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Division of Engineering Science Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering University of Toronto Volume 7, Issue 1

Opt!ons, Volume 7, Issue 1 The NΨ Network

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Division of Engineering Science Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering University of Toronto

Publisher Mark Kortschot (NΨ 8T4)

Design & Art Direction Mark Neil Balson R.G.D.

Editor Sarah Steed

Printing Andora Graphics

Bahen Centre for Information Technology 40 St. George Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2E4 Tel: 416.978.8634 Fax: 416.978.0828

A Message From the Chair A Bicycle Built for Flight NΨ’s Reunite 90 Years Old & Still Spinning NΨ’s: Exceptional Minds, Exceptional Opportunities NΨ Mentorship The NΨ Network: Introducing the Board of Directors Honors & Accolades Direct NΨ Impact NΨ Entrepreneur & Scientist 1T2’s—The Latest Crop To Be Proud Of Where are you now NΨ’s? Special Events

Contributing Editors Marina Freire-Gormaly (NΨ 1T0+PEY) Jennifer Lancaster Hana Lee Erin Macnab Liam Mitchell

About the Cover The image on the cover of this issue was generously provided by Berlinbased, Hungarian photographer and artist Adam Magyar. Adam is captivated by high-tech cities and the people who live in them. Magyar depicts the synergies of man and the city—embracing the city as home to both man and technology. He scrutinizes the transience of life and man’s inherent urge to leave some trace behind. The cover image, #517, is from his Squares series depicting a moment,

familiar to citizens around the world as if it had been taken in one of the squares in their home cities. A city vertigo just by the push of a button. Far from it—in the case of #517, it is 517 individual pushes followed by considerable post-production to create the effect of a single aerial image. As a photographer Magyar reaches for devices and solutions unusual for photographers but common in industrial environments or fields of science. He is keen to adopt and reinvent contemporary devices like industrial machine-vision

cameras to be able to produce his unique cityscapes. In his recent Stainless series, he uses a line-scan camera which is normally used to capture fast-moving objects on production lines for quality checking purposes; only he scans subway trains arriving to the stations at stunning speed. Or he grabs a super-slow motion industrial camera and boards the subway to film people waiting on the platform. Adam’s images and slow-motion film can be found at

A Message From the Chair When I began my term as chair in the summer of 2011, I found Engineering Science to be in very good shape, attracting superb students, delivering a solid curriculum, and producing graduates in high demand by the best graduate schools and employers. I was delighted, but not surprised, that the program and its students are as strong as ever. Previous Chairs of the program have provided the leadership needed, we have dedicated staff, and we have some of the best instructors in the university who continue to demonstrate commitment and loyalty to our program. One thing surprised me, however. I had not realized just how successful, influential, and accomplished our graduates are; holding academic positions in the best universities around the world, running multinational corporations, and founding incredibly successful startups. A notable percentage of EngSci alumni pursue remarkable professional careers in other disciplines: medicine, law, architecture and even music. This brings me to the theme of this year’s Opt!ons magazine, and a strategic direction for Engineering Science over the next few years: the EngSci Network. A strong network is a hallmark of most world-class academic programs, and we want to continue to build a robust and connected community. Our new Board of Advisors, meeting for the first time in November, 2012, will help us to achieve this goal. Please take some time to enjoy this expanded issue of Opt!ons Magazine and to reflect on your time in Engineering Science. Help us, and yourself, by supporting the EngSci network—reconnect with us and reach out to your classmates to do the same. Let us know if you need to replace your iron ring, your class picture, or you want help contacting someone that you have lost touch with. An active and meaningful network will produce many benefits for all of us. Mark Kortschot, Chair

Volume 7, Issue 1 / 3

A Bicycle Built for Flight Engineering Science alumni and students work together to build a human-powered helicopter and claim the Sikorsky Prize Feature by Liam Mitchell

Aerospace has long been associated with the Division of Engineering Science, and a team led by EngSci alumni, fuelled by EngSci students, is demonstrating that you don’t need an engine to achieve flight. It just takes smart engineering design and a pair of powerful legs.

The team, led by Dr. Todd Reichert (EngSci 0T5, UTIAS PhD 1T1) and Cameron Robertson (EngSci 0T8, UTIAS MASc 0T9), is building a human-powered helicopter. If the names and the challenge sound familiar, that’s because the pair were also behind the design and successful flight of Snowbird, the world’s first humanpowered ornithopter to achieve sustained flight. The quest to build an ornithopter, a vehicle that achieves flight by effectively flapping its wings like a bird, had been underway since Leonardo da Vinci first sketched the concept in 1485. None of the designs ever got off the ground, so to speak, until 2010 when the U of T team sustained both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds and covered a distance of 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 kilometres per hour. At the time Reichert remarked that “…the Snowbird represents the completion of an age-old aeronautical dream,” adding, “This represents one of the last of the aviation firsts.” It may have been one of the last, but it certainly wasn’t the last. With the success of the ornithopter challenge behind them, Reichert and Robertson turned their attention to another elusive aviation challenge: The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. Established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society, a helicopter must sustain flight for 60 seconds and reach an altitude of three metres (9.8 feet) while remaining in a 10 metre (32.8 feet) square to claim the prize.

To the successful team goes $250,000, making the Sikorsky Prize aviation’s third-richest prize. To accomplish the task, Reichert and Robertson brought together a tightly-knit team of 12 professionals and students, which included three current EngSci students. Calling the team AeroVelo, they sought to claim the Sikorsky Prize by designing and constructing a humanpowered helicopter called Atlas. Working out of a barn in Tottenham, Ontario, the team continues to endure fluctuating weather and a leaky roof to build a helicopter which is lightweight and as aerodynamically efficient as possible. At the controls would be Reichert, who in additional to contributing some of the intellectual capital, would also be the engine that would power the helicopter. It was a task that required physical strength and endurance. Riechert’s training, which was designed by a former national team speed skating coach, was designed specifically for the requirements of the Sikorsky prize. The schedule involves one-to-two training sessions per day, including weights, bike workouts, sprint drills and circuit training. For the students who participated in the endeavour, the project was more than a unique way to spend the summer. It was an invaluable opportunity to apply their knowledge in a new and interesting way, with each student taking responsibility for designing different elements of the helicopter. Volume 7, Issue 1 / 5

A Bicycle Built for Flight

Left to right: Trefor Evans, Calvin Moes, Todd Reichert, Cameron Robertson and Alex Selwa

Trefor Evans (EngSci 1T4) was responsible for building the truss that would keep the helicopter together. “The design of this structure involved coding and developing a custom Finite Element program to determine the forces on components in the structure. I then had to go through the whole process of analyzing the structure under various loading conditions while ensuring every component of the truss survived thousands of failure modes. Once the ideal solution was found using an optimization algorithm, the truss was constructed,” Evans explained. Calvin Moes (EngSci 1T3 + PEY) oversaw the drive system design. “I am especially proud of the large spools onto which the rotors attach due to the effort involved and the quality of the result achieved. These parts went through three complete redesigns before the required strength was met and to me represent many weeks of designing, building, testing and revising. Each of the four spools is comprised of a carbon fibre hub and two-piece rim connected by 584 Kevlar spokes in a highly symmetric pattern. While weighing only several hundred grams, the spool can transmit far more torque than a typical car engine, as is necessary to spin the enormous rotor blades,” said Moes. Joining Evans and Moes was Alex Selwa (EngSci 1T5), who built the carbon fibre tubes that make up the majority of the structure. “One glance at the helicopter and I’m always reminded by the incredible amount of time that went into the construction of the carbon tubes,” he remarked. As the end of August approached, the team prepared to test their helicopter. Moving the base of operations to the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario, the AeroVelo 6 / Opt!ons

team had the first opportunity to fully assembled the helicopter and put its rotors into action. In the end, Atlas achieved flight for 15 seconds after suffering some breaks and bumps along the way during a week of testing. While the team would not be taking home the Sikorsky Prize this summer, the project is not over. The team intends to continuing test the helicopter with the hope of one day claiming the prize. Robertson explained that the team plans “... to do testing as soon as possible on the performance of the rotors as built, especially at different heights off the ground. We also hope to get the rotors each trimmed extremely precisely before further attempts. We’re taking steps to ensure that the whole team can be there for further attempts.” But perhaps the real prize is the lessons learned by the students who participated. “To have found a group of people whose values closely parallel my own has allowed me to learn and discover in an enthusiastic environment. It has also helped to clearly define the path I want to take in my studies and towards my future,” said Evans. “For many years I have looked up to many people who went the extra distance to be the best at what they do or to try for a goal that nobody else has achieved. Every man and woman on the AeroVelo team is that sort of person, and I am honoured to count myself among them,” added Moes.

You can continue to follow the team’s progress by visiting their website at

The team during a test flight.

NΨ’s Reunite Feature by Sarah Steed & Tom Vosper

Two classes gathered an impressive assembly of their Skule™ mates for the annual EngSci Spring Reunion Luncheon on June 2, 2012.

6T2 NΨ Aero’s reunited with their esteemed Professor Ben Etkin at UTIAS on June 1st. Special thanks to 6T2 NΨ Aero class leader Dr. Peter Hughes for initiating and organizing the UTIAS tour and a fine dinner afterward. In addition to Hughes and Etkin, attendees included David Surry, Bruce Gowans, Fernando Cicci, and their wives. During the dinner, a toast was raised to recently deceased 6T2 Aero classmate Dr. Mac Sinclair. Attendees reconvened again on Saturday to attend the Faculty’s Engineering Dinner at the Hyatt. 8T7 NΨ graduates from as far away as California, Arizona, Seattle and New Brunswick came together in the Engineering Annex to celebrate 25 years since graduation. Over 40 people from this class attended, one of which said “that’s 93% on the bell curve!”. Keir Buchan took the time to seek and encourage contact between 8 / Opt!ons

his EngSci Skule™ mates during the winter season, and those that had lost touch with one another especially benefited from the responsive turnout. “It was as though new friends were made”, explained Keir, since many of his Skule™ mates had not seen each other in decades. “Perhaps it is the passage of time that made looking back at the view sweeter than the actual crawl up the mountain. Everyone looked great. Who knew we would all end up being nice and interesting people,” Keir added. Many in attendance that day vowed that they certainly will not wait another 25 years to visit with each other again.

Reconnect with your class today. Utilize your EngSci Network! Contact to catch up with your Skule™ mates.

Top: Keir Buchan, Ted Chen, Eric Edwards, Jack Feder, Manjit Fervaha, Robert Harley, William Jarvis, Julie No Jarvis, Farid Kanji, Jan Kozel, George Labrakos, Gerald Lindo, Gregory Lopinski, Brian Lowery, Andrew Maidment, Roland Mark, Alexander McTavish, Michael Michez, Anthony Mrse, Susan Ng, Jashvant Patel, Geoffrey Peddle, Jeffrey Pervanas, Stephen Piggott, Edmund Sim, Michael Tammaro, Paul Tan, Adrian Wintle, Ian Woodbury Right: Mac Sinclair Far right: An Aero toast to Mac

Volume 7, Issue 1 / 9

90 Years Old & Stil Spinning Donald G. Ivey Feature by Erin Macnab

Image courtesy of University of Toronto Archives & Robert Lansdale Photography

Who, at 90 years old, can say that they play tennis regularly? Not many—however, Professor Donald G. Ivey is an extraordinary exception.

Professor Ivey taught Physics from 1949 to 1992, leaving an indelible impression on the minds of thousands of EngSci’s over 5 decades, while also hosting CBC’s “The Nature of Things,” pursuing tennis on a national level, and maintaining academic and administrative positions at the University of Toronto. “I enjoyed teaching all of my students.” Professor Donald G. Ivey recalls with a smile. “My devotion at the University of Toronto was always to teaching.” Ivey’s career with U of T began in 1949 when he was appointed Assistant Professor of Physics. He rose through the ranks, taking on administrative positions. Even after becoming Professor Emeritus—“Forgotten, but not gone,” Ivey chuckles— he continued to teach Physics. Professor Ivey’s dedication to education, his sense of humour, friendliness and steadfast demeanor in the face of student pranks stays fresh in the minds of his former students. Jim Courtney (NΨ 6T6) remembers one of Ivey’s wry teaching tactics: “[Ivey] liked to ask for a show of hands in response to some, usually physics, questions to demonstrate that democracy could not overpower the laws of physics. He would say, ‘See, democracy is not always right!’” Generations of EngSci students got their first introduction to University-level Physics from Ivey, and he remains a memorable figure to members of the EngSci family. “I had Professor Ivey for first year Physics in 1990. He also taught my Dad in 1967. My graduating class created a ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ style monolith in his honour and piled copies of his textbook [Volume 1 of Physics

in Two Volumes, first published in 1978] in front,” says Keith Ajmani (NΨ 9T4). In addition to his responsibilities with the University, he and his colleague Dr. Hume wrote, memorized and presented or performed many live physics programs using their own props. The success of their programs led to the general science television program, The Nature of Things which Dr. Ivey hosted for the first year. “I hosted for one year, but I didn’t want to simply read a teleprompter…” For Ivey, the appeal of hosting such a series came from a passion for the art of pedagogy. He explains, “Despite the fact that I went on to become the principal of New College and the Vice President of U of T, I continued to teach physics as I still thought teaching was the most important thing. I regarded teaching as my job—everything else was incidental, and the Engineering Physics and Science students were an engaged group.” Professor Ivey was a memorable figure in the EngSci classroom, challenging and inspiring first year students to think quickly. Arif Babul (NΨ 8T5) speaks for many graduates of Engineering Science when he says “I can still remember him walking the halls with his trademark pipe. He was one of the key figures that led to my becoming an astrophysicist.” Since retiring from teaching, Professor Ivey continues to pursue his other passion, tennis. National champion in the Over-75 and Over-80 divisions, Professor Ivey swept both the singles and doubles competitions in 2002, and recently celebrated his 90th birthday on the courts at Queen’s Club. Volume 7, Issue 1 / 11

90 Years Old & Still Spinning

“Our year was also the first year of New College’s existence; during the year it was announced [Ivey] would become the first Principal of New College for which he won great accolades from both students and faculty. I approached [Professor Hume] about a part-time job in third year running the early U. of T. mainframe computers (IBM 7090/7094) that helped finance my way through 3rd and 4th year. Both Don and Pat were true gentlemen in the world outside the classroom.” Jim Courtney, 6T6 “…I recall his problem sets were bloody hard, way beyond what I would consider a 1st year level now…he gave a great course.” Glenn Heppler, 7T7 “…[Ivey] was the only Professor I remember asking us to write a description of our reasons for choosing Engineering Science. He collected these and read several of them out to the class and they ranged from serious to comical…we felt connected to this Professor who was outside of Engineering but somehow was part of the Engineering family and passing through his class was like a rite of passage. If my memory serves me correctly I have a vision of him sitting on a chair and spinning around to demonstrate angular momentum conservation. His classes were engaging and he certainly left a lasting impression.” Rob James, 8T7 “On the very first problem set of the year we read “A hot rod is accelerating at 5m/s^2”. No-one could figure out why the temperature of the rod was relevant in a kinematics problem, and if it was somehow relevant, why weren’t we told the exact temperature? Eventually it clicked that hot rod was a previous generation’s word for automobile. Secondly, Professor Ivey taught me to love the bell curve. Physics was the first mid-term exam to be handed back. I felt a huge range of emotions from total despair to complete elation in the ten minutes between receiving my exam book with 44/160 in bright red ink on the cover, and later hearing it would be magically transformed to 85% due to the class average being 30-something out of 160!” Mark Langley, 9T2 12 / Opt!ons

“My first EngSci lecture was Prof. Ivey’s physics class in the MacLennan Physics building MP102. I still have his Physics textbook with all my other EngSci texts in my office and I refer to it occasionally. A great professor and fond memories!” Gary Saarenvirta, 8T8 “I remember sometimes spending more time figuring out how two students’ completely different approaches to the same problem could yield the same answer, and what that meant about the problem and the underlying physics, than coming up with one of those answers in the first place. Learning comes in funny ways. But then, Prof. Ivey probably knew that. First-year Ivey Physics is certainly one of the strongest memories I have of the four-year EngSci program, as does my wife. Along with first-year Burgess chemistry...” Ian Small, 8T6 “The biggest lesson I learned from Ivey was: after all the math, pick the answer that makes sense to the question. For example, if the math gives you a family of answers, choose the 1 gram beetle, not the 20 kg one walking across the phonograph.“ John Sun, 8T9 “I best recall Prof Ivey’s live demonstration of angular momentum with a spinning chair, and then watching a movie of the same scene.” Judith Vosko, 8T4 “…I also remember him sitting on a chair with a heavy ball on each hand to demonstrate the angular momentum. His white hair, smile, assignments and problem sets impressed me.” Wu Ming Wong, 8T6

Be a part of the NΨ conversation. Read more, contribute your own memories of Professor Ivey and connect with fellow graduates—join our exclusive Engineering Science Alumni and Senior Students LinkedIn Group.

Image courtesy of University of Toronto Archives & Robert Lansdale Photography



Ivey & Hume

NΨ’s: Exceptional Minds, Exceptional Opportunities Student Research by Sarah Steed

As a result of our focus on increasing the number of exclusive EngSci summer research placements during the 2011-2012 academic year, the new Exceptional Opportunities Award fund was created, and we have doubled the number of research placements offered to our students. Engineering Science Research Opportunity Program (ESROP) placements increased from 7 to 11 positions, The National University of Singapore (NUS) exchange program placements increased from 7 to 12, and we established 2 our new exchange placements at University of Osaka. 6 students also acquired positions in top tier international institutions with support from the fund. 14 / Opt!ons

Next summer our talented community of young minds will benefit from this fund’s first gift, generously donated by Mr. Bill Blundell (4T9), which will enable the necessary growth of this important program, allowing more EngSci’s the ability to afford competitive research positions at leading institutions world-wide. Here is a sampling of reflections and research descriptions from our summer of 2012 EngSci student recipients. Over 30 interesting and captivating student reflections can be found in extended versions on our website throughout The EngSci Experience section.

“Engineering Science has always been about reaching for new frontiers—being better than the best. I highly value my continuing association with the Program.” Bill Blundell

Afshin Ameri (1T4) at Harvard Medical School “Fabricating functioning body organs has been the dream of numerous scientists for many years…This summer I returned to Dr Khademhosseini’s lab at Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and technology (HST) as an EngSci Exceptional Opportunity fellow. I was involved in seeding isolated cardiac cells from rats on fabricated scaffolds that demonstrated excellent elastic properties. These cells were then electrically stimulated to mimic the natural conditions of the heart. I believe EngSci prepared me well, and this was one of most valuable experiences of my life— living at Harvard, exploring Boston and working in a world class research lab made me look at my future career from a different prospective. I was given the chance to build a strong network with the other scientists and professionals both inside and outside the lab.” Harris Chan (1T5) at University of Toronto “…My project was to set up and conduct an experiment to measure thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials. Thermoelectric materials can convert heat gradient into electrical current, while thermal conductivity relates to the material’s ability to conduct heat. Knowing a material’s thermal conductivity, along with other properties, allows the ranking of the material’s viability as a thermoelectric material. Through this Engineering Science Research Opportunities Program (ESROP), I was able to freely explore and learn many new skills as well as improve existing ones. I further developed my researching skills for navigating the scientific journals and extracting the relevant details. I also learned to use LabVIEW, a very useful graphical programming software to control the instruments, collect data, and automate the experiment. In preparing the sample, I was trained in basic photolithography techniques and conducted the process the Pratt cleanroom…Many more doors seemed to have been opened now—Thank you, Engineering Science supporters, for the future made possible!” Ang Cui (1T3) at Harvard and MIT “My project entails elucidating the biology of soil-based microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which utilize the natural

metabolism of soil-dwelling microbes to generate a small amount of electrical power. The first of two sets of experiments involves characterizing the dynamics of microbial populations in plain soil MFCs; the second involves designing novel inoculating materials to be added to soil to improve the power generation and identifying the microbial populations in these MFCs. The results of this work will be used to inform novel MFC designs, which may eventually be used in African countries to power LED lights or cell phone chargers. This project experience has been very rewarding because it gives me the opportunity to work in several fields…the computational skills I gained from my previous research experience in a computational biology lab at U of T, which was partially funded by ESROP, were particularly useful for analyzing the DNA sequencing data. Most importantly, the Engineering Science curriculum has prepared me to conduct and execute this multi-disciplinary project with confidence.” Oni Ornan Ephratt (1T5) at the Israel Institute of Technology “…I had the chance to develop a method for the autonomous and safe disassembling of piled blocks by means of robotic assessment and manipulation. This is an advancement for the field of Urban Search and Rescue robotic missions responding to earthquakes. It has been wonderful to hone my learning in a practical setting and contribute to meaningful work that could save lives.” Ana Klimovic (1T3) at University of California—Berkeley “For any wireless communication system, it is crucial to have a mechanism that detects and corrects errors that might occur when data is sent across a noisy channel. This mechanism, called an error correction code, involves an encoder which adds redundancy to the message data according to a pre-specified rule or “code.” This redundancy is then used by a decoder to identify and correct errors in data received at the destination. My task this summer was to design an encoder and decoder in hardware for a particular error correction code and test its performance on a programmable Volume 7, Issue 1 / 15

NΨ’s: Exceptional Minds, Exceptional Opportunities

chip called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). Throughout this project, I have learned a lot about error correction coding schemes, iterative decoding algorithms and hardware design methodology while gaining valuable experience with tools and hardware description languages that are widely used in both industry and academia for hardware design. With an internship at Ecole Polytechnique in France after first year, an internship at MIT after second year, and this summer at UC Berkeley my interest, curiosity and ambition to make a difference keep growing.” Bradley Kloostra (1T5) at the National University of Singapore “I conducted research with members of the Nanoscience & Nanosystems Group, concerning the synthesis and characterization of gold nanoparticles that can be deposited on photocatalysts to improve their effectiveness under visible light illumination. This work has applications in producing inexpensive solar cells as well as facilitating the generation of hydrogen gas from water for energy purposes…I travelled with the other Engineering Science students around the region, visiting Thailand and Malaysia as well as exploring the various neighbourhoods and attractions of Singapore. I learned as much outside the lab as in, discovering culture, history, food and language which has made my first trip to Asia unforgettable. My experience as a researcher has given me a great introduction to what I might do after graduating from Engineering Science and I have discovered that I am indeed interested in pursuing graduate work. Research is attractive because one does not have to confine oneself to a single area of interest; as progress is made, adapting to new knowledge and new insights is critical. This dynamism is very appealing to me. I will remember most: dining with colleagues, falling into the ocean in Borneo, trying chilli crab, and meeting helpful and motivated people. The connections I have developed and the friends I have made are an invaluable part of my EngSci experience…” Jeff Nicholls (1T3) at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron “My research revolved around the operation of a small electron accelerator named REGAE (Relativistic Electron Gun for Atomic Exploration) which will soon be used to conduct time resolved diffraction imaging, or as we like 16 / Opt!ons

to call it, “Making the Molecular Movie”. Essentially, the accelerator has the capability to image both chemical and biological transitions as they take place, something which has never truly been done before due to the speed at which these transitions occur: approximately 100 femtoseconds or 100 millionths of a billionth of a second. The machine is still in the early stages of its life, therefore I devoted almost all of my time to operating and optimizing the machine such as performing beam diagnostics, producing diffraction images, and investigating ways to improve the quality of operation. I am now certain that I will pursue a graduate degree in the field of accelerated physics after Engineering Science. This experience has opened me up to the true beauty of scientific collaboration. I am grateful for receiving this fellowship, and for being part of the Engineering Science community. The EngSci Exceptional Opportunities Award has been indespensible for my professional development. I hope one day to be in a position to give-back to sustain this program for future generations of EngSci students. Caroline Shung (1T3) at Osaka University “I had the opportunity to perform research in the area of Functional Tissue Engineering. I conducted experiments to help develop multi-scale viscoelastic biomechanical models of bovine femurs under stochastic loading conditions. Understanding the influence of mechanical forces is key in using these forces as a critical stimulus to modulate the structure and function of engineered tissues. Interacting with students from around the world and seeing not only the diversity in their areas of research but also their accomplishments was exciting and motivating.” Jonathan Yam (1T3) at Stanford University “I got a taste of cutting edge aerospace research working on integrating a stretchable piezoelectric sensor network into composite materials, which when built into an aircraft will provide information about its structural health state and is expected to revolutionize aircraft diagnostics by detecting stress and impact damage in real-time using ultrasonic waves. My experience here, and previous summer experiences at MIT and Harvard draw upon the wealth of analytical skills I have acquired from EngSci, which has served as the best foundation block I can imagine. Iam confident that the connections I have made and the diverse skills I have gained will be extremely valuable in my future career.”

NΨ Mentorship Feature by Marina Friere-Gormally (1T0+PEY)

Engineering Science is a culture of people who share their time, resources and knowledge. 9T9 + PEY Electrical Option graduate, George Babu is a successful entrepreneur, a Registered Patent Agent in Canada and yet “completing EngSci was the toughest thing I’ve ever done,” says George. It may have been challenging, but it didn’t break his spirit. He believes the EngSci experience supported him in his entrepreneurial path. “I discovered how to deconstruct and reconstruct my own theories rather than just regurgitate & apply existing formulas [which is] critical for start-ups that innovate & reinvent business models,” he explains. “Most of all, I discovered what it takes to persevere,” he says, and his path from Skule™ led him to become the head of North American operations for Wrapp, a Greylock & Atomico backed technology start-up with operations in over nine countries. Previously George was VP, Finance and Operations at Rypple, and also one of the co-founders along with repeat entrepreneurs, David Stein & Daniel Debow. Rypple is a social performance platform which was acquired by in late 2011 and recently relaunched as George also spent nine years at RIM with the RF Research & Development team, and then with the Intellectual Property team building up RIM™s patent portfolio & helping debunk infringement lawsuits. “I didn’t discover the value of mentorship until I returned to school in 2006 to do my JD/MBA,” explains George. George has had several mentors of his own throughout his career, and he believes strongly that learning from their experiences and guidance heavily influenced how he got to where he is today. “Remembering my own uncertainties in my first year of engineering, I felt a responsibility to help others who might be in the same boat, by sharing lessons learnt throughout my career and life” explains George.

He decided to share his passion for entrepreneurship and hard work with today’s NΨ’s through the First Year Job Shadow Mentorship Program, and was partnered with mentees Linda Liu and Teddy Lin. Linda was inspired to stay in EngSci in large part because of George’s mentoring. “He showed me that EngSci allowed him to develop skills that are critical to success and progress, and that he gained the confidence and skills to do well in everything,” she says. George occasionally works with fellow graduates of our program as well. He explains that, “several of us are trying to hatch our next world changing technology start-up. So I may get to work with a lot more of my EngSci colleagues in the future!” George continues to give back to the Engineering Science community as a member of the newly formed Engineering Science Board of Advisors. He looks forward to the experience, explaining, “it was a tremendous honour to be asked to join the Board, and an opportunity to give back to a program that has meant the world to me. I only hope that I can do it justice!” George will be speaking at the EngSci Alumni Dinner on April 5th 2013—“I believe that Canada (and the West in general) is at a cross-roads…Innovation & entrepreneurship are some of the few tools we possess to help us avoid becoming economic basket-cases, and EngSci’s are bestequipped to lead the charge both within their organizations and through creating new ventures that disrupt existing models and create new markets.”

To hear more of George’s perspectives, and re-connect with your EngSci Skule™ mates reserve your tickets to the 13th Annual Engineering Science Alumni Dinner through the link on our homepage at Volume 7, Issue 1 / 17

Introducing the Board of Directors Feature by Jennifer Lancaster

As we reflect on a rich history of volunteerism, alumni support and the contributions of dedicated friends, faculty and staff, the Division of Engineering Science would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you.

Each graduate of EngSci is an ambassador of the program; you and your successes have attracted the best and brightest students from across Canada and around the world to the ranks of NΨ. You are our supporters, and with your continued generosity we are able to celebrate academic excellence through scholarship, and provide state-of-the -art facilities for our students. Building on the strength of our program, Engineering Science will strive to transform the student experience by providing exceptional opportunities for our outstanding students. Opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from internationally renowned institutions, support summer internships with professors who are at the top of their field and secure placements at some of the most exciting new start-ups. The newly established Engineering Science Board of Advisors is a dedicated group of volunteers who are determined to see our vision for Engineering Science realized. Together with Chair and Professor Mark Kortschot, they are committed to transforming the NΨ student experience. It is our pleasure to formally announce the 2012-2013 Engineering Science Board of Advisors: George Babu (EngSci 9T9, MBA 1T0, JD 1T0), Laura Fujino, Stephen Georgas (EngSci 7T1), Kenneth Carless (KC) Smith (EngSci 5T4, ElecE MASc 5T6, PhD 6T0) and Ravindran (Ravi) Thuraisingham (EngSci 8T8, ChemE MASc 9T4). Stephen Georgas, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP Stephen specializes in technology and intellectual property law. His practice includes counselling clients on all matters relating to invention patentability, trademarks, copyright infringement and validity matters, industrial designs,

and assists clients in the commercialization of their intellectual property through joint ventures and licensing. He appears before tribunals at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, and before the courts in litigation relating to patent, copyright, and trade mark infringement. His extensive experience in technology law includes providing counsel to a wide range of private sector companies on computer and software licensing, distribution, system procurement and e-commerce. As a registered professional engineer, he brings in- depth practical and technical knowledge to understanding client problems. Prior to practising law, Stephen was with a major international data processing manufacturer and also consulted on systems analysis in the data processing field. His expertise encompasses a range of computer hardware and software systems. He brings this practical knowledge from both the vendor’s and the user’s perspective to benefit clients of the firm. “I donate to EngSci because it is my way of giving back to a program that I have found to be not only invaluable over the years but also instrumental in shaping my career.” KC Smith, Professor Emeritus and Founder of Z-Tech After completing all three degrees at the University of Toronto, KC accepted a position of Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Toronto. In 1961 he joined the University of Illinois, Urbana, as a Research Assistant Professor, reaching the rank of Associate Professor in 1965. That year, he re-joined the University of Toronto, where he was appointed to the rank of Full Professor in 1970, and served as the Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1976 to 1981. For the period 1993 to 1998, he served part-time Volume 7, Issue 1 / 19

The NΨ Network: Introducing the Board of Directors

as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where he was the Founding Director of Computer Engineering. As well, he is an Advisory Professor at the Shanghai Tiedao University. KC has extensive industrial experience in the design and application of computers, medical instrumentation, and electronic circuits generally, as instigator, director, manager, designer, and consultant. He is widely published including the book “Microelectronic Circuits” by Sedra and Smith, originally published in 1982, and now in its Sixth Edition, published in 2010 by Oxford University Press, the book has been translated into many languages, and adopted by hundreds of universities around the world. In 2008, book sales reached over one million. Amongst his numerous affiliations with professional associations, is his former directorship and presidency of the Canadian Society for Professional Engineers. As well, he has held a variety of posts in Societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), most notably and currently on the Executive Committee of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), as Press/Publicity Chair and as Awards/ Recognition Chair. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1978 for “Contributions to Digital Circuit Design,” and made Life Fellow of the IEEE in 1996. KC was a founding member of Z-Tech (Canada), a Torontobased medical instrumentation company, for which he served in an advisory capacity as Principal Scientist on breast-cancer screening instrumentation. In this role, several patents were applied for and granted. “My goal is to support Engineering Science as a unique element of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, as a diverse dynamic experimental milieu which has had and will have enormous impact on its history, current status, and expanding future in a multidisplinary world.”

and is now focused on his CFO role to expand the business to the next level. He has a wealth of energy industry knowledge, beginning with his degree in Engineering Science, Nuclear option. He later applied his business acumen to launching large-scale energy businesses; he launched retail energy businesses collectively worth several hundred million dollars, and created a wholesale trading operation for a mid-sized utility. With nearly 20 years of varied energy industry experience, Ravi now applies his unique perspective to the future of the energy industry: solar power. Ravi holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program (EngSci 8T8), nuclear option, and Masters of Applied Science from Chemical Engineering depart at University of Toronto. Ravi is a holder of a CFA Charter from Chartered Financial Analysts organization. He is an executive member the Bel Air Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Inc., as well a Charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) organization. “Engineering Science provides a long lasting foundation for the graduates to pursue pretty much any career—it gives you the confidence to teach yourself any profession. I was pleased to meet many Alumni in California and it is my goal to expand the Alumni network in California and across US and make the program even more valuable to graduates.” George Babu, General Counsel & Vice President, Operations, Wrapp and member of the EngSci Board was featured on page 17. Laura Fujino, International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ICCSS) Director of Press and Publications and Managing Editor, IEEEXplore and member of the EngSci Board is featured on the next page.

Ravi Thuraisingham, President and Chief Financial Officer, American Solar Direct

“My attraction to and support for Engineering Science is motivated by its breadth of topic, diversity of its people (faculty, students, and alumni), and diversity of their personal and collective accomplishments.”

An energy industry veteran and innovator, Ravi Thuraisingham is the President, Chief Financial officer and co-founder of American Solar Direct Inc. (ASD), a Santa Monica, California based solar service provider focused on the residential segment. Ravi managed all aspects of the company’s operations from inception

As Engineering Science embarks on an ambitious goal to provide our students with exceptional opportunities, international exchanges, scholarship support and new collaborative design facilities, we would like to thank KC, Laura, Ravi, George and Stephen for their generosity and commitment.

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Honours & Accolades Feature by Jennifer Lancaster

This year, we are pleased to announce and recognize three University of Toronto Arbor Award winners Isabel Bayrakdarian (Biomedical, 9T6+PEY), Laura Fujino and Julian Kuerti (Physics, 9T9).

Established in 1998, this award recognizes volunteers for outstanding personal service to the University of Toronto. This year our volunteers demonstrated their dedication, generosity, and loyalty to our program and community, substantially improving the quality of the EngSci experience. Isabel Bayrakdarian An internationally renowned soprano, Isabel burst onto the opera scene after winning first prize in the 2000 Operalia competition founded by Plácido Domingo. In 2009, Isabel took a short break from her busy concert schedule to volunteer her time and talent in celebration of Engineering Science’s 75th anniversary. Isabel even provided a rare opportunity for our engineering alumni to perform on stage alongside her, accompanied by the Skule™ Orchestra. Isabel is a proud ambassador for the program, making mention of her days at Skule™ in almost every public interview. Laura Fujino A dedicated volunteer, Laura spends much of her time mentoring and supporting our Engineering Science students. Laura’s generosity, energy, and spirit have opened doors to graduate schools, career opportunities and volunteer positions for our students and have had an immeasurable impact. Spanning several decades, Laura’s commitment to EngSci continues to evolve and we are particularly grateful for her support as a member of the newly created

Engineering Science Board of Advisors. The Division would also like to take this opportunity to thank Laura for establishing the Laura Chizuko Fujino Scholarship in Engineering Science. This new scholarship will celebrate female students entering 3rd or 4th year in the Electrical and Computer Major and will provide the recipient the opportunity to intern with Professor Anantha Chandrakasan, Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Julian Kuerti Conductor Julian Kuerti was recently appointed Principle Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile. Julian has led numerous orchestras cross North America including those of Boston, Houston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Seattle, Montreal, and Toronto; the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the New York City Opera. Leading the Skule™ Orchestra at the 75th Anniversary alongside Isabel Bayrakdarian in December 2009, Julian masterfully conducted and offered valuable advice to our aspiring engineering student musicians. He spent considerable time with members of the Skule™ Orchestra, offering his support, wisdom and tutelage. Like Isabel, Julian proudly highlights his engineering degree in his official bio. The 75th anniversary concert was an overwhelming success, attended by EngSci’s, engineering alumni and President David Naylor. We are continually grateful for Isabel and Julian’s support and are delighted by their successes and accomplishments. Volume 7, Issue 1 / 21

Direct NΨ Impact Feature by Hana Lee

As the academic counsellor of first and second year EngSci students, I witness the strong impact EngSci mentors have on their EngSci protégés.

Graduates are experts who have been through the ranks of EngSci themselves, who can empower current students and provide authentic and pertinent guidance. Regardless of the field an EngSci pursues, the knowledge and insight a student gains from mentor-mentee relations is invaluable, yet finding a mentor can be intimidating. Kevin Murray (1T1 + PEY) recalls, while searching for undergraduate programs and universities, that “no one in my family had ever been an Engineer, let alone an EngSci. My parents and I thought it was important to discuss the various choices with someone experienced in the field”. Five years ago, when Kevin was still a high school student, Dr. Ian Rowe (5T8) and Kevin discussed his interests, talents and pursuits in the context of seeking a University education. After much thought Dr. Rowe encouraged Kevin to pursue Engineering Science at the U of T because it was, in his opinion, the best fit for him. Now Kevin has graduated from EngSci as well. 22 / Opt!ons

As fellow graduates, they recently reflected upon their mentor relations and their EngSci story. Commencing in the 50s as a student mentee himself, Dr. Rowe benefited from the lifetime guidance of Dr. Phillip A. Lapp (5T0) and Professor Gordon Slemon—former Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the U of T. His relationship with Professor Slemon evolved over the course of his graduate education and their careers, which led to collaboration between them on a number of projects. To this point Dr. Rowe stated that, “In true mentoring one does not begin mentoring. It results from a relationship that develops over time.” Professor Slemon later became Dr. Rowe’s nominator for the prestigious fellowship of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. In turn Dr. Rowe now provides guidance to the next generation of engineers. He pointed out that there is a steady rise in demand for talent, including “fast trackers”, such as EngSci’s, and that it is important to encourage their growth in the fields of Science and Engineering.

His mentors, and organizations such as the Athlone Fellowship, enhanced his studies, research, and progress, which has instilled a genuine sense of responsibility to give back to others who can reap the same benefits. In addition, he is drawn to “talking to young people and inquiring about their interests and life goals.” Dr. Rowe reflected on his initial encounter with Kevin and described meeting someone who “possessed an open and questioning mind”. At the time, Kevin showed strong affinity for aerospace engineering and computer systems, but was not aware of the EngSci program. Dr. Rowe remembered thinking how much of an oversight this was and arranged a trip to Toronto to enable Kevin to meet some of our students. This fall Kevin began his graduate studies in electrical and computer engineering at the U of T. Kevin recalls their conversations regarding the pursuit of graduate studies and the importance of getting involved in professional societies. He remarked on how his mentoring relations with Dr. Rowe has made a significant and

positive difference in his engineering undergraduate education and contributed well to the experience he has gained in industry. To that end Dr Rowe stated, “…that Kevin’s Professional Experience Year (PEY) was a success demonstrated by his being the highest rated of the 100 engineering interns at AMD in 2011.” Kevin claims that Dr. Rowe’s advice helped him make more informed decisions by outlining important factors to consider and presenting different alternatives. Dr. Rowe provided him with candid feedback and offered practical, personally tailored advice that suited his interests and needs. As a strong supporter of mentoring relations based on mutual respect and interest, Dr. Rowe explained that he too has gained from the interactions. As EngSci’s, they have attended several Engineering Science Alumni Dinners together, which Kevin recalls “has always been a great experience”. Dr. Rowe noted that while they have made not made extraordinary efforts to stay in touch, their personal commitment strengthened their relationship over the years. He emphasized

that “it takes two to establish a successful mentoring relationship” and that mentors should “provide an environment that encourages openness and engages constructive dialogue, particularly when being critical. Be prepared to introduce a mentee on to others; networking is immensely powerful.” When asked for tips, Dr. Rowe and Kevin elaborated two recommendations: students should reach out to the experts in the field as there will be willing sponsors to provide guidance and share insights gained from their personal experience, and secondly, students should be open and honest with their mentors—it is okay to share concerns about uncertainties and limits. They underlined that there was absolutely no need to impress the mentors—a mentor should provide open and candid advice to facilitate a mentee’s growth. “Don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni and engineers working in industry. Many are more than willing to provide the useful insight and guidance that only experience can bring.” —Kevin Murray.

Has a fellow EngSci helped to shape your career and life? We would like to share stories on our website and in future editions of Opt!ons Magazine.

Willing to have a first year EngSci student shadow you at work for a day through our 2013 Engineering Science Reading Week Mentorship Program? Write to

Above: Kevin Murray (1T1 + PEY) and Dr. Ian Rowe (5T8) at the 12th Annual Engineering Science Alumni Dinner in The Great Hall, Hart House. Volume 7, Issue 1 / 23

NΨ Entrepreneur & Scientist Q&A with Chris Wilmer Interview by Sarah Steed

A new class of crystals called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) may change how the world stores, transports and separates gases. Each crystal contains trillions of nanoscopic pores that are large enough to contain just a few molecules of gas.

0T7 EngSci graduate Chris Wilmer is a remarkable entrepreneur who recently founded a new startup company NuMat Technologies, and in June 2012 the company won the inaugural U.S. Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

Since then the company has raised over $1 million USD from angel investors and other business plan competitions. Chris is currently wrapping up his PhD research in the Chemical & Biological Engineering Department at Northwestern University, where he was recently recognized for his impact on sustainable energy research with an Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern fellowship. His research has led to the fabrication of many new materials with unprecedented properties—a crystalline sponge for storing natural gas which, featured on the cover of Nature Chemistry (February 2012), and a porous material that currently holds the world record for highest surface area, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society as well as Popular Science. Q: Chris, with the first place Business Plan and being published, among so many other achievements, what are you most proud of? In my heart, I am a scientist, and that’s why Engineering Science was the only engineering program for me. The ability to take science and use it to develop new technologies was an exciting extra benefit (of being in an engineering program). In the same spirit, reflecting on my PhD at Northwestern University, I am most proud of my purely scientific accomplishments. However, creating a start-up company was, and continues to be exciting. Q: What do you invest yourself and your time into most out of all your endeavours and projects? We are always developing new materials, specifically metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), here at Northwestern. My close collaborator and synthetic chemist, Dr. Omar Farha, comes by my office every day with ideas for new materials that promise to revolutionize everything from storing hydrogen in cars to safely killing cancerous tumors. I test these ideas using computer simulations, which is my area of specialty. The simulations quickly weed out ideas

that will definitely not work from ideas that have a chance. Then we go to the lab and make the material. So, imagine doing that while writing grant proposals, research papers, teaching classes, traveling to conferences, and managing a start-up a company, and you have a pretty good sense of where my time is invested. Q: Reflecting back on your time in EngSci, what did you gather and learn here that was the spring board for the heights you have reached today? Engineering Science was a tough program that challenged me to think hard about my life priorities. I regained my footing, following a rocky start in first year, by choosing to spend my time wisely on the things that mattered to me (i.e. science) and ended up graduating with honors. When I later went to graduate school, I encountered many students who never made up their mind about what was ultimately important to them. I knew I wanted to push the frontiers of scientific knowledge and develop breakthrough technologies. Having a personal mission statement, forged in the kiln that is Engineering Science, has undoubtedly contributed to my successes. Q: Are there professors and lessons here that influenced you more so while you were in the EngSci program, and how? Prof. Jun Nogami, Prof. Geoffrey Ozin, and Prof. Harry Ruda were notable mentors for me. Now that I have a better understanding of how busy they were, I can really appreciate the time they took to give me advice on my future career. Most importantly, they believed in me. Q: What advice can you reply to EngSci students who may be interested in taking a similar post-graduate path? You can do it! As many alumni will tell you, everything is easier after EngSci, including graduate school. Starting companies and participating in business plan competitions is also very fun. I highly recommend it. Volume 7, Issue 1 / 25

1T2’s—The Latest Crop To Be Proud Of Written by Sarah Steed

40% of our recent graduates have chosen to enter industry, and 60% have chosen Graduate School programs with 35% studying in Canada, 20% in U.S.A. and 5% overseas. Multiple students from the 1T2 class have moved on to illustrious programs at MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, U of Michigan, U of T, UTIAS and IBBME to name a few. Amir Allana Market Development Strategist for Engineers Without Borders Canada, based in Uganda.

Benjamin Hare A member of AMD’s Business Core team, with a focus on hardware/ software interaction.

Moussa Chehade Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, working on multi-modal imaging.

Joel Kimelman Bombardier Aerospace, Aircraft Performance Engineer.

Cheryl Cui Medical Engineering and Medical Physics at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology. Rafal Dittwald Language education technology start-up, Penyo Pal, incubated at The Next 36.

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Lee Liu Physics at Harvard University.

Jonathan Sun Master of Architecture at Yale University. Editor-in-chief of the annual Yale School of Architecture publication “Retrospecta”. Saksham Uppal Associate at the Boston Consulting Group. 2012 summer intern for the UN World Food Programme in Rome, Italy. Co-founder of not-for-profit Social Spark.

Wilson Poon Biomedical Engineering at McGill University. 2012 summer employment at A*STAR labs in Singapore.

Hire a dedicated and bright EngSci. Advertise for your vacant positions as Professional Experience Year, summer, part time or full time work by writing to Utilize your NY Network.

Where are you now NΨ’s? Written by Sarah Steed

Jan Chodas (7T8) is Deputy Director of NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Success and is involved in reviewing the Mars Science Laboratory regarding entry, descent and landing work and the preparations for surface operations. Jan and many of her team members contributed to Curiosity’s extremely technically difficult yet successful landing on Mars. “We were all absolutely thrilled at Curiosity’s successful landing, which made the event all the more satisfying.” Joan (Grant) Deitchman (0T3) recently competed in the Race Across America (RAAM), a 4800km non-stop bicycle race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland, finishing in second place in a time of 12 days, 18 hours, 46 minutes. She is the first woman representing Canada to complete the course, and the 31st woman ever! In 2011 she completed in Race Across the West (RAW) and became the first female solo rider to ever finish the race. It took her 2 days, 22 hours, 58 minutes. Joan lives now in California working for Netflix. Her motto, compliments of T.S. Elliot: “Only those who are willing to go too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Read more about Joan on our website in the News section

Get Involved NΨs!

When you were a student you wanted to know… What job prospects will I have as an EngSci? What will EngSci do to prepare me for my graduate school of choice? You hold the answers. You represent what and who EngSci is. Keep us informed of your current contact, employer, position / title and post-EngSci education information. The collection of your information will lead to accurate facts and figures regarding our 5000+ graduates, and enables us to better inform potential and current students, professors and employers with information about what Engineering Physics and Science alumni are doing out in the world. The added value for you? A strong network of leaders who can potentially enrich your career, business, and life. Help us help you reconnect you with your Skule™ mates—your global NΨ Network. 416-978-8634 Volume 7, Issue 1 / 27

! Opt!ons is the alumni magazine for the Division of Engineering Science. The magazine’s name refers not only to the eight different Options (Majors) EngSci students choose from, but also to the wide range of career paths available to our graduates. By showcasing the leadership and innovation of EngSci students and graduates, Opt!ions intends to engage with our community and the Engineering world at large.

The 13th Annual Engineering Science Alumni Dinner Friday, April 5th 2013 Hart House, Great Hall 6:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Dinner Keynote Speaker: George Babu 9T9, General Counsel & Vice President of Operations for Wrapp. Why EngSci is more important than ever before for Canada’s economic future. To purchase tickets or sponsor the event please visit the engsci homepage or go directly to

EngSci 2013 Spring Reunion Luncheon Saturday, June 1st 2013 Bahen Centre, 2nd Floor Atrium Noon to 2:00 p.m. Visit our homepage at in the new year to register for all Spring Reunion events, including this luncheon.

Division of Engineering Science Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering University of Toronto


Bahen Centre for Information Technology 40 St. George Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2E4 Tel: 416.978.8634 Fax: 416.978.0828

Opt!ons Alumni Magazine 2012  

2012-2013 - Division of Engineering Science, University of Toronto Volume 7, Issue 1