Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lucjan Kops died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, May 19, approximately one year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His friend and colleague Dr Helmi Attia was with Prof Kops at the time of his death. “He was in comfort and in the care of a doctor and nurse who were taking very good care of him,” Dr Attia said.
Students Pengfei Song, Weize Zhang and Alexandre Sobolevski, under the supervision of Professor Xinyu Liu, won the Best Paper Award in the Microfluidics Symposium at the 2014 ASME IMECE conference. The team developed a microfluidic device for on-chip culture, chemical perfusion and phenotype identification of the nematode worm C. elegans, a promising development for worm-based, high-throughput chemical testing. The device can house single worms in microfluidic chambers, the chemical environment of which can be adjusted according to experimental needs.
Musical instruments created by students Steven Phillips and Ajith Damodaran, under the supervision of Prof Larry Lessard, were displayed at the Design Museum in Ghent, Belgium, during the month of April 2015. An exhibition called “Kunststof Natuurlijk,” or “Synthetic by Nature,” showcased 50 objects made from flax, hemp, bamboo and other biocomposites. Natural fiber composites are gaining interest in engineering design, and this exhibit featured the state-of-the-art and future possibilities for these materials.
Prof Xinyu Liu is one of 10 McGill researchers to receive a 2015 NSERC Strategic Project Grant. His proposal, entitled "Paper-based microfluidic devices intergrating inGaN/GaN semiconductor microtubes for ultrasensitive detection of disease markers," has been awarded $394,300 to investigate portable, ultrasensitive biosensors that can quickly detect disease markers.
Congratulations to Dr Larry Lessard on his promotion from associate to full professor! A member of McGill's research community since 1989, Prof Lessard studies composite materials and their structures, with applications in fields as diverse as aerospace engineering, sporting equipment and musical instrument design, and robotics. To learn more about Larry's research, please see his profile and the Structures and Composite Materials Laboratory website.
Professor Jeffrey Bergthorson in the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been named the first Panda Faculty Scholar in Sustainable Engineering and Design at the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED). Also recently appointed Associate Director of TISED, Prof Bergthorson began a 3-year term in both roles on January 1, 2015.
Research led by Prof François Barthelat in the Department of Mechanical Engineering earned a spot on Quebec's list of top 10 scientific discoveries in 2014. Inspired by natural structures like seashells, Barthelat and his team developed a technique to strengthen glass. They were able to make glass 200 times more resistant to breakage by engraving micro-cracks in wavy configurations on its surface. The pattern of micro-cracks guided larger cracks and absorbed impact energy.