2021-2022 Award Winners from the U of T Engineering Class of 2T2

Congratulations to the 2021 – 2022 award winners from the Class of 2T2 for their incredible academic achievements!

Class of 3T5 Second Mile Award

Jacqueline Anna Fleisig / Engineering Science

Otto Holden Scholarship

Shirley Shuocheng Zhang / Civil Engineering
In Him Lee / Civil Engineering

John Dixon Campbell Memorial Prize

Yingxi Wang / Industrial Engineering
Yisen Wang / Industrial Engineering

John Dixon Campbell Memorial Scholarship

Yusuf Elgharib / Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Arthur Herrmann Memorial Award

Usama Bin Ansar / Mechanical Engineering

G.W. Ross Dowkes Memorial Prize

Protiti Das / Chemical Engineering

J. E. Reid Memorial Prize

Jeong Min Kong / Electrical Engineering

MacKay Hewer Memorial Prize

Ruknoon Shadid Dinder / Chemical Engineering

Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Gold Medal for Academic Achievement

Michael McLean / Engineering Science

Adel S. Sedra Gold Medal

Daniel Lu / Computer Engineering
Pranshu Malik / Electrical Engineering

A.B. Platt Award, Toronto Section of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers

Jiahao Li / Materials Engineering

Ontario Chapter, American Concrete Institute Award

Joshua George Crawford / Civil Engineering*
Brigid Holland / Civil Engineering

Centennial Senior Project Award

Raneem Ahmed Nidal Mustafa Basheer / Chemical Engineering
Connor Evan Larkin / Chemical Engineering
Michelle Karrie Hung / Chemical Engineering
Emily Pelosi / Chemical Engineering
Zachary Matthew Frangos / Chemical Engineering

Salim Hourieh / Civil Engineering
In Him Lee / Civil Engineering
Kyung Yup Lee / Civil Engineering
Saffa Maryam Ramsoomair / Civil Engineering

Bassam Al Ghousein / Mineral Engineering
Joleia Marie Bucad / Mineral Engineering
Zhitian Luan / Mineral Engineering
Tianyu Xu / Mineral Engineering

Ashley Fang-Wei Hung / Electrical Engineering
Jaden Wesley Reimer / Electrical Engineering
Timothy Yeung / Electrical Engineering

Xinru Li / Computer Engineering
Nan Ni / Computer Engineering
Ziyuan Wang / Electrical Engineering

Haoyuan Xue / Industrial Engineering

Sarit Naomi Bitnun / Mechanical Engineering*
Muhammad Imad Chabayta / Mechanical Engineering*
Kevin Paapa Cobby / Mechanical Engineering*
Matthew Brian Pearson / Mechanical Engineering

Arohan Dutta / Materials Engineering
Siegfried Gautama / Materials Engineering
Mark (Pin Tsung) Liao / Materials Engineering
Juan Pablo Tupac-Yupanqui Cardoso / Materials Engineering
Andrew Joseph Wuebbolt / Materials Engineering

Callandra Claire Young Moore / Engineering Science

Society of Chemical Industry Merit Award

Jinmyung Jang / Chemical Engineering

W.S. Wilson Medal

Filippo Donato Mazza / Chemical Engineering
Kyung Yup Lee / Civil Engineering
Austin Dang-Duy Ho / Computer Engineering
Ashley Fang-Wei Hung / Electrical Engineering
En Xu Li / Engineering Science
Kyra Virginia Elise Disimino / Industrial Engineering
Ishan Grover / Mineral Engineering
Hariharan Kumar / Mechanical Engineering
Julia Lola Sally Bincik / Materials Engineering

Wallace G. Chalmers Engineering Design Scholarships

Hamza Arshad / Mechanical Engineering
Varun Anand Khanzode / Mechanical Engineering
Shauna Lynn Mauceri / Mechanical Engineering
Zannatul Naiim / Mechanical Engineering

John W. Senders Award for Imaginative Design

Safwan Hossain / Mechanical Engineering
Yue Ying Wei / Chemical Engineering
Yu Jia Xiong / Mechanical Engineering
Qingyun Yang / Mechanical Engineering

Gordon R. Slemon Capstone Design Award in Electrical & Computer Engineering

William Richard Sati / Computer Engineering
Kimberly Jessica Shek / Computer Engineering
Amy Jiaxin Shi / Electrical Engineering

Peri Family Industrial Engineering Design Award

Danielle Sze Mun Page / Industrial Engineering
Maria Alexandra Papadimitriou / Industrial Engineering
Margaret Tkatchenko / Industrial Engineering
John Jack Volpatti / Industrial Engineering

Loumankis Family Engineering Scholarship

Khadija Ishfaq Rana / Engineering Science

Frank Chik & Lai Nar Man Award

Brohath Amrithraj / Chemical Engineering

Select Equity Group Design Prize in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jiaxing Li / Computer Engineering
Junhao Liao / Computer Engineering*
Yizhong Xu / Computer Engineering
Haoran Zhang / Computer Engineering


*Convocating in 2022-2023

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Community Matters: Black Experiences at U of T Engineering

Story by Safa Jinje & Tristan McGuirk

In celebration of Black History Month 2022, members of the U of T Engineering who identify as Black share their insights on the importance of building a Black community in STEM.

The responses from students, staff, faculty and alumni recognize that while progress is being made, there is still work to be done to improve the experience of Black individuals in STEM and academia.

Read more at U of T Engineering News.

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Meet new CivMin professor Ibrahim G. Ogunsanya

Professor Ibrahim G. Ogunsanya

Professor Ibrahim G. Ogunsanya in front of the Galbraith Building. (Photo: Phill Snel)

Ibrahim G. Ogunsanya has joined the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering as an assistant professor. His research focuses on the durability and sustainability of materials and structures across several engineering sectors. 

Ogunsanya received his PhD in Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where he studied structural engineering problems. He completed his first post-doctoral fellowship at Waterloo, focusing on automotive mechanical engineering problems. 

Before joining CivMin, Ogunsanya was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry at U of T, where he researched nuclear engineering problems. 

Writer Phill Snel spoke with Ogunsanya to learn more about his research, his multidisciplinary academic journey and plans for the next few years. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m a Nigerian-Canadian with a BSc degree in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria; and both my MASc and PhD degrees are in Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada.  

I have also taught material science and engineering courses to individuals across the aforementioned departments/fields, and to biomedical engineering students. It is safe to say I have had a multidisciplinary academic journey. My passion outside academia is soccer. 

Could you explain the focus of your research? 

Simply put, my research focuses on the durability and sustainability of materials and structures across all engineering sectors. I study the processing-structure-property-degradation relationship to develop new durable and sustainable materials, but also to improve existing materials, from ferrous (iron and steel) and non-ferrous (aluminum, nickel, copper, etc.) alloys and superalloys to cement and concrete.  

Over the years, the majority of my study has been on durability and sustainability of reinforced structures because we continue to expose our infrastructure to harsher environmental conditions but ask more of their service life. My role has, therefore, been to select appropriate material (reinforcing bars, cement and concrete) combinations that solve our immediate and future needs of economy, safety, durability and sustainability. To date, I have been known for my study on corrosion of metals in this field. Individuals with a similar focus may reach out! 

Why did you choose U of T Engineering? 

When U of T comes calling, you answer! Well, they call because they want to fill a gap in the department and University, and you answer only if you think you are that part of their missing puzzle.  

Top universities require top professionals to remain on top, and top professionals require top universities to grow and evolve. Our new relationship is a befitting one! U of T is equipped with robust research facilities that fit my multidisciplinary research ideas, it is located in the industrial part of Canada that attracts industry collaboration, the faculty members are top of their field and are there to grow with, the students leave the institution to become top-class in the world. I think you get the point now. 

What are you most looking forward to in your new position? 

The infinite opportunities! The opportunity to impact students with experiential knowledge, the opportunity to mentor them, the opportunity to learn from them, especially after returning from their co-op jobs, and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members in various research projects. I look forward to it all – giving and benefiting! I am just an email away! 

What is one piece of advice you would give to new students?
Enjoy life! No one is ever free of worry and there’s no step you take in life where you don’t fear the unknown. Your grades will be fine, enjoy the learning! Your dream job will come, be patient and happy in the current one! Your start-up will make an impact, focus on gathering the knowledge now.

There’s not much we can do about the unknown and worrying doesn’t help it either, so, just enjoy life: take each day at a time, set your goals and embrace the different paths to your success. 

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at U of T Engineering? 

I want to build a research group that will impact and grow the concrete materials section, CivMin, U of T Engineering, and the civil and materials engineering world. 

My ambition has always been to make an impact in the world, however small. I hope to positively impact the lives of those around me because people come first! I strongly believe the engineering future is now and here, and I hope to expose the limitless opportunities in the civil engineering world during my time here. 

Finally, is there anything unexpected about yourself you would like to share? 

My career choice as a kid was between soccer and academia. I eventually chose the latter. I did not regret it, but I still think about what might have been. Now, I referee soccer games across Ontario, play friendly soccer games and almost never miss watching a soccer match.


Article by Phill Snel originally published at U of T Engineering News. Jan. 4, 2022.

Meet Dawn Kilkenny, U of T Engineering’s new Vice-Dean, First Year

Professor Dawn Kilkenny

Professor Dawn Kilkenny (BME, ISTEP) was recently appointed U of T Engineering’s Vice-Dean, First Year. (Photo: Tyler Irving)

Reflecting on her own first year of undergraduate studies, Professor Dawn Kilkenny (BME, ISTEP) says that the challenges she faced were not the ones she expected.

“I loved my classes, and the opportunities that came with them, such as participating in psychological studies,” she says. “But I found living in residence very challenging. I grew up in a small family, in a town of less than 1,000 people. The amount of activity and the number of people on campus were extremely overwhelming to me.”

Kilkenny was recently appointed U of T Engineering’s Vice-Dean, First Year. The role oversees a suite of programs designed to make the transition from secondary to post-secondary education as smooth as possible for students from around the world.

She brings deep experience to the role, having previously served as Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME), as Chair of the Biomedical Systems Major in the Division of Engineering Science (EngSci), and as EngSci’s Associate Chair, Year 1 & 2.

Kilkenny also serves as faculty advisor to Discovery, a U of T Engineering program that provides experiential learning opportunities for high school students in the Greater Toronto Area and catalyzes collaborations between graduate students, faculty and high school educators.

“My experience throughout the evolution and expansion of this program has made me more acutely aware of the gaps that exist between secondary and post-secondary learning,” she says.

“As Vice-Dean, First Year, I’ll continue working with relevant partners, both in the Faculty and at community partner schools, to design experiences to improve student transition to university.”

Kilkenny lists some of the many programs already in place through the First Year Office to help ease this transition: Guided Engineering Academic Review Sessions (GEARS) and associated Conversation Cafes, the Six Week Celebration, and the First Year Hub on Quercus, as well as regular communication through social media and the First Year News Feed.

Going forward, she aims to expand offerings, especially in the area of experiential learning, such as summer research internships.

“I believe it is important for everyone to have a ‘taste’ of research to make more informed decisions for their upper years of study, and their future careers,” she says. “I plan to focus on increasing summer research opportunities and access for first year students.”

Beyond that, Kilkenny also plans to expand summer programs and/or online learning in order to help students spread out their course loads. She also thinks there are opportunities to simplify certain administrative procedures to reduce paperwork.

Kilkenny says that one of the key issues facing students today has to do with the information ecosystem they are studying in.

“Increased access to technology in academia has flooded the post-secondary experience with a surplus of information, which makes it challenging to decide what is accurate and what is not.

“I don’t believe that students have changed — they are as creative, dedicated and resourceful as ever. But the educational environment they are navigating has changed, and along with it, the resources and tools that they need to be successful.”

This semester is the first to return to primarily in-person classes following the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kilkenny is optimistic about what that portends.

“It’s a cautious but exciting time,” she says. “COVID‑19 has helped us all learn about ourselves and how to work together more efficiently in a supportive manner. I look forward to being able to connect directly with first year students and learn about their personal educational transitions and vison for their time with us.”

Article by Tyler Irving first published on U of T Engineering News on November 19, 2021.

Student-Built Haven App Aims to Help Prevent Sexual Assault

Nelson Lee and Ethan Hugh

Left to right: Nelson Lee and Ethan Hugh (both Year 2 CompE) are the founders of Haven. (Photo: Lumuat Dinder)

Content warning: This story addresses sexual harassment and assault

A startup created by two U of T Engineering undergraduate students aims to help prevent sexual assaults by instantly connecting users to friends, family and other resources.

The story of Haven began a little more than a year ago, when a close friend shared her story of sexual assault with Nelson Lee (Year 2 CompE).

“I was shocked, and even more so when I started looking into the prevalence of these kinds of incidents,” says Lee. “A study by the Government of Ontario reported that sixty-three per cent of students at Ontario universities report having experienced sexual harassment. We know that sexual harassment can escalate into sexual assault, so I started thinking about how we could prevent that from happening.”

Lee focused in on the idea of an app that would enable students to get help the moment they need it. In January of 2021, he asked his friend Ethan Hugh (Year 2 CompE) to join him.

Their solution is the Haven app. The app starts by asking the user to identify a set of up to five close friends or family members that they trust. With one touch, users can share their location with these people, or signal that they need help.

Have app

Haven enables users to share their location with a set of trusted contacts, as well as to quickly contact emergency services. (Image courtesy: Haven)

For urgent situations, the app offers one-touch access to Campus Safety or emergency services, and includes a pre-written script that Lee says can shorten the time it takes for help to arrive. There is even ­an­­ option to activate a siren.

“We added that as a way to prevent the ‘bystander effect’ we often hear about in these incidents,” says Lee, describing the phenomenon in which people hesitate to get involved in an unfolding situation, and instead stand by. “It makes it really clear that it’s time to step in, even if you don’t know the person being harassed.”

Hugh and Lee spent the summer doing the programming and development. This included learning more about what their potential user base would want in an app.

“We did interviews with more than 250 students, as well as crisis centres and other organizations that deal with sexual assault,” says Lee. “We’ve been working on numerous fronts to ensure that what we’re producing is useful to people.”

They also enrolled in Hatchery NEST, a startup incubator program from U of T Engineering, which connected them to mentors and other experts such as lawyers and former policymakers.

Haven is currently free to download on Android and iOS operating systems.

Premium features enable users to further increase the number of trusted contacts, or to automatically indicate that they have arrived home safely.

Haven launched in early September, and the team says it has already been downloaded more than 1,500 times. It has also been featured on local media and the team has received a lot of positive feedback from users.

“People say it gives them peace of mind, and that they feel safer knowing that their network is just a touch away,” says Lee.

Over the next few months, the team hopes to slowly expand to campuses across Ontario. They are also reaching out to several sexual assault crisis centres to launch an education component of the app, which will outline concepts such as consent, and how to identify when boundaries have been violated.

“Our vision is to make the world a safer place, and we’re really hopeful that we can make a positive impact,” says Lee.


Article by Tyler Irving originally published on U of T Engineering News on October 7, 2021.

New Skule™ Mental Health Bursary supports wellness for U of T Engineering students

Assortment of Skule patches

A new SkuleTM Mental Health Bursary will help expand access to mental health and wellness supports for U of T Engineering undergraduate students who are in need of financial aid.

Launching in September 2021, the bursary was created by the U of T Engineering Society in partnership with the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

“Unfortunately, university students often skimp on their health because they have no choice,” says Vanessa Elizabeth Ayoung-Chee (Year 3 CivMin), currently the Director of Skule™ Mental Wellness and a member of the 2021-2022 SkuleTM Mental Health Bursary Adjudication Committee.

“Cost is a major issue, especially when it comes to mental health. Our hope is that this bursary removes one barrier for students seeking help.”

Sheral Kumar (Year 4 EngSci) served as last year’s Director of Skule™ Mental Wellness, and was one of the key architects of the new bursary.

“I’ve been part of Skule™ Mental Wellness since my first year, and one of the things I’ve learned is that everyone’s mental health journey is different,” says Kumar.

“In the past, our focus was on promoting learning, creating awareness, and running de-stressing events. For some people, a yoga event is just what they need. But for others, it’s much more important to address the underlying problem, and it’s hard to do that when you’re worried about how you’re going to pay for it.”

Kumar and Christopher Kousinioris, former President of the Engineering Society, worked with Melissa Fernandes, U of T Engineering’s Mental Health Programs Officer, and Pierina Filippone, Assistant Registrar, Scholarships & Financial Aid, to develop the new bursary.

“Through this award, any student can receive up to $450 toward the cost of counselling, workshops, peer support groups, therapy sessions, resource guides, medication, assistive devices and more,” says Fernandes. “We also hope it will help us identify students who require additional support, so we can address underlying causes and connect them to more appropriate and sustainable options.”

Students can apply for the bursary through the Award Explorer. They must be part-time or full-time undergraduate students within the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and submit an application which includes a short (200 words) description of how they intend to use the requested funds.

Half of the seed funding for the new bursary is being provided by the Engineering Society, with the other half coming from the Faculty. In the future, the team aims to secure philanthropic donations to further expand the program.

“This year is only the pilot phase of a bursary that is intended to last forever,” says Kumar. “I hope that the community will continue to invest in student mental health so that initiatives like this can become even more impactful.”

Article by Tyler Irving originally published on August 20, 2021, at U of T Engineering News.

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Friends and family: U of T’s Lucia Stafford to share track with big sister in Olympic debut

Lucia Stafford

Lucia Stafford (Year 4 CivE) will compete against her older sister Gabriela DeBues-Stafford in the 1,500-metre race at the Tokyo Olympics. Both athletes studied at U of T and ran track with the Varsity Blues (Photo: Johnny Guatto)

In less than two weeks, Lucia Stafford (Year 4 CivE) will come up against the fastest runners in the world in the 1,500-metre race at the Tokyo Olympic Games. But at least one of her chief rivals doesn’t intimidate her — even if she’s ranked among the top five at that distance: her older sister Gabriela DeBues-Stafford.

The two sisters, who both studied at the University of Toronto and ran track with the Varsity Blues, have been pushing each other to their limits long before becoming elite middle-distance runners.

“We’ve been running together since I was in Grade 4 and she was right by my side for all of it, starting on our cottage road — just going for 5K and getting dragged by her and my dad,” Lucia says.

“Now we’re toeing the line on the biggest stage ever. That will be pretty special.”

Gabriela, who is three years Lucia’s senior, revealed her potential relatively late for a runner — near the end of high school. Terry Radchenko, an assistant U of T coach for middle-distance and cross-country running, first met her when she was in Grade 10, when she was posting respectable times for her age group but lagged behind the leaders.

Two years later, after training with the U of T track club, Gabriela was leaving her competitors in the dust.

“She didn’t come out of the womb a superstar,” Radchenko says, noting that he’s recorded 10 training logs that capture the Stafford sisters’ progression over many years.

“It took a training effect to bring out Gabriela’s full potential.”

Today, Gabriela is the fifth-fastest woman in the World Athletics Rankings over 1,500 metres and trains with the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore., one of the premier running clubs in the United States and home to world champions and Olympic medal winners.

Yet, during family runs or even strolls, it was Lucia who often took the lead – especially when the two women were younger.

“If we were on a walk in the forest, Lucia would have to be the one at the front of the pack,” Gabriela recently told Canadian Running Magazine. “She’s been a chronic one-stepper since she was a toddler.”

While Lucia denies there’s a sibling rivalry, Radchenko says she’s always keen to prove herself against her older sister.

“She’s not scared of Gabriela,” he says. “When it comes to her sister, there’s no qualms about going head-to-head.”

He points to their duel in the home stretch of the 2017 Ontario University Athletics track and field championships. With about 200 metres left in the race, Lucia pushes ahead of Gabriela, staying basically neck-and-neck with her sister until the very end. After a photo finish, Lucia crumples to the floor in exhaustion. Gabriela, meanwhile, forgoes any celebration and immediately turns back to help her sister to her feet as the third-place runner crosses the line.

Running is in Lucia’s and Gabriela’s genes. Their late mother, Maria Luisa Gardner, was a teacher who coached cross-country in elementary school, while their aunt Sara Gardner, ran in the 1992 world cross-country championships. Their father Jamie Stafford, who happens to be a professor of statistical sciences at U of T and vice-dean of academic operations in Faculty of Arts & Science, represented Canada as a cross-country runner at four world championships.

Lucia Stafford and her father, Professor Jamie Stafford.

Lucia Stafford and her father Jamie Stafford, a U of T professor, are joined by Gabriela Stafford, who was training in Portland, Ore. prior to the Tokyo Games. (Photo: Johnny Guatto)

Heading into the Olympics, Lucia might find comfort in the fact that she ran a personal best of 4:05.70 this year, smashing her previous best record by five seconds. It’s the second-best indoor time in Canadian history after — who else — Gabriela.

These days, Lucia says racing against Gabriela brings a sense of comfort — no matter the location or the stakes. In fact, Lucia lists Gabriela as her favourite professional athlete on her Varsity Blues profile page.

“Whenever I’m in a race with her, I have a really good race because I think it’s just having that reminder: This is someone that I’ve run with for years and years, and here we are running together again,” she says.

“The scenery might look a bit different, but at the end of the day, we’re still just running.”

As a civil engineering student in U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Lucia has had more than just running to think about in recent years.

The day before an important meet to book her ticket to the Olympics, she wrote an exam in geotechnical engineering from her hotel room. In Tokyo, she will spend some of her time off the track completing the requirements for her engineering degree through a summer course on multidisciplinary perspectives on the environment.

“I have to email my TA because the lectures and tutorials are mandatory, but it’s going be, like, 1 a.m. [local time] during the lecture,” she says.

Like her sister, Lucia has also had to cope with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. The disease left Lucia feeling listless and unable to hit prescribed paces. She even once swallowed a radioactive iodine pill to shrink her thyroid gland and alleviate symptoms.

“This pill is no joke,” she told Canadian Running Magazine in 2019. “I set off the alarm in airport security one month later when I was flying to Florida.”

For Lucia, training during COVID-19 presented another challenge – particularly with her sister in Portland. Fortunately, she was able to lean on Madeleine Kelly, a U of T alumna and fellow Varsity Blues runner who writes for Canadian Running magazine (including the magazine’s July and August 2021 cover story on the Stafford sisters). The two met at U of T about six years ago and have trained together ever since. They secured Olympic qualification together and both are now in Japan, where the routine is “PCR test, run, eat, sleep — literally on repeat,” Kelly posted on Instagram.

Lucia says she and Kelly have grown especially close over the past year. “It’s kind of like having a stand-in big sister,” she says.

Since they specialize in different events, the two women didn’t have to compete with each other for a spot on the Olympic team — and were relieved when they qualified together.

“I can’t imagine doing it without her,” Kelly says. “I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.”

Madeleine Kelly and Lucia Stafford

Madeleine Kelly (left), a U of T alumna and fellow Varsity Blues runner, trained for the Olympics with Lucia Stafford, forging a close bond in the process. (Photo: Johnny Guatto)

Making the Olympic team was a process of self-discovery for Kelly. “I think I’ve learned that I’m much tougher than I give myself credit for sometimes,” she says. “Because it was hard — but manageable, as it turns out.”

Kelly’s first race in round one of the 800-metre event takes place on July 30, while Lucia and Gabriela begin their pursuit of Olympic glory three days later.

Lucia’s and Gabriela’s father, meanwhile, plans to cheer on his daughters from back home in Toronto. He cautioned the pair to manage their expectations and avoid putting too much pressure on themselves. “Set the bar low and clear it by a mile,” Lucia recalls him saying.

And while the stats professor is well aware of the improbabilities, his dream result for Lucia and Gabriela in the 1,500 metres comes as little surprise.

“A dead heat for first.”

Originally published at U of T News. Article by Geoffrey Vendeville. July 23, 2021.

2020-2021 Award Winners from the U of T Engineering Class of 2T1

Recognition of Awards

Congratulations to the 2020–2021 award winners from the Class of 2T1 for their incredible academic achievements!

Governor General’s Silver Medal

Shengxiang Ji, Computer Engineering

Class of 3T5 Second Mile Award

Stephanie Alexis Marton, Civil Engineering

The Elsie Gregory MacGill Memorial Scholarship

Stephanie Alexis Marton, Civil Engineering

Otto Holden Scholarship

Anqi Shen, Civil Engineering
Shi Qi Wang, Civil Engineering

John Dixon Campbell Memorial Prize

Khon Seong Ong, Mechanical Engineering

John Dixon Campbell Memorial Scholarship

Yihua Lin, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Arthur Herrmann Memorial Award

Keith Sebastian, Mechanical Engineering

W. Ross Dowkes Memorial Prize

Romeo Oscar Cabrera, Chemical Engineering

MacKay Hewer Memorial Prize

Patrick Michael Desmarais, Chemical Engineering

Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Gold Medal for Academic Achievement

Shengxiang Ji, Computer Engineering
Tianyi Xu, Computer Engineering

Adel S. Sedra Gold Medal

Shengxiang Ji, Computer Engineering
Erick Mejia Uzeda, Electrical Engineering

B. Platt Award, Toronto Section of the Society of Tribologists & Lubrication Engineers

Yuxiang Zhang, Materials Engineering

Ontario Chapter, American Concrete Institute Award

Katherine Jane Norris, Civil Engineering

Centennial Senior Project Award

Allan Dok Lun Cheung, Chemical Engineering

Maria Michial Elia Demitiry, Civil Engineering
Brenden Lavoie, Civil Engineering
Yuxin Liu, Civil Engineering

Char Erb, Mineral Engineering 
Devlen Patrick Malone, Mineral Engineering
Hugo Hernan Ona Bueno, Mineral Engineering
Julia Maxine Ovsenek, Mineral Engineering

Matthew Alexander Downing, Electrical Engineering

Arjun Mittal, Computer Engineering

Olivia Sarah Bierman-Dyk, Industrial Engineering
Clara Birch, Industrial Engineering
Jean Carlos Cedeno Bravo, Industrial Engineering
Catherine Lloyd, Industrial Engineering

Jungho Justin Kim, Mechanical Engineering
Khon Seong Ong, Mechanical Engineering
Jianfei Pan, Mechanical Engineering
Qiwei Zhao, Mechanical Engineering

Axel Francisco Del Castillo Valenzuela, Materials Engineering
Rowan O’Brien Vredenburg, Materials Engineering
Shengyu Sun, Materials Engineering
Ungku Zoe Anysa Ungku Fa’iz, Arts & Science*

Spencer Zhao / Engineering Science Engineering (Consent)

Society of Chemical Industry Merit Award

Joel Lau, Chemical Engineering

W.S. Wilson Medal

Patrick Michael Desmarais, Chemical Engineering
Kailyn Ting Henderson, Industrial Engineering
Jue Liu, Computer Engineering
Erick Mejia Uzeda, Electrical Engineering
Julia Maxine Ovsenek, Mineral Engineering
Wenyi Peng, Mechanical Engineering
Shi Qi Wang, Civil Engineering
Dian Yu, Materials Engineering
Yifan Zhai, Engineering Science

Wallace G. Chalmers Engineering Design Scholarships

Eshan Sameer Gokhale, Mechanical Engineering
Abdullah Gulab, Mechanical Engineering
David Joseph Rolko, Mechanical Engineering
Thomas Christopher Rolko, Mechanical Engineering

John W. Senders Award for Imaginative Design

Adam David Koa, Mechanical Engineering
Jacob Vincent Sinopoli, Mechanical Engineering
Sarah Toukan, Mechanical Engineering
Danylo Varshavsky, Mechanical Engineering

Gordon R. Slemon Capstone Design Award in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Dylan K. Lamont, Electrical Engineering
Seif Sarofim, Electrical Engineering
Michelle Tessy, Electrical Engineering

John H. Weber Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering

Shantanu Arya, Mechanical Engineering
Stephanie Marie McDonald, Mechanical Engineering*
Shivam Maharaj, Mechanical Engineering
Chloe Nicolette Oriotis, Mechanical Engineering

Peri Family Industrial Engineering Design Award

Olivia Sarah Bierman-Dyk, Industrial Engineering
Clara Birch, Industrial Engineering
Jean Carlos Cedeno Bravo, Industrial Engineering
Catherine Lloyd, Industrial Engineering

Loumankis Family Engineering Scholarship

Muskan Sethi, Chemical Engineering
Hanna Jiamei Zhang, Engineering Science


*Undergraduate students who are not graduating yet, but were part of a winning capstone or design team.

Building Indigenous cultural competency: U of T Engineering launches toolkit

A dancer spins at a pow wow held at the University of Toronto

A dancer spins at a pow wow held at the University of Toronto on March 11, 2017. (Credit: Hannah James)

A new program aims to equip U of T Engineering staff and faculty with the tools to build their understanding of the history, truths and culture of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Development of the Indigenous Cultural Competency Toolkit began in February 2021 and was led by Sienna Gagner (ChemE 2T0+PEY), Equity & Inclusion Programs Coordinator in U of T Engineering’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Professionalism. Gagner consulted with Professor Jason Bazylak (MIE & ISTEP), the Dean’s Advisor on Indigenous Initiatives, and leadership at U of T’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

“Everyone is at a different point along the journey toward truth, reconciliation and relationship building,” says Bazylak. “This toolkit is designed to build foundational knowledge first — to provide concrete opportunities for students, staff and faculty to begin this learning, or expand their understanding of the rich history and diverse cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Establishing this groundwork is where we have to start.”

Gagner received the Hatch Engineering Aboriginal Scholarship when she began her undergraduate studies in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry in 2016. She chose to pursue the toolkit project to explore her Indigenous identity, connected with the Muskrat French Métis culture in Wallaceburg, Pain Court, and Grande Pointe, Ont., and to create pathways for members of the U of T Engineering community to raise their knowledge of Indigenous culture.

The toolkit comprises three modules. The first includes a two-part virtual session called “Speaking Our Truths: The Journey Toward Reconciliation,” facilitated by John Croutch, a cultural competency training officer in U of T’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Participants will also join the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, to be offered virtually this summer. Modules 2 and 3 encourage participants to experience Indigenous culture and expand their own learning through recommended books, papers, films and additional resources. This includes encouraging virtual attendance at the U of T Indigenous Studies Student Union’s Honouring Our Students Pow Wow on June 19, 2021.

The toolkit will also be accessible to students working, researching and teaching in U of T Engineering over Summer 2021. Students who complete all three modules will have their participation reflected on their co-curricular record. All participants will receive a certificate of completion.

The program acts on two recommendations from the 2018 Blueprint for Action report created by the Eagles’ Longhouse Engineering Indigenous Initiatives Steering Committee: to implement ongoing cultural competency training for all staff and faculty, and to run regular Blanket Exercise events for students, staff and faculty. The Eagles’ Longhouse was tasked with identifying how U of T Engineering could respond to the 34 calls to action identified by U of T’s Truth & Reconciliation Steering Committee.

The education-focused framework is one step in improving Indigenous inclusivity in the Faculty, says Marisa Sterling, P.Eng., Assistant Dean and Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Professionalism.

“This summer, we’re starting with truths, acknowledgement and understanding,” says Sterling. “Future work will build on this foundation. This Fall, my office will support the administration of talking circles within departments, divisions, institutes and staff groups to reflect on their personal learning journeys and experiences. Everyone is called upon to set actions to (re)build a positive relationship between U of T Engineering and Indigenous People. I look forward to supporting programming, collaborations and explorations of Indigenous ways of knowing in a way that is meaningful to Indigenous voices in an engineering context.”

Register to participate in Indigenous Cultural Competency Toolkit programming.


Originally published on June 18, 2021, at U of T Engineering News. Article by Engineering Strategic Communications.

U of T Engineering student leader receives inaugural Troost ILead Difference Maker Award

Morris Huang

Fourth-year student Morris Huang has been recognized with the Difference Maker Award for his leadership through the student-run non-profit, Global Spark. (Photo courtesy Morris Huang)


Morris Huang (Year 4 MSE) has been named the first recipient of the Troost ILead Difference Maker Award.

The award was established in 2020 by the Bodhi Tree Fund, a private giving foundation. Sanjay Malaviya, a long-serving member of the Troost ILead Board of Advisors, launched the $50,000 award to accelerate the career of a graduating student with a vision to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond. Candidates are evaluated on their leadership experience, the strength of their vision, and their character.

Learning about the award came on an especially significant day for Huang — his iron ring arrived in the mail only 15 minutes after receiving the phone call with news of his win.

Over the last year, Huang has helped lead Global Spark, a student-run education non-profit. Launched at the University of Toronto as Global Engineering Week, Global Spark seeks to bridge theory and practice within global development education by helping students connect what they learn in the classroom with on-the-ground work in areas such as climate change, renewable energy and, most recently, vaccine distribution.

“We don’t just want to teach students, we want them to mobilize in tackling some of these big problems by engaging them through course curriculum, implementing new course content, assignments, activities and tutorials,” says Huang.

Huang says that Global Spark’s material is taught in more than 100 courses at eight universities, including the National University of Singapore, the University of Central Asia and the Chinese University of Hong Kong – Shenzhen, and has reached more than 10,000 students to date.

Outside of the classroom Global Spark organizes design competitions, student fairs and Canada’s largest social impact hackathon, Hack the Globe, to help students explore the application of their own global development solutions. Working with partners such as Google, Boston Consulting Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, this year’s Hackathon and speaker panel each drew more than 1,000 registrants from 40 countries.

Huang participated in the Troost ILead Summer Fellowship, an experience that he says gave him key “invisible” ingredients to grow Global Spark from a team of two to 70. He says the Fellowship gave him the opportunity to be challenged by his peers, and other student club leaders, and to ask hard questions about Global Spark’s purpose, culture, and his own assumptions about their work.

“I had to step back and ask, ‘Do I really understand what it is that we do? And, after I understand it, how can we improve on it?’ Learning how culture is shaped and how to build culture was the big thing that I learned [in the Fellowship], and continue to think about as we build Global Spark.”

“Having empathy is a key factor in what makes successful student leaders, and leaders in general,” adds Huang.

Asked how he mobilizes empathy in his own leadership practice Huang explains, “Being a leader means being able to connect with my team members. This is one of the most important things. I’m always open to feedback because what I’m ultimately trying to do is figure out how I as a leader can create the best experience for you when you’re on my team.”

Next year, Huang will bring his passion for education innovation to the Delft University of Technology where he has been accepted into the master’s in Engineering and Policy and Analysis (EPA) program. His vision is to increase access to quality education for K-12 and post-secondary students around the globe whose households may not have the means to access educational opportunities.

“I’m excited to see how models and simulations and data analytics and the policy-making process merge to create the impact that we envision,” says Huang. But he won’t be giving up his work at Global Spark which he calls his most challenging and rewarding experience to date.

On what the Difference Maker award means to Huang: “In the same sense that you don’t have to be given a position or a title to be a leader, or experience leadership, you also don’t need to be given a title or position to be a difference maker. Making a difference can be a long process, and very iterative. Tackle, get feedback, come back and work together, and work again.”


Article by Natalia Noël Smith originally published on April 21, 2021, on U of T Engineering Student News.

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