Recent News

Finding balance between mineral engineering and Indigenous studies

August 29, 2016

Paige Clarke (Year 3 MinE) talks about her educational path. Paige Clarke moved from the small town of Kirkland Lake, Ont., to Canada’s largest metropolis to attend university. Now, as she prepares to start her Professional Experience Year (PEY), she’s looking forward to living in an area with a strong native presence reminiscent of her hometown, where she grew up with the Beaverhouse First Nation and Matachewan First Nation communities nearby. “I grew up with...

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Going for Gold: Donna Vakalis races for Gold in the Modern Pentathlon

August 12, 2016

It’s an understatement to say that Civil Engineering PhD student Donna Vakalis, supervised by professors Heather MacLean and Jeffrey Siegel, has a busy couple of weeks ahead of her. The Toronto native who received her Master’s degree from U of T’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture in 2009, will be one of 36 athletes competing in the modern pentathlon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After finishing 29th at the 2012 London...

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U of T Engineering receives $31.6M investment for lab infrastructure

August 4, 2016
The Sandford Fleming Building is just one of the U of T Engineering facilities that received funding through a major investment from the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. (Image: Neil Ta)

This story originally appeared on Engineering News. A major investment through the Lab Innovation for Toronto (LIFT) project will accelerate infrastructure improvements across U of T Engineering, catalyzing world-class research and enhancing the student experience. The funding was announced today U of T President Meric Gertler with Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan and Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains. It includes contributions from the university, the provincial government and the federal government through...

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Two new faculty are cross appointed with CivE and MIE

July 21, 2016
Two new faculty members join Civil and, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Collaboration is the key to success and the driving factor behind the hiring of two new professors that are cross-appointed with the Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Civil Engineering. Professors Marianne Touchie (CivE, MIE) and Fae Azhari (MIE, CivE) joined the Faculty at the beginning of July. Professor Touchie completed a BASc and PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on improving the energy performance and indoor environmental quality of existing buildings to make them more comfortable, healthy and sustainable through comprehensive retrofits. Professor Azhari holds degrees in Civil Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology and University of British Columbia, Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley, and Structural Engineering and Mechanics from UC Davis. She specializes in structural health monitoring (SHM) of engineering systems. U of T Engineering spoke with the new professors to find out more about their research and what they’re looking forward to at U of T: Fae Azhari Could you explain the focus of your research? My work focuses on SHM of engineering systems. Similar to the way a doctor would point out when an organ is malfunctioning in a patient’s body during regular check-ups, SHM is able to diagnose and locate any anomalies in an engineering system. Since this diagnosis happens at a very early stage, the remedial procedure will usually be timely and cost effective. My goal is to address some of the gaps in the succession of tasks from sensor development to implementation and decision making. Why did you choose U of T? Long before pursuing academia, I visited Toronto and the campus here. The historical feel and the intellectual vibe stayed in my mind. I’m so happy to be working here now. My research field is multidisciplinary, and having access to the many great resources, facilities, colleagues and mentors at U of T will be extremely valuable in advancing my research and career. What are you most looking forward to in your new position? I like the sense of collegiality at U of T and look forward to effective collaborations with other researchers. As a new professor, what one piece of advice would you give to new students? At university you are often your own teacher so expect to be treated that way. Try to be proactive and do not be afraid to ask questions. What do you hope to accomplish in your new position/during your time at U of T Engineering? I hope to one day truly ‘profess’ my subject.; to understand the old and new bodies of knowledge in such a way that I can properly judge their significance and place in the grand scheme of things. Marianne Touchie Could you explain the focus of your research? My research focuses on the question of how do we improve the quality of our indoor environment as we strive for greater energy efficiency? Making buildings more comfortable and healthy often come at an energy cost. Why did you choose U of T? U of T is my alma mater so I am well aware of the significance and impact of the research done here and I am looking forward to collaborating with so many talented colleagues and students in both the lab and the classroom. What are you most looking forward to in your new position? With a cross appointment between Civil Engineering and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, I’m excited to bring together students from across disciplines. As a new professor, what one piece of advice would you give to new students? Allow yourself to wrestle with a problem before asking for help. It is effortless to use Google or message someone to find an answer. But this process doesn’t improve your own ability to problem solve, think critically or take your own position on an issue. During your time at U of T you will gain plenty of technical knowledge but transferable skills like problem solving will be of the most valuable after graduation. What do you hope to accomplish in your new position/during your time at U of T Engineering? Within Civil Engineering, I would like to continue growing the Canadian Centre for Building Excellence (CCBE) with Professors Kim Pressnail and Jeffrey Siegel into a world-renowned research centre for healthy, energy efficient buildings. I would also like to create stronger links through multidisciplinary design courses which will give students an opportunity to tackle today’s important problems with colleagues from a variety of technical backgrounds.

Collaboration is the key to success and the driving factor behind the hiring of two new professors that are cross-appointed with the Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Civil Engineering. Professors Marianne Touchie (CivE, MIE) and Fae Azhari (MIE, CivE) joined the Faculty at the beginning of July. Professor Touchie completed a BASc and PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on improving the energy performance and indoor environmental...

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What Happened to the Civilian?

July 18, 2016
Pile of Civilian Magazines

Some might be asking where the Civilian is. It usually arrives in mailboxes in June. It wasn’t because of the potential for a Canada Post service disruption. We’ve changed the publication schedule of the Civilian to align with the new publication of the U of T Magazine, so you will now be receiving a longer Civilian in September. If you are not currently receiving the Civilian and would like to, please send us an email with...

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Robert C Andrews: high-tech solutions for cleaner, safer drinking water

June 16, 2016
Professor Robert C Andrews (left) with Profs. Ron Hofmann and Susan Andrews in the Drinking Water Environmental Labs

Recipient of the Dr. Albert E Berry Medal for outstanding contributions to environmental engineering Prof. Robert C Andrews, PEng, of the Drinking Water Research Group (DWRG) in the University of Toronto’s Civil Engineering Department, accepted the Dr. Albert E Berry Medal at a Canadian Society for Civil Engineers gala on Friday, June 3. The award, determined by a jury of peers, recognized the work and impact that Andrews’ research has on drinking water. “I have...

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University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering announces establishment of the Foundation CMG Research Chair in Fundamental Petroleum Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics

June 16, 2016
Professor Giovanni Grasselli, left, with FCMG President Duke Anderson in October 2015. (Courtesy: FCMG)

  Story originally appeared on U of T News Toronto, ON – University of Toronto Professor Giovanni Grasselli, of the Department of Civil Engineering, has been named the inaugural holder of the Foundation CMG Industrial Research Chair in Fundamental Petroleum Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics. Professor Grasselli is joining 12 chairs at 12 universities, including Penn State and the University of Texas in Austin, in 6 countries that are funded by the Canadian non-profit organization...

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CivMin’s Grads to Watch

June 8, 2016
Grads to watch: Ernesto Diaz Lozano Patino, Gege Wen and Bishnu Gautam

This is an excerpt from a longer story, originally posted on Engineering News. For these U of T Engineering students, the short walk across the stage at Convocation Hall marks both the end of one journey and the beginning of another. This year’s “Grads to Watch” are just a few of the talented Engineering graduates who will receive their degrees at Spring Convocation on June 8. Selected by their home departments, each of these remarkable future Skule™...

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Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation honours CivE student for mentorship of young women

May 18, 2016
Sara Maltese (Year 3 CivE) has received the 2015 Marie Carter Memorial Undergraduate Engineering Scholarship from the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. (Courtesy: Sara Maltese)

This story originally appeared on Engineering News. Sara Maltese (Year 3 CivE) was in a high school physics class when she heard a presentation that would change her life. “A group called Women in Science and Engineering gave a presentation about opportunities in engineering,” says Maltese. “After hearing about the different programs, projects and career options, I became really excited about choosing engineering as my career path.” Not only did Maltese enroll at U of...

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Resilient cities need to be financially resilient too: Sandford Fleming Forum

May 11, 2016
The dining hall in the Faculty Club hosting the Sandford Fleming Forum on May 2 | Future Proofing: How Resilience Planning Supports the Future Functionality and Value of Fixed Assets and Infrastructure

Exploring the financial aspects of resilience, The Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure hosted its twice-annual Sandford Fleming Forum on May 2. Tania Caceres (Senior Real Estate Expert at RiskNexus), Lisa Prime (Director of Environment and Innovation at Waterfront Toronto) and Michael Kosturik (Regional VP for Intact Insurance) weighed in on the risk, reward and responsibility of building resilient infrastructure. Previous Forums concluded that resilient communities have five key components; community focus, community identity, balanced...

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Mining’s hardest workers are too small to see

May 6, 2016
Aerial view of an arid, craggy landscape surrounding tailing ponds.

…and we need to know what they’re doing The image that is conjured up when thinking about mining is a vast underground network of tunnels, big open pits, larger than life machinery or grease-covered workers with headlamps on. But the largest workforce out in any mining operation is the microbes that are working 24/7, constantly influencing the environment. “Bacteria are present in every aspect of mining, but we don’t fully understand the impacts they can...

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Meet CIVMINs 2016 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award Winners

April 26, 2016
15 U of T Engineering students were honoured with Gordon Cressy Leadership Awards on April 20, 2016 in recognition of their leadership and commitment to improving the world around them. (Photo: Roberta Baker)

15 U of T Engineering students were honoured with Gordon Cressy Leadership Awards on April 20, 2016 in recognition of their leadership and commitment to improving the world around them. (Photo: Roberta Baker) This story originally appeared on U of T Engineering News. Ernesto Diaz Lozano Patiño (Year 4 CivE + PEY) During his time at U of T Engineering, Ernesto has held a wide variety of leadership roles while proving to be a tireless...

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Clean air map from U of T Engineering researchers helps cyclists avoid air pollution

April 22, 2016
Civil engineering post-doctoral researcher Sabreena Anowar and Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou (CivE) are studying the risks of air pollution on cyclists and their impact on route choice. (Photo: Tyler Irving)

Civil engineering post-doctoral researcher Sabreena Anowar and Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou (CivE) are studying the risks of air pollution on cyclists and their impact on route choice. (Photo: Tyler Irving) This story originally appeared on U of T News. Cyclists face a difficult dilemma: on one hand, cycling is good for your health and the environment; on the other, cyclists are more exposed to risks such as accidents and air pollution. New research from U of...

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Eric Miller reports from the trenches of Toronto’s transit wars

April 19, 2016
Professor Eric Miller (CivE) addressed a crowd University of Toronto alumni and friends on as part of the U of T in Your Neighbourhood lecture series. (Photo: Paul Terefenko)

Professor Eric Miller (CivE) addressed a crowd University of Toronto alumni and friends on as part of the U of T in Your Neighbourhood lecture series. (Photo: Paul Terefenko) This story originally appeared on Engineering News. Professor Eric Miller of the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering addressed a crowd of more than 80 University of Toronto alumni and friends on March 28 as part of the U of T in Your Neighbourhood lecture series. Few...

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Meet 2 alumni volunteers who make an impact at U of T Engineering

April 19, 2016
Alumnus David Cheung (CivE 1T1 + PEY) chats with undergraduate students during an Alumni Mentorship Program event. (Photo: Nick Kachibaia)

Alumnus David Cheung (CivE 1T1 + PEY) chats with undergraduate students during an Alumni Mentorship Program event. (Photo: Nick Kachibaia) This story originally appeared on U of T Engineering Alumni. Mentoring a student startup, joining a departmental advisory board or becoming a global ambassador for U of T Engineering are just a few ways alumni are volunteering their time and expertise to Skule™. “Volunteering is my investment in what I view as one of the...

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