Academic Achievements and Awards
Distinction Recognizes Major Contributions to Computational Fluid Dynamics
The Office of Québec Premier Jean Charest has announced that Mechanical Engineering Professor Wagdi (Fred) Habashi has been named a 2012 recipient of the l'Ordre national du Québec, the province’s highest honour. The award recognizes professor Habashi’s international renown in applying finite element methods to computational fluid dynamics. He is particularly recognized for his research in the important area of aircraft icing. The l'Ordre national du Québec was established in 1985. The awards are presented annually to exceptional individuals who, through their achievements, values and ideals, have influenced Québec’s growth and contributed to its renown. The presentation date for the 2012 awards is June 7th.
Professor Habashi also holds an NSERC Industrial Research Chair at McGill Engineering, supported by Bombardier, Bell Helicopter and CAE, and he is the founder and President of Newmerical Technologies International. Other recent distinctions include the 2009 Killam Prize for Engineering, the 2010 Aerospace Industries Association of Canada James C. Floyd Medal and the 2011 McCurdy Prize from the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute.
Interdisciplinary Look at Architecture: Then and Now
Chora Six, Intervals in the Philosophy of Architecture, is a collection of 13 diverse essays that reconsider the cultural and historical roots of architecture and explore contemporary venues for architectural action. The work is edited by Alberto Pérez Gómez, Saidye Rosner Bronfman Chair of the History of Architecture at McGill, and Stephen Parcell, Professor of Architecture at Dalhousie University.
The essays address such varied topics as machines, cross-cultural tensions, contemporary beliefs and phenomenal experience through bodily movement. Chora Six is published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Professor Pérez-Gómez is the author of several books, including Built Upon Love: Architectural Longing after Ethics and Aesthetics. Professor Parcell is the author of a forthcoming book titled Four Historical Definitions of Architecture. Additional information can be found at: Chora Six
Award for Distinguished Teaching
McGill Mining and Materials Engineering Adjunct Professor Raad Jassim was this year’s recipient of the Award for Distinguished Teaching in Finance from the School of Continuing Studies, Department of Career and Professional Development. Professor Jassim has taught and coordinated the Engineering Economy Course (MIME 310) for the last 10 years in the Mining program. He also teaches the elective course, Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management (CFIN 410) for mining students, and participates in the evaluation of work-term reports, and offers career guidance for students.
The School of Continuing Studies presents the Award for Distinguished Teaching to recognize teachers who embody the highest attributes of the teaching profession. It is a way to honour those committed to quality teaching, and who have the ability to motivate students. Students are asked to identify candidates for the award and put forward nominations.
The rapid pace of social evolution, emerging economic realities, technological innovation and environmental constraints require a design approach that permits greater flexibility in housing. First occupants or subsequent users should be able to easily modify their dwellings according to their ongoing needs throughout the residency.
In the book, award-winning architect and professor Avi Friedman offers an approach to decision-making for flexibility in residential design. The author guides the reader through a series of steps whose outcome helps identify users’ needs, to which architects and builders can fit a proper level of flexibility. The book is illustrated by case studies which apply those methods to “real world” residential projects.
Friedman, A., Decision Making for Flexibility in Housing, The Urban International Press, Gateshead, U.K., 2011 (136 pp.).
Ultimate Functional Density Explored by Thomas Szkopek
Professor Thomas Szkopek has published groundbreaking work in nanoelectronics in one of the most renowned physics journals in the world, Physical Review Letters. The article has been highlighted by the American Physical Society online.
The Information Technology (IT) sector’s access to smarter, lighter, and more powerful gadgets and services depend on whether or not digital circuits can process large amounts of information free of errors. As circuits get faster and smaller, relying on fewer and fewer electrons to store and process information, errors can arise more easily from thermal noise and structural disorder. Experts debate on whether to concentrate on inherent physical fault tolerance that prevents error generation, or on architectural fault tolerance that corrects errors by sophisticated algorithms and redundancy.
Szkopek and colleagues at UCLA, USC and MIT have quantified error-suppressing processes for various nanoelectronic systems, including the transistors at the heart of digital circuits. They find that the physical operation of transistors suppresses errors very efficiently with each additional electron, compared to the less efficient error suppression of the best fault-tolerant architectures. Their conclusion — that error prevention is better than error correction — has implications for the future development of transistor device technologies, and may impose a minimum limit on the size of logic devices.
Engineering is McGill Leader in Research Tools Competition
A dozen Engineering Faculty researchers have been awarded a total of $1.35 million in the annual Research Tools and Instruments Grants competition sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
The top winner was recent faculty arrival Marta Cerruti from Mining and Materials Engineering, who obtained a grant of $149,000. The NSERC funding will enable the dozen recipients to purchase equipment that supports research in a broad span of areas.
The Faculty of Engineering garnered 47% of the total funding provided to McGill this year through the competition, up from the figure of 30% obtained last year. In terms of the application success rate, our Faculty scored 32% ? 2% more than last year ? and substantially higher than this year’s McGill average of 25%.
In addition to professor Cerruti, the other winners (in alphabetical order) are: George Demopoulos, Subhasis Ghoshal, Wagdi Habashi, Andrew Higgins, Anne Kietzig, Andrew Kirk, Richard Leask, Zetian Mi, Luc Mongeau, Sam Mussallam and Meyer Nahon.
The areas of research that will benefit from the grants include: solar cell systems; the dynamics, guidance and control of unmanned aerial vehicles; the characterization of engineered nanoparticles in aqueous samples and the development of advanced nanophotonic devices for applications in green fibre networks, photovoltaics, solid state lighting and quantum computing.
Since the beginning of the housing boom of the 1950s, the size of the average North American house has steadily grown, while the size of the average family has decreased. Today, a growing number of home buyers seeking smaller, more efficient residential designs are rediscovering a centuries-old housing prototype: the narrow house. Measuring twenty-five-feet wide or less, these “infill” or “skinny” houses, as they are often called, are on the rise in cities and suburbs around the world. The benefits of building small and narrow are numerous: greater land-use efficiency, less building material, fewer infrastructure costs, lower utility bills, and flexible layouts. This building type creates environmentally sensible houses that allow homeowners to live within their means.
Narrow Houses presents a thorough overview of the practical considerations of designing a narrow-front home, including siting, floor arrangements, footprint, and interior and exterior finishing. The book documents twenty-eight innovative examples of narrow houses from around the world, designed by today’s foremost architects. Project data, including floor plans and extensive interior and exterior photography demonstrate the inherent flexibility of this housing model and the many possibilities for adapting these homes to the constraints of site, climate, budget, family size, and other needs. Narrow Houses: Video
The ALERT Geomaterials Research Medal was instituted by the Alliance of Laboratories in Europe for Research and Technology to recognize exceptional contributions to scientific research in geomechanics. The 2010 Research Medal was presented to A.P.S. Selvadurai, William Scott Professor and James McGill Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics at McGill University for his outstanding accomplishments in theoretical, computational and experimental research in geomechanics. The award was presented at the 2010 ALERT Meeting held in Aussois, France on the 5th October. Professor Selvadurai also presented the ALERT Invited Lecture entitled “The Analytical Method and its Role in the Development of Geomechanics”.
Leo Derikx Synergy Award given to Rod Guthrie & Team
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has presented the 2010 Leo Derikx Synergy Award to Mining and Materials Department Professor Rod Guthrie, Research Associate Mihaiela Isac, and the member companies of the McGill Metals Processing Centre (MMPC) — Hatch, Novelis, Heraeus Electro-Nite, Sumitomo Metals Industries and Rio Tinto (together with its subsidiaries, QIT-Fer et Titane and Alcan), for the innovative contributions they have made to global advances in processing liquid and solid metals. The award honours exceptional Canadian ingenuity and outstanding career achievement in university-industry collaboration. The announcement was made by the Hon. Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry; the Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology; and NSERC President Suzanne Fortier.
For more information please see: Economic Growth Partnerships.
Inaugural James C. Floyd Award given to Wagdi Habashi
Aerospace engineer James C. Floyd is one of the giants of Canada’s Aviation Industry. He was Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada’s) chief design engineer and later served as vice-president (engineering) for the design and development of the Avro Jetliner, CF 100 and the CF-105 Arrow. A prestigious award named after Mr. Floyd was established this year by The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and presented to Mechanical Engineering professor Wagdi Habashi for his outstanding contributions to, and significant impact on, the Canadian aerospace industry. The award recognizes superior aerospace achievement in areas such as technology, politics, entrepreneurship, research and policy.
For more about Wagdi Habashi, please see "Dessine-moi un avion".
Tho Le-Ngoc Honoured by Royal Society of Canada
Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Tho Le-Ngoc has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Le-Ngoc is recognized nationally and internationally as an outstanding researcher who has made several pioneering contributions in developing and demonstrating advanced transmission and resource allocation techniques for broadband access communications. The Royal Society of Canada announced the honour in mid-September 2010.
G. MacDonald Young Award
ASM, the Materials Information Society, has presented its ASM Canada Council G. MacDonald Young Award for 2010 to professor John Jonas of the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering.
The prize was established in 1988 to recognize distinguished and significant contributions by an ASM member to the materials community in Canada. The award is named in honour of G. MacDonald (Mac) Young, the first Canadian to serve as President of ASM International.
NSERC’s "CREATE" Training Program recently awarded a $1.6 million grant to Professor Andrew Kirk, Director of the McGill Institute for Advanced Materials (MIAM) and Associate Dean of Engineering (Research and Graduate Education), for a program involving Integrated Sensor Systems.
Kirk will use the grant to train 104 graduate and undergraduate students during the next six years, starting in September 2010. The program will provide extensive hands-on experience in design, fabrication and characterization, and facilitate international exchanges and industrial internships.
For the full story please consult the McGill Reporter.
Rey Named Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
Alejandro Rey, was admitted as a fellow of the ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY (London) in April 2010. The Royal Society of Chemistry has a membership of more than 46,00 and the longest continuous tradition of any chemical society in the world. The RSC recognizes the substantial career contributions in nominating outstanding scientists as Fellows. Their contributions reflect a maturity of experience in fields involving a wider application of chemical science.
As a James McGill Chair in Chemical Engineering, Professor Rey joins the ranks of only five Fellows of the RSC from McGill; and he is the first from Chemical Engineering. Professor Rey's research at McGill and in international collaborations reflects his dedication to excellence and highly technical contributions to chemistry through chemical engineering and its applications.
Five Win Prestigious Québec Government Bursary
Jeffrey Bergthorson, Andrew Kirk, Richard Leask, Gordon Roberts and Viviane Yargeau have been named Fall 2009 recipients of a "bourse d’enseignement en génie" from the Québec Government’s Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport.
The Programme de bourses d’enseignement en génie et en administration dans les universities québécoises" recognizes significant teaching and research contributions and is designed to help Québec universities attract and retain top-calibre professors and professors with significant potential.
The value of the award is approximately $25,000 annually over five years.
AIAA Honours Aerospace Researcher Wagdi Habashi
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession, has conferred the prestigious title of Fellow on Mechanical Engineering Department Professor Wagdi Habashi. The distinction is given to outstanding members of the Institute who make notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics or astronautics.
Professor Habashi is one of 30 Fellows who will be officially inducted at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. next May. The AIAA has 36,000 individual members worldwide and 90 corporate members. It brings together industry, academia and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space and defense.
Faculty Scholars Improve Quality of Education
In an ambitious program to recruit world-class researchers with expertise in areas vital to the education of our students, the Faculty of Engineering has created a three-year, $75,000 prize called the Faculty Scholar Award.
The prize augments funding that professors can obtain from external agencies or other sources at McGill and helps pay for such items as laboratory expenses, technician support, graduate student support, undergraduate research projects and publication costs.
Five prizes have been awarded to date. The first three recipients, titled Hatch Faculty Fellows, (see story bellow) were awarded to Professors George Demopoulos, In-Ho Jung and Shown Nazhat of Mining and Materials Engineering.
The two newest Faculty Scholars are Professor Zetian Mi, of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Professor Mathieu Brochu, of Mining and Materials Engineering. Both are being funded through gifts from Hydro-Québec. Each holds the title of Hydro-Québec Nano-Engineering Scholar.
Research to Reduce Global Energy Consumption
When the U.S. Department of Energy announced the goal of replacing light bulbs by 2025 with solid state lighting that draws on electricity converted directly from semiconductors, Professor Zetian Mi answered the challenge.
Mi has established the only facility at a Canadian university for researching gallium nitride (GaN) nanoscale materials, making him a leading researcher in the field of GaN semiconductors.
Semiconductors such as these could provide an inexpensive, long-lasting light source that is 50% more energy-efficient than current technology. “Since almost 20% of global electricity use is due to lighting, the energy savings would be significant,” Mi says.
Mi, who was recently named a Hydro-Québec Nano-Engineering Scholar, is exploring inexpensive fabrication strategies that involve growing highly efficient nanostructures.
Excerpt reprinted from the fall 2009 issue of the Dean’s Report. See Reducing Global Energy Consumption [.pdf] for complete story.
New Nanomaterial Manufacturing Techniques
Professor Mathieu Brochu's research explores methods of manipulating and applying nanomaterials for industrial use.
In particular, he has taken on the challenge of using nanomaterials to manufacture large objects.
A Canada Research Chair in Manufacturing Nanomaterials as well as a Hydro-Québec Nano-Engineering Scholar, Brochu, says that fabricating laboratory-scale nanomaterials is relatively easy, but making large-scale components is another matter.
He and his team of graduate students are investigating ways of using nanocladding to heighten products’ toughness and strength. This entails using nanostructures on the surfaces of components that are made of conventional materials.
Brochu is particularly proud of his team for engineering an advanced welding process capable of depositing nanomaterials on a surface.
Excerpt reprinted from the fall 2009 issue of the Dean’s Report. See Manipulating Nanomaterials [.pdf] for the complete story.
Bradley Stoughton Award Presented to Mathieu Brochu
Professor Mathieu Brochu (Department of Mining and Materials Engineering) was recently awarded the 2009 Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers. The prize is presented annually by ASM to up-and-coming leaders in materials science and engineering. In recognizing his considerable teaching abilities, the professional society’s Board of Trustees cited Brochu for his “dedication and mentorship towards the scientific, professional and personal growth of undergraduate and graduate students”. The ASM prize is the second such award Brochu has won this year. At this June’s Faculty of Engineering Convocation ceremonies he was presented with the Engineering Class of ’44 Award for Outstanding Teaching.
CFI Funding Awarded to David Plant
Professor David Plant (Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bell Canada/NSERC Industrial Research Chair) has recently been awarded funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for a $12,896,400 project entitled Laboratories for Broadband Optical and Wireless Systems (LBOWS). This is an ambitious initiative designed to allow communications networks built in the 20th century to handle the connectivity needs of the 21st. This project is one of five successful major CFI projects at McGill that were announced, June 18th.
A complete list of projects funded today by the CFI can be found at: CFI.
Professor David Plant Inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering
Professor David Plant is recognized for his exceptional contributions in designing and demonstrating optical interconnects for application in large switching and multiprocessor computing systems. In this area Dr. Plant’s work stands out as the most successful demonstration of the use of optics for interconnection purposes. Dr. Plant has attained Fellow status in the IEEE and OSA for this work, produced an exemplary publication record and has licensed his technology to several companies. He is the only Principal Investigator in Canada to found and lead three research networks in the Information and Communication Technology sector.
The Canadian Academy of Engineering comprises many of the country's most accomplished engineers, who have expressed their dedication 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 to honorary Fellowships, in view of their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. Fellows of the Academy are committed to ensuring that Canada’s engineering expertise is applied to the benefit of all Canadians.
Professor Wagdi Habashi Reappointed
Professor Wagdi G. Habashi, recent winner of the 2009 Killam Prize for Engineering, has been reappointed for a second five-year term as the NSERC/ Bombardier Aerospace/Bell Helicopter/CAE Industrial Research Chair for Multisciplinary Analysis and Design of Aerospace. The NSERC Chair is sponsored by the Fondation J.Armand Bombardier, CAE Inc. (a world leader in the development of flight simulators), and Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
Prof. Habashi’s research program focuses on the development of efficient applied mathematical solutions to a wide range of complex aerospace problems for aircraft, rotorcraft and jet engines. His research has resulted in a code used worldwide throughout the aerospace industry in dealing with the potentially dangerous problem of in-flight icing.
Wagdi Habashi Wins 2009 Killam Prize
Professor Wagdi G. Habashi has been awarded one of five 2009 Killam Prizes, which are presented annually by the Canada Council to distinguished Canadian scholars in the fields of engineering, health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The $100,000 prizes are Canada’s highest recognition for outstanding career achievements in these fields. News Release.
Stephen Yue is First Trottier Chair
Professor Stephen Yue of the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering was selected as the inaugural holder of the Lorne Trottier Chair in Aerospace Engineering. Professor Yue has an outstanding record of research and leadership in the field, particularly in the development of advanced aerospace materials. His work focuses on the critically important relationship between the structure and properties of metals (from inner space to outer space). Faculty of Engineering Dean Christophe Pierre says that “he has made seminal contributions of enduring impact in this area.”
The Lorne Trottier Chair in Aerospace Engineering is a gift from a generous alumnus and donor, Lorne Trottier, BEng’70, MEng’73, DSc’06, founder and CEO of Matrox Electronic Systems. It has been established to promote and develop aerospace engineering by bringing together the wide-ranging expertise in these vitally important areas that already exists within the Faculty of Engineering.
This collaborative approach will be accomplished by working with aerospace industry partners, the Canadian Space Agency and the National Research Council (through the Industrial Materials Institute and the Aerospace Materials and Technology Center) to create the McGill Institute for Aerospace Engineering (MIEA). This new institute will play a vital role in advancing research and training in the aerospace sector.
The complete story: Lorne Trottier Chair Announcement [.pdf].
Professors George Demopoulos, In-Ho Jung and Showan Nazhat of Mining and Materials Engineering have been selected as McGill Engineering’s first Hatch Faculty Fellows. The prestigious award was established by alumnus Gerald G. Hatch, BENG’44, DEC’90, to promote research, academic achievement and leadership potential, most notably in the discipline of Process Materials Engineering. It can be awarded to rising stars or professors already recognized for the exceptional quality of their work.
Professor Demopoulos is an expert in Electrochemistry, a highly accomplished researcher and a dedicated and talented instructor. “George epitomizes the purpose of Dr. Hatch’s gift,” says Mining and Materials Engineering Department Chair Stephen Yue, “which is to nurture talent in order to develop leadership.
Professor Jung’s approach to research is also very much in line with the expectations of the Hatch Faculty Fellowship – a combination of fundamental knowledge applied to projects of wide socioeconomic scope to enhance the work of current and future engineers.
Professor Nazhat came to McGill in 2006 as the vanguard of his department’s effort in biomaterials. During the past three years he has established a highly credible biomaterials presence, demonstrated extensive networking abilities and advanced research that is relevant both intellectually and socioeconomically.
The complete story: Hatch Faculty Fellows [.pdf]
2008 Synergy Awards for Innovation
Professor James Finch and his team have received the 2008 Leo Derikx Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The Synergy Awards for Innovation were launched in 1995 by NSERC to recognize partnerships in research and development between universities and industry and have honoured the most outstanding achievements of university-industry collaboration and Canadian ingenuity.
The McGill mineral processing research team, led by mining and minerals engineer James Finch, has collaborated for two decades with the industry to pioneer a series of innovations that significantly improve the recovery of base metals from ore deposits. The award, and associated $200,000 research grant, was given in recognition of this longstanding collaboration.
Dr. Finch and his team have focused on flotation cells – chemical reactors that permit separation and collection of target minerals from finely milled ore particles.
David Thomson Award
Professor Alberto Pérez-Gómez came to McGill twenty years ago to create the graduate programs in architectural history and theory within the professional School of Architecture. He not only succeeded remarkably in this undertaking, but along the way, he changed the lives of his graduate students. As one said, 'This man rocked our world'. Professor Perez-Gomez set out to convey to the students that history is prologue; and that practitioners and researchers should ask, not only 'how', but 'why', when trying to understand the context of their art.
Dr. Pérez-Gómez is particularly proud of the manner every graduate student develops his or her own personal interests and approach, asking relevant questions that eventually become a framework for practice, teaching and research in architecture.
As a token of appreciation for all he has done for this institution, he was granted the David Thomson Award for Graduate Supervision and Teachingin 2008, recognizing particularly his inspirational mentorship.
Professor A.P.S. (Patrick) Selvadurai of the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics was recently awarded a Killam, Canada’s most distinguished annual award for outstanding career achievement in research. He is the first civil engineer ever to receive the Killam Research Fellowship. Last year’s Killam prize in engineering was awarded to Prof. Rod Guthrie from Mining, Metals & Materials.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA FELLOWSHIP Division of Applied Science and Engineering: Professor A. Patrick S. Selvadurai (Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics)
Award of Excellence
Professor John Jonas of the Department of Mining, Metals and Materials has received the NSERC Award of Excellence as one of the two finalists for the prestigious NSERC Herzberg Medal. The award selection process involved both international peer review of the nominees and adjudication by a distinguished NSERC jury. This is the highest award for science in Canada.
Prof. John Dealy of the Department of Chemical Engineering is the principal author of a recently published book, Structure and Rheology of Molten Polymers (Hanser Publications). The co-author is Prof. R. G. Larson of the University of Michigan. This book brings together for the first time in one publication a complete treatment of the phenomenology and theory of how molecular structure affects the flow properties of molten plastics and, conversely, how these properties can be used to obtain information about the molecular structure of a polymer. The book is intended to meet the needs of polymer scientists and plastics engineers. Although only published in mid-2006, the publisher has already rated it as a "best seller".