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News from Waterloo Engineering

Archive for the 'Alumni' Category

Alumni receive scientists and engineers fellowships

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Three Waterloo Engineering graduates are the first recipients of the new Scientists and Engineers in Business Fellowship, created to help turn innovations into businesses. Armen Bakirtzian, JS Rancourt, and Ryan Denomme each received $60,000 in the first round of fellowships. Two more rounds of fellowships will be awarded in the next eight months.
 
The Waterloo program is supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and offers fellowships to Waterloo graduates and recent alumni (graduates who earned their last Waterloo degree within five years) in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program who want to commercialize their innovations and start high-tech/STEM related businesses.

For Denomme, a mechanical engineering graduate, the fellowship is helping advance the operations of Nicoya Lifesciences, his new company that has developed a unique home diagnostics technology that can monitor a wide range of medical conditions and illnesses.

The fellowship is helping Rancourt, a mechanical engineering graduate, and his partners with Hockey Robotics, a company that started as a fourth-year engineering project. During the next year, the fellowship will provide the funds needed to develop a more advanced version of Slapshot XT that will result in the employment of several co-op students as well as spin-off employment for clients of Hockey Robotics as their products evolve.

And Bakirtzian, a mechatronics engineering graduate and chief executive officer, director, and co-founder of Avenir Medical Inc., would like to see his concept for intelligent instrumentation that can be used in hip replacement surgery become the future standard of care. PelvAssistTM is under development and expected to be available to orthopedic surgeons by early 2014. The fellowship will have a significant impact on getting this new technology into the hands of doctors sooner by helping to accelerate the steps needed to commercialize the product. [full article]

Best paper awards for ECE professors and graduate

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Two electrical and computer engineering professors won best paper awards at the IEEE-ICC 2012 conference held June 10-15 in Ottawa. Weihua Zhuang picked up a top paper award as did Guang Gong and her co-author Qi Chai, a recent electrical engineering PhD graduate.

ECE professor and grad honoured with best paper award

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Shesha H Jayaram, an electrical and computer engineering professor, and Chitral J Angammana, who completed his PhD under Jayaram’s supervision in 2011, have been honoured with 2012 IEEE James R. Melcher Prize Paper Award for their paper entitled Analysis of the Effects of Solution Conductivity on Electrospinning Process and Fiber Morphology. The award recognizing the best Electrostatic Processes Committee papers published in the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications was presented during the 2012 Joint Electrostatics Conference held in Cambridge, Ontario in June. The award-winning paper was published in May/June 2011 issue of the publication. [paper]

Engineering degrees awarded, faculty and students honoured

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Engineering’s alumni list officially increased June 16 with the convocation of 1,359 students in two ceremonies. Highlights included the first class of 40 management engineering students receiving their degrees. The management engineering program was established in 2007 to provide undergraduate students with the “engineering education required to understand, design, implement, and manage complex management systems upon which organizations depend.”

Réal “Ray” Tanguay received an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DEng). Tanguay was the first Canadian to be named as a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan in 2005, and has been a strong supporter of the University of Waterloo for many years, introducing Waterloo’s co-operative education program to Toyota and helping to establish the NSERC/Toyota/Maplesoft industrial research chair in mathematics-based modelling and design.

William M. Tatham also received an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DEng).  A graduate of Waterloo’s systems design engineering program, Tatham founded Janna Systems in 1990, which became a world leader in providing software for financial services. He is currently CEO of NexJ Systems. A champion of Waterloo Engineering and its co-op system, Tatham made a significant contribution towards the building of the William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education, which was named in his honour.

Garry Rempel, a chemical engineering professor, was the recipient of the award of excellence in graduate supervision. Arash Shahi of civil engineering received the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Graduate Student.

Matthew Daly of mechanical and mechatronics engineering received the Governor General’s gold medal for highest standing in a master’s program. Rongxing Lu of electrical and computer engineering was the winner of the Governor General’s gold medal for highest standing in a doctoral program. Mohit Verma of nanotechnology engineering, with a management sciences option, received the Governor General’s silver medal. Isaac Victor Roes, a chemical engineering student, received the Alumni Gold Medal.

It was the final engineering convocation with Adel Sedra as dean. Sedra is stepping down on June 30 after nine years at the helm of the faculty. [DB article including all convocation honours]

First management engineers to graduate June 16

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The inaugural class of 40 Waterloo management engineering undergraduate students will graduate during spring convocation on June 16. The innovative program was launched in 2007 to provide undergraduate students with an engineering education required to understand, design, implement, and manage complex management systems upon which organizations depend. 

Other highlights of engineering’s two convocation ceremonies include the awarding of honorary doctor of engineering degrees to two champions of Waterloo Engineering: William Tatham and Ray Tanguay.

Tatham, a Waterloo systems design engineering alumnus, is an accomplished entrepreneur who made a significant contribution towards the building of the William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education, which was named in his honour. Tanguay was the first Canadian to become a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation. He is currently chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and chief risk management officer for North America. As well as receiving an honorary degree, Tanguay will address the audience.

Alumnus honoured with Canada’s next generation award

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Kurtis McBride (BASc ’04, MASc ’08, SD) Miovision Technologies’ CEO and co-founder, recently received the Peter Brodje Award for Canada’s Next Generation of Executive Leadership. This award was presented by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. Miovision, a leading provider of intelligent solutions for improving global traffic networks, was founded in 2005 by McBride along with Kevin Madill and Tony Brijpaul while all three were Waterloo Engineering students. [news release]

Two champions of Waterloo Engineering to receive honorary degrees

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

William Tatham and Réal (Ray) Tanguay, both strong supporters of engineering education at the University of Waterloo, will receive honorary doctorates during the university’s spring convocation ceremonies on June 16. 

Tatham, a Waterloo systems design engineering alumnus, is an accomplished entrepreneur who founded Janna Systems in 1990. The company became a world leader in providing software for financial services and was sold to Siebel Systems in 2000. He then established NexJ Systems Inc., which was incubated by XJ Partners, a venture capital and advisory services company founded by Tatham and his former Janna management team. He made a significant contribution towards the building of the William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education, which was named in his honour.

Tanguay is the first Canadian to become a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation. He is currently chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and chief risk management officer for North America. Tanguay was instrumental in Toyota’s decision to build the new greenfield automotive assembly plant in Woodstock, Ontario, representing a $1.1 billion dollar investment and 2,000 new jobs. He helped introduce the University of Waterloo’s co-op system to Toyota and played a key role in creating the NSERC/Toyota/Maplesoft industrial chair in mathematics-based modelling and design. He has served on the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council and completed a six-year term on the university’s Board of Governors. As well as receiving an honorary degree, Tanguay will address the audience. [news release]

Architecture professor and grad receive wood design honour

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Waterloo School of Architecture professor John McMinn and graduate Melana Janzen of McMinn + Janzen Studio located in Toronto have won a 2011 North American Wood Design Citation for their CP Harbour House project. CP Harbour House is a vacation home shared by two families on the shores of Georgian Bay. McMinn and Janzen’s project was one of 16 honoured by the North American Wood Design Awards Program out of over 100 entries. [news release]

Oscar nod for Waterloo ECE graduate

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Andrew Clinton (BASc ’05, Comp) is among the 28 recipients of scientific and technical achievements for the Academy Awards 2012 Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation to be held February 11 in Beverly Hills, California. Clinton, along with Mark Elendt, are being awarded a Technical Achievement Award for their work on “the invention and integration of micro-voxels in the Mantra software.” Clinton and Elendt work for Side Effects Software, a Toronto-based 3D animation firm whose work, according to a profile by the Toronto Region Research Alliance, has “been used in over 250 feature films including nine of the last 11 films to win the Academy Award for best visual effects.” According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ website, the Technical Achievement Awards are presented for accomplishments that contribute to the progress of the motion picture industry. Parts of the February 11 presentation will be aired during the Academy Awards telecast on February 26. [DB article]

4th-year project BufferBox officially launches at uWaterloo

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Waterloo Engineering start-up BufferBox will launch what is believed to be the first parcel delivery kiosk service in Canada on January 12 in the Student Life Centre at the University of Waterloo. BufferBox was created by three recent Waterloo mechatronics engineering graduates as their fourth year design project to provide a reliable and secure parcel delivery alternative. In 2011, BufferBox received the Innovation Award at the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition (QEC), won the Waterloo Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, and won Best Overall Design at Waterloo’s mechatronics engineering design symposium. [BufferBox demo]