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Spring 2015

Welcome to the spring 2015 issue of Benchmarks!

S P R I N G 2 015 Editor Jackey Locke FINAL PROOF Moira Baird Graphic Design Mike Mouland Contributing writers Deirdre Greene Javad Hashemi Cheryl Keough Jackey Locke Dr. Cecilia Moloney Jinghua Nie Dr. Janna Rosales Victoria Ward Photography Micah Brown Adrian Dobre Chris Hammond Geoff Holden Kathryn Hong Cheryl Keough Jackey Locke Jinghua Nie Benchmarks is published by the Division of Marketing and Communications for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Please address any questions, comments or suggestions to: Jackey Locke, editor, Benchmarks, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, 240 Prince Phillip Drive, St. John’s, NL A1B 3X5 email: or telephone: 709 864 8287. Faculty-of-Engineering-andApplied-Science @MUN_Engineering









S u n c o r C e n t r e r e s e a r c h t e a m s d i s c u ss their work with visitors during the o f f i c i a l o p e n i n g d ay c e r e m o n i e s o n Dec. 5, 2014.




It has been 40 years since Memorial University graduated its first class

“We had three disciplines – civil, electrical and mechanical – with a design

of engineers. On May 25, 1974, 76 bright, eager students convocated,

course in every semester. This didn’t go over well with the accreditation

each with a bachelor of engineering degree in hand.

board, but, ultimately, they accredited our programs.”

Dr. Angus Bruneau was the first dean of engineering and applied science

Dr. John Molgaard was one of the first faculty members that Dr. Bruneau

and he remembers that first convocation with great pride.


“It was an exciting time,” he said. “We worked very hard to keep

“There were many demands on our time and energy,” he said. “While

them engaged. It was important to me to see that first class through to

existing courses were taught, the new program was designed, course


content was developed and facilities acquired.”

Memorial had an engineering diploma program from its very beginning,

Dr. Greg Naterer, the faculty’s current dean, has been enjoying hearing the

but graduates went to other institutions to complete their engineering

stories about the early days from Dr. Bruneau and other faculty members.

degrees. S.J. Carew, dean of the Faculty of Applied Science, which was the faculty name back then, proposed to expand to a full degree program in

“Our highly regarded reputation of excellence has been built on a

the mid-1960s.

proud history and legacy built by tremendous visionary leaders – Dr. Bruneau, other former deans, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Dr. Naterer.

Dr. Moses Morgan, then vice-president (academic), strongly supported

“Since the first graduates, we’ve grown to over 1,100 undergraduate

the idea to develop a degree-granting engineering program at Memorial.

students, six accredited undergraduate programs, 18 graduate programs,

He solicited concepts and opinions from engineering deans at Ontario

approximately 500 graduate students and about $16 million in research

universities and, ultimately, it was Dr. Doug Wright, University of

funding per year. We’re proud of our rich legacy and I look forward to

Waterloo, who impressed him the most with his enthusiasm and new

steering ahead to many more future successes.”

concept in engineering education, a co-operative program that he had recently developed at Waterloo. Ultimately, it was Dr. Wright who

While the faculty’s principles have remained the same, today there are

recommended Dr. Bruneau, a young, energetic faculty member at the

five departments in civil, electrical and computer, mechanical, ocean and

University of Waterloo, as the best person for the job.

naval architectural and process engineering. The faculty is undergoing major growth and a new building is on the horizon. Dr. Bruneau sees

While the new program was modelled after the program at the University of

many parallels to his time as dean.

Waterloo, it was an opportunity to prepare a new curriculum at Memorial. “I see a lot of similarities between what the current dean is doing and “I knew why everything was in that curriculum,” said Dr. Bruneau. “If

what I did 40 years ago,” he said. “He has to sort out what the patterns

no one could explain why something should be in there, it didn’t get in.

are and the values that need to be emphasized.”





The Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of

“No one demonstrates the fabric and form of Tetra

Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL) and the

more than Leonard Lye,” said Pat Tweedie, Tetra

Tetra Society of North America have honoured

Society of North America. “His contributions to

Dr. Leonard Lye, associate dean, graduate

Tetra reach far beyond the years and numbers

studies, in the faculty.

required for the award. Dr. Lye is one of Tetra’s most valuable assets and to me the personification

Dr. Lye is the 2014 recipient of PEGNL’s

of a Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Community Service Award for his outstanding service and dedication to society through

Dr. Lye started volunteering when he was 14


years old and 40 years later, his volunteer work






has become a part of who he is.

activities or humanitarian work. He also received Tetra Society of North America’s

“I feel good, of course, that what I have done

Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant

means something to some people,” he said. “But

contribution to the success of the Tetra program.

I don’t do it for the recognition. Some things

The society helps people with disabilities to live

just have to be done. Seeing the happy faces on

independent and fulfilling lives through the

people after solving their seemingly challenging

creation of devices that help overcome a barrier

problems is good enough. I really enjoy solving

in the physical environment.

some of these problems.”





The life of a young boy will be a little easier

“I was very impressed by some of the designs

and more enjoyable thanks to Dr. Leonard

they showed me,” said Dr. Lye. “Some of the



final designs were very creative and detailed.

Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the

The students were very motivated by the fact

Tetra Society of North America, and some

that there were working on a real project that

first-year engineering students.

someone is waiting on.”

As part of a first-year design course, students

With the final design completed, Dr. Lye

form teams and tackle design projects –

will meet with the client and fabricator to

projects that can’t be purchased and need to

review the design and to discuss any necessary

be customized for individuals’ needs. In the

modifications. The customized wheelchair will

winter 2014 semester, engineering students

be fabricated over the summer and, hopefully, the

worked on an all-terrain wheelchair for a boy

little boy who wants nothing more than to enjoy

with a neuromuscular condition called Spinal

the outdoors will finally be able to do just that.





Muscular Atrophy Type 2 as their design project. “Each semester, I am very impressed with the “Currently,



dedication and professionalism of some of

manufacturers make anything that is suitable

the groups,” said Dr. Lye. “It shows that our

for his needs, and all this little boy wants

young engineers are creative, motivated, and

to do is to be able to enjoy the outdoors,”

have a great desire to help others with their

explained Dr. Lye.

engineering skills.”

At the beginning of the semester, Dr. Lye

Another group of students worked on a boccia

met with the students and showed them

ball release system for a man with cerebral

some commercially available wheelchairs

palsy, who wants to participate in organized

and explained why none were suitable.

boccia ball competitions. A design hasn’t yet


been finalized.







consulted with Dr. Lye as they worked on the design to ensure that their ideas were

The Tetra Society is a charity that designs

practical and reasonable.

and builds assistive devices that are not available





The students were told to keep the design

physical disabilities. For more information

simple, to use easily accessible materials, and

on Tetra Society and the local chapter

to keep the cost down.

and how you can become involved, visit

On March 8, the Professional Engineers


recruit enthusiastic students.”

and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador held its annual Model Bridge Day

Bridges were judged by a panel of practicing

at the Johnson GEO CENTRE. Hundreds

civil engineers for quality of construction

of grade 7-12 students from all across the

and application of engineering principles,

province brought their model bridges to be

followed by Memorial engineering students

tested at various testing stations in hopes

testing each bridge for strength.

that theirs was the strongest among their peers.










“The objective is to design and construct the

Brook, Labrador City/Wabush and Happy

strongest model bridge, made from Popsicle

Valley-Goose Bay/Labrador Coast.

sticks and glue,” said Cheryl Keough, student




liaison officer, Faculty of Engineering and



Applied Science. “It’s great to be a part of

Applied Science is an annual proud sponsor

this event and to have an opportunity to

and exhibitor.





“For the project we developed, implemented and evaluated new diversityattracting integrative pedagogies intended to tap into the motivations and values that engineering students bring to their work and study,” explained Dr. Moloney. “We created the course to study the relationships between diversity, identity and professional success.” The course, called the Lead by Design Institute on Leadership, Diversity and Dialogue For Graduate Students in Engineering, was oriented in the first instance towards benefiting women in engineering, while also fostering other diversities in engineering in addition to gender. A central element of the Institute’s curriculum was a team-based, globally relevant, locally informed, mini-project that challenged participants to communicate Dr. Cecilia Moloney, a professor in the Department of Electrical

engineering solutions to a lay audience in a non-traditional format.

and Computer Engineering, along with complementary studies engineering professor Dr. Janna Rosales, Dr. Cecile Badenhorst in

“With additional funding from the Quick Start Fund for Public

the Faculty of Education, and Jonas Roberts, a then PhD candidate

Engagement at Memorial, and in collaboration with Words in Edgewise,

in civil engineering (since successfully completed) – designed a five-

we organized a public salon as the venue for these presentations, in

day co-curricular course for engineering graduate students called the

order to create a broader conversation about technological literacy

Lead by Design Institute. The course was held April 23-29, 2014 and

and the public’s stake in engineering challenges in the 21st century,”

was a huge success.

explained Dr. Moloney. “Our research findings will make contributions to the burgeoning field of engineering education research, as well as the

The success of the program was marked by the lively atmosphere in

research about women in engineering.”

the Institute’s sessions, by the collaborative engagement of graduate students from across the engineering disciplines in discussion and

Dr. Moloney and her co-investigators are hopeful that the course design,

problem-solving, and by positive feedback on a post-Institute survey.

methods and materials may have impacts on teaching and learning at

But most significantly, the researchers saw

the Institute’s success

Memorial, both in engineering and in other disciplines. “We made a

most clearly in the consistent attendance by 14 graduate students in

presentation last August at the 11th International Workshop on Higher

a voluntary but intensive five-day program.

Education Reform that was held in St. John’s. We noted in our presentation that the pedagogy of the Lead by Design Institute can contribute to

The course was developed as part of a research project funded by

reform in higher education, for engineering in particular, because it

a Hebron Diversity Research Grant awarded to Dr. Moloney and

fosters the growth of process skills that are sought by employers and that

co-investigators Drs. Badenhorst and Rosales in 2013 to study the

are important to solving engineering ‘grand challenges.’ It encourages

participation of women and other under-represented groups in math,

students to be self-reflective, socially aware and inclusive, key attributes

science and engineering.

in contexts of increasing diversity and globalization.”








The President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching

Dr. Rideout is also described as a teacher who has



the unique ability to view the curriculum from

member. Dr. Geoff Rideout’s passion for teaching





the students’ perspective, simplifying concepts

and concern for his students have earned him this

and always keenly aware of who his audience

distinguished award.

is and adjusting his approach accordingly. He regularly encourages feedback from his students






demonstrated exemplary dedication to his students.

on ways to improve their learning experience in the classroom.

His approach to teaching is one of self-reflection and is student-focused. Dr. Rideout uses his personal

For Dr. Rideout, this award is all about the success

experiences as an individual and as a professor in his

of his students.

teaching, as well as his time as a student. He teaches his students that learning is a lifelong process that

“I’m very impressed by the success of our

starts with classroom interaction.

graduates, and I’m moved by the support I have received from former students. Despite this recent

“Among my graduating class, Dr. Rideout was always

recognition, I find myself at a crossroads when it

known as a candid, caring and effective professor

comes to teaching. I’m looking into doing some

who put the students first. His unique and creative

things fundamentally differently in pursuit of

teaching style makes him such an effective professor.

deeper learning and increased student ability to

He uses a variety of methods to keep students engaged,

use course concepts when they get out of here,”

most notably his props and demonstrations,” said

said Dr. Rideout.

former student Laura Pittman.








The deep waters of Smith Sound, Trinity Bay, hold many mysteries. Why did Smith Sound have a strong and vibrant cod stock during the moratorium? What happened to vessels that sank in the 1890s during an ice storm? Are there really internal standing waves, or seiches, in the waters and what drives them? These are questions surrounding one of the longest fjords along the coast of the island, questions that no one has been able to answer. A team of researchers from Memorial’s Marine Environmental Research Laboratory for Intelligent Vehicles (MERLIN) is searching for the answers in hopes of uncovering the mysteries of Smith Sound. MERLIN researchers from the faculties of Engineering and Applied Science, Science and Arts are using an explorer-class autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) called DORA (Deep Ocean Research AUV). DORA the Explorer provides 3D images of the seafloor, information on the seafloor topography and can even detect shipwrecks on the ocean floor. During phase one, the AUV conducted a preliminary multi-beam survey from the surface. The survey provided an accurate map of the bottom of the Sound. “Existing charts for the area only provide soundings, or depth measurements, at point locations,” explained Dr. Dan Walker, lead researcher of the project. “That’s fine for a ship or boat at the surface because it’s not in danger of hitting anything in 150 or 200 metres of water.” For phase two, the AUV dove to the bottom of the ocean and mapped the seabed from approximately 20 metres altitude. “We used the multi-beam sonar again and improved the bathymetric map developed in phase one,” said Dr. Walker. “The closer the sonar is to the sea floor, the higher the resolution so we were able to see images or obstructions very clearly.” The MERLIN team wants to get a clear picture of the Sound’s seafloor. They want to know if it’s rocky, sandy or muddy, and if it’s rocky, they want to know how big the rocks are. This knowledge will help them understand why codfish were plentiful in Smith Sound during the moratorium. “The principal goal of our research was seafloor characterization, which tells us what type of sediment is on the sea floor, for example mud, silt, rock or sand,” said Dr. Walker. “Based on differing acoustic responses, we can determine patches of mud or rock. “However, some members of the team have an interest in archeology and were able to use the data we collected to establish potential locations of shipwrecks that may have occurred during the late 1800s, shipwrecks that remain a mystery today.” While the results of the survey are still being compiled and more work needs to be done, multibeam results, along with a subsequent bottom ground-truthing program using grab samples, which involves taking, or grabbing, actual samples from the sea floor to determine type of sediment, have allowed the team to develop a preliminary habitat map. Initial side-scan results have highlighted potential ship wrecks that can be explored using remotely operated vehicles and future programs will, hopefully, increase their knowledge and expertise when using AUVs to explore deeper locations.

















Gilbert Bennett

Melissa McComiskey




On April 11-12, 2014, more than 200

parents had an opportunity to view the


projects followed by the awards ceremony.




science students came together at Bishop’s College for the 34th annual Eastern Regional

Members of the Eastern Newfoundland

Science and Technology Fair. In order to

Science Fair’s Council volunteered their

qualify for the regional fair, students would

time to organize the regional fair. Organizers

have competed in their school’s science

included teachers, university researchers

fairs. As with previous years, members of

and instructors, as well as other members of

the Faculty of Engineering and Applied

the local community.

Science served as judges. In addition to judging duties, the faculty On the first day, participants were treated

donated prizes and had a booth set up to

to tours, which included the Faculty of

answer any questions about engineering

Science’s departments of earth science and

programs that students and parents had.

chemistry, the faculties of engineering and

Andy Fisher, associate dean, undergraduate

medicine, C-CORE, and CREAIT, and their

studies, presented the awards on behalf of

projects were judged. On the second day,

the faculty.














Team Memorial Baja finished 52nd out of 90 universities at the Baja

“The highlight this year was watching the car go around the

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition in Peoria, Ill.,

manoeuvrability track,” he said. “It had been moving under its own

June 4-7, 2014.

power for approximately 15 minutes at that point, and we watched a lot of cars experience technical difficulties on the track. Our car

While it was the fifth consecutive year that Team Memorial competed

completed the entire course twice without incident.

at this international racing event, it was the first competition for this year’s vehicle.

“The car really is fundamentally well-designed,” he continued. “This is the strongest car yet. All the adjustments they made from last year

Baja SAE consists of three regional competitions that simulate real-

and all the forethought that went into it made for a sound car that

world engineering design projects and their related challenges.

with a little more testing and development should finish in the top

Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off-road

20 next year.”

vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain and sometimes even water. The event also included competitions

The outgoing captain, Calvin Holloway, is equally pleased with this

in acceleration, hill climbing, manoeuvrability, suspension and

year’s performance both in terms of the new car and how the team

traction and endurance.

pulled together.

“We redesigned the entire car and were literally putting it together

“After a productive year, the team succeeded in producing a car that

on the way to the competition,” said Alex Clark, 2014 team

improved on the previous year’s design and performance,” he said.

member and 2015 co-captain. “We redesigned the front and back

“It was a great learning experience for everyone involved and the

suspensions, chassis, gear box, brakes, frame. With the new design,

minor setbacks that hurt the car’s placement will be easily rectified.

we were able to decrease the weight of the car by 20 pounds which

This will position the team for a great year of testing and optimizing

means it’s capable of going faster.”

that gives Memorial Baja a strong competitive stance for the 2015 competitions.”

Despite delays in the redesign process, the team is pleased with how the car performed. The team’s best event was acceleration with a

The team wishes to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors:

29th place finish.

Atlantic Trailer and Equipment, Cimetrix Solutions, Cliffs, Dovre Group, Hickman Automotive Group, Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering

“It was a big learning experience for us to set the goals of when we

and Applied Science and Technical Services Division, Mile 1 Harley-

needed to design it and when we needed to start fabricating,” said

Davidson, Memorial University of Newfoundland Student Union

Jumana Joury, 2014 team member and 2015 co-captain. “We also case

(MUNSU), Newfoundland Distributors, NAPA Auto Parts, The Angus

hardened our own gears – a process we learned about in class. It was a

Bruneau Student Leadership and Innovation Fund in Engineering (LIFE)

great experience to be able to apply it.”

Program, PAL Airlines, Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL), Quality Transport Component,

Dr. Geoff Rideout, a mechanical engineering professor and teacher

Rideout Tools and Machine Inc., Russell Metals and Women in Science

sponsor for the team, says the team members came together leading

and Engineering (WISE).

up to the event to produce what he believes is the strongest Memorial Baja to date.

For more about Team Memorial Baja, go to





For the second year in a row, two undergraduate engineering

Andy Fisher, associate dean, undergraduate engineering, believes

students from Memorial are the recipients of the Peter Kohler

that scholarships like the Peter Kohler Scholarship have far greater


impact than just a financial one for students like Mr. Loveless and Ms. Jerrett.

First-year students Skyler Loveless from Seal Cove, Fortune Bay and Toni Jerrett from Clarke’s Beach were chosen from 39 applicants

“We are very proud of Skyler and Toni. For students from Memorial

from Atlantic Canada to receive this substantial award. Mr. Loveless

to win this scholarship two years in a row speaks to the calibre of

will receive $50,000 over four years, while Ms. Jerrett will receive

our students,” he said. “We believe it is important for all of our

$5,000 for the 2014-15 academic year.

students to aim for excellence and to have confidence in themselves. Financial awards like the Peter Kohler Scholarship not only enable

The students, who both plan to study mechanical engineering,

students to become more financially independent, but they also

are very grateful to Mr. Kohler for the awards. While they say the

teach the value of hard work and self-confidence.”

funding means eating better and increased time for their academics, it’s also about working hard at everything they do.

Last year’s recipients were Mark Elliott and Brandon Fitzpatrick.

“I was thinking about getting a part time job but was afraid of


how it would impact my studies and now I don’t have to,” said

Community Foundation of Nova Scotia. It is a scholarship fund

Mr. Loveless. “I work really hard to get good grades. When some of

for engineering students in Atlantic Canada, and to be eligible,

my friends were playing sports, I was inside studying to try and get

applicants must be enrolled full-time in an engineering program

accepted into engineering.”

at a university in Atlantic Canada. The scholarship is based upon








academic standing and financial need, and eligible to be renewed “I feel all the dedication and hard work I put in throughout high

by the award winner for up to four years, provided that the

school and with other activities really paid off,” said Ms. Jerrett.

student maintains a reasonable standing in his/her program.




















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Benchmarks Spring 2015  

Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Benchmarks Spring 2015  

Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

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