graphic of body suit incorporating wearable electronicsResearch into wearable electronics got a boost with a grant to purchase a system that can turn metals into vapours for application to a variety of surfaces.

Evaporation system to advance development of stretchable electronics

A multi-disciplinary team of UWindsor researchers, whose research explores creating electronic materials and devices that can be stretched, is getting a new tool to help advance their work in designing soft electronics.

When designing stretchable and bendable electronics, researchers must be able to layer different types of materials with metals and other organic substances. This can prove tricky, but with a new electron beam evaporator, turning metals into vapours will be possible with the flip of a switch.

The team received $150,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for a 2023 Research Tools and Instrumentation grant. This will be supplemented with $70,289 from the Faculty of Science and the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

The electron beam evaporator uses the physical vapour deposition method to coat soft rubbery materials with functional materials.

“This critical piece of equipment allows us to take a material and convert it into a thin film,” says lead grant applicant Tricia Carmichael, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

“For example, this instrument allows us to take a piece of gold, heat it up until it’s a vapour and then deposit it on any surface.”

This instrument will expand the range of materials they can deposit to include organic materials, which will support and advance their research programs in organic electronics. The instrument will also advance their cutting-edge research in wearable electronics, conjugated polymers, sensors, printed electronics, and more.

The team includes chemistry and biochemistry’s Simon Rondeau-Gagné and engineering’s Jalal Ahamed.

“Our group of researchers all collaborate together, and we co-supervise a student, this machine will really advance all of our team efforts in soft electronics,” Dr. Carmichael says.

“Without this capability, the development of new materials and devices for emerging applications in these fields is almost impossible.”

Their current out-of-date electron beam evaporator is severely limited in comparison. For example, it is also configured to work only with metals and Dr. Rondeau-Gagné’s lab works with organic electronics.

“It has a lot of a capabilities in terms of reliability and that will make a big difference to us,” says Carmichael. “This will allow us to work with more sensitive softer materials so it will really open up different directions for our wearable work and our soft sensing and things we’re working on together.”

Currently the researchers can easily damage the surface of soft sensitive materials but the controlled evaporation rate on the new machine will allow materials to cool properly.

“This new machine has a cooling stage, so to be able to keep this part cool will help protect your material or your substrate or whatever you’re working on,” she says.

The new system will be housed in the Essex Centre of Research (CORe), a collaborative shared research space, allowing students to receive a hands-on experience on this advanced tool.

“This is big,” Carmichael says. “This is going to give us so many capabilities that we just don’t have.”

—Sara Elliott

floor mats placed before recycling binsWasteFinder tactile mats on the floor can be felt underfoot, enabling individuals with disabilities to access the recycling sorting station in the student centre cafeteria.

Accessible design makes recycling station more inclusive

In designing a sorting station for recyclable materials and waste in the CAW Student Centre, accessibility was not an afterthought, says Cherie Gagnon, accessibility manager in the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility.

“Accessibility was considered from the beginning to ensure that all who wish to participate can to the greatest extent possible,” she says. “Rather than an add-on, it was naturally embedded into the design.”

The centralized sorting station in the cafeteria will enable patrons to easily put their waste in the right place, with brightly coloured and labelled bins identifying materials as destined for recycling as paper or metal or plastic containers, for composting organic materials, or landfill as waste.

In front of the bins, “STILSolutions - Sustainability Through an Inclusive Lens” WasteFinder mats provide both tactile and visual information to assist individuals with disabilities to dispose of their waste independently and effectively. These accessible tactile mats were created by Laurier student Hilary Scanlon addressing a personal, and day-to-day problem.

The mats can be felt distinctly underfoot even when using mobility devices. There are five designs: a vicinity indicator that lets individuals know when they’re within a certain distance of the waste disposal unit, blue with a triangle pointing toward the bins indicating container recycling, blue with a triangle pointing away for paper recycling, green circles for organic collection, and black square for waste headed to landfill.

“Many experts are recognizing the connection between accessibility and sustainability,” Gagnon says. “Using both of these lenses from conception through to the final product creates the strongest outcomes which contributes to an inclusive and responsible campus.”

Learn more on the environmental sustainability website.

Quarterback Danny Skelton pulls football back to throw a pass.Quarterback Danny Skelton and the Lancer football team put their perfect record on the line Saturday at Alumni Field. Photo by Michael P. Hall.

Football game Saturday to kick off Alumni Week

Fans will have a chance to cheer on the Lancer football team when it lines up against the Queen’s Gaels at Alumni Field on Saturday, Sept. 23. Game time is 4 p.m.

Windsor’s perfect 4-0 record has earned the squad a U Sports ranking of eighth in the country, while Queen’s is off to a 1-2 start to the season.

The game is the official beginning of Alumni Week and promises activities on the concourse prior to kick-off. UWindsor grads qualify for a discount on entry at the gate or using the code AL23 for online ticket purchases.

Find a full schedule of Alumni Week events, Sept. 23 to 29, at The University of Windsor Alumni Association encourages celebrants to share their experience and pride, tagging @uwinalumni on Instagram and Twitter and using the hashtags #AlumniWeek2023 and #AlumniforLife.

In other Lancer action:

  • Baseball will play Laurier in Waterloo Saturday, then return home to Libro Field on Sunday to host the University of Waterloo.
  • Cross country will be in London Saturday to compete in the Western Invitational.
  • Soccer will host the Brock Badgers for a doubleheader Sunday on Alumni Field; the women play at 1 p.m. and the men at 3:15 p.m.
  • Softball will travel to London for a pair of contests against Western on Saturday.
  • Women’s hockey will play an exhibition against the London Devilettes at the Capri Pizzeria Recreation Centre on Friday; the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
  • Men’s hockey will play a pair of exhibition games in Toronto against York on Saturday and Sunday.

Find more information at

Sierra Farnham as Lady Macbeth and Natasha Fishman as Macbeth.Sierra Farnham as Lady Macbeth and Natasha Fishman as Macbeth in Mac Beth adapted by Erica Schmidt from the works of William Shakespeare. Photo by Jen Gurniak Photography.

Players raise curtain on thrilling modern Shakespeare tonight

Working with a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy, University Players brings Mac Beth to life Friday, Sept. 22, as a kick-off to its 65th season.

The student cast has been thrilled to work with the text in this modern setting, as it brings home a new relevance to the historic text and echoes the vicious ambition and competition among the young women of the play. None of the text has been changed, although the play has been shortened to run in a one-act format. The result is a fast-paced, adrenaline-driven thrill that packs a visceral blow.

The piece is directed by Dian Marie Bridge, a newcomer to University Players and the artistic director of the Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal.

“It’s told through the perspective of seven schoolgirls — it’s kind of like Heathers meets Dungeons and Dragons meets ancient Scotland,” said Bridge. “It’s a really stealthy adaptation of the play that parallels also teenage girl dynamics.”

Mac Beth opens tonight with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Essex Hall Theatre. The show runs approximately 100 minutes without intermission. Recommended for ages 14+, some mature content, violence, and gore. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Regular price tickets start at $20.

interior of Crocodile GrillThe Crocodile Grill, located on the ground floor of Vanier Hall, will operate during evening hours starting Sunday.

Crocodile Grill to provide evening dining option

The Crocodile Grill on the ground floor of Vanier Hall will offer students, staff, and faculty a casual dining atmosphere, opening from 7:30 to 11 p.m. beginning Sunday, Sept. 24.

During the evening hours, patrons can experience a pub-like menu featuring smash burgers, chicken wings, fish and chips, poutine, and more.

The Crocodile Grill will continue to serve its classic breakfasts from 7:30 to 11 a.m.

For comprehensive information about all on-campus dining options, visit the newly launched Food Services website.