The University of Windsor is preparing for a safe return to campus. Learn More.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Design competition sparks creativity in electronics students

A design competition for electrical engineering students brought their learning out of textbooks and into reality last week.

“It was interesting to apply the theory we learned in class to predict circuit behaviour and help troubleshoot,” said Emilie Bondy, whose team took home first place for designing a Multiple Option Input Responsive Beverage Mixer.

Bondy and her teammates, Muntasir Alam and Tristen Michaud-Laughton, received $180 in UWindsor Campus Bookstore gift certificates.

More than 100 electrical engineering students from professor Mitra Mirhassani’s third-year class, “Electronics II,” competed. As part of a course requirement, students were tasked with designing a product under a $30 budget using an analog circuit and various signal processors.

UWindsor engineering researchers receive nearly $2 million in government funding

Dr. Daniel Green displays a sheet metal specimen in the Mechanical Testing Lab at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The specimen was stretch-formed in a formability test. Dr. Daniel Green displays a sheet metal specimen in the Mechanical Testing Lab at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. The specimen was stretch-formed in a formability test. 

An injection of nearly $2 million in federal funds will aid University of Windsor researchers like Daniel Green, who is helping automakers incorporate lightweight sheet materials into their vehicles.

The automotive sector is turning to lightweight materials as an alternative to steel to improve fuel efficiency. However, lower-density metals tend to have limited formability, says Dr. Green, an associate professor who specializes in materials engineering.

“Innovative forming processes need to be developed and optimized for the production of automotive parts,” he said. “With high-speed forming, we can get 100 per cent more formability than we can with conventional stamping.”

Green is one of 14 UWindsor engineering professors who was awarded funding through the 2017 Discovery Grants Program — an annual competition run by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to advance research in Canadian universities.

Engineering graduate receives Governor General’s Gold Medal

Lakshmi Varaha Iyer, a recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, receives congratulations from UWindsor president Alan Wildeman and chancellor Ed Lumley, Saturday at Convocation.Lakshmi Varaha Iyer, a recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, receives congratulations from UWindsor president Alan Wildeman and chancellor Ed Lumley, Saturday at Convocation.

An engineering graduate was honoured for his outstanding academic achievement this past weekend during the 108th Convocation ceremonies held in the St. Denis Centre.

Lakshmi Varaha Iyer, who received a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2016, received the Governor General’s Gold Medal from Provost and Vice-President, Academic, Douglas Kneale.

The medals were established in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive, recognizing a student graduating with the highest grade point average among peers.

During his time at UWindsor Dr. Iyer received, among other honours, an NSERC Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship; a Tri-Council Recognition Scholarship; and the University of Windsor Graduate Scholarship and Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

Students display the latest engineering innovations

A team of students who designed a system to help visually impaired people navigate their surroundings are particularly excited about one aspect of their project: the difference it can make in the lives of users.

“It could help people in the real world,” says Hejir Rashidzadeh, one of three fourth-year students of electrical and computer engineering behind the “Intelligent Blind Man Aid,” which combines a camera and ultrasonic sensors with a voice command system.

The team set up an obstacle course to allow blindfolded guests try the experience for themselves, as part of Capstone Design Demonstration Day, Friday in the lobby of the Centre for Engineering Innovation. It was one of dozens of displays by groups of students in various engineering disciplines: electrical and computer; civil and environmental; and mechanical, automotive and materials.

Dean Saif inducted as an engineering fellow

His lasting contributions to engineering education and research in health, automotive, and aerospace industries earned UWindsor dean of engineering Mehrdad Saif induction as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Saif was one of 52 new fellows inducted at a ceremony June 26 in Ottawa during the academy’s annual general meeting. His citation noted more than 250 publications, discoveries incorporated into vehicles from the Chevrolet Malibu to the Cadillac Northstar, and innovative interdisciplinary academic programs including the UWindsor master’s program in engineering management (MEM).

UWindsor researchers highlight automotive advances

UWindsor researchers Chunyan Lai (left) and Guodong Feng (second from right) meet with Ontario economic development minister Brad Duguid, APMA chair Roy Verstraete, and government auto advisor Ray Tanguay at the association’s conference on Wednesday, June 14.

UWindsor researchers Chunyan Lai (left) and Guodong Feng (second from right) meet with Ontario economic development minister Brad Duguid, APMA chair Roy Verstraete, and government auto advisor Ray Tanguay at the association’s conference on Wednesday, June 14.

Positioned in the middle of Narayan Kar’s lab sits an electric motor from the Ford Motor Company: a machine that had been scrutinized by researchers and engineers for countless hours.

Yet, the University of Windsor engineering professor has set out to take that motor and make it even better.

“Our work will never end and this will always be an open-ended problem,” said Dr. Kar. “There will always be an opportunity to make them lighter, compact and more efficient.”

Kar was among a group of University of Windsor researchers exhibiting their work at the 2017 annual conference of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), June 14 at Caesars Windsor.

Kar’s lab, the Centre for Hybrid Automotive Research and Green Energy (CHARGE), had a booth showcasing electric vehicle science and engineering. If its research progresses as planned, it will be utilized in Ford’s future electric vehicles.

The Faculty of Engineering also had a booth to highlight its expertise in vehicle-to-vehicle communication, alternative fuels, crashworthiness and metal forming.

Dean opens door of discovery to aspiring engineer

Andrew Jenner, the team lead technologist for the Faculty of Engineering, shows Masha Dmitrenko the structures lab in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.​

It’s not often the dean of engineering receives hand-written letters, let alone one printed in pencil describing robots that catch and clean up after litterbugs.

Dean Mehrdad Saif was pleasantly surprised when he received a letter from Masha Dmitrenko, a Grade 4 student at John Campbell Public School. Dmitrenko wanted to know what she should do to become an engineer.

“What is the hardest part of engineering? What is the coolest part of engineering? I always wanted be an engineer. I have a question: can you make art robots?” the eight-year-old asked in her letter.

Prof. Narayan Kar presents electric car research on Parliament Hill

Meeting with Members of Parliament and government officials May 17 in Ottawa was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the research driving Canadian innovation — and to highlight the University of Windsor, says engineering professor Narayan Kar.

Canada Research Chair in Electrified Transportation Systems, he was one of the presenters during the Parliament Pop-Up Research Park, a project of the Council of Ontario Universities and the Ontario Council on University Research to share their latest discoveries with federal decision-makers.

“From an education perspective, it was a huge success,” says Dr. Kar. “Our government needs to be informed as to what we are doing.”

His presentation, entitled “Will an Electric Car be Able to Travel Coast-to-Coast?” attracted interest from MPs, senators, and civil servants, but Kar’s answer to the question he posed is “yes, but…”

He says electric vehicle technology will need improvements in affordability, convenience, reliability and durability before it are a true alternative to combustion engines.

R&D investment at Ford to benefit UWindsor engineering students and faculty

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne participated in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders, educators and politicians at the University of Windsor on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Wynne attended an announcement at the Ford Essex Engine Plant with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau where the provincial government, federal government and Ford announced a $1.2-billion investment in the automaker’s Ontario operations. Part of that investment will go to the Powertrain Engineering Research and Development Centre which works in collaboration with UWindsor engineering graduate students and faculty.