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Engineering

Student projects bridge gap between theory and practice

Sometimes you have to fail to succeed. That’s the case with a project for third-year students in Amr El Ragaby’s class finite element for analysis and design.

The civil engineering professor challenges groups to design and build models of a truss bridge, predicting how they will react when subjected to pressure from a custom-built crusher. They are rewarded for designs that hold up well, and for accuracy in their analysis of the load capacity of their models.

UWindsor prof inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering

Dr. Hoda ElMaraghy, a UWindsor professor and recent Order of Ontario appointee, has been named a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

As a fellow of the academy, the professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and Canada Research Chair in Manufacturing Systems joins Canada's most distinguished and experienced engineers who provide strategic advice on matters of critical importance to Canada.

Building resiliency in our homes

An increase in natural disasters and pandemics has prompted an engineering researcher to create a solution that enables the resilient construction of multi-unit, residential buildings.

Apartments are gaining popularity in Canada, says Rajeev Ruparathna, a civil engineering professor at the University of Windsor.

“Considering the increase in frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and the recent tragic condo collapse in Miami that killed nearly 100 people, we see an urgent call for more resilient Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs),” he says.

But Dr. Ruparathna says there is a lack of resources to support this, especially during design and construction. His latest project addresses this gap by developing resources to ensure the resiliency of MURBs through a Building Information Modeling (BIM)-based rule set that allows engineers and architects to check a building design for resiliency principles.

The BIM rule set will be based on guidelines in the National Building Code, Canadian Electric Code, National Fire Code, Canada Standard Association (CSA) standards, and BOMA Canada Resilience Brief.

Electric vehicle expert partners with industry on $1.8 million research project



​UWindsor engineering professor Narayan Kar is leading a new $1.8 million research project to make better electric drive systems.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded the electric vehicle expert more than $1 million for the three-year project with Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International, Ottawa-based power device company GaN Systems, and a researcher at Concordia University. The industry partners will add more than $700,000 in in-kind contributions to the research.

“With this project, we want to create a paradigm shift in the field of transportation electrification,” said Dr. Kar. “We hope to give Canada a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

The research project will examine several elements of the electric drive system and make improvements. The goal is to make electric vehicles more powerful, efficient, and reliable, while making them less costly to produce and maintain.

Student research focuses on security of 5G devices

Sahereh Sabandabadi, a master's student, poses outside

We live in a world where cars drive themselves, thermostats are set via smart phones, and home security systems can be armed and monitored remotely.

But how can we ensure the tiny components connecting these devices to the Internet are safe from malicious interference?

That’s the problem UWindsor graduate student Sahereh Sahandabadi is probing. As part of a larger research project in collaboration with Canadian telecommunications company Telus on 5G technology, the Master’s student in engineering is looking for ways to build safeguards into Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

“A crucial factor for the IoT devices is security and reliability,” said Sahandabadi. “Since these devices have limited battery power and can’t accommodate complicated processes in their sensors, new algorithms and methods are needed to provide this reliability.”

Students engineer solution to material loss at local manufacturer

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.”

Engineering co-op student helps employer increase face shield production

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.”

Scholarship recipient inspired by fund honouree

Zac Sinasac

Zac Sinasac, just finishing his first semester of graduate study in automotive engineering, is grateful for the opportunities he has been afforded.

“I say thank you as much as I can to the people who have supported me,” he says, listing faculty, family, friends — and donors to scholarships for UWindsor students.

Sinasac says the $1,000 Shawn Yates Memorial Award helped inspire him to excel.

“It’s a motivation, because you’re being rewarded and recognized for your efforts,” he says. “Sometimes you’re so deep in your books that you don’t realize people take notice.”

He made the effort to learn more about Yates, a UWindsor alumnus (BASc 1982, MBA 1992) who helped to found the Windsor Engineering co-op program with the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) before his death in July 2017.