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MacEngineer McMaster University Faculty of Engineering

Vol.33 No.1

Winter 2008

Fifty Years of

Excellence in Education, Research & Student Life

Message from the Acting Dean In the previous issue of the MacEngineer, Mo Elbestawi announced that he would be moving from the Dean’s Office to that of Vice-President (Research and International Affairs). I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for his six years of leadership and tireless efforts on behalf of the Faculty of Engineering. Following his move, I was asked to assume the role of Acting Dean in order to give the University time to search for and appoint a new Dean. It has been a true privilege to serve my colleagues, our students and alumni, and I thank everyone for their support. During these six months, I have spent a lot of my time on two initiatives: the internationalization of the Faculty and the planning for our 50th Anniversary. I strongly believe that both of these have the potential to transform the Faculty of Engineering. Over the past 15 years, it has become increasingly clear that we live in a global environment in which countries have become increasingly interdependent. Nowhere is this

Peter Smith

more evident than in engineering, where we routinely have research, design, programming, manufacturing, service and management centres in different regions of the world. Today, engineers must not only be technically proficient, but they must also be able to interact with people with different languages, cultures, religions, histories and political systems. I believe that it is vitally important that we give our students the opportunity to better understand, appreciate and value these differences. To this end, we have introduced our new five-year undergraduate Engineering and International Studies programs. Not only will the students in these programs be exposed to the different national contexts, but they will also learn about the multitude of new challenges inherent in international design management and international supply chain management. We are also making great strides in increasing the number of international co-op opportunities for our students. As one can expect, employment abroad involves unique challenges on top of mere distance. Our Engineering

A Message from the Associate Dean

Peter Mascher

Associate Dean

(Research & External Relations)

Again, as in many previous editions of this magazine, I am delighted to be able to report several major research success stories involving engineering faculty. As already reported earlier, the New Initiatives Fund of the Canada Foundation of Innovation (CFI) and the Research Infrastructure Program of the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) are co-funding the “Micro- and Nanosystems Laboratory” (Project Leader M. Jamal Deen, Electrical and Computer Engineering), with a total project cost of more than $10.6 million. The final equipment list and the detailed architectural drawings of the laboratory are currently under review and we expect first purchase orders to be placed before the end of the calendar year. The laboratory will be housed on the third floor of the New Engineering Building.

Results of the latest round of competition in the CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF) were announced in September. The successful applicants of the Faculty of Engineering are David Novog (Engineering Physics), Multi-Phase Flow Diagnostic Equipment for Flow Measurement of Critical Flows in Fossil and Nuclear Power Plants - Phase Doppler Anemometer, and Alexandru Patriciu (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Robotic Test Bed for Soft Tissue Image Guided Medical Interventions Research, for a total of almost $200,000 in CFI funding. We are currently waiting for word from Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation regarding their matching of these awards, which will more than double the total project value. From June 11 to 15, 2007 we participated in the first India-Ontario Nanotechnology (ION) Workshop, organized by the University of Waterloo. As part of the program, a high-level delegation, representing various research centres within the IIT Bombay and the IISc Bangalore visited our campus and the Faculty on June 12. One of the tangible outcomes of this visit was the establishment of an ION Steering Committee to coordinate collaborative efforts between our respective constituencies and to liaise with government in both countries. Jamal Deen

acts as the coordinator of a McMaster team of researchers (including Rafael Kleiman [Eng Phys], Ray LaPierre [Eng Phys], John Preston [Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, BIMR], and Kalai Saravanamuttu [Chemistry]) who are involved in a project entitled “Nanoengineered Portable Diagnostic Biomedical Device for Health and Environmental Monitoring.” This project was chosen as the initial “flagship project” of the ION cooperation. The ION initiative will also have direct impact on our graduate and undergraduate education, with new student and researcher exchange programs currently under development. Finally, and looking ahead into the future, we are very excited that McMaster University will host in August 2009 the 14th Canadian Semiconductor Technology Conference as a joint event with the 4th International Conference on Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics, Photonics, and Renewable Energy. In addition to scientific sessions and a summer school for graduate students, the joint conference will also include technology-business interface sessions to assist scientists, engineers and industry leaders in the development of entrepreneurial ventures based on disruptive nanotechnology innovations.

Co-op and Career Services office is working hard to address them. We are also expanding our Engineering Study Abroad Program (ESAP). You may recall from previous issues of the MacEngineer that ESAP involves an eight-week trip to another country, during which time students take courses towards their degree while interacting with local students and gaining an appreciation for their history and culture. The feedback from students who participated has been overwhelmingly positive. For the past two years, students have been limited to travelling to Volgograd and St. Petersburg in Russia. This year, we are increasing the number of universities that our students will be visiting in Russia, and adding one in Germany. We are also expanding ESAP to include Brazil as a second destination, where students will be hosted by universities in Natal and Salvador. We are also inviting other Canadian Faculties of Engineering to join us in this program. Our hope is to eventually add ESAP destinations in India and China. Our research activities have always had a strong international presence, but we are now forging global alliances. In the next

Mo Elbestawi Vice President

(Research & External Affairs)

University Appointment Mohamed Elbestawi is the University’s new vicepresident, Research and International Affairs. Dr. Elbestawi, who has been dean of the Faculty of Engineering since 2001, assumed his new duties as of July 1st. A distinguished scholar, administra-

few years, we expect to see these efforts come to fruition and lead to major international research projects in areas of strategic importance to Canada. Our 50th Anniversary celebrations will begin on January 11 with a large birthday party in the Student Centre. As you will see in this issue of the MacEngineer, this will be followed by a series of events throughout the year to celebrate the accomplishments of our 12,500 alumni, as well as our own. There will be a special focus on the opportunities that are being created with the construction of the new Engineering building, scheduled for completion early in 2009. This 125,000 sq.ft. building will be state-of-the-art in energy efficiency and design, and will include two floors dedicated to first-year students and student clubs. The upper floors will contain research centres dealing with a wide range of issues ranging from public policy, entrepreneurship and innovation to micro- and nanostructures, mechatronics, biotechnology and energy systems. I sincerely hope that you will be able to join us at one or more event to help celebrate the Faculty’s achievements over the past 50 years.

tor, teacher and innovator, he has been a champion of university/industry partnerships over the years, and was the driving force behind the establishment of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI). As vice-president, he will be responsible for research activities across the University, and for the aggressive pursuit of new partnerships that will capitalize on McMaster’s significant research strengths. Dr. Elbestawi received his M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from McMaster and joined the University as an associate professor in 1986. He is widely published, has supervised more than 75 master and doctoral students, is a fellow of many prestigious organizations, and has twice received a teaching award from the McMaster Students Union for Teaching Excellence.

2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster. Welcome to the 50th anniversary edition of MacEngineer. This issue features a special section on pages nine thru 13 highlighting many of the activities planned for the coming year, along with a brief history of the Faculty. The first event is a special Birthday Cake celebration on January 11 to kick-off the year. . We’d also like to hear from you about what you think are the most notable achievements and milestones in the Faculty’s 50 year history. A special anniversary web site is being set-up to get your ideas and to keep you informed of events.

Alumni Profiles


Engineering News




Departmental News


Alumni Grapevine


Hey Alumni! Have you got something to say, or any other news? 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 Engineering Faculty for its alumni. Distribution assistance is provided by the Alumni Office. The MacEngineer is printed and produced by: Editor: Carm Vespi Art Direction and Design: Jay Primeau Contributing Writers: Administrative Coordinators, Terry Milson, Trudi Down, Carm Vespi, Eugene Nakonechny PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40063416 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 1280 MAIN STREET WEST HAMILTON ON L8S 4L7 e-mail:

Alumni Profiles

Terry Fallis – Engineer... Political Advisor... Writer Typically, professional engineers like building things or designing projects. It was no different for Terry Fallis (’83), who enrolled in mechanical engineering because he felt it would provide opportunities to pursue his love of tinkering.“I’d always been interested in things mechanical in my youth. I designed and built a full-scale hovercraft when I was 15.” However, our best laid plans often take an unexpected turn. Fallis distinctly remembers sitting in a Math 2J5 lecture when his personal epiphany struck. He would stand for election to the Student Representative Assembly (SRA), the governing body of the McMaster Students Union (MSU).“This decision was the start of a series of events that clearly shaped my life,” he says. His campaign was a success and led to his election as MSU President. Involvement in student politics and experiences as Student Union President were instrumental in landing a full-time job with Jean Chrétien’s leadership campaign team in 1984, he believes.“From then on, my career in politics and public affairs

consulting was set.” Fallis served on the political staff of the Honourable Jean Lapierre, Liberal Minister of State for Youth, when John Turner was Prime Minister, then stayed with Lapierre for one year as his Legislative Assistant in opposition. He returned to Toronto in 1985 as Legislative Assistant to the Honourable Robert Nixon, Treasurer (now called Finance Minister) in the Ontario Liberal government led by Premier David Peterson. Then Fallis’ life took another turn. In 1988 he left provincial politics to join an international public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, as government affairs and communications consultant. In 1995, with Joe Thornley, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a full-service communications consulting agency with offices in Ottawa and Toronto.Terry Fallis is the company’s President. “I spend most of my time working with clients. I consult on a broad range of public affairs and communications issues but I enjoy crisis communications and issues management the most.” Fortunately, he jokes,“other people here manage the agency – thank goodness!” As if all this were not satisfaction enough,

Fallis has embarked on yet another career – writing. He is the proud author of justreleased – and appropriately named – The Best Laid Plans, a satirical novel of Canadian politics (iUniverse, 2007, 270 pages, ISBN 978-0595428724). He has podcast the novel and it can be found at iTunes or on his website at Writing a novel has been on his list of things to do in life for many years, he admits. It is not surprising to learn, given his career in communications consulting, that he has always enjoyed writing and “the power, versatility and subtlety of the English language”. He was wise enough to follow the first dictum of novel writing: write what you know. “It was challenging to write 100,000 words in what little spare time I seem to have. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the process.” Although he is far removed from engineering, Fallis has fond memories of his time at McMaster.“I loved the campus and still do. No other campus in Ontario equals it, in my view!” Fallis lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

Tom Luton – Engineering Entrepreneur When he arrived at McMaster to attend Engineering Year 1,Tom Luton (Civ.Eng. & Mgmt. ’04) had thought of specializing in mechanical or chemical engineering. But a walk in the park changed all that. More precisely, it was a walk on the Bruce Trail.The Toronto-born Luton started hiking the Bruce Trail along the escarpment, through

4 The MacEngineer

the Dundas Valley and around Cootes Paradise whenever he could take a break from studies. He was amazed at what he saw.“All the preserved green spaces really struck me,” he recalls. Although Toronto has its green spots, Luton says there is nothing on the scale of what Hamilton has.The desire to work to preserve these environmental spaces prompted the switch to civil engineering. “I entered the management program because I realized that there was a good chance that, at some point in the future, I would create my own consulting firm in order to do this work. So I would need to know how the

business world works in order to succeed.” Luton’s decision to attend McMaster was an easy one to make. McMaster University has been a part of the Luton family for decades. A great-great-aunt, Dorothy Luton, attended Hamilton Teachers College in the 1920s when it was located on the west side of campus facing Main Street. Grandfather Bill Luton received his M.Sc. in 1947. He later became a senior executive at Camco on Longwood Road in Hamilton, now the site of the planned McMaster Research Park. Luton’s father, David, is also a Mac grad (’71, Honours Economics). Quite apart from the pull of family history, Luton found himself very

much liking the McMaster campus. “While in high school, I toured a number of universities. I was impressed the most by McMaster, as it was small and compact, and was a part of Hamilton, rather than in its own world.” Since graduation, Luton has been working with small firms, whose clients include the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, and Lanxess, a large chemical company in Sarnia. He has also done some work for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. His most recent work was a number of projects involving stormwater management and hydrologic models, site inspections and the drafting of construction blueprints for Sanchez Engineering of

Cobourg, Ontario. He enjoys contract work, saying it provides variety and the opportunity to handle challenges. One of his passions is urban history, arising from a course he took in high school. Urban studies led him to an interest in urban transit and its impact on cities. While at Mac, he began reading about Hamilton’s transit legacy which, he says, is a long and interesting one. However, he found there was very little information on-line. “There were bits and pieces, but they were all attached to Toronto-focused websites. I decided that if no one else was going to write about the transit history of Hamilton, then I would. I started the website in October

2001.” The site, at, has its ups and downs, he admits, depending on his work schedule. It has information about the city’s incline railways and its electric streetcar system, established in 1892. In addition to maps, the site also contains articles, editorials, and current information about the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) operations. Luton, who is single, lives in Toronto. When not working on a civil engineering contract, the amateur astronomer volunteers as the librarian/archivist for the Toronto Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

David Dobson – MacEng Grad Named CEO of the Year David Dobson, CEO of Corel Corporation, has been named CEO of the Year for 2007 by Ottawa Business Journal. Mr. Dobson graduated from the Electrical Engineering and Management program in 1986 with a Bachelor

of Engineering. As head of the Ottawa-based digital-media software company, Mr. Dobson is credited with spearheading the turnaround of Corel after taking over its leadership in 2005. He immediately oversaw the completion of an initial public offering of 6.5 million shares with listings on the TSX and Nasdaq. He also led the purchase of the WinZip application and the US$196-million purchase of InterVideo, makers of WinDVD.

Mr. Dobson was formally recognized at a gala on November 14, 2007 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy. The event included a charity draw for $10,000 in jewellery to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.The Ottawa Business Journal’s CEO of the Year for 2007 was selected by a committee that included past recipients, as well as Jeffrey Dale, president of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation, and Michael Curran, publisher of the magazine.

influence on his life and career.“Engineering helped me ask the why question frequently and, as a result, I learned faster, dug deeper, and made more rational data-based decisions than most people.” After graduation, Staveley joined BF Goodrich as an injection molding engineer of PVC resins. Next came a move to a sales position, handling flexible plastics for Eastman Chemical Company. After completing his MBA, he joined Degussa in a management position. When his wife was moved to Cincinnati by Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, his career search led him to Sun Chemical, a colour, ink and consumables supplier to the printing and graphic arts industries. Shortly after he accepted a position as marketing manager, the company was reorganized and he was moved to a sales position. Rather than considering this a demotion, Staveley decided to stay and prove himself, gradually working his way through various sales management roles to a General Manager’s position. Currently, Staveley is President of Bramptonbased Sun Chemical Canada, and has moved his family back to Ontario.“It’s early days for me

here – I’ve only been in this new leadership role for eight months. I’m really enjoying the challenges.” Having both technical and business degrees has given him the confidence to deal with all the various departments within a company. “I had to fight hard to get through Engineering and that kind of persistent self-directed learning helped me find a way to get the information I need to get the job done.” Over the years he has had to do a fair bit of business travel. China and India rank as the most interesting places he’s visited. Tennis has remained a big part of his life. While playing on Mac’s varsity team, he met his future wife who was a member of the ladies team.These days he plays recreationally in a ladder league. Staveley lives in Woodbridge with his wife and two little girls, aged 5 and 3. During his non-working hours, he also enjoys golf, skiing and reading.

Rod Staveley The lure of McMaster for Rod Staveley (B.Eng.‘88, MBA ‘93) had a little bit to do with the chemical engineering program and a lot to do with tennis. Staveley, who had always enjoyed chemistry, chose to come to Mac because of the reputation of the Chem. Eng. and Management program. It also helped that his dad is a chemical engineer. But what really clinched the deal was the fact that the University had a varsity tennis team. “I’ve played tennis since I was 11, and played competitively as a teenager,” Staveley says. His highest ranking? “Fourteenth in Ontario as a junior.” He also admits that it helped his financial situation that McMaster was close to his home in Burlington.“I could live at home and save money,” he says. However, that practical move came after experiencing two years in residence, first in North House and then in Bates. Engineering, he adds, has had a profound

The MacEngineer 5

Engineering Education and Research The New Engineering Building The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University is one of the University’s great success stories. Since graduating its first class of 25 students in 1961, the Faculty has grown to include 7 departments and 19 collaborative, transdisciplinary degree programs, 3,100 undergraduate students and 780 graduate students. The high quality of the Faculty’s innovative and comprehensive programs and its strengths in education and research, have made it one of the foremost engineering schools in North America. As the Faculty has grown in students, faculty and programs, the need for space is at an all-time high. In 2008, McMaster will unveil a new cutting-edge facility to address this success-fueled growth, while at the same time, elevating the study of engineering in unprecedented ways. The new five-storey, 125,000 sq. ft. structure will be a dynamic, inspiring environment—both in design and technology—for continued, future-focused teaching and research.

Open. Innovative. Creative. Located on the southwest corner of McMaster University’s campus the building will allow for: • An estimated 45 new faculty members, 280 new graduate students, and 850 firstyear undergraduate students. • Expanded programs in emerging areas of research including biomedical engineering, engineering practice and computational engineering and science • New research initiatives in mechatronics, energy studies and micro-and nano-systems

• State-of-the-art teaching studios, tutorial rooms, study spaces to enhance the firstyear experience The communal, transparent nature of the building will create a comfortable place to learn and work, while encouraging multi-disciplinary collaborations leading to the creation of new knowledge and solutions to modern engineering challenges. Located near the Cootes Drive entrance off of Main St. West, the new Engineering Building will be an integral piece of the University’s new entry and gateway concept. Once completed the landmark Engineering Building, and its accompanying structures, will represent McMaster to the internal and external community in the spirit of openness, innovation and creativity. We invite our Engineering Alumni to assist with our New Engineering Building with a donation to support our Teaching Studio

Teaching Studio/ Presentation Room This room is uniquely designed to allow students to interact more effectively with their instructor and with peers. Instructors will be able to circulate freely throughout the class, allowing them to interact with students, answer questions and assist students as necessary. The room is set up to allow students to work on computers either individually or in pairs. This will allow students to work to

gether to try to solve more complex problems or work alone for individual assessment. The chairs are free to move and the front of the desks will not have the large baseboard. This will allow students to move about so that they can work in small groups of three or four. The instructor will be able to project slides (etc.) onto screens that can be viewed easily from all locations in the room. The room will also be equipped with an electronic voting system, allowing the instructor to assess student learning in real-time, and with this information, tailor his/her presentation of the material to student needs. The room will, of course, be fully handicapped accessible for both students and the instructor. Please contact Terry Milson, Advancement Officer at 905.525.9140 extension 27391 or email: for further details on how you can make a contribution to enhance the learning environment for our year one engineering students.

Bachelor of Technology Update It’s been a productive 12 months since the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership launched. Many exciting developments are underway as the program continues to unfold. Currently, two-year degree-completion programs are offered in civil engineering infrastructure technology, computing and information technology, and manufacturing engineering technology. A new program, Energy Engineering Technologies, is starting in September and will have either a Nuclear or Renewable Energy focus. As Ontario will


The MacEngineer

require additional energy sources, such as nuclear, wind and solar, as well as conservation measures, it is clear that the energy industry will require a large number of highly qualified individuals to meet the expected demand. The program will make a significant contribution toward meeting such a demand and will provide graduates with the education and skills required by the Ontario energy sector. As in current degree-completion programs, a management component provides students with important complementary skills which may not have been developed in their previous technical education. Courses cover topics related to the power industry, nuclear plants, and renewable energy technologies. Graduates will

receive a Bachelor of Technology degree from McMaster. All degree programs are offered on evenings and Saturdays, and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The four-year integrated programs for high school students begin in September 2008. Programs will be offered in process automation technology, automotive and vehicle technology, and biotechnology. All classes are taken at Mohawk College, Fennell campus. Students successfully completing a program will receive both a Diploma in Technology from Mohawk College and a Bachelor of Technology degree from McMaster University. The Technology Leadership certificate and diploma programs were introduced in Septem-

Nano-crystals Study Andy Knights and Peter Mascher (Department of Engineering Physics) were recently successful in a major grant application to study the physics and applications of silicon nano-crystals. The study will be part of a tri-nation collaboration between McMaster University, the Universities of Manchester and Surrey in the UK and The National Institute for Materials Science, Japan. The project, sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the UK by a grant of $395,000, is entitled “Nano-crystals as a route to Silicon Optics”. The objective is to explain the complex nature of the silicon nano-crystal system through novel fabrication and characterization techniques which are made available to the researchers through this unique collaboration. The impact of this work is potentially revolutionizing. Silicon cannot normally emit light, but nearly all telecommunications and Internet data transfer is currently done using light transmitted through fibre optics. Signals are encoded by silicon and transmitted down wires to a station where other (expensive) components combine these signals and send light via

optical fibre. If cheap silicon light emitters were available, the fibre optics could be brought into homes and the data rate in and out would increase enormously. Silicon nano-crystals can emit light in the visible part of the spectrum and can be made to emit in the infrared by adding erbium atoms to them. The McMaster group will play the key role of sample fabrication, and several researcher exchanges at the graduate student, post-doctoral and principal researcher level will take place over the next two years.

ber 2007 and are for technologists looking to step up the corporate ladder, or for internationally trained professionals looking to gain a foothold in the Canadian workplace. The certificate program consists of five courses and the diploma program consists of eight courses in financial systems, entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour, Alex Sorgente project management and strategy formulation. They are offered part-time, evenings and Saturdays. Individuals completing a program can use the courses for advance credit towards a Bachelor of Technology degree if they decide to pursue degree studies.

Last June, the original Bachelor of Technology in Manufacturing program celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a Reunion at the University Club. Alex Sorgente, ’06, spoke to those assembled on behalf of the 200 B.Tech. graduates. He noted that the Program has expanded and evolved into a strong provider of manufacturing specialists to this growing industry sector. Sorgente is chair of the B.Tech. Alumni Committee and can be reached at . The McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership, established by the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Mohawk College’s School of Engineering Technology,

provides an accelerated path to either a college diploma or university degree in technology. The programs currently use existing facilities at McMaster and Mohawk; future plans are for permanent classrooms and laboratory facilities at the new McMaster Innovation Park (MIP). This will provide students with access to industrial and laboratory facilities operating at MIP, intern-type project work, and co-op work placements. For information about the various Bachelor of Technology programs, visit http://btech. .

The MacEngineer 7


Over 300 participants took part in the annual GO ENG Girl day on Saturday, October 13, including 160 elementary and high school students, 61 parents/ teachers, and 81 in-course female volunteers/staff and faculty. The purpose of this program is to provide girls from Grades 7 to 10 with an opportunity to explore the exciting field of engineering. During the day-long event, the students met women currently studying engineering and learned about some of the exciting projects women engineers are working on. They participated in hands-on activities such as gravitypowered cars and dissection. They listened to guest speakers, attended an information fair, and took tours of the laboratories. Admission to GO ENG Girl is free. For more information about the 2008 program, please visit our website: http://www.eng.mcmaster. ca/engalumni

Summer’s LEAP McMaster’s Learning Enrichment Advancement Program (LEAP) took a leap of its own in 2007, introducing an exciting new initiative. For the first time, the summer program offered a one-month prep course that gives participants a head start in engineering. Seven Grade 12 high school students enrolled in the special course that had them solving real-world problems such as improving water quality or designing a transportation system for Nalerigu, a small village in northern Ghana. The initiative was a huge success.The fourweek course will be offered again during LEAP 2008 in both July and August. Students who are thinking of attending McMaster’s engineering program benefit by getting a Headstart on the curriculum – the course offers credits towards Engineering Year 1 to those LEAP grads who enroll at McMaster. The Headstart initiative offers students an opportunity to learn advanced engineering problemsolving and engineering design skills, then apply them to real-world problems.They develop teamwork skills and are introduced to pro-

Venture Takes Flight

ues to be a popular initiative. The Venture Bus was expanded to provide The 2007 Venture program had one of transportation to a wider its most successful years to date, geographic area. In addition with 1,017 Venture campers to the Burlington and Oakville signed on for summer learning stops, the bus picked up campand fun.The Engineering and ers at a new stop in Grimsby Science campers tackled such (Gateway Niagara) as well as at a projects as Detection-Perfection, location on the Hamilton mountain Operation, Crazy Copter, Dissections, and the highly (Valley Park Recreation Centre). anticipated vPod.The Computer & Technology Visit our website for more information on program focused on gaming.The Senior campers Venture 2008 and the new exciting curriculum. (Grades 7 to 11) made their own Vii Video Games system, while the Juniors (Grades 4 to 6) developed or contact Ms. Carm Vespi,, their own Ventris Video game. For the second (905) 525-9140, ext. 24906. year, the Engineering & Science program was offered to students from Grade 3, and this contin-

From Vision to Reality Get your

MacEngineer by e-mail!

Contact Carm Vespi 8

The MacEngineer

fessional and ethical problems that can arise out of engineering decisions. Headstart participants can still select from any of LEAP’s five topic streams: mechatronics & robotics, sustainable mechanical & civil design, biomedical engineering, nano materials to high performance components, and gaming in a virtual world. Established in 2005, LEAP introduces high school students to engineering through lectures, hands-on activities, labs, industry tours and projects. Its five course options provide an insight to engineering, and an opportunity to interact with instructors in small class settings. For information about LEAP 2008 session dates, contact Ms. Carm Vespi, e-mail Vespi@, Phone: 905-525-9140 Ext 24906 or visit the website at

It’s official. The materials laboratory, scheduled to begin construction in early 2008, will be the first new building of the McMaster Innovation Park (MIP). A bold initiative for the University, the MIP is a combination of public, private and university resources designed to permit cross-pollination of ideas between sectors and disciplines.

It is anticipated that when ideas become commercialized, the Hamilton community will benefit from the jobs that will result. The MIP is situated between Aberdeen Avenue and Main Street West in Hamilton (formerly the Camco site). Two additional buildings will soon follow: one for engineering technology research, the other for biosciences. In all, as many as 14 buildings are planned for the University-owned property. When completed, the site will

look like a mini-campus, with ponds, trees and interior roadways. The success of the initiative depends upon its ability to attract private investment from research and development (R&D) companies. The University is actively seeking privatesector partners in materials and manufacturing, biosciences, energy research, and software development, including animation, graphics and gaming.

Applause and Accolades 2008 Awards Celebration LIUNA Station, Hamilton May 13th from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Fifty Years of

Excellence in Education, Research & Student Life

reactor to any Canadian campus.) He envisioned McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering was officially a professional engineering program closely tied to instituted in February 1958, largely due to the dedithat of science. By the early 1950s, informal arrangecation of Dr. John W. Hodgins. A chemical engineer ments with Queen’s University ensured that Mcand faculty member at the Royal Military College Master students who had completed a broad-based in Kingston, Hodgins was recruited by McMaster first-year program which included an introductory in 1956 as Director of Engineering Studies. He was course in engineering and design were admissible given the mandate to plan an engineering program into the second year of the Queen’s program.The and a building to house it, and to begin the recruitgoal of the Faculty of Engineerment of faculty and staff. ing at McMaster in the early years Two years later, the UniverDeans of Engineering was to establish an engineering sity had developed four-year Peter Smith, Acting Dean (2007) school with both undergraduprograms in chemical engineerate and higher degree programs ing, mechanical engineering, Mo Elbestawi (2001 - 2007) developing together. In this manelectrical engineering and Mamdouh Shoukri (1994 - 2001) ner, a high-quality undergraduate engineering physics, and had Gary R. Purdy (1989 - 1994) curriculum that promoted human built a functioning engineering Arthur C. Heidebrecht (1981 - 1989) values and an awareness of social building that could supply the John H.T. Wade, Acting Dean (1975, 1981) needs would be in tandem and needs of 550 undergraduates John Bandler (1979 - 1981) support graduate studies that, and 125 postgraduates. Dr. John through research, would conW. Hodgins was appointed the Leslie W. Shemilt (1969 - 1979) tribute to increased engineering Faculty’s first Dean, and 25 John W. Hodgins (1958 - 1969) knowledge and practice, as well students comprised the first as foster relationships with indusgraduating class in 1961. try.These objectives continue to the present day, Engineering study at McMaster, however, predates these events by almost a decade! Dr. Harry Th- and can be credited with the successful growth and development of the Faculty over the past 50 years. ode, Principal of Hamilton College (the semi-inde By the 1960s, the Faculty offered six programs, pendent Faculty of Science within McMaster), had having added metallurgical and civil engineering. established a strong science faculty and program at By 1969, the total number of undergraduates was McMaster during the 1940s. (He was instrumental approaching 500. By 1979, enrollment reached in bringing the first university research nuclear continued on page 11

The Faculty of Engineering’s “Applause and Accolades” event was created to publicly recognize the accomplishments and contributions of our engineering faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. As well as our internal people, there are individuals outside McMaster who also deserve recognition for their achievements and contributions to the Faculty. For this reason, we have developed a special award to be given to an external candidate. The Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award recognizes a corporate partner who has impacted our research and educational programs and has provided leadership, vision and contributions to the Faculty’s mission. In addition we launched the “L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award” in 2006. This Award is intended to honour alumni whose accomplishments and contributions are of national and /or international significance and/or have had a transformative impact on their field of endeavour.

Faculty of Engineering Leadership Awardees Past Recipients John Mayberry (2004) Doug Barber (2005) Joe Ng (2006) Joe Liburdi (2007)

L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awardees Past Recipients

Mike Pley (2006) Stephen Elop (2007) Tickets: $125.00 per person Corporate Tables: $1,000.00 table of 8 For further information, contact Terry Milson at or 905.525.9140 extension 27391.

The MacEngineer 9

Celebrate! The 50th Anniversary Of The Faculty Of Engineering

You are cordially invited to attend

The 1st Engineering Alumni Fireball Gala

All Faculty of Engineering Alumni from all years and streams are invited! Join in the celebration of the Faculty’s 50 successful, dynamic and innovative years. Come to dance and reminisce with your classmates, congratulate our current graduates, and renew acquaintances with Engineering faculty and staff members.





For ticket information, please visit http://www.eng. or contact: Carm Vespi,, (905) 525-9140, ext. 24906

Live Entertainment provided by the Tiffany Thompson Band

Dear MacEng Alumni: I can hardly believe it. January 2008 is my 32nd anniversary as your contact here in the Engineering Alumni office! Just think... during that time, I’ve witnessed 32 Kipling Ceremonies, had the privilege of working with 32 MES Presidents, enjoyed 32 Fireball dances, and much more. Why have I been here so long? The answer is simple. I’ve stayed because of you - the Engineering alumni. Our alumni are professionals who demonstrate time and again how much they care about engineering at McMaster. Our alumni stand out in terms of their profession, and stand up when they are needed.They act as mentors, provide scholarships, offer co-op placements, give guest lectures, and Give Back to Mac by volunteering and through financial

donations.Your overwhelming generosity of spirit and financial support have always made me proud to be associated with this great Faculty. We invite you to join us in honouring this Engineering alumni legacy. For the first time ever, all Engineering alumni are being invited to attend the Engineering Fireball Gala to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering.The date is Saturday October 18, 2008. We are expecting a crowd - past MES executive members, past super plumbers, student volunteers from the various Engineering clubs, and Engineering grads from all years - and I hope you will be there too! This event will be held in the Sports Hall of the new David Braley Athletics Centre - a building which many of you helped to make happen. It will be an opportunity for you to see this stateof-the-art facility, and to reconnect with your classmates and professors. In addition, some proceeds from ticket sales ($100 per person)

will be used to create a special room in the new Engineering building that will be dedicated to Engineering Alumni. For the Gala, we plan to fill the Sports Hall with posters highlighting 50 years of Mac Engineering. If you have photos and/or stories and anecdotes of you times at Mac, I would love to include them. Please send your stories and photos directly to me at “mailto:Vespi@” My personal goal is to meet and greet more than 400 of you, my alumni friends, at this event. Please mark your calendars and come and join past deans, faculty, staff, and your classmates and me for a gala time on October 18. For more information visit the website: Carm Vespi, Manager, Alumni Relations

History Cake Cutting Ceremony Friday, January 11, 2008 Market Place 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Engineering Social Connection Night Wednesday, January 16, 2008 CIBC Hall - 7 p.m Guest Speaker: Mr. Michael Price, P.Eng. MBA, Deputy Registrar, Licensing and Registration, PEO, Toronto

3rd Annual Salsa Night Wednesday, January 23, 2008 Celebration Hall, KTH, 6:00 p.m.

2nd Annual Casino Night Friday, February 8, 2008 Celebration Hall

2008 Ontario Engineering Competition Friday, February 8 to Saturday, February 10, 2008 McMaster University

Women in Engineering Speaker Night Thursday, March 6, 2008 Celebration Hall

24th J. W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture Wednesday, March 12, 2008 McMaster University, 7:00 p.m. Guest Speaker: Howard Shearer, President & CEO Hitachi Canada Ltd.

Engineering Musical March 13 - 15, 2008 Celebration Hall

Kipling Ceremony Friday, March 28, 2008 Burridge Gymnasium, Ivor Wynne Centre

Applause & Accolades Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Liuna Station

6th Annual Engineering Golf Tournament Thursday, May 22, 2008

Alumni Weekend Saturday, May 31, 2008 Engineering Class Reunion for Class of 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983 & 1988

Engineering Convocation Friday, June 13, 2008

3rd Annual Beer Tasting Event June 2008

2nd Annual Boat Cruise August 2008

Big Sister / Little Sister BBQ Wednesday, September 17, 2008 Celebration Hall

Home Coming Weekend Alumni Fireball Gala (All Engineering Alumni) Saturday, October 18, 2008 David Braley, Sports Hall

Go ENG Girl! Saturday, October 18, 2008 McMaster University

6th Annual Wine Tasting October 2008

5th Annual Scotch Tasting November 2008

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITE or contact Carm Vespi,, or (905) 525-9140, ext. 24906

continued from page 9 1200 in 15 degree programs, and at the end of the 1990s, the 2000-plus engineering undergraduate students could choose from among 26 degree programs. The Faculty has a distinguished record of developing forward-thinking initiatives and unique programs. In addition to a history of sharing

staff and facilities with the Faculty of Science and Mohawk College, the Faculty instituted joint faculty appointments, research associates and collaborative research activities with the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Early liaisons with industry included the use of part-time teaching appointments for engineers employed in industry, the establishment of the Stelco Chair in the Department of Metallurgy and Material Sciences, and the Centre for Applied Research and Engineering Design (CARED). By the mid-70s, courses in bio-engineering were offered as electives in all engineering programs.The innovative five-year program in Engineering and Management was established in 1971, and in Engineering and Society a decade later. Both have proved to be immensely popular. Electrical Engineering developed a unique Computer Engineering program (the first of its kind in Canada); Mechanical Engineering designed a program in Manufacturing Engineering.The Department of Computing and Software was established in the early 1990s and offered one of the first programs in Software Engineering. The second decade is notable for two events: the renaming of the engineering building as the John Hodgins Engineering Building in 1978, to honour Dr. Hodgins on the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Faculty, and the special efforts made -- mostly through high school recruitment initiatives -- to reach out to potential women applicants.

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Paul Cripps, Ron Scheckenberger, Gary Moore and Peter Crockett.

Successful 2007 Alumni Events Alumni Weekend Over 100 engineering alumni gathered on Saturday June 2, 2007 to renew friendships and exchange stories during McMaster Alumni Weekend. There was good representation from the featured classes of  ‘67, ‘72, ‘76, ‘82, and ‘87. Attendees were joined by a strong contingent of retired professors including Drs. Hoffman, Woods, Crowe, Weaver, Judd, Shemilt, and Elbestawi. Five of the seven graduates of Metallurgy’s Class of ‘72 attended special reunion events on June 2nd: Ross Meadowcroft, Chris Wilkes, Keith Leewis, J. Booker, and Jim Eden. The five hadn’t met face to face in years, nor been back to the University campus as a group since graduating. After a luncheon at the Snooty Fox with Drs. Botton, Ives and Purdy, they enjoyed a tour which included the new optical and electronic imaging facilities.

Department Celebrates 50 Years October 13 marked the 50th anniversary of the Materials Science and Engineering Depart-

ment (1957-2007). Over 140 people, including 46 alumni from all decades, attended the special events planned for the day. Attendees renewed acquaintances during a reception at the University Club where large posters displayed photos from the past 50 years. Later in the day a gala banquet included toasts and the cutting of a large birthday cake, all presided over by Master of Ceremonies Brian Ives. The Department’s founder, Dr. Howard Petch, could not be present but provided a videotape entitled The Genesis of a Department. To view the video and the photos taken during the celebrations, visit http://mse.

Golf Tourney News The 5th Annual Engineering Golf Tournament, held on May 22, was a swinging success. A sellout crowd of 144 golfers tested their swing at the beautiful Crosswinds Golf and Country Club in Milton, Ontario. Top prize was won by Team #7 (Gary Moore, Ron Scheckenberger, Paul Cripps and Peter Crockett). A special

SOS Super Plumbers

If you were a super plumber or wonder plumber, please e-mail me Next year is our 50th Anniversary! The Faculty of Engineering would like to send a special invitation to you.

thank you to all those who sponsored a hole: Class of ‘82 (Civil Eng. & Mgt.), Pat and Mark Stevens, Ron Scheckenberger & Brian Bishop, Walter and Edward Veckie, Anton Osfold, David Stubbs, Duncan Hannay, David Armstrong, Chedo Sobot & Vladimir Sobot. Our thanks also to John Monkman, Ben Sproule, Andy Kurelek and Dave Berdusco for sponsoring the Oyster Bar. Mark your calendar now for next year’s tourney:  Thursday, May 22, 2008.

History continued from page 11 The 1980s were marked by increasing enrolment, the establishment of a number of professional Chairs by industry and granting agencies, and the building of a much-needed extension on the engineering building. Initiatives were put in place to keep in touch with the growing number of engineering alumni; the Engineering Alumni organization dates from this period, as does the MacEngineer. Due to the strength of its graduate programs and research activities, McMaster Engineering was successful in accessing many provincial and federal funding opportunities that arose at this time. By the 1990s, the Faculty had a well-earned reputation for quality courses, excellence in research, and strong industry relationships. The Faculty motto dates from this period:

McMaster Engineering – Innovation in Education – Excellence in Research – Quality of Student Life. It should be noted that the McMaster Engineering Society (MES) has an equally long history, dating almost from the establishment of the Faculty. Its vitality and the enthusiasm of its members are well-known! The origin of the Fireball symbol comes from a student design created in 1960 which was inspired by the “gurges enflamed” depicted on the Arms of Hamilton College. MES-originated traditions include the annual formal (The Fireball), the Plumbline, Santa Hog Day, the soap box derby, and the freshmen initiations. Camp 13 was established in 1961, and the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, known as Kipling Day at McMaster, is the annual event at which graduating students receive their iron rings. In 1977 Sue Sproule became the first woman to be elected MES President.To meet the continu-

ing need for laboratory refurbishment, the MES launched the McMaster Laboratory Advancement Benefaction (MacLAB) fund during the 1990s. All in-course engineering students donate $50 annually to the fund. Another 1990s innovation, the Engineering Musical, written and performed by engineering students, has become an annual success story. Befitting the Faculty’s 50-year legacy, its future looks bright and ambitious. For example, a five-storey, 125,000-square-foot facility is now under construction near the campus’ Main Street entrance. It will provide much needed space for both the recently launched School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Engineering Practice. Space will also be allotted for new research initiatives in mechatronics and hybrid technologies, energy studies, nanotechnology and micro-systems, and emerging device technologies.  It is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2009.

McMaster Metallurgy 1972 Class The class of ’72 Metallurgy June 2, 2007

K Leewis – Chicago Chris Wilkes – Milwaukee J Booker – Hamilton R Meadowcroft – Deep River J Eden – Port Colbourne regrets W Chan - Pickering K Newkirk - Hamilton

Thank you Mac Engineering for giving us an excuse to get together for the 35th reunion of our graduation. Five of the seven of us met for an enjoyable dinner and reunion. Most of us had not visited face to face for decades. Drs Botton, Ives and Purdy, joined us for lunch on Saturday and then gave us an excellent tour including the new optical and electronic imaging facilities. Some of us had not been back to the campus for years and we were pleased to see that familiar vistas have been maintained even under substantial growth.

Lunch at the Snooty Fox Pat Meadowcroft, Jim Eden, Chris Wilkes, Super Plumber, Ross Meadowcroft and Keith Leewis. We’ll have to do this again. kgl

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Retired Faculty and Staff 2007 A reception hosted by Peter Smith, Acting Dean, to honour retiring faculty and staff members was held in The Great Hall on October 4, 2007. Faculty Barna Szabados: Received the Diplôme D’Ingénieur from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Ingénieur, Grenoble France in 1967, and his M.Eng. and Ph.D.Engineering from McMaster University in 1969 and 1971 respectively. Dr. Szabados joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an Associate Professor in 1980 and was promoted to

Professor in 1983 and full Professor in 1992. Dr.Taylor is a founding faculty member of the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium, formed in 1988. From 1998 to 2005 he was Chair of the Department of Computing and Software. Under his leadership the Department launched new undergraduate programs in Software Engineering as well as graduate programs in Software Engineering and Computer Science. He has returned to England and will

the Department’s undergraduate teaching labs and the research labs. Ken Frost: Started in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in September of 1979. He is a graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology (1976) with an Electronic Engineering Technologist Diploma, and is certified as an Engineering Technologist by the Ontario Association of Engineering Technicians and Technologists. As a Digital Electronics Techni-

Michael Roberts, Maurice Forget, Peter Smith, Gord Slater, Chris Bryce, Adam Marianski, David Thompson, Barna Szabados, Dave Schick, Brian Ives Professor in 1983. He was also Director of the Power Research Laboratory. In 2001 he was inducted to the McMaster Hall of Fame. David Thompson: Received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1963 and his Ph.D. in 1967, both from Reading University in the United Kingdom. Dr.Thompson joined the Department of Engineering Physics in 1972, and taught courses on the application of semiconductorbased materials and devices. In the late 1970’s Dr.Thompson became the scientific leader of the Optoelectronics Thrust within the Ontario Centre for Materials Research (OCMR). He was Director of the McMaster Centre for Electrophotonic Materials and Devices (CEMD) – now the Centre for Emerging Device Technologies (CEDT) – from 1987 to 2004. Paul Taylor: Joined the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1978 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate


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be missed in the Department. Fred L. Hall: Accepted a joint appointment in the Department of Geography and the Department of Civil Engineering in 1972. Dr. Hall served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for the Faculties of Engineering, Science and Health Sciences from 1986 to 1992, with two six-month secondments from that job to be the Special Assistant to the President (in 1991), and to be the Acting Dean of Graduate Studies (in 1992). He was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies in 1999 for a five–year term, and was reappointed in 2004.

Staff Gord Slater: Worked in the Department of Chemical Engineering for more than 23 years, starting as an Instrumentation Specialist and then as the Technical Services Coordinator for the Department. He designed, built and maintained lab scale and pilot scale equipment for

cian, Mr. Frost was responsible for the design, development, fabrication, modification, setup and maintenance of specialized hardware and software, as well as test equipment used for undergraduate and graduate instruction. Adam Marianski: Completed Electrical Technical School, specializing in electric machines and control systems, and Military College in the Air Force, specializing in aircraft maintenance. His knowledge covers electrical machinery, both pneumatic and hydraulic. Mr. Marianski started work as a researcher at the McMaster University Medical Centre in 1980 in the Paediatrics Department. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1985 as Technical Specialist - Power, Control and Machines. His responsibilities included the operation and maintenance of experimental equipment, and the design, development, fabrication, modification, setup, and maintenance of specialized hardware, software, and microcomputers. continued on page 17

Innovation Fair a Smart Idea The province’s first Smart Start Innovation Fair, launched by TECNet and held at the University of Waterloo in October, offered a panel of venture capitalists and industry investors the chance to

A Fantastic Experience in a Fantastic Country For 15 months Allan Crespi (Eng. & Mgmt.’98) was a resident in Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. The following is a short report of his experience. A couple of years ago I was given the opportunity to work in Vietnam for a year. At first I was reluctant. But upon reflection, I realized what an incredible opportunity it was. I had just survived eight years of working in Ottawa for Nortel. I had joined Nortel immediately after graduation. In 2003 I started working on an Internet router product, which included working with TMA Solutions, a contractor in Vietnam. Eventually, I would end up working locally with the team in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. My role was technical advisor. I worked with software designers and the management team as we transitioned more responsibility to TMA. In effect, I had to convey years of experience at Nortel to employees with only a year or two of experience. It was most certainly a challenge and I learned a lot.

Outsourcing is a controversial subject. Some may think that it takes jobs away from Canadians. I don’t think of it that way. Vietnam, like other outsource centres, is still far behind our capability; it will take many years for them to catch up. There are certain tasks for which they are well suited, and I was able to help in other areas. I believe it represents the best form of development aid.   I consider my time away from Canada as a vacation from myself. Eventually, however, you need to go home and start your real life again. I do miss Vietnam – it is so quiet here, almost boring! There is a real life to the streets of Ho Chi Minh City that you don’t get here. There is a sense of urgency, of trying to make up for a difficult 20th century. But the tropical attitude keeps everything balanced. I certainly learned to be patient. To see pictures and read my blog, visit my web page at

assess the commercial viability of new technologies and provide start-up funding for potentially successful ventures. In all, 12 projects from McMaster’s Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (XCEEi) and 14 projects from Waterloo’s Centre for Business Entrepreneurship and Technology (CBET) were entered. Students enrolled in the McMaster and Waterloo engineering entrepreneurship programs made two-minute business pitches to the panel.The five best pitches from each university each received $5,000 to pursue development of their business ideas. McMaster engineering students were successful in two of the top three business pitches that tied for first place. Winovi is a wireless platform developed out of the XCEEi program which delivers summarized, peer-reviewed, evidence-based medical knowledge to health care professionals on their wireless devices, saving them from having to read thousands of journals.The platform is run by McMaster students Alena Morozova and Aizhan Tursunbayeva with technology from Dr. Brian Haynes, professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Hospital Inventory Tracking and Management using RFID Technology is a services-related initiative our of the XCEEi program that enables health care facilities to track their equipment and devices in real-time, helping them to continued on page 19

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24th Annual J.W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture Featuring: Howard Shearer President, Hitachi Canada The Nuclear Renaissance Wed, March 12th 2008, 7:00 p.m. McMaster University Location to be confirmed – Lecture is free Concerns over climate change, increasing energy demand, and our dependency on overseas supplies of fossil fuels support the case for nuclear power. Increased public awareness of the effects of global warming and climate change has led decision makers, the public and media to understand that the use of fossil fuels must be reduced and replaced by lowemission sources of energy, such as nuclear power. Increasing fossil fuel prices have greatly improved the economics of nuclear power for electricity. In addition, as carbon emission reductions are encouraged through various forms of government incentives, the economic benefits of nuclear power will increase further. In the last several years there has been much discussion about a nuclear revival or “renaissance”. Today nuclear energy is back on the policy agendas of many countries, with projections for new power reactors to be built around the world.

BIO – Howard Shearer Howard Shearer joined Hitachi in October 1984, and is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hitachi Canada Ltd. Prior to this, he served as Vice-President & General Manager, HCL-Semiconductor Division, and as a member of HCL’s board, positions to which he was appointed in 1999. Previous to joining Hitachi he was employed by Texas Instruments. Howard Shearer’s Board Memberships include the Canada Nuclear Association (CNA), Energy Council of Canada (ECC), the Japan Society, Responsible Gambling Council of Canada (RGCC), the Canadian Nurses Foundation, the Principal’s Advisory Council (PAC) University of Toronto at Mississauga, the Mississauga Board of Trade and the McMaster Board of Governors. Mr. Shearer is a graduate of the McMaster Electrical Engineering program.

About Hitachi Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion).The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www. For more information please contact Terry Milson at or telephone 905.525.9140 extension 27391.


The MacEngineer


Eng. & Mgmt. Alumni Contribute to Program’s Success Charlie Elliott, a graduate of the Engineering Physics and Management (Dean’s Honour List) in 2006, has been back on campus and enjoying the teaching side of the equation. During the Fall 2007 session, he acted as a business community representative on panels that evaluate the projects of teams in ENG MGT 5BO3, which is the capstone team consulting project of the Program. Each team engages a client firm, then spends the semester solving a problem for them and making final written and oral reports. Dr. David Conochie, Associate Director of the Program, is enthusiastic about Charlie’s contributions during team presentations.“Charlie asks perceptive questions and follows up with good discussion points that invariably help teams find a better direction. He gets to the point in a way that engages the teams rather than threatens them.” Charlie definitely knows 5BO3 team projects; as a student in his final year, he completed one.The following year, he was a client for one.That team did a project for Innovative Finishing Solutions Inc. of Brampton and Charlie was the firm liaison for the team. It won the NCR Prize for the best 5BO3 project that year. And now he is an evaluation panel member, despite the heavy workload associated with his recent change of employer to RIM in Waterloo. Charlie says he likes giving back, and helping students is very satisfying. David Reid graduated from Engineering and Management in 2003 but has had an unbroken relationship with the Program ever since. Beginning in May 2003, he became involved in course and website development for the program; in addition, he developed and taught two courses, ENGN MGT 2AA2 (Communications) and ENGN MGT 3AA1 (Project Management and Team Skills). During this time, he was earning an accelerated MBA in the Management of Innovation and New Technology at the DeGroote School of Business here at McMaster. A process specialist at CIBC in Toronto, David is continuing his active participation in the program. In collaboration with the Associate Director, Dr. David Conochie, he is further revising and

teaching the ENGN MGT 3AA1 course. He has also been acting as an assessor of student presentations and projects in ENGN MGT 4AO1 (Engineering and Management Report) and ENGN MGT 5BO3 (Capstone Engineering and Management Project). All this keeps David very busy, especially with the commute from Toronto. But he enjoys it.“No two classes and no two teams are the same, and the work the students do constantly opens new doors for me and introduces new and interesting challenges.” In April 2008 David will have five years of unbroken contribution to the program.

Charlie Elliott

David Reid


continued from page 14

New Faculty Engineering 1 1 Dr. Denise Gosselink started on November 1, 2006. Previous to coming to McMaster, Denise was a Lecturer/Assistant at the University of Waterloo teaching Inorganic Chemistry.





School of Biomedical Engineering 2 Dr. Michael Noseworthy, who joined the School as of July 1, 2007 comes from the Department of Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine.

Electrical and Computer Engineering 3 Prior to coming to McMaster, Dr. Jun Chen was working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Coordinated Sciences Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Chen joined the Department on September 1, 2007. 4 Dr. Alexandru Patriciu started on January 1, 2007. Prior to his appointment at McMaster, Dr. Patriciu worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, in the Department of Urology. 5 Dr. Jian-Kang Zhang began his work in the Department as of July 1, 2007. He comes to McMaster from Harvard University, where he worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Signal & Information Processing. 6 Dr. Matier Howlander has been with McMaster working as a Research Associate Academic/Adjunct Associate Professor and Research Engineer since March 2005. Prior to this Dr. Howlander was an Endowed Associate Professor with the University of Tokyo.





Materials Sciences & Engineering 7 Prior to coming to McMaster, Dr. Jeffrey Hoyt was the Principal Member of the Technical Staff at the Computational Materials Science and Engineering Department, Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque. Dr. Hoyt joined the Department on July 1, 2007.

Mechanical Engineering 8 Dr. Gregory Wohl previously worked as a Research Associate with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. He began his work at McMaster as of May 1, 2007. Before joining the Department on July 1, 2007, 9 Dr. James Cotton was the supervisor of the Heat Transfer and Analytical Development Team at Dana Corporation in Oakville, Ontario. J Dr. Eu-Gene Ng joined the Department on July 1st from the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute, where he worked for a number of years as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Manager.



Michael Roberts: Is a qualified machinist who started work at McMaster in 1967 in the Instrument Machine Shop. After spending a couple of years in England, Mr. Roberts returned to McMaster to work in the Machine Shop at the Medical Centre and in May 1987, returned to the University’s Machine Shop. During his time at McMaster he became a self-taught welder. Maurice (Mo) Forget: Joined Civil Engineering in January 1968 and is one of the longest-serving members of the Department and of the Faculty of Engineering. During his forty years at McMaster, he progressed to the maximum technician classification. He was responsible for providing technical assistance and running laboratories in many diverse areas of Civil Engineering including Transportation and Traffic, Highway Materials and Other Building Materials, Soils, Structural Mechanics, and Concrete and Masonry Materials and Structures Research. Chris Bryce: Is the longest-serving employee in the Department of Computing & Software, joining shortly after graduating with a Masters in Applied Mathematics (’72). In addition to seeing many changes in technology, Mr. Bryce witnessed the evolution of the Department from a unit within the Applied Mathematics Department to the Department of Computer Science & Systems (now the Department of Computing and Software). An avid sports fan, he received the McMaster University Athletics Alumni “Friends of Distinction” award in 2001 for designing and implementing the men’s basketball website. Dave Schick: Joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a technician in August 1974. His responsibilities included the maintenance of undergraduate laboratory equipment, and assisting undergraduate and graduate students with their design and research projects. He was also responsible for safety, and worked with the Department Chair and Administrative Coordinator to ensure the smooth operation of the undergraduate laboratories and the efficient service of the shops. Mr. Schick was the recipient of the Veronika Czerneda Staff Award for Outstanding Service in 2005.

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NEWSBREIFS Biking for Education in Kenya During the summer of 2007, Engineering & Society students Rob Borzychowski (‘07) and Meghan Bruni (‘07) biked over 9000 km., met hundreds of people from Victoria to St. John’s, and raised over $4000 for SEED to provide money for education in the community of Ukwala in Kenya. SEED McMaster is a student-run organization, affiliated with SEED Canada, working towards the goal that every person has the right to an education. The money raised by this marathon event will be used to provide schooling for 120 of Ukwala’s secondary students in its community-run school where a high percentage of the students are orphans and cannot pay the fees associated with schooling. While thanking everyone who has provided the duo with support to date, Borzychowski says donations are still being accepted. Contact, for more information.

Helping Manufacturers Boost Productivity Helping companies find ways to shave dollars from manufacturing processes and boost productivity is the impetus behind a new university-industry initiative. Sandvik Coromant Canada and the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) have entered a cooperation to offer manufacturers consulting expertise, research and development facilities, and engineering know-how in the core area of metalworking services, that is ultimately aimed at productivity gains. The pair formalized a three-year relationship that will see Sandvik Coromant market the MMRI’s Machining System Laboratory’s (MSL) research facilities and expertise to industry. MMRI will serve as Sandvik Coromant’s locally based, customer-focused research and development facility in Canada. Sandvik-Coromant is investing $100,000 annually to support the initiative. Specific services offered through the initiative include process streamlining, equipment development, improved machine utilization and complete re-engineering programs covering new and existing equipment translating into valuable cost avoidance and savings.

Success at Last! The McMaster Mini Baja Team successfully completed all the events at this year’s Mini Baja Competition hosted at the Rochester Institute of Technology in June, and sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). A Mini Baja is a single-seated, all-terrain vehicle that can race on a motocross track at speeds of up to 30 km/h under the most adverse conditions. The Mac Team was one of 141 from universities


The MacEngineer

and colleges around the world. Under Captain Jeremy Dutka, the Team competed over the four-day event in areas of technical inspections, static judging and design presentation, and in various dynamic events such as the hill climb, maneuverability, suspension and traction, and acceleration. Overall, the McMaster Team ranked 49th, putting it in the top 35 per cent. “The event put everything in perspective,” says Dutka. “I really saw how far we’ve come as a team over the past 14 months … Driving my leg of the endurance race was thrilling – indescribable – a feeling that could only be felt in the driver’s seat.” For more details, information, sponsorship opportunities, and photo gallery, visit

Team Optlab Takes the Prize McMaster’s Team Optlab beat 15 teams from across Canada to win the Student Simulation Competition, organized by the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) in collaboration with the VISUAL8 Corporation, a market leader in industrial simulation solutions. The challenge was to provide a solution to traffic congestion at the Canada/U.S. border. Team members were Kimia Ghobadi and Olesya Peshko (School of Computational Engineering and Science), Imre Polik (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) and Oleksandr Romanko (Department of Computing and Software). All are members of the Advanced Optimization Laboratory, a research group led by Dr. Tamas Terlaky. The teams had to choose between two real-world simulation problems, and had eight weeks to develop their solutions. Team Optlab chose the simulation of commercial trucks attempting to cross the border. It had to develop a simulation model of the border, identify the problems and their sources, and propose a solution to border congestion

that provided the largest improvement for the least cost.

B.Tech. Alumnus Wins Award For the second year in a row, a Bachelor of Technology alumnus has won the prestigious S.E. Wolfe Thesis award. Ralph Curitti received the honour for his work entitled Optimizing the Use of Thread Inserts Using Design of Experiments. The thesis, which arose out of a production/design problem being experienced by Curitti’s employer, demonstrates how Design of Experiments (DOE) can be used to understand process variables better and how this understanding can be used to optimize a process. Last year, the S.E. Wolfe Thesis award was presented to Tony Hamilton for his thesis Gas Turbine Cylinder Assembly Cycle Time Reduction. The award, given by the Professional Engineers Ontario (POE), is presented for the best engineering report submitted by engineers from across Ontario who have not yet received professional designation. Both Curitti and Hamilton have now completed their M.Eng. and received P.Eng. designations.

MRC Update The McMaster Racing Club (MRC), formed in 1996 as the McMaster FSAE Team, has a new direction: to compete using a unique Single Cylinder Turbocharged engine design. After a twoyear build period, the team was successful in the FSAE competition in Romeo, Michigan and at the University of Toronto Shootout held at Mosport in Clarington. Josh Sobil (Mech. Eng. & Mgmt.), MRC Business Director, reports that the group is working hard to raise funds and finish the design for the new 2008 competition car which will have a new engine and suspension setup. The suspension system is a double non-parallel A-arm suspension type similar to

Deceased Notices guished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. Deen is internationally recognized for his contributions to the analysis, modelling and applications of microelectronic and optoelectronic devices. Wong is a leader in the research of signal processing and currently serves as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Weaver’s research is in flow-induced vibrations. He has served as president of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineers (CSME) and is a two-time recipient of the McMaster Student Union’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Sign Spotlights Campus Events The McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) now has an electronic display billboard for proTony Hamilton & Ralph Curitti moting activities and posting campus announcements. The billboard boasts technology developed those used in professional motorsport. They are by Adrian Kitai, a professor in both the Departalso working on a reliable monoshock system to rements of Materials Science and Engineering and duce weight and costs. The Club members design Engineering Physics. It combines woven optical and fabricate all of the components themselves. fiber array with current LCD (liquid crystal For more information on the MRC, please visit display) and LED (light-emitting diode) display The Club is seeking sign technology. The hair-thin optimembers from the university and the cal fibers replace over 90 per cent Ron Scheckenberger community; contact “mailto:mrc@ of the blue, green and red LEDs” required by conventional LED displays. The result: a high-resolution, Engineering Grad Honoured high-brightness module that is Ron Scheckenberger (B.Eng. ’81, significantly cheaper to manufacM.Eng. ’84) has been named the Engiture and operate than current types neer of the Year 2007 by the Hamilton of electronic display signs. Kitai Engineering Institute. Scheckenberger made the technology available to leads the Water Resources and Envithe Xerox Centre for Engineering ronmental Management division of Entrepreneurship and Innovation as Philips Engineering Ltd. of Burlington, a student commercialization project. Ontario. Scheckenberger has worked Nimesh Bahl, Cristian Nunez and primarily in the field of water resources engineerKitai formed Liquid Fiber Displays Inc. to market ing as engineer and Project Manager. He has been the new technology. at Philips for over twenty years, having joined the company in 1983. He was made a director in 1991, and his current duties include Vice President, responsible for Finance. His working career has been centred in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario continued from page 15 and projects include the recently opened Red Hill Valley Parkway in Hamilton. For his work on the manage theft and loss. It is run by Pankaj Sood, a Parkway, he was given a 2007 Award of Merit by graduate of the program. the Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) for Next year, a TECNet Smart Start Business Environmental Infrastructure: Red Hill Creek Plan Competition will be added. It will feature Realignment and Restoration. Scheckenberger is entrants from this year’s Innovation Fair and a member of numerous professional associations showcase the progress made on developing the including the Professional Engineers of Ontario, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, Con- ventures that were pitched. McMaster University sulting Engineers of Ontario, the Canadian Society will host the 2008 competitions. of Civil Engineers, and a number of organizations The TECNet Smart Start Innovation Fair is concerned with water quality. funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Sponsors included the Hamilton ofThree Faculty Inducted to CAE fice of Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm speElectrical and Computer Engineering professors cializing in intellectual property, and the Toronto Jamal Deen and Max Wong, and professor branch of The Indus Entrepreneurs Association, emeritus David Weaver (mechanical engineerthe world’s largest non-profit organization for ing) were inducted as Fellows into the Canadian entrepreneurs.TECNet is a partnership between Academy of Engineering (CAE) on June 1st, 2007. McMaster’s XCEEi and the University of WaterMembers of the Academy are nominated and loo’s CBET. elected to Fellowships by their peers for distin-

Innovation Fair

Jean Desmaison (Materials ’73) died of lung cancer in Limoges, France. After graduating, he moved to France where he established a Surface Treatment and Materials department at the ENSIL, the Limoges School of Engineers.

John Farquhar Young (‘65) The Department of Material Science and Engineering was saddened to learn of the death of John in January 2004 of a heart attack. Mr. Young established JFY International Inc, a Fonthill, Ontario-based company providing metallurgical services to industry and training at various institutions including McMaster and Mohawk College in Hamilton. He was always a proud MSE alumnus.

Sean Brophy (’81) Computing and Software faculty, staff and alumni were shocked by the sudden death of Sean, who died in a plane crash in Alaska in late September. He and his brother Greg were returning from a day of fishing when their float plane crashed near Katmai National Park and Preserve outside Anchorage. (The pilot and another fisherman were also killed.) Mr. Brophy is survived by his wife Lucy Provost, and two children aged 11 and 13.

Waldo (Wally) Alexander Wheten, former Commissioner of Engineering for the Hamilton Wentworth Region and a Warden of Camp 13, died on October 14, 2007 at Atrium Villa in Hamilton, in his 94th year. Mr. Wheten was a former Flight Lieutenant of the R.C.A.F.

The MacEngineer 19

DEPARTMENTAL NEWS Chemical Engineering News Assistant professor Kim Jones was interviewed by Regenerative Medicine Today about her research on regenerative medicine. On the podcast, aired September 20th, Jones described her work on the interactions between tissue engineering and the host response, and shared her vision for the future. Congratulations to Justyna Derkach and Kris Kostanski on their 20 years of service to McMaster.

fundamental and important computer science and engineering contributions over the past century. Dr. Parnas provided insights into making large-scale systems development manageable with the concepts of encapsulation and information hiding, and helped to establish software development as an engineering discipline firmly rooted in mathematics.

of 27) – our best finish ever. The team was coached this year by Ph.D. student Gordon Uszkay. McMaster was right behind the long-standing powerhouse teams from the University of Waterloo and Carnegie-Mellon University (3 teams each).

Dr. Jacques Carette has begun a two-year term as Chair of the Electronic Services Committee for the Canadian Mathematical Society.

In November 2007, the innovative CPRGlove, invented by students Nilesh Patel and Corey Centen, won in the undergraduate category at the Collegiate Inventors Competition. The Glove was the only entry selected from Canada for the finals in the competition. The Competition is run by the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation of Pasadena, California, and is sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Abbott Fund. The CPRGlove also won one of the five Best Inventions of the Year for 2007 in the health category, as selected by Time Magazine. Earlier in the year, the invention took second place at the annual IEEE Canada/TELUS Innovation competition in Edmonton, won the Ontario Engineering Competition in February, placed second at the Canadian Engineering Competition in March, and was selected as one of the Top 10 inventions of the year by Popular Science Magazine in May. The CPRGlove is a wearable CPR training, testing and assist device developed to improve survival rates from heart attacks. It’s equipped with sensors and a screen to give instructions and feedback when the user performs CPR. For more information, visit

Don Woods gave a two-day workshop to students and faculty at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ in October. In November, he presented a workshop to students and faculty at the AIChE Conference in Salt Lake City, on Stress and Time Management. Congratulations to John MacGregor on his election as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in July. His contributions span the areas of data analytic methods, advanced process control, and polymer reaction engineering. His pioneering research on latent variable modelling approaches to interrogate large industrial databases led to an explosion in the use of these methods for the analysis, monitoring and control of industrial processes. His earlier research on polymer reaction engineering, involving fundamental modelling and advanced polymer property control, was instrumental in helping to define that field.

Civil Engineering The Department congratulates technician Maurice Forget, recipient of the 2007 Veronika Czerneda Staff Award. Maurice has been a dedicated employee of the Faculty of Engineering for almost 40 years. In addition to having his name added to a permanent Roll of Honour plaque, he received a Certificate of Award and a monetary award valued at $500 which were presented at the Staff Recognition event on November 22nd. Paulin Coulibaly is the recipient of an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Computing & Software Thomas Maibaum is the recipient of research funding from the Ontario Research Fund. Congratulations to David Parnas, Professor Emeritus, who along with Maurice Wilkes was awarded the IEEE 60th Anniversary Award for seminal contributions to the discipline of computing. The IEEE Computer Society established this award in 2006 to recognize an individual or individuals who have been responsible for one of the most


The MacEngineer

Also, McMaster University will be a host site for the 2007 ACM-ICPC East Central North America Regional Programming Contest sponsored by IBM, and Carette will act as Site Director while also continuing his role as Coach for McMaster’s two teams. Tamas Terlaky chaired the Organizing Committee as McMaster University hosted the ICCOPT-MOPTA conference in August 2007. The Conference attracted over 450 researchers from 35 countries. The conference featured two plenary sessions, and 12 semi-plenary presentations by leading experts in areas such as fundamental theoretical topics and algorithmic and computational methods. There were nine parallel sessions organized in thematic streams covering important engineering application areas such as design optimization and chemical control. The conference featured the finalists of the Young Researcher Prize.Twenty-one of the best papers written since the last competition in 2004 were submitted; McMaster’s Eissa Nematollahi was one of the finalists. In November, McMaster was a site for one of the Regionals for the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest [http://acm.]. Contestants report they had a wonderful time, and were very pleased by the contest environment provided by the University. Dr. Jacques Carette acted as Site Director, with Derek Lipiec in the demanding job of local system administrator. The McMaster team of Sanjay Patel, Shiqi Cao, and William Hua finished 8th in the Regionals (out of 116 teams), and 5th locally (out

Electrical & Biomedical Engineering

Congratulations to Tanya Starret, who won the Ontario Professional Engineers’ Foundation for Education Gold Medal, and who was also on the Provost Honour Roll.

Electrical & Computer Engineering In August, Steve Hranilovic received research funding from the Ontario Research Fund. Professor emeritus Raymond Findlay is the recipient of the 2007 IEEE Canada A.G.L. McNaughton Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the analysis and design of machines, particularly to the theory and measurement of shaft currents in induction motors, and for leadership in the profession. Ray is a Life Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of EIC, and vice-president of JDRF Electromag Research Inc, a research and development company.

Dr. Sorina Dumitrescu has won the 2007 NSERC University Faculty Award. The award is designed to increase the representation of women and Aboriginal peoples in faculty positions in natural sciences and engineering by encouraging Canadian universities to appoint very promising researchers in those groups to tenure-track positions in science and engineering. The Department welcomes Ms. Kerri Hastings as its new Administrator. Kerri comes to us from McMaster’s Human Resources Services and also previously graduated from McMaster with a Hon. Bachelor of Arts, Classics. We extend a warm welcome to her. Good luck Kerri! Over the summer, Dr. Max Wong was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was also inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Dr. Wong is a leader in signal processors in communication, radar and sonar systems. He has solved design problems in line and wireless communications previously thought impossible. Wong’s inventions include the transmultiplexer and the wavelet echo canceller, used in telephone systems. His algorithms in target detection and estimation are used in defence systems. Dr. David Capson was named the winner of the McMaster Lifetime Teaching Achievement Award for 2007. Dr. Capson has taught a variety of courses in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and has been actively involved in curriculum development and research. He currently supervises 2 Master’s and 2 Ph.D. students. He won the MSU teaching award in 1993 and 2002 for the Faculty of Engineering and was a finalist on three other occasions.

Engineering Physics Qiyin Fang is the recipient of a funding award from the Ontario Research Fund and also received an Early Researcher Award. While Paul Jessop is on a well-deserved research leave, the Department welcomes Harold Haugen to the position of Acting Chair for one year. The position of Associate Chair (Graduate) is being filled by Dr. Chang Qing Xu.

from Bruce Power, Candesco, Nuclear Safety Solutions, Ontario Power Generation and Wardrop to give students insights on career opportunities. A social get-together followed where students were able to talk informally with the representatives and obtain further details. The Club is also planning a career night next term for students interested in working in the area of photonics and nanoand micro-devices. This year’s Alumni Forum and Social will be held on Friday, April 4, 2008. More details will be posted on the Department’s website at http:/ as they are confirmed.

Engineering & Society A new five-year Engineering and International Studies Program leading to a B.Eng. Society degree was established in September. Its purpose is to train future engineers in the complexities associated with global project management.

Materials Science & Engineering Congratulations to Hatem Zurob on receiving a funding award from the Ontario Research Fund, and to Nikolas Provatas who received an Early Researcher Award. Professor emeritus Gyan Johari has received a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Dublin, in Ireland, and will travel to Dublin to attend the Spring 2008 Convocation and receive the degree. Gord Irons, director of the Steel Research Centre at McMaster, is the recipient of the 2007 Alcan Award from the Metallurgical Society of CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum). He received the award at the annual Conference held in Montreal at the end of April. The award was established to recognize a highly significant contribution to the field of metallurgy. The Department’s 2007-2008 Seminar Series provides an opportunity for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and invited speakers to present recent research results, every Wednesday from September to May. Visit the schedules and topics or contact the Series coordinator Dmitri Malakhov at .

The Ontario Photonics Industry Network (OPIN) partnered with the Ontario Photonics Consortium (OPC) to offer this year’s Best Poster Awards at the Annual OPC Showcase Event. Congratulations to Martin C. Plante, who won 2nd place with the poster entitled, “Growth-related Aspects of GaAs Nanowires: Axial and Radial Growth Modes”.

The Department congratulates Mehran Kasra on receiving a funding award from the Ontario Research Fund., and Stephen Veldhuis and Peidong Wu on receiving Early Researcher Awards.

On November 7th, a career night organized by the Engineering Physics Club was held for students interested in working in the nuclear industry. Representatives attended

Associate professor Philip Koshy has been awarded an NSERC Idea to Innovation grant for his Pneumatic In-process Roughness Assessment System. Using sound to

Mechanical Engineering

determine the roughness of a surface, the system, developed with collaborator Francois Yacoub, directs a stream of air onto a surface, records the frequency content of the back pressure using a sensitive industrial microphone, and mathematically correlates the signal to the roughness value. Congratulations to our graduates who have won awards. Samantha Hess (’06) and Brian Malowany (’07) are recipients of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME) Gold Medals, while Aaron Vanderhorst (’06) and Ted Mitchell (’07) received Iroquois Trophies. The CSME Gold Medal is awarded to a student for Outstanding Academic Achievement in mechanical engineering. Typically, there is one recipient per Canadian university each year. The Iroquois Trophy was established in 1970 by the Department to be presented to a graduating student on the basis of academic excellence, participation in campus societies, clubs or other activities, and general leadership. The winner receives a replica of the Trophy.

2008 OEC Coming to Mac More than 200 participants from 14 universities across the province are expected to attend the 29th Annual Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC), which is being hosted at McMaster from February 8th to 10th. Ontario’s top engineering students enter a series of competitions that challenge their engineering skills, business acumen, communication abilities and creativity. The competitions are just one part of the weekend, however. As MES member Deborah Lee, co-chair of the OEC 2008 Organizing Committee, notes: “There is a big social component too, as participants have a chance to meet with their colleagues from other universities and exchange ideas.” The Competition is one of the events being hosted by the Faculty of Engineering to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2008. McMaster previously hosted the OEC in 1997 and in 1985. The annual OEC challenges university engineering students to a series of competitions in six categories: Senior Team Design, Junior Team Design, Innovative Design, Consulting Engineering, Engineering Communications, and Parliamentary Debate. Winning teams move on to compete nationally at the Canadian Engineering Competition.

The MacEngineer 21

ALUMNI GRAPEVINE leadership and to assist new employees find the right fit for them within the corporation. I am also a member of the Women’s Business Council at Nortel, a group that looks for opportunities to reach out into the community and educational institutions and to partner on educational initiatives.

Maelie Harvey


Geoff & Elizabeth Boyd

MacChemEng Boyd, Geoff (`04): Elizabeth (nee Clark) (Chem.Eng. & Mgmt. `04) and I were married on August 26, 2006 in Blenheim, Ontario. I am currently at Ipex Inc. in Mississauga, and Liz works at John Deere. Szilard, Mike (`00): As a generalist who likes to know as much as I can about everything, I decided to participate as a contestant on Global Television’s Are You Smarter Than a Canadian Fifth Grader in November. My strategy? To have fun! I am currently at Line Link Canada, a communications and energy firm based in Concord, Ontario, working with companies undertaking energy conservation retrofits.

MacCivEng Mirza, Faisal (`94): Lesley and I have moved to Toronto from Vancouver and bought a 1920’s brick home in Bloor West Village, a funky area with lots of shops and restaurants. We still do miss New Westminster, though. I am doing consulting for a small Venture Capital company that invests in clean technology projects. Lesley’s business, http://www.lipstickpowdernpaint.blogspot. com is doing great, and she is getting a few freelance writing gigs. We are enjoying reconnecting with friends and family. Contact me at . Quist, Eric (‘93): Crystal, Will (brother) and I welcome our new son Jax to the family.

MacComputerEng Choudry, Imrana (`04): I have been hired by Nortel Networks Corp. and am currently participating in the company’s Leadership Development program. I get to spend six months in four different jobs over a two-year period. The purpose of the program is to nurture


The MacEngineer

Garg, Aditi `06: I work for Ontario Power Generation at the Pickering Nuclear Power Station in Ontario. In June 2007, I was selected as one of 16 applicants from 60 entries from across Canada for the Miss India-Canada contest. The pageant, which is based on talent and ability (there is no swimsuit competition) is designed to showcase Indian culture and the talents of young Indo-Canadian women. Although I didn’t win, I felt it was a great opportunity to be a role model to other women. I plan to continue my education and obtain a Masters degree through the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE). Sunatori, Simon `83: Since graduating from Mac, I have been both an employee (Nortel Systems, 11 years) and an entrepreneur. I founded HyperInfo Canada Inc. in 1989 to pursue R&D on information processing and publishing technology. In 1995, I started HyperInfo Knowledge Power Centre, which offers pay-for-value knowledge services via e-commerce. I’ve been an inventor, marketer, computer programmer and author. I am currently on the faculty of the New York College of Advanced Studies as adjunct professor. Visit my site at http://www. hyperInfo.CA/GS.Sunatori.

MacMechEng Vlahovic, Ann-Marie (`94): Peter and I are extremely pleased to announce the arrival of Jana Antonija Vlahovic on June 20, 2007 at 8:50 a.m. Jana weighed in at 6 lb. 10 oz., and is very much loved by her big sister Maja.

Wil and Jax Quist

Harvey, Eloise `99: Jean-Philippe and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our baby girl, Maelie, on October 6, 2007. Kurczak, Braden (‘03): Brooke and I were married on July 21, 2007 in Kitchener. I want to thank “Terry Scott White Photography” for taking such a beautiful picture of Brooke and myself.

Brook & Braden

Ray, Michel (05): When Vanessa Zarate and I married on August 11, 2007 at Westdale United Church in Hamilton, we made front page news in The Hamilton Spectator for taking the bus to our reception. It isn’t far from the church to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, so the whole wedding party took public transportation. We decided to go green and forgo the limousine … and it gave us more money to spend on our honeymoon in Hawaii!

MacMaterialsSci & Eng Ryks, Andy (`84): I have moved back to Ontario from Michigan and now live in Guelph. Hunter, Adolph (`87): I was looking at the Mac website and was amazed and somewhat comforted to find that there was one familiar name still in the Department! I am Group Director, Corporate Communications for Cadence Design Systems Inc., a San Jose, California-based leader in global electronic-design innovation.

MacChemEng & Mgt Remesat, Darius (`93): I completed my requirements for Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Calgary and received

Jana Antonija Vlahovic

Darius Remasat

Emily Celeste Chalmers

my degree in November. While working on the degree, I received a Best Paper award from AICHe (fuels and petrochemicals division) at the organization’s spring 2007 conference.

MacMechEng & Mgt Chalmers, Robert (`90): I am currently Engineering Manager for the Huntsville, Alabama plant of Mitchell Plastics, a maker of decorative molded parts for the automotive industry. After a lot of study, my wife and I have gained fluency in Spanish and, to a lesser extent, French. We would like to let everyone know about the birth of our first daughter, Emily Celeste Chalmers, born on June 26, 2007.

MacCivEng & Society Loebach, Janet (`97): On October 4, I received a 2007 Engineers Canada-T.D. Meloche Monnex scholarship in support of a professional engineer in a non-engineering graduate program. The cash award will go toward my current studies. I am a Ph.D. candidate in urban and health geography at the University of Western Ontario. I am investigating the influences of our built environments on the health and behaviour of vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.


E-MAIL YOUR: • Name • New Address • Fax • Postal Code • E-mail • Comments: (present occupation, recent accomplishments ie: awards, recognitions).


Janet Loebach (Civil Eng. & Society ‘97) organized a 10 year reunion in the summer with all her classmates and their families.

The MacEngineer 23


50 YEARS OF ACHIEVEMENT… WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? The 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering provides an ideal time to reflect on what has been accomplished during the past five decades. Innovative programs have been introduced. New teaching methods have been developed. Thousands of students have graduated with Engineering degrees. New methods for collaboration have been established. Research discoveries have led to innovations in academia, industry and society. There have also been many volunteer and community contributions. We are interested in hearing what you – alumni, faculty and staff – think are the most notable achievements and contributions made by the Faculty of Engineering over the past 50 years. To share your thoughts, simply send an e-mail to Identify the achievement or contribution you feel is noteworthy and provide a short explanation of why. And, if you think of more than one, you’re welcome to send more e-mails. During 2008, the ideas submitted will be posted on the Engineering web site. Perhaps they will stimulate some new thoughts or memories. A forgotten achievement may be unearthed. Or, maybe there will be common responses that appear again and again.

McMaster-Mohawk Joint Venture | Bachelor of Technology Partnership

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Sterling Silver

To celebrate our 50th Anniversary we have introduced new engineering pins that are available for purchase.

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The MacEngineer Winter 2008  

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

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