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Showing posts with the label Government and Academia

Polaris: Blue Sky Solar Racing team unveils its newest vehicle

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The Blue Sky Solar Racing Team gathers behind Polaris, the vehicle they will enter into the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. (Photo: Roberta Baker) August 14, 2017Tyler IrvingThe U of T Engineering Blue Sky Solar Racing team revealed Polaris, its ninth-generation vehicle, at a showcase event held today on U of T’s St. George campus.“Polaris, the north star, has guided northern adventurers for centuries,” says Blue Sky managing director Frank Gu (Year 4 ECE). “We hope that she will guide us toward a top five finish at the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.”Gu says that the team made major upgrades to the solar, electrical and mechanical systems in preparation for the five-day, 3,000-kilometre race across the Australian Outback.“The overall aerodynamic packaging has been preserved, including the way the shell adds to its structural strength,” says Gu. “And of course it has four wheels and a similar mechanical layout. But everything else, inside and out, is new.”This includes …

Novel deployable antenna launched into orbit

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August 3, 2017A new approach to antenna design is unfolding in orbit — literally.Designed by Professor Sean Hum and his research group in in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), the expandable antenna is connected to one of two CubeSats, a type of miniaturized satellite, that were launched into orbit from Baikonur, Kazakhstan by the Norwegian Space Center on July 14. The CubeSats themselves were designed by Professor Robert Zee and other members of the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), while the antenna was designed in collaboration with the SFL by Professor Hum’s group with the aim of reducing launch volume and mass.The very high frequency (VHF) antenna was designed to unfold from the CubeSat after receiving a command from the Norwegian Space Center to deploy once in orbit. “This antenna is a completely new type of deployable antenna — it unfolds to be more than three times as la…

Improving reprogrammable chips: Vaughn Betz renewed as Industrial Research Chair

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Professor Vaughn Betz July 25, 2017Moore’s Law — the observation that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years — might not be dead, but it is slowing. A key challenge for computer engineers is finding new ways to increase compute power and reduce energy consumption to handle the ongoing demand for faster and cheaper computing technologies.Professor Vaughn Betz of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) is working on this challenge with reconfigurable chips called Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), and he has recently been renewed as the NSERC/Intel Industrial Research Chair in Programmable Silicon.FPGAs are computer chips that give the end user the flexibility of reprogramming them after manufacturing, unlike other chips like application-specific integrated circuits which are customized during manufacturing for a specific use. During this term as research chair Betz and his team will work on…

Student team lights up low-income Mexico City community

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U of T Engineering students Andy Liao (Year 2 CivE), Ernesto Diaz Lozano Patiño (CivE 1T5 + PEY, MASc candidate), Alejandro Sarellano Acevedo (ECE MEng candidate), and Mackenzie de Carle (Year 3 CivE) are members of the team that earned a $20,000 prize for their proposal to install solar-powered street lighting in Mexico City’s Toltenco community. Tyler IrvingJuly 21, 2017A team of U of T Engineering students has been awarded $20,000 USD to implement a plan to provide solar-powered street lighting for Toltenco, a low-income neighbourhood in Mexico City.The students placed first in the Student Passport Initiative, an international competition that challenges students to meet a critical need by providing a new or upgraded electrical service in an underprivileged domestic or international location of their choice. It was sponsored by ELECTRI International, a non-profit foundation of the U.S. National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).Toltenco is an informal settlement situated on …

ECE Awards Round Up: July 2017

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From left to right: Professor Wei Yu, Onur Sahin (two of the five co-authors of the paper), Anthony Ephremides (Editor-in-Chief of JCN), and Lajos Hanzo (Chair of the Awards Committee of the IEEE Communications Society). July 14, 2017Yu wins 2017 Journal of Communications and Networks (JCN) Best Paper AwardA paper co-authored by Professor Wei Yu of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) received the 2017 Journal of Communications and Networks (JCN) Best Paper Award. The award was presented during the Awards Luncheon of the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), held May 21-25, 2017 in Paris, France.The paper, entitled “Cloud Radio Access Network: Virtualizing Wireless Access for Dense Heterogeneous Systems,” was published in the Journal of Communications and Networks’ (JCN) April 2016 Issue and it provides an overview of a novel network architecture called cloud radio-access network (C-RAN) for the next generation of wire…

Julie Payette, astronaut and ECE alumna, expected to be named next Governor General

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Julie Payette (ECE MASc 9T0) will succeed David Johnston as the next Governor General of Canada. The U of T Engineering alumna has been to space twice, and is also an accomplished athlete, singer and pianist. (Image courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency) Engineering Strategic CommunicationsJuly 13, 2017Former astronaut Julie Payette (ECE MASc 9T0) is expected to be named the next Governor General of Canada, according to media reports. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in the country.Payette earned a master’s degree in computer engineering in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2001.She is best known as the first Canadian to board the International Space Station in 1999 and for serving as flight engineer and lead robotic operator on the Space Shuttle Endeavour 10 years later.Fluent in French and English, she can also speak Italian, Russian, Spanish and German, and sing in…

Gulak recognized with RBC Research Prize

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ECE alumna Foteini Agrafioti (far left), head of the new RBC Research Institute, and RBC CEO David McKay (far right) present awards to Professor Glenn Gulak, second from right, and U of T colleagues at MaRS. The RBC Research Prize recognizes Gulak’s leading work in cybersecurity for the financial sector. (Photo: Chris Sorensen) June 28, 2017Professor Glenn Gulak of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) is one of four University of Toronto researchers recognized with an RBC Research Prize at the launch of the new RBC Research Institute, a collaboration with U of T.Professor Gulak won a $25,000 prize for his work in developing better cyber-security systems for the financial sector. The algorithms on which the systems are based are “provably secure against the imminent arrival of quantum computers that will weaken virtually all of the attack surfaces currently secured by conventional forms of encryption,” Gulak said.U of T researchers Gerald Pe…

ECE professor inducted into Canadian Academy of Engineering

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June 27, 2017Professor Wei Yu. (Photo by NSERC.) Professor Wei Yu of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) was among nine University of Toronto professors and alumni inducted as Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE).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. The new CAE fellows were inducted on June 26 in Ottawa, as part of the Academy’s Annual General Meeting and Symposium.Professor Yu has made highly influential contributions to the field of information theory and communication engineering. His research addresses fundamental limits of information transmission in communication networks. Yu proposed dynamic spectrum management methods that have been used in millions of digital subscriber lines worldwide and also contributed significantly to the capacity analysis and optimization techniques for multiu…

ECE’s Sandro Young named U of T’s top student

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Sandro Young (CompE 1T6+PEY) displays his Governor General’s Silver Medal. June 13, 2017Sandro Young (CompE 1T6+PEY) always knew he was interested in computers, circuits and electronics. What started as a middle-school passion — Young was an active participant in science fairs in grades seven and eight — eventually led him to study in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) where today, he graduates as U of T’s top student.“I never set out to be the top graduating student,” says Young. “But I’ve pretty much always been interested in science, math and technology — especially programming, software and computer architecture, so ECE was a great fit for me, and I enjoyed all of the courses and projects along the way.”Young graduates with a number of scholarships, awards and medals in recognition of his academic achievements, including one of three Governor General’s Silver Medals bestowed to U of T’s most academically outstanding undergraduate stud…

ECE Alumna Catherine Lacavera to receive honorary degree

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Catherine Lacavera. June 12, 2017Years after graduating from The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) and well into her established career in patent and intellectual property litigation, Catherine Lacavera (CompE 9T7) ran into someone she hadn’t seen since the first year of her undergraduate studies.“It’s funny, the person said: ‘you were always going to be a patent lawyer at a big company,’” says Lacavera. “I guess that’s what I had said in my first year of undergrad, but I had forgotten that I had started out with that in mind.”An internationally recognized leader in the field of intellectual property law, and the Director of IP, Litigation and Employment at Google, Lacavera and her team have handled more than 1000 patent lawsuits, along with all types of other litigation involving Google, around the world. On June 13, Lacavera will return to where she first set her ambitious career goals when the University of Toronto recognizes her career a…

Poon renewed as Canada Research Chair

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Tyler IrvingJune 7th, 2017Four projects led by U of T Engineering faculty — in fields from from tissue engineering to computing with light — have earned support from the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program. Among them is Professor Joyce Poon, of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), who has been renewed as a Canada Research Chair in Integrated Photonic Devices.The new and renewed chairholders join 24 of their colleagues across the University of Toronto for a total of 28 CRCs, the highest number of any Canadian institution. In total, 142 new or renewed CRCs were announced in the latest round.“The University of Toronto is proud of the tremendous globally important research our 15 new and 13 renewed Canada Research Chairs are involved in,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation. “We also appreciate the ongoing support of the Government of Canada in funding this research, which enables U of T to attract and retain…

ECE doctoral student receives prestigious Vanier Scholarship

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Reza Rafie. (Photo: Jessica MacInnis) June 6, 2017Faster, cheaper, better: Reza Rafie’s doctoral research is looking at how we can increase data rates to improve communication speed on fibre networks. Rafie’s research, under the supervision of Professor FrankKschischang, in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), is two-fold: “One of the objectives of my project is to estimate the capacity of non-linear fibre — the ultimate limit to the rate at which one can reliably transmit information — for this unconventional nonlinear channel,” says Rafie. “The other objective of my project is to exploit the nonlinear Fourier transform — a powerful tool in the theory of nonlinear dispersive waves — to design communication mechanisms that can operate at data rates very close to the capacity of fibre.”Rafie has received a 2017 Vanier Scholarship for his ongoing research in fibre-optic communications. Worth $50,000 per year for three years, Vanier Scholarsh…

Hart Teaching Innovation Professorships: Innovative ways ECE professors enrich the student experience

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Tyler Irving and Kevin SoobrianMay 30th, 2017Two professors from The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) are among the six U of T Engineering faculty members named for the inaugural Hart Teaching Innovation Professors. Enabled by a landmark $20 million bequest from the estate of alumnus Erwin Edward Hart (CivE 4T0), the professorships support innovation in engineering education, from technology enhanced active learning (TEAL) to Indigenous outreach.“These professors are leaders in pedagogical practice and are driving our Faculty’s innovation in engineering education,” said Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “Their creativity and dedication enrich the student experience and inspire the global engineering leaders of tomorrow.”The new professorships complement the Percy Edward Hart and Erwin Edward Hart Professorships for early-career researchers, announced last fall. They are part of a rich suite of initiat…

Grads to Watch: Meet two of ECE’s global engineering leaders

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Tyler Irving

May 24th, 2017
At Spring Convocation on June 13, 2017, students from The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) will mark both the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Having enriched their community as undergraduate and graduate students, they will transition into our vibrant, global network of Skule™ Alumni, where they will continue to address pressing challenges around the world.This year’s “Grads to Watch” from ECE embody the spirit of U of T Engineering; they demonstrate the engineering values of creativity, innovation and global impact. Watch their next steps!William Graydon (CompE 1T6 +PEY)
From simulations to cybersecurityWilliam Graydon. (Photo: Kevin Soobrian) During his undergraduate degree, Graydon researched traffic simulations under the supervision of Professor Alberto Leon-Garcia (ECE). His goal was to produce results faster so that these simulations can be used for real-time data prediction, for example, est…

‘The future is (mostly) electric’ says ECE Professor at San Jose alumni event

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May 23, 2017Lightweight materials, high-efficiency electric powertrains, high-density lithium batteries, sensors and machine learning: if you are looking for the latest in advanced engineering technologies, look no further than your driveway. Electric vehicles (EVs) hold great potential for multidisciplinary collaboration to help revolutionize the way humans transport people and things.On Thursday May 4, alumni and current students of U of T Engineering gathered to hear about the latest innovations in electric vehicles from Professor Olivier Trescases of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE). Hosted by Alex Grbic (CompE 9T4, MASc 9T6, PhD 0T3) at Intel’s Programmable Solutions headquarters in San Jose, the event brought together nearly 50 California-based alumni and students currently on their Professional Experience Year (PEY) internship placements in the Bay Area. Alumni, students and friends heard about new research thrusts in electric v…

Deep Genomics applies machine learning to develop new genetic medicines

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ECE professor Brendan Frey is the founder and CEO of Deep Genomics, a startup company applying deep learning techniques to revolutionize genomic medicine. The company is now applying its platform to accelerate the development of genetic medicines that could be used to treat disorders of the eye, liver and central nervous system. (Courtesy: Deep Genomics) Marit MitchellMay 4, 2017Genetic mutations are the cause of countless diseases and disorders, from cancer to autism to cystic fibrosis. Now, startup company Deep Genomics is applying decades of research into machine learning and genomic science to develop genetic medicines — accelerating treatments that address the root causes of these conditions.“If you have smoke billowing out of the tailpipe of your car, you don’t just put a filter on the tailpipe — you have to look under the hood and address the original problem,” says Professor Brendan Frey, the co-founder and CEO of Deep Genomics, and a professor in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Depar…

Four ECE students win Cressy Student Leadership Awards

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April 26, 2017Four students from The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) received Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 25. William (Billy) Graydon (Year 4 CompE), Kevin Rupasinghe (Year 4 ElecE), Anamjit Singh Sivia (Year 4 CompE), and Milan Maljovic (Year 4 ElecE) were among a record-number 28 U of T Engineering students to receive the award.“These ECE students exemplify the many ways in which our undergraduate students demonstrate leadership in the department, at the faculty, on campus, and in the greater community,” said Professor Farid Najm, chair of the ECE department. “Congratulations to William, Kevin, Anamjit, and Milan on this well-deserved recognition.”See the complete list of winners from U of T Engineering.Named after the former U of T Vice-President of Development and University Relations, the Gordon Cressy award recognizes graduating students who have demonstrated leadership qualities by contri…

Supermileage Team aims to retake top spot at Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

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Supermileage Team lead Mengqi Wang (ECE PhD candidate) hopes improvements to her team’s student-designed and student-built vehicles will get them to the podium at the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition. (Photo: Marit Mitchell) Marit MitchellApril 25, 2017The University of Toronto’s Supermileage Team is hoping to retake the top spot at the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas (SEMA) competition, having snagged a silver medal last year.The team, composed of U of T Engineering students, has been working around the clock to design and build two hyper-efficient vehicles to race in two categories: gasoline prototype and battery electric. They’ll put them to the test April 27 to 30 in Detroit, Mich.“Last year we didn’t meet our own expectations — the team felt pretty deflated after the race,” says Supermileage team lead Mengqi Wang (ECE PhD candidate). “A lot of things went wrong that we weren’t expecting.”Read more about the Supermileage Team in Canadian GeographicThis year, they’ve made some cr…

Clinic in a box, hand-gesture controlled smartwatch and wearable tremor stabilizer: student inventions tackle real-world challenges at Design Week 2017

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Students, professors, industry members and guests visit the Bahen Centre for Information Technology to see fourth-year design projects by ECE students. April 18, 2017Over the course of three days, fourth-year undergraduate students in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) showcased their capstone projects during ECE’s annual Design Fair from April 4 to April 6, 2017. The strongest projects were selected to participate in the Design Showcase on Friday April 7: the conclusion of a year-long design project by some of the brightest young minds in electrical and computer engineering. Students Joanna Zhou, Miranda Davis and Asha Shafiq (all Year 4, CompE) developed a prototype of a wearable device to counteract the tremors that a person with Parkinson’s disease faces in completing everyday tasks. The Hand Stabilizer consists of an accelerometer to read the tremors; a microprocessor that interprets the readings of the accelerometer and calculates th…

ModiFace invests in developing augmented reality, artificial intelligence talent at U of T Engineering

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ModiFace technology lets users virtually manipulate their appearance, trying on makeup products and hair styles in 3D and real time. The company is hiring 50 Professional Experience Year (PEY) internship positions. (Photo: ModiFace) Marit MitchellApril 11, 2017Augmented reality startup ModiFace is investing $4 million to create new undergraduate and graduate student internships, and to support leading research at U of T Engineering.The company, founded by Professor Parham Aarabi of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, uses augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to build advanced facial visualization software for the beauty and medical industries. ModiFace technology powers over 100 AR applications by Fortune 500 brands including Sephora, L’Oreal, Allergan, Vichy and Clairol, among others.“The future of ModiFace is highly dependent on our access to the best AR engineers in the world,” says Aarabi. “For AR, it takes about a year f…