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hand making technical drawingsA workshop series will help students learn how to express STEM concepts through drawing.

Workshops to develop drawing skills as tech tool

The faculties of science and engineering are offering students a chance to learn how to express relevant concepts through drawing in a SMArt Communications Masterclass called “Everyone Can Draw: Drawing as a Conceptual Tool in STEM.”

The four-part, hands-on online workshop is open to UWindsor undergraduate and graduate students and will be instructed by professor Catherine Heard from the School of Creative Arts.

The masterclass is part of a series of workshops offered to UWindsor students to give them an opportunity to learn artistic and creative skills to enhance their communication of topics in sciences, technology, engineering, and math.

The classes will run 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon Fridays: Sept. 24, Oct. 1, 8, and 22.

The classes do not qualify for course credit, however students will receive a certificate of completion. Science students may use this experience in LEAD Medallion applications. Interested students may register online.

Find more information about SMArt Communications Masterclasses on the program website.

Electrical engineeringElectrical engineering Balakumar Balasingam is leading a team that aims to identify second uses for electric vehicle batteries.

Engineering researchers examine second lives for electric vehicle batteries

While electric vehicles produce zero emissions, their batteries composed of raw materials are difficult and costly to recycle.

Transportation electrification is steadily increasing across the globe and expected to add 200 million electric vehicles (EV) to the roads over the next decade.

“Batteries are becoming an important commodity in the Canadian economy; however, we still lack technical leadership on the safety, efficiency, and reliability aspects of battery applications and reuse,” says Balakumar Balasingam, an assistant professor of electrical engineering.

With an expected spike of used EV batteries at recycling facilities on the horizon, Dr. Balasingam is leading a team that aims to offer another route to their disposal.

“Even though considered irrelevant in electric vehicles, these batteries have value in other applications, such as home electrification, short-range transportation, and microgrids.”

Many “end-of-life” EV batteries still have up to 70 per cent of their capacity left, he notes. One potential pathway for used EV batteries is to repurpose them in e-bikes. Nikola Robotics Lab, one of many partners on the project, will work with the team on the design of this cost-effective solution while Bike Windsor-Essex will advocate for their adaptation.

Balasingam and co-investigator Gary Rankin are the first researchers at UWindsor to secure a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance Grant Option 2, which provides additional funding to projects that justify a higher level of investment and address a societal challenge.

The $244,200 project includes industry support from Gates Corporation and the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA) in addition to Nikola Labs and Bike Windsor Essex.

The multi-disciplinary team will develop techniques for fast and real-time characterization of used-batteries’ state-of-charge and state-of-health to ensure safety, efficiency and reliability during battery reuse. They will also introduce an online battery operating system (bOS) that provides real-time information and services to assist technicians and innovators with battery management.

“The proposed bOS functions similar to a healthcare system where a doctor takes blood samples and sends them to a laboratory for further diagnosis,” Balasingam says. “Similarly, a mechanic will measure and record voltage, current, and temperature samples from a battery pack, and will send them to bOS via the Internet.”

The bOS can then help the mechanic identify faulty cells in a battery pack, estimate the remaining useful life of the battery and provide updated data for optimal battery management functionalities. With the help of the APMA, the bOS will reach multiple manufacturers in Canada and around the world.

The project will also address inadequate thermal management in electric vehicles. As EV batteries age, the ability to predict their thermal behavior becomes challenging, according to Balasingam.

“The temperature of Li-ion battery packs needs to be constantly monitored and maintained to ensure safe, efficient, and reliable operation. At above average temperatures the battery is susceptible to thermal runaway, as noted by recent occurrences of electric vehicles, scooters, laptops, and smart phones spontaneously combusting.”

At below average temperatures, battery packs cannot produce enough power. Battery thermal management systems are equipped with estimation and control algorithms to forecast temperature changes and to activate cooling/heating mechanisms in a timely manner.

“We will build on our recent research to develop real-time estimation of battery thermal model parameters,” says Balasingam.

The thermal modeling research will assist Gates Corporation in developing battery thermal management products produced in Canada and generate clean energy jobs.

Balasingam leads UWindsor’s Battery Management Systems Lab. Project updates and progress will be posted on the BMS Lab website.

Book cover: “Law and Disability in Canada” “Law and Disability in Canada” provides a comprehensive overview of relevant issues in Canada.

Book examines persons with disabilities and the law

Laverne Jacobs, Windsor Law professor and director of the Law, Disability and Social Change Project, has collaborated with five academics across Canada to write a text about persons with disabilities and their interactions with the law.

Law and Disability in Canada: Cases and Materials is a comprehensive overview of law and disability issues in Canada, authored by Dr. Jacobs, Ruby Dhand, Freya Kodar, David Ireland, Richard Jochelson, and Odelia Bay.

The book looks at disability barriers in several areas of law, including labour and employment, criminal, constitutional, and human rights law. It takes an intersectional lens, and examines discrete topics such as women and girls with disabilities, community living, and social benefits.

The book is geared towards legal practitioners, professionals working with people with disabilities — in law or in other fields like human resources — for practical and classroom use.

Order Law and Disability in Canada: Cases and Materials on the LexisNexis website.

smartphone displaying Safe Lancer Mobile AppThe Safe Lancer Mobile App offers a wide range of features to promote safety and security.

Mobile app offers safety features beyond COVID screening

More people than ever are using the Safe Lancer Mobile App, a function of its COVID screening feature being necessary to enter the UWindsor campus.

However, Campus Community Police director Matthew D’Asti hopes users will explore the other aspects of the app, which offers a wide range of services to promote safety and security.

  • One-touch access to Campus Police and Windsor Police, both emergency and non-emergency numbers
  • Personal “blue light” button for pedestrians on campus to contact Campus Police immediately
  • Virtual Walk home features enabling Campus Police (or a friend) to follow walkers online to their destination
  • “Chat with Campus Police” dispatcher directly
  • National Weather Service and Environment Canada alerts
  • Push notifications from UWindsor Alert for campus emergencies
  • Report-a-Tip to Campus Police
  • Access to all campus emergency plans and procedures
  • Geo-located map of reported crimes
  • Access to on- and off-campus support services
  • Quick links to Campus Police social media platforms

The app is available for Android or Apple devices. Download the Safe Lancer Mobile App.

man holding sign "I won't stand by"Workshops will offer UWindsor students practical strategies to stop a sexual assault before it starts.

Sessions to offer advice on ending sexual violence

A series of workshops will offer UWindsor students practical strategies to stop a sexual assault — before it starts.

Bystander Initiative workshops are open to all gender identities and led by student peer facilitators. The program is aiming at conducting 70 workshops this fall to reach 500 to 800 participants, who will learn:

  • Why it’s important to speak out against social norms that support sexual violence;
  • Skills needed to identify and safely intervene in situations that could lead to sexual violence; and
  • How to support survivors of sexual violence.

Each session runs 2.5 hours. Find the current schedule and register at

hands doing tasks at tableQuestions about graduation are among this week’s most-referenced Knowledge Base Articles.

Digest documents top student concerns

Campus partners are working to maintain a robust set of Knowledge Base Articles (KBAs).

The team will continue to compile a weekly digest of the most-referenced KBAs to streamline student-focused questions to ask.UWindsor to support consistent communication with current and future students.

These are this week’s top-five referenced KBAs:

You can submit common questions or make suggestions to the KBA team at