Page 1

SPRING 2011

Schulich E N G I N E E R

EIGHT FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING

+ Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope BY PETER CALAMAI

The entrepreneurial engineer: Notes on the making of StumbleUpon BY LAURA SILVER

S CHULICH

A1

ENGINEER


Schulich Engineer Permission to reproduce any part of this publication for commercial purposes should be obtained by writing to the address below. Reproduction for other purposes should acknowledge the source.

CONTENTS

INTERIM DEAN Anil Mehrotra

VIEWPOINT

DEPARTMENTS

EDITORIAL TEAM Executive Editor Mary Anne Moser Managing Editor Jennifer Sowa Production and Copy Editor Amy Dowd

Why I went into engineering even though I planned to start a business

In conversation with Josephine Hill, Lorraine Whale, and Steven Knudsen

BY TYLER BRILL

PAGE 5

CONTRIBUTORS Tyler Brill, Peter Calamai, Amy Dowd, Dena Ghoneim, Patrick Miller, Laura Silver, Jennifer Sowa

SPRING 2011

PAGE 2 People

FEATURES Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope

PAGE 52

REVERSE ENGINEERING

BY PETER CALAMAI

PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Bolin, Riley Brandt, Mary Bren, Peter Calamai, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Gibbs Gage Architects, Colin Dalton, Amy Dowd, Maureen Evans, Glenbow Museum, Chris Hayden, James McMenamin, Patrick Miller, Rizwan Nathoo, Ray Peng, Pivotal Projects, Saeid Saidi, Serey Sinn, Jennifer Sowa, Kevin Zwaagstra

PAGE 9 The entrepreneurial engineer: Notes on the making of StumbleUpon

CONTACT INFORMATION Jennifer Sowa Schulich Engineer Dean’s Office, EN C202 Schulich School of Engineering 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4 Email: magazine@schulich.ucalgary.ca Website: www.schulich.ucalgary.ca ON THE COVER Photo illustration with Glenbow Museum imagery for “Eight frontiers of engineering to improve urban life.”

Cert no. SW-COC-000952

PAGE 60

BY LAURA SILVER

PAGE 17

????????????????

Experiencing innovation in Africa

DID YOU

PAGE 24 DESIGN Sasges Inc.

Schulich Engineer magazine survey results

?

Eight frontiers of engineering to improve urban life

KNOW

PAGE 32

????????????????

In your backyard: Photo feature

Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla Corporation, which created the Firefox web browser, has two degrees from the University of Calgary.

PAGE 42

????????????????


Schulich Engineer Permission to reproduce any part of this publication for commercial purposes should be obtained by writing to the address below. Reproduction for other purposes should acknowledge the source.

CONTENTS

INTERIM DEAN Anil Mehrotra

VIEWPOINT

DEPARTMENTS

EDITORIAL TEAM Executive Editor Mary Anne Moser Managing Editor Jennifer Sowa Production and Copy Editor Amy Dowd

Why I went into engineering even though I planned to start a business

In conversation with Josephine Hill, Lorraine Whale, and Steven Knudsen

BY TYLER BRILL

PAGE 5

CONTRIBUTORS Tyler Brill, Peter Calamai, Amy Dowd, Dena Ghoneim, Patrick Miller, Laura Silver, Jennifer Sowa

SPRING 2011

PAGE 2 People

FEATURES Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope

PAGE 52

REVERSE ENGINEERING

BY PETER CALAMAI

PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Bolin, Riley Brandt, Mary Bren, Peter Calamai, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Gibbs Gage Architects, Colin Dalton, Amy Dowd, Maureen Evans, Glenbow Museum, Chris Hayden, James McMenamin, Patrick Miller, Rizwan Nathoo, Ray Peng, Pivotal Projects, Saeid Saidi, Serey Sinn, Jennifer Sowa, Kevin Zwaagstra

PAGE 9 The entrepreneurial engineer: Notes on the making of StumbleUpon

CONTACT INFORMATION Jennifer Sowa Schulich Engineer Dean’s Office, EN C202 Schulich School of Engineering 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4 Email: magazine@schulich.ucalgary.ca Website: www.schulich.ucalgary.ca ON THE COVER Photo illustration with Glenbow Museum imagery for “Eight frontiers of engineering to improve urban life.”

Cert no. SW-COC-000952

PAGE 60

BY LAURA SILVER

PAGE 17

????????????????

Experiencing innovation in Africa

DID YOU

PAGE 24 DESIGN Sasges Inc.

Schulich Engineer magazine survey results

?

Eight frontiers of engineering to improve urban life

KNOW

PAGE 32

????????????????

In your backyard: Photo feature

Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla Corporation, which created the Firefox web browser, has two degrees from the University of Calgary.

PAGE 42

????????????????


VIEWPOINT

Tyler Brill (third from left) and his parents Peter and Bev with the rock band KISS. Brill met bassist Gene Simmons through one of his business ventures.

BY TYLER BRILL

Photo courtesy Tyler Brill

Why I went into engineering even though I planned to start a business I DON ’ T THINK MANY PEOPLE GO INTO ENGINEERING JUST SO THEY CAN TURN AROUND AND DO SOMETHING ELSE , BUT THAT WAS MY PLAN ALL ALONG.

I always wanted to have my own business. My dad was an engineer and a business owner so I saw the potential of being in a position to manage the direction of a company. I’m interested in the big picture. Engineering provided a really good foundation for me. I chose mechanical engineering because I considered it the most generic since it covers so many different aspects of engineering. I wanted a degree that would provide a strong knowledge base that I could apply to a multitude of business opportunities. Early on, I didn’t know what those opportunities were going to be, but it was important for me to be in a position to be able to go for it when the timing was right. I was involved in multiple student councils and was president of the Engineering Students’ Society in my final year. This was good social training. You meet a lot of amazing people through engineering: people who can handle challenges. They’re often the leaders you meet in school. These are the people you should get to know as they tend to excel after graduation. I incorporated my first business when I was an undergraduate. One of my engineering buddies Peter Bubik and I

started a web company in 1996. We had a few industry contacts and we made a few websites. We even built an e-commerce site, which back then, was really cutting edge. It was an interesting challenge to be engineers and try to figure out the coding and everything else that went along with learning the technology. That was the beginning of my web company, Mantix Media, which builds websites and provides both front-end design and back-end custom development. I find the web engaging and challenging because there’s always new technology. That’s where my engineering background comes in. I’m interested in figuring out how things work. On the business side of things, I’m interested in how to apply the new technologies to make my clients generate more revenue or operate more efficiently. My second company is Trophy Hunters Alberta, which offers big-game hunting to non-residents of Alberta. This is a combination of marketing to a worldwide market and organizing allinclusive trips to Alberta. Through this business, I’ve been able to meet some amazing people – some of them famous – which is a perk I never expected after graduating from engineering. I met Gene Simmons from KISS and received special all-access passes to hang out with the band backstage in Calgary. I recently hosted Brock Lesnar, mixed martial artist, former professional wrestler and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion. Another business is rental properties. I organize each rental property similar to a mini-business to keep it

S CHULICH

2

ENGINEER

TYLER’S START UP BUSINESSES

Do what you enjoy and make sure it’s a good match for you. Build a business upon your strengths. And you have to expect that some of your ideas will fail. Brill leads Mantix Media Group Ltd. (mantixmedia.com) and Trophy Hunters Alberta Inc. (trophyhunters.ca) and owns rental properties on the Hawaiian island of Maui (bestcondosonmaui.com).

non-emotional. It’s dangerous to get emotionally attached to a property because you can make unsound business decisions. If the cash flow is negative each month, it’s not a wise business decision to keep the property no matter how much you personally like it. You need to ensure that each property is generating a positive cash flow. To help ensure the properties are rented out, I built a website to handle all the bookings. Being a successful entrepreneur is about eyeing new opportunities and

being in the position to take advantage of those opportunities. That takes more than just money. It requires time and focus. As an entrepreneur, you need time to think and conceptualize. Getting the business idea is the easy part. The most difficult step is converting that idea into a positive cash flow system. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not one of those people who goes to work all day and can shut it off at the end of the day. You’re continually thinking about things in the back of your head.

S CHULICH

3

ENGINEER

If something’s not working, you’re thinking about it 24/7 because you’re responsible for making sure it works. And you have to be able to take risks, because you learn as you go and you have to figure out what might work and what definitely doesn’t work. Just after graduation, I started a company called Xtreme Xscapes. We were a tourism booking agent for adventures in the Rocky Mountains and it went well until one of our frontline partners went bankrupt. We realized we were relying too heavily on them and that was a lesson about the importance of being in direct contact with customers. So we learned something, picked up the pieces, and started on a new venture. If something fails, try something else. All businesses won’t make a bunch of money, but I think it’s worth investing your time and finances to try something that does. People always say this, perhaps because it’s true: you have to follow your passion. Do what you enjoy and make sure it’s a good match for you. Build a business upon your strengths. And you have to expect that some of your ideas will fail. Otherwise, being an entrepreneur would be way too simple. Tyler Brill graduated from the Schulich School of Engineering in 1999 with a BSc in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer integrated manufacturing. He was president of the Engineering Students’ Society in 1998 and served as chair of the Engineering Endowment Fund from 2002 to 2006.


VIEWPOINT

Tyler Brill (third from left) and his parents Peter and Bev with the rock band KISS. Brill met bassist Gene Simmons through one of his business ventures.

BY TYLER BRILL

Photo courtesy Tyler Brill

Why I went into engineering even though I planned to start a business I DON ’ T THINK MANY PEOPLE GO INTO ENGINEERING JUST SO THEY CAN TURN AROUND AND DO SOMETHING ELSE , BUT THAT WAS MY PLAN ALL ALONG.

I always wanted to have my own business. My dad was an engineer and a business owner so I saw the potential of being in a position to manage the direction of a company. I’m interested in the big picture. Engineering provided a really good foundation for me. I chose mechanical engineering because I considered it the most generic since it covers so many different aspects of engineering. I wanted a degree that would provide a strong knowledge base that I could apply to a multitude of business opportunities. Early on, I didn’t know what those opportunities were going to be, but it was important for me to be in a position to be able to go for it when the timing was right. I was involved in multiple student councils and was president of the Engineering Students’ Society in my final year. This was good social training. You meet a lot of amazing people through engineering: people who can handle challenges. They’re often the leaders you meet in school. These are the people you should get to know as they tend to excel after graduation. I incorporated my first business when I was an undergraduate. One of my engineering buddies Peter Bubik and I

started a web company in 1996. We had a few industry contacts and we made a few websites. We even built an e-commerce site, which back then, was really cutting edge. It was an interesting challenge to be engineers and try to figure out the coding and everything else that went along with learning the technology. That was the beginning of my web company, Mantix Media, which builds websites and provides both front-end design and back-end custom development. I find the web engaging and challenging because there’s always new technology. That’s where my engineering background comes in. I’m interested in figuring out how things work. On the business side of things, I’m interested in how to apply the new technologies to make my clients generate more revenue or operate more efficiently. My second company is Trophy Hunters Alberta, which offers big-game hunting to non-residents of Alberta. This is a combination of marketing to a worldwide market and organizing allinclusive trips to Alberta. Through this business, I’ve been able to meet some amazing people – some of them famous – which is a perk I never expected after graduating from engineering. I met Gene Simmons from KISS and received special all-access passes to hang out with the band backstage in Calgary. I recently hosted Brock Lesnar, mixed martial artist, former professional wrestler and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion. Another business is rental properties. I organize each rental property similar to a mini-business to keep it

S CHULICH

2

ENGINEER

TYLER’S START UP BUSINESSES

Do what you enjoy and make sure it’s a good match for you. Build a business upon your strengths. And you have to expect that some of your ideas will fail. Brill leads Mantix Media Group Ltd. (mantixmedia.com) and Trophy Hunters Alberta Inc. (trophyhunters.ca) and owns rental properties on the Hawaiian island of Maui (bestcondosonmaui.com).

non-emotional. It’s dangerous to get emotionally attached to a property because you can make unsound business decisions. If the cash flow is negative each month, it’s not a wise business decision to keep the property no matter how much you personally like it. You need to ensure that each property is generating a positive cash flow. To help ensure the properties are rented out, I built a website to handle all the bookings. Being a successful entrepreneur is about eyeing new opportunities and

being in the position to take advantage of those opportunities. That takes more than just money. It requires time and focus. As an entrepreneur, you need time to think and conceptualize. Getting the business idea is the easy part. The most difficult step is converting that idea into a positive cash flow system. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not one of those people who goes to work all day and can shut it off at the end of the day. You’re continually thinking about things in the back of your head.

S CHULICH

3

ENGINEER

If something’s not working, you’re thinking about it 24/7 because you’re responsible for making sure it works. And you have to be able to take risks, because you learn as you go and you have to figure out what might work and what definitely doesn’t work. Just after graduation, I started a company called Xtreme Xscapes. We were a tourism booking agent for adventures in the Rocky Mountains and it went well until one of our frontline partners went bankrupt. We realized we were relying too heavily on them and that was a lesson about the importance of being in direct contact with customers. So we learned something, picked up the pieces, and started on a new venture. If something fails, try something else. All businesses won’t make a bunch of money, but I think it’s worth investing your time and finances to try something that does. People always say this, perhaps because it’s true: you have to follow your passion. Do what you enjoy and make sure it’s a good match for you. Build a business upon your strengths. And you have to expect that some of your ideas will fail. Otherwise, being an entrepreneur would be way too simple. Tyler Brill graduated from the Schulich School of Engineering in 1999 with a BSc in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer integrated manufacturing. He was president of the Engineering Students’ Society in 1998 and served as chair of the Engineering Endowment Fund from 2002 to 2006.


IN CONVERSATION WITH JOSEPHINE HILL, LORRAINE WHALE AND STEVEN KNUDSEN

Photo courtesy Josephine Hill

Josephine Hill is the Zandmer/Canada Research Chair in Hydrogen and Catalysis at the Schulich School of Engineering. Her work has applications in the fields of fuel cell technology and gasification, the conversion of solids or liquids into gases for use as fuels or for conversion to other chemicals. What attracted you to engineering? My dad was an engineer and he influenced me a great deal. If we were going somewhere, he’d talk about the engineering aspects of anything and everything. He’d say things like, “There’s a rainbow. Look how it refracts the light.” So I was exposed to engineering early on. I enjoyed math and sciences and chemistry in particular, so I thought chemical engineering was a good fit. C otnemreby neeb sah r sba na o l u t e l y A GNIZAM nopmoc l ym fo tne os si tI !efi nuf hcum t’nac I dna eb ot tiaw rotnem a i n t w .sraey o

Cyber m an abs entor has b ee o comp lutely AMAZ n onent of my ING much life fu be a m n and I can ! It is so ’t entor in two wait to years.

How much creativity is involved in your work? Very much. We’re trying to solve problems and come up with new ways of looking at a problem. There are always new tools so it’s a matter of applying these tools and also applying solutions that involve different disciplines. We have to be able to look at things from different perspectives. Where do you tend to find the innovators in the energy sector? A lot of innovation comes out of necessity. You need to invent something in order to solve a particular problem and sometimes it’s industry doing that, sometimes it’s academics. Students are a wonderful resource because they have

lots of great ideas, they can look at problems with a completely fresh view and they’re eager to try new things to see how they work. Have you ever thought of starting a company? To do what we do – make catalysts – we need huge infrastructure. So it would be challenging to start a company because of the resources required. That’s why I work with a number of companies. It gives us the capability to do things on a larger scale than what we can do in the lab.

A lot of innovation comes out of necessity. – Josephine Hill Who was your most memorable professor and why? I often think of different people depending on what I’m doing. If I’m teaching a third-year chemical engineering course on kinetics and reactor design, for example, I’ll use examples from the professors who taught me that course. When I’m talking to graduate students I’ll refer a lot to my own master’s and PhD supervisors. It’s hard to name just one person. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with many great people who’ve left impressions.

S CHULICH

5

ENGINEER

Lorraine Whale is Manager of Unconventional Research with Shell Global Solutions Canada. She is an adjunct professor at the Schulich School of Engineering and an Industrial Fellow at the University of Calgary’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE). What drew you to engineering? My first degree was in chemistry and I then went into engineering and I really enjoyed the engineering thought process compared to the pure sciences. It was the practical approach that I loved. Why did you go to work in industry after you completed your PhD? I knew I wanted to teach but I didn’t think I should teach until I had practical experience. I wanted to be a great professor so I decided to work in industry first, get experience, then go back and teach. But I never left to teach full-time because I enjoyed myself so much. I was always being challenged and always learning new things. Now I’ve been here for 29 years, which is not bad given that I originally came for two. Do you think of research as a creative pursuit? Of course. It’s creative, innovative, energizing and very rewarding. But it’s not for everyone. Where do you tend to see innovation in energy companies? Innovation can come from everywhere: from cost, technology, reduction of our environmental footprint and the


IN CONVERSATION WITH JOSEPHINE HILL, LORRAINE WHALE AND STEVEN KNUDSEN

Photo courtesy Josephine Hill

Josephine Hill is the Zandmer/Canada Research Chair in Hydrogen and Catalysis at the Schulich School of Engineering. Her work has applications in the fields of fuel cell technology and gasification, the conversion of solids or liquids into gases for use as fuels or for conversion to other chemicals. What attracted you to engineering? My dad was an engineer and he influenced me a great deal. If we were going somewhere, he’d talk about the engineering aspects of anything and everything. He’d say things like, “There’s a rainbow. Look how it refracts the light.” So I was exposed to engineering early on. I enjoyed math and sciences and chemistry in particular, so I thought chemical engineering was a good fit. C otnemreby neeb sah r sba na o l u t e l y A GNIZAM nopmoc l ym fo tne os si tI !efi nuf hcum t’nac I dna eb ot tiaw rotnem a i n t w .sraey o

Cyber m an abs entor has b ee o comp lutely AMAZ n onent of my ING much life fu be a m n and I can ! It is so ’t entor in two wait to years.

How much creativity is involved in your work? Very much. We’re trying to solve problems and come up with new ways of looking at a problem. There are always new tools so it’s a matter of applying these tools and also applying solutions that involve different disciplines. We have to be able to look at things from different perspectives. Where do you tend to find the innovators in the energy sector? A lot of innovation comes out of necessity. You need to invent something in order to solve a particular problem and sometimes it’s industry doing that, sometimes it’s academics. Students are a wonderful resource because they have

lots of great ideas, they can look at problems with a completely fresh view and they’re eager to try new things to see how they work. Have you ever thought of starting a company? To do what we do – make catalysts – we need huge infrastructure. So it would be challenging to start a company because of the resources required. That’s why I work with a number of companies. It gives us the capability to do things on a larger scale than what we can do in the lab.

A lot of innovation comes out of necessity. – Josephine Hill Who was your most memorable professor and why? I often think of different people depending on what I’m doing. If I’m teaching a third-year chemical engineering course on kinetics and reactor design, for example, I’ll use examples from the professors who taught me that course. When I’m talking to graduate students I’ll refer a lot to my own master’s and PhD supervisors. It’s hard to name just one person. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with many great people who’ve left impressions.

S CHULICH

5

ENGINEER

Lorraine Whale is Manager of Unconventional Research with Shell Global Solutions Canada. She is an adjunct professor at the Schulich School of Engineering and an Industrial Fellow at the University of Calgary’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE). What drew you to engineering? My first degree was in chemistry and I then went into engineering and I really enjoyed the engineering thought process compared to the pure sciences. It was the practical approach that I loved. Why did you go to work in industry after you completed your PhD? I knew I wanted to teach but I didn’t think I should teach until I had practical experience. I wanted to be a great professor so I decided to work in industry first, get experience, then go back and teach. But I never left to teach full-time because I enjoyed myself so much. I was always being challenged and always learning new things. Now I’ve been here for 29 years, which is not bad given that I originally came for two. Do you think of research as a creative pursuit? Of course. It’s creative, innovative, energizing and very rewarding. But it’s not for everyone. Where do you tend to see innovation in energy companies? Innovation can come from everywhere: from cost, technology, reduction of our environmental footprint and the


Photo courtesy Steven Knudsen

The people who are going to do it are those who have a yearning and a thirst for deeper knowledge and understanding. – Lorraine Whale

Photo courtesy Shell Canada

management of the highly talented professionals who we will need in the future. Do we need more PhD engineers in industry? Yes we do. Corporations are hiring more people with PhDs. Oil and gas in particular has become so highly technical that it’s extremely important to have individuals who are used to the research mindset. They can deal with a large degree of uncertainty and still be able to make progress. Is the solution to encourage more engineers to pursue graduate studies? It’s a very complex problem because engineers are highly sought after and that is going to continue. When engineers with undergraduate degrees are being offered jobs with high salaries it just doesn’t make economic sense for them to stay and do a PhD. The people who are going to do it are those who have a yearning and a thirst for deeper knowledge and understanding. That, to me, is something we need to instill in the younger generation right from school age. It’s a full-systems approach. If we want more PhDs and if we want more innovation then widespread changes have to take place and it will take time. First we need to recognize the issues and take action.

Steven Knudsen earned a PhD in electrical engineering in 1992 from the Schulich School of Engineering. He was Vice-President Engineering at Wi-LAN in the late 1990s, then started his own company, PsiNaptic, in 2000. He worked for KnowledgeWhere in 2007 and 2008, then started TechConficio Inc. in 2009. The company develops technologies and products for communications and mobile applications. Do you remember the moment when you decided to start your first company? I was reading a book about Java technology in my car at a gas station. I was waiting for a friend at the start of a weekend camping trip in Yoho, so I had some time to think about where I saw technology headed. I had just finished helping with a very complex embedded project and I realized that Java, which was still kind of new at the time, was headed into the embedded space. I decided I needed to be involved somehow and the best way I could do it was by starting a company. I had just left a startup, so I guess I was infected with that bug. What happened to your company? PsiNaptic was focused on the development of embedded pervasive computing technologies. In 1999 it looked like founding a high-tech company was a great idea. By April 2000 when the dotcom bubble burst, it didn't matter how hard you tried with high-tech, people weren't buying anymore. We simply ran out of money, and I had to move on.

S CHULICH

6

ENGINEER

Would your friends in high school have described you as an entrepreneur? Not back then; we didn't know the word. I think they thought of me as that crazy guy who can't get enough of school. Once, while visiting some old school friends, one of them asked me, "When will you get sick of school?" I guess never. How did engineering school prepare you for the world of business? Engineering taught me how little I know, and a good friend and fellow student taught me to be humble. In business – and everything else – it’s best to understand that you always have something more to learn and to start any relationship by being humble. My engineering background also provided knowledge about many aspects of business. As engineers, we're taught to solve problems pragmatically. Eventually, you learn that defining the problem is the real challenge. If you have a clear grasp of the problem you're trying to solve, the engineering is usually pretty straightforward.

Starting a business sometimes feels like you’re digging yourself into a hole. – Steven Knudsen

some original ideas, and he let me explore several other topics of my choosing. It was like getting to do three or four extra rounds of research and that was a lot of fun. Is there a trait in yourself that you tend to see in all entrepreneurs? There are many kinds of entrepreneurs, but I believe the ones like me are motivated by creating something new and once they’re committed to it, they’re stimulated by the hard work needed to make it succeed. No matter what happens – good or bad – I need to believe I'll always have a spark of enthusiasm that gets me started on the next problem. For me, that spark has to be about the business and technical challenges, and I need to work with people who feel the same. I'm not interested in people who are motivated solely by money. If you could pass along one bit of advice to an engineering student with entrepreneurial leanings, what would it be? If you're going to start a venture, be sure you're solving a real problem and the solution addresses a real need. Do your marketing homework. Most companies that fail do so because of inadequate market research, not because of problems with the engineering or technology.

Who was your most influential professor and why? Leonard Bruton, who was the dean of engineering when he took me on as a PhD student. I guess he saw some kind of potential in me that, in hindsight, I have to wonder if was really there at the time. But he set the bar very high and expected very much from me. I've tried to do the same for myself ever since. I was also very lucky because early in my studies I convinced Len that I had

S CHULICH

7

ENGINEER


Photo courtesy Steven Knudsen

The people who are going to do it are those who have a yearning and a thirst for deeper knowledge and understanding. – Lorraine Whale

Photo courtesy Shell Canada

management of the highly talented professionals who we will need in the future. Do we need more PhD engineers in industry? Yes we do. Corporations are hiring more people with PhDs. Oil and gas in particular has become so highly technical that it’s extremely important to have individuals who are used to the research mindset. They can deal with a large degree of uncertainty and still be able to make progress. Is the solution to encourage more engineers to pursue graduate studies? It’s a very complex problem because engineers are highly sought after and that is going to continue. When engineers with undergraduate degrees are being offered jobs with high salaries it just doesn’t make economic sense for them to stay and do a PhD. The people who are going to do it are those who have a yearning and a thirst for deeper knowledge and understanding. That, to me, is something we need to instill in the younger generation right from school age. It’s a full-systems approach. If we want more PhDs and if we want more innovation then widespread changes have to take place and it will take time. First we need to recognize the issues and take action.

Steven Knudsen earned a PhD in electrical engineering in 1992 from the Schulich School of Engineering. He was Vice-President Engineering at Wi-LAN in the late 1990s, then started his own company, PsiNaptic, in 2000. He worked for KnowledgeWhere in 2007 and 2008, then started TechConficio Inc. in 2009. The company develops technologies and products for communications and mobile applications. Do you remember the moment when you decided to start your first company? I was reading a book about Java technology in my car at a gas station. I was waiting for a friend at the start of a weekend camping trip in Yoho, so I had some time to think about where I saw technology headed. I had just finished helping with a very complex embedded project and I realized that Java, which was still kind of new at the time, was headed into the embedded space. I decided I needed to be involved somehow and the best way I could do it was by starting a company. I had just left a startup, so I guess I was infected with that bug. What happened to your company? PsiNaptic was focused on the development of embedded pervasive computing technologies. In 1999 it looked like founding a high-tech company was a great idea. By April 2000 when the dotcom bubble burst, it didn't matter how hard you tried with high-tech, people weren't buying anymore. We simply ran out of money, and I had to move on.

S CHULICH

6

ENGINEER

Would your friends in high school have described you as an entrepreneur? Not back then; we didn't know the word. I think they thought of me as that crazy guy who can't get enough of school. Once, while visiting some old school friends, one of them asked me, "When will you get sick of school?" I guess never. How did engineering school prepare you for the world of business? Engineering taught me how little I know, and a good friend and fellow student taught me to be humble. In business – and everything else – it’s best to understand that you always have something more to learn and to start any relationship by being humble. My engineering background also provided knowledge about many aspects of business. As engineers, we're taught to solve problems pragmatically. Eventually, you learn that defining the problem is the real challenge. If you have a clear grasp of the problem you're trying to solve, the engineering is usually pretty straightforward.

Starting a business sometimes feels like you’re digging yourself into a hole. – Steven Knudsen

some original ideas, and he let me explore several other topics of my choosing. It was like getting to do three or four extra rounds of research and that was a lot of fun. Is there a trait in yourself that you tend to see in all entrepreneurs? There are many kinds of entrepreneurs, but I believe the ones like me are motivated by creating something new and once they’re committed to it, they’re stimulated by the hard work needed to make it succeed. No matter what happens – good or bad – I need to believe I'll always have a spark of enthusiasm that gets me started on the next problem. For me, that spark has to be about the business and technical challenges, and I need to work with people who feel the same. I'm not interested in people who are motivated solely by money. If you could pass along one bit of advice to an engineering student with entrepreneurial leanings, what would it be? If you're going to start a venture, be sure you're solving a real problem and the solution addresses a real need. Do your marketing homework. Most companies that fail do so because of inadequate market research, not because of problems with the engineering or technology.

Who was your most influential professor and why? Leonard Bruton, who was the dean of engineering when he took me on as a PhD student. I guess he saw some kind of potential in me that, in hindsight, I have to wonder if was really there at the time. But he set the bar very high and expected very much from me. I've tried to do the same for myself ever since. I was also very lucky because early in my studies I convinced Len that I had

S CHULICH

7

ENGINEER


FEATURE BY PETER CALAMAI

Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope ONE THOUGHT IS TROUBLING ME AFTER FLYING FOR NEARLY AN HOUR OVER AN UNENDING EXPANSE OF OCHRE - RED NOTHINGNESS TO BOOLARDY STATION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA .

They can’t be serious. Below on the semi-arid plains there are no power lines, no rivers or lakes, no settlements and only vestigial roads. Willy-willys or wind devils blow unimpeded across the baked earth. Yet this is the back-of-beyond location that Australia is proposing for a scientific and engineering megaproject to rival anything the world has ever seen for sheer physical expanse and complexity and to surpass everything else in the tsunami of information produced. The engineering challenges of the global astronomical observatory that would be sited here are immense, rivalling those of the International Space Station. Not only do the performance specifications for many key components of this observatory far surpass anything currently available, but it has to be built and operated for decades in one of the harshest environments on Earth. To succeed also entails designing and assembling the world’s biggest supercomputer, inventing novel data processing techniques and generating vast amounts of renewable energy

Three radio telescope dishes march off to the horizon, the vanguard of a proposed 1,500 such dishes in an area 50 kilometres wide and 30 kilometres tall. Photo by Peter Calamai

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FEATURE BY PETER CALAMAI

Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope ONE THOUGHT IS TROUBLING ME AFTER FLYING FOR NEARLY AN HOUR OVER AN UNENDING EXPANSE OF OCHRE - RED NOTHINGNESS TO BOOLARDY STATION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA .

They can’t be serious. Below on the semi-arid plains there are no power lines, no rivers or lakes, no settlements and only vestigial roads. Willy-willys or wind devils blow unimpeded across the baked earth. Yet this is the back-of-beyond location that Australia is proposing for a scientific and engineering megaproject to rival anything the world has ever seen for sheer physical expanse and complexity and to surpass everything else in the tsunami of information produced. The engineering challenges of the global astronomical observatory that would be sited here are immense, rivalling those of the International Space Station. Not only do the performance specifications for many key components of this observatory far surpass anything currently available, but it has to be built and operated for decades in one of the harshest environments on Earth. To succeed also entails designing and assembling the world’s biggest supercomputer, inventing novel data processing techniques and generating vast amounts of renewable energy

Three radio telescope dishes march off to the horizon, the vanguard of a proposed 1,500 such dishes in an area 50 kilometres wide and 30 kilometres tall. Photo by Peter Calamai

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The proposed site in Australia and New Zealand: the planned array of radio telescope dishes would stretch across Australia and onto New Zealand, spanning over 5,000 km in total. Source: ska.gov.au/anzska

The proposed site in Africa: the central core of the SKA would be located in the south-western region of South Africa and the remote antenna stations would spiral up to 3,000 km away in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya and Ghana. Source: ska.ac.za

Potential Array Station

Astronomer Brian Boyle, director of the Square Kilometre Array project in Australia. Photo by Peter Calamai

hundreds of kilometres away from the electrical grid. As many as 3,000 rotating radio telescope dishes would be dotted across this continent and neighbouring New Zealand, arcing 5,500 kilometres sideto-side. Connecting those dishes over such distances creates the equivalent of a giant zoom lens, so sensitive that it could detect an airport radar on a planet 50 light years distant. Shove all those 15-metre diameter dishes together and their combined surface area would total more than 500,000 square metres. Add another 500,000 square metres of collecting surface in the form of hundreds of clusters of metal tiles that hug the ground in the central core – to capture lower frequency radio waves like a wide-angle lens – and you have a million square metres total. Thus the official (and very prosaic) name of the Square Kilometre Array, universally abbreviated to the SKA. The SKA will be a completely new kind of global astronomical observatory, called an ITC Telescope because it is geared to ground-breaking advances in information technology and communications. As well, SKA-driven innovations are expected to spur progress in such diverse areas as renewable energy, cell phones, wireless networking and real-time monitoring. Beyond all that, the SKA is designed to unlock some of the deepest scientific mysteries of the cosmos because of where it can see best (see Mysteries sidebar). “The vast majority of the universe is cold and dark and with radio waves you

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can see that dark universe,” says University of Calgary professor Russ Taylor, explaining the SKA’s attraction for astronomers. As Director of the Institute for Space Imaging Science, Taylor is one of approximately 15 professors and graduate students from the engineering and science faculties who are in the forefront of Canada’s substantial role in the SKA’s early stages. They are engaged – some since 2004 – in cutting-edge work on developing the most critical part of the telescope’s receivers as well as tackling the mammoth information processing challenge. Success of the SKA is crucially important to the global astronomy community and to the future of astronomical research in Canada in particular. A ranking of astronomy projects for this decade by a panel under the auspices of the Canadian Astronomical Society lauds the SKA as “the most ambitious technological project ever considered in astronomy.” The panel’s draft Long Range Plan report recommends the SKA receive top priority for public funding of ground-based facilities in the second half of this decade, even if Canada has to withdraw from other observatories to manage it. In the U.S., a blue-ribbon panel of experts assembled by the National Science Foundation concluded that the SKA “represents the long-term future of radio astronomy.” The European Community has provided the bulk of the funding for the preliminary SKA design work and Europe’s astronomical

It is to a large degree, an art rather than a science. - Leo Belostotski on the engineering challenge of using digital filtering algorithms to reduce interference. research community ranked the telescope at the top of its priorities. Nonetheless everyone in the 20nation SKA consortium is in the dark about two crucial aspects – where will the facility be built and when? The “where” question is supposed to be solved by the end of 2012 when an international committee, including Taylor, chooses between the two finalists, the Australian-New Zealand bid and a southern Africa group led by South Africa. The “when” question is less sure because the SKA carries an estimated price-tag of $2.5 billion in capital costs alone – and possibly more – with most governments loath to commit to such Big Science projects in an era of fiscal belt-tightening. Optimistic forecasts have the first phase of construction starting in 2016 but many involved say they wouldn’t be surprised if that slips to the end of the decade. The first scientific research is timed to start as construction progresses. Such speculation on the ultimate timing isn’t that troubling to Leo Belostotski, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering considered a leading expert in designing low-noise amplifiers, or LNAs. More pressing is Belostotski’s work towards

an improved LNA by the end of this year that outperforms competing designs from the U.S. and the Netherlands. The stakes are huge. A million LNAs huge. As currently conceived, the SKA’s 3,000 dish telescopes will collectively boast about one million sensors feeding captured radio wave signals into receivers for conversion into a digital data flow. The first and most crucial stage of each receiver is the low-noise amplifier, an integrated circuit on a chip a half millimetre wide by one millimetre long. The agitation of electrons in the wires, transistors and other components of the LNA creates thermal “noise” – something like the static heard between stations when tuning an old-fashioned analogue radio. The engineering challenge is to use digital filtering algorithms to reduce such noise to a minimum so it doesn’t swamp the faint signals from distant galaxies, a task which Belostotski acknowledges “is to a large degree, an art rather than a science. ” Unlike their “friendly competitors,” the team at the Schulich School of Engineering has opted for CMOS technology in its LNAs. Not only is the Complementary Metal–Oxide– Semiconductor approach common in consumer electronics, thus keeping unit costs low, but it also has modest power demands. Says Belostotski: “A half-watt of power consumption per receiver doesn’t sound like much, but it’s quite a lot when you have a million receivers.” Other engineering faculty working on later stages of the SKA receiver

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The proposed site in Australia and New Zealand: the planned array of radio telescope dishes would stretch across Australia and onto New Zealand, spanning over 5,000 km in total. Source: ska.gov.au/anzska

The proposed site in Africa: the central core of the SKA would be located in the south-western region of South Africa and the remote antenna stations would spiral up to 3,000 km away in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya and Ghana. Source: ska.ac.za

Potential Array Station

Astronomer Brian Boyle, director of the Square Kilometre Array project in Australia. Photo by Peter Calamai

hundreds of kilometres away from the electrical grid. As many as 3,000 rotating radio telescope dishes would be dotted across this continent and neighbouring New Zealand, arcing 5,500 kilometres sideto-side. Connecting those dishes over such distances creates the equivalent of a giant zoom lens, so sensitive that it could detect an airport radar on a planet 50 light years distant. Shove all those 15-metre diameter dishes together and their combined surface area would total more than 500,000 square metres. Add another 500,000 square metres of collecting surface in the form of hundreds of clusters of metal tiles that hug the ground in the central core – to capture lower frequency radio waves like a wide-angle lens – and you have a million square metres total. Thus the official (and very prosaic) name of the Square Kilometre Array, universally abbreviated to the SKA. The SKA will be a completely new kind of global astronomical observatory, called an ITC Telescope because it is geared to ground-breaking advances in information technology and communications. As well, SKA-driven innovations are expected to spur progress in such diverse areas as renewable energy, cell phones, wireless networking and real-time monitoring. Beyond all that, the SKA is designed to unlock some of the deepest scientific mysteries of the cosmos because of where it can see best (see Mysteries sidebar). “The vast majority of the universe is cold and dark and with radio waves you

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can see that dark universe,” says University of Calgary professor Russ Taylor, explaining the SKA’s attraction for astronomers. As Director of the Institute for Space Imaging Science, Taylor is one of approximately 15 professors and graduate students from the engineering and science faculties who are in the forefront of Canada’s substantial role in the SKA’s early stages. They are engaged – some since 2004 – in cutting-edge work on developing the most critical part of the telescope’s receivers as well as tackling the mammoth information processing challenge. Success of the SKA is crucially important to the global astronomy community and to the future of astronomical research in Canada in particular. A ranking of astronomy projects for this decade by a panel under the auspices of the Canadian Astronomical Society lauds the SKA as “the most ambitious technological project ever considered in astronomy.” The panel’s draft Long Range Plan report recommends the SKA receive top priority for public funding of ground-based facilities in the second half of this decade, even if Canada has to withdraw from other observatories to manage it. In the U.S., a blue-ribbon panel of experts assembled by the National Science Foundation concluded that the SKA “represents the long-term future of radio astronomy.” The European Community has provided the bulk of the funding for the preliminary SKA design work and Europe’s astronomical

It is to a large degree, an art rather than a science. - Leo Belostotski on the engineering challenge of using digital filtering algorithms to reduce interference. research community ranked the telescope at the top of its priorities. Nonetheless everyone in the 20nation SKA consortium is in the dark about two crucial aspects – where will the facility be built and when? The “where” question is supposed to be solved by the end of 2012 when an international committee, including Taylor, chooses between the two finalists, the Australian-New Zealand bid and a southern Africa group led by South Africa. The “when” question is less sure because the SKA carries an estimated price-tag of $2.5 billion in capital costs alone – and possibly more – with most governments loath to commit to such Big Science projects in an era of fiscal belt-tightening. Optimistic forecasts have the first phase of construction starting in 2016 but many involved say they wouldn’t be surprised if that slips to the end of the decade. The first scientific research is timed to start as construction progresses. Such speculation on the ultimate timing isn’t that troubling to Leo Belostotski, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering considered a leading expert in designing low-noise amplifiers, or LNAs. More pressing is Belostotski’s work towards

an improved LNA by the end of this year that outperforms competing designs from the U.S. and the Netherlands. The stakes are huge. A million LNAs huge. As currently conceived, the SKA’s 3,000 dish telescopes will collectively boast about one million sensors feeding captured radio wave signals into receivers for conversion into a digital data flow. The first and most crucial stage of each receiver is the low-noise amplifier, an integrated circuit on a chip a half millimetre wide by one millimetre long. The agitation of electrons in the wires, transistors and other components of the LNA creates thermal “noise” – something like the static heard between stations when tuning an old-fashioned analogue radio. The engineering challenge is to use digital filtering algorithms to reduce such noise to a minimum so it doesn’t swamp the faint signals from distant galaxies, a task which Belostotski acknowledges “is to a large degree, an art rather than a science. ” Unlike their “friendly competitors,” the team at the Schulich School of Engineering has opted for CMOS technology in its LNAs. Not only is the Complementary Metal–Oxide– Semiconductor approach common in consumer electronics, thus keeping unit costs low, but it also has modest power demands. Says Belostotski: “A half-watt of power consumption per receiver doesn’t sound like much, but it’s quite a lot when you have a million receivers.” Other engineering faculty working on later stages of the SKA receiver

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design include professor Jim Haslett, director of the Advanced Information Processing Systems Lab, and Len Bruton, leader of the Multidimensional Signal Processing Group at the school. Len Bruton is a circuits and systems engineer whose current research deals with real-time digital and analog filtering. He says a major challenge with the SKA is to simultaneously filter a broader band of radio frequencies than radio astronomers have traditionally used. “At the SKA we want to capture a whole bunch of frequencies and digitize the whole shooting match,” he says. As Belostotski, Haslett, Bruton and others succeed in their goals, they raise the stakes for the researchers working further down the data stream, like the University of Calgary’s science dean, Ken Barker, an expert in data management systems. Other megascience projects also produce vast amounts of data, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, but that only comes in bursts when experiments are running, Barker notes. “The volume of data from SKA is just mind-numbing and it’s going to just keep coming at us continuously. The way to think of this is that we’re adding three more zeroes – three orders of magnitude – to other high-data fields like genomics and proteomics,” he says (see Data sidebar). Among the many data management challenges, says Barker, are devising clever ways to index the data, ensuring its integrity and deciding what data needs to be instantly accessible and what can be in short-term storage.

Boolardy Station in the interior of Western Australia. Photo by Peter Calamai

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At the SKA we want to capture a whole bunch of frequencies and digitize the whole shooting match. - Len Bruton “We’re finding that astronomers are very reluctant to let any data be deleted,” he says. Many of the University of Calgary engineers and scientists working on SKA collaborate in the radio astronomy division of the Institute for Space Imaging Science (ISIS), which also includes researchers from Athabaska University, the University of Lethbridge and the National Research Council (NRC). The University of Calgary has received $4.1 million for SKA research, all of it connected to ISIS. Taylor is also the principal investigator for a $2.1-million grant from CANARIE, the national highspeed computing network, to develop CyberSKA. This is a marriage between social networking and online tools which will function somewhat like a central nervous system for the SKA and several smaller-scale “pathfinder” astronomy research projects. “You don’t have to be in Australia with your nose attached to the pipeline to be able to collaborate on the data coming out of the telescope. We intend to bring together the computing centres from around the world into a collaboration cyberspace for all the data,” says Taylor. While the University of Calgary is a hotbed of SKA engineering research, two other world-leading projects are underway at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) at Penticton in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.


design include professor Jim Haslett, director of the Advanced Information Processing Systems Lab, and Len Bruton, leader of the Multidimensional Signal Processing Group at the school. Len Bruton is a circuits and systems engineer whose current research deals with real-time digital and analog filtering. He says a major challenge with the SKA is to simultaneously filter a broader band of radio frequencies than radio astronomers have traditionally used. “At the SKA we want to capture a whole bunch of frequencies and digitize the whole shooting match,” he says. As Belostotski, Haslett, Bruton and others succeed in their goals, they raise the stakes for the researchers working further down the data stream, like the University of Calgary’s science dean, Ken Barker, an expert in data management systems. Other megascience projects also produce vast amounts of data, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, but that only comes in bursts when experiments are running, Barker notes. “The volume of data from SKA is just mind-numbing and it’s going to just keep coming at us continuously. The way to think of this is that we’re adding three more zeroes – three orders of magnitude – to other high-data fields like genomics and proteomics,” he says (see Data sidebar). Among the many data management challenges, says Barker, are devising clever ways to index the data, ensuring its integrity and deciding what data needs to be instantly accessible and what can be in short-term storage.

Boolardy Station in the interior of Western Australia. Photo by Peter Calamai

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At the SKA we want to capture a whole bunch of frequencies and digitize the whole shooting match. - Len Bruton “We’re finding that astronomers are very reluctant to let any data be deleted,” he says. Many of the University of Calgary engineers and scientists working on SKA collaborate in the radio astronomy division of the Institute for Space Imaging Science (ISIS), which also includes researchers from Athabaska University, the University of Lethbridge and the National Research Council (NRC). The University of Calgary has received $4.1 million for SKA research, all of it connected to ISIS. Taylor is also the principal investigator for a $2.1-million grant from CANARIE, the national highspeed computing network, to develop CyberSKA. This is a marriage between social networking and online tools which will function somewhat like a central nervous system for the SKA and several smaller-scale “pathfinder” astronomy research projects. “You don’t have to be in Australia with your nose attached to the pipeline to be able to collaborate on the data coming out of the telescope. We intend to bring together the computing centres from around the world into a collaboration cyberspace for all the data,” says Taylor. While the University of Calgary is a hotbed of SKA engineering research, two other world-leading projects are underway at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) at Penticton in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.


Mysteries

A team led by engineer Brent Carlson is designing the highly specialized supercomputer that will compare and combine the digital signals from the SKA’s thousands of radio telescopes. DRAO is a world leader in this field, having designed a similar $20 million “correlator” for the upgrading of the largest U.S. radio telescope array in New Mexico. The Penticton engineers are also considered to be serious contenders in an international competition to make the winning prototype for the final 15-metre telescope dishes, which are moulded from a mixture of composite materials like Kevlar and carbonfibres. But Taylor is concerned that a lack of government support could mean Canadian industries don’t have the capacity to transform laboratory prototypes into industrial designs that can be manufactured. “We’re creating leading technologies in the research labs. We need to move that over to industry, and it should be Canadian industry, not international,” he says. Related concerns have been expressed in Australia, where the federal government has already earmarked $340 million for SKA-related projects, including an initial array of 36 radio telescopes and hundreds of the groundhugging tile antennas. Says professor Bryan Gaensler of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy: “There is a real fear – maybe that’s a bit too strong a word – that you can put a real effort into building an amazing telescope and then have people from other countries mostly use it.”

Only a minute fraction of the universe emits light that can be captured by optical telescopes, so radio astronomy provides eyes for the rest of the dark cosmos. Since radio waves from space were first captured in the 1930s, radio astronomy has been responsible for discovering such previously unsuspected cosmic denizens as pulsars, quasars and masers, for detecting cosmic background radiation (proving the Big Bang) and the first planets orbiting other stars. Until recently, radio telescopes mostly resembled mammoth television dishes but the recent trend is toward arrays of many smaller dishes interconnected to act like one giant eye.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is designed to be 50 times more sensitive and 10,000 times faster in imaging an area than any other telescope, prompting a wish list from astronomers of cosmic mysteries for it to unravel. These are: Cradle of Life For the first time, scientists will have an instrument capable of detecting “interstellar TV,” the leakage of radio frequencies from potential extraterrestrial civilizations across a chunk of the cosmos containing hundreds of stars like our own sun. The SKA will also be able to track amino acids and other similar building blocks of life as planets are formed.

Probing the Dark Ages The final frontier in cosmology is the period where there were no stars, known as the Dark Ages, from 300,000 years after the Big Bang to a billion years later. By detecting emissions from ancient hydrogen, the SKA goes back in time to watch the universe gradually light up as stars and galaxies form. Testing Einstein For almost a century, scientists have been testing the General Theory of Relativity, Einstein’s explanation of the relationship between space, time and gravity. The ultimate test of relativity will occur at extreme curvature of space-time caused by a pulsar orbiting a black hole – which the SKA can detect.

Magnetic Mystery Scientists know that powerful magnetic fields pervade the universe but don’t know what cosmic magnets look like, how they formed or the role they play in the evolution of the universe. SKA can measure a phenomenon caused by the magnetism called Faraday rotation, which may be the key to answering these questions.

hope to be able to measure the enigmatic “dark energy” that is pushing the universe apart. Many of -the questions about the cosmos that will be puzzling humanity over the coming decades when the SKA is fully operational aren’t even suspected today. So the scientists have also put “Exploration of the Unknown” on their wish list.

Dark Energy SKA’s vastly greater sensitivity should reveal as many as a billion new galaxies out toward the edges of the known universe, providing an unprecedented 3-D image of the cosmos. By charting the ebb and flow of the large scale structure of the universe revealed by these galaxies, scientists

Australian site manager Barry Turner explains a pilot project using geothermal heat exchange to cool the electronics of the radio telescope dishes against daytime temperatures that breach 40 C. Photo by Peter Calamai

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Mysteries

A team led by engineer Brent Carlson is designing the highly specialized supercomputer that will compare and combine the digital signals from the SKA’s thousands of radio telescopes. DRAO is a world leader in this field, having designed a similar $20 million “correlator” for the upgrading of the largest U.S. radio telescope array in New Mexico. The Penticton engineers are also considered to be serious contenders in an international competition to make the winning prototype for the final 15-metre telescope dishes, which are moulded from a mixture of composite materials like Kevlar and carbonfibres. But Taylor is concerned that a lack of government support could mean Canadian industries don’t have the capacity to transform laboratory prototypes into industrial designs that can be manufactured. “We’re creating leading technologies in the research labs. We need to move that over to industry, and it should be Canadian industry, not international,” he says. Related concerns have been expressed in Australia, where the federal government has already earmarked $340 million for SKA-related projects, including an initial array of 36 radio telescopes and hundreds of the groundhugging tile antennas. Says professor Bryan Gaensler of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy: “There is a real fear – maybe that’s a bit too strong a word – that you can put a real effort into building an amazing telescope and then have people from other countries mostly use it.”

Only a minute fraction of the universe emits light that can be captured by optical telescopes, so radio astronomy provides eyes for the rest of the dark cosmos. Since radio waves from space were first captured in the 1930s, radio astronomy has been responsible for discovering such previously unsuspected cosmic denizens as pulsars, quasars and masers, for detecting cosmic background radiation (proving the Big Bang) and the first planets orbiting other stars. Until recently, radio telescopes mostly resembled mammoth television dishes but the recent trend is toward arrays of many smaller dishes interconnected to act like one giant eye.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is designed to be 50 times more sensitive and 10,000 times faster in imaging an area than any other telescope, prompting a wish list from astronomers of cosmic mysteries for it to unravel. These are: Cradle of Life For the first time, scientists will have an instrument capable of detecting “interstellar TV,” the leakage of radio frequencies from potential extraterrestrial civilizations across a chunk of the cosmos containing hundreds of stars like our own sun. The SKA will also be able to track amino acids and other similar building blocks of life as planets are formed.

Probing the Dark Ages The final frontier in cosmology is the period where there were no stars, known as the Dark Ages, from 300,000 years after the Big Bang to a billion years later. By detecting emissions from ancient hydrogen, the SKA goes back in time to watch the universe gradually light up as stars and galaxies form. Testing Einstein For almost a century, scientists have been testing the General Theory of Relativity, Einstein’s explanation of the relationship between space, time and gravity. The ultimate test of relativity will occur at extreme curvature of space-time caused by a pulsar orbiting a black hole – which the SKA can detect.

Magnetic Mystery Scientists know that powerful magnetic fields pervade the universe but don’t know what cosmic magnets look like, how they formed or the role they play in the evolution of the universe. SKA can measure a phenomenon caused by the magnetism called Faraday rotation, which may be the key to answering these questions.

hope to be able to measure the enigmatic “dark energy” that is pushing the universe apart. Many of -the questions about the cosmos that will be puzzling humanity over the coming decades when the SKA is fully operational aren’t even suspected today. So the scientists have also put “Exploration of the Unknown” on their wish list.

Dark Energy SKA’s vastly greater sensitivity should reveal as many as a billion new galaxies out toward the edges of the known universe, providing an unprecedented 3-D image of the cosmos. By charting the ebb and flow of the large scale structure of the universe revealed by these galaxies, scientists

Australian site manager Barry Turner explains a pilot project using geothermal heat exchange to cool the electronics of the radio telescope dishes against daytime temperatures that breach 40 C. Photo by Peter Calamai

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Data, Data According to estimates, when fully operational the SKA will send to its central supercomputer: –every second, as much data as now flows per second on the internet. –every day, enough data to fill 15 million 64GB iPods.

It will create opportunities for industry and support high-skill, high-wage jobs. It will attract world-class talent to Australia and New Zealand and inspire young people to pursue careers in science. - Australian Senator Kim Carr

–every week, more information than all the words spoken by humanity since the Garden of Eden. And building that supercomputer requires major leaps forward in computer technology. The projected need for processing speed is up to 1 exaflop (1018), or 1,000

quadrillion, floating point operations per second. But the current fastest supercomputer manages only 2.5 petaflops (1015), or 2.5 quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Yet the challenge of devising ways to corral the data from the SKA was powerful enough to pull Gaensler home from a successful research career abroad, as it has also drawn other Australian expatriate scientists. As well, the country’s political and scientific leaders appear determined that not only will Australia and New Zealand triumph over southern Africa, but that the SKA will be a major force in transforming their country. “It will create opportunities for industry and support high-skill, highwage jobs. It will attract world-class talent to Australia and New Zealand and inspire young people to pursue careers in science,” says Senator Kim Carr, the Australian federal minister for innovation, industry, science and research. So it’s not unthinkable that Australia will manage to erect one of what’s being called the new class of World Observatories smack dab in a “shire” the size of Vancouver Island that’s home to fewer than 160 people, and some scrawny cattle. They’ve already made an impressive start. The three dozen 12-metre radio telescopes for the pathfinder project are manufactured from steel and aluminum in Shijiazhung, China, by a state-owned company that builds similar dishes for the military. They’re erected by Chinese engineers in the CETCS54 factory there, then shipped as IKEA-like kits and reassembled by the same team of engineers on the site 45 kilometres from this cattle station. The first dish, dubbed Diggidumble, meaning “table top hill” in the Wajarri S CHULICH

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aboriginal language, took five weeks to erect. The next five went up in just eight weeks and one a week is scheduled starting around the end of May. Shortly afterwards, the Australians will start installing their own unique “phased array” sensors on the telescopes, which act like 90 cameras continuously capturing high-quality images. By then Brian Boyle expects to have a “romantic” flashback when he gazes out over the ochre-red expanse here. Boyle is the exuberant astronomer who directs the SKA project for the Australian counterpart to Canada’s National Research Council. In his mind’s eye he is already seeing the completed SKA and thinking he’ll be as excited by that sight as when he first gazed upon steepled Buddhist temples dotting a green plain at Bagan in Burma. “I’m terribly humbled to be associated with a project that can generate this much interest and this much passion in government, not only for the new knowledge but also for the excitement of science.”

FEATURE BY L AU R A S I LV E R

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ENGINEER:

Notes on the making of StumbleUpon

They really are serious.

Peter Calamai is a freelance writer and editor based in Ottawa. He visited Australia with other science journalists from North America as guests of the Australian government.

The entrepreneurial habit

Just how crazy are entrepreneurs?

PG 19

PG 22

To market, to market: Great feats in Canadian entrepreneurship

An entrepreneurial solution for sharing scientific data

Motivations of male and female entrepreneurs PG 23

PG 22

PG 21

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Resources PG 23


Data, Data According to estimates, when fully operational the SKA will send to its central supercomputer: –every second, as much data as now flows per second on the internet. –every day, enough data to fill 15 million 64GB iPods.

It will create opportunities for industry and support high-skill, high-wage jobs. It will attract world-class talent to Australia and New Zealand and inspire young people to pursue careers in science. - Australian Senator Kim Carr

–every week, more information than all the words spoken by humanity since the Garden of Eden. And building that supercomputer requires major leaps forward in computer technology. The projected need for processing speed is up to 1 exaflop (1018), or 1,000

quadrillion, floating point operations per second. But the current fastest supercomputer manages only 2.5 petaflops (1015), or 2.5 quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Yet the challenge of devising ways to corral the data from the SKA was powerful enough to pull Gaensler home from a successful research career abroad, as it has also drawn other Australian expatriate scientists. As well, the country’s political and scientific leaders appear determined that not only will Australia and New Zealand triumph over southern Africa, but that the SKA will be a major force in transforming their country. “It will create opportunities for industry and support high-skill, highwage jobs. It will attract world-class talent to Australia and New Zealand and inspire young people to pursue careers in science,” says Senator Kim Carr, the Australian federal minister for innovation, industry, science and research. So it’s not unthinkable that Australia will manage to erect one of what’s being called the new class of World Observatories smack dab in a “shire” the size of Vancouver Island that’s home to fewer than 160 people, and some scrawny cattle. They’ve already made an impressive start. The three dozen 12-metre radio telescopes for the pathfinder project are manufactured from steel and aluminum in Shijiazhung, China, by a state-owned company that builds similar dishes for the military. They’re erected by Chinese engineers in the CETCS54 factory there, then shipped as IKEA-like kits and reassembled by the same team of engineers on the site 45 kilometres from this cattle station. The first dish, dubbed Diggidumble, meaning “table top hill” in the Wajarri S CHULICH

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aboriginal language, took five weeks to erect. The next five went up in just eight weeks and one a week is scheduled starting around the end of May. Shortly afterwards, the Australians will start installing their own unique “phased array” sensors on the telescopes, which act like 90 cameras continuously capturing high-quality images. By then Brian Boyle expects to have a “romantic” flashback when he gazes out over the ochre-red expanse here. Boyle is the exuberant astronomer who directs the SKA project for the Australian counterpart to Canada’s National Research Council. In his mind’s eye he is already seeing the completed SKA and thinking he’ll be as excited by that sight as when he first gazed upon steepled Buddhist temples dotting a green plain at Bagan in Burma. “I’m terribly humbled to be associated with a project that can generate this much interest and this much passion in government, not only for the new knowledge but also for the excitement of science.”

FEATURE BY L AU R A S I LV E R

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ENGINEER:

Notes on the making of StumbleUpon

They really are serious.

Peter Calamai is a freelance writer and editor based in Ottawa. He visited Australia with other science journalists from North America as guests of the Australian government.

The entrepreneurial habit

Just how crazy are entrepreneurs?

PG 19

PG 22

To market, to market: Great feats in Canadian entrepreneurship

An entrepreneurial solution for sharing scientific data

Motivations of male and female entrepreneurs PG 23

PG 22

PG 21

S CHULICH

17

ENGINEER

Resources PG 23


Previous: Garrett Camp, Founder and CEO of StumbleUpon. Hack Day: brainstorming at StumbleUpon. Photos courtesy StumbleUpon

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL HABIT

Shelly Weinig, professor of engineering and manufacturing at Columbia University, and one of the first Americans to open a manufacturing plant in Japan, believes every salient enterprise has a unique story. In 1957, Weinig founded the Materials Research Corporation (MRC) to supply materials and equipment to the semiconductor and computer industries. In 1970, it went public on the American Stock Exchange and 1989 was sold to Sony. He retired as Vice Chair of Engineering and Manufacturing of Sony America in 1996 and is now an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where

he teaches “The Manufacturing Enterprise,” a course designed to help engineering students develop business plans and prepare ideas for market. He shares some tips from five decades as an engineer, entrepreneur and educator.

1. PUT YOUR WHOLE SELF IN You need a commitment of 100 percent. The first thing you have to do is look in the mirror. Assess your people skills. Then you can do something about it.

2. KNOW WHEN TO ASK FOR HELP There are many folks who are very capable who feel that asking for help is an admission of weakness. If there is help to be gotten, let's get it. Time is

CHANCES ARE YOU WOULD TURN TO FRIENDS , FAMILY, COLLEAGUES AND, DEPENDING ON THE QUERY, YOU MIGHT REACH OUT TO THEIR NETWORKS AS WELL . BUT WHAT IF FOLKS ARE

“ OUT OF POCKET,” OUT OF TOWN OR SIMPLY

OUT OF REACH AT THE MOMENT YOU NEED AN ANSWER ? OR WHAT IF YOU ’ RE FAR FROM HOME AND IN SEARCH OF AN INSIDER ’ S PERSPECTIVE ?

Welcome to StumbleUpon.com, a discovery engine that brings word-of-mouth recommendations to the web by directing users to sites that their fellow surfers like. “It’s a good place to go if you're bored or doing research or looking for background on your latest movie script,” says Ken MacInnis, StumbleUpon’s senior platform architect. “In real life, you might talk to 100 friends to get ideas and recommendations, but in StumbleUpon, you just go to the site.” Sounds simple now, but in 2001, when Garrett Camp started out as a master’s student at the Schulich School of Engineering, no such platform existed. “It was an itch that needed scratching,” says MacInnis. An itch to discover new sites and to share discoveries online. As part of his coursework in software engineering, Camp not only scratched the surface, but also probed interfaces for online collaboration, information sharing and evolutionary algorithms. And he laid the groundwork for a web-based system that combines users’ opinions with machine-generated recommendations based on people’s preferences. Today more than 15 million people use StumbleUpon; at the onset it was four guys working in their respective bedrooms. Camp is now CEO. Geoff Smith became Chief Technology Officer, and Justin LaFrance and Eric Boyd left the company and went on to other things. LaFrance travelled the world and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa; Boyd founded X Prize Cars and Sensebridge, a Toronto- and San Franciscobased research and collaboration group that works with human-machine interfaces and designs wearable electronics. When Camp graduated in 2006 with his master’s degree in software engineering, StumbleUpon was ripe for launch. Instead of looking for a job, he went in search of investors. Four years ago, at age 28, Camp earned a spot on MIT Technology Review’s TR35, a list of innovators under the age of 35. Now, more than 50,000 advertisers promote their goods and

Say you’re in need of advice – a dinner recommendation, tips on the latest smart phone, ideas for a secluded getaway or a training class for your team–

S CHULICH

18

ENGINEER

30 percent sell their goods and services outside of Canada. Active ventures and entrepreneurial intentions both rose in 2009 (latest survey data available). Alberta boasted the highest percentage of the population – more than 10 percent – with the intent of starting a business.2 Education and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Fifty-one percent of workers in the software and computer services sub-sector hold a university degree, compared to the national average of less than 25 percent.3 Personality also figures in. MacInnis cites Camp’s insatiable curiosity and “info-voraciousness” as keys to his ongoing success, in the entrepreneurship arena and in water-cooler conversations. “If I said I went sight-seeing, he’d tell me about the new blimp-based sightseeing company that’s doing tours around San Francisco.”4

services on his platform. Stumblers browse the web using the personalized engine, mark sites with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” make connections based on common interests and share their findings through StumbleUpon or social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. A decade after the tech bubble burst, information technology and software-centric start-ups constitute one of the faster growing areas of entrepreneurship, on the global scale and in Canada. Since 2002, the technology sector has grown at nearly twice the rate of the country’s economy. Tech ventures represent 6.5 percent of Canadian businesses (after retail, finance and construction) and account for almost 9 percent of the growth of the GDP since 2002.1 In the throes of the economic crisis, entrepreneurial performance in Canada grew steadily. Ten percent of Canadians run their own business and nearly

Hack Day: brainstorming at StumbleUpon. Right: The games room. Photos courtesy StumbleUpon

S CHULICH

19

ENGINEER


Previous: Garrett Camp, Founder and CEO of StumbleUpon. Hack Day: brainstorming at StumbleUpon. Photos courtesy StumbleUpon

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL HABIT

Shelly Weinig, professor of engineering and manufacturing at Columbia University, and one of the first Americans to open a manufacturing plant in Japan, believes every salient enterprise has a unique story. In 1957, Weinig founded the Materials Research Corporation (MRC) to supply materials and equipment to the semiconductor and computer industries. In 1970, it went public on the American Stock Exchange and 1989 was sold to Sony. He retired as Vice Chair of Engineering and Manufacturing of Sony America in 1996 and is now an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where

he teaches “The Manufacturing Enterprise,” a course designed to help engineering students develop business plans and prepare ideas for market. He shares some tips from five decades as an engineer, entrepreneur and educator.

1. PUT YOUR WHOLE SELF IN You need a commitment of 100 percent. The first thing you have to do is look in the mirror. Assess your people skills. Then you can do something about it.

2. KNOW WHEN TO ASK FOR HELP There are many folks who are very capable who feel that asking for help is an admission of weakness. If there is help to be gotten, let's get it. Time is

CHANCES ARE YOU WOULD TURN TO FRIENDS , FAMILY, COLLEAGUES AND, DEPENDING ON THE QUERY, YOU MIGHT REACH OUT TO THEIR NETWORKS AS WELL . BUT WHAT IF FOLKS ARE

“ OUT OF POCKET,” OUT OF TOWN OR SIMPLY

OUT OF REACH AT THE MOMENT YOU NEED AN ANSWER ? OR WHAT IF YOU ’ RE FAR FROM HOME AND IN SEARCH OF AN INSIDER ’ S PERSPECTIVE ?

Welcome to StumbleUpon.com, a discovery engine that brings word-of-mouth recommendations to the web by directing users to sites that their fellow surfers like. “It’s a good place to go if you're bored or doing research or looking for background on your latest movie script,” says Ken MacInnis, StumbleUpon’s senior platform architect. “In real life, you might talk to 100 friends to get ideas and recommendations, but in StumbleUpon, you just go to the site.” Sounds simple now, but in 2001, when Garrett Camp started out as a master’s student at the Schulich School of Engineering, no such platform existed. “It was an itch that needed scratching,” says MacInnis. An itch to discover new sites and to share discoveries online. As part of his coursework in software engineering, Camp not only scratched the surface, but also probed interfaces for online collaboration, information sharing and evolutionary algorithms. And he laid the groundwork for a web-based system that combines users’ opinions with machine-generated recommendations based on people’s preferences. Today more than 15 million people use StumbleUpon; at the onset it was four guys working in their respective bedrooms. Camp is now CEO. Geoff Smith became Chief Technology Officer, and Justin LaFrance and Eric Boyd left the company and went on to other things. LaFrance travelled the world and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa; Boyd founded X Prize Cars and Sensebridge, a Toronto- and San Franciscobased research and collaboration group that works with human-machine interfaces and designs wearable electronics. When Camp graduated in 2006 with his master’s degree in software engineering, StumbleUpon was ripe for launch. Instead of looking for a job, he went in search of investors. Four years ago, at age 28, Camp earned a spot on MIT Technology Review’s TR35, a list of innovators under the age of 35. Now, more than 50,000 advertisers promote their goods and

Say you’re in need of advice – a dinner recommendation, tips on the latest smart phone, ideas for a secluded getaway or a training class for your team–

S CHULICH

18

ENGINEER

30 percent sell their goods and services outside of Canada. Active ventures and entrepreneurial intentions both rose in 2009 (latest survey data available). Alberta boasted the highest percentage of the population – more than 10 percent – with the intent of starting a business.2 Education and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Fifty-one percent of workers in the software and computer services sub-sector hold a university degree, compared to the national average of less than 25 percent.3 Personality also figures in. MacInnis cites Camp’s insatiable curiosity and “info-voraciousness” as keys to his ongoing success, in the entrepreneurship arena and in water-cooler conversations. “If I said I went sight-seeing, he’d tell me about the new blimp-based sightseeing company that’s doing tours around San Francisco.”4

services on his platform. Stumblers browse the web using the personalized engine, mark sites with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” make connections based on common interests and share their findings through StumbleUpon or social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. A decade after the tech bubble burst, information technology and software-centric start-ups constitute one of the faster growing areas of entrepreneurship, on the global scale and in Canada. Since 2002, the technology sector has grown at nearly twice the rate of the country’s economy. Tech ventures represent 6.5 percent of Canadian businesses (after retail, finance and construction) and account for almost 9 percent of the growth of the GDP since 2002.1 In the throes of the economic crisis, entrepreneurial performance in Canada grew steadily. Ten percent of Canadians run their own business and nearly

Hack Day: brainstorming at StumbleUpon. Right: The games room. Photos courtesy StumbleUpon

S CHULICH

19

ENGINEER


more valuable than money. You can always get more money. The best help that I knew how to get – fast, cheap and meaningful – call up a salesperson, someone who visits others companies doing not-too-dissimilar business. Call up a former professor. They have connections.

3. KEEP UP YOUR CURIOSITY If you're curious, you're going to keep learning. If a customer buys something from you (or visits your site), ask

questions about it. Why? How? When? How often? Start a conversation and follow through.

facturing. They need to make the transition or they’ll end up destroying the new venture or getting replaced by the investors. In other cases, individuals do make the transition and then become paralyzed and can’t allow the ventures to grow. These two behaviour patterns are extremely common but little is said about them in discussions about entrepreneurship.

4. BREAK AWAY FROM “SILO MODE” AND “FOUNDER’S SYNDROME” Some entrepreneurs are great at developing products and establishing businesses but they get overwhelmed when they become responsible for everything: accounting, marketing, selling and manu-

5. MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE Without humour, we have nothing.

6. DO EVERYTHING AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING

7. THROW AWAY THE MARKETING CLOAK

8. BUILD UP A HELL OF A BIG NETWORK

You can't set up fences. You have to be able to quickly change hats, you cannot be stuck on one thing. If there's a problem in accounting, you can't say, "But, I'm a computer person, I'm not an accounting person." You have to learn new skills to be able to communicate in that language.

Everyone likes to think they have a real fix on marketing. They think it's packaging and advertising and newsletters. It’s more in line with Wayne Gretzky’s thinking when he pointed out the difference between knowing where the puck is now and where it’s going to be. The real marketing concept is: Where is this industry or service going?

There are a lot of people who enjoy conversing, helping, displaying what little knowledge they may (or may not) have.

TO MARKET, TO MARKET: GREAT FEATS IN CANADIAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP FULLER BRUSH First Prototype: 1906 Massachusetts, United States Nova Scotian Alfred C. Fuller started his custom-made brush line on a visit to his sister’s house and set up these guiding principles: Make it work. Make it last. Guarantee it no matter what.

SNOWBLOWER First Prototype: 1925 Quebec Arthur Sicard modeled his selfpropelled snow repositioning system on the mechanics of a grain thresher.

Camp, who decamped from Calgary to San Francisco on his “second or third visit,” put his classroom learning into practice. These days, he adheres to theories of entrepreneurship that mirror his product: keep searching, accentuate what works, build networks and share information. Simply stated, “Look at the hottest companies and see who’s investing in them.” He keeps an The kegerator eye on what Google and Twitter are doing and monitors blogs like Photo courtesy StumbleUpon TechCrunch, Mashable and ReadWriteWeb. When he needs a sounding board, Camp does not circulate a question via Twitter or select a topic from StumbleUpon’s categories; he reaches out to his inner circle: people on his board or “a friend who’s five years older than me, but has three companies.” Camp cultivated his network, more than 7,000 followers on Twitter [http://twitter.com/GMC], by showing up at tech meet-ups. His advice: “Be friends with one person, get to know them well and then you don’t need to work the room.” Camp met one angel investor who led him to others, so it is no surprise that he initiates social networking with face-toface contact and uses e-mail, Facebook and larger events for follow up. StumbleUpon hosts several company-oriented parties throughout the year to reinforce existing connections and cultivate new ones. The casual vibe invites people to mingle in a business environment without the stress of sealing a deal or making a primo connection on the spot. How does StumbleUpon maintain its entrepreneurial spirit among a staff of 65 (up from 34 a year ago and 12 in 2006)? The platform stays nimble by talking to users about interfaces and messaging and by inviting staff to have a say S CHULICH

in what comes next. According to StumbleUpon’s senior product marketing manager Melinda Chung, “Everyone shares their ideas.” Case in point: Hack Day, a full day for the StumbleUpon staff to break into heterogeneous teams to brainstorm and make prototypes for improvements to the platform. Premiered in February 2011, Hack Day gave teams six hours of building time and the opportunity to present prototypes at the end of the day. Hack Day itself is the outgrowth of another in-house brainstorming mechanism. In November 2010, marketing communications manager Katie Gray introduced the Right Brain Committee, a monthly lunchtime gathering for product managers, the business team and a few engineers. Food is provided, all ideas are fair game and negative attitudes are not tolerated. In the brainstorming sessions, naysayers are shot down with resident Nerf guns (engineers keep them on hand for stress-reduction). Workplace playthings include a kegerator (think of a keg inside a refrigerator) and an air hockey table. If employees are encouraged to hone their reflexes, they are also pushed to be part of the in-house culture of testing. Three to five staffers typically have a hand in running unannounced tests – on email subject lines to platform features – that last anywhere from a half day up to two weeks. “Garrett, more than anyone, is a proponent of small and individual brainstorming,” says Chung, who is invested in building new ways to continue to provide “that serendipitous amazement that people enjoy.” Grassroots participation and word-of-mouth-style interaction are an integral part of the culture Camp inspires. “He still wants to write code and come up with screenshot ideas and mock up things,” says MacInnis. The founder and CEO is the only StumbleUpon staffer with his own office (everyone else sits in on open-plan seating) but otherwise maintains a low profile among the greater StumbleUpon team. “If you were to be sitting down in a room of 60 of us – you wouldn’t be able to pick him out,” says MacInnis, “even if I gave you 20 guesses.” 20

ENGINEER

PAINT ROLLER First Prototype: 1940 Toronto Norman Breakey came up with the time- and back-saving idea but did not turn a profit from it. Other fast rollers tweaked his design and sold the cylinder-shaped tools as their own invention.

BLOODY CAESAR

StumbleUpon mobile phone app

First prototype: 1969 Photos courtesy StumbleUpon

Calgary

Laura Silver is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Popular Science and on National Public Radio. 1

Industry Canada. Canadian ICT Sector Profile. Information and Communications Technologies Branch, August 2009 [http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icttic.nsf/eng/h_it07229.html]; Canadian Entrepreneurship Status 2010, Prepared by the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, July 2010, presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada. 2 Canadian Entrepreneurship Status 2010, Prepared by the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, July 2010, presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada. 3 Industry Canada. Canadian ICT Sector Profile. Information and Communications Technologies Branch, August 2009 4 Airship Ventures http://www.airshipventures.com/

TRIVIAL PURSUIT First prototype: 1981 Montreal Inventors Chris Haney and Scott Abbott took on partners and formed the Horn Abbot company, which issued an initial run of 1,100 copies of the game.

Walter Chell designed a cocktail to herald the opening of a new restaurant on the site of what is now the Westin Calgary. The ingredients: Clamato (clam juice with tomato juice), Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and vodka served in a salt-rimmed glass with a celery stalk and a slice of lime. Chell called the concoction a Caesar to honor his Italian ancestry, plus the beverage’s components flaunt the colours of the Italian flag.

BLACKBERRY First prototype: 1999 Waterloo Mike Laziridis. Research in Motion introduced the first BlackBerry device as a two-way pager with a monochrome screen.

S CHULICH

21

ENGINEER


more valuable than money. You can always get more money. The best help that I knew how to get – fast, cheap and meaningful – call up a salesperson, someone who visits others companies doing not-too-dissimilar business. Call up a former professor. They have connections.

3. KEEP UP YOUR CURIOSITY If you're curious, you're going to keep learning. If a customer buys something from you (or visits your site), ask

questions about it. Why? How? When? How often? Start a conversation and follow through.

facturing. They need to make the transition or they’ll end up destroying the new venture or getting replaced by the investors. In other cases, individuals do make the transition and then become paralyzed and can’t allow the ventures to grow. These two behaviour patterns are extremely common but little is said about them in discussions about entrepreneurship.

4. BREAK AWAY FROM “SILO MODE” AND “FOUNDER’S SYNDROME” Some entrepreneurs are great at developing products and establishing businesses but they get overwhelmed when they become responsible for everything: accounting, marketing, selling and manu-

5. MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE Without humour, we have nothing.

6. DO EVERYTHING AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING

7. THROW AWAY THE MARKETING CLOAK

8. BUILD UP A HELL OF A BIG NETWORK

You can't set up fences. You have to be able to quickly change hats, you cannot be stuck on one thing. If there's a problem in accounting, you can't say, "But, I'm a computer person, I'm not an accounting person." You have to learn new skills to be able to communicate in that language.

Everyone likes to think they have a real fix on marketing. They think it's packaging and advertising and newsletters. It’s more in line with Wayne Gretzky’s thinking when he pointed out the difference between knowing where the puck is now and where it’s going to be. The real marketing concept is: Where is this industry or service going?

There are a lot of people who enjoy conversing, helping, displaying what little knowledge they may (or may not) have.

TO MARKET, TO MARKET: GREAT FEATS IN CANADIAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP FULLER BRUSH First Prototype: 1906 Massachusetts, United States Nova Scotian Alfred C. Fuller started his custom-made brush line on a visit to his sister’s house and set up these guiding principles: Make it work. Make it last. Guarantee it no matter what.

SNOWBLOWER First Prototype: 1925 Quebec Arthur Sicard modeled his selfpropelled snow repositioning system on the mechanics of a grain thresher.

Camp, who decamped from Calgary to San Francisco on his “second or third visit,” put his classroom learning into practice. These days, he adheres to theories of entrepreneurship that mirror his product: keep searching, accentuate what works, build networks and share information. Simply stated, “Look at the hottest companies and see who’s investing in them.” He keeps an The kegerator eye on what Google and Twitter are doing and monitors blogs like Photo courtesy StumbleUpon TechCrunch, Mashable and ReadWriteWeb. When he needs a sounding board, Camp does not circulate a question via Twitter or select a topic from StumbleUpon’s categories; he reaches out to his inner circle: people on his board or “a friend who’s five years older than me, but has three companies.” Camp cultivated his network, more than 7,000 followers on Twitter [http://twitter.com/GMC], by showing up at tech meet-ups. His advice: “Be friends with one person, get to know them well and then you don’t need to work the room.” Camp met one angel investor who led him to others, so it is no surprise that he initiates social networking with face-toface contact and uses e-mail, Facebook and larger events for follow up. StumbleUpon hosts several company-oriented parties throughout the year to reinforce existing connections and cultivate new ones. The casual vibe invites people to mingle in a business environment without the stress of sealing a deal or making a primo connection on the spot. How does StumbleUpon maintain its entrepreneurial spirit among a staff of 65 (up from 34 a year ago and 12 in 2006)? The platform stays nimble by talking to users about interfaces and messaging and by inviting staff to have a say S CHULICH

in what comes next. According to StumbleUpon’s senior product marketing manager Melinda Chung, “Everyone shares their ideas.” Case in point: Hack Day, a full day for the StumbleUpon staff to break into heterogeneous teams to brainstorm and make prototypes for improvements to the platform. Premiered in February 2011, Hack Day gave teams six hours of building time and the opportunity to present prototypes at the end of the day. Hack Day itself is the outgrowth of another in-house brainstorming mechanism. In November 2010, marketing communications manager Katie Gray introduced the Right Brain Committee, a monthly lunchtime gathering for product managers, the business team and a few engineers. Food is provided, all ideas are fair game and negative attitudes are not tolerated. In the brainstorming sessions, naysayers are shot down with resident Nerf guns (engineers keep them on hand for stress-reduction). Workplace playthings include a kegerator (think of a keg inside a refrigerator) and an air hockey table. If employees are encouraged to hone their reflexes, they are also pushed to be part of the in-house culture of testing. Three to five staffers typically have a hand in running unannounced tests – on email subject lines to platform features – that last anywhere from a half day up to two weeks. “Garrett, more than anyone, is a proponent of small and individual brainstorming,” says Chung, who is invested in building new ways to continue to provide “that serendipitous amazement that people enjoy.” Grassroots participation and word-of-mouth-style interaction are an integral part of the culture Camp inspires. “He still wants to write code and come up with screenshot ideas and mock up things,” says MacInnis. The founder and CEO is the only StumbleUpon staffer with his own office (everyone else sits in on open-plan seating) but otherwise maintains a low profile among the greater StumbleUpon team. “If you were to be sitting down in a room of 60 of us – you wouldn’t be able to pick him out,” says MacInnis, “even if I gave you 20 guesses.” 20

ENGINEER

PAINT ROLLER First Prototype: 1940 Toronto Norman Breakey came up with the time- and back-saving idea but did not turn a profit from it. Other fast rollers tweaked his design and sold the cylinder-shaped tools as their own invention.

BLOODY CAESAR

StumbleUpon mobile phone app

First prototype: 1969 Photos courtesy StumbleUpon

Calgary

Laura Silver is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Popular Science and on National Public Radio. 1

Industry Canada. Canadian ICT Sector Profile. Information and Communications Technologies Branch, August 2009 [http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icttic.nsf/eng/h_it07229.html]; Canadian Entrepreneurship Status 2010, Prepared by the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, July 2010, presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada. 2 Canadian Entrepreneurship Status 2010, Prepared by the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, July 2010, presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada. 3 Industry Canada. Canadian ICT Sector Profile. Information and Communications Technologies Branch, August 2009 4 Airship Ventures http://www.airshipventures.com/

TRIVIAL PURSUIT First prototype: 1981 Montreal Inventors Chris Haney and Scott Abbott took on partners and formed the Horn Abbot company, which issued an initial run of 1,100 copies of the game.

Walter Chell designed a cocktail to herald the opening of a new restaurant on the site of what is now the Westin Calgary. The ingredients: Clamato (clam juice with tomato juice), Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and vodka served in a salt-rimmed glass with a celery stalk and a slice of lime. Chell called the concoction a Caesar to honor his Italian ancestry, plus the beverage’s components flaunt the colours of the Italian flag.

BLACKBERRY First prototype: 1999 Waterloo Mike Laziridis. Research in Motion introduced the first BlackBerry device as a two-way pager with a monochrome screen.

S CHULICH

21

ENGINEER


AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SOLUTION FOR SHARING SCIENTIFIC DATA

It’s a vision for a company that could change the way environmental research is conducted. Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing, or GeoCENS, is a $1-million initiative to create an interactive web-based portal for scientific data related to climate, water and wildlife. It will enable remote analysis of data and social networking within the biogeoscience community. Scientists typically use their own ground-based sensors for data collection and environmental monitoring. GeoCENS means scientists will be able to contribute and share research data remotely. They will have access to two- and threedimensional graphics, historical data

and real-time information all broken down into specific geographical areas. The project team includes Steve Liang and Caterina Valeo from the Schulich School of Engineering, Edward Johnson from the University of Calgary’s Biogeosciences Institute and John Pomeroy from the University of Saskatchewan. GeoCENS is sponsored by Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE) and Cybera, a not-for-profit organization in Alberta that facilitates innovation through the use of cyberinfrastructure.

The pitch

JUST HOW CRAZY ARE ENTREPRENEURS? The New York Times published an article recently about an entrepreneur, Seth Priebatsch, and described what it called his “hypomanic” attributes: an elevated mood, obsession with one idea, little need for sleep, massive self-confidence. The article implies that entrepreneurship is an inbuilt trait somewhere to the right of normal, and just on the edge of manic illnesses. It cites Steve Jobs and Henry Ford as other examples of this type. This is a familiar argument: that entrepreneurs are born not made, and has also been applied to “prodigies” and “geniuses” in other spheres. But is this a fair reflection of entrepreneurs, and if so, what does it imply for schemes which aim to encourage or teach entrepreneurship?

What does an entrepreneur look like? Imagine an entrepreneur. What do they look like? What do they sound like? Perhaps you think of one of the dragons from Dragons’ Den, or Richard Branson. It is tempting to extrapolate from these highly visible examples and get the same impression of entrepreneurs as a manic, bombastic group. However, there is a selection bias at work here: not all entrepreneurs seek public attention. Those people with the job title “entrepreneur” are those who seek publicity and attention for themselves. But thousands of businesses are started every year, and hundreds of venture capital bets placed, and we don't know all their names. Meeting with a successful serial entrepreneur a couple of weeks ago, he described different motivations in his peers: for money, for the technical challenge, for the buzz.

In order to successfully secure investment, especially venture capital, you will need to pitch the idea. Those who can sell with confidence and self-belief are more likely to be funded. This makes logical sense: if you can't sell to the investors, how are you going to convince customers and make money? How are you going to inspire your team?

RESOURCES

The Alberta Innovates Connector is a free service that puts entrepreneurs in contact with business strategies, potential investors and extensive resources in the province. albertainnovates.ca/connector

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is the world’s largest private foundation dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, based in Kansas City, Missouri. kauffman.org

Innovate Calgary works with researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to accelerate the commercialization of emerging technologies and support and facilitate the creation and growth of technologybased companies in southern Alberta. innovatecalgary.com

National Angel Capital Organization, a non-profit association for angel investors, provides referrals and guidance to entrepreneurs. angelinvestor.ca/For_Entrepreneurs.asp

Canada Business provides a wealth of information on government services for entrepreneurs through centres in each province and territory. canadabusiness.ca

MOTIVATIONS OF MALE AND FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS Startup company culture appealed to me

77%

The team But that's a “hygiene” factor – a condition of entry. To be distinctive, you also need a great idea, and a market to match, but more than that, many venture capitalists will tell you that they back the team. One guy is not usually enough – you need a balance of skills in the team to increase the chances of success. You want people who understand the product and their customers, who can deliver to deadlines, who can take care of the money.

Rewriting the stereotype My point is that this concept of the manic entrepreneur can be very damaging. In a recovering economy, many people would like to inspire more entrepreneurs. If the only model held up is one of bombastic arrogance, then those who don't identify themselves with this personality will be put off, and feel they can't succeed. This could be an especially harmful notion when it comes to inspiring women to start businesses. How to pitch with confidence can be taught, and will improve with practice – as long as you are obsessed with your idea. And everyone is obsessed by something. Reprinted with permission from the Policy Innovation Blog by Louise Marston, National Endowment for Science and Technology and Arts in the United Kingdom, nesta.org.uk.

68% Wanted to capitalize on a business idea that I had

73% 71% Wanted to build wealth

73% 76% Have always wanted my own company

70% 65% Working for someone else didn’t appeal to me

70% 60% Co-founder encouraged me to become a partner and start our company *

56%

Female Male Answers based on least to most important.

31% * Statistically significant gender difference at .01 level

An entrepreneurial friend or family member was a role model

55% 40% Developed a technology in a laboratory environment and wanted to see it make an impact

29% 22% Couldn’t find traditional employment

5% 5% S CHULICH

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into products and services. riccentre.com

22

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S CHULICH

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Reprinted from The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Are Successful Women Entrepreneurs Different From Men? Authors: J. McGrath Cohoon, Vivek Wadhwa, Lesa Mitchell. Copyright © 2010 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SOLUTION FOR SHARING SCIENTIFIC DATA

It’s a vision for a company that could change the way environmental research is conducted. Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing, or GeoCENS, is a $1-million initiative to create an interactive web-based portal for scientific data related to climate, water and wildlife. It will enable remote analysis of data and social networking within the biogeoscience community. Scientists typically use their own ground-based sensors for data collection and environmental monitoring. GeoCENS means scientists will be able to contribute and share research data remotely. They will have access to two- and threedimensional graphics, historical data

and real-time information all broken down into specific geographical areas. The project team includes Steve Liang and Caterina Valeo from the Schulich School of Engineering, Edward Johnson from the University of Calgary’s Biogeosciences Institute and John Pomeroy from the University of Saskatchewan. GeoCENS is sponsored by Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE) and Cybera, a not-for-profit organization in Alberta that facilitates innovation through the use of cyberinfrastructure.

The pitch

JUST HOW CRAZY ARE ENTREPRENEURS? The New York Times published an article recently about an entrepreneur, Seth Priebatsch, and described what it called his “hypomanic” attributes: an elevated mood, obsession with one idea, little need for sleep, massive self-confidence. The article implies that entrepreneurship is an inbuilt trait somewhere to the right of normal, and just on the edge of manic illnesses. It cites Steve Jobs and Henry Ford as other examples of this type. This is a familiar argument: that entrepreneurs are born not made, and has also been applied to “prodigies” and “geniuses” in other spheres. But is this a fair reflection of entrepreneurs, and if so, what does it imply for schemes which aim to encourage or teach entrepreneurship?

What does an entrepreneur look like? Imagine an entrepreneur. What do they look like? What do they sound like? Perhaps you think of one of the dragons from Dragons’ Den, or Richard Branson. It is tempting to extrapolate from these highly visible examples and get the same impression of entrepreneurs as a manic, bombastic group. However, there is a selection bias at work here: not all entrepreneurs seek public attention. Those people with the job title “entrepreneur” are those who seek publicity and attention for themselves. But thousands of businesses are started every year, and hundreds of venture capital bets placed, and we don't know all their names. Meeting with a successful serial entrepreneur a couple of weeks ago, he described different motivations in his peers: for money, for the technical challenge, for the buzz.

In order to successfully secure investment, especially venture capital, you will need to pitch the idea. Those who can sell with confidence and self-belief are more likely to be funded. This makes logical sense: if you can't sell to the investors, how are you going to convince customers and make money? How are you going to inspire your team?

RESOURCES

The Alberta Innovates Connector is a free service that puts entrepreneurs in contact with business strategies, potential investors and extensive resources in the province. albertainnovates.ca/connector

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is the world’s largest private foundation dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, based in Kansas City, Missouri. kauffman.org

Innovate Calgary works with researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to accelerate the commercialization of emerging technologies and support and facilitate the creation and growth of technologybased companies in southern Alberta. innovatecalgary.com

National Angel Capital Organization, a non-profit association for angel investors, provides referrals and guidance to entrepreneurs. angelinvestor.ca/For_Entrepreneurs.asp

Canada Business provides a wealth of information on government services for entrepreneurs through centres in each province and territory. canadabusiness.ca

MOTIVATIONS OF MALE AND FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS Startup company culture appealed to me

77%

The team But that's a “hygiene” factor – a condition of entry. To be distinctive, you also need a great idea, and a market to match, but more than that, many venture capitalists will tell you that they back the team. One guy is not usually enough – you need a balance of skills in the team to increase the chances of success. You want people who understand the product and their customers, who can deliver to deadlines, who can take care of the money.

Rewriting the stereotype My point is that this concept of the manic entrepreneur can be very damaging. In a recovering economy, many people would like to inspire more entrepreneurs. If the only model held up is one of bombastic arrogance, then those who don't identify themselves with this personality will be put off, and feel they can't succeed. This could be an especially harmful notion when it comes to inspiring women to start businesses. How to pitch with confidence can be taught, and will improve with practice – as long as you are obsessed with your idea. And everyone is obsessed by something. Reprinted with permission from the Policy Innovation Blog by Louise Marston, National Endowment for Science and Technology and Arts in the United Kingdom, nesta.org.uk.

68% Wanted to capitalize on a business idea that I had

73% 71% Wanted to build wealth

73% 76% Have always wanted my own company

70% 65% Working for someone else didn’t appeal to me

70% 60% Co-founder encouraged me to become a partner and start our company *

56%

Female Male Answers based on least to most important.

31% * Statistically significant gender difference at .01 level

An entrepreneurial friend or family member was a role model

55% 40% Developed a technology in a laboratory environment and wanted to see it make an impact

29% 22% Couldn’t find traditional employment

5% 5% S CHULICH

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into products and services. riccentre.com

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Reprinted from The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Are Successful Women Entrepreneurs Different From Men? Authors: J. McGrath Cohoon, Vivek Wadhwa, Lesa Mitchell. Copyright © 2010 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


FEATURE Civil engineering student Dena Ghoneim before leaving for Ghana.

DG:

PHOTOS BY PATRICK MILLER

Photo by Kevin Zwaagstra

PM: Patrick Miller in Mapalo, Zambia. Photo courtesy Patrick Miller

Experiencing Innovation in Africa

There are certain things in life that have to be experienced in order to be understood. Working in Africa on engineering projects might just be one of them. Every year, the University of Calgary chapter of Engineers Without Borders sends two members to Africa to get that experience. Co-president Patrick Miller, a civil engineering graduate student, spent several months in Zambia in 2009. Dena Ghoneim, a fourth-year civil engineering student, has just embarked on her own adventure in Ghana. Before she set off, we asked Miller and Ghoneim the same set of questions to get a glimpse of the expectations young engineers have going in and what they end up discovering about the world and themselves.

S CHULICH

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FEATURE Civil engineering student Dena Ghoneim before leaving for Ghana.

DG:

PHOTOS BY PATRICK MILLER

Photo by Kevin Zwaagstra

PM: Patrick Miller in Mapalo, Zambia. Photo courtesy Patrick Miller

Experiencing Innovation in Africa

There are certain things in life that have to be experienced in order to be understood. Working in Africa on engineering projects might just be one of them. Every year, the University of Calgary chapter of Engineers Without Borders sends two members to Africa to get that experience. Co-president Patrick Miller, a civil engineering graduate student, spent several months in Zambia in 2009. Dena Ghoneim, a fourth-year civil engineering student, has just embarked on her own adventure in Ghana. Before she set off, we asked Miller and Ghoneim the same set of questions to get a glimpse of the expectations young engineers have going in and what they end up discovering about the world and themselves.

S CHULICH

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What is the most physically challenging part of working in Africa? DG: I expect that the most physically challenging part of working in Africa will be maintaining day-to-day health. Malaria is common and widespread in subSaharan Africa. Although we take anti-malarial medication, there’s still a level of risk. This doesn’t pose any serious health threats, just the same inconveniences as catching the flu in Canada, as long as we have access to the appropriate medication.

What is the most psychologically challenging part?

PM: That depends on where you live in Africa. Different countries have different conditions and each community – whether it’s rural or urban – presents unique challenges and opportunities. Some people are uncomfortable eating a new kind of food, others find it uncomfortable to use a pit latrine. Or perhaps the change in climate is challenging. When I was working in Zambia, I didn’t experience too many physical challenges.

S CHULICH

The greatest physical challenges started with a mosquito bite and ended with a trip to the doctor. I had a few bouts with malaria: nausea, intense fever, and pain that slowed me down quite a bit. But there’s a simple three-day treatment that was readily available so I was never down for the count.

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Page 24: Football is a favourite pastime in Zambia. Out of love for the game children often make their own balls out of easy-to-find materials. Page 26: Carpenters with their finished chair. Page 27: This child, Felix, had never seen a real car in his life but he created a toy car with moving parts and a steering wheel based on a picture he had seen.

DG: Travelling to any foreign area poses many psychological challenges. Working and attempting to integrate into the culture of the community will pose some psychological and perspective challenges for me. On the work side, maintaining a big-picture perspective of my work in Ghana will be challenging as I will be facing some of the problems around government corruption while attempting to help create change in this system. Maintaining an optimistic perspective, regardless of the number of challenges I will face, will be a choice

of perspective. It may be difficult but one way of preparing that I will be using is developing a journal of some of the successes my team has had both in Canada and in Africa. On the day-to-day living and more personal side, there’s the challenge of being faced with feelings of isolation from Canada. However, this can be overcome by creating means for people to maintain contact with you, be it friends, family, the EWB community and people interested in learning more about my work and life in Ghana in general.

S CHULICH

PM: During my placement I was constantly challenging and evaluating myself to make sure I was maximizing my time in Zambia, not only as a learning experience, but to also make sure I was contributing the best I could to local development. Was I doing the right thing? Was I asking the right questions? Was my work actually supporting local leaders and all their efforts to create opportunity for their communities, or was I on a glorified vacation?

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These questions challenged me to rethink my role in development – and it was an important challenge. I feel it’s too easy to get caught up in the process of “working in Africa” and forget the purpose of our work. Perspectives collide when working overseas; our ideas are always being challenged by new experiences and the complexity of development. This helped me see the big picture and made me focus on what was important: the people.


What is the most physically challenging part of working in Africa? DG: I expect that the most physically challenging part of working in Africa will be maintaining day-to-day health. Malaria is common and widespread in subSaharan Africa. Although we take anti-malarial medication, there’s still a level of risk. This doesn’t pose any serious health threats, just the same inconveniences as catching the flu in Canada, as long as we have access to the appropriate medication.

What is the most psychologically challenging part?

PM: That depends on where you live in Africa. Different countries have different conditions and each community – whether it’s rural or urban – presents unique challenges and opportunities. Some people are uncomfortable eating a new kind of food, others find it uncomfortable to use a pit latrine. Or perhaps the change in climate is challenging. When I was working in Zambia, I didn’t experience too many physical challenges.

S CHULICH

The greatest physical challenges started with a mosquito bite and ended with a trip to the doctor. I had a few bouts with malaria: nausea, intense fever, and pain that slowed me down quite a bit. But there’s a simple three-day treatment that was readily available so I was never down for the count.

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Page 24: Football is a favourite pastime in Zambia. Out of love for the game children often make their own balls out of easy-to-find materials. Page 26: Carpenters with their finished chair. Page 27: This child, Felix, had never seen a real car in his life but he created a toy car with moving parts and a steering wheel based on a picture he had seen.

DG: Travelling to any foreign area poses many psychological challenges. Working and attempting to integrate into the culture of the community will pose some psychological and perspective challenges for me. On the work side, maintaining a big-picture perspective of my work in Ghana will be challenging as I will be facing some of the problems around government corruption while attempting to help create change in this system. Maintaining an optimistic perspective, regardless of the number of challenges I will face, will be a choice

of perspective. It may be difficult but one way of preparing that I will be using is developing a journal of some of the successes my team has had both in Canada and in Africa. On the day-to-day living and more personal side, there’s the challenge of being faced with feelings of isolation from Canada. However, this can be overcome by creating means for people to maintain contact with you, be it friends, family, the EWB community and people interested in learning more about my work and life in Ghana in general.

S CHULICH

PM: During my placement I was constantly challenging and evaluating myself to make sure I was maximizing my time in Zambia, not only as a learning experience, but to also make sure I was contributing the best I could to local development. Was I doing the right thing? Was I asking the right questions? Was my work actually supporting local leaders and all their efforts to create opportunity for their communities, or was I on a glorified vacation?

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These questions challenged me to rethink my role in development – and it was an important challenge. I feel it’s too easy to get caught up in the process of “working in Africa” and forget the purpose of our work. Perspectives collide when working overseas; our ideas are always being challenged by new experiences and the complexity of development. This helped me see the big picture and made me focus on what was important: the people.


How should students prepare for their work period in Africa? DG: My preparations for Africa are heavily focused on learning about the specific sector I will be working with, particularly learning about the government and history of Ghana. I’ve also devoted much of my time to understanding the different aspects of culture in Ghana as well as the development sector as a whole. The development sector faces many challenges and there have been many failures that we can learn from. Becoming familiar with these is an important part of developing an adaptable mindset when overseas.

What is almost impossible to prepare for?

Development work in Africa is incredibly complex – there’s no way to prepare for all the experiences. Besides the usual tasks of learning about the culture, history, cross-cultural communication and development practice, you’ll likely encounter a feeling of “the more I learn, the less I know.” It’s important to embrace this and face each situation with the curiosity of a three-year-old combined with the critical thinking skills of an engineer.

PM:

S CHULICH

Every situation is a learning opportunity and, whether it’s through success or failure, to be truly useful we must learn all we can from each one. If students go with a willingness to learn and the empathy to put the people of developing nations first, they’ll be well on their way.

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Page 28: At this bustling market in Twapia, people who have started their own small businesses sell everything from cooking oil to fresh vegetables. Page 30: Kafubu water stand.

DG: You just have to accept that you won’t be prepared for many things that you’ll encounter while overseas. One thing that stands out to me right now is the challenge of developing relationships with work partners and building deep, meaningful relationships that evolve around trust. There’s no way to prepare for building relationships with people, only the willingness within yourself to do it. It’s

inevitable that there will be challenges, especially when trying to break down cultural barriers. Working with people is always unpredictable – and exciting! – and that’s a simple reality of life.

S CHULICH

All the awkward moments you’ll encounter. No matter how much reading you do about culture, history and language, working and living overseas will always be filled with awkward moments. After a dinner of awkward stares you may realize you just ate a whole meal using your left hand (which could be taboo as the left hand may be traditionally used for other business). Or perhaps you’ll fail to recognize the PM:

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status of a leader in the community and inadvertently offend them. There’s no way to prepare for all these situations. You just have to have self awareness, ask lots of questions and be ready to learn from each slip up.


How should students prepare for their work period in Africa? DG: My preparations for Africa are heavily focused on learning about the specific sector I will be working with, particularly learning about the government and history of Ghana. I’ve also devoted much of my time to understanding the different aspects of culture in Ghana as well as the development sector as a whole. The development sector faces many challenges and there have been many failures that we can learn from. Becoming familiar with these is an important part of developing an adaptable mindset when overseas.

What is almost impossible to prepare for?

Development work in Africa is incredibly complex – there’s no way to prepare for all the experiences. Besides the usual tasks of learning about the culture, history, cross-cultural communication and development practice, you’ll likely encounter a feeling of “the more I learn, the less I know.” It’s important to embrace this and face each situation with the curiosity of a three-year-old combined with the critical thinking skills of an engineer.

PM:

S CHULICH

Every situation is a learning opportunity and, whether it’s through success or failure, to be truly useful we must learn all we can from each one. If students go with a willingness to learn and the empathy to put the people of developing nations first, they’ll be well on their way.

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ENGINEER

Page 28: At this bustling market in Twapia, people who have started their own small businesses sell everything from cooking oil to fresh vegetables. Page 30: Kafubu water stand.

DG: You just have to accept that you won’t be prepared for many things that you’ll encounter while overseas. One thing that stands out to me right now is the challenge of developing relationships with work partners and building deep, meaningful relationships that evolve around trust. There’s no way to prepare for building relationships with people, only the willingness within yourself to do it. It’s

inevitable that there will be challenges, especially when trying to break down cultural barriers. Working with people is always unpredictable – and exciting! – and that’s a simple reality of life.

S CHULICH

All the awkward moments you’ll encounter. No matter how much reading you do about culture, history and language, working and living overseas will always be filled with awkward moments. After a dinner of awkward stares you may realize you just ate a whole meal using your left hand (which could be taboo as the left hand may be traditionally used for other business). Or perhaps you’ll fail to recognize the PM:

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ENGINEER

status of a leader in the community and inadvertently offend them. There’s no way to prepare for all these situations. You just have to have self awareness, ask lots of questions and be ready to learn from each slip up.


How does the experience change you?

What kind of difference can you make? DG: I know that my time in Ghana will be fairly short in order to create some lasting traces of positive impact. There are many long term volunteers that are on the ground in Ghana working to ensure that the transition of work is maintained. I am hoping that my contribution to my team in Ghana will be one where I have aided in the development of some of the long term impacts that we are hoping to have within

our districts in Ghana, particularly around seeing changes in the government system that develops from the ground up to better support the needs of the people of Ghana.

S CHULICH

PM: The mere act of volunteering doesn’t mean that real positive change will happen on the ground. Development is a complex problem and we can’t expect to change the world on our own. We often jump for a quick-fix solution. For example, if there’s a lack of water we jump to build a well. But we forget that quick-fix solutions fail rather quickly. If we build a well without looking at the broader picture and at the systems needed to support that well, we aren’t accomplishing much, especially if the well breaks and there’s no support to fix it. If we’re willing to

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embrace these challenges and work with local leaders to develop solutions that are thought about carefully, we’ll begin to see gradual and meaningful change. There are many ways people can make a difference from right here in Canada by working in partnership with local businesses, governments, and non-government organizations to create opportunity or help provide essential services. It’s all about partnerships and simple actions like writing to our Members of Parliament or buying fair-trade products.

DG: I know this experience will be one that stays with me for the rest of my life. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to challenge my character and learn more about my perceptions of international development. This experience will be one of growth and I hope I’ll be able to give as much back to the people of the community I’ll be working in as I learn from them.

in their community. We hear words like “wealth,” “poverty,” “development” and “opportunity” all the time but as Westerners we often define them from our own perspective. My own perceptions of those words have changed. Spending any length of time overseas opens your mind to the frustrations of the aid and development sector but it also makes you aware of the diversity, hope and opportunity in communities around the globe. Working in Zambia and seeing this broken aid system

PM: My experience allowed me to jump headfirst into a new culture and a new sector of work. By living in Twapia, I was exposed to so many new people and I was able to explore their lives – laughter and sorrow, the opportunities and challenges. I tried to walk into Twapia with a blank canvas – a mind ready to learn. The people of Twapia painted full-colour memories that challenged me to rethink development and how my actions as a global citizen were both hindering and accelerating positive change

S CHULICH

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ENGINEER

and hearing the stories of so many people with little opportunity, ignited immense frustration in me. But it also instilled hope that things can change – people in Zambia are working to make changes in their lives because they need to change, and we can help that happen.


How does the experience change you?

What kind of difference can you make? DG: I know that my time in Ghana will be fairly short in order to create some lasting traces of positive impact. There are many long term volunteers that are on the ground in Ghana working to ensure that the transition of work is maintained. I am hoping that my contribution to my team in Ghana will be one where I have aided in the development of some of the long term impacts that we are hoping to have within

our districts in Ghana, particularly around seeing changes in the government system that develops from the ground up to better support the needs of the people of Ghana.

S CHULICH

PM: The mere act of volunteering doesn’t mean that real positive change will happen on the ground. Development is a complex problem and we can’t expect to change the world on our own. We often jump for a quick-fix solution. For example, if there’s a lack of water we jump to build a well. But we forget that quick-fix solutions fail rather quickly. If we build a well without looking at the broader picture and at the systems needed to support that well, we aren’t accomplishing much, especially if the well breaks and there’s no support to fix it. If we’re willing to

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embrace these challenges and work with local leaders to develop solutions that are thought about carefully, we’ll begin to see gradual and meaningful change. There are many ways people can make a difference from right here in Canada by working in partnership with local businesses, governments, and non-government organizations to create opportunity or help provide essential services. It’s all about partnerships and simple actions like writing to our Members of Parliament or buying fair-trade products.

DG: I know this experience will be one that stays with me for the rest of my life. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to challenge my character and learn more about my perceptions of international development. This experience will be one of growth and I hope I’ll be able to give as much back to the people of the community I’ll be working in as I learn from them.

in their community. We hear words like “wealth,” “poverty,” “development” and “opportunity” all the time but as Westerners we often define them from our own perspective. My own perceptions of those words have changed. Spending any length of time overseas opens your mind to the frustrations of the aid and development sector but it also makes you aware of the diversity, hope and opportunity in communities around the globe. Working in Zambia and seeing this broken aid system

PM: My experience allowed me to jump headfirst into a new culture and a new sector of work. By living in Twapia, I was exposed to so many new people and I was able to explore their lives – laughter and sorrow, the opportunities and challenges. I tried to walk into Twapia with a blank canvas – a mind ready to learn. The people of Twapia painted full-colour memories that challenged me to rethink development and how my actions as a global citizen were both hindering and accelerating positive change

S CHULICH

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and hearing the stories of so many people with little opportunity, ignited immense frustration in me. But it also instilled hope that things can change – people in Zambia are working to make changes in their lives because they need to change, and we can help that happen.


FEATURE COMPILED BY JENNIFER S OWA

EIGHT FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING TO IMPROVE URBAN LIFE THE PLANET IS GETTING MORE CROWDED AND LIFE IS GETTING MORE COMPLICATED. WHETHER IT ’ S ENERGY CONSUMPTION, AGING INFRASTRUCTURE , TRAFFIC CHAOS OR JUST FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND, EVERYDAY CHALLENGES ARE PUTTING THE SQUEEZE ON TIME AND RESOURCES .

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Right: Simulation of rush hour traffic on Calgary’s Deerfoot during a snowfall. Image courtesy Saeid Saidi

No 1 Traffic LINA KATTAN URBAN ALLIANCE PROFESSOR IN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS OPTIMIZATION

Top: Traffic on 14th Street SW, Calgary, Alberta. March, 1966. Photo Glenbow Archives

When people think of traffic management they tend to think about vehicles and traffic jams. It’s actually much more complex. It involves technological solutions but also the study of human behaviour, all the factors that influence why people live where they do, what routes they take to work, their mode of transport and all the factors that influence their decisions. Traffic research has become very high-tech. One tool my team uses is traffic simulation software. We can plug in historical data to study how a certain variable would affect traffic depending on the weather and time of day, during rush hour for example. We use simulation to develop intelligent transportation systems: everything from sensors at

intersections that influence traffic signals to ramp metering on busy freeways to regulate traffic flow. Many major cities around the world now use ramp metering technology and we’re going to see more and more in the future. Not only does it help keep traffic flowing smoothly, there's a safety element because it helps reduce collisions.

EXPERTS AT THE SCHULICH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING WEIGH IN ON EIGHT FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING AND THE ADVANCEMENTS TO IMPROVE LIVES .

S CHULICH

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FEATURE COMPILED BY JENNIFER S OWA

EIGHT FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING TO IMPROVE URBAN LIFE THE PLANET IS GETTING MORE CROWDED AND LIFE IS GETTING MORE COMPLICATED. WHETHER IT ’ S ENERGY CONSUMPTION, AGING INFRASTRUCTURE , TRAFFIC CHAOS OR JUST FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND, EVERYDAY CHALLENGES ARE PUTTING THE SQUEEZE ON TIME AND RESOURCES .

1 NA-4476-772

Right: Simulation of rush hour traffic on Calgary’s Deerfoot during a snowfall. Image courtesy Saeid Saidi

No 1 Traffic LINA KATTAN URBAN ALLIANCE PROFESSOR IN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS OPTIMIZATION

Top: Traffic on 14th Street SW, Calgary, Alberta. March, 1966. Photo Glenbow Archives

When people think of traffic management they tend to think about vehicles and traffic jams. It’s actually much more complex. It involves technological solutions but also the study of human behaviour, all the factors that influence why people live where they do, what routes they take to work, their mode of transport and all the factors that influence their decisions. Traffic research has become very high-tech. One tool my team uses is traffic simulation software. We can plug in historical data to study how a certain variable would affect traffic depending on the weather and time of day, during rush hour for example. We use simulation to develop intelligent transportation systems: everything from sensors at

intersections that influence traffic signals to ramp metering on busy freeways to regulate traffic flow. Many major cities around the world now use ramp metering technology and we’re going to see more and more in the future. Not only does it help keep traffic flowing smoothly, there's a safety element because it helps reduce collisions.

EXPERTS AT THE SCHULICH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING WEIGH IN ON EIGHT FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING AND THE ADVANCEMENTS TO IMPROVE LIVES .

S CHULICH

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ENGINEER


2 No 3 Oil Sands IAN GATES ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND EXPERT IN HEAVY OIL AND OIL SANDS RECOVERY PROCESS DESIGN

NA-1042-3

Above: Tom Brown at Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Bridge. Engineers use remote monitoring to assess how ice forces affect the performance of the bridge. Photo courtesy Tom Brown

Above right: Close view of newly built Louise Bridge, Calgary, Alberta. [ca. 1906]. Photo Glenbow Archives

No 2 Infrastructure TOM BROWN EXPERT ON ICE MECHANICS AND STRUCTURAL HEALTH MONITORING AND CONSULTANT ON THE DESIGN OF THE CONFEDERATION BRIDGE , THE WORLD ’ S LONGEST BRIDGE OVER ICE - COVERED WATERS

If there’s one thing we’re heavily dependent on it’s our infrastructure: roads, bridges, buildings, underground water and sewage systems, and pipelines. Despite the fact that our infrastructure is aging and there’s increasing demand for it, we just take it for granted that it all works. But it only works because people are looking after it. In the past, we’ve assessed performance by very simple monitoring: going out to look at the infrastructure. Within the last 20 years, we’ve developed techniques that allow us to observe them remotely by using instrumentation, such as sensors, and monitoring that instrumentation. The technology is getting better and better all the time

and it allows us to make better decisions about when we need to fix something. It will allow us to assess whether a pipeline, for example, is approaching the end of its lifespan or whether it’s likely to last another 100 years, not 50. At the Schulich School of Engineering, we’re developing “smart” structural health monitoring systems that are low-cost, require very little human intervention and have warning systems built in. The idea is that they’re ticking away in the background, taking in data and processing it. Once it detects a certain condition that we’ve programmed into it, a warning goes off. That’s when you take a closer look at the infrastructure system. The oil and gas industry has been doing that for decades to detect pipeline leaks. Eventually we’ll get to the point where all the major things we build will have systems like that. The longer we can make our infrastructure work for us, the better off we are because we’ll spend a lot less money on costly replacements and we’ll optimize maintenance strategies.

Above: Impact of smart wells on SAGD vs. standard well. Image courtesy Gates Research Group

Right: Dingman #2 well (Calgary Petroleum Products #2), Turner Valley, Alberta. 1914. Photo Glenbow Archives

Smart wells are among the latest innovations in heavy oil production. These are wells with intelligence behind them because they have sensors, imaging capabilities and temperature and pressure control. They can actually control their operation to produce from an area that’s oil-rich rather than one that’s not. Although companies are starting to use this technology in conventional oil projects and offshore operations, it’s in its infancy for heavy oil and oil sands production. That’s the focus of our research. We’re using advanced reservoir imaging methods to develop algorithms so we can put smart wells to work in Alberta’s oil sands, which contain the largest reserves of heavy oil in the world. With a horizontal well that’s nearly one kilometre long, the oil you actually produce might just come from the first 200 metres of that well so the other 800 metres are very poorly used. There’s a cost, both economic and environmental, associated with that. If it’s a smart well, it could shut in the 200 metres because it will detect cold zones along the well and adjust production accordingly. Smart wells will also help us recover oil that’s inaccessible with today’s technologies, such as oil trapped in thin

reservoirs. Steam injection uniformity and efficiency would improve as well. Right now, steam is injected from the surface and there’s little control over where the steam goes. It takes the path of least resistance. In a smart well, if you wanted to target the steam, say, in the first 20 percent of the length of the well, you could do exactly that. You could control it. Smart wells will change the future of heavy oil because they increase efficiency and precision.

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S CHULICH

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S CHULICH

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2 No 3 Oil Sands IAN GATES ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND EXPERT IN HEAVY OIL AND OIL SANDS RECOVERY PROCESS DESIGN

NA-1042-3

Above: Tom Brown at Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Bridge. Engineers use remote monitoring to assess how ice forces affect the performance of the bridge. Photo courtesy Tom Brown

Above right: Close view of newly built Louise Bridge, Calgary, Alberta. [ca. 1906]. Photo Glenbow Archives

No 2 Infrastructure TOM BROWN EXPERT ON ICE MECHANICS AND STRUCTURAL HEALTH MONITORING AND CONSULTANT ON THE DESIGN OF THE CONFEDERATION BRIDGE , THE WORLD ’ S LONGEST BRIDGE OVER ICE - COVERED WATERS

If there’s one thing we’re heavily dependent on it’s our infrastructure: roads, bridges, buildings, underground water and sewage systems, and pipelines. Despite the fact that our infrastructure is aging and there’s increasing demand for it, we just take it for granted that it all works. But it only works because people are looking after it. In the past, we’ve assessed performance by very simple monitoring: going out to look at the infrastructure. Within the last 20 years, we’ve developed techniques that allow us to observe them remotely by using instrumentation, such as sensors, and monitoring that instrumentation. The technology is getting better and better all the time

and it allows us to make better decisions about when we need to fix something. It will allow us to assess whether a pipeline, for example, is approaching the end of its lifespan or whether it’s likely to last another 100 years, not 50. At the Schulich School of Engineering, we’re developing “smart” structural health monitoring systems that are low-cost, require very little human intervention and have warning systems built in. The idea is that they’re ticking away in the background, taking in data and processing it. Once it detects a certain condition that we’ve programmed into it, a warning goes off. That’s when you take a closer look at the infrastructure system. The oil and gas industry has been doing that for decades to detect pipeline leaks. Eventually we’ll get to the point where all the major things we build will have systems like that. The longer we can make our infrastructure work for us, the better off we are because we’ll spend a lot less money on costly replacements and we’ll optimize maintenance strategies.

Above: Impact of smart wells on SAGD vs. standard well. Image courtesy Gates Research Group

Right: Dingman #2 well (Calgary Petroleum Products #2), Turner Valley, Alberta. 1914. Photo Glenbow Archives

Smart wells are among the latest innovations in heavy oil production. These are wells with intelligence behind them because they have sensors, imaging capabilities and temperature and pressure control. They can actually control their operation to produce from an area that’s oil-rich rather than one that’s not. Although companies are starting to use this technology in conventional oil projects and offshore operations, it’s in its infancy for heavy oil and oil sands production. That’s the focus of our research. We’re using advanced reservoir imaging methods to develop algorithms so we can put smart wells to work in Alberta’s oil sands, which contain the largest reserves of heavy oil in the world. With a horizontal well that’s nearly one kilometre long, the oil you actually produce might just come from the first 200 metres of that well so the other 800 metres are very poorly used. There’s a cost, both economic and environmental, associated with that. If it’s a smart well, it could shut in the 200 metres because it will detect cold zones along the well and adjust production accordingly. Smart wells will also help us recover oil that’s inaccessible with today’s technologies, such as oil trapped in thin

reservoirs. Steam injection uniformity and efficiency would improve as well. Right now, steam is injected from the surface and there’s little control over where the steam goes. It takes the path of least resistance. In a smart well, if you wanted to target the steam, say, in the first 20 percent of the length of the well, you could do exactly that. You could control it. Smart wells will change the future of heavy oil because they increase efficiency and precision.

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Below: David Wood in the lab with a test generator for a small wind turbine.

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Photo by Riley Brandt

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No 5 Communication

DAVID WOOD

GEOFFREY MESSIER

NSERC / ENMAX RESEARCH CHAIR

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN ELECTRICAL

IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING AND AN EXPERT ON WIRELESS NETWORKS

In Calgary, we’re exploring the potential of homeowners one day being able to generate their own electricity using small wind turbines in their own backyards. It’s part of what we call distributed generation systems, and Canada is at the forefront of this technology. Instead of feeding the electricity grid from one or two large power stations, there’s a series of smaller generators throughout the grid. This helps optimize power capacity and helps avoid the need for new coal-fired power stations that release greenhouse gases. There’s never just one solution when it comes to renewable energy. It’s all about figuring out which technology works best in certain situations. It’s also about educating the public about the advantages. We’re also helping the City of Calgary to monitor the performance of solar panels on firehalls. We will measure the amount of energy they produce and make that information available to the public. We will do similar monitoring of the new solar thermal facility at Southland Leisure Centre, which plans to use geothermal technology to heat its swimming pools. A lot of people are interested in renewable energy, but it’s a big step to convince them to actually buy the equipment they need.

At one time, we used mobile phones just for talking. But because of the huge spike in the number of users of wireless devices, we’re now seeing data traffic coming close to – and sometimes exceeding – the amount of voice traffic on wireless networks. This largely has to do with the invention of smart phones. Now we can use small portable devices to surf the internet and access data such as videos. YouTube and other video sites have had a huge impact on data traffic to the point that the 3G – or third generation – networks sometimes can’t handle the capacity. 3G networks were designed to handle voice and data traffic equally well but you still need to build in extra capacity with new infrastructure such as adding new cell phone towers or upgrading existing ones. There are already preliminary 4G test networks in place and we should see them in widespread use in about the next five years. These networks are associated with a system called Long Term Evolution or LTE and they’ll do a better job of handling traffic because they’ll have more capacity. I am currently working on designing future wireless networks. This includes developing new techniques for using antennas and wireless relays to improve

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the performance of traditional cellular networks. It also includes coming up with completely new wireless networks and applications. One example is a network of wireless sensors that can be deployed from the air to help monitor and contain an environmental disaster. It’s hard to say what the future will be like in terms of how people will communicate and what technology they’ll use. That’s very difficult to predict. Very few people would have predicted that Facebook would have become as popular as it is. Even the popularity of text messaging caught the industry by surprise. So it’s not necessarily the telecommunications companies that will provide the next great communications application. New ideas for how to use new, high capacity networks tend to come from the people who are writing mobile phone applications and creating social media websites. Left: Mr. and Mrs. Wilheim Mullen, Bruderheim windmill, Alberta. 1934. Photo Glenbow Archives

Above: Royal Canadian Signals linemen on a telephone pole, Calgary, Alberta. July 14, 1955. Photo Glenbow Archives


Below: David Wood in the lab with a test generator for a small wind turbine.

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No 4 Energy

No 5 Communication

DAVID WOOD

GEOFFREY MESSIER

NSERC / ENMAX RESEARCH CHAIR

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN ELECTRICAL

IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING AND AN EXPERT ON WIRELESS NETWORKS

In Calgary, we’re exploring the potential of homeowners one day being able to generate their own electricity using small wind turbines in their own backyards. It’s part of what we call distributed generation systems, and Canada is at the forefront of this technology. Instead of feeding the electricity grid from one or two large power stations, there’s a series of smaller generators throughout the grid. This helps optimize power capacity and helps avoid the need for new coal-fired power stations that release greenhouse gases. There’s never just one solution when it comes to renewable energy. It’s all about figuring out which technology works best in certain situations. It’s also about educating the public about the advantages. We’re also helping the City of Calgary to monitor the performance of solar panels on firehalls. We will measure the amount of energy they produce and make that information available to the public. We will do similar monitoring of the new solar thermal facility at Southland Leisure Centre, which plans to use geothermal technology to heat its swimming pools. A lot of people are interested in renewable energy, but it’s a big step to convince them to actually buy the equipment they need.

At one time, we used mobile phones just for talking. But because of the huge spike in the number of users of wireless devices, we’re now seeing data traffic coming close to – and sometimes exceeding – the amount of voice traffic on wireless networks. This largely has to do with the invention of smart phones. Now we can use small portable devices to surf the internet and access data such as videos. YouTube and other video sites have had a huge impact on data traffic to the point that the 3G – or third generation – networks sometimes can’t handle the capacity. 3G networks were designed to handle voice and data traffic equally well but you still need to build in extra capacity with new infrastructure such as adding new cell phone towers or upgrading existing ones. There are already preliminary 4G test networks in place and we should see them in widespread use in about the next five years. These networks are associated with a system called Long Term Evolution or LTE and they’ll do a better job of handling traffic because they’ll have more capacity. I am currently working on designing future wireless networks. This includes developing new techniques for using antennas and wireless relays to improve

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the performance of traditional cellular networks. It also includes coming up with completely new wireless networks and applications. One example is a network of wireless sensors that can be deployed from the air to help monitor and contain an environmental disaster. It’s hard to say what the future will be like in terms of how people will communicate and what technology they’ll use. That’s very difficult to predict. Very few people would have predicted that Facebook would have become as popular as it is. Even the popularity of text messaging caught the industry by surprise. So it’s not necessarily the telecommunications companies that will provide the next great communications application. New ideas for how to use new, high capacity networks tend to come from the people who are writing mobile phone applications and creating social media websites. Left: Mr. and Mrs. Wilheim Mullen, Bruderheim windmill, Alberta. 1934. Photo Glenbow Archives

Above: Royal Canadian Signals linemen on a telephone pole, Calgary, Alberta. July 14, 1955. Photo Glenbow Archives


Enablers of Innovation Colin Dalton Facility manager of the Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF) clean room at the Schulich School of Engineering

Colin Dalton operates the ultra-precise Flip Chip Bonder. Photo courtesy Colin Dalton

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We live in extremely demanding times. We want devices that are smaller, faster and more efficient. Expectations of technology keep increasing when it comes to consumer electronics such as mobile phones and also to sensitive micro electromechanical systems in the biomedical field – for studying brain cells and muscle cells, for example – and sensors in the oil and gas industry.

No 6 Garbage PATRICK HETTIARATCHI LEADER OF THE CALGARY BIOCELL RESEARCH PROGRAM AND AN EXPERT ON SUSTAINABLE LANDFILL TECHNOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION WASTE MANAGEMENT WITH THE CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ( CEERE )

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It's been said that if everyone lived like people in Calgary, we'd need three planets. A major challenge in large cities that consume like this is the amount of garbage we’re putting into our landfills. Some people consider waste a liability, but I see it as a resource. The Calgary Biocell Project has shown that we can produce methane gas economically from waste and it can be turned into electricity. The pilot biocell has the capacity to produce about 300 kilowatts of electricity. A biocell involves the operation of a waste cell in three stages; first, as an anaerobic bioreactor with leachate recirculation to recover the full energy potential of biomass waste. Landfill gas is extracted through a combination of vertical wells

The Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility clean room is a carefully controlled environment where we manufacture and test miniaturized devices for numerous applications. There are fewer particles in the air than in a sterile hospital operating room. If you cough on a silicon wafer, you’ll see it. Lab users need to wear special suits to enter the lab, where the temperature and humidity are precisely controlled. One way we’re advancing frontiers is with the Flip Chip Bonder, a unique piece of equipment in western Canada, and one of only two in the country in an open-access research environment. It can bond a chip to another component with precision down to the micron level by applying up

and horizontal pipes and used to generate power. Once methane production becomes negligible and is no longer economical to extract, oxygen is injected into the biocell and the next stage begins. In this phase, the biocell operates in the aerobic mode to produce stable organic material. In the final stage, the biocell is mined to recover compost, refuse derived fuel, and any recyclable materials. The recovered space will be reused. There are many technologies we can develop to help make a community more sustainable, but it’s important not to put too much emphasis on one technology. It’s about developing new technology and looking at how you use it and how different technologies can work together. Most of the time, communities implement one-off projects such as recycling or composting. Unless they happen under the umbrella of a main goal, they don’t contribute to improving sustainability. You have to look at the big picture.

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to 50 kilograms of pressure and up to 400°C on an area tinier than one square millimetre. This process reduces the need for connectors such as long wires, thereby reducing the total size. This helps make electronic devices smaller and more efficient. The Flip Chip Bonder also plays a key role in the implementation of the low-noise amplifiers that will help make sense of signals from deep space gathered by the world’s largest radio telescope (see the article “Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope” in this issue). Reducing the connecting wire length for those amplifiers significantly reduces interference.

Above: Researchers monitor the gas production at the site of the Calgary Biocell Project Left: City officials inspect Nose Creek land fill, Calgary, Alberta. June 1967. Photo Glenbow Archives


Enablers of Innovation Colin Dalton Facility manager of the Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF) clean room at the Schulich School of Engineering

Colin Dalton operates the ultra-precise Flip Chip Bonder. Photo courtesy Colin Dalton

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We live in extremely demanding times. We want devices that are smaller, faster and more efficient. Expectations of technology keep increasing when it comes to consumer electronics such as mobile phones and also to sensitive micro electromechanical systems in the biomedical field – for studying brain cells and muscle cells, for example – and sensors in the oil and gas industry.

No 6 Garbage PATRICK HETTIARATCHI LEADER OF THE CALGARY BIOCELL RESEARCH PROGRAM AND AN EXPERT ON SUSTAINABLE LANDFILL TECHNOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION WASTE MANAGEMENT WITH THE CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ( CEERE )

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It's been said that if everyone lived like people in Calgary, we'd need three planets. A major challenge in large cities that consume like this is the amount of garbage we’re putting into our landfills. Some people consider waste a liability, but I see it as a resource. The Calgary Biocell Project has shown that we can produce methane gas economically from waste and it can be turned into electricity. The pilot biocell has the capacity to produce about 300 kilowatts of electricity. A biocell involves the operation of a waste cell in three stages; first, as an anaerobic bioreactor with leachate recirculation to recover the full energy potential of biomass waste. Landfill gas is extracted through a combination of vertical wells

The Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility clean room is a carefully controlled environment where we manufacture and test miniaturized devices for numerous applications. There are fewer particles in the air than in a sterile hospital operating room. If you cough on a silicon wafer, you’ll see it. Lab users need to wear special suits to enter the lab, where the temperature and humidity are precisely controlled. One way we’re advancing frontiers is with the Flip Chip Bonder, a unique piece of equipment in western Canada, and one of only two in the country in an open-access research environment. It can bond a chip to another component with precision down to the micron level by applying up

and horizontal pipes and used to generate power. Once methane production becomes negligible and is no longer economical to extract, oxygen is injected into the biocell and the next stage begins. In this phase, the biocell operates in the aerobic mode to produce stable organic material. In the final stage, the biocell is mined to recover compost, refuse derived fuel, and any recyclable materials. The recovered space will be reused. There are many technologies we can develop to help make a community more sustainable, but it’s important not to put too much emphasis on one technology. It’s about developing new technology and looking at how you use it and how different technologies can work together. Most of the time, communities implement one-off projects such as recycling or composting. Unless they happen under the umbrella of a main goal, they don’t contribute to improving sustainability. You have to look at the big picture.

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to 50 kilograms of pressure and up to 400°C on an area tinier than one square millimetre. This process reduces the need for connectors such as long wires, thereby reducing the total size. This helps make electronic devices smaller and more efficient. The Flip Chip Bonder also plays a key role in the implementation of the low-noise amplifiers that will help make sense of signals from deep space gathered by the world’s largest radio telescope (see the article “Engineering the world’s largest radio telescope” in this issue). Reducing the connecting wire length for those amplifiers significantly reduces interference.

Above: Researchers monitor the gas production at the site of the Calgary Biocell Project Left: City officials inspect Nose Creek land fill, Calgary, Alberta. June 1967. Photo Glenbow Archives


Elena Di Martino with an epi-fluorescence microscope. Photo by Jennifer Sowa

Operating room, General Hospital, Calgary, Alberta. 1909.

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Photo Glenbow Archives

N O 7 Health ELENA DI MARTINO ASSISTANT PROFESSOR WITH THE CENTRE FOR BIOENGINEERING RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ( CBRE ) AND AN EXPERT ON CARDIOVASCULAR BIOMECHANICS

I am developing a mechanical imaging system to study the heart and blood vessels to learn more about how healthy cardiovascular tissue becomes diseased. When we watch what happens to biological materials when there are pathologies and study how they change, we can propose potential therapies. This could lead to earlier diagnoses and better treatments for common killers such as heart disease and stroke.

The imaging system involves a powerful microscope that can virtually section the tissue to look at what happens not only on the surface but deep into the tissue. In addition, we’re developing a new micro-actuator to apply loads at the same time as we image. There are only a few systems like this in the world and they normally involve forces applied in one direction only. Our system will be capable of measuring forces in two directions and applying a variety of loads. The technology will be useful for tissue engineering applications. While tissue is growing, we can study it to better understand how it forms. We could even apply a load while it’s growing and watch what happens. There’s been a lot of excitement about tissue engineering for many years

and now we’ve seen developments like artificial skin. The reason we’re seeing these advancements is because we have gained a better understanding of how tissues behave and that’s largely because of the imaging techniques that have been developed. We’ve learned that in order to grow tissues outside our bodies we need to provide a physiological environment that mimics what the tissue experiences in the body when it comes to temperature, pH and chemicals. What has recently emerged is the knowledge that in order to produce engineered tissues that behave like our natural tissues we must also provide the same mechanical environment with the same forces that tissues experience in the body.

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No 8 Location and Navigation GÉRARD LACHAPELLE CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR IN WIRELESS LOCATION AND LEADER OF THE POSITION, LOCATION AND NAVIGATION ( PLAN ) GROUP

The Position, Location and Navigation Group has developed many new applications for location and navigation technology. We’re working with Alberta Justice on a program to make communities safer by using GPS to track dangerous offenders. We’re also improving the positioning capabilities of mobile phones for use in areas where satellite signals aren’t easily accessible – such as indoor locations or on city streets with tall buildings – in collaboration with BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion. When it comes to location and navigation capabilities, the most exciting development has been the rapid progression of wireless technology. We’ve seen incredible progress in the miniaturization, power efficiency and performance of Global Navigation

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Satellite Systems (GNSS) chips that are embedded in portable devices. The challenge is that all the various applications use different parts of the radio frequency spectrum and sometimes they overlap. We’re seeing more and more interference involving GNSS signals – including GPS – because the spectrum is becoming more crowded because of the hundreds of millions of users of wireless devices. That’s a problem, because if systems such as GPS were to go down, there would be safety implications and a lot of things would come to a standstill. Besides location and navigation, GPS is also used for timing, so even things like banking transactions could be affected. We’re always improving our technologies and our methodologies to defeat these issues as they arise. The PLAN Group is constantly improving algorithms and working with industry to incorporate these improvements into new technology. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse game: as devices get more complex because we expect better performance from them, behind those are increasingly complex systems that are needed to keep up.

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Gérard Lachapelle (centre) and researchers Aiden Morrison (left) and Jared Bancroft with testing equipment for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Photo courtesy Gérard Lachapelle

Top: Aerial view of Downtown, Calgary, Alberta. October 1964. Photo Glenbow Archives


Elena Di Martino with an epi-fluorescence microscope. Photo by Jennifer Sowa

Operating room, General Hospital, Calgary, Alberta. 1909.

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Photo Glenbow Archives

N O 7 Health ELENA DI MARTINO ASSISTANT PROFESSOR WITH THE CENTRE FOR BIOENGINEERING RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ( CBRE ) AND AN EXPERT ON CARDIOVASCULAR BIOMECHANICS

I am developing a mechanical imaging system to study the heart and blood vessels to learn more about how healthy cardiovascular tissue becomes diseased. When we watch what happens to biological materials when there are pathologies and study how they change, we can propose potential therapies. This could lead to earlier diagnoses and better treatments for common killers such as heart disease and stroke.

The imaging system involves a powerful microscope that can virtually section the tissue to look at what happens not only on the surface but deep into the tissue. In addition, we’re developing a new micro-actuator to apply loads at the same time as we image. There are only a few systems like this in the world and they normally involve forces applied in one direction only. Our system will be capable of measuring forces in two directions and applying a variety of loads. The technology will be useful for tissue engineering applications. While tissue is growing, we can study it to better understand how it forms. We could even apply a load while it’s growing and watch what happens. There’s been a lot of excitement about tissue engineering for many years

and now we’ve seen developments like artificial skin. The reason we’re seeing these advancements is because we have gained a better understanding of how tissues behave and that’s largely because of the imaging techniques that have been developed. We’ve learned that in order to grow tissues outside our bodies we need to provide a physiological environment that mimics what the tissue experiences in the body when it comes to temperature, pH and chemicals. What has recently emerged is the knowledge that in order to produce engineered tissues that behave like our natural tissues we must also provide the same mechanical environment with the same forces that tissues experience in the body.

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No 8 Location and Navigation GÉRARD LACHAPELLE CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR IN WIRELESS LOCATION AND LEADER OF THE POSITION, LOCATION AND NAVIGATION ( PLAN ) GROUP

The Position, Location and Navigation Group has developed many new applications for location and navigation technology. We’re working with Alberta Justice on a program to make communities safer by using GPS to track dangerous offenders. We’re also improving the positioning capabilities of mobile phones for use in areas where satellite signals aren’t easily accessible – such as indoor locations or on city streets with tall buildings – in collaboration with BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion. When it comes to location and navigation capabilities, the most exciting development has been the rapid progression of wireless technology. We’ve seen incredible progress in the miniaturization, power efficiency and performance of Global Navigation

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Satellite Systems (GNSS) chips that are embedded in portable devices. The challenge is that all the various applications use different parts of the radio frequency spectrum and sometimes they overlap. We’re seeing more and more interference involving GNSS signals – including GPS – because the spectrum is becoming more crowded because of the hundreds of millions of users of wireless devices. That’s a problem, because if systems such as GPS were to go down, there would be safety implications and a lot of things would come to a standstill. Besides location and navigation, GPS is also used for timing, so even things like banking transactions could be affected. We’re always improving our technologies and our methodologies to defeat these issues as they arise. The PLAN Group is constantly improving algorithms and working with industry to incorporate these improvements into new technology. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse game: as devices get more complex because we expect better performance from them, behind those are increasingly complex systems that are needed to keep up.

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Gérard Lachapelle (centre) and researchers Aiden Morrison (left) and Jared Bancroft with testing equipment for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Photo courtesy Gérard Lachapelle

Top: Aerial view of Downtown, Calgary, Alberta. October 1964. Photo Glenbow Archives


FEATURE COMPILED BY JENNIFER S OWA

In your backyard Human ingenuity is pervasive in engineering – it’s at the heart of what engineers do. But you’ll also find it in everyday life. We found people throughout Calgary, Alberta, applying creative solutions to energy and environmental problems – right in their own backyards.

a straw bale home and its “truth window” on an acreage near Okotoks, Alberta. The owners say they notice a significant difference in their heating bills. Photos by Maureen Evans

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FEATURE COMPILED BY JENNIFER S OWA

In your backyard Human ingenuity is pervasive in engineering – it’s at the heart of what engineers do. But you’ll also find it in everyday life. We found people throughout Calgary, Alberta, applying creative solutions to energy and environmental problems – right in their own backyards.

a straw bale home and its “truth window” on an acreage near Okotoks, Alberta. The owners say they notice a significant difference in their heating bills. Photos by Maureen Evans

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a solar community of 10 homes in southeast Calgary. Each home has two solar collectors that can heat about 55 percent of the water needed by a typical family of four. Photo courtesy SkyFire Energy

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a solar community of 10 homes in southeast Calgary. Each home has two solar collectors that can heat about 55 percent of the water needed by a typical family of four. Photo courtesy SkyFire Energy

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Performance monitoring of the home’s solar electric system is available to the public at http://enlighten. enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/9jZp13218 Photos courtesy of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Source: Echo Haven EQuilibriumTM, Calgary, Alberta is one of CMHC's EquilibriumTM demonstration projects.

a net-zero home in northwest Calgary. Solar electric and solar thermal systems produce enough energy to meet 100 percent of the home’s electrical, space heating and hot water heating needs. Even the construction was powered by an off-grid solar trailer.

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Performance monitoring of the home’s solar electric system is available to the public at http://enlighten. enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/9jZp13218 Photos courtesy of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Source: Echo Haven EQuilibriumTM, Calgary, Alberta is one of CMHC's EquilibriumTM demonstration projects.

a net-zero home in northwest Calgary. Solar electric and solar thermal systems produce enough energy to meet 100 percent of the home’s electrical, space heating and hot water heating needs. Even the construction was powered by an off-grid solar trailer.

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net-zero mechanical room Booster fan Drivers for LED lighting Solar thermal controller UV filter PV junction boxes Particulate filter Rainwater holding tank Pump for rainwater

Heat recovery ventilator Flow metre Pressure tank Grey water heat recovery On-demand heater Insulated, single coil storage tank

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net-zero mechanical room Booster fan Drivers for LED lighting Solar thermal controller UV filter PV junction boxes Particulate filter Rainwater holding tank Pump for rainwater

Heat recovery ventilator Flow metre Pressure tank Grey water heat recovery On-demand heater Insulated, single coil storage tank

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a motorized shopping cart car A motorized “shopping cart car� that runs on biodiesel and incorporates a solar cell. It was designed and built by Billy White, Phil Chidwick and Caleb Bethune, Grade 12 chemistry students at the Calgary Academy as part of a supplemental course on alternative energy developed by teacher Mary Bren. Photo courtesy Mary Bren

a wind turbine in the schoolyard at Olympic Heights School in southwest Calgary, part of the ENMAX Gen E School Program for renewable energy technologies. Photo courtesy Calgary Board of Education

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a motorized shopping cart car A motorized “shopping cart car� that runs on biodiesel and incorporates a solar cell. It was designed and built by Billy White, Phil Chidwick and Caleb Bethune, Grade 12 chemistry students at the Calgary Academy as part of a supplemental course on alternative energy developed by teacher Mary Bren. Photo courtesy Mary Bren

a wind turbine in the schoolyard at Olympic Heights School in southwest Calgary, part of the ENMAX Gen E School Program for renewable energy technologies. Photo courtesy Calgary Board of Education

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PEOPLE The Schulich School of Engineering's Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race team. Photo by Ray Peng

Janaka Ruwanpura, Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems, and Director of the Centre for Project Management Excellence at the University of Calgary, speaks March 16 in Mumbai, India, at the announcement of the Advanced Diploma in Project Management program. Photo courtesy Janaka Ruwanpura

Schulich Scholars. Back row: Ramez Hanna Alla, Angela Solano, Greg Pink, Bruce Duong, Bianca Courtright, Ania Kroman, Jason Motkoski, John Lagasca. Front row: Marian Hettiaratchi, Michelle Hua, Karman Foo, Agnes Soos, Shantel Ryback. Absent: Jose Silva, Lisa Malta, Muhammad Abbas Ali-Beg, Timothy Harris, Jordan Stosky

A trip supported by the Schulich Student Activities Fund: electrical and computer engineering students at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley in February 2011 along with professor Sebastian Magierowski (back, fifth from right) and instructor Anis Haque ( far right). Photo courtesy Polina Andreychenko

Photo by Chris Bolin

Sledementary My Dear Watson flew down the hill at 50 kilometres per hour.

National champs, my dear Watson Students from the Schulich School of Engineering were declared the national champions in January after racing 18 other post-secondary teams in student-built sleds at the 37th annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) in Edmonton. The team created a Sherlock Holmes theme and named their toboggan Sledementary My Dear Watson. They also took home awards for Best Technical Exhibit, Best Costumes and People’s Choice. For the third time, the Schulich students also earned the $2,000 cash prize for the best use of recycled materials in their concrete mix. Sledementary My Dear Watson flew down the hill at 50 kilometres S CHULICH

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per hour. Steering and braking were more challenging because the slope was longer and steeper than in previous years, according to event organizers. Iran and India now home to Schulich School of Engineering project management programs The second of three satellite programs in project management have now been launched internationally. The new diploma program in Mumbai will be joined in 2012 by a master’s degree program similar to the one already operating at Sharif University of Technology in Iran.

ENGINEER

First class of Schulich Scholars graduates What a difference five years make! These exceptional students were the first recipients of the Schulich Entrance Scholarships in 2005. They continued to meet the academic and extracurricular requirements to renew their awards every year and now, five years later, they are graduating. A couple snuck out early to go directly into medical school, others are headed to graduate studies in places like Stanford or Lund University in Sweden and many are off and running on their careers with the companies that nabbed them for internship. The scholarships were established following the $25-million gift to the University of Calgary in 2005 from philanthropist Seymour Schulich.

Beyond engineering: Learning outside the classroom France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, India, China, Greece, San Francisco and New York City. In the past five years, more than 1,200 students from the Schulich School of Engineering have ventured around the world for study abroad programs, group trips and international competitions. No other engineering school in Canada has an equivalent to the Schulich Student Activities Fund, which was established in 2005 to help pay for learning experiences outside the classroom. The fund has also supported trips within Canada for 821 students including field trips and competitions. In its first year, cheques totaling $366,928

were written to support student activities. That amount nearly doubled to $695,000 in 2010. Bursary honours “exceptional” engineer who died at 23. Stephanie Lynn Saul: May 2, 1987 November 22, 2010 An annual bursary has been established at the Schulich School of Engineering in memory of Stephanie Saul, who graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 2009. Stephanie worked as a completions engineer with Penn West Energy Trust where she was responsible for the completions programming, fracture simulation design and fracture treatment monitoring of horizontal wells in the Waskada Lower Amaranth

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resource play. She passed away in November 2010 of an aneurysm at the age of 23. “Stephanie displayed exceptional confidence for an engineer of her age. She readily applied complex concepts to practical situations and excelled in high-pressure situations,” recalls coworker and family friend Dean Tymko. “She was one of the few people you met in your career who re-energized you.” The Saul family has established the Stephanie Saul Memorial Bursary in Engineering, which will award $4,000 each year to an undergraduate student in electrical engineering.

ENGINEER

Photo courtesy the Saul family

She was one of the few people you met in your career who reenergized you. - Dean Tymko ( family friend)


PEOPLE The Schulich School of Engineering's Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race team. Photo by Ray Peng

Janaka Ruwanpura, Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems, and Director of the Centre for Project Management Excellence at the University of Calgary, speaks March 16 in Mumbai, India, at the announcement of the Advanced Diploma in Project Management program. Photo courtesy Janaka Ruwanpura

Schulich Scholars. Back row: Ramez Hanna Alla, Angela Solano, Greg Pink, Bruce Duong, Bianca Courtright, Ania Kroman, Jason Motkoski, John Lagasca. Front row: Marian Hettiaratchi, Michelle Hua, Karman Foo, Agnes Soos, Shantel Ryback. Absent: Jose Silva, Lisa Malta, Muhammad Abbas Ali-Beg, Timothy Harris, Jordan Stosky

A trip supported by the Schulich Student Activities Fund: electrical and computer engineering students at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley in February 2011 along with professor Sebastian Magierowski (back, fifth from right) and instructor Anis Haque ( far right). Photo courtesy Polina Andreychenko

Photo by Chris Bolin

Sledementary My Dear Watson flew down the hill at 50 kilometres per hour.

National champs, my dear Watson Students from the Schulich School of Engineering were declared the national champions in January after racing 18 other post-secondary teams in student-built sleds at the 37th annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) in Edmonton. The team created a Sherlock Holmes theme and named their toboggan Sledementary My Dear Watson. They also took home awards for Best Technical Exhibit, Best Costumes and People’s Choice. For the third time, the Schulich students also earned the $2,000 cash prize for the best use of recycled materials in their concrete mix. Sledementary My Dear Watson flew down the hill at 50 kilometres S CHULICH

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per hour. Steering and braking were more challenging because the slope was longer and steeper than in previous years, according to event organizers. Iran and India now home to Schulich School of Engineering project management programs The second of three satellite programs in project management have now been launched internationally. The new diploma program in Mumbai will be joined in 2012 by a master’s degree program similar to the one already operating at Sharif University of Technology in Iran.

ENGINEER

First class of Schulich Scholars graduates What a difference five years make! These exceptional students were the first recipients of the Schulich Entrance Scholarships in 2005. They continued to meet the academic and extracurricular requirements to renew their awards every year and now, five years later, they are graduating. A couple snuck out early to go directly into medical school, others are headed to graduate studies in places like Stanford or Lund University in Sweden and many are off and running on their careers with the companies that nabbed them for internship. The scholarships were established following the $25-million gift to the University of Calgary in 2005 from philanthropist Seymour Schulich.

Beyond engineering: Learning outside the classroom France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, India, China, Greece, San Francisco and New York City. In the past five years, more than 1,200 students from the Schulich School of Engineering have ventured around the world for study abroad programs, group trips and international competitions. No other engineering school in Canada has an equivalent to the Schulich Student Activities Fund, which was established in 2005 to help pay for learning experiences outside the classroom. The fund has also supported trips within Canada for 821 students including field trips and competitions. In its first year, cheques totaling $366,928

were written to support student activities. That amount nearly doubled to $695,000 in 2010. Bursary honours “exceptional” engineer who died at 23. Stephanie Lynn Saul: May 2, 1987 November 22, 2010 An annual bursary has been established at the Schulich School of Engineering in memory of Stephanie Saul, who graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 2009. Stephanie worked as a completions engineer with Penn West Energy Trust where she was responsible for the completions programming, fracture simulation design and fracture treatment monitoring of horizontal wells in the Waskada Lower Amaranth

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resource play. She passed away in November 2010 of an aneurysm at the age of 23. “Stephanie displayed exceptional confidence for an engineer of her age. She readily applied complex concepts to practical situations and excelled in high-pressure situations,” recalls coworker and family friend Dean Tymko. “She was one of the few people you met in your career who re-energized you.” The Saul family has established the Stephanie Saul Memorial Bursary in Engineering, which will award $4,000 each year to an undergraduate student in electrical engineering.

ENGINEER

Photo courtesy the Saul family

She was one of the few people you met in your career who reenergized you. - Dean Tymko ( family friend)


Cam Kramer, Liana Thorburn and Cheryl Sandercock Photo courtesy Cam Kramer

Glen Schmidt, President and CEO of Laricina Energy Ltd. Photo by James McMenamin

Three former classmates pool $25,000 to help other engineers in the making It’s a gift inspired by memories of camaraderie in university and the desire to give back to the profession that has brought them success. Cheryl Sandercock, Cam Kramer and Liana Thorburn, graduates of engineering at the University of Calgary, have established a $25,000 endowment to generate a $1,000 annual bursary for an undergraduate student. The Class of 1990 /1991 Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Bursary will be offered annually to an undergraduate student entering second-year studies at the Schulich School of Engineering. The award is based on criteria including academic merit, volunteerism and financial need. Sandercock, Kramer and Thorburn say their contribution was inspired by other class gifts established at the Schulich School of Engineering.

They are inviting more of their former classmates to contribute to the Class of 1990/1991 Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Bursary. Scholarships and new space for future engineers Glen Schmidt remembers plenty of fun times with fellow engineering students at the University of Calgary. He also believes collaborating on group projects and brainstorming with classmates in homerooms helped him make the successful transition to working in the business world. That’s why Schmidt, President and CEO of Laricina Energy Ltd., made a personal gift to help establish muchneeded meeting space in the new building at the Schulich School of Engineering. Calgary-based Laricina Energy Ltd. and Glen Schmidt have contributed nearly $1 million for undergraduate student awards, research and new space at the Schulich School of Engineering.

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The company has established the Laricina Energy Scholarships in Engineering to provide four annual awards of $3,000 each. These scholarships are based on academic merit and are awarded to continuing undergraduate students studying mechanical, chemical, or oil and gas engineering. Laricina Energy Ltd. has also earmarked a portion of the funds to support a chemical and petroleum engineering graduate student space.

ENGINEER

Out with the old The Engineering Leaders campaign is an initiative to build the best in engineering schools by enriching the student experience, sustaining research excellence and expanding and enhancing facilities. So far, the campaign has raised nearly $38 million. Several renovation projects are now complete and the focus is on expansion.

Top to bottom: Washrooms, Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Civil Engineering Third-Year Homeroom, lecture theatres. Photos by Serey Sinn, Rizwan Nathoo, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Gibbs Gage Architects and Pivotal Projects


Cam Kramer, Liana Thorburn and Cheryl Sandercock Photo courtesy Cam Kramer

Glen Schmidt, President and CEO of Laricina Energy Ltd. Photo by James McMenamin

Three former classmates pool $25,000 to help other engineers in the making It’s a gift inspired by memories of camaraderie in university and the desire to give back to the profession that has brought them success. Cheryl Sandercock, Cam Kramer and Liana Thorburn, graduates of engineering at the University of Calgary, have established a $25,000 endowment to generate a $1,000 annual bursary for an undergraduate student. The Class of 1990 /1991 Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Bursary will be offered annually to an undergraduate student entering second-year studies at the Schulich School of Engineering. The award is based on criteria including academic merit, volunteerism and financial need. Sandercock, Kramer and Thorburn say their contribution was inspired by other class gifts established at the Schulich School of Engineering.

They are inviting more of their former classmates to contribute to the Class of 1990/1991 Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Bursary. Scholarships and new space for future engineers Glen Schmidt remembers plenty of fun times with fellow engineering students at the University of Calgary. He also believes collaborating on group projects and brainstorming with classmates in homerooms helped him make the successful transition to working in the business world. That’s why Schmidt, President and CEO of Laricina Energy Ltd., made a personal gift to help establish muchneeded meeting space in the new building at the Schulich School of Engineering. Calgary-based Laricina Energy Ltd. and Glen Schmidt have contributed nearly $1 million for undergraduate student awards, research and new space at the Schulich School of Engineering.

S CHULICH

54

The company has established the Laricina Energy Scholarships in Engineering to provide four annual awards of $3,000 each. These scholarships are based on academic merit and are awarded to continuing undergraduate students studying mechanical, chemical, or oil and gas engineering. Laricina Energy Ltd. has also earmarked a portion of the funds to support a chemical and petroleum engineering graduate student space.

ENGINEER

Out with the old The Engineering Leaders campaign is an initiative to build the best in engineering schools by enriching the student experience, sustaining research excellence and expanding and enhancing facilities. So far, the campaign has raised nearly $38 million. Several renovation projects are now complete and the focus is on expansion.

Top to bottom: Washrooms, Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Civil Engineering Third-Year Homeroom, lecture theatres. Photos by Serey Sinn, Rizwan Nathoo, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Gibbs Gage Architects and Pivotal Projects


Fulfillment is synonymous with happiness, contentment, satisfaction, accomplishment, success and gratification. – Ayo Jeje Introduction

Anil Mehrotra, Interim Dean, Schulich School of Engineering; Elizabeth Cannon, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary; Ayo Jeje, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Schulich School of Engineering; Jim Dinning, Chancellor, University of Calgary.

Lecture of a lifetime In 2008 the Lecture of a Lifetime at the University of Calgary was born, inspired by the widely publicized Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, where Randy Pausch, a professor dying of cancer, shared his life lessons and words of wisdom in his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. The Community Engagement Committee of the University of Calgary Senate launched a similar program, but with the purpose of honouring well-loved professors who are currently teaching at the University of Calgary. This year’s recipient is Schulich School of Engineering professor Ayo Jeje. Here is an

Photo by Jason Sokolosky

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ENGINEER

excerpt of his lecture, delivered to a packed house on the evening of April 7, 2011. On balance Preparing for this kind of lecture is a challenge for me because I have a mixed audience and something I may say in the course of my speech may be considered controversial – or more bluntly, troublesome. There is a saying that goes, “A clever person gets out of trouble; a wise person avoids the trouble.” Clearly, since I am standing in front of you today, I am not all that wise. But I hope that I am clever enough to extract myself from the trouble that I may cause. Having said that, I take comfort in another quote that states that, “An adult life without challenges is meaningless.”

I believe we are in the process of learning from the moment we are born right up until our final breath. We are constantly exposed to lessons of all kinds. Sometimes, we learn some lessons because we pay particular attention to them or because the lessons have immediate relevance to our situation. We miss other lessons and often repeat mistakes because we either did not pay enough attention the first time or we dismissed the significance of these learning experiences. I could simply catalogue my own lessons from grade school to now but it would not be a useful exercise since all lessons are personal and influenced by individual circumstances and the environment. One that may be universal is, in high school, for example, you do not pick on someone bigger and stronger than you! Instead of a list, I am going to weave my talk around the following themes and explore some larger lessons that may apply to all of us.

First, we start with the premise that the ultimate desire of a human being is to find happiness. Second, our longterm happiness depends on what we have done with our lives. What we do depends on the information we receive and attend to and how we have dealt with it. Third, we make decisions on paths or actions to take and carry them out. Fourth, if our decisions are consistently appropriate, we may realize our potential and move towards fulfillment. Fulfillment is synonymous with happiness, contentment, satisfaction, accomplishment, success and gratification. Philosophers define happiness as an active process rather than a static state of being. Happiness is not a series of episodic pleasures like your favorite hockey team winning a game, followed by winning $10 in a lottery. As I work through these themes, I think of a parent who wants her child to be happy in life. She decides that the child should be in school. The child decides to learn. The learning leads to a qualification in a profession and

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excitement at doing useful work and helping others. The person may feel happy. When we reflect on the cumulative effect of our choices and decisions and the outcomes, we can decide whether the net effect was the realization of our ambitions or not. Hence the title for my talk is “On balance.” “On balance,” have things worked out well for me? I have used three words frequently – choices, decisions and outcomes – because they are at the heart of my talk with respect to what the “balance” or net results are. Life is full of options, choices and decisions. We are well-informed and thoughtful about some decisions we make based on available choices. We sometimes do not know all the choices available to us and thus decisions are not as informed, or we accept bad choices out of ignorance. Sometimes other people make choices and decisions for us, whether we have the capacity to think through the options or not. Some decisions we postpone and, in the process, diminish our options. At other times,

ENGINEER

when we postpone our decisions, other options arise through serendipity. Many of us simply procrastinate, and therefore lose sight of the choices before us. Other decisions are poorly considered and we arrive at irrational conclusions on which we base our responses. I do not want to leave an impression that decisions are easy to reach because they are subject to our biases. How a choice is framed usually determines our response. Princeton University psychology professor and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, collaborating with professor Amos Tversky, developed an understanding of judgments and decisions made under conditions of risk and uncertainty. One example of this model that Kahneman and Tversky used was a scenario in which a disease was supposed to kill 600 people and two public health programs were proposed. Program A has 100 percent chance of saving 200 lives. Program B has 1/3 chance of saving all 600 and 2/3 chance of saving no one. Test subjects overwhelmingly chose Program A, preferring


Fulfillment is synonymous with happiness, contentment, satisfaction, accomplishment, success and gratification. – Ayo Jeje Introduction

Anil Mehrotra, Interim Dean, Schulich School of Engineering; Elizabeth Cannon, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary; Ayo Jeje, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Schulich School of Engineering; Jim Dinning, Chancellor, University of Calgary.

Lecture of a lifetime In 2008 the Lecture of a Lifetime at the University of Calgary was born, inspired by the widely publicized Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, where Randy Pausch, a professor dying of cancer, shared his life lessons and words of wisdom in his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. The Community Engagement Committee of the University of Calgary Senate launched a similar program, but with the purpose of honouring well-loved professors who are currently teaching at the University of Calgary. This year’s recipient is Schulich School of Engineering professor Ayo Jeje. Here is an

Photo by Jason Sokolosky

S CHULICH

56

ENGINEER

excerpt of his lecture, delivered to a packed house on the evening of April 7, 2011. On balance Preparing for this kind of lecture is a challenge for me because I have a mixed audience and something I may say in the course of my speech may be considered controversial – or more bluntly, troublesome. There is a saying that goes, “A clever person gets out of trouble; a wise person avoids the trouble.” Clearly, since I am standing in front of you today, I am not all that wise. But I hope that I am clever enough to extract myself from the trouble that I may cause. Having said that, I take comfort in another quote that states that, “An adult life without challenges is meaningless.”

I believe we are in the process of learning from the moment we are born right up until our final breath. We are constantly exposed to lessons of all kinds. Sometimes, we learn some lessons because we pay particular attention to them or because the lessons have immediate relevance to our situation. We miss other lessons and often repeat mistakes because we either did not pay enough attention the first time or we dismissed the significance of these learning experiences. I could simply catalogue my own lessons from grade school to now but it would not be a useful exercise since all lessons are personal and influenced by individual circumstances and the environment. One that may be universal is, in high school, for example, you do not pick on someone bigger and stronger than you! Instead of a list, I am going to weave my talk around the following themes and explore some larger lessons that may apply to all of us.

First, we start with the premise that the ultimate desire of a human being is to find happiness. Second, our longterm happiness depends on what we have done with our lives. What we do depends on the information we receive and attend to and how we have dealt with it. Third, we make decisions on paths or actions to take and carry them out. Fourth, if our decisions are consistently appropriate, we may realize our potential and move towards fulfillment. Fulfillment is synonymous with happiness, contentment, satisfaction, accomplishment, success and gratification. Philosophers define happiness as an active process rather than a static state of being. Happiness is not a series of episodic pleasures like your favorite hockey team winning a game, followed by winning $10 in a lottery. As I work through these themes, I think of a parent who wants her child to be happy in life. She decides that the child should be in school. The child decides to learn. The learning leads to a qualification in a profession and

S CHULICH

57

excitement at doing useful work and helping others. The person may feel happy. When we reflect on the cumulative effect of our choices and decisions and the outcomes, we can decide whether the net effect was the realization of our ambitions or not. Hence the title for my talk is “On balance.” “On balance,” have things worked out well for me? I have used three words frequently – choices, decisions and outcomes – because they are at the heart of my talk with respect to what the “balance” or net results are. Life is full of options, choices and decisions. We are well-informed and thoughtful about some decisions we make based on available choices. We sometimes do not know all the choices available to us and thus decisions are not as informed, or we accept bad choices out of ignorance. Sometimes other people make choices and decisions for us, whether we have the capacity to think through the options or not. Some decisions we postpone and, in the process, diminish our options. At other times,

ENGINEER

when we postpone our decisions, other options arise through serendipity. Many of us simply procrastinate, and therefore lose sight of the choices before us. Other decisions are poorly considered and we arrive at irrational conclusions on which we base our responses. I do not want to leave an impression that decisions are easy to reach because they are subject to our biases. How a choice is framed usually determines our response. Princeton University psychology professor and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, collaborating with professor Amos Tversky, developed an understanding of judgments and decisions made under conditions of risk and uncertainty. One example of this model that Kahneman and Tversky used was a scenario in which a disease was supposed to kill 600 people and two public health programs were proposed. Program A has 100 percent chance of saving 200 lives. Program B has 1/3 chance of saving all 600 and 2/3 chance of saving no one. Test subjects overwhelmingly chose Program A, preferring


M. Akinsola and J. Olaniun Jeje with procession retinue during Mr. Jeje’s installation as a High Chief of Erijiyan-Ekiti, Nigeria in 1988.

The lesson here is that it is important for each of us, in making critical decisions, to at least examine the issue in different ways.

Photo courtesy Ayo Jeje

– Ayo Jeje

certainty that at least some people survive over a 66 percent chance that no one survives. In a second framing, for Program A, 400 people will die. For program B, there is 1/3 probability that no one will die and 2/3 that all will die. Most test subjects chose B, the less certain alternative. On quick reflection, the choices were identical but the difference was how they were framed. The lesson here is that it is important for each of us, in making critical decisions, to at least examine the issue in different ways.

Am I happy? This is a question we ask ourselves or should be asking ourselves. Considering all that has happened to you, on balance, would you conclude that, in general, life has been good?

I am going to return to my roots to start answering this question for myself. On this slide I show three women laughing. I took the picture of my mother on the left laughing and wiping off involuntary tears. My great aunt – my mother’s elder sister – was in the middle cracking jokes with the best at an age of about 90 at the time, and another aunt – about 83 – at her side also immersed in the fun. Both my aunts have since passed on. In “The Crack-up,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “And just as the laughing stoicism which has enabled the American Negro to endure the intolerable conditions of his existence has cost him his sense of the truth.” Why would my aunt have anything to laugh about in her situation? Has she lost her sense of the truth or did she

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know the truth and was contented? Let me expand. My great aunt saw a lot of hardships in her life. From the picture, she was obviously not wealthy or well to do. She lived in one room provided by her brother in a very large house. All her earthly possessions were in the room. She had a Grade 4 education and could only read the Yoruba translation of the Bible. Her only husband passed away when she was young. She had borne three children all of whom died as babies, and she had no surviving child. From my youthful years, I felt I had two mothers – one who bore and raised me, and another who was just plain happy to see me at any time. On my visits throughout her life, she would continuously hug me and offer me all kinds of things as tokens of her affection, while I felt

ENGINEER

I should be the one taking gifts and money to her. She never made demands or asked for help and was ever so grateful for whatever any member of our large extended family gave her. She would pray for our health, success and safety. I always enjoyed being around her. Where did she find the joy and meaning in life to transcend all the calamities and to find contentment in the middle of poverty and heartache? I learned a powerful lesson in how one can be humble but yet dignified by observing her, and I would say she was happy. For her, as novelist Sebastian Faulks observed, “Life works out – but not in the way you expect.” One should not judge others by their outward appearance or possessions. In any case, appearance does not matter. There is an Italian proverb that

states, “When the game is over, the king and the pawn return to the same box.” I return to my question: Am I happy, on balance? While in undergraduate school at Purdue University, I had four ambitions: first, to become an engineer; second, to go to medical school; third, to be a pilot; and fourth to become a philosopher. This was my bucket list at the time. I believed I would be happy if I accomplished all four goals. I have since become an engineer. I did not go to medical school but I do research in biomedical engineering. I have learned to fly a single engine plane, a tail dragger – the Citabria. For the last item on the list, I cannot claim that the philosopher ambition was ever realized unless in the sense proposed by Socrates that he encouraged everybody to get married. As he stated, “My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.” Frankly, I do not believe my experience in this realm counts. My bucket list is now much longer and the goal post has moved. Will I then ever be happy?

A useful book on this topic was written by Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche – resident homes for people with disabilities. Made for Happiness presented and interpreted Aristotle’s Ethics. Jean Vanier started the introduction with the statement, “Happiness, whatever else people say, is the great concern of our life.” He continued, “We may differ perhaps in the means by which we attain happiness, but we all want to be happy.” It is instructive to consider what philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote on this: “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” This is not quite encouraging. However, he also wrote, “Those who are happy have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.” Thus, to live up to the literal meaning of my name Ayo, Yoruba for “happiness,” I try to aim outside of myself. To extend this to others,

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a student, for example, should be in school to learn and develop his or her mind as an end of itself, rather than as a means of vocational training or an external benefit. Parents want their children to be happy and to succeed in life. They unfortunately often emphasize the latter: “Go to school to learn a profession so that you can work for money.” It is the evaluation of our experiences, potentials realized or unrealized, chance events, alignment of resources and the appearances of mentors and helpers that cause even the least fortunate amongst us to smile, sometimes with nostalgia, at other times, with humour. Life’s lessons are everywhere.

Professor Jeje’s talk continues with a rich unfolding on the topics of education, health, friendship, homes and cultural norms as they relate to his experiences and lessons learned. View the complete talk at www.nutv.ca.

ENGINEER

Ayo Jeje has been a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering for over 30 years, teaching some of the toughest courses the University of Calgary has to offer. Jeje was trained at Purdue University and MIT, and came to Calgary to pursue his research in engineering. Along the way, he also began to excel in teaching. He has been the recipient of well over a dozen teaching excellence awards, from Professor of the Year (six times) to the University of Calgary Students’ Union’s Teaching Excellence Award, the Killam Award for Leadership in Teaching, and the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) Summit Award for Excellence in Education. He is currently associate dean (teaching and learning) at the Schulich School of Engineering.


M. Akinsola and J. Olaniun Jeje with procession retinue during Mr. Jeje’s installation as a High Chief of Erijiyan-Ekiti, Nigeria in 1988.

The lesson here is that it is important for each of us, in making critical decisions, to at least examine the issue in different ways.

Photo courtesy Ayo Jeje

– Ayo Jeje

certainty that at least some people survive over a 66 percent chance that no one survives. In a second framing, for Program A, 400 people will die. For program B, there is 1/3 probability that no one will die and 2/3 that all will die. Most test subjects chose B, the less certain alternative. On quick reflection, the choices were identical but the difference was how they were framed. The lesson here is that it is important for each of us, in making critical decisions, to at least examine the issue in different ways.

Am I happy? This is a question we ask ourselves or should be asking ourselves. Considering all that has happened to you, on balance, would you conclude that, in general, life has been good?

I am going to return to my roots to start answering this question for myself. On this slide I show three women laughing. I took the picture of my mother on the left laughing and wiping off involuntary tears. My great aunt – my mother’s elder sister – was in the middle cracking jokes with the best at an age of about 90 at the time, and another aunt – about 83 – at her side also immersed in the fun. Both my aunts have since passed on. In “The Crack-up,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “And just as the laughing stoicism which has enabled the American Negro to endure the intolerable conditions of his existence has cost him his sense of the truth.” Why would my aunt have anything to laugh about in her situation? Has she lost her sense of the truth or did she

S CHULICH

58

know the truth and was contented? Let me expand. My great aunt saw a lot of hardships in her life. From the picture, she was obviously not wealthy or well to do. She lived in one room provided by her brother in a very large house. All her earthly possessions were in the room. She had a Grade 4 education and could only read the Yoruba translation of the Bible. Her only husband passed away when she was young. She had borne three children all of whom died as babies, and she had no surviving child. From my youthful years, I felt I had two mothers – one who bore and raised me, and another who was just plain happy to see me at any time. On my visits throughout her life, she would continuously hug me and offer me all kinds of things as tokens of her affection, while I felt

ENGINEER

I should be the one taking gifts and money to her. She never made demands or asked for help and was ever so grateful for whatever any member of our large extended family gave her. She would pray for our health, success and safety. I always enjoyed being around her. Where did she find the joy and meaning in life to transcend all the calamities and to find contentment in the middle of poverty and heartache? I learned a powerful lesson in how one can be humble but yet dignified by observing her, and I would say she was happy. For her, as novelist Sebastian Faulks observed, “Life works out – but not in the way you expect.” One should not judge others by their outward appearance or possessions. In any case, appearance does not matter. There is an Italian proverb that

states, “When the game is over, the king and the pawn return to the same box.” I return to my question: Am I happy, on balance? While in undergraduate school at Purdue University, I had four ambitions: first, to become an engineer; second, to go to medical school; third, to be a pilot; and fourth to become a philosopher. This was my bucket list at the time. I believed I would be happy if I accomplished all four goals. I have since become an engineer. I did not go to medical school but I do research in biomedical engineering. I have learned to fly a single engine plane, a tail dragger – the Citabria. For the last item on the list, I cannot claim that the philosopher ambition was ever realized unless in the sense proposed by Socrates that he encouraged everybody to get married. As he stated, “My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.” Frankly, I do not believe my experience in this realm counts. My bucket list is now much longer and the goal post has moved. Will I then ever be happy?

A useful book on this topic was written by Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche – resident homes for people with disabilities. Made for Happiness presented and interpreted Aristotle’s Ethics. Jean Vanier started the introduction with the statement, “Happiness, whatever else people say, is the great concern of our life.” He continued, “We may differ perhaps in the means by which we attain happiness, but we all want to be happy.” It is instructive to consider what philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote on this: “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” This is not quite encouraging. However, he also wrote, “Those who are happy have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.” Thus, to live up to the literal meaning of my name Ayo, Yoruba for “happiness,” I try to aim outside of myself. To extend this to others,

S CHULICH

59

a student, for example, should be in school to learn and develop his or her mind as an end of itself, rather than as a means of vocational training or an external benefit. Parents want their children to be happy and to succeed in life. They unfortunately often emphasize the latter: “Go to school to learn a profession so that you can work for money.” It is the evaluation of our experiences, potentials realized or unrealized, chance events, alignment of resources and the appearances of mentors and helpers that cause even the least fortunate amongst us to smile, sometimes with nostalgia, at other times, with humour. Life’s lessons are everywhere.

Professor Jeje’s talk continues with a rich unfolding on the topics of education, health, friendship, homes and cultural norms as they relate to his experiences and lessons learned. View the complete talk at www.nutv.ca.

ENGINEER

Ayo Jeje has been a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering for over 30 years, teaching some of the toughest courses the University of Calgary has to offer. Jeje was trained at Purdue University and MIT, and came to Calgary to pursue his research in engineering. Along the way, he also began to excel in teaching. He has been the recipient of well over a dozen teaching excellence awards, from Professor of the Year (six times) to the University of Calgary Students’ Union’s Teaching Excellence Award, the Killam Award for Leadership in Teaching, and the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) Summit Award for Excellence in Education. He is currently associate dean (teaching and learning) at the Schulich School of Engineering.


REVERSE ENGINEERING

54.3%

say it increases their respect for the school

Thank you for answering the survey about Schulich Engineer magazine. This is what we heard:

In order of priority, readers would like to see more: news about research

39.8% stories about alumni

news on what is going on in the school

32.2% news on faculty members

57.2%

26.4%

33.3%

professional development articles

articles aimed at professional engineers

26.1%

find it increases appreciation of the school’s leadership role in engineering research

32.2%

!

68.5% FIND IT INTERESTING

830 PEOPLE ANSWERED THE ONLINE SURVEY ✓

74.7% living in the Calgary area

15%

living elsewhere in Canada

57.3%

10.3%

Liked photo features the best

living abroad

More readers preferred print If you could change the magazine, you would focus more on articles on the latest technology and innovations

68.1%

and articles that connect engineering to current events

over an

98.3%

31.9%

rate it favourably

47.6%

over an online version

52.6%

Respondents who won Schulich backpacks and jackets

Robyn Thomas Jeremy Hansen Christopher Cameron Ivan Djurkin Ray Leonard Alexander Soltani Colin Huber Leslie Day Karan Tathgur Saleh Al-Bar

67.8%

feel the magazine helps them feel more connected to the school

S CHULICH

60

ENGINEER


REVERSE ENGINEERING

54.3%

say it increases their respect for the school

Thank you for answering the survey about Schulich Engineer magazine. This is what we heard:

In order of priority, readers would like to see more: news about research

39.8% stories about alumni

news on what is going on in the school

32.2% news on faculty members

57.2%

26.4%

33.3%

professional development articles

articles aimed at professional engineers

26.1%

find it increases appreciation of the school’s leadership role in engineering research

32.2%

!

68.5% FIND IT INTERESTING

830 PEOPLE ANSWERED THE ONLINE SURVEY ✓

74.7% living in the Calgary area

15%

living elsewhere in Canada

57.3%

10.3%

Liked photo features the best

living abroad

More readers preferred print If you could change the magazine, you would focus more on articles on the latest technology and innovations

68.1%

and articles that connect engineering to current events

over an

98.3%

31.9%

rate it favourably

47.6%

over an online version

52.6%

Respondents who won Schulich backpacks and jackets

Robyn Thomas Jeremy Hansen Christopher Cameron Ivan Djurkin Ray Leonard Alexander Soltani Colin Huber Leslie Day Karan Tathgur Saleh Al-Bar

67.8%

feel the magazine helps them feel more connected to the school

S CHULICH

60

ENGINEER


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Schulich Engineer Spring 2011  

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