Ryan Gilleran, Douglas Kneale, Jeff BerrymanRyan Gilleran, an application engineer with ANSYS, demonstrates a virtual reality cave to UWindsor provost Douglas Kneale and associate vice-president academic Jeff Berryman at a $5 million funding announcement for automotive innovation in Windsor-Essex.

Feds make $5 million local investment in mobility innovation

The University of Windsor will help the region become a leader in mobility innovation thanks to a $5 million investment announced Friday.

Marco Mendicino, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and a UWindsor alumnus (LLB 2001), made the announcement at the Institute for Border Logistics Security. The funding is an investment by FedDev Ontario, a federal agency that supports innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario.

“Economic diversification and growth are what keeps our communities strong and resilient,” Mendicino said. “Windsor-Essex is an integral region for economic development, trade and partnerships, and collaboration on this exciting new initiative is key to the region seizing new opportunities afforded by the innovation economy.”

The funding will grow the automobility innovation cluster in Windsor-Essex with a focus on connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles. The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation will partner with the University of Windsor, including UWindsor’s Cross-Border Institute, to help Canadian firms better integrate with international supply chains.

“Universities and colleges increasingly play an important role in community economic development and diversification through market-relevant research, teaching, and community engagement,” said UWindsor president Robert Gordon.

“The University of Windsor is proud to be part of this announcement and the key role that the university’s Cross-Border Institute will play in the initiative. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the economic success of Windsor-Essex, and the region’s efforts to diversify and innovate.”

The initiative is designed to help the region transition from reliance on traditional automotive manufacturing by exploring next-generation mobility innovations, smart technologies, and automation.

With more than a century of automotive manufacturing expertise, a highly skilled workforce and an ideal geographic location, the Windsor-Essex region is well-positioned to become a leader in mobility innovation, Mendicino said.

He said the federal government recognizes that economic diversification is key to resilience and is making strategic investments that leverage regional strengths to create the right conditions for continued growth in our evolving economy.

The funding will enable the development of advanced automobility technologies led by UWindsor engineering professor Mitra Mirhassani, the promotion of an innovation and entrepreneurial network through UWindsor’s EPICentre, and broaden the reach of the UWindsor’s Cross-Border Institute, said K.W. Michael Siu, UWindsor’s vice-president, research and innovation.

UWindsor’s Cross-Border Institute offers cutting-edge research on the movement of goods, people, and money across borders, applicable to many industries and sectors.

“We focus on how to get Canadian firms to integrate into supply chains at the global level,” said director Bill Anderson, Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy.

“The CBI has in-house expertise and can provide advice on making the connections to the right markets. Based on our data analytics, we also develop applications and knowledge products, automating processes to make it easier and cheaper to access those markets.”

The institute develops information technology to allow companies to manage logistics like custom and immigration paperwork and take advantage of new trade agreements, Dr. Anderson said.

He said the new funding opens new opportunities.

“In areas where we’ve developed expertise, this makes us able to develop products and services that are marketable and of immediate use to Canadian firms, and at the same time, provide decision-makers in government and the private sector with real options for improving the management of borders.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said the funding is “an investment in the jobs of tomorrow.”

He said it will allow Windsor to diversify its economy while building on its automotive history.

“Now is the time to invest in our strengths.”

─Sarah Sacheli

K.W. Michael Siu, Douglas Kneale, Drew Dilkens, Marco Mendicino, Susan Anzolin, Stephen MacKenzie

K.W. Michael Siu, UWindsor vice-president of research and innovation; Douglas Kneale, UWindsor provost; Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens; Marco Mendicino, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Susan Anzolin, executive director of the Institute for Border Logistics and Security; and Stephen MacKenzie, chief executive officer of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation; announce a FedDev Ontario investment of up to $5 million to grow an automobility innovation cluster in Windsor-Essex.

Young woman professional shaking handsJob shadowing gives students a better understanding of career opportunities, the work environment, and industry.

Job shadowing to expose students to career world

A job shadowing program this fall will help UWindsor students connect their studies to the workplace, allowing them to gain a clearer picture of their goals after graduation, say organizers in the Career Development and Experiential Learning office.

Job shadowing involves hosts — employers, alumni, professionals — allowing one or two students to observe them at work. The experience gives students a better understanding of career opportunities, the work environment, and industry, says Judy Bornais, executive director of the Office of Experiential Learning.

“We are excited to pilot this career development initiative and believe it’s a great way for students to explore possibilities and make new connections with professionals working in various fields,” she says. “We have many terrific employer partners. This is a great opportunity for them to give back to our students and help them to learn about different positions that exist which they may aspire to pursue in the future.”

Job Shadow Experience 2019 is set for the University’s reading week, Oct. 15 to 18.

Organizers are seeking UWindsor graduates or others in the community to act as hosts. If you know suitable candidates looking to exercise their leadership and mentorship qualities, encourage them to find out more and register by Sept. 15 on the Job Shadow Experience host page.

For more information, contact Farrah Francis, career consultant, at, 519-253-3000, ext. 3866; or Stephanie Dupley, career advisor,, 519-253-3000, ext. 3892.

Student volunteers distribute literature on suicide prevention outside Dillon Hall.Student volunteers distribute literature on suicide prevention outside Dillon Hall.

Activities to observe Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Activities in the student centre on Tuesday, Sept. 10, will focus on how to support mental health and ask for help, in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day.

“Our hope for this day is to show togetherness on campus, and to let students know they are not alone,” says Ashley Vodarek, mental health and wellness co-ordinator.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., students, faculty, and staff can visit a table in the CAW Student Centre to learn about the many supports and services available, sign the suicide prevention flag, and write a message for the Tree of Hope.

Information about suicide prevention — including key resources to access — will be provided by representatives of the Wellness Outreach Office, Canadian Mental Health Association, Peer Support Centre, Sexual Misconduct and Prevention Office, and student groups such as UWindsor and the Mental Health Awareness Group.

At 6 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium, a free public screening will feature the film The Ripple Effect, the story of a man whose extraordinary journey inspires hope across the world.

Suicide prevention and awareness efforts extend through the month. On Sunday, Sept. 29, the University of Windsor will join the community in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Walk. Lancer Recreation, Residence Life, and the Wellness Outreach Office have partnered to provide a bus to offer free transportation to and from the walk located at St. Clair College Sportsplex. To sign up for the bus, pre-register for the walk, or find driving instructions to the St. Clair College Sportsplex, visit the event website.

“Talking about suicide can be scary,” says Jenessa Shaw, wellness assistant in the Wellness Outreach Office and a Peer Support Centre volunteer. “Bringing the community together to talk about suicide in a fun and engaging way will hopefully break down some of the barriers to talking about such a serious topic.”

Vodarek reminds anyone wrestling with thoughts of self-harm that “help is only one call away.”

Resources include:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-833-4566
  • Community Crisis Centre, 519-973-4435
  • Student Counselling Centre in the student centre offers free counselling to all University of Windsor students.

For more suicide prevention information and resources, contact Vodarek at, 519-253-3000 ext. 4632.

Lunch ’n’ learn sessions to share news on entrepreneurship and research commercialization

Monthly sessions hosted by the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) and the Office of Research and Innovation Services (ORIS) will inform faculty members about the latest happenings in entrepreneurship and research commercialization.

The Faculty Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lunch ’n’ Learn series will feature a different topic and speaker each month. Faculty from all disciplines are welcome to attend share their ideas and experiences on how they incorporate entrepreneurship into their courses.

“Entrepreneurship is an important mindset that we believe will help students enhance their abilities in critical thinking and creativity,” said EPICentre director Wen Teoh. “Universities and entrepreneurship centres all across the country are developing innovative programs to help their students develop an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Speakers with experience in commercializing their research or starting their own businesses will share the dos and don’ts of commercialization activities.

Heather Pratt, ORIS executive director, said it is excited to provide insight into how faculty can pursue commercialization to support their research.

“The research and innovation activities taking place at the University of Windsor are broad and provide many opportunities for knowledge mobilization and technology transfer that can benefit our community and economy,” she said.

The first event in the series will take place at noon Friday, Sept. 27, in the EPICentre offices on the second floor of the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre. Myra Tawfik, professor of law and EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization and Strategy, will discuss how she integrated entrepreneurship in her “EPICentre Practicum” course.

The second event will focus on research commercialization, with a presentation by Jill Urbanic, professor of mechanical, automotive, and materials engineering, on Thursday, Oct. 31. Dr. Urbanic will speak of her experience in starting her own company and how she leverages her business to support student activities.

Faculty members interested to attend either or both events should RSVP to Teoh at

Tentative agreements reached with campus Unifor locals

The University of Windsor and Unifor reached tentative agreements Saturday, Sept. 7, for Local 2458 full-time office and clerical staff; Local 2458 part-time office and clerical staff; Local 2458 stationary engineers and refrigeration mechanics; and Local 195 Campus Community Police and parking services employees.

Details of the agreements will be released pending ratification by members of the Unifor bargaining units and the Board of Governors.

Lancer Recreation logoLancer Recreation offers lunchtime employee fitness classes from Sept. 16 to Dec. 4.

Lancer Recreation classes to help employees get fit

Lancer Recreation is offering a free trial of its fitness classes for UWindsor employees during the week of Sept. 16.

Sessions are conducted over the noon hour:

  • Monday Yoga
  • Tuesday Body Blast
  • Wednesday Pilates
  • Thursday Sculpt ’n’ Strength
  • Friday Essentrics

Instruction runs 12:10 to 12:45 p.m. in the Education Gym, between the computer centre and the student centre.

The fitness program continues through Dec. 4. Faculty and staff may register for one class or access them all with the “All-Access” pass.

For more information, email Lancer Recreation at or phone the Service Desk at 519-253-3000, ext. 7029.

Special appointments committee issues call for applications

The Senate Governance Committee on Special Appointments welcomes applications for Distinguished University Professor, Professor Emerita/Emeritus, and Honorary Professor.

Applications for eligible candidates must be submitted to the University Secretariat by Nov. 15, 2019. The criteria and process can be found here.

For additional information, contact Maria Giampuzzi by phone at 519-253-3000, ext. 3317, or by email at

Campus eatery extends hours of service

Mare Nostrum, the Mediterranean restaurant adjacent to the Education Building, has begun its fall hours of operation, Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.