News and Events

Jun 4th, 2020

Professors Jalal Ahamed, Mitra Mirhassani, Simon Rondeau-Gagné, and Yufeng Tong pictures

UWindsor researchers are trying to revolutionize the testing process for COVID-19 by developing a portable device that is quicker, cheaper, and more accurate than current laboratory tests.

Dubbed Lab-on-a-Chip, the device would allow healthcare workers to test and diagnose patients on the spot, said Jalal Ahamed, one of four UWindsor professors behind the research.

“Accurate, rapid, on-site, and point-of-care detection has paramount importance not only in Canada but also worldwide for early intervention and infection control,” Dr. Ahamed said.

“Development of such a device will be highly impactful in our fight against COVID-19.”

Currently, testing is performed in sophisticated laboratory settings. Patients are swabbed and the samples are sent away to labs, with the turnaround time for results usually measured in days. Lab-on-a-Chip devices could give results in minutes.

Ahamed, who is working on the project with fellow engineering professor Mitra Mirhassani, and chemistry professors Yufeng Tong and Simon Rondeau-Gagné, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. It is the third COVID-related project at UWindsor NSERC has funded at the maximum amount available under a special $15 million fund established to address the pandemic.

Jun 2nd, 2020

Girls who secured the scholarship

Eman ElMasri’s favourite part of tutoring her peers is witnessing them achieve their academic goals.

“It is always rewarding to know that I can make a difference in the learning of others,” says ElMasri, a third-year electrical and computer engineering student who tutors in the Faculty of Engineering’s WINONE Tutorial program.

Established in 2019 by the WINONE Office for First-Year Engineering, the tutorials offer students free one-on-one help with first and second-year engineering course material.

Elmasri and fellow mentor Mahwish Khan are the first recipients of the Liburdi Engineering Mentorship Award, a new $10,000 annual award that supports two senior level undergraduate students who are excelling in math and physics and helping their first and second-year peers with course material and questions about their undergraduate programs.

Jun 2nd, 2020

Dr. Ofelia Jianu’s  working in lab

From cost-effective, electric vehicles with superior torque density and performance to energy-absorbing devices that can save lives in automotive crashes or bomb explosions, more than $3.2 million in federal funding will advance University of Windsor research at the forefront of Canadian engineering innovation.

Seventeen researchers in the university’s Faculty of Engineering received funding through the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s five-year term Discovery Grants and the Research Tools and Instruments Grant program.

Dr. Bill Altenhof, who specializes in mechanical and materials engineering, is developing high performing adaptive structural energy absorbing devices that can adjust force and displacement response as needed. These responsive materials have the potential to mitigate serious injuries or death as a result of falls, automotive crashes, pedestrian impacts, blasts or bomb explosions.

May 20th, 2020

MEng student Varun Kumar Yacham and Rebecca Burkoski

Each year a graduating student from the International Student Centre and the LEAD volunteer program are selected to receive the Alumni Spirit Award, sponsored by Alumni Affairs and Donor Communications, recognizing their dedication to their volunteer roles at the university. This year’s recipients are Varun Kumar Yacham and Rebecca Burkoski.

During his time with the International Student Centre, Yacham, an MEng student, demonstrated leadership and dedication to supporting the transition of international students to the University, to student life and to Canadian culture. He has been very much connected to International students through student clubs and in his role as assistant co-ordinator of Volunteer International Students Assistance (VISA). He is also past vice-president events for the Indian Student Association and was the international liaison for UWindsor Relay for Life.

May 14th, 2020

Rajeev Ruparathna From energy use to construction waste, there is a lot to consider when designing a building.

How effectively can the materials regulate temperature fluctuations and what’s their effect on the people utilizing the facility? Can the building withstand extreme weather? A University of Windsor engineering professor is examining how masonry construction adds up.

Funded by Mitacs in partnership with Masonry Works, Rajeev Ruparathna is leading a three-year project that will investigate the resiliency, economic feasibility, and social and environmental impacts of masonry construction.

“The aim is to develop much-needed knowledge on the life-cycle performance of masonry construction in Canada,” Dr. Ruparathna says.

To holistically address environmental issues associated with the building environment, the civil engineering professor says it’s essential to consider all phases of a building’s life cycle.

May 13th, 2020

Lincoln Laser Solutions laser cladding process

A team of engineering students has saved a local manufacturer thousands of dollars by suggesting improvements to shop floor production processes.

As part of their coursework, PhD candidates Maryam Shafiei Alavijeh, Danilo Stocco, Victor Eghujovbo and master’s candidates Alireza Pasha and Zahra Nazemi partnered with Lincoln Laser Solutions, a Windsor-based company that specializes in laser cladding and additive manufacturing, and found improvements that could save the company $30,800 annually.

“Part of the course requirement is for the students to complete a hands-on project where they must apply process improvement methods and tools learned in the class,” says professor Asif Khan, who teaches the class Lean Manufacturing and Process Improvement. “The focus of this group-based project is to study a process, identify waste and loss, find the root cause, and propose countermeasures to attack the loss.”

May 8th, 2020

Bogdan Gramisteanu holding face shield

Helping the Vistaprint plant in Lakeshore increase its production of face shields to send to front-line workers fighting COVID-19 was an “amazing” experience for a third-year electrical engineering student serving a co-op term with the company.

Bogdan Gramisteanu designed a layout for the shields that optimized the number that could be cut at once, which helped the plant produce 100,000 shields a week, says manager Diane Labute.

“Within hours he had re-programmed the equipment to produce the product,” she says. “It is refreshing to see an aspiring engineering student with an insatiable desire to learn and solve problems.”

Drawing on a design already in use by local hospitals, the shields have a fully adjustable band. The Vistaprint team made multiple changes in response to client suggestions, Gramisteanu says: “It felt great when we got the feedback from the hospital that they really liked the design and got the initial order of face shields.”

May 7th, 2020

Thirty-eight UWindsor faculty have been awarded more than $6.5 million in federal funding to advance research and innovation in science and engineering.

This funding, awarded through the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Discovery Grant and Research Tools and Instruments Grant programs, supports a broad range of topics, including large lake ecosystems, electric vehicle drive systems, big data and supercomputing, air pollution, and clean energy.

UWindsor exceeded the national success rate for the 2020 Discovery Grant competition with more than 63% of all applications receiving funding. In addition, all Discovery Grants awarded this year are for a five-year term.

Fourteen of the successful grant applications, submitted by early career researchers in the first five years of their academic appointment, each received a “launch supplement” of $12,500 in addition to their Discovery Grant.

May 6th, 2020

UWindsor chemist Simon Rondeau-Gagné hits play and what follows looks like a magic trick

UWindsor chemist Simon Rondeau-Gagné hits play and what follows looks like a magic trick.

A video shows Master’s student Julia Pignanelli manipulating a rectangle of jelly-like material in her fingers, stretching it to eight times its normal length before letting it revert to its original form. She then puts it down and slices it in two with a utility knife. She positions the two pieces so they touch and, voilà, the material is whole again.

It’s no optical illusion or sleight of hand, Dr. Rondeau-Gagné assures: “It’s chemistry.”

The self-healing elastomer is the latest technology developed by Pignanelli, Rondeau-Gagné and engineering professor Jalal Ahamed. They recently obtained a provisional patent on the invention.

It’s similar to the silicone-based material used in contact lenses, but with special properties. It not only heals itself, but once cut, the material at the location of the damage is stronger than it was originally. The healing at first took 24 hours, but through further experimentation, the team has cut that time down to just two hours.

May 5th, 2020

Eunsik Kim, an engineering professor posing

A UWindsor researcher is applying game elements to life in social isolation as a way of combating COVID-19.

Eunsik Kim, an engineering professor who specializes in gamification, is looking into ways of offering virtual rewards for things like social distancing, self-isolation, fitness, or even handwashing during the pandemic.

“We will use game elements in a non-game context to encourage people to maintain healthy practices, not just for entertainment, but to educate people,” Dr. Kim said.

“In addition, by connecting with others through gamification the loneliness epidemic associated with social distancing, quarantine, and isolation can be allayed.”

Gamification is the application of typical elements of game-playing — competition, scoring, and rules of play — to encourage participation. Gamification encourages participants to engage in desired behaviours by capitalizing on the human psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.