P.Engs and students recognized with prestigious awards

University of Windsor Professor Nihar Biswas, PhD, P.Eng., received an honourary degree from the University of Guelph to recognize his work on clean water. Biswas, whose work has improved the lives of people around the world, was honoured for his contributions to environmental engineering education and clean water technology. Biswas is a fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering.

Graham Taylor, PhD, P.Eng., an associate professor at the University of Guelph, has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. Taylor, a machine learning expert at the university’s School of Engineering, was recognized as a young business leader and innovator and was also recently awarded a new Canada research chair in machine learning systems. Taylor works extensively with artificial intelligence (AI) and belongs to Toronto’s Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He is also the academic director of NextAI, a Toronto accelerator for AI-enabled businesses.

Milos Popovic, PhD, P.Eng., was recently honoured with the March of Dimes Canada lifetime achievement award. Popovic, who is a professor at the University of Toronto’s (U of T’s) Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and the director of research at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, is a renowned researcher in the field of rehabilitation engineering. He works to develop technologies that help restore voluntary limb function in persons with disabilities as well as other rehabilitation devices.

Several U of T engineering faculty members were recently named Canada research chairs: Olivier Trescases, PhD, P.Eng., was named a tier 2 Canada research chair in power electronic converters; Ashish Khisti, PhD, EIT, was named a tier 2 Canada research chair in information processing; Glenn Hibbard, PhD, P.Eng., was named a tier 2 Canada research chair in multi-scale materials dynamics; Ted Sargent, PhD, P.Eng., was named a tier 1 Canada research chair in nanotechnology; and Yu Sun, PhD, P.Eng., was named a tier 1 Canada research chair in micro- and nano-engineering systems. The Canada Research Chairs Program was established as part of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. The program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished minds, with chairholders aiming to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences. In 2000, the Government of Canada created a permanent program to establish 2000 research professorships in eligible degree-granting institutions across the country.

Mena Morcos, a graduate student in civil engineering at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, received an honourable mention for his paper Numerical Modelling of Slender Superelastic-Shape Memory Reinforced Concrete Shear Walls in the 2018 Best Paper Competition at the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering’s annual conference. Morcos’s study focuses on understanding how shear walls can regain vertical alignment after being displaced by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and he’s engaged in ongoing research to improve earthquake safety worldwide.

A team of students from U of T’s department of materials science and engineering took first place at the international 2017–2018 Hydrogen Student Design Contest for their plan for a hydrogen-powered luxury boat. Their design centres on a hydrogen-fueled amphibious motor boat and its companion refueling station, designed to use off-peak renewable energy to convert water into hydrogen. Their project—which grew out of a U of T course taught by Professor Steven Thorpe—presents an environmentally- friendly, sustainable, noise-free and emission-free alternative to the boating industry. The team included: Bryan JamesJessica MacInnisMatthew Chen and Yuri Savguira.

Cheryl Quenneville, PhD, P.Eng., a mechanical engineering assistant professor at McMaster University, was recently awarded a $25,000 Petro Canada–McMaster University Young Innovator Award for fostering undergraduate research. Quenneville’s own research focuses on injury biomechanics, particularly fractures and the prevention of traumatic injury. She incorporates undergraduate students into her research because that’s how she got into research herself and ultimately decided to pursue graduate studies.

The Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) inducted 59 new fellows in a June ceremony in Calgary. All CAE fellows are engineers with outstanding abilities and accomplishments from diverse backgrounds, ranging from academics to industry and government. The CAE is a national institution through which Canada’s most distinguished and experienced engineers provide strategic advice on critically important matters. Members are nominated and elected by their peers as fellows and are committed to ensuring Canada’s engineering expertise is applied to benefit all Canadians. This year’s inductees include: Samuel Ariaratnam, PhD, P.Eng., professor and construction engineering program chair, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, and senior sustainability scientist, Arizona University; Annette Bergeron, P.Eng., FEC, president, Engineers Canada; Amir Fam, P.Eng., professor and Donald and Sarah Munro chair in engineering and applied science, associate dean, research and graduate studies, Queen’s University; Diane Freeman, P.Eng., FEC, councillor, City of Waterloo; Marilyn Gladu, P.Eng., Member of Parliament, Government of Canada; Louise Grondin, P.Eng., senior vice president, environment, sustainable development and people, Agnico Eagle Ltée; Richard Holt, P.Eng., professor, department of mechanical engineering, Queen’s University; Farrokh Janabi-Sharifi, PhD, P.Eng., associate professor, mechanical and industrial engineering, Ryerson University; Fakhreddine Karray, PhD, P.Eng., university research chair professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, co-director of the Artificial Intelligence Institute, and director of the Centre for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, University of Waterloo; Frank Kschischang, PhD, P.Eng., professor, digital communication, department of electrical and computer engineering, U of T; Ray Lapierre, PhD, P.Eng., professor and chair, department of engineering physics, McMaster University; David Lapp, P.Eng., FEC, manager, globalization and sustainable development, Engineers Canada; Joseph Liburdi, P.Eng., president, Liburdi Turbine Services; Yan-Fei Liu, PhD, P.Eng., professor, electrical and computer engineering, Queen’s University; Wayne J. Maddever, PhD, P.Eng., portfolio manager, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada; James Nicell, PhD, P.Eng., professor and dean of engineering, McGill University; Angela Pappin, P.Eng., vice president, technology, ArcelorMittal Dofasco; Michael Pley, P.Eng., Pley Consulting Inc., and chair, McMaster engineering dean’s advisory board; Susan Tighe, PhD, P.Eng., professor, department of civil and environmental engineering, and deputy provost and associate vice president, integrated planning and budgeting, University of Waterloo; Xianbin Wang, PhD, P.Eng., professor, electrical and computer engineering, Western University; Mary Wells, PhD, P.Eng., FEC, dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Guelph, professor in the department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo, and chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering; Helen Wojcinski, P.Eng., FEC, president, Wojcinski & Associates Ltd.; Jun Yang, PhD, P.Eng., professor, mechanical and materials engineering and biomedical engineering, and director of WIN 4.0, Western University; John Tze-Wei Yeow, PhD, P.Eng., associate professor, departments of systems design engineering, mechanical and mechatronics engineering and electrical and computer engineering, University of Waterloo, and director of the university’s Advanced Micro & Nanodevice Lab.

The CAE also announced the recipients of its 2018 national scholarship competitions. Anston Emmanuel, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at U of T, won the 2018 CAE William G. Belfry SAE Award. Emmanuel is a dean’s honour list student who gained intern experience working with General Motors in autonomous vehicle development. Jane Illarionova, a second-year computer engineering student at U of T, won the 2018 CAE Bruce Aubin SAE Aerospace Design Award. Illarionova was recognized for her skills in AI and neural networks as well as her dedication to volunteer work and community activities. The awards are given annually to top engineering students across Canada.

U of T mechanical engineering graduate Katie Gwozdecky has been selected to receive the Northern Lights Aero Foundation (NLAF) Rising Star Award. Gwozdecky, a private pilot with a fierce dedication to space exploration, joined the University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) while pursuing her studies. Her work with UTAT included building rockets, designing and manufacturing components for small satellites and leading the team as director of space systems to pass a student levy and fund what will be the launch of the first amateur satellite from U of T in 2019. Her passion for aerospace engineering has led her to pursue graduate work at U of T’s Space Flight Lab in September. The NLAF is dedicated to attracting young women to careers in aviation and aerospace and celebrates the achievements of women in these fields.