH is observed every year during the first week in May. This year McMaster

University held numerous events highlighting health and safety issues, including many seminars and presentations, live demonstrations, site inspections, a guided open tour of the Security Services Command Centre in the ET Clarke Centre, and a vendor fair. n

Remarkable Determination Yields Engineering Degree Paul Khat’s (ChemEng. ’14) graduation story is a little bit different from the norm. Like hundreds of Mac engineering students, he received his degree (in chemical engineering) at the June 2014 convocation. Unlike many of his colleagues and friends, there were no family members in attendance to share in this important occasion. His parents live in South Sudan and Paul has not seen them in over 11 years. During the second Sudanese civil war, his family endured many hardships — including holding a funeral for his father, who was presumed dead, then being reunited with him following his escape from prison. In 2003, Paul left by himself for a refugee camp in Kenya; he was 17. His parents had always impressed upon him the importance of an education and

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he graduated from the refugee school at the top of his class. Accepted into a scholarship program that supported students from the refugee camp to attend a proper Kenyan high school, he finished Grade 12 with the highest marks in his class. This earned him a spot in the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) scholarship program — and he was off to Canada to university. A whiz in math and science, Paul was accepted into the chemical engineering program at McMaster University and completed his degree in four years. Paul Khat’s next goal is to obtain a master’s in petroleum engineering. Then it’s back to South Sudan, to see his parents and to give back in some helpful way to his people and his country. n

Greetings from MES President

BEN KINSELLA The McMaster Engineering Society (MES) is the student body comprised of all students in Engineering, Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech), and Computer Science (Comp Sci). Simply put, the MES is here to provide its members with the resources and opportunities (both academic and social) to make their time in Mac Eng the best it can be. Its ultimate goal is to create well-rounded students who not only succeed academically, but who also can play a sport, be part of an engineering design team, and be leaders in their communities. As many alumni may remember, the MES hosts some of the most creative and unforgettable social events of all student groups on campus. Recently, the MES has also led the unprecedented charge of serving its members with groundbreaking academic services. Within the last two years, the MES has started a textbook library, an online test bank, a mentorship program, and a very popular subsidized tutoring program. In its pilot year, the tutoring program surpassed its goal of 100 sessions

in one year by threefold in its first month. Later that year, the primary platform points for the top candidates in the McMaster Students Union presidential elections revolved around replicating the MES tutoring program for the entire campus. This year, the MES has big plans to

Its ultimate goal is to create well-rounded students who not only succeed academically, but who also can play a sport, be part of an engineering design team, and be leaders in their communities. prepare itself for long-term goals. The MES will be developing its first strategic plan, which will set the precedents for direction in future years. This opens up the possibility for great long-term goals to be realized by joining the efforts of both current and future society leadership. The MES will also be establishing a Board of Advisors comprised of engaged Faculty and staff, as well as experienced and passion-

ate MES alumni. The Board will be able to guide the Society towards the long-term goals outlined in the strategic plan, as well as help with transitioning new executives into their roles. The MES is always excited to hear from alumni, and there are many ways you can stay engaged. You can support an MES service, whether it be social or academic, donate to an engineering club or team, or help develop items such as our first strategic plan and Board of Advisors. Please contact me via email at if you’re interested in supporting the MES, even if at first you’re not sure where you can help! Once a Mac Engineer, always a Mac Engineer! n

The MacEngineer 15

1 Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects (DSAI) has been selected as the Prime Consultant responsible for overseeing the building of the Hatch Engineering Centre for Experiential Learning (ExCEL). The Centre will be located adjacent to the John Hodgins Engineering Building on the central campus. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015, and the building is expected to open in April 2017. DSAI, established in 1975, has completed projects in the Caribbean, Middle

East, and Europe, as well as throughout North America. The company has received international recognition for its academic and public buildings. It is the recipient of over 250 regional, national and international awards, including six Governor General’s Awards for architecture here in Canada. Business Week/Architectural Record selected DSAI projects to be among the world’s “Ten Best Buildings” in 2004 (Israeli Foreign Ministry), 2006 (Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing

Engineering Alumnus Heads Respected EWB Boris Martin (Materials Eng. PhD ’07) has been appointed the new CEO of the Canada-based Engineers Without Borders (EWB), effective August 15, 2014. Boris was selected after a rigorous search conducted by a committee that included input from EWB’s staff and Board of Directors as well as stakeholder responses to a survey. Applications were received from candidates around the world, and Skype and in-person conversations/interviews were held with selected candidates.

16 The MacEngineer

Shayne Smith, Chair of EWB Canada, noted that Boris best embodies the skills and experience the organization is seeking. “We were also struck by how central EWB’s broader purpose of equity and justice is to Boris’ life and career.” Over the past three years, Boris has been a member of EWB’s Executive Team. “I’ve found Boris to be a dynamic thinker … and I’m personally excited to be working with him closely as EWB’s CEO.” n

Photo: Daniel Banko, BANKOMEDIA.

STEP CLOSER… Arts), 2008 (Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, DC), and 2009 (Southbrook Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake). Diamond Schmitt Architects has worked on McMaster projects in the past, including the CANMET Materials Technology Lab, located at Innovation Park on Longwood Road in Hamilton. Every project is headed by a core team; the ExCEL Project Team will be led by Donald Schmitt. n


J.David Embury WINS ACTA MATERIALIA GOLD MEDAL McMaster professor J. David Embury is the 2015 recipient of the Acta Materialia Gold Medal Award. The prestigious award recognizes outstanding leadership in materials research, and has been presented to an international researcher each year since 1974. Winners receive a gold medal, an inscribed certificate and a cash prize of $10,000. Embury, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, first joined the University in 1966 as an assistant professor. He has served in a variety of positions over his remarkable five-decade career at McMaster, including: department chair, member of the Senate and acting director of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research. He is one of 85 members of the Royal Society of Canada to come from McMaster, and is also a Fellow of the American

Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. His research specialties include deformation and fracture of metallic and composite materials, applications of electron microscopy to materials science and the processing of metal matrix composites, along with ultra-high-strength materials and multilayer structures. In addition to his teaching and research activities, Embury has worked on educational aid programs for the government of Canada, and has held visiting professorships in France, Norway, Brazil, China and several other countries around the globe. He currently resides in France, and was awarded La Grande Médaille de la Société Française de Matériaux et de Métallurgie in 2009. n

The MacEngineer 17

Typically, the method to ensure water is safe for drinking is expensive and slow. A group of McMaster researchers has solved that problem by developing a pill that changes the colour of water when contaminants are present. It’s a quick and affordable test – two important requirements for people in poor and developing countries. Team member Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi, a PhD student in Chemical Engineering, conceived of the idea after seeing breath strips and realizing the same material used in the dissolving strips could have broader applications. Called pullulan, the material forms a solid when dry, and protects sensitive agents from oxygen and temperature changes that can render them useless. However, it had to be stored at extremely cold temperatures, making storage and shipping costly. The new method allows the same material to be stored virtually anywhere for months inside tiny pills that dissolve readily in liquid. The pills are inexpensive to produce and anyone can add them to well water, for example, for an instant reading of pesticides, e. coli or metals. Pullulan is already approved for wide commercial use. Much of the research work took place at McMaster’s


Biointerfaces Institute. The McMaster team includes researchers from the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry & Chemical Biology, and Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. The project was funded by the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. n

Two New CAE Inductees

18 The MacEngineer

Heather Sheardown

John Vlachopoulos

VALEDICTORIAN CREATES OWN CAREER Matthew Gardner graduated with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering this past June. At the same time, he stepped into a fulltime position at the company he helped to found while attending McMaster. Gardner, with colleagues Jason Moore and Philip Deljanov and Sheridan College students Graham Kennery and Mathieu Gosbee, developed Videostream. Videostream is a service that allows users to stream wirelessly all types of video files on a computer to a smart TV. Gardner credits McMaster with giving him the flexibility to test ideas and

Congratulations to Professors Heather Sheardown and John Vlachopoulos, who were inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) in June. Dr. Sheardown, a professor of chemical engineering, is recognized internationally for her contributions to the design of new ocular materials and drug delivery systems. She has several patents related to potential applications of biocompatible materials in the eye, and has worked extensively with industrial partners. Emeritus professor Dr. John Vlachopoulos, also of chemical engineering, is a world leader in polymer processing.

develop a company while pursuing his studies. He took Master’s level classes in place of traditional electives, thanks to the University’s Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEEI) program. Gardner studied everything from financial planning and environmental sustainability to accounting for small businesses, and learned how to take his startup company to the next level. He says that having a common first year at McMaster was a huge advantage because he could try all of the disciplines, and figure out exactly what he wanted to do. While studying and working on creating and developing Videostream, Gardner successfully obtained $45,000 in funding through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and McMaster’s FedDev Scientists and Engineers in Business Fund, which helped furnish the new Videostream offices and kick-start fulltime salaries for all employees. One of two valedictorians for the Faculty of Engineering at the June 2014 Convocation, Gardner’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is to learn the ropes at someone else’s startup before taking the plunge. However, he acknowledges that anyone with a unique idea, the right skills, and an eager band of willing colleagues should not hold back. n

He has converted many algorithms into user-friendly software packages that have been licensed to corporations in 30 countries. He is also an active industry consultant.   Members of the CAE are nominated and elected by their peers to honorary Fellowships, reflecting their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. n

Alumni Day


Class of ’65, ’70, ’75, ’80, ’85 and ’90 The Faculty of Engineering invites you to Celebrate your Class Reunions!

Saturday, June 6, 2015 BBQ, 12 noon, In front of Engineering Building Cost: $35/Person Cash Bar engalumni/

The MacEngineer 19


For several years McMaster Associate Professor Dr. Sarah Dickson (Ph.D. Waterloo, 2001) has taken her civil engineering expertise in hydrogeology to sub-Saharan Africa where the quest for secure water is an ongoing challenge. With her are graduate students from every faculty across campus involved in the Water Without Borders diploma program, which is a collaborative graduate program in water, environment and health between McMaster University and the United

20 The MacEngineer

Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. The program offers an experiential learning course that immerses participants in rural, remote or otherwise marginalized communities to address issues of international importance related to water, environment and health. Typically program participants go to remote rural communities in Kenya and Uganda but Dr. Dickson is quick to point out that many First Nations communities

in Canada meet the definition of rural, remote, or otherwise marginalized communities and face similar water issues. McMaster’s Water Without Borders program has recently been involved with the Hiawatha First Nation near Peterborough Ontario, and would like to engage other First Nations communities too. Secure water supply goes to quality of life, explains Dr. Dickson, and it’s a difficult problem to solve because there are so many cultural, political, economic, gender, social justice and other influences that need to be addressed as part of the problem. It becomes a community development

program where the team focuses on the 3 E’s — enlighten, engage and empower. Her research with students in the program has developed the Community SWAT tool (Safe Water Assessment Tool) to help the communities they work with self-identify the many issues that need attention. The tool is frequently updated because the program learns so much from every community it works with. Dickson recalls a community in Africa that lost most of its middle generation to AIDS leaving a population dominated by children and the elderly. An NGO had provided the community with a well, but

it was so deep it was difficult for children and the aged to draw water from it. The Water Without Borders team worked with the community to problem-solve, and ultimately write a proposal to build a solar powered system that now allows them to turn on a tap for water. A sustainable fee system was developed and local residents were trained to keep up regular maintenance of the system. “If secure water was just a technical problem it would be solved already,” says Dickson. The definition of secure water encompasses such aspects as quantity, quality, reliability, and access.

Unfortunately lack of secure water leads to related community problems like diarrhea and typhoid fever, lost education and work opportunities due to illnesses and time spent fetching water and a host of collateral issues that negatively impact quality of life. As Dr. Dickson says, “It’s a wicked problem.” n

The MacEngineer 21




A commercial pizza oven found in a lab of the John Hodgins Engineering Building is on the leading edge of thermal energy recovery, storage and management. Dr. James Cotton (Ph.D., McMaster University 2001) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University as well as Associate Director of McMaster Institute of Energy Studies. He and his research team are working with Canada’s largest pizza chain, Pizza Pizza, on a way to capture the 90 per cent heat loss from a single pizza oven to create a sustainable energy system using combined heat and power (CHP) technology. The immediate advantage is lower energy costs at store level with waste heat being harvested to heat water, and generate electricity to power lights, POS (point-of sale) equipment and support daily operations. The Pizza Oven Waste Energy Recovery (POWER) system that mounts on existing pizza ovens is based on thermal electric generator technology, a solid state




22 The MacEngineer

device that runs silently delivering heat and power as long as the ovens are operational. The major advantage is that stores with the technology will have energy resiliency and can stay open even during power blackouts

Who knew that engineers led such wild, exciting lives? In October 2013 Eric Chong (Chemical Eng. ’13) won the inaugural edition of MasterChef Canada. At 21, the Asian-Canadian was the youngest participant in the just-completed season (finale aired April 28, 2014) of the MasterChef competition. For his culinary skills, he collected $100,000 and the MasterChef trophy. For the finale, Eric and his competitor, Trinidadian-born Marida Mohammed, were allowed to decide what to prepare for the three-course meal, but had only one hour to prepare and plate each dish: an appetizer, entree and dessert. Eric’s selections were a crispy pork belly and vegetable dumpling appetizer, poached lobster on wok fried egg noodles, and an Asian banana split served with red bean and green tea ice cream. Although Mohammed won the appetizer round, Eric garnered high praise from the judges for both his entrée and dessert creations. Of the lobster and noodles dish, one judge remarked: “You’re mixing East and West together and you do it right.”

when their products are likely to be in greater demand than usual. For the pizza chain, it’s a huge competitive advantage. “The POWER system once commercialized will pay for itself in approxiamtely

The judges were very impressed with the dessert offering, with one commenting that it was “a very innovative and high-reaching dish”. “Winning the competition meant the world to me,” Eric says. “I feel very proud to have achieved this at such a young age.” Chong loves to cook and this competition demonstrated his ethnic elegance and outstanding flair for culinary creations. It also demonstrated to his parents that he could make cooking a successful career, that he had the talent and tenacity to make it as a chef. Eric worked in Hong Kong for three months at Alvin’s 3 Michelin Star restaurant Bo Innovation, and for another three months at Buca, Toronto’s leading Italian restaurant. “I am not working as an engineer any longer, of course. I am pursuing my dream of being a professional chef, and will be opening a restaurant in Toronto later this year.” n

4-6 years without any power interruptions — or potentially as short as a year if the restaurant experiences several days affected by a power outage,” says Cotton. His research team works closely with the

chain’s Dundas location with a data logger at the store conveying information to the lab. Dr. Cotton sees great promise in smallscale district energy systems like this one. “Our existing energy infrastructure in Canada has separate suppliers for electricity, for heat, for water and for transportation, and integrating them is an expensive undertaking. But we can do things on a smaller scale to gain energy resiliency, with neighbourhood systems or in commercial and industrial settings.“ As a leading expert in the field of Thermal Energy Conversion and Management, Dr. Cotton has travelled the world in the past year sharing what his team is doing with the pizza oven at conferences and meetings with researchers in Japan, Europe and North America. Three Pizza Pizza locations will install the new technology next year, with a target of 100 stores in the next five years. n

Siemens & MAC Sign MOU

In April, Siemens Canada and McMaster University signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they have agreed to build a greater collaboration through the promotion of educational and employment opportunities for McMaster grads. One of Canada’s major employers, Siemens offers highly skilled jobs in four major sectors: industry, energy, healthcare, and urban infrastructure.

McMaster and Siemens intend to support one another through activities such as training programs, guest lectures, workshops, and expanded opportunities for experiential education. Siemens representatives, including president and CEO Robert Hardt, met with McMaster President Patrick Deane for the signing ceremony in the John Hodgins Engineering Building. n

The MacEngineer 23

INNOVATIVE E As an undergrad in chemical engineering at University of Cape Town in the late 1990’s, Kevin Dunn was often puzzled by why it was so difficult to connect with some professors, why their office hours were often limited or why there wasn’t greater access to course materials. He thought there was probably a better way to do things. Since then, Dunn has developed a passion for innovative teaching methods and experimenting with techniques that will enrich students’ learning experiences. Dunn’s post-graduate studies (M.Eng. 2002) brought him to McMaster where

24 The MacEngineer

he’s now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and his students are learning that Dunn is always looking for a better way to teach them. While he focuses on teaching the fundamentals of chemical engineering, he hopes some of his innovative teaching methods will provide them with skills that will empower them beyond their university days to keep replenishing their skillsin an ever-changing world. That’s the rationale behind collaborative testing — a concept Dunn first learned

about from a colleague in the nursing program. He has offered collaborative testing in the last couple of courses to his students. It’s not mandatory, but students have an opportunity to earn extra grades by taking on problems from their test and working in a small group to offer an alternate response to the problem. Dunn warns them it will be a noisy process and it usually is – as students excitedly share their ideas, validate their understanding of the problem, learn from each other, resolve conflicts, strengthen their group skills and arrive at a consensus response. It’s a modern version of the discussions that typically take place between students outside exam rooms following tests – with the difference


TEACHING that collaborative testing is graded. Other faculties are now showing interest in collaborative testing and Dunn keeps tweaking the process to determine the impact on long-term learning. Unlike his own experience with inaccessible professors, Dunn’s students can always reach him. For starters, he takes full advantage of modern technology using the same tools his students use everyday. His calendar is posted online for them to see and book appointments. Simple questions can be answered with a quick text or an e-mail, and if they can’t make a class, the lecture is available online along with links relevant to their studies. He participates in tutorials and

gets to witness the aha-moment when a student grasps a new concept. He invites feedback. To the surprise of some colleagues, class attendance doesn’t seem to be affected at all by student online access to lectures. Dunn wants his students to stay curious, to constantly question whether there is a better way to do things, and to share information with their peers. He believes it will help them in their future endeavours. Clearly he holds himself to the same standard. n

Congratulations to John Vlachopoulos, professor emeritus of chemical engineering. He is the recipient of the Bruce Maddock Award from the Extrusion Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) for fundamental contributions to single screw plastics extrusion. That award was presented in April in Las Vegas at the annual ANTEC conference. Professor Vlachopoulos is also the recipient of the SABIC Lectureship Award, and presented two lectures on polymer extrusion at the University of Akron in May. On June 26, he was inducted a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE), in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Then in July, during the 7th International Conference of the Hellenic Society of Rheology (HSR) in Greece, a session was held in his honour. He presented a plenary lecture entitled “Rheology: From Homer and Heraclitus, through Greek (Liquid) Fire to Problem Solving in the Polymer Processing Industry”. n

The MacEngineer 25



Mohawk College’s Dr. Nafia Al-Mutawaly won the President’s Award for championing applied research and industry collaborations.Photo courtesy of Mohawk College

The latest recipient of the Mohawk College President’s Award is a Canadian leader in energy distribution research. Dr. Nafia Al-Mutawaly is a Mohawk Energy Research Centre professor and principal investigator and chair of energy engineering technologies at McMaster University. College president Ron McKerlie made the announcement at the annual awards breakfast. “Mohawk is proud to recognize Nafia’s

leadership in applied research and his work in forging industry collaborations for the direct benefit of our technology students,” he said in a release. Dr. Nafia Al-Mutawaly, received his master’s and Ph.D. from Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at McMaster University in 1998 and 2003, respectively. He joined Mohawk College in 1998 as a professor, and McMaster University in 2003 as an Associate professor. Dr. Al-Mutawaly’s

areas of expertise include power distribution and protection, power electronics, and biomedical instrumentation. He is an author or co-author of 20 technical papers. He has been recently awarded the Industry Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) in “Advanced Distribution System” (ADS), a $1M grant for 5 years (Sept. 2013 – Aug. 2018) that can be extended to 15 years. n

CAFÉ X IS PERCOLATING Café X invites speakers to share their experiences, challenges and successes in innovative ideas. The goal is to spark discussion, provoke debate and elicit thoughtful ideas between faculty, staff, students and the broader community. The program’s motto is Café X: Percolating Ideas. Two speakers are scheduled for Fall 2014. On September 17th, engineering alumnus Sanjeev Shroff (MA Electrical Engineering ’76) is speaking on “Bioengineering: a Case Study for Opportunities and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Research and Education”. Dr. Shroff is the Distinguished Professor of and Gerald E. McGinnis Chair in Bioengineering, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Shroff is widely recognized as a distinguished scholar in the cardiovascular field. In 2012 Dr. Shroff was named the Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

26 The MacEngineer

Danielle Zyngier (PhD Chemical Engineering ’06), an Optimization Specialist at Mississauga-based Hatch consulting firm, is the guest speaker at the October 23rd Café X.

Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited.

Her topic is “Making Better Decisions”. Dr. Zyngier has an extensive background in optimization, particularly in the area of Advanced Planning and Scheduling related to power and water optimization. At Hatch, she contributes to the develop-

ment and support of the Vista DSSTM suite of tools for long-term, short-term, and near real-time operation of power generation systems. Dr. Zyngier holds two US patents. Café X talks are given in Room 535 of the Engineering Technology Building from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. A question and answer session follows the presentations. Refreshments are available at the start and conclusion of each event. The one-hour Café X events are free. However seating is limited and registration is required at engdean/cafex. Café X was established in 2013 specifically for the Faculty of Engineering. Last year the Café welcomed Jay Gore, Reilly University Chair Professor of Engineering, Purdue University, John Bandler, McMaster University and Bandler Corporation, and Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. n

Grapevine Matthew Harris


Events Friday, October 3, 2014 10th Annual Wine Tasting Thursday, October 9, 2014 Eric Chong: Masterchef Canada

Travis Harrison

Jeremy Brown (ChemEng ’04) and Kim (nee Atkinson) (EngPhys ’04) are happy to announce the birth of Travis Harrison, our third child (and first boy!) on Canada’s 147th birthday, July 1st — three weeks early and weighing 6 lbs 7 oz.Travis’ sisters Parker and Stella fight over who gets to hold him. Here’s to screaming kids and sleepless nights in Walkerton, Ontario!

Michael Harris (MechEng ’07) and Melanie (ElecEng ’08) and big sister Elizabeth welcomed Matthew David into our family on May 19, 2014. We are pleased to report that Matthew is a happy, healthy, bundle of love. Anna Slazyk

Thursday, October 16, 2014 40th Anniversary Engineering Management Program Saturday, October 18, 2014 Go Eng Girl! Tuesday, October, 21 2014 Dinner Etiquette Thursday, October 23, 2014 Café X with Danielle Zyngier Tuesday, November 4, 2014 Cafe E-Xpress with Dr. Mark Lawford, Professor, Dept. of Computing & Software

Mathew Slazyk (CivEng & Mgmt. ’07) and Joanne (CivEng & Soc. ’08) are the proud parents of Anna, born April 19, 2014. Nicholas Vespi

Thursday, November 20, 2014 Ottawa Alumni Event Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Social Connection Night February, 2015 LinkedIn Seminar - Market Yourself for Career Success

Michael Hain and Shadi Seyedrezai

Michael Hain (CivEng ’08) and Shadi Seyedrezai (CivEng ’09) send news: After graduating from McMaster, Michael did a Masters at the University of Toronto, graduating in 2010, and Shadi graduated with her Master’s in 2011.They were married on February 9th, 2013 in the Distillery District of Toronto, Ontario.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 11th Annual Scotch Tasting

Thursday, February 5, 2015 Women in Engineering Speed Mentoring Adam Vespi (MechEng & Mgmt. ’08) and Lisa (nee Thompson) (CivEng & Society ’08) along with big brother Joshua welcomed Nicholas Matteo on November 7, 2013. Born in Hamilton, Nicholas weighed 8 lbs 8 oz.

Saturday, March 7, 2015 Girl Guide Day

The MacEngineer 27

Know What You Like. Find What You Love.

Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Excellence Entrance Scholarships


awards @ $7,500 each

, entering Engineering I Comp Sci I, or B.Tech. I as of Sept 2015

admissions > 95% average _

+ strong leadership experience and community contributions 28 The MacEngineer

MacEngineer Fall 2014  

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