News and Events

Nov 18th, 2021

Engineers must have the ability to solve complex problems, but Norm Becker has taught us they should be equipped with a full heart too.

The University of Windsor alumnus always found ways to use his profession to help others — from his pro bono work everywhere from rural China to the town of LaSalle to establishing four scholarships for UWindsor students following in his footsteps.

Becker passed away in spring 2021 and now, thanks to a memorial scholarship established by his wife, Mary Ellen, he will continue to inspire the next generation of aspiring engineers.

“Norm always had great empathy for students,” says Mary Ellen. “He mentored them gladly, began scholarships to support them and included them on some of his many projects when he could. I believe that this scholarship in his name is a very fitting tribute to his memory."

The Dr. Norbert K. Becker Scholarship in Engineering will support upper-year undergraduate students in civil and environmental engineering based on academic excellence, scholastic potential, good character, and community involvement on campus and beyond.

Nov 18th, 2021

Dr. Mitra Mirhassani poses in front of a vehicle

There are two teams in the University of Windsor’s centre for automobility cybersecurity research.

There’s the blue team, which works diligently to create secure, impenetrable hardware for automobility applications and the red team, whose mission is to destroy it.

This is Canada’s first organization dedicated to countering threats to the connected transportation marketplace. Launched in 2021, UWindsor’s SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence is home to a growing multi-disciplinary research team that specializes in artificial intelligence; machine learning; and advanced analytics and is led by a powerhouse pair that is rapidly gaining notoriety in Canada’s auto industry.

Within the last three years, founders Mitra Mirhassani and Ikjot Saini have garnered six accolades naming them leaders across Canada’s automotive, cybersecurity and tech sectors. Most recently, Mirhassani received the 2021 Donald S. Wood Leadership Award, bestowed by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), for showing exemplary public leadership in Canada’s auto sector.

“Our most challenging research is detecting maliciously placed hardware Trojans, which can wreak havoc on and even destroy sensors embedded in vehicles, infrastructure and the manufacturing supply chain,” says Mirhassani, an electrical engineering professor. “This is happening now in the Canadian supply chain.”

Nov 18th, 2021

Despite a couple of challenging years fueled by a pandemic, Lisa Lortie has remained resilient.

In this time, she’s been dubbed a leader in the North American auto industry and her advice on navigating the automotive sector through the COVID crisis was published in a book produced by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) called The Road Forward.

“Stellantis not only maintained learning and leadership development opportunities but increased and adapted them during this trying time,” says Lortie, who leads 10 Stellantis powertrain testing sites that handle everything from testing electric motors to traditional internal combustion engines to transmissions and emissions.

“We shifted to mask and ventilator production — and this happened so quickly, it was amazing. Despite the challenges we faced, we were still able to unveil new products, launch many vehicles, continue investments and report record financial results.”

Lortie BASc ’96, MBA ’00 has dedicated the past two decades of her career to ensuring the safety of millions of vehicles before they hit the road. As global director of propulsion systems testing and analysis, Lortie oversees a professional team of nearly 1,400 scattered across the globe. While working remotely, she says it was critical for her to maintain and develop new mentoring relationships.

Nov 16th, 2021

Students are seen outside of Essex Hall in this 1980 file photo.

Students are seen outside of Essex Hall in this 1980 file photo. 

It started off as a challenge posed by a dentist who just so happened to be his brother.

Ralph and his colleagues weren’t happy with the dental filling materials available to them in 1958. The material was hard to work with and often failed, inevitably sending cavity-stricken patients back to their chairs for a filler replacement.

“Ralph's challenge was to develop a better filling material and I accepted, thinking that there was no one better suited to study the amalgam's shortcomings and improve or replace it with something better, than a metallurgist like myself,” says William Youdelis, who taught materials engineering at the University of Windsor from 1965 to 1996.

Nov 16th, 2021

A UWindsor professor has been named a rising star by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Ning Zhang has received the IEEE Technical Committee on Services Computing Rising Star Award for his contributions to the fields of mobile edge computing and the Internet of Things. The IEEE, the largest technical professional organization in the world, selects only one recipient each year from around the globe.

The award “recognizes very promising individuals who are in the early stages of their independent research careers, but have already made outstanding, impactful, and potentially long-lasting contributions to the research and practice of services computing,” said the international not-for-profit organization.

In addition to Dr. Zhang’s record of providing professional services to the research community, the IEEE noted his prolific publication record. He has published more than 180 papers in international journals and at conferences, and has been a co-recipient of six best paper awards. His work has been cited more than 7,800 times and he is the associate editor of the IEEE Internet of Things Journal, the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking, and the IEEE Systems Journal.

Nov 1st, 2021

Xueyuan Nie, a professor of mechanical, automotive and materials engineering, is proud and humbled as a recipient of an award of excellence from an industry group.

Dr. Nie was honoured as a “key collaborator” by the Auto/Steel Partnership, a consortium of steel-producing companies and automakers. The award recognizes an outside contractor whose contributions to a project prove valuable in overcoming challenges.

Nie recalls helping Chrysler address a challenge in stamping advanced high-strength steels.

“The existing tooling dies could only stamp around 100 parts and soon failed,” he says.

He proposed a duplex treatment which added a hard ceramic layer to the dies.

“To be honest, some of the team members didn't believe this approach would work since the coating was only a few microns thick. It was hard to believe such a thin ceramic layer could withstand thousand tons of stamping forces.”

The surface engineering method he proposed has become an industry standard for preparing stamping tooling dies.

Oct 22nd, 2021

Insoles embedded with tiny sensors may soon diagnose problems with the way you walk.

A team of UWindsor researchers is taking the first steps toward bringing this invention to market. Armed with provisional patents and a difficult-to-obtain, research and development grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), members hope to have a prototype ready for commercialization by this time next year.

“This is a unique project,” said Jalal Ahamed, a professor of mechanical, automotive, and materials engineering who brings his expertise in micro-scale sensors to the project. Other principal researchers are materials chemists Tricia Carmichael, who specializes in wearable electronics, and Simon Rondeau-Gagné, who has invented the flexible, self-healing polymer in which the sensors will be embedded.

“We are bringing together all these disciplines, which is what makes this project unique,” Dr. Ahamed said.

Oct 15th, 2021

A team from the Faculty of Engineering has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex to build Canada’s first 3D-printed homes for residential use.

“Habitat for Humanity believes everyone has the right to a safe, decent, affordable place to live,” says Fiona Coughlin, executive director and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex. “As this cutting-edge technology is evolving, we are excited to partner with the University of Windsor to find ways to provide housing solutions in our community.”

Coughlin notes that current building codes in Canada are not written with these novel 3D-printing technologies in mind. One of the goals of the project is to design a 3D-printed home that meets residential building code requirements and produce landmark precedents for future practices in cost-effective and environmentally sustainable home construction across the country.

Civil engineering professor and University of Windsor project lead, Dr. Sreekanta Das, says the project will help address a vital need for a more affordable and environmentally sustainable housing market. He, alongside a team of engineering graduate students and laboratory technicians, will 3D print concrete segments on a large-scale, industrial printer in the university’s Structural Engineering Testing Lab — one of the largest and tallest in Canada — and test them exhaustively for strength, sustainability and durability to ensure they’re safe for residential use.

Sep 24th, 2021

Cay-Yen Ang, Jordan Goddard and Fabianna Palacios (L-R) will face 23 schools from the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica in the Water Environment Federation's Student Design Competition on Oct. 17, 2021 in Chicago.

A trio of environmental engineering students will represent the University of Windsor as the sole Canadian team in an international wastewater treatment competition.

Cay-Yen Ang, Jordan Goddard and Fabianna Palacios qualified to compete at the Water Environment Federation's Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) after taking top honours against schools from across Ontario in a design competition held by the Water Environment Association of Ontario on March 27.

The Windsor team’s winning design eliminated overflow of wastewater from the treatment and collection system in Port Dalhousie with minimal cost, taking into consideration the effects of climate change. The submission recommended adding chemicals to improve the settling of solids during storm events, implementing fine bubble diffusers to increase the capacity of biological treatment and the use of tanks existing on the site to disinfect water with chlorine.

The team is tackling the same challenge at the 2021 WEFTEC Student Design Competition, held in Chicago on Oct. 17, however, this time, with an enhanced design.

Sep 23rd, 2021

Nickolas Eaves has been invited to share his expertise on synthetic fuels on one of Canada’s most listened to daily news podcasts.

Dr. Eaves, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will join Real Talk at 11 a.m. ET on Sept. 23 to discuss the emergence of synthetic fuels, how they work and their effect on vehicle function and performance.

The show’s recent guests include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  and Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

Eaves will be joined by panelists Andrew Bell, director of the Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta, and Paul Horrell, a columnist for Top Gear Magazine's Future Proof.

The interview conducted by show host, Ryan Jespersen, will be streamed live, on camera and is available on YouTube and Apple Podcasts.

You can also follow or take part in the on-going audience conversation with the hashtag #RealTalkRJ on Twitter and the host’s accounts @RealTalkRJ and @ryanjespersen.