P.Engs and students honoured with awards

University of Waterloo engineering professor Keith Hipel, PhD, P.Eng., has been named to the Order of Canada. Hipel is an esteemed leader in systems design engineering who has worked tirelessly on finding solutions for climate change. He was president of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada from 2013 to 2015 and has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including an Engineering Medal for Research and Development from Professional Engineers Ontario and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers in 2010. The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation and is one of Canada’s highest honours.

Ralph Haas, PhD, P.Eng., a professor emeritus in the University of Waterloo’s civil and environmental engineering department, received the Doctor of Science, honoris causa, the University of Alberta’s highest honour, at its spring convocation in June. Haas, who is affectionately known as the father of pavement asset management, has authored numerous books and technical articles on the subject. He’s been recognized for pioneering work in civil infrastructure asset management and related fields, such as highways and pavement.

Engineering firm mcCallumSather was named to the 30th annual Growth 500—a highly respected and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement—by Canadian Business and Maclean’s. magazines. The company made 395 on the list, which ranks Canada’s fastest-growing companies. mcCallumSather is an integrated architectural, mechanical engineering and interior design firm and is regarded as a leader in sustainable design.

McMaster University honoured five first-year engineering students with scholarships: Jared Levy, a materials science and engineering student, received the $32,000 HATCH entrance scholarship (over four years) and $5,000 undergraduate summer research award; Maddison Konway, an engineering physics and chemical engineering student, received the $32,000 HATCH entrance scholarship, $2,500 president’s award and $5,000 undergraduate summer research award; Sanjula Ganepola, a software engineering student, received the $10,000 Joseph Ip entrance scholarship, $2,500 president’s award, and $5,000 undergraduate summer research award; Lauren Rotz, a chemical engineering student, received the $1,500 Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education entrance scholarship, $2,500 president’s award, and $5,000 undergraduate summer research award; and Jonathan Que, an engineering student, received the $7,500 Dalvi family entrance scholarship, $2,500 president’s award and $5,000 undergraduate summer research award.

University of Waterloo engineering student project WatVision captured a national James Dyson Award, an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers. Each year, the judges look for product designs that solve real-world problems, and WatVision does exactly that. Inspired by a visually impaired fellow student’s difficulty with using a touch-screen-operated coffee maker, the team, including Craig Loewen, Jennifer Kim, Joseph Lundy, Lior Lustgarten, Elizabeth Morrow and Jake Rampertab, created an app that makes touch screens accessible to the visually impaired. The technology works by pointing a smartphone camera at a touch screen, upon which the app reads the words on the screen—detected by a ring the user is wearing—aloud. The James Dyson National Award is worth $3,000, which the team plans to use towards maintaining server access subscriptions and computing time. Two national runners up were also chosen: Printem, a University of Toronto project involving a smart film that reduces the time between circuit board design and prototype; and Revertome, another University of Toronto project, this time improving the treatment of severe burn injuries via a surgical instrument that uses bioink and a compact handheld bioprinter. All three teams will move onto the next stage of the competition, where a panel of Dyson engineers will select a top 20 international shortlist.