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Dean opens door of discovery to aspiring engineer

Andrew Jenner, the team lead technologist for the Faculty of Engineering, shows Masha Dmitrenko the structures lab in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.​

It’s not often the dean of engineering receives hand-written letters, let alone one printed in pencil describing robots that catch and clean up after litterbugs.

Dean Mehrdad Saif was pleasantly surprised when he received a letter from Masha Dmitrenko, a Grade 4 student at John Campbell Public School. Dmitrenko wanted to know what she should do to become an engineer.

“What is the hardest part of engineering? What is the coolest part of engineering? I always wanted be an engineer. I have a question: can you make art robots?” the eight-year-old asked in her letter.

Ceremony recognizes engineering faculty and staff

Several engineering faculty and staff members were honoured for their commitment to innovation, teaching and service at a ceremony on June 13.

Dr. Mehrdad Saif, the dean of engineering, handed out four awards for outstanding faculty and staff performances in research, teaching and service at the engineering faculty’s 2017 Medals of Excellence Ceremony held in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

Linda Breschuk received the staff service award for being “the silent hero and strength behind the scenes for undergraduate support.”

Breschuk, the secretary to the associate dean, academic, completed 41 years of service earlier this month.

“She is one of the most hard-working individuals in the Faculty of Engineering and deals with faculty, students and staff with sincerity, honesty and professionalism,” a nominator wrote.

Prof. Narayan Kar presents electric car research on Parliament Hill

Meeting with Members of Parliament and government officials May 17 in Ottawa was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the research driving Canadian innovation — and to highlight the University of Windsor, says engineering professor Narayan Kar.

Canada Research Chair in Electrified Transportation Systems, he was one of the presenters during the Parliament Pop-Up Research Park, a project of the Council of Ontario Universities and the Ontario Council on University Research to share their latest discoveries with federal decision-makers.

“From an education perspective, it was a huge success,” says Dr. Kar. “Our government needs to be informed as to what we are doing.”

His presentation, entitled “Will an Electric Car be Able to Travel Coast-to-Coast?” attracted interest from MPs, senators, and civil servants, but Kar’s answer to the question he posed is “yes, but…”

He says electric vehicle technology will need improvements in affordability, convenience, reliability and durability before it are a true alternative to combustion engines.

Scholarship keeps student's legacy alive

Most people say they’ve never met anyone quite like Luigi Zanettin.

As a son, he always carved out time to fish and hunt with his dad and once gave up six months’ worth of Saturdays to help his father refurbish a fire truck for firefighters in Africa.

As a husband, he bought his wife flowers every week and worked two jobs while attending school so they could build a future together.

As a student, he never missed class and his curiosity-driven questions propelled him to the top of his program. Even after he was delivered a blow in 2013 when he found out he had a rare form of cancer, he never slowed down.

“When he had every reason to say I’ve had enough, he fought against it,” said Dr. Bill Altenhof, a University of Windsor mechanical and materials engineering professor who mentored the 27-year-old through graduate studies. “He just simply would never quit; I was awestruck by his level of determination.”

Student rocketry team readying for lift-off

A team of Windsor Engineering students is having a blast as it prepares for the University’s first-ever entry in an international rocketry competition.

“It’s loud, it involves explosions — it’s rocket science!” says Liza DiCecco. “What’s not to love?”

The fourth-year materials option mechanical engineering student is one of nine senior students completing a 2.4-metre rocket as their capstone project. In June, they will travel to the New Mexico desert to test their skills alongside more than 100 teams from a dozen countries in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition.

Their entry will be up against 50 other teams in the same category, carrying a payload of four kilograms to an altitude of 10,000 feet (more than three kilometres).

Team captain Patrick Pomerleau-Perron recalls launching rockets with his father, fostering a passion that led him to the aerospace option in mechanical engineering.

High schoolers apply science to model bridge challenge

Triangles are the sturdiest shape, says Dunya Assaf. That’s why she and her teammates chose it as the basis for their design of a model bridge.

“We’re trying to make it as sturdy and as long as possible,” said Assaf, a Grade 11 student at Vincent Massey Secondary School. “We made a base for the car to travel across and we’re incorporating triangles so it has a more stable surface.”

She and about 130 physics classmates came to the Centre for Engineering Innovation on Thursday to take part in a competition judged by representatives of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.

Civil engineering class of ‘77 reunites on university campus

Forty years after leaving campus as new graduates, civil engineering classmates of ‘77 returned to the University of Windsor to reunite and reflect on where it all began.

“It’s just touching to have that connection again,” said UWindsor alumnus Stan Taylor, who organized the get-together.

Taylor, Max Fantuz, Paul Eyraud, Ray Chevalier, Dan Piescic, Spyros Govas and Brian Boyle met with handshakes and embraces at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) on April 22, 2017. During a tour of CEI led by current civil and environmental engineering faculty, the group of mostly retirees was pleasantly surprised to find Dr. Murray Temple and Dr. Jatinder Bewtra, two of their former professors, waiting for them in one of the labs.

Engineering student one of two province-wide to receive scholarship

A University of Windsor industrial and manufacturing systems engineering student is one of two graduate students in Ontario to be recognized by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

In partnership with the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), The Personal Home and Auto Group Insurance annually awards two undergraduate and two graduate students enrolled in engineering programs across Ontario.

Saeideh Salimpour, a PhD student at UWindsor with a grade point average of 99.25, will be presented with a $2,500 scholarship towards her engineering education during OSPE’s Annual General Meeting on May 4, 2017, at the Chestnut Residence and Conference Centre in Toronto. 

UWindsor alumnus receives Professional of the Year nomination

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has nominated a UWindsor alumnus for its Professional of the Year Award, making him one of only a handful of engineers to receive the honour.

Sean McCann, a professional geological and civil engineer with 28-years of experience under his belt, said it’s not common for engineers to receive nominations in this category even though they play such an integral role in our society.  Only two engineers have won this award in the 27 years the chamber has hosted the event.

“Anything we sit on, touch, look at, go to work in, fly in — an engineer has touched it many times over,” said McCann, who was named Windsor-Essex County’s Engineer of the Year in 2016.