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Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Spring 2015



Changing the world: Shiping Zhu, M. Jamal Deen, John Vlachopoulos, Heather Sheardown

Dean of Engineering Ishwar Puri McMaster Engineering aspires to change our world for the better. My second year at McMaster has been exciting and meaningful. Almost every day brings something new to celebrate in the form of student achievements, faculty honours and awards, and alumni who make contributions that transform the world around us and move us closer to solving the grand challenges and complex problems of our 21st century life. One such grand challenge involves the engineering of health care technologies, materials and processes that will save lives. McMaster Engineering faculty members and alumni have embraced the challenges of improving health care and are making a difference in many diverse areas of biomedical engineering. In these pages, you will read how our faculty members work at the leading edge of research on therapies which show considerable promise in cancer treatment, pioneer innovations in medical imaging technologies, and have entered into international partnerships to develop new technologies to detect and treat contaminants in water. Our alumni are developing techniques to create new heart tissue from stem cells. All of us have been engaged in transformative work that will have a genuine and positive impact on people’s lives.

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McMaster Engineering is well known for its sense of community. In this issue, you will meet just a few of the McMaster Engineering alumni who have exchanged Hamilton’s warm community (and cold winters) for a new community elsewhere, such as finding success in Seattle and contributing to that city’s high-technology economy. Their profiles demonstrate what McMaster Engineering alumni do best: leading innovation in diverse engineering environments. One of my greatest rewards as Dean of Engineering has been the opportunity to meet our alumni and hear their meaningful stories of how McMaster Engineering shaped their professional careers and private lives. Once again, my travels this year across Canada and globally will offer me the opportunity to meet some of you for the first time, and again with others I am proud to call my friends. I encourage you to attend an alumni event in your hometown where I will be pleased to tell you in person about the excitement and accomplishments of McMaster Engineering, and would welcome the opportunity to hear your story as well. I am continually inspired by our alumni. Indeed, they are changing the world!

Profiles Finding the Facts Behind the Failures Curiosity about how things work is certainly not a rare trait in engineers. But for Mazen Habash, (Electrical and Computer 1986), it’s been his curiosity about why things don’t work that has shaped his career. “I’ve always been inquisitive not only about engineering principles, but also about the interaction of human nature on those engineering principles,” explains Mazen, a forensic engineer and president of Origin And Cause Inc. “There is often a human element for why things fail, why fires happen or why accidents occur.” Forensic engineering is a field that sees engineers apply their knowledge across a broad range of areas to investigate, explain and testify about the causes of failures and accidents. Mazen’s interest in the specialty began when a professor recommended him for a summer computer job with a company working in the field. Nearly 30 years later, he now heads up a forensic engineering company with offices across four provinces. Along with managing the engineering consulting firm, Mazen continues with the hands-on work of undertaking investigations for clients throughout North America. He specializes in fire investigation, electrical and electronic failures, product liability and alarm system analysis, and has often provided testimony in both civil and criminal courts as an expert witness. “This field of investigative engineering provides such an interesting range of matters and cases,” says Mazen. “I have been involved in more than 3,000 forensic incidents over the years and can say that no two cases have been the same.”

Do you have something to say or news to share? We would like to hear from you. Contact Carm Vespi Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24906 Fax: (905) 546-5492 e-mail: website: The MacEngineer is published by the Faculty of Engineering for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Contributors: Lynn Stewart, Kim Arnott, Pauline Mitchell, Monique Beech, Daily News (McMaster University) Photography: Michael Lalich, and reader contributions

Mazen Habash

When he isn’t working, Mazen is a wood turner who enjoys alpine skiing and scuba diving. He is married with two children, and his son is following in his footsteps by studying engineering at McMaster. n


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She maintains her work-life balance by spending as much time as possible behind the wheel of her boat. With her two children both in technical programs in university, she doesn’t hesitate to urge young people to recognize the range of opportunities available to those who graduate with an engineering degree. “Many of us have stayed in engineering for our entire careers, but many also choose a different line of work,” says Stephanie. “Having an engineering degree really provides you with opportunities. It’s a hard four years, but well worth the work.” n Stephanie Powers

Engineering – Personal Approach It was a simple yet telling detail that set McMaster apart when Stephanie Powers (Chem Eng 1985) was considering where to go to school. Other universities had sent her acceptance letters addressed to her applicant number, but the letter from Mac addressed her by name. “I liked the more personal approach,” she says. “I also liked the idea of going to a smaller university with smaller-sized classrooms and the campus all contained. “I chose engineering because I wanted a professional career, wanted to complete my education in four years, and believed that there would be job opportunities once I completed the program.” Opting to specialize in Chemical Engineering, a smaller program that had recently been transformed with the integration of computers, Stephanie recalls a close group of about 35 students who knew each other and their professors well. “I fondly remember Dr. Don Woods,” she recalls. “His courses dealt with the softer side of engineering and ultimately provided me with more tools in my career than the technical courses. “ Nearly 30 years after graduation, Stephanie is now Vice President of Engineering Strategy for Ontario Power Generation (OPG). It’s a job that keeps her involved in a wide array of nuclear engineering challenges, including strategic planning, improvement programs, staff training, and industry changes. 4 The MacEngineer

A World-Wide Vision of Success When Arif H. Somji (El.Eng.&Mgmt.’95) says Mac Engineering opened a world of opportunities for him, he’s not kidding. Currently based out of Arizona, USA, Arif has leveraged his degree into a consulting business that offers high-tech engineering and telecommunications solutions to multi national companies. “My career has taken me around the world,” says Arif, who believes today’s students should keep their eyes open to prospects beyond Canada’s borders.

As the owner of AHS Peak Consulting, Arif provides clients with a variety of globally-focused marketing, product management and business development services. The wide-ranging skill set he uses daily was developed during his years at McMaster, where he says he learned to problem-solve, work effectively as part of a team and to “learn and re-learn, constantly, consistently and with speed.” The importance of skills in time management and focus were also honed during his earliest university days. “It was very shortly after frosh week, as we hit full-steam with course-work and labs, that I had to figure out how I was going to optimally manage my time to get through the program,” he says. Despite the program’s challenging workload, Arif says he always felt the school’s caring faculty and support staff truly wanted to see all engineering students succeed. As an avid supporter of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), Arif volunteers in a number of initiatives and networking events to promote STEM’s advancement. He encourages young people to recognize the importance of these disciplines for their future.

Arif H. Somji

“Consider how you can contribute globally or on an international scale, if that is your choice,” he suggests. “We all know how the world’s economies have become globally connected. Practically speaking, this means your career will likely involve doing business across multiple regions and dealing with a multitude of cultures, laws, and business and technical practices.”

“It’s no secret that many of the world’s challenges – from energy, climate change and food security, to global health, transportation, and even interplanetary exploration – will require ingenious minds capable of analyzing and working across disciplines” he says. n

Society Program builds Solid Foundation for Work in Sustainable Design When Stephen Childs set his sights on post-secondary education, McMaster’s Engineering and Society program seemed to offer the intriguing possibility of combining his interest in engineering with a well-rounded education in subjects beyond the technical. Eleven years after his 2004 graduation from the Civil Engineering and Society Program – with a minor in the Theme School on Science, Technology and Public Policy – he recognizes that his choice was instrumental in shaping him into the engineer he is today. The program, which explores the human side of engineering and the complex interactions between technology and society, aims to develop–broadly educated engineers with a multidisciplinary outlook. “Developing the non-technical aspect of engineers is crucial to the growth and

Stephen Childs

development of the engineering profession,” says Stephen. “It opens up the ability to converse and contemplate designs and their impact in a broader context, which is a cornerstone of sustainable design.” A post-graduation summer spent exploring the surfing, hiking and cycling opportunities on Vancouver Island, as well as an interest in working in the growing green building movement, led Stephen and his partner Jennifer to decide to build a life in Victoria.

Employed at a local civil engineering firm, he has spent the last decade working on variety of municipal infrastructure projects, as well as a number of LEED projects. At a recent International Living Future Institute conference in San Francisco, where he had the opportunity to engage with some of the leading thinkers on the next frontiers of sustainable design, the value of both his technical knowledge and his ability to recognize its impact on social issues was highly evident. “Being surrounded by a design community that had come together to discuss and debate how to move beyond isolated sustainable design and instead wrestle with the interdependencies between buildings, communities and nature was inspiring,” says Stephen. “I’m thankful for both the depth and the breadth of the education I gained through the Society program. My experience at McMaster nurtured and developed the ideas of inquiry and exploration, and those will undoubtedly continue to serve me well.” n

McMaster grad named ArcelorMittal Dofasco president McMaster engineering alumnus Sean Donnelly (Metallurgical Eng., 1981) has been named President and CEO of Hamilton’s ArcelorMittal Dofasco. After graduation in 1981, Donnelly joined Dofasco as a production engineer. Over his 34-year career with the company, he has held various leadership positions. His most recent title was Vice President, Manufacturing. A member of the McMaster University Board of Governors, Donnelly also serves on the boards of the McMaster Innovation Park, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. With Donnelly’s appointment, McMaster graduates now hold seven key executive positions at Hamilton’s ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

Other alumni include: • Science grad Brian Benko, vice-president of procurement and information technology • Engineering and MBA grad Andrew Connor, vice-president commercial • MBA grad Katrina McFadden, vice-president corporate administration and human resource • Mechanical engineering grad Angela Pappin, vice-president technology • Tony Valeri, vice-president corporate communications and public affairs • Engineering and MBA grad Tom Vert, vice-president manufacturing • Business grad Graham Reid, Chief Technology Officer “It’s wonderful for us that so many of our graduates have done so well,” David Wilkinson, McMaster’s Provost and vice-president academic told the Hamilton Spectator. “It’s great to see how well they have done.”

Sean Donnelly

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Mac faculty contributes


MILLION 60 to cancer research network

McMaster researchers, including two engineering faculty members, will play key roles in a recently announced national research network investigating biotherapeutics for treating cancer. Biologically-based therapies (or biotherapeutics) are considered among the most promising of cancer treatments to emerge over the last decade. The innovative treatments mobilize and activate the body’s natural defence mechanisms to attack cancer cells, without the toxic side effects of many current treatments. The Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRx) network will receive $25M from the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence Canada, and an additional $35M from partners. Three researchers with McMaster’s Immunology Research Centre are involved in David Latulippe the project, including Dr. Brian Lichty, who will lead the research into oncolytic virus therapy. The therapy employs replicating cancer-killing viruses to target, infect and kill tumour cells while encouraging anti-tumour immune responses. Two chemical engineering faculty members, Dr. Raja Ghosh and Dr. David Latulippe, are on teams involved with the design and development of efficient and

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Dr. Raja Ghosh

cost-effective technologies for the manufacture of cancer biotherapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies. The network will bring together more than 40 researchers from 17 academic institutions, as well as several dozen industry and community partners, to accelerate the development of biotherapeutics.

“This is the single biggest funding commitment the federal government has ever made to cancer immunotherapy, and this will significantly speed up Canadian development of the next generation of cancer care,” said Dr. Lichty. “This will be important to many Canadians.” n

Automotive Research in the

It’s not surprising that public interest in energy-efficient, cleaner-air vehicles has put the spotlight on innovative research underway at the McMaster Automotive Research Centre (MARC) on Longwood Road. Led by Dr. Saeid Habibi, the NSERC/ Ford Canada Industrial Research Chair in Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Powertrain Diagnostics, more than 100 researchers at the facility are working on ways to produce more affordable and efficient vehicles. The centre’s research into the components, design and batteries of electric and hybrid vehicles was most recently highlighted in a feature on CTV’s popular morning show Canada AM.

As he showed off the facility, Dr. Habibi predicted that within the next five years, consumers will be able to purchase an affordable electric car capable of travelling 300 miles on a single charge. Such vehicles will not only be cheaper for drivers, but greener for the planet, he noted. “If you put $10 of gas in your car, between $1 and $2 is the amount used to take you from A to B. The other $8 to $9 goes to warming the environment,” said Dr. Habibi. The breakfast television spotlight also allowed engineering student William Long to show off McMaster’s 2014 Formula Hybrid race car, designed and built by engineering students. Students took the vehicle, which features an internal combustion engine in the rear

and electric motors in the front, into competition against several dozen other North American universities at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last spring. The Mac racer was awarded for its design and business elements, while the students were honored with the Skip Barber award for teamwork. Noting the “breath-taking speed” of research and development in the field, Dr. Habibi says he expects to see the electric vehicle soon move beyond its current “niche market” status to become a very important segment of the automotive market. n

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When You Can’t It’s what you can’t see that keeps Dr. Michael Noseworthy, PhD, PEng, searching for answers that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and physiological problems using advanced medical imaging techniques. Professionally, he wears many hats; Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster, Co-Director, McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering and Director of Imaging Physics and Engineering, at the Imaging Research Centre, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, and a long list of medical and academic activities around the world. The titles don’t tell you that what he does is hands-on work, de-

World leader in cardiovascular tissue engineering recognized Dr. Milica Radisic (B.Eng. ’99) is one of 91 inaugural inductees into a prestigious new College created by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) to recognize the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leaders. A world leader in the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering, Dr. Radisic was recognized by the RSC for her work in developing new heart tissue derived from stem cells. Her research has attracted multiple national and international prizes, including an NSERC Steacie Fellowship in 2014 She joins scholars, artists and scientists from 52 Canadian universities and other institutions in the College of New 8 The MacEngineer

Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The intent is to encourage interdisciplinary interaction among members who are working at highly productive stages of their careers are have earned their Ph.D. or equivalent qualification within the last 15 years. Dr. Radisic earned a B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from McMaster in 1999, and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004. In 2008, she was named one of the world’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35 by MIT’s Technology Review. A Canada Research Chair in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering, Dr. Radisic is a researcher in the University of Toronto’s Institute for Biomaterials and Bio-

medical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. n

See the Problem veloping hardware and software solutions that will reveal the previously unseen to improve medical treatments. Consider that it was the mid-80’s before research centres and large hospitals gained access to MRI technology and that Dr. Noseworthy has been developing MRI hardware and software for more than two decades. By his own admission, in his 26 years developing this technology he’s undergone approximately 1200 MRI’s testing his hardware and software on himself. He calls one of the rooms at St. Joseph Healthcare’s Imaging Research Centre ‘the garage’ – where his students go about building materials that will help them capture the images they need for particular medical issues for every part of the body.

The equipment includes everything from complicated electronics for making and receiving MRI signals, to exercise machines that go inside the large MRI magnet. These days, Dr. Noseworthy is challenged to solve mysteries that are still undetectable by the most advanced imaging, like the brain-fog often experienced by chemo patients, or what causes the symptoms of concussions that don’t show on an MRI scan. He’s part of an interdisciplinary team of McMaster researchers studying concussions and traumatic brain injury caused by everything from slips and falls and car crashes to recreational and professional sports injuries and blast injuries to soldiers. The team is particularly interested in trau-

matic brain injuries to children. Today most clinical CT and MRI scans of people with concussions show what looks like a “normal” image. Yet Noseworthy knows from his own experience with concussions that the patient doesn’t feel normal. He and others want to know why. Structural images of the brain usually don’t provide those answers. New MRI software and hardware, and image processing tools are being developed to probe metabolic changes in the brain that hopefully will provide new insights. Says Noseworthy, “We need to discover new imaging techniques that help us better understand what’s really going on, so we can monitor the recovery properly and reduce the risk of re-injury.” n

CAD and Powertrain lead. McMaster will compete against 15 North American universities in the latest Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) challenge, recognized as North America’s leading collegiate automotive engineering competition.

The team will work closely with the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO) and the McMaster-based Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain Program research group. n

Mac team takes up

EcoCAR 3 Chal l enge

A team of McMaster students has taken up the EcoCAR 3 challenge and will spend the next four years re-engineering the iconic Chevrolet Camaro into a hybridelectric car. But along with making the car more environmentally-friendly, the team must find a way to maintain the muscle and performance features that have always been associated with the vehicle. “Students will research, design and implement advance vehicle technologies into an existing Camaro powered by fossil fuels, in an effort to bring old school muscle into the 21st century,” explains Chris Mak, the team’s Electrical

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A New Gateway to Engineering: The class of 1985 Reunion Project

Why Get Involved? “I am pleased to support the JHE Atrium Project as it reciprocally honors the institution of McMaster Engineering and its people of the Class of ‘85.” Tim Nohara, (Electrical 1985) “The JHE Atrium project could have been given to any other Engineering class -- 80s or 90s. However, I am very pleased that the Class of 85 received the privilege to be part of this historic project, which allows me to make a meaningful contribution for an institution which I dearly owe my success.” Quang Nguyen (Electrical 1985) “1981 - We all met in JHE 376. 1985 - We all left McMaster from HH after the Kipling ceremony. 2015 - Time to return to JHE bearing gifts. My gift will be bigger than Duncan’s gift. “ Dave Armstrong (Mech Eng 1985).

It’s been 30 years since graduation, and while the Engineering Class of 1985 may not raise the roof in celebration, they are planning to raise a few walls. Graduates from three decades ago are hoping to make a bright and modern glass atrium entranceway to the John Hodgins Engineering (JHE) building their legacy gift to McMaster. Momentum is growing in support of the JHE Atrium project, which will more than double the size of the building’s lobby while creating an eye-catching entrance to McMaster’s proud engineering tradition. The vision is to enclose the space underneath the auditorium to create an attractive and comfortable community space that fosters collaborative learning, networking, studying and relaxing. The Class of 1985 is hoping to raise half of the estimated $600,000 cost of the project, with Dr. Ishwar Puri, Dean of Engineering, promising to match alumni donations with funds from the Faculty of Engineering.

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“I’m very excited about the energy Dr. Puri is bringing to the faculty, so when he spoke to a few alumni about his idea to expand and renovate the JHE entrance, we decided to rally our classmates to sponsor this project in the form of a class gift – something that has never been done before on this scale at McMaster,” says Brad Merkel (Chem Eng 1985). Among the ideas being considered for recognition of alumni donors is an interactive digital atrium display that could allow contributors to share their Mac memories and subsequent career stories, with the hope of inspiring and motivating today’s engineering students. “I’m excited to join my McMaster Engineering ’85 classmates and ‘pay it forward’ in a very tangible way,” says Duncan Hannay (Mech Eng 1985). “I look forward to christening this new project with my classmates and celebrating all that McMaster has given us.” For more information on the project or how you can contribute please contact Terry Milson, email: or online at n

“We feel supporting engineering students is an important way to ensure that the brightest and best students thrive at McMaster.” Chedo Sobot (Civil 1985) and Vlad Sobot (Civil 1980)

Summer Students Join

Groundbreaking Research Teams

In summer 2016, 100 McMaster Engineering undergraduate students will have an opportunity to work alongside their professors, on cutting-edge research projects. The Faculty of Engineering has created 100 full-time summer research projects, to give students the opportunity to experience life in the lab while being mentored by some of the country’s top engineering researchers. Augmenting classroom activities with hands-on research opportunities gives students a career head start, says Dr. John Preston, associate dean, research and external relations and chair of engineering physics.

“We push our students to do cuttingedge research for a number of reasons. In addition to being highly engaging, the experience more accurately reflects the kind of real-world situations they are going to find themselves in when they graduate, whether that be in government or corporate laboratories, or perhaps even in an academic setting such as McMaster,” said Dr. Preston. “They learn how to work collaboratively and critically assess the work they are doing, all the while making valuable contributions in the development of real-world applications.” The research projects are available in a wide array of areas, ranging from microscopy, x-ray technology, photovoltaics and biomedicine, to automotive design, harvesting solar energy and app development.

When fourth-year materials engineering and society student Michael Chatzidakis took an undergraduate summer research position at Mac, he hardly expected to become an integral part of a research group working on a groundbreaking project examining the nanoscale phase stability of bimetallic particles. “You go in thinking you’ll be at the bottom of the ladder, but I found myself working collaboratively with some of the brightest minds in the field, all of whom treated me as an honoured member of the team,” he recalls. After participating in the research program, he was invited to the University of Notre Dame’s nanoengineering competition, NDConnect 2014, where he placed second in the competition. “It was valuable to get a taste of research because I realized how much I enjoyed it,” says Chatzidakis. “I always understood that there were a lot of directions I could go in, but now I’m seriously considering becoming a professor. I learned that I like teaching, explaining and research, so I think it would be a good fit.” n

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Award Winners

Paul Santerre

Ryan LaRue, a third-year Chemical Engineering and Management student, was the winner of the Robert G. Auld student paper competition at the 2014 Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference. The award is given for the best oral presentation of a paper in the field of chemical engineering. Drawn from his summer research as an NSERC undergraduate researcher in the ChemEng department under Drs. Emily Cranston and David Latulippe, Ryan’s paper addressed the development of a protocol to manage the use of wastewater chemicals in municipal treatment operations. n Paul Santerre (Ph.D, 1990) was the principal award winner of a 2014 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award for his work in developing surface modifying macromolecules that stop blood platelets from

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forming clots as a reaction to plastic medical devices. The patented molecules, which integrate with a PICC (peripheral inserted central catheter) or other plastic medical device, can be added during the manufacturing project. Shown to effectively prevent blood clots, the innovation replaces the need for expensive coating of PICCs and has been approved for medical use in Canada and the United States. The surface modifying molecule technology is now available in a patented PICC catheter that has sold thousands and is expected to help reduce complications and costs related to blood clots. Santerre, who earned his Ph.D in chemical engineering at McMaster, is now a professor at the University of Toronto’s faculty of dentistry, and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. The annual $100,000 award is given to a Canadian who has “demonstrated recent innovative talent in developing and successfully marketing a new concept, process or procedure.” n

Juste Fanou, a B.Tech student in the Civil Engineering Infrastructure Technology stream, was one of the recipients of the Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award for 2014. The award provides up to $25,000 in funding to McMaster students looking to expand their horizons by studying something outside of their academic area. Fanou will study how popular music has shaped, and been shaped by, ongoing conflict in Ivory Coast. He spent much of his childhood in the West African country, but left with his parents in 2000, two years before civil war broke out. n Rajendra Singh (Ph.D, 1979) has been honoured by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to promote and expand the use of solar energy in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

McMaster’s School of Engineering Technology (SET) was shortlisted for a 2014 Reimagine Education Award from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The newly-created teaching innovation awards recognized international leaders in presence learning, e-learning and combined presence and e-learning. It attracted 426 applications from 43 countries. The McMaster engineering application, in the category of “Nurturing Student Employability,” was submitted under the leadership of SET executive director Alan Murray. McMaster’s iSci (Integrated Science) program won a Reimagine Award for presence learning. n


The popularity of the piping hot pizza comes at an energy cost.

Keeping a pizza oven heated to a baking temperature of about 260°C throughout the day is an operational requirement for a pizzeria, but one that results in a significant amount of energy lost through the chimney. The success of a research team led by McMaster engineering professor Dr. James Cotton (Ph.D., McMaster University 2001) in developing a low-cost system to efficiently recover waste heat from the ovens and convert it to energy was recently profiled in the Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE) 2014 Annual Report- “Return on Innovation” and website. With the support of OCE, Dr. Cotton and his research team partnered with Canada’s largest pizza chain, Pizza Pizza, to develop the Pizza Oven Waste Energy Recovery (POWER) system. Mounted on existing ovens, the system uses thermal electric generator technology to lower the restaurant’s energy costs.

s Praise rn

Dr. Singh, director of Clemson University’s Centre of Silicon Nanoelectronics and the D. Houser Banks Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, devoted his 1973 doctoral thesis to solar cells. Over the last 40 years, he has worked to advance the technology of photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. Singh is considered “a local hero leading the charge across the country to create jobs and economic opportunity in solar power, and driving policy changes at the local level to further advance solar deployment,” according to Clemson University president James Clements. The Champions of Change program was created to allow the White House to highlight individuals doing extraordinary work to empower and inspire members of their communities. Dr. Singh was given McMaster University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. n

W E R Ea O P za

In lauding the system, OCE noted, “The energy harvested can be used in-store to meet lighting, point-of-sale terminals and hot water and heating needs. The device sets a new standard in energy conservation and offers resiliency in the event of a power outage.” The system, which is being integrated into three restaurants in 2015 could eventually make its way into as many as 400 Pizza Pizza stores across Canada. Project partners are now working on phase two of the program, which will investigate using the clean, hot water produced as a by-product of the electricity generation system to replace hot water heaters and pre-heat air entering the ovens. Cotton and his team recently received an NSERC Ideas to Innovation grant to accelerate the development of this promising technology and establish a new Canadian start-up company. n

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F i n d i n g Va l u e i n

Water science has a friend in McMaster Chemical Engineering Professor Dr. David Latulippe (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering 2010). He’s one of a generation of scientists who understand that sustainable environments require new ways to mitigate the impacts on natural resources of modern industrial practices. Dr. Latulippe’s research efforts are focused on separation processes for biopolymer processing and wastewater treatment. In particular, his interests in wastewater lie at the water-energy nexus, which includes the treatment of water from hydraulic fracturing operations for natural gas production, commonly called fracking, and water demands in renewable energy production. He is intent on working with his industrial partners to find new ways to convert low value wastewater into clean water that that can be re-purposed or recycled to reduce the demand for fresh water. Recently he has begun a collaboration with Hatch on developing advanced separation processes for oil sands operations. The goal of his work is “to liberate the huge volumes of water that are currently stored in tailings ponds and allow for greater water reuse, thus decreasing the total amount of fresh water that must be withdrawn from the surrounding watershed.” Dr. Latulippe is quick to point out there are people across the university as passionate as he is about water science. He’s particularly excited by the creation last year

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of the McMaster Water Network, which was formed to connect water science, technology and policy to deliver local and global impacts involving water issues. The first McMaster Water Week last fall attracted students, faculty and community leaders to events aimed at promoting water research, teaching and engagement. A second McMaster Water Week is already scheduled for October 2015. Some of Dr. Latulippe’s projects have a definite community connection and he’s impressed by local efforts towards environmental improvements. His research on the development of a high-throughput dewatering test for sludge processing could help provide solutions for the treatment of municipal wastewater and solid waste. The $138.9 million clean up of Randal Reef sediment in Hamilton Harbour to improve water quality by removing contaminants also provides opportunities for water scientists like Latulippe to contribute solutions that will benefit future generations. He doesn’t have to look far to find problems that need solutions. Much of the funding for Dr. Latulippe’s research comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) funded by the Ontario government. The projects also offer great experiential learning opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to work with Dr. Latulippe and his industrial partners on the development of new water treatment technologies.

Pa rt n e r i n g f o r c l e a n

water Water treatment and contamination detection technologies are at the centre of a new international agreement that McMaster University has signed with several Canadian and Chinese partners. The agreement will create the McMasterJiangsu International Technology Development and Translation Centre, which will undertake research and development, technology transfer and commercialization of technologies in the area of water treatment and monitoring.

A Hamilton campus will be located in the McMaster Innovation Park and led by Chang Qing Xu, professor of Engineering Physics and Qiyin Fang, associate professor of Engineering Physics. A second campus will be located in Jiangsu Province, China. “This agreement brings together the very best in the field and will allow for the two-way flow of technology, talent and capital between partners,” said Mo Elbestawi, McMaster’s Vice-President, Research and International Affairs. “These kinds of partnerships are critical to fuel innovation and ensure that new technologies, which have the potential to

positively impact human health, are developed and commercialized for the benefit of all.” The Centre will build on existing partnerships with leading Chinese academic and research institutions, as well as Ontariobased and Chinese industrial partners. The partnership will help translate McMaster’s expertise in sensor technologies into real-world technologies, added Peter Mascher, McMaster’s Associate Vice-President, International.“It’s only by working together that we can continue to make progress on developing these critical technologies.” n

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The W Booth School is always looking for new innovation challenges; if you are interested in collaborating as a community partner please email .

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Innovation Studio brings W Booth School students and community together key ingredient. Students are taught to look Do you ever drive on the highway beside a at problems in a way that keeps any impact transport truck and wonder how long-haul on society and human beings top of mind. drivers manage to stay alert for extended Using a holistic, interdisciplinary apperiods of time? proach, the newly developed Innovation Are you one of the thousands of local Studio teams up students from three masresidents who visit the Hamilton waterter’s programs: entrepreneurship and innofront and dream of sustainable community vation, engineering and public policy and development? engineering design. A true demonstration Do you know anyone who has uncovof community engagement, ered buried utility wires the Innovation Studio preswhile landscaping or buildents students with significant ing and discovered how “We learn from the issues or ‘innovation chalit can quickly turn into a community and they lenges’ faced by businesses dangerous situation? and organizations looking to If so, then you will be learn from us. partner with W Booth School. interested to know that It’s a collaborative These challenges are not just McMaster’s W Booth School a way for students to earn of Engineering Practice effort that results in academic credit; they provide students are on it. sustainable changes an opportunity for them to Thanks to a fresh aphave a real impact on their proach to graduate degree to better our world.” world, now, not just after programs, students in the Dr. Robert Fleisig, they graduate. W Booth School explore Assistant Professor, For instance, how do you real-world problems while W Booth School keep long-haul truck drivers they are earning a master’s alert at the wheel? Carter, degree. W Booth students Felipe and Israel are three are taking learning out of W Booth students who are exploring a the classroom and engaging with actual complex, industry-wide problem. As they stakeholders, not in a traditional, transacpeel away the layers of a problem, new tional way, but as Community partners. issues come to light. So, after numerous As we celebrate the 10th anniversary interviews with key industry representaof the W Booth School of Engineering tives and senior management of a leading Practice, it’s clear that something new and transportation firm, the students recognize inspiring has taken root. Driven to educate they must consider multiple conflicting and train tomorrow’s leaders, the W Booth interests. How will they do this? While School supports collaborative, creative they consider innovative solutions that may problem solving that includes empathy as a

involve in-cab technologies or electronic time-log systems, they keep the end user in mind and consider the behavioural changes instrumental in achieving a positive outcome. The team is considering multiple aspects of a real-life problem that is important to the transportation industry, the drivers and the public-at-large. This is just one example of the many educational experiences W Booth students are provided with which enable them to build on technical expertise gained in undergraduate studies and time spent in the work world. A master of engineering degree from McMaster University provides graduate students with a world-class education; a master of engineering degree from W Booth School takes that education and adds in professional, practical experience. How do you inspire graduate students to transform the world? Give them a technical problem and ask them to view it through a human-focused lens. Watch for a special celebration event for the 10th Anniversary of the W Booth School of Engineering Practice coming this October 2015. n

The MacEngineer 17

Knowing the Dangers You may want to think of Dr. Saiedeh Razavi, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering and Chair in Heavy Construction, the next time you drive through a construction zone on the highway or wonder about the traffic conditions ahead of you on your daily commute. Her work could eventually change how we interact with constantly changing and often dangerous conditions around us. Dr. Razavi’s research is looking for ways to use connectivity and rapid advances in sensing technology to improve safety, mo18 The MacEngineer

bility and environmental sustainability – and in doing so, reduce the risk of injuries and death. It will contribute to improved operation and management of construction and transportation systems. Her main area of research involves wireless sensing for heavy construction and transportation management. Dr. Razavi believes modern technology can be better utilized to provide meaningful, real-time information that can alert construction workers, and drivers to danger. She believes road crews should know if on-com-

ing drivers or equipment operations pose imminent danger or if vehicles are detecting conditions that could lead to collisions or congestion. If there’s a way to capture such information, there’s a way to put it to use. Connected/automated vehicles, adaptive algorithms, new sensors, smart phones, cloud computing and big data are rapidly changing the way we are involved in construction and transportation management and operation. Building the infrastructure of the future demands innovative ideas,

Applause & Accolades AN AWARDS CELEBRATION The accomplishments of the Faculty of Engineering award recipients will be celebrated on Thursday, May 7, 2015 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. LIUNA Station 360 James Street North Hamilton, Ontario PRESENTING

Can Save Lives partnership, and advanced solutions to the modern problems and challenges. She and a team of five doctoral students are investigating the benefits and impacts of connected/automated systems in transportation and proposing solutions for heavy construction on how best to gain benefits from connectivity and automation. She has a wide range of sponsors and research partners including equipment manufacturers, industries, regulators, governments, and academics. Two of her students currently work on

site with a partner in the construction industry. They’re looking at the potential of an alert system to or by heavy equipment operators when there’s a risk of collision with people or objects. Other members of her team are looking at ways that the millions of vehicles on the road can actually probe the traffic and the infrastructure condition for meaningful data and how that information can be shared for more accurate diagnostics and traffic management. n

McMaster University Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award Trueman Goba, Chairman – Africa, Europe and Middle East, HatchGoba, South Africa L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award Sean Donnelly, President & CEO, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, (B.ENG ’81 Metallurgical Engineering) Tickets $150.00 or table of eight $1,200.00 Black Tie Optional, for directions visit: To register, please contact Terry Milson at 905.525.9140 extension 27391 or email

The MacEngineer 19

Where Do I Go When I Get There? You are Here maps taunt the best of us, because what we really want to know is how to get somewhere else when we arrive, whether it’s inside a mall, an office tower, a sprawling hospital, an airport or an industrial complex. For example, GPS directions to the airport don’t tell you how far you are from your gate or how to get to the nearest Tim Horton’s beyond the security area. Dr. Rong Zheng, tenured Professor in Computing and Software and an associate member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at McMaster, is working on ways to use existing building infrastructure to develop indoor navigation systems that will not only direct visitors efficiently within a building, but can track inventory and other assets within buildings. Essentially she’s developing indoor GPS without satellites, as satellite signals are typically too weak to be useful inside buildings.

20 The MacEngineer

The proliferation of smart phones has raised expectations by users that the tools they need will be at their fingertips on demand but so far no one has solved the challenge of location guidance within buildings. Not yet. Dr. Zheng and her research team are closing in on ways to develop indoor location systems that are sufficiently accurate for end-users and cost-effective for organizations to deploy for their buildings. Dr. Zheng acknowledges the challenges of the project – lack of digitized indoor maps and diverse device capabilities. Her team is looking at ways to take advantage of Wi-Fi, light sources, magnetic fields as well as sensors available on handheld devices already on the market. She foresees demands for indoor location systems coming from a variety of sources including retailers in a mall

who could push directions and possibly coupons to customers searching for a particular product, an industry tracking inventory in their warehouse, or hospitals looking for the nearest available crash cart. Her team is also working with OverAir, a start-up company by a McMaster graduate on proximity detection. The McMaster campus itself offers opportunities to develop and test some of their ideas. Dr. Zheng is hoping to find ways for smartphone users to help her team profile indoor environments and evaluate the performance of their algorithms. Vendor and industry sponsorship for the research will also enable the development of customized apps for indoor location systems. n


Dickson was drawn to


Celebrates Its Hamilton Birthplace

Long before double-double was Canadian slang and the Tim Hortons brand was recognized in every corner of the country, there was a coffee shop in Hamilton’s east end. It was store #1, the first location in what has grown into an astonishingly successful Tim Hortons franchise. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of the business last year, Tim Hortons decided to redevelop that first store into a landmark location that would tell the company’s story and show off a collection of its artifacts. In May 2014, the contract to manage that project landed in the hands of McMaster engineering grad Joseph Konney, project director with Element Project Services.

“The main objective was for the store to open in 2014, as part of the company’s 50th anniversary, so we had six months to go from the design conception stage to serving coffee again,” says Konney, a 2001 graduate of the Bachelor of Technology program. “We didn’t want to open the 50th anniversary store in the 51st year.” The project required the demolition of the original store, as well as buildings on two adjoining properties. In the meantime, design development and permitting work were under way. Ground was broken on the project in September, and despite the challenging timelines, the two-storey glass restaurant opened its doors to customers on December 20, 2014. The unique building combines the usual features of a Tim Hortons restaurant with second floor displays of memorabilia, including a replica of the 1964 storefront, and local historical and pop culture items. “I believe it’s also the first ever two-storey Tim Hortons, complete with an elevator.” Helping Tim Hortons celebrate its Hamilton birthplace has special significance to Konney, who spent most of his life in the city after immigrating to Canada from Ghana as a teenager. Having eaten donuts in that first store as a youngster, he’s now proud to be able to show off the one-of-akind coffee shop to his daughter, family and friends. “To me, the legacy will be having the store stand here for the next 50 years and knowing I was able to contribute to making it happen,” he says. n

As a high school student in Niagara Falls, Adam Dickson was drawn to McMaster on the strength of both its engineering program and its football team. Now a fifth year Engineering Physics and Management student with the experience of three national football championships under his belt, Adam has no doubt he made the right choice. “We’ve enjoyed so much success on the football field, and I’m getting an education at one of the world’s top universities,” he says. It’s not always been easy juggling his academic workload with the 30 to 40 hours a week he spends in the athletic centre during football season, but the Marauder defensive tackle says both his coaches and teachers have been supportive. And while the football team’s 2011 Vanier Cup win was the highlight of his time at Mac, Adam is philosophical about this year’s last-minute loss in the big game against the Montreal Carabins. “We gave it a great game,” he says. “It came right down to the wire.” n

The MacEngineer 21

The upcoming season of Café X offers a menu of inspiration and innovation that’s sure to entice the appetite of Mac’s engineering community. The program, which invites distinguished guest speakers to the campus to share their experiences with McMaster students, faculty and the broader community, was launched in 2013 with the motto Café X: Percolating Ideas. Upcoming speakers for the Winter and Spring 2015 session:

March 9 Dr. Paul Santerre (Ph.D’90 Chemical Engineering) will provide “A Perspective on University Derived Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”A professor with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry and the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), Dr. Santerre’s research focuses on developing new materials for medical use. The final speaker for the Spring session will be Dr. Karim Lakhani (B.Eng.M’93 Electrical Engineering), who will speak on “Digital Ubiquity: How Connections, Sensors, and Data are Revolutionizing Business”.

April 9 Dr. Lakhani is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on how companies and communities and communities manage technological innovation. Café X talks are given in Room 535 of the Engineering Technology Building from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on the scheduled dates. Question and answer sessions follow the formal presentations. The events are free, but seating is limited and registration is required at

Faculty Leadership Fellows Dr. Shahram Shirani and Dr. Antoine Deza have been being inducted Faculty Leadership Fellows under the Faculty of Engineering’s new Faculty Leadership Program. The program was established to provide faculty members the opportunity to shadow individuals in leadership positions in order to build academic leadership in the Faculty. Dr. Shirani received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 2000. Since July 2000, he has been with McMaster’s department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he holds the L. R. Wilson/Bell Canada Chair in Data Communications. His research is mainly focused on image and video processing, multimedia communications, medical image processing and hardware architectures for image and video processing. Dr. Shirani is a senior member of the IEEE, an associate editor and member of editorial board for IEEE

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Transactions on Multimedia and an associate editor and member of editorial board for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology.

Shahram Shirani

Antoine Deza

Dr. Deza has been a faculty member in McMaster’s Department of Computing and Software since 2004. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Combinatorial Optimization. Since 2008, he has served as Head

of the Advanced Optimization Laboratory, and since 2009 served as Graduate Associate Chair. He previously held a faculty position at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. He has served as Chair of the Fields Institute Industrial Optimization Seminar since 2008, and has been a co-organizer of several conferences including the 2011 Fields Institute Thematic Program on Discrete Geometry and Applications. He has also been an Associate Editor for Optimization Letters, Discrete Applied Mathematics, and the Journal of Discrete Algorithms, and guest editor for four others international journals. Dr. Deza was elected a Fields Institute Fellow in the 2014 cohort of Fellows. He has held visiting positions at the Université Paris Sud, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris. n  

Finds Solutions Jain. Manulife is a financial services giant Rocky Jain is an unabashed cheerleader that serves 1 in 5 Canadians. As Director of for innovation and collaboration. Since graduating with a computer science degree Manulife’s RED Lab, Jain is responsible for operations and to keep his team focused from McMaster in 2000, Jain has spent on the vision to provide people with intuimost of his career developing technology tive, quick, and transparent access to their solutions for everyday problems for several financial services by creating innovative leading tech companies including Blacksolutions using emerging Berry and Desire2learn. technologies. He meets Today, Jain is the Direc“We have tremendous regularly with Manulife tor of Manulife’s Research, freedom here to create Canada CEO, Marianne Exploration, and Development (RED) Lab, which customer-centric solutions” Harrison and is grateful for the support he gets to opened last August in innovate and think differently. Kitchener. The RED Lab shares space Including Jain, the team is made up within a hub alongside technology companies, multinationals and start-ups of various of three software developers and three students on a four-month work term who sizes in a unique environment that encourare paired with mentors to first identify ages collaboration and robust discussion of problems and then come up with soluideas. The very design of the space encourtions to those problems. The students then ages the collision of people and ideas in present their solutions to senior Manulife casual encounters with each other. executives for consideration. “We have tremendous freedom here to create customer-centric solutions,” says

In selecting students for the RED Lab, Jain is looking for young entrepreneurialminded talent from various backgrounds including computer science, business and systems design. The make-up of the team will change about every four months and Jain is hoping to soon add a fourth student to the RED Lab team. Many applicants come through a competition sponsored by Manulife and a local tech hub and is open to all post- secondary students in Ontario. First prize in the Smart Tech Challenge includes prize money, laptops and the opportunity for a four-month work-term for the winning team members. Jain is proud of the RED Lab and the work his team is doing to break new ground in financial services. As Jain explains, “Our students learn quickly that working hard and solving problems equals success.” n

The MacEngineer 23

Successful in


If coffee, grunge music and the Space Needle are the first things to come to mind when you think of Seattle, it might be time to give the city and its stunning natural geography a second look. A burgeoning technology hub, the city ranked seventh on a recent Forbes List of Cities Creating the Most Tech Jobs.

The Forbes list ranked 52 metropolitan areas based on changes in employment at companies in high-technology industries, such as software and engineering, as well as the number of workers classified as being in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations. With corporate giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Boeing, as well as a myriad of start-up tech firms, calling Seattle home, a growing number of Mac grads have found success in Seattle. Here are the stories of just a few of them:

Haider Razi (B.Eng 2010 Computer Engineering), Program Manager, Microsoft

Peter Antal (B.Eng 2005 Software & Mgmt), Software Day Engineer/Test, Microsoft

After finishing his final exam of his undergrad career, Haider Razi left the Ivor Wynne (Hamilton) and headed west, all the way to Seattle. “Seattle was a city known to me for the Tom Hanks movie “Sleepless in Seattle” and its rainy winter,” he admits. “What brought me to west coast was an opportunity at a leading tech company that I simply could not pass. I took the leap!” One year later, he found himself back in the Ivor Wynne centre extolling the virtues of life on the west coast for people interested in cutting-edge technology work. Along with the employment, he loves the nearby ski mountains, the west coast pace and lifestyle and the incentive it’s given him to take up hiking, running and triathalons.

Peter joined Microsoft, located in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, shortly after graduation. He started with the company as a software development engineer, and in 2010 took on a design engineering role for software teams, delivering features for team collaboration and data visualization. “It’s common here for folks to rant about cloudy-rainy winters, but the Seattle area is evergreen and the views of the Cascade mountains are fantastic,” he says. “I find Seattle strikes an excellent balance between being a hub for culture and technology, while still being a really accessible city with vibrant neighborhood cultures.” He adds that proximity to Vancouver gives the city “an international character” that shares many Canadian values, and offers interesting after-work pursuits. “As a long time ‘geek’, there are many venues here catering to non-mainstream

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interests, notably a good variety of board gaming restaurants, “Barcades”, and the Sci-FI Museum/Experience Music Project in Seattle Center,” he says.

John F. Loman (M.Eng ’91 Electrical Engineering), Program Manager, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems John Loman has spent his career on the West Coast, and isn’t shy about encouraging other Canadian engineers to look for opportunities in the region. “The Seattle area is a fantastic place to combine work and play,” he says. “It houses world-class competitive companies in a variety of industries, is geographically central to a tremendous variety of outdoor pursuits and is home to a large number of Canadian engineers who competitive in the US corporate environment.” Since 1992, he has indulged his passion for developing new products and services in both design and team lead positions within the communications, military and

currently, aerospace industries. In his current position, he is often hiring for power supply, IC, SW (embedded) and digital (FPGA, ASIC) expertise and is interested in hearing from Mac grads. Outside of work, John is an active rock climber, mountaineer, skier and kayaker.

Dr. Titus Lo (MA ’89 & Ph.D ’96 Electrical Engineering), Consultant and affiliate professor Now a consultant and affiliate professor in the Seattle area, Dr. Titus Lo’s 25 years of varied experience qualify him as a veteran in the wireless industry. Along with pioneering the field of smart antenna technology for wireless communications, Titus’s career spans work in R&D, IP development, product development, deployment, and services. He holds 20 US issued patents, has published numerous technical papers in international peer-review journals, and presented and lectured more than 50 times. He has worked in executive positions

with tech companies Neocific, Walbell Technologies and NextComm, and is coauthor of “Digital Beamforming in Wireless Communications”, the first technical reference book of this kind. He is now an affiliate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Washington, Seattle and a consultant to private equity firms interested in understanding the technical viability of companies. He is a senior IEEE member. He currently serves as the Chair of IEEE Seattle Communications Society and Vehicular Technology Society Joint Chapter.

Dr. Stephen Elop (B.Eng. ’86 Computer Engineering & Mgmt & 2009 D.Sc.), Executive Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group, Microsoft​​ Stephen Elop heads the Microsoft Devices group overseeing the hardware development for Lumia Phones, Microsoft Band and Health Platform, Xbox hardware, Surface, Surface Hub products, and the new Microsoft HoloLens. He rejoined Microsoft

in April 2014 after the company’s acquired the Nokia Devices and Services business. As Nokia’s president and chief executive officer from 2010 to 2013, he led that company through a major strategy change where Nokia and Microsoft formed a partnership to build a third ecosystem in mobility with Windows Phone. He focused the smart devices business around industry-leading strengths in imaging, location-based services, and design. At the same time, he forged a strategy to connect the next billion people, bringing affordable smartphones and sophisticated feature phones to global consumers. Stephen is a father of five, an active pilot and a dedicated hockey fan. Along with his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and management, McMaster awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2009. “Seattle is a remarkable city in which to live and work,” he says. “Professionally, the business community is diverse with tech-

The MacEngineer 25

nology leading companies, aeronautical icons and paper and pulp manufacturers, while also being home to many universities creating a stimulating environment. “Plus, Seattle’s environment offers endless outdoor sports and activities, including being a fan for one their many professional teams. Although, we are still waiting for the hockey team to arrive.”

Dr. John Saw (B. Eng ’85, M.Eng ’86, Ph.D Electrical Engineering), Chief Network Officer, Sprint As Chief Network Officer at Sprint, John Saw is responsible for network engineering, deployment and operations. He also serves on the advisory boards to the Global TDD LTE Initiative (GTI), an international industry consortium, and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from McMaster, and his dissertation on low loss surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices is recognized as pioneering work that has helped enable a new generation of RF signal processing elements used in all mobile phones today. Over the intervening decades, he has continued to make his mark in the tech world. He holds six U.S. patents in wireless technologies, and in 2009 and 2010, led the Clearwire Corp. team that built the first 4G network in North America, covering more than 130 million people. Named one of Seattle Business Magazine’s Top Innovators in 2010, John reciprocates the enthusiasm the city has for him. “Seattle is an amazing place to live and work – a tech mecca of some of the world’s leading companies along with a vibrant start-up community. Add into the mix the natural beauty of the area and it’s really quite wonderful,” he says.

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Rick Bohdanowicz, (B.Eng ’81 Electrical Engineering), Director, Enterprise Technical Sales, Microsoft Rick Bohdanowicz started his career as a system software developer at Honeywell in Toronto. His focus was communications software, a specialty that led to an opportunity in Silicon Valley three years later. After moving to California to work on IBM-compatible peripherals with Memorex Communications group, he later took positions with Excelan and Novell. In 1996 he moved up to Seattle, first to act as GM at MathSoft, running their data analysis division and then joined Microsoft sales where he is currently acting as Director of Enterprise Sales Strategy for Productivity, Collaboration and Communication. “My family and I very much enjoy the Seattle area, with its rich outdoor amenities, readily-available city experiences, talented and diverse workforce, and proximity to good old Canada,” he says. “A Molson Canadian and a Coffee Crisp bar are only a three-hour drive away.”

David Squires (B.Eng ’80 Electrical Engineering), VP Business Development, BEEcube David Squires headed west immediately after graduating from Mac, obtaining a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Caltech, specializing in analog IC design. After seven years at National Semiconductor as an IC designer, working with luminaries such as Bob Widler and Bob Pease, David found his true calling in marketing, working for several startups in the Electronic Design Automation space. The next 18 years were spent with Xilinx, working in marketing, managing the DSP Division and wrapping up his Xilinx time as Chief Strategist. Despite an attempt to retire in the Port Angeles area of Washington, including building a house on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and indulging in kayaking, hiking and

biking, David found the lure of the working world too strong. He’s now VP of Business Development for BEEcube, a startup focused on selling into the 5G wireless design space. Despite his hard work, he’s found time to raise two children and tramp through the jungles of Belize on two National Geographic caving expeditions, watch the sunrise from the top of Kilimanjaro, and make numerous trips to Europe, Asia and Africa. He and his wife love the Pacific Northwest, taking advantage of some of the best kayaking, hiking, climbing and mountain biking opportunities in North America.

Brent Robertson (B.Eng.Mgt. ‘92 Comp Eng & Mgt, M.A.Sc. ‘94, M.B.A. ‘99), Principle, Automatic Sync Technologies After completing an MBA and selling his industrial automation business in Calgary in 1999, Brent headed to the “Silicon Forest” of Seattle to participate in the venturefunded start-up craze. Alas the dot-com bubble burst no too long thereafter, but he stayed in Seattle. Brent runs a virtual web business with a fellow Canadian engineer ex-pat. Small businesses thrive on the broad set of skills gained from the Engineering and Management program. Brent can be found as a software architect, sales engineer, tech support, sales manager, ... or janitor depending on the day. “I live on an island between Seattle and city of Bellevue to the east, so lake and mountain view is right there. Like Vancouver, it gets no shortage of gray and rain in the winter, but skiing in the mountains is less than an hour away (we’re not talking Chedoke either). The lack of snow also affords year around soccer and cycling. Unfortunately Seattle is pretty much a hockey vacuum.” n

Deen named President of Royal Society’s Science Academy McMaster’s Jamal Deen has been elected President of the Royal Society of Canada’s Science Academy. Deen, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has published extensively in the areas of micro-, nano- and optoelectronics and is a fellow of nine national academies and societies. In 2013 he was given the McNaughton Gold Medal - the highest award

for engineers in Canada. That same year, he was also given a McMaster Engineering Research Award and a Vice Chancellor’s Award from the University of the West Indies. Deen is senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology and director of McMaster’s Micro- and Nano-Systems Laboratory. n


31st Annual J.W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture presents Dr. Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of Engineering, Notre Dame University Thursday, March 10, 2015 – 4:30 pm – University Club Great Hall

​The Meaning & Purpose of Higher Education, and Engineering Education in Particular In this talk, Dr. Kilpatrick will explore the purpose and meaning of a University education and how students and faculty can and perhaps should derive that meaning. In addition, we will explore the special character of an engineering education and what its meaning and purpose is and how we can ensure that our students and faculty have adequately bought into that purpose. Ultimately,

engineering students and faculty should be able to articulate clearly why they are engineers (or engineers in formation) and how their education enables and informs that purpose. Engineers enjoy a unique position in society in that their profession both equips them to understand the nature of the very technical and interdependent world in which we now live and enables them to make innovations and changes to

that world, hopefully for the better. This twofold capability places extraordinarily sombre obligations on engineers to ensure that they use their abilities with wisdom, prudence, and grace. n For further information please visit http://

The MacEngineer 27

Noteable MacEngineers

Congratulations to Tom Jenkins (Bachelor of Engineering and Management Engineering Physics and Commerce ’82) who was recently appointed as chair of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). Industry Minister James Moore and Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology, made the announcement on Feb. 5. Jenkins, who pioneered many of the technologies used to manage digital information to increase productivity and governance, has served on several key panels and boards, including his current role as chairman of the board of Waterloobased global software company OpenText Corporation. The NRC is the premier research and technology organization of the government of Canada. n

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First-year computer science student Alyssia Jovellanos has simple advice for young women considering studying engineering: Get involved. Since arriving at McMaster University last fall, the 18-year-old Brampton native has sought student clubs with people who share her passion for technology, design and helping others. She’s a member of HackitMac, a group comprised mainly of computer science students with a mission to learn about technology through coding, typically in intense 24 to 48-hour bursts called hackathons. In February, Alyssia helped organize deltaHacks, a weekend-long hackathon designed to build real-world applications to help foster change. Ideas like helping a food bank keep track of its inventory. More than 300 students registered for the event at McMaster. Getting involved is a way to forge friendships and find mentors, particularly supportive females, Alyssia says. “I know that really helped me to not really notice the kind of gender gap between men and women in software,” Alyssia says. “That’s how I met a lot of my female friends in computer science.” n

My name is Ryan Rogers and I am in my third year of Mechanical and Management. I was recently elected President of the McMaster Engineering Society for the 20152016 year. I have been heavily involved with the MES over the past three years, and have held the positions of VP External and Associate Vice President of Clubs and Sponsors. As an active member of the McMaster Engineering Community, I have worked at Venture Engineering and Science Camp for the past two years. I have also volunteered for the McMaster Engineering Musical and Eng 1 Outreach. As President I hope to bridge the gap between the McMaster Engineering Society, McMaster Student Union and Engineering Alumni, as well as create a student wellness position within the MES to advocate for mental health awareness in the engineering community. I am thrilled to begin my term later this year and I cannot wait to start giving back to the community which has given me so much over the past years. n



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Hatch Centre will offer students design bays, work space and more

A new McMaster engineering building designed to foster hands-on learning and nurture big ideas is on track for a fall 2016 completion date. The first architectural renderings of the 24,000-sq. foot Gerald Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning were revealed recently to a group of faculty, staff and students. Designed by award-winning Diamond Schmitt Architects, the $11-million, threestorey centre adjoining the John Hodgins Engineering Building will offer studios, a lounge, meeting and work spaces to students. “We have made excellent progress on this exciting project,” said Ishwar Puri, McMaster’s Dean of Engineering. “The Hatch Centre will be the central hub for student-focused experiential learning. Not only will the centre provide much-needed space for students to collaborate with one another, by using it, they will also be able to actively take charge of developing their skills and competencies as future leaders

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in engineering, entrepreneurship and innovation.” The release of the design puts the project on schedule to start construction this fall, with the goal of opening the building in late 2016. Named for the late Gerald Hatch, founder of global engineering consultancy Hatch Inc., the centre will house student clubs, including the McMaster Engineering Society. Special design bays will offer space to work on larger projects such as solar cars and prepare for competitions such as bridge building. While the initial concept was aimed primarily at students, staff who provide front-line services, including academic advisors and co-operative education support, will also have offices in the centre. An additional $2.5 million was added to the original $8.5 million budget to offset the cost of the newly-added staff offices. Engineering student Ryan Rogers said it’s exciting to see the project come to life after years of planning. Engineering stu-

dents contributed $2 million through a special levy. “This is the final draft where we were able to make all the constraints acceptable,” said Rogers, McMaster Engineering Society VP of External Affairs. “It’s on budget, serves the students and the faculty well, and there’s space for everyone. It’s a good feeling.” Funding for the project was provided by Gerald Hatch ($2 million), Kurt Strobelle, chair of Hatch ($500,000), and the Hatch company ($500,000); $1.5 million from Former Gennum Corporation CEO Doug Barber and his wife, June; $1 million from Walter Booth and $1 million from other donors. Grant money is being sought from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to fund research on leading-edge sustainable building technologies. CFI is expected to make a decision on the grant application this spring. n

Alumni Events The Faculty of Engineering is committed to keeping in touch with its alumni. Whether it is helping you organize a class reunion, connecting you with long-lost classmates, engaging you in faculty and students activities or simply keeping you abreast of our alma mater through the web, newsletters or regional events, Engineering is pleased to help. Please contact the Engineering Alumni Team for more information at Thank you to our engineering alumni for their continues support and commitment to the Faculty of Engineering.

ALUMNI REUNION DAY Saturday, June 13, 2015 Mini Tour: 11:30 a.m. BBQ: 12:00 p.m. Where: John Hodgins Engineering Building Lawn Cost: $35.00 Dress Code: Casual

40TH ENGINEERING & MANAGEMENT ANNIVERSARY Saturday, June 13, 2015 Dinner: 5:00 p.m. Where: Convocation Hall Cost: $35.00, Cash Bar Dress Code: Business Attire

Alumni Reunion Day (June 7, 2014) Alumni from the Class ’64 gathered on a sunny summer afternoon to have their 50th class reunion in a tent in front of the Engineering Building. Years of tradition, camaraderie and memories. Some had not seen each other in 50 years. A special thank you to Mimmo Lostracco for bringing everyone together. On behalf of the Faculty of Engineering, we hope that there will be many more reunions. Other class reunions also included Classes ‘65, ’69, ‘70, ’74, ‘75, ’79 ’84, and ’89. The MacEngineer 31

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MacEngineer Spring 2015  

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