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UWindsor students and alumni honoured by engineering community

Michael Cappucci, BASc ’11, was one of three alumni named the Top Three Under 30 by Windsor’s Engineering Month Committee during a ceremony April 13, 2018 at the Fogolar Furlan Club.

Several University of Windsor engineering students and alumni were honoured during a local celebration of the engineering profession.

Windsor’s Engineering Month Committee hosts an annual awards luncheon to “bring public awareness to the diversity and importance of the exciting fields of engineering and technology and invite prospective students to consider these professions,” said Tina Hawco, chair of the Engineering Month Committee.

The committee is comprised of engineers and technologists from local municipalities, consulting engineering firms, the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, professional associations and industry.

Priscilla Williams, a PhD candidate in the civil and environmental engineering department, Michael Cappucci, BASc ’11, and Aaron Blata, BASc ’14, were named the Top Three Under 30 during a ceremony April 13, 2018 at the Fogolar Furlan Club for demonstrating higher than average abilities to undertake engineering projects, outstanding work ethic and leadership early in their careers.

Robot design project arms engineering students for professional practice

A project to design and build hydraulic robotic arms powered by syringes taught a class of engineering students about the challenges of the profession.

Teams demonstrated their creations for the third-year course “Manufacturing Process Design,” Thursday in the Centre for Engineering Innovation. Each project had to incorporate several joints and be able to grasp and lift an object, operated by rubber-piston needle syringes.

Designs incorporated wood and metal, dowels and glue, 3D-printed and molded plastics, employing fluids as different as oil and water to operate crab-like claws.

Design competition sparks creativity in electronics students

A design competition for electrical engineering students brought their learning out of textbooks and into reality last week.

“It was interesting to apply the theory we learned in class to predict circuit behaviour and help troubleshoot,” said Emilie Bondy, whose team took home first place for designing a Multiple Option Input Responsive Beverage Mixer.

Bondy and her teammates, Muntasir Alam and Tristen Michaud-Laughton, received $180 in UWindsor Campus Bookstore gift certificates.

More than 100 electrical engineering students from professor Mitra Mirhassani’s third-year class, “Electronics II,” competed. As part of a course requirement, students were tasked with designing a product under a $30 budget using an analog circuit and various signal processors.

UWindsor engineering researchers receive nearly $2 million in government funding

Dr. Daniel Green displays a sheet metal specimen in the Mechanical Testing Lab at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The specimen was stretch-formed in a formability test. Dr. Daniel Green displays a sheet metal specimen in the Mechanical Testing Lab at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The specimen was stretch-formed in a formability test. 

An injection of nearly $2 million in federal funds will aid University of Windsor researchers like Daniel Green, who is helping automakers incorporate lightweight sheet materials into their vehicles.

The automotive sector is turning to lightweight materials as an alternative to steel to improve fuel efficiency. However, lower-density metals tend to have limited formability, says Dr. Green, an associate professor who specializes in materials engineering.

“Innovative forming processes need to be developed and optimized for the production of automotive parts,” he said. “With high-speed forming, we can get 100 per cent more formability than we can with conventional stamping.”

Green is one of 14 UWindsor engineering professors who was awarded funding through the 2017 Discovery Grants Program — an annual competition run by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to advance research in Canadian universities.

Engineering students honoured for helping Walkerton camp mitigate riverbank erosion

A team of engineering students has designed a cost-effective and sustainable erosion control structure that will help protect a children’s camp based at the riverbank of the Saugeen River in Walkerton, Ontario. 

“The outer banks of river bends are often subjected to erosion due to the force of the flowing water, which sweep sediments downstream,” said Karla Gorospe, a civil engineering MASc candidate, who worked on the student capstone project. “To minimize the erosive effects of the flowing water at Camp Cherith, we designed a hybrid system that includes a series of rock structures called bendway weirs and woody plants. While the bendway weirs help in redirecting the flow away from the bank, the woody plants and tree cuttings stabilize the soils.”

Camp Cherith, a Christian camp for children and youth, approached the university in fall 2016 to seek help with its erosion problem, which has resulted in significant property loss and affected regular camp activities.

UWindsor rocketry team soars in international competition

The University of Windsor Rocketry Team finished third overall in its first-ever competition: (from left) professor Jeff Defoe, Liza DiCecco, Shannon Bosilac, Anthony Gudisey, Sam Randall, Michael Gyan, William Oudomsouk, Alexandra Rose, Patrick Pomerleau-Perron, Jonathan Schreiber.

In its first-ever rocket competition appearance, the University of Windsor Rocketry Team finished third overall out of 82 teams.

Nine senior members of UWindsor’s inaugural rocketry team traveled to New Mexico to compete in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition’s (IREC) 2017 Spaceport America Cup held June 20 to 24. While first and second place were announced at the competition, the 80 other participating teams had to wait more than a month for competition results.

“We were pretty ecstatic,” says Liza DiCecco, a fourth-year materials option mechanical engineering student. “The results came right before our capstone report was due, when we were stressed out trying to finish. So this news made us pretty happy.”

Students display the latest engineering innovations

A team of students who designed a system to help visually impaired people navigate their surroundings are particularly excited about one aspect of their project: the difference it can make in the lives of users.

“It could help people in the real world,” says Hejir Rashidzadeh, one of three fourth-year students of electrical and computer engineering behind the “Intelligent Blind Man Aid,” which combines a camera and ultrasonic sensors with a voice command system.

The team set up an obstacle course to allow blindfolded guests try the experience for themselves, as part of Capstone Design Demonstration Day, Friday in the lobby of the Centre for Engineering Innovation. It was one of dozens of displays by groups of students in various engineering disciplines: electrical and computer; civil and environmental; and mechanical, automotive and materials.

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.

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.

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.