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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Students create virtual campus to foster sense of community

A screenshot shows the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation students created in Minecraft.

The University of Windsor Engineering Students’ Society is bringing campus to the screens of students learning from home.

The society has created a replica of the University of Windsor campus on Minecraft — a video game that allows you to create a virtual world with Java programming. 

Students can explore each floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation and take a stroll through UWindsor’s campus peppered with lush trees, flower beds and even its Promise campaign billboards. 

“Since we are all stuck inside on our computers for the remainder of the semester, it’s important to keep the sense of campus community,” says Theo Sancartier, president of the Engineering Students’ Society.

“With this Minecraft server, we hope to have students interacting in a way no one thought of before.”

Sancartier says the society’s executive committee and other volunteers spent the entire summer creating the server to ensure incoming students had a memorable experience and felt connected to campus. 

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.”

Researchers to apply AI to improve human element in manufacturing

This screenshot of a live computer vision simulation shows how image processing recognizes certain objects and their locations within their environment.

Two UWindsor engineering researchers have received more than $715,000 in federal funding to bring cutting-edge artificial intelligence to the manufacturing floor.

Professors Jonathan Wu and Afshin Rahimi say they can mitigate human error and maximize productivity in manufacturing plants through advanced computer vision.

“Human errors were the major driver behind $22.1 billion in vehicle recalls in 2016,” says Dr. Wu, a former Canada Research Chair in Automotive Sensor and Information Systems.

He and Dr. Rahimi aim to create a smart production assistant that will help manufacturing plant operators gain unprecedented visibility into their manual production operations, allowing them to optimize their worker efficiency while maximizing productivity. They will achieve this by automating data generation using computer vision, converting raw data into useable information, visualizing information using common business intelligence methodologies and prediction of future.

The professors have received $717,450 of support from the Mitacs Accelerate program and additional support from Smart Computing for Innovation (SOSCIP) in partnership with i-5O, an early stage Silicon Valley based start-up that has developed a proprietary computer vision powered digital twin to help manufacturers track, measure, and improve their manual production processes. Headquartered in San Francisco with operations in Toronto and Windsor, the company works with large Fortune 500 manufacturers in North America and Asia.

Khizer Hayat, chief innovation officer of i-5O, says its collaboration with Wu and Rahimi will bring the latest in artificial intelligence for improving human performance to the manufacturing industry.

Visit educates federal minister about engineering innovations

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs met with engineering students and faculty Tuesday to learn about industrial automation and manufacturing innovations taking place at the University.

Chrystia Freeland visited the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation to meet with faculty and students who specialize in mechatronics, 3D printing, metal forming, and electric vehicles.

Mohammad Anvaripour, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, showed Freeland how he is developing complex systems to prevent collisions and improve collaboration between humans and robots in automated workplaces, such as an automotive assembly plant.

Doctoral candidate Hamed Kalami presented a cost-effective, 3D-printable hand brace he designed to assist people with connective tissue disorders.

Federal funding hailed as major boost to science and engineering

Chemistry students Yunyun Wu and Sara Mechael look on as federal science minister Kirsty Duncan (centre) interacts with a project integrating electronics into a wearable sign language glove.

UWindsor researchers and students will share more than $6 million of more than $558 million in Discovery research funding announced Tuesday by Kirsty Duncan, federal minister of science and sport.

Duncan visited the University of Windsor campus to announce the funding as part of the government’s plan to attract global talent, promote diversity, and provide nearly 4,300 researchers and students across Canada with the means to pursue world-leading discovery work.

UWindsor interim president Douglas Kneale said the announcement provides a major boost to the advancement of science and engineering.

“Whether one’s area of research is a singular endeavour or a team effort, whether it’s curiosity-driven or hands-on applied, this investment in researchers at the University of Windsor and elsewhere will pave the way to untold discoveries,” he said.

UWindsor boasts nearly 30 Discovery Grants recipients focused on research in such areas as advanced manufacturing and ecology.

Program provides certification in multidisciplinary mechatronics

The multidisciplinary field of mechatronics integrates mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering to design and implement complex engineering and manufacturing systems.

A new collaboration with global tech giant Siemens has enabled the University of Windsor to launch a world-class industry certification in mechatronic systems.

The weekend Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program focuses on key industrial skill areas such as electrical components, sensors, motor controls, programmable controllers, hydraulics, and pneumatics. In addition to teaching the technical knowledge, the program also stresses trouble-shooting and system-based technical thinking via hands-on training.

Engineering students lauded for performance in and outside of the classroom

OPEFE Scholarship Recipients pose with Asif Khan, chair of the Windsor-Essex chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario, and UWindsor's Dr. Ofelia Jianu and Dr. Randy Bowers.

High academic performances and leadership skills landed 21 University of Windsor engineering students scholarships from the Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education.

Asif Khan, chair of the Windsor-Essex chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario, awarded students on behalf of the foundation during a ceremony at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation for recipients who received scholarships in the past three years.

“For me, the most significant benefit has been that the financial support has allowed me to fully dedicate my time and energy into succeeding in my studies,” said Steven Vrantsidis, a recipient of the foundation’s $1,500 Entrance Scholarship.

The Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education (OPEFE) is a charitable foundation run by a volunteer board of directors that provides scholarships to encourage engineering students to pursue careers in the profession. The scholarships are financed through donations from professional engineers in Ontario, as well as corporate and individual donations.

Electrical engineering cluster led by University of Windsor researchers wins award

The Windsor Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Canada has been recognized for its leadership and networking events.

The IEEE Windsor Section, led by University of Windsor researchers, received IEEE Canada’s Exemplary Section Award for small sectionsfor its 2017 activities, leadership, management and administration.

Esrafil Jedari, vice-chair, IEEE Windsor Section and UWindsor research assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said the section was recognized for hosting around 30 technical, professional and social events on campus; its large network of volunteers and growth in memberships; and organizing and hosting the 30th Annual Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE 2017).

The group has grown steadily since it branched out on its own as the 21stsection in Canada in 2014 after operating as a student branch for two years within the Southeastern Michigan Section. The majority of its 306 members — which includes industry from the Windsor-Essex region— are University of Windsor faculty and students. The Windsor Section has three technical joint chapters for six IEEE professional societies, a University Windsor student branch and two affinity groups: Young Professionals and Women in Engineering. 

UWindsor students and alumni honoured by engineering community

Michael Cappucci, BASc ’11, was one of three alumni named the Top Three Under 30 by Windsor’s Engineering Month Committee during a ceremony April 13, 2018 at the Fogolar Furlan Club.

Several University of Windsor engineering students and alumni were honoured during a local celebration of the engineering profession.

Windsor’s Engineering Month Committee hosts an annual awards luncheon to “bring public awareness to the diversity and importance of the exciting fields of engineering and technology and invite prospective students to consider these professions,” said Tina Hawco, chair of the Engineering Month Committee.

The committee is comprised of engineers and technologists from local municipalities, consulting engineering firms, the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, professional associations and industry.

Priscilla Williams, a PhD candidate in the civil and environmental engineering department, Michael Cappucci, BASc ’11, and Aaron Blata, BASc ’14, were named the Top Three Under 30 during a ceremony April 13, 2018 at the Fogolar Furlan Club for demonstrating higher than average abilities to undertake engineering projects, outstanding work ethic and leadership early in their careers.

UWindsorENG launches new weekend mechatronics program

Sandro Gabr is one of 31 working professionals taking advantage of UWindsor's BEng Tech Mechatronics program now offered on weekends.

A new weekend technology program offered by the University of Windsor is helping local companies meet market demands.

The Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEng Tech) degree, originally designed to create a pathway from college to university, is now available on weekends for working professionals to expand their expertise in mechatronics, industrial automation, robotics, manufacturing and engineering operational functions.

“Companies heard about this and expressed a great deal of interest,” said Dr. Mehrdad Saif, UWindsor’s dean of engineering. “We thought why not do it on weekends for these types of students and put in place more courses around the theme of mechatronics and industrial automation. As an engineering school in Windsor, we have an obligation to meet the needs of the community and industry.”