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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.

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

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.

Driving cybersecurity evolution

Meitong Pan, a master’s student who works with Dr. Mitra Mirhassani in the Analog and Mixed Signal Research Lab, examines an FPGA board used to implement complex digital computations.Meitong Pan, a master’s student who works with Dr. Mitra Mirhassani in the Analog and Mixed Signal Research Lab, examines an FPGA board used to implement complex digital computations.

Companies are well aware of the environmental benefits of electrifying vehicle fleets, but how much is known about the security of these systems?

A University of Windsor researcher aims to dig deeper through the investigation of cybersecurity issues that arise when using electric vehicle fleets with battery charging infrastructure.

“The environmental, geopolitical and financial advantages of electric vehicles are well-studied and addressed in many research publications. However, security of these systems is not given the full attention that it requires,” says Dr. Mitra Mirhassani, the project lead and associate professor who specializes in electrical engineering.

Amazon announced in fall 2019 the largest order of electric delivery vehicles ever, according to David Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of operations. The world’s largest retailer purchased 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, a Michigan-based start-up. While companies like Amazon are making the switch to electric fleets, municipalities are preparing with plans to add infrastructure to accommodate the surge in consumer and corporate investments in alternative fuels. The City of Windsor is looking to set up 11 dual-port electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the municipality, according to a 2019 city council report.

A natural changemaker

Pamela Nadin-McIntyre meets with a drilling team during a visit to Canadian Natural Resources Limited’s offshore operations on West Africa’s Ivory Coast.

Pamela Nadin-Mcintyre was introduced to the importance of innovation and its role in business at a young age.

As a daughter of a Windsor tool and die business owner, she remembers watching her dad brainstorm and execute countless ideas to drive business and stay competitive.

Decades later and three provinces away, she is the innovation lead — in addition to safety, technical safety, and risk management — for Canada’s largest independent crude oil and natural gas producer, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural).

“My dad’s the one who really helped push me in this direction,” says Nadin- McIntyre BASc ’86.

In addition to ensuring the right systems are in place to maintain the safety of people across Canadian Natural’s operations, she leads dedicated teams that are focused on improving the company’s environmental performance through technology and innovation. And for someone who is passionate about the environment, it’s more than just a job.