The Concordia Team poses in Tucson - from left to right: Jordan Lafreniere, Nicholas Major, Serge Kudinov, Hadi Alaee, Andrew Romano, Quan Pham
82 teams were put to the test in Tucson, proving their design, manufacturing, and flight capabilities with electric-powered and radio-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles. Under the dedicated supervision of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering professor Hoi Dick Ng, the Concordia team ensured their project conformed to the competition's tight constraints.
After the Concordia entry passed its meticulous inspection after the first round (a feat which only half of the teams manage), the aircraft had to complete three missions:
Dash to critical target: complete as many laps as possible in 4 minutes.
Ammo re-supply: carry the heaviest steel bar possible
Medical Supply Mission: carry as many golf balls as possible
After completing 5 laps, carrying 2.2 lbs of steel, and hauling 18 golf balls, the Concordia team (composed of seven students from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science and the Concordia branch of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute) was ranked 22nd. Team captain Hadi Alaee was pleased with the result, noting that "overall, the team's performance in this year's competition was perfect, considering we participated for the first time and we were the only Canadian team. There were minor details we were not aware of, which could have made a big difference in our performance. Still, I am happy with the results we got, and I am confident Concordia will do much better next year. Our team worked hard, and we couldn't have done it without our supervisor, Dr. Ng."
The Concordia UAV flies high in the Arizona sun
Special thanks to event sponsors: The Engineering and Computer Science Association, the Concordia faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation (CIADI), Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ), Mechtronix, Bombardier Aerospace, The Concordia Council on Student Life (CCSL), Dassault Systemes, Eagle Tree Systems, Fat Shark, RPT Motion.
This recognition represents the highest achievement in engineering in Canada. The Academy comprises of the country's most accomplished engineers, who are dedicated to the application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises. Members of the Academy are nominated and elected by their peers for their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. Presently, there are only 346 active Fellows. Here at Concordia, only three other faculty members hold Fellowships from the CAE. Provost David Graham called this "wonderful news" and extended his heartfelt congratulations: a sentiment echoed by the members of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science.
Drew and Athienitis will be officially inducted as Fellows of the Academy during the CAE's 2011 Annual General Meeting and Symposium, which will be held in Vancouver on June 2nd.
On Wednesday, April 20, the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) held its Annual Design & Awards Day Ceremony. Professors, students, and undergraduates gathered for the special event, which honours overall academic achievement, excellence in teaching, and the best Capstone projects by students in the Department.
Then, Certificates of Merit for undergraduate student involvement in extracurricular activities through student associations were presented to the presidents of the Concordia Chapters of the IIE (Gregory Ning - who then presented Akif Bulgak with the IIE Award for Teaching Excellence) and CASI (Hadi Alaee).
Georgios Vatistas then took to the podium to present the Silas Katz Memorial Scholarship Award to François Paquin. First awarded in 1984, this scholarship for mature students was made possible through donations from faculty, students and staff, in memory of the late Dr. Silas Katz, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
The Capstone awards then honoured the best final-year undergraduate projects that the Department had to offer:
Henry Hong presented the Richard Cheng Design Award for Mechanical Engineering to the "Design, Build and Fly 2011 Competition" project, supervised by Hoi Dick Ng. Members: Hadi Alaee, Jordan Lafreniere, Hong Quan Pham, Andrew Romano, Wenwei Yang, Oliver David Ah Yan, Jeryes Daniel Dit Rabih
Engineer in Residence Dominic Ng then presented the two Capstone Design Awards for Mechanical Engineering, happily telling the crowd that he was glad there were two awards to give out because it would have been impossible to choose. The winning projects were:
Human Powered Vehicle: Rethink the bicycle "The Duoverto" Supervisor: Henry Hong Members: Alexander Marcakis, Gabriel McFern, Christopher Sharp, Vassilios Vezoniarakis
Development of a New System for Testing Percutaneous Heart Valves Under Fatigue and Migration Supervisor: Lyes Kadem Members: Ahmad Farid Al-Akraby, Anand Bijoy Chowdhury, Antonio Lipardi, Rocco Portaro, John Balabanian, Saba Fattahi
Gerard Gouw then presented the Capstone Design Award for Industrial Engineering to the project entitled, "Improve performance of cycle 1 engine repair and overhaul lines at P&WC," supervised by Dr. A. Akgunduz (Concordia) and Carl Larouche (PWC). Members: Raissa El-Haddad, Nadine Safah, Soraya Linge, Ali Khachab, Jean-Francois Colin Gaelle Chamma
Rolf Wuthrich then presented awards honouring undergraduate and graduate student achievements over the past academic year. Winning undergraduates in Mechanical Engineering were Amy-Lee Gunter and Rocco Portaro, while Raissa El-Haddad won in the Industrial Engineering category.
PBEEE Quebec Merit Fellowship for Foreign Students - Doctoral: Hamid Sadabadi
John Cheung then wrapped up the awards ceremony with the presentation of awards for the special Sled Design Competition that was held this year, sponsored by the company H20 Recreation Inc. Winners were:
1st Prize Team #1: Maria Fernanda Hernandez, Karol Laguna Elliott , Mercedes Parrella-Ilaria
2nd Prize Team #4 : Jeffica Natalie Hannesto, Gabriel Naccache, Christian Saadalla, Hassan Shah
3rd Prize Team #3: Said Ehsan Azizi, Matthew Brownridge, Abraham Bagandooh
1st Prize Team #1 - Mach 3: Alouani Adel, Feng Yao, Jason Gagnon
2nd Prize Team #5: Stephanie Lambrinakos-Raymond, Daniel Chirico, Andrea Latella-DuBoyce
3rd Prize Team#2: Bassel Eladas, Jason Savage-Pollock, Johnny Alberto Paredes Seminario
1st Prize Team #6 - Stinger: Andrew Halarides, Colin Chisholm, Mathieu St-Martin, Maxim Kassimov
2nd Prize Team #N-4 - Crazy Squirrel: Ivan Ivanov, Vanessa Cheng, Andrei Jones
On April 7, the annual Concordia Council on Student Life (CCSL) Outstanding Contribution Awards and the Concordia University Volunteer Initiative (CUVI) Recognition Awards were given to Concordia students, staff and faculty who have made exceptional contributions to student life or services at the university.
This year, 25 awards were distributed and several awards went to members of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science!
Originally posted on Concordia Now - by: Russ Cooper
Three-dimensional printing has the potential to change how products are designed, manufactured and consumed.
This was the idea at the centre of a presentation given by third-year Mechanical and Industrial Engineering student Gavin Kenneally to engineering faculty and students on April 6.
3D printing technology -- which "prints" an object, instead of a two-dimensional image, one layer at a time -- has existed since the 1980s, but has required bulky, expensive machines that use its primary publishing material plastic powders that yield fragile products.
Now, Kenneally says, 3D printing equipment is getting smaller and less expensive and can handle different and more durable materials, such as stainless steel and glass. He points to recent work at Cornell University that has tested printing electrically-conductive materials, and researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina who are even experimenting with the 3D printing of human organs.
3D printing hardware can be constructed using open-source files found online as a blueprint -- something Kenneally himself did with the 3D printer that sits on his desk at home.
With this "sea change of manufacturing and design," Kenneally says a smart and resourceful designer can complete every step of the production process -- serving not only as designer, but also engineer, manufacturer, distributor, product tester, and end-user.
Kenneally says this concept and technology has many benefits, including the potential to reduce waste or eradicate lengthy shipping bottlenecks at borders. Eventually it might even create a perfectly fitting pair of shoes custom-moulded for one's feet.
This was the same message he had delivered at the TEDxConcordia event this past February. Based on TED Talks, the events feature speakers presenting, in the words of the originators, "ideas worth spreading". Kenneally's post-TEDxConcordia Faculty talk was more technical albeit, to reflect the audience's engineering savvy.
He was invited to give the repeat performance to Concordia's engineering community by Mechanical and Industrial Engineering professor Paula Wood-Adams, who has been supervising his research into 3D printing since September.
Design and engineering, says Kenneally, "might seem like the two fields that are separate or exclusive, but there's so much crossover. I like to present them as if they're one and the same."
"Gavin is doing and learning so much more by making use of the university, the people, the facilities and opportunities such as TEDx," says Wood-Adams. "To me, this is a perfect example of getting every possible bit out of an undergraduate education."
This summer, Kenneally will be interning at the University of Pennsylvania. He'll be working in the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory, one of the United States' best-known laboratories for biomimetics -- the study and development of synthetic systems that mimic biologically-produced substances, materials, mechanisms and processes.
Kenneally will return to Concordia this fall for the fourth year of his degree.
To fully understand the power of 3D printing, watch Gavin Kenneally's presentation at TEDxConcordia, February 19, 2011 at the Eric Maclean S.J. Centre for the Performing Arts near the Loyola Campus:
The Department's Chair, Sudhir Mudur, explains that information and communications technology (ICT) is "technologically the fastest growing field, impacting every aspect of our life in the present electronically networked world." He cites examples such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and mobile devices as excellent indications of how the ICT sector is flourishing. Mudur goes on to explain that there are "growing opportunities in virtually all sectors - manufacturing, government, economy, education, entertainment, transportation..." just to name a few!
With the ICT sector ramping up demand for qualified workers, this is exactly the right time for students to come to Concordia in pursuit of degrees with the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. The Faculty's dynamic curriculum, state of the art labs, hands-on practice oriented learning and industry-relevant education make Concordia the ideal place for higher education in ICT.
What's more, notes Mudur, the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering "offers many different options that combine computing with other disciplines such as arts, sciences, mathematics, or even business administration. Our specific options relevant to the Montreal job market such as Gaming, Web Programming, and Aerospace can also lead to jobs in digital media, e-business, and aerospace industries." Plus, with Concordia's Co-Op option, undergraduates can also gain invaluable work experience while studying.
Students graduating from ICT-related courses can expect to land jobs in programming, software design, software test engineering, software support engineering, game software development, web software development, software marketing, software documentation, and many more!
Congratulations to Drs. Martin Pugh and Lyes Kadem, two of this year's winners of the Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Martin Pugh was selected as the award recipient in the full-time faculty category, an honour bestowed on professors with over five years' experience. Pugh's colleague in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Lyes Kadem, was granted the award in the new faculty category.
Pugh and Kadem are in good company: Jordan LeBel (John Molson School of Business) who shares the Award for Excellence in Teaching for a full-time faculty member with Dr. Pugh; Mary Maly (Arts and Science) won the award in the part-time faculty category; and Fred Szabo (Arts and Science) was recognized for originality and innovation in teaching.
The candidates for the awards are put forward by their respective deans who can only nominate one person for each award from within their Faculty. The winners were chosen by a committee chaired by Ollivier Dyens, Vice Provost Teaching and Learning, with representatives from all four Faculties, along with the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services and the Office of the President.
On April 1, after over six years of service helping to provide
engineering, engineering mathematics, and computer science courses
common to multiple departments within the Faculty of Engineering and
Computer Science, the General Studies Unit made way for the Centre for
Engineering in Society, or CES.
CES will have an expanded mission; beyond providing
the same services as the General Studies Unit, CES will focus on
complementary engineering studies, rhetoric and global engineering.
Learn more about CES in these new webpages.
Each year, the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science holds a
Capstone exhibition -- a showcase showdown of final projects from
On March 31 and April 1, the EV Building came alive with these projects, which are the
culmination of a year's hard work, the final hurdle before the bachelor
degree can be granted.
Each project is judged for its innovation. Winners will be announced at departmental ceremonies later in April. To see a few of the creative
ideas developed by the engineering students of 2011, have a look at the
A new study by Subhash Rakheja, a professor in Concordia's Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, investigates hand-arm vibration syndrome, caused by the prolonged exposure to the motor vibrations of certain machines and power tools. Coverage appears in Medical News Today, Science Daily, Techno-Science.net and ChemInfo.
Press release by Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins Anyone who's ever used an electric or gas lawnmower knows how pushing the device can cause tingling hands. This side-effect is caused by motor vibrations and comes with the turf for people who cut grass for a living.
Workers who employ handheld power tools in the mining, forestry, manufacturing and services sectors can also be exposed to large levels of vibrations in their hands and upper arms. Such vibrations are not without consequence.
"Over time, some workers can lose sensation in their hands or loss of dexterity, they can no longer distinguish between hot or cold surfaces or they can experience discoloration in the extremities of their fingers, which is known as Raynaud's Phenomenon," he continues. The study of work-vibrations exposure is a relatively new in North America, although it has been a subject of extreme significance in Europe. As a member of the Concordia Centre for Advanced Vehicle Engineering, Rakheja has published widely on the ills of vibration overexposure and prevention.
He's worked extensively with the IRSST's Paul-Émile Bouleau and Pierre Marcotte to develop best workplace practices, which have led to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for whole body vibration (ISO 5982) and for hand-arm vibration (ISO 10068). They are now investigating a world standard for anti-vibration gloves.
Rakheja is also examining how to reduce the impact of industrial power tools, such as jackhammers used in the mining industry, which can lead to vascular and skeletal disorders. "The most risky tool to use for workers is the jackhammer," he says. "It's like a loaded gun."
Solutions do exist, he says, and can be as simple as equipping workers with the appropriate anti-vibration gloves. "The goal is to cushion the hand from repeated exposure, but how do you measure if that glove is good?" he asks. "We can simulate any tool vibration in our lab, but how tools are actually used in the field can differ considerably. Everyone pushes at different strengths and speed."
While prevention remains the best medicine, Rakheja says workers are often asked to go beyond their capacity in the name of productivity. "We live in a society where everything must go faster," he says. "But when we make things go too fast, we forget about the slow poison. The biggest challenge is to convince industry to invest in worker safety beyond what's legislated."
Partners in research: Subhash Rakheja's work is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies.