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Michael Elachkar, a skilled trades professional enrolled in the university’s BEng Tech program, shows Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland how the class is working with programmable logic controllers to improve industrial automation.Michael Elachkar, a skilled trades professional enrolled in the university’s BEng Tech program, shows Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland how the class is working with programmable logic controllers to improve industrial automation.

Visit educates federal minister about engineering innovations

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs met with engineering students and faculty Tuesday to learn about industrial automation and manufacturing innovations taking place at the University.

Chrystia Freeland visited the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation to meet with faculty and students who specialize in mechatronics, 3D printing, metal forming, and electric vehicles.

Mohammad Anvaripour, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, showed Freeland how he is developing complex systems to prevent collisions and improve collaboration between humans and robots in automated workplaces, such as an automotive assembly plant.

Doctoral candidate Hamed Kalami presented a cost-effective, 3D-printable hand brace he designed to assist people with connective tissue disorders.

Interim president Douglas Kneale and Mehrdad Saif, dean of engineering, accompanied Freeland on the tour.

“We were delighted to show Minister Freeland our latest advances in experimental testing and to have her meet the engineering students who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge through hands-on learning,” said Dr. Kneale. “We thank the federal government for its strong and ongoing support for research across the disciplines.”

—Kristie Pearce