Posts Categorized: Honours & Awards 2018

Three new early-career professorships accelerate innovation in engineering education and research

Twenty-seven U of T Engineering assistant professors have been appointed to early-career professorships across three new programs for tenure- and teaching-stream faculty members. The professorships, created by Dean Cristina Amon, will enhance research in emerging areas and practices in engineering education across the Faculty.

The new programs are the Dean’s Spark Professorships, Catalyst Professorships and Emerging Innovation in Teaching Professorships. These build on the success of the Percy Edward Hart and the Erwin Edward Hart Professorships and the Hart Teaching Innovation Professorships established in 2016. The appointed professors were selected for their demonstrated commitment to several of the priorities outlined in the Faculty’s 2017-2022 Academic Plan.

“Our professors are pioneering emerging research and designing new engineering education pedagogies that are a model for other universities around the world,” says Amon. “These professorships will further accelerate their innovative research and teaching, and enhance their ability to deliver outstanding educational experiences for our students.”

To learn about each of the 27 recipients, click here. Below are our ChemE recipients.


Dean’s Spark Professorships (DSP)

Recipients of the DSP are within the first four years of their appointment. They are awarded an annual grant of $75,000 per year for three years.

  • Erin Bobicki (MSE, ChemE) – Improving the sustainability of mineral processing operations and increasing Indigenous youth’s access to engineering education.
  • Gisele Azimi (ChemE, MSE) – Mitigating the adverse effects of climate change through advanced recycling, carbon management, industrial waste reduction, innovative materials with unique properties and energy storage.

Dean’s Catalyst Professorships (DCP)

Recipients of the DCP have served at least four years in their appointment. They are awarded an annual grant of $75,000 per year over three years.

  • Arthur Chan (ChemE) – Understanding, monitoring and improving air quality in Indigenous communities using traditional Indigenous knowledge in consultation with the local population to better understand the effects of air quality on human health.

Dean’s Emerging Innovation in Teaching Professorships (DEIP)

Recipients of the DEIP are awarded to selected teaching-stream faculty. They receive an annual grant of $35,000 per year over three years.

  • Ariel Chan (ChemE) – Initiating change in active learning in chemical engineering by developing an interactive virtual reality industrial plant, which will enable students to perform laboratory activity remotely at their own pace.
  • Jennifer Farmer (ChemE) – Creating a program where current graduate students, undergraduate students and post-doctoral fellows will have an opportunity to propose and undertake curriculum development and education research in engineering related fields within the Faculty.

U of T Engineering celebrates industry partnerships

U of T Engineering recognized three key industry partners at its annual Industry Partners’ Reception on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

More than 180 industry leaders, government partners and faculty members gathered at the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship to acknowledge this year’s achievements in academic-industry collaborations.

“Tonight is our opportunity to say thank you to our partners for their continuous support, guidance and enthusiasm for collaborative research at U of T Engineering,” says Professor Ramin Farnood (ChemE), Vice-Dean, Research. “We’re looking forward to an exciting year ahead.”

Small to Medium Enterprise Partner Award – Tenova Goodfellow Inc.

With spiking demand for electronics and other devices that rely on steel production and rare earth elements, the race to develop sustainable means of producing these materials is heating up.

Tenova Goodfellow, founded by Howard Goodfellow (ChemE 6T4, MASc 6T5, PhD 6T8), has partnered with Professor Gisele Azimi (ChemE, MSE) to develop more energetically efficient techniques for the steelmaking industry.

“The objectives of the collaborative project are multiple,” says Manager of Research and Design, Metals Division Vittorio Scipolo. “We want to investigate high-temperature materials to improve the design of Tenova furnaces and sensors for an improved steelmaking control, find innovative ways to valorise steelmaking waste material, and verify the advantages and limitations of molten metal electrolysis for the steel industry.”

Scipolo describes the partnership as “very positive,” yielding promising results across all objectives.

“We’ve gained fundamental knowledge on high temperature materials and on the actual composition of steelmaking waste,” he says. “In particular the waste valorisation portion of the project has already provided few good insights on how to better transform the waste material into a valuable resource.”

“[But] the most rewarding part of the collaboration has been to be able to create a very collaborative and friendly environment. Results and next steps are always discussed together driven by passion and a desire to do better.”

Read more HERE


Three ChemE alumni honoured at 2018 EAN Awards

Three exemplary ChemE alumni were recognized on Thursday, November 1 at the annual Engineering Alumni Network (EAN) Awards.

The awards ceremony, held at the new Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship, celebrated alumni for their outstanding contributions to the Skule™ community as well as their remarkable career achievements.

“On behalf of the Faculty, my most heartfelt thanks and warmest congratulations to all of our award recipients,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “You embody the spirit of excellence, ambition and innovation that has made our Faculty the top-ranked engineering school in Canada and among the very best in the world.”

The three ChemE award winners are:

Engineering Alumni Medal

First awarded in 1939, the Engineering Alumni Medal is the highest honour awarded by the Engineering Alumni Association. High achievement is the common thread that links past recipients of this medal. In their diverse careers, these individuals have demonstrated superior accomplishments and have responded with flair and excellence to the challenges they have faced. They are outstanding role models for U of T Engineering students.

Larry Seeley (ChemE 6T6, MASc 6T8, PhD 7T2)

Seeley is one of Canada’s foremost experts in mining and metallurgical processes. Through a spectacular commitment to research, pursuit of innovative technologies and strong entrepreneurial skills, he has taken companies from start-ups to world leaders.  Larry Seeley was with Falconbridge Limited in various roles, including manager metallurgical technology, manager Falconbridge smelter, director metallurgical operations in Sudbury, vice president, environment, and officer of the company. He was president and CEO of Lakefield Research Limited growing the company from about 120 employees to 1,000 employees with operations in Canada, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and South Africa. He was president and CEO of Recapture Metals Limited producing gallium, indium, and rhenium with operations in Peterborough and Nappanee, Ontario; Blanding, Utah; and Stade, Germany.

Key to his success in building great companies has been his ability to hire and develop talent, and in particular his focus on promoting and supporting women in engineering and leadership roles. He has devoted considerable time and expertise to fostering Canada’s capacity for teaching and research for future generations, in advisory roles and through leadership in governance at several Ontario post-secondary institutions, including University of Toronto, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Trent University, Cambrian College and Science North.

Seeley has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medal Engineers Canada, Gold Medal Professional Engineers Ontario, President’s Gold Metal of CIM, Entrepreneurship Award Professional Engineers Ontario, Silver Medal Canadian Metallurgical Society, Industrial Practice Award of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers, and International Award of the  Society of Chemical Industry. Seeley was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Distinction in the University of Toronto and is an honoree life member of Science North and governor emeritus of Trent University. He was president of the Canadian Metallurgical Society and also the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering. He is a Fellow of CIM, Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of Engineering Institute of Canada, and a Fellow of Engineers Canada.

Malcolm F. McGrath Alumni Achievement Award

Named in honour of Malcolm McGrath on his retirement as assistant dean — alumni liaison, this award recognizes contributions of personal service to the Faculty, the University or to the community. McGrath was the first assistant dean responsible for alumni affairs and development in the Faculty. Among his many accomplishments are the growth of the Annual Fund, the Engineering Open House, the introduction of the Skule™ Stage Band, and the establishment of the Graditude campaign.

Elias Kyriacou (ChemE 7T6)

Kyriacou is a former President of the Engineering Alumni Network (EAN) Executive Board, during which time he was a member of the nominations committee and student club funding committee and oversaw the student portfolio. In 2011, he received a University of Toronto Arbor Award for working to build stronger relationships between alumni and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. In addition to volunteering for the EAN, he has been involved for many years in the education field within the Toronto District School Board and the private school system. Elias encourages alumni to stay involved in Skule because they have expertise that can help departments or the Faculty maintain or improve their reputation as an exceptional institution. He gains fulfillment from supporting future engineers and helping them succeed as students, as well as after they graduate and enter the real world. As networking is becoming more and more important in career enhancement, Elias believes that the extent and strength of the network depends a great deal on alumni.

L.E. (Ted) Jones Award of Distinction

This award was established to acknowledge the contributions of Professor Emeritus L.E. (Ted) Jones and is in recognition of the contributions over his long and distinguished career to students, alumni and the Faculty. It also pays tribute to his continuing support and dedication to the Engineering Society and the Engineering Alumni Network (EAN) of the University of Toronto. The award endorses Jones’ great appreciation of the arts and his love of music.

Reena Cabanilla (ChemE 1T8)

Cabanilla is a passionate artist who lent her immense talent to a variety of University activities from the moment she walked through our door. As the First-Year Representative and Model Coordinator for the Victoria College Life Drawing Club, she brought life drawing to engineering through collaboration with the Skule Arts Festival. Reena’s work can also be seen all around Skule, from designing a more elegant mural for Godiva’s hymn, to beautifying parade floats, memorials and other builds. A skilled graphic designer, she also created graphics for the 1T8 Handbook, served as artistic director for the Skulebook, and created eye-popping promotional materials for the Engineering Society, for which she served as Vice-President Communications. During her final year, Reena was recruited as head costumer for Skule Nite, where she oversaw the creation of dazzling costumes for a variety of musical numbers and comedy sketches.

Eight additional alumni from the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering were also honoured. Click here for their profiles.


Three ChemE alumni receive 2018 Arbor Awards

U of T Engineering Arbor Award recipients pictured with Dean Cristina Amon.

On Monday, October 15, U of T hosted its 2018 Arbor Awards to honour the outstanding volunteer contributions of alumni. Among the group being recognized this year were three ChemE alumni.

Gooi Seong Heen (ChemE 7T2) is part of the Singapore Malaysia Campaign Committee who played a major role in building a strong Singapore alumni community on behalf of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Having successfully raised funds to support the Faculty’s top priority, the Myhal Center for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the group continues to host visiting Faculty and expand our influence both academically and among our alumni community. They have opened doors for research collaborations and welcomed recent graduates to the region. Some members have also gone on to serve on the University of Toronto’s International Leadership Council. The Committee has been active for the last six years.

Larissa Rodo (ChemE 1T4) was an active student volunteer while she was an undergrad in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, and she continues to volunteer today! Rodo is particularly passionate about student life and women in engineering. She demonstrates this through her role on the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s Scholarship and Awards Committee and her activities with Engineering Student Recruitment and Girls’ Leadership in Engineering Experience. She is an outstanding young alumnae who serves as a role model for not only current U of T Engineering students, but also her peers.

Henry Wu (Eng Sci 7T5, ChemE MASc 7T9) has volunteered with the University for over ten years. He is a hands-on and dedicated volunteer making immense contributions to the University of Toronto, and in particular, the University of Toronto (Hong Kong) Foundation as a Director on the Foundation Board. Through his efforts (and others on the Foundation board), he has had a direct influence on over 70 past and current Hong Kong Scholarship recipients. Wu is also a committed donor and an advisor to the University of Toronto’s senior leadership.

Click here to learn more about the Arbor Awards and view photos from the event (coming soon).


Grad student wins a 2017 Acta Student Award

ChemE PhD student Locke Davenport Huyer, supervised by Prof. Milica Radisic (ChemE, IBBME), has won a 2017 Acta Student Award for his paper entitled, Moldable elastomeric polyester-carbon nanotube scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering.

Huyer’s paper was published in Acta Biomaterialia, an international journal that publishes peer-reviewed original research reports, review papers and communications in the broadly defined field of biomaterials science. The emphasis of the journal is on the relationship between biomaterial structure and function at all length scales. Read more about Huyer’s paper and award.


Alison McGuigan elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Professor Alison McGuigan (ChemE, IBBME) has been named to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Established in 2014, the College is the country’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership.

McGuigan joined U of T in 2009 and since then her research team has made significant contributions to the fields of tissue engineering and disease modelling. Her work addresses fundamental questions about how tissues are assembled, and provides platforms to identify novel therapies that treat disease and promote tissue regeneration. Read more.


Another successful year at UnERD

On Tuesday, August 14 our summer students presented at the Undergraduate Engineering Research Day. Three of our students went home with prizes.

Among all podium presentations delivered, Andrew Pickering (ChemE 1T8+PEY) won second place for his talk entitled, Sustained release of a thermostabilized mutant of Chondroitinase ABC for treatment of spinal cord injury. He also received top honours for all podium and poster presentations given in the Materials Science & Biomaterials category.

Alicia Hill Turner (ChemE 2T0) and Ge Lan Wang (ChemE 2T0) both received top honours for their presentations given in the Chemical Engineering & Engineering Education category. The title of Turner’s project is Organic pollutants in house dust after the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfires. The title of Wang’s project is Stability and Retention Rate of Iron in Triple Fortified Salt under different storage conditions.

Congratulations to our winners and all students who participated in UnERD 2018!


ChemE alumna recognized by the Canadian Academy of Engineering

Twelve members of the U of T Engineering community have been recognized by the Canadian Academy of Engineering with fellowships and scholarships. The CAE is a national institution through which Canada’s most distinguished and experienced engineers provide strategic advice on matters of critical importance to Canada.

Audrey Mascarenhas (ChemE 8T2), President and CEO of Questor Technology, is a transformational engineering leader, whose innovative can-do approach has led to the creation of leading-edge clean air environmental technology for the energy sector. She is a passionate supporter of values-based engineering and corporate decision making, and dedicated to giving back to her local and global community. Her contributions have been acknowledged by the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Prairies Award for Cleantech and Environmental Services, and the Business in Calgary 2014 Leader of Tomorrow award.

Read more about the newest CAE fellows here.


Prof. Will Cluett wins highest U of T teaching honour

Professor Will Cluett has been recognized for his exceptional teaching and leadership with the President’s Teaching Award, U of T’s highest honour for teaching. This award was established in 2006 to recognize sustained excellence in teaching, research on teaching and the integration of teaching and research. Recipients are designated members of the University’s Teaching Academy for a five-year term. Read more.


ChemE Alum receives Ontario Professional Engineers Awards

ChemE Alumnus, David Beckman (ChemE MASc 8T1), has been honoured by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) with the Ontario Professional Engineers Award Entrepreneurship Medal. This award is given annually to an engineer who has applied new technologies or innovative approaches enabling new companies to get started.

“[The] prestigious [Ontario Professional Engineers] awards recognize the wide-ranging contributions made by our faculty and alumni to engineering in Ontario, through their innovation, leadership, and service,” said Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “I am delighted that PEO and OPSE have chosen to honour these outstanding members of our community.”

David Beckman is President and CEO of Zeton Inc., a company that specializes in the design and fabrication of pilot, demonstration and modular production plants for process development applications worldwide. As one of the founders of the company, he played a key role in all aspects of its growth from a small start-up business to the world leader in its specialty niche. Beckman has been involved in process development and scale-up applications for over thirty years, including pilot and demonstration plants for bioenergy applications, many new and alternative energy and petroleum processes, and new chemical processes. Zeton has been recognized with the Bentley Be Inspired Award for Innovation in Process Manufacturing and Beckman has received the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) Award in Design and Industrial Practice. A leader in his professional community, he is currently Vice-President of CSChE and a member of the ChemE Board of Advisors. He served as Chair of the Society of Chemical Industry from 2010-2015.

Learn more about this year’s Ontario Professional Engineers Award winners from U of T here.


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