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Cases available at Waterloo

The following cases have been developed by Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering. They are grouped by discipline, but please note that cases in general can be used in more than one discipline.

Note that all cases are available for use at the University of Waterloo, while a few are also available for use outside the University.

Chemical Engineering

2008 Listeriosis Outbreak

In the summer of 2008 there was a listeriosis outbreak affecting people in several provinces across Canada.  By the end of outbreak in December 2008 there were 57 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.  The source of the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that caused the outbreak were from Maple Leaf Foods two production lines at the Bartor Road packaging plant in Toronto, Ontario. The affected products were ready-to-eat sliced cold cuts packaged under the Sure Slice brand and these products were shipped across Canada.  Maple Leaf Foods instated a voluntary recall when suspicion arose linking the outbreak to their plant; upon confirming the link, they expanded the recall to all products from the Bartor Road facility. Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes listerosis is widespread in the environment and growth is supported on a variety of foods during handling or packaging.  Listeria grows in both anaerobic and aerobic conditions and food processing environments that are cold, and wet or moist can harbor and support growth of the bacteria. Shortfalls in the food safety system at Maple Leaf contributed to the outbreak and recommendations for improvements to the system are necessary as part of a public inquiry.

Aftermarket Car Cabin Air Filter Design

Poor air quality is a major problem in urban areas worldwide. The air quality in cars decreases drastically when driving in the country to driving in the city and on highways. People who drive in the city have constant exposure to poor air quality which can have adverse health consequences such as elevated risks of asthma and other lung-related issues. Most recent cars include a cabin air filter that offers protection to passengers from outside harmful dust, exhaust gas, pollen and bacteria, depicted in Figure 1. However, less expensive and older cars rarely include cabin air filters. It is estimated that only 40% of vehicles on the road actually contain a cabin air filter. This creates an opportunity to design and integrate a cabin air filter for cars without them. The main purpose of the filter would be to remove particulate matter from the air thereby reducing the adverse health effects that are associated with inhaling large amounts of particulate matter. 

AirTap™ Testing by CanmetENERGY

CanmetENERGY operates under Natural Resources Canada to promote the sustainable and economic development of Canada’s natural resources, while improving quality of life for Canadians. The Sustainable Buildings and Communities division at CanmetENERGY tests and promotes energy efficient technologies as well as performs necessary lab research in order to find newer and better technologies to make household appliances more energy efficient. Heather Lomax, a University of Waterloo chemical engineering student, worked in the Sustainable Buildings and Communities division. She was asked to verify the efficiency claims of the AirTap™ heat pump water heater, manufactured by AirGenerate™. The AirTap™ heat pump water heater is a device that takes in room temperature air, extracts heat out of that air, transfers it into water to raise the water temperature, and rejects the cold air back into the room. It is used as an add-on to existing storage tank water heaters. It also acts as an air conditioner and dehumidifier. This means that the AirTap™ is ideally suited to warmer climates where the air conditioning effect is most useful. CanmetENERGY was also interested in verifying the suitability of this system for the range of Canadian climactic conditions.

AKCS Investigation of Compressor Trains Pressurization

AKCS Offshore Partner, located in St. John’s Newfoundland, provides engineering, procurement and construction services to the offshore oil and gas industry in Newfoundland, Labrador and Atlantic Canada. A client of AKCS Offshore Partner was concerned with the time it took to pressurize the compressor trains in their offshore oil production facility. The compressor trains are used to re-inject gas into the well for storage. A portion of the same gas is flared to provide energy to operate the trains. Less time is desirable because it enables faster start-up and saves energy and thus money to run the compressor trains.

Laura Parsons, a chemical engineering student at the University of Waterloo worked with the Process Department at AKCS. She was asked to investigate this matter and determine the effect of altering the pressurization method and resizing of equipment on the time it takes to pressurize the compressor trains.

Bata Industries Environmental Impact

In 1989, Bata Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bata Shoe Company, was a global shoe-manufacturing company comprising approximately 80 subsidiaries headed by CEO Thomas Bata. One of Bata Industries’ plants was located in Batawa, Ontario and produced leather footwear on a worldwide scale [1]. The manufacturing process for these products created hazardous liquid chemical waste such as volatile solvents [2]. These chemicals were stored in drums in an open, above-ground storage facility, as illustrated in Figure 1. There was a need to improve the storage facility in light of new regulations that were put into place in the 1980’s that indicated new procedures for properly storing and disposing chemicals.
 
On August 1, 1989, two officials from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) visited the Batawa Plant on a routine checkup. They discovered that the relatively new environmental standards were not being met since Batawa’s storage drums were rusted, uncovered and seeping waste into the environment [3]. Later analysis showed that the toxic chemicals had polluted the groundwater [4]. The MOE had to decide what action it should take.

Bromine Safer Design Application

Rohm and Haas is a chemical manufacturing company, a subsidiary of Dow chemical company employing more than 17,000 people in 27 countries.  Rohm and Haas had a bromine delivery system that needed tank and structural support repair to remain in service safely. The existing bromine receiving and dispensing facility is shown in Figure 1. Bromine is a toxic liquid that through liquid contact or vapour inhalation can be fatal, and proper safeguards for dispensing and storage are necessary. The company decided to revise the bromine delivery method and improve the safety of the design by modification of the current system as an alternative to repair. In order to ensure the safety of the new system, an inherently safer design approach was used. This is a practice that reduces or eliminates hazards and it is most effective in the early stages of development and plant design process. However, it can also be applied to an existing facility.

As part of a design proposal, a schematic for a new bromine delivery system is required. The design must ensure principles of inherently safer design are followed. Also, risk analysis on the existing design must be performed by considering different release scenarios based on the current system

CF Industries Process Safety

CF Industries, headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois has a plant site in Courtright, Ontario, close to the St. Clair River. CF Industries manufactures fertilizer and distributes its product globally. It is the second largest nitrogen fertilizer producer in the world. CF Industries implements Process Safety Management (PSM). This is a comprehensive system used in many industries that is part of due diligence in plant operations intended to keep employees and the community safe. Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) is a key element of any PSM program and must be completed for any changes to operating units. The purpose of the analysis is to determine potential consequences (impacts) to people, environment, the community, and the business. All efforts must be made to reduce the potential impact of the change to a reasonable level.  CF Industries would like to relocate two natural gas regulators upstream of a filter to increase performance. A process hazard review must be completed in order to determine if the safeguards are adequate for the equipment relocation.

Cookie Fortification with Omega-3

Some fatty acids, particularly omega-6 and omega-3, are considered essential fatty acids, as the human body cannot produce this group of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and intake must occur through diet. Research studies have shown strong evidence that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may improve resistance to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and rheumatoid arthritis. Foods with high concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids include seeds, nuts, certain fruits, vegetable oil and fish. Since consumption of naturally occurring fatty acids remains low in Western countries, omega-3 fatty acids are increasingly added to foods such as cereals, cookies, and long shelf-life products. Functional foods are enriched with ingredients that provide added function to the finished product, most often related to health-promotion or disease prevention. Microencapsulation is a technology used to fortify foods with omega-3 fish oil as outlined in Figure 1. Various fish oil microencapsulation technologies are available, including spray-dried emulsions, complex coacervation, alginate-based microspheres, submerged coextrusion, melt injection, calcium carbonate capsules, and γ-cyclodextrins. While such fortification can provide benefits, there are also drawbacks: these oils are highly susceptible to oxidation, which can negatively impact product flavour and reduce shelf-life.

Veronica Wong, a 3rd year University of Waterloo Chemical Engineering student, investigated the microencapsulation production process during a work term at the University of Waterloo. To provide context, she considered a fictitious company, Cookies"R"Us, which was considering a commercially available omega-3 PUFA process for cookie fortification.

Corn Processing Wastewater Treatment

The corn chip manufacturing process, outlined below, involves two major stages: the preparation of dough (masa) from raw corn kernels and subsequent manufacture of tortilla chips from the prepared masa. Water is used in the masa preparation process for cooking, soaking and washing, producing a large volume of wastewater per unit of tortilla chips.. The wastewater stream, called nejayote, contains dissolved and suspended solids that incur high sewer surcharges.  The potential benefits from removing components of the solid waste in-house, prior to sending the stream to the municipal wastewater treatment facility, are threefold: (i) reduced waste offers the potential to avoid expensive surcharges, (ii) should the collected solid components prove valuable, the company may develop an additional revenue stream, and (iii) reduced freshwater usage reduces environmental impacts.

Hydrogen Sulphide Production in Wastewater

The production of hydrogen sulphide gas in wastewater systems has been recognized as a major contributor to odour problems in the wastewater sector.  The County of Greensville (the County), located in Ontario, contracted ACE Consultants to conduct an investigation of an ongoing wastewater odour issue. ACE determined that the County was producing large amounts of H2S gas as a result of an over designed wastewater pumping station. There are various contributors to the production of hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S), see Figure 1. ACE recommended various treatments for the odour issue and experiments were conducted using Standard Jar Testing. It was noted however, that some jars did not produce hydrogen sulphide gas even though all jars were in the same controlled environment. It was hypothesized that this could be due to the shape and material of the jars being used. Experimentation was carried out to verify this prediction. Cailey McCutcheon is a Civil Engineering student who assisted in the testing of this theory for ACE consultants.

Jana Plastic Pipe Application Analysis

Jana is a piping systems firm headquartered in Aurora, Ontario, providing consulting and testing services to clients. Three key application areas for the company are sewage, gas and water distribution. In the past, metal pipes with various alloying elements were used for these applications; however, metal alloy pipes have a limited range of uses, and performance issues like low corrosion resistance and ductility present significant challenges in some applications. Technological advancement in the mass production of polymers has allowed plastic piping to become a viable alternative solution to high cost, low utility metal and concrete pipes. Plastic pipes, Figure 1, are inherently lightweight, corrosion resistant, have excellent ductility, are easy to install, and show significantly longer projected lifetimes than metal pipes of similar specification, especially where cost is the most significant limiting factor. Several plastics are now in common use, including Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX), Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF), and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).

Ryan Jung, a second year Mechanical Engineering co-op student at the University of Waterloo, was asked to evaluate the general benefits of plastic pipe solutions for both industrial and consumer applications. He also recommended a plastic pipe for a client and undertook testing to ensure performance aligned with the client’s needs.

Nova Chemicals Butane Coalescer Study

NOVA Chemicals, located in Sarnia, ON, produces plastics and chemicals essential for everyday life. The company manufactures materials for customers worldwide who produce consumer, industrial and packaging products. Butane is a hydrocarbon which is stored in an underground salt cavern at the facility. Due to the interfacial interaction of butane gas with brine within the cavern, a small quantity of brine becomes dissolved in the gas. In order to remove the dissolved brine from butane, a coalescer vessel is used.  In 2010, the dry flare vaporizer, a piece of equipment downstream of the butane coalescer, failed due to chloride induced stress or corrosion because of the brine which may have been present in the vessel.  Damage to process equipment such as the vaporizer severely affects functionality, leading to high replacement costs and production downtime.  While investigating the failure of the dry flare vaporizer, it was suspected that abnormal operating behavior of the butane coalescer upstream of the equipment had been the cause of the failure.

Anyssa Mohammed, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was part of the process design team at NOVA Chemicals assigned to determine the cause of the irregular behaviour of the butane coalescer.

Nova Chemicals Safety Relief

NOVA Chemicals, with production facilities in Sarnia, Ontario, produces plastics and chemicals essential for everyday life. The company su​pplies materials to customers worldwide who produce consumer, industrial and packaging products. Nova Chemicals manufactures high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) from ethylene, in an exothermic reaction. It is extremely important that excess heat generation is controlled to a predetermined operating temperature during this process to prevent product instability that can lead to lost revenues. Therefore, NOVA’s LDPE manufacturing process uses a jacketed tubular reactor with a circulating liquid coolant to facilitate temperature control. They have also installed chillers on the closed cooling loop to remove heat from the cooling liquid and thus maintain desired reactor temperatures. Chillers are crucial equipment in any chemical manufacturing facility, and proper procedures must be taken to protect the chillers against critical failure. One method of protection is the use of a safety relief valve (SRV)

Oil Sand Consolidated Tailing Remediation

The Oil Sands Region of North-Eastern Alberta, Athabasca, has been home to the commercial production of bitumen since the late 1960's. Mining is one of the most common techniques used for oil extraction in this region. Bitumen is then extracted from the oil sand using hot water. The wastewater obtained from treating mined sand has high levels of naphthenic acids as well as calcium ions (Ca2+) and is not suitable for release to the environment or for recycling back into the extraction process. This water has been retained in storage areas for years and is called consolidated tailings (CT) release water. If the CT release water can be processed to remove the naphthenic acid and calcium components, it can either be recycled back to the extraction process, which will reduce the demand for fresh makeup water from the Athabasca River, or discharged directly to the environment. Chemical Engineering students from University of Waterloo conducted a design project in their 4th year of study to review possible methods for treating the tailings water, and estimated the expected cost to treat 10 years of CT release water.

Optimizing a Methanol Production Process

The Chemical Engineering Reaction Engineering Lab, at the University of Waterloo, studies viable energy sources to replace the dependency on petroleum. The main focus is to develop alternative sources of hydrogen fuel using various methods. Hydrogen can be produced from natural gas by dry reforming and partial oxidation of methane. In some cases it is attractive and viable to convert hydrogen to liquid fuels such as methanol. Methanol is in demand as feedstock for chemical production, biodiesel production, and to generate electricity.  The Reaction Engineering Lab studied through simulation a methanol production plant from landfill gas at a company’s request using the model for a methanol production plant as illustrated in Figure 1.

Muhammad Abduhu, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate ways to optimize and improve this simulation for the production of methanol by analyzing the energy requirements of each component of the system.

Reactive Chemical Fire Analysis

On March 4, 2015 around 1:30 pm a chemical fire erupted at Port Metro Vancouver. The busy port is located in Vancouver, British Columbia and the fire source was a single shipping container (Figure 1) carrying
trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA). It was initially shipped from China and was en route to eastern Canada by rail. TCCA is an industrial disinfectant, typically used in swimming pools; it is a crystalline powder which decomposes upon heating or under fire conditions to produce toxic fumes, including chlorine gas. The smoke exposure could potentially cause breathing difficulties, skin irritation and eye irritation. Port Metro was evacuated and people in the surrounding five-kilometre radius were
advised to take shelter by staying inside and closing all windows and doors. The multiple groups involved in the emergency response were able to extinguish the fire and smoke from the downtown area after 12 hours.

Soap Process Investigation

A soap manufacturer located in Ontario supplies private label detergent products such as toilet bar soaps, liquid soaps and shampoos to major retailers in North America. The plant block diagram below illustrates the toilet bars soap making process at the company. The red boxes highlight the input raw materials for the process. The area within the blue dashed box illustrates the overall processing steps, and the green boxes are the outputs, including the final products. An important part of the business model is to properly account for all raw materials used in the manufacturing process when quoting production orders. Currently, a portion of the fat mixture (fat mix), a raw material, is included in the cost model but the amount in physical inventory was significantly less than what was shown in the inventory program, resulting in projected profit loss.

Steel Manufacturing Heater Evaluation

Steel is an essential component of the modern world.  Galvanized steel products are strong and corrosion resistant and used for a wide range of application including automobile, appliance, and construction industries. Steel manufacturing process, consumes a large amount of energy for steel production.  Decreasing the plant energy consumption is a method to decrease overall plant operating costs.  A Continuous Galvanizing Line produces galvanized steel using the hot-dip method. Hot-dip galvanizing coats the steel by passing the metal through a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of 460°C.  After galvanization the steel is coiled for storage and customer delivery. The system used for heating the coiling area of the line is a forced-air system.  Four heating systems are considered for heating the coil manufacturing area and were investigated for potential energy cost savings. The four systems are:  forced air, torpedo natural gas heaters, radiant tube heating, and radiant panel heating. The objective is to find the system with the lowest energy requirement that was safe and provided an adequate amount of heat for the space. 

W-INK Colourimetric Indicator Design

Harvard University (HU) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at HU aims to bring discovery and innovation to directly bear on improving human life and society in the 21st century. As a part of this process, SEAS developed a Watermark Ink (W-INK) chip that identifies the surface tension of a liquid. The W-INK colourimetric indicator for organic liquids works based on the wettability of highly ordered Inverse Opal Films (IOF).  The indicators mutually distinguish methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol. Applications of the W-INK system range from forgery detection to in-field liquid identification.  To distinguish between highly similar liquids in the IOF (i.e., methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol), a quality control procedure must be developed to account for the variability between samples, ensuring reproducible liquid distinction results. Chemical tuning techniques for W-INK samples adjust the wettability of the IOF for use as a colourimetric indicator in a wide range of liquids.  Resolution and distinction capabilities of each chemical tuning technique are suitable criteria for assessment.

Kevin Raymond, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate the W-INK quality control procedure and chemical tuning parameters that allow it to successfully identify a wide range of liquids and account for structural variability in samples. 

Zeton Inc. Sand Bath Heater Feasibility Study

Zeton Inc. (Zeton), located in Burlington Ontario, is a manufacturer of pilot plants for various applications in the petrochemical, polymer, fine and specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industries. These pilot plants are custom built and can be designed to accommodate the specific needs of the customer. In one particular installation the customer needed to transfer 2 kW of power to a stream of oil flowing through a pipe. Frank Cheuk, a chemical engineering student from the University of Waterloo was on a work term at Zeton when he was asked to investigate the feasibility of the sand bath heater for this application.

Chemical Engineering, Civil, Geo & Enviro Engineering

CanmetEnergy Analysis of Vacuum Insulation Panels

CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is involved in research and development for clean energy technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change. CanmetENERGY focuses on areas such as infrastructure, industrial processes, and transportation. The Renewable & Integrated Energy Systems Division, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is currently improving one of their own office buildings, originally constructed in the 1970’s, as a pilot project to meet ISO 50001 standards. The goal of ISO 50001 is to promote systems and processes that will improve energy efficiency and reduce consumption. One focus for this project is the poor insulation of the building, which results in high space heating costs. An insulation solution that could be implemented on the pre-existing building was desired. Due to the minimal space available, Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs) were chosen for their low profile and high insulation performance. A single office was selected to analyze the effectiveness of VIPs. The chosen office was a corner room, with two outside walls. If the results from the VIP installation of this office proved successful, CanmetENERGY could promote this implementation for energy improvements, and continue the implementation of VIPs for the entire building.

CanmetEnergy Analysis of Vacuum Insulation Panels

CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is involved in research and development for clean energy technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change. CanmetENERGY focuses on areas such as infrastructure, industrial processes, and transportation. The Renewable & Integrated Energy Systems Division, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is currently improving one of their own office buildings, originally constructed in the 1970’s, as a pilot project to meet ISO 50001 standards. The goal of ISO 50001 is to promote systems and processes that will improve energy efficiency and reduce consumption. One focus for this project is the poor insulation of the building, which results in high space heating costs. An insulation solution that could be implemented on the pre-existing building was desired. Due to the minimal space available, Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs) were chosen for their low profile and high insulation performance. A single office was selected to analyze the effectiveness of VIPs. The chosen office was a corner room, with two outside walls. If the results from the VIP installation of this office proved successful, CanmetENERGY could promote this implementation for energy improvements, and continue the implementation of VIPs for the entire building.

Chemical Engineering, M&MTE Engineering

Defeat Devices: Analysis of the 2015 Volkswagen Emission Scandal

Volkswagen Group (VW) is a German car manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany [1]. The company has a strong reputation in the automotive industry. However, on September 18, 2015, it was announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that VW had been cheating on American air pollution tests after independent researchers raised questions about emission levels. VW admitted that the company had installed software known as “defeat devices” in the electronic control module of diesel vehicles that were produced between 2008 and 2015. The software analyzed sensor data, including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine's operation and the barometric pressure. Once the software used these inputs to detect whether emission testing was in progress, it went into a type of test mode which activated the emission control modules. This allowed the vehicle’s emission controls to run at full capacity during the testing, but at a much lower fuel efficiency and performance level than the normal driving operating condition. West Virginia University engineers who were involved in the initial investigation have found that some emissions were 10 to 40 times higher than the EPA legal limits.

EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge Battery Size Selection

The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team, UWAFT, has a mission to design, build, and market fuel efficient vehicles of the future. UWAFT was one of 16 university student teams participating in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge. The challenge was established by the USA Department of Energy and General Motors (GM), recognizing the need to devise solutions to reduce the environmental impact of gasoline-fueled vehicles. Students are challenged with re-engineering a GM-donated vehicle, a dual-mode hybrid Saturn VUE. The overall objective is to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions by exploring advanced technological solutions, while increasing energy efficiency and maintaining vehicle performance, safety and utility. Vehicle configurations considered by the various teams include electric drive (EV), hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHV) and fuel cell (FCV) technologies. Alternate fuels range from ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen. All teams explored alternative lightweight materials.

Footprint Chiller and Boiler Analysis

Smith + Andersen (S+A) is one of the leading Electrical-Mechanical engineering consulting companies in Canada. In fact, S+A recently worked on the Pan American Aquatics Centre for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games. Footprint, a new sister company to S+A, works in collaboration with architects, engineers, developers and project managers in order to ensure that all S+A projects are sustainable. In 2014, Footprint was asked to investigate the chiller and boiler system for an existing 25-story office building in Toronto that was constructed in 1970. Mechanical systems such as chillers and boilers represent a significant proportion of the building’s energy demand, more than half for this building as shown, and need to be periodically audited and inspected. Since newer technologies are generally more efficient, these inspections provide an opportunity to assess if the replacement of the existing system with newer technologies is worthwhile both environmentally and financially.

TWD Pressure Vessel Design Analysis

TWD technologies (TWD), headquartered in Burlington Ontario, is an engineering, procurement and construction management company with clients in a variety of industries across Canada. For a particular project of TWD, Client 1 wanted to transfer isobutene, a hydrocarbon, from their production site to storage at Client 2's location. The product must be kept accessible and in useable condition to Client 1 as required. Client 2 owns a series of salt caverns, which are used to store isobutene and other hydrocarbons. Salt caverns are caves constructed within the salt subsurface. When isobutene is extracted from the salt cavern the brine (salt solution) must be removed from the product, which is done by sending the isobutene to a calcium chloride dryer. Brine is then recovered using a degasser pressure vessel, Figure 1, to remove the residual isobutene by flashing. For this project, a pressure vessel is required for the degasser application. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) pressure vessel codes must be followed to design the vessel.

Defeat Devices: Analysis of the 2015 Volkswagen Emission Scandal

Volkswagen Group (VW) is a German car manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany [1]. The company has a strong reputation in the automotive industry. However, on September 18, 2015, it was announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that VW had been cheating on American air pollution tests after independent researchers raised questions about emission levels. VW admitted that the company had installed software known as “defeat devices” in the electronic control module of diesel vehicles that were produced between 2008 and 2015. The software analyzed sensor data, including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine's operation and the barometric pressure. Once the software used these inputs to detect whether emission testing was in progress, it went into a type of test mode which activated the emission control modules. This allowed the vehicle’s emission controls to run at full capacity during the testing, but at a much lower fuel efficiency and performance level than the normal driving operating condition. West Virginia University engineers who were involved in the initial investigation have found that some emissions were 10 to 40 times higher than the EPA legal limits.

EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge Battery Size Selection

The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team, UWAFT, has a mission to design, build, and market fuel efficient vehicles of the future. UWAFT was one of 16 university student teams participating in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge. The challenge was established by the USA Department of Energy and General Motors (GM), recognizing the need to devise solutions to reduce the environmental impact of gasoline-fueled vehicles. Students are challenged with re-engineering a GM-donated vehicle, a dual-mode hybrid Saturn VUE. The overall objective is to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions by exploring advanced technological solutions, while increasing energy efficiency and maintaining vehicle performance, safety and utility. Vehicle configurations considered by the various teams include electric drive (EV), hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHV) and fuel cell (FCV) technologies. Alternate fuels range from ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen. All teams explored alternative lightweight materials.

Footprint Chiller and Boiler Analysis

Smith + Andersen (S+A) is one of the leading Electrical-Mechanical engineering consulting companies in Canada. In fact, S+A recently worked on the Pan American Aquatics Centre for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games. Footprint, a new sister company to S+A, works in collaboration with architects, engineers, developers and project managers in order to ensure that all S+A projects are sustainable. In 2014, Footprint was asked to investigate the chiller and boiler system for an existing 25-story office building in Toronto that was constructed in 1970. Mechanical systems such as chillers and boilers represent a significant proportion of the building’s energy demand, more than half for this building as shown, and need to be periodically audited and inspected. Since newer technologies are generally more efficient, these inspections provide an opportunity to assess if the replacement of the existing system with newer technologies is worthwhile both environmentally and financially.

TWD Pressure Vessel Design Analysis

TWD technologies (TWD), headquartered in Burlington Ontario, is an engineering, procurement and construction management company with clients in a variety of industries across Canada. For a particular project of TWD, Client 1 wanted to transfer isobutene, a hydrocarbon, from their production site to storage at Client 2's location. The product must be kept accessible and in useable condition to Client 1 as required. Client 2 owns a series of salt caverns, which are used to store isobutene and other hydrocarbons. Salt caverns are caves constructed within the salt subsurface. When isobutene is extracted from the salt cavern the brine (salt solution) must be removed from the product, which is done by sending the isobutene to a calcium chloride dryer. Brine is then recovered using a degasser pressure vessel, Figure 1, to remove the residual isobutene by flashing. For this project, a pressure vessel is required for the degasser application. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) pressure vessel codes must be followed to design the vessel.

Chemical Engineering, Civil, Geo & Enviro Engineering, E&CE Engineering, M&MTE Engineering, Management Engineering, Nanotech Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Keystone XL Pipeline

For over 60 years, TransCanada has been a leader in North American energy infrastructure. They have completed projects in natural gas, power stations and crude oil. One of their major projects was the Keystone Pipeline which transports crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to United States’ refineries. The project began in 2005 and is now a total of 4,247 km in length. It transports about one quarter of Canada’s crude oil exports and routes through Alberta, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Phases 1, 2 and 3 began operation in 2010, 2011 and 2014 respectively. In 2008, TransCanada submitted the proposal for Phase 4, an $8 billion pipeline planned to stretch 1,900 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. This extension of the pipeline project, called Keystone XL, would carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily with a diameter of 36 inches.
To the surprise of TransCanada, this pipeline extension caused great controversy. With public scrutiny unmatched by other pipelines and many stakeholders pushing their agenda, the final verdict was delayed until 2015. This difficult decision had rested with John Kerry, the Secretary of State. In November 2015 he made an official recommendation to President Obama against Keystone XL.

Managing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

Ethiopia officially began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River as a means to address their power crisis. The project is owned and managed by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and a number of companies are involved with the construction of the dam. The GERD is designed to hold 74 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water and generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. In comparison, the Hoover Dam and the Niagara Falls power plants each generate about 2,000 MW. The scope of this project includes potentially sharing the electricity to surrounding countries; however, funding would be required for construction of transmission lines. The project is estimated to cost USD $4.8 billion and is projected to be fully operational by July 2017. As of October 2015, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 48% completed. There are about 9,000 employees working 24 hours a day at the construction site. The potential impacts of the dam have been a source of severe controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mobile Project Management Application Development

Project Management (PM) is often a significant aspect of a professional engineer’s role in numerous industries. The nature of PM requires managers to keep track of several different projects at any given time. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the various tasks involved in a typical PM setting. This often necessitates the use of relevant software for effective communication and the minimization of errors. There are many tools available on the market, providing managers the ability to review project statuses and receive updates. However, many of these tools need to be used in tandem with other applications, such as email, and many are not available in a mobile format. There is a need for an accessible PM application that is available in a mobile format.

Research Misconduct

Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs), headquartered in New Jersey is a leading research organization in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Bell Labs operates within Alcatel-Lucent, an Internet protocol (IP) networking specialist company. A number of Bell Labs scientists conduct research that has resulted an innovation and Nobel Prizes in a range of disciplines. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schön was employed by Bell Labs in 1998 and studied electrical charge conduction through organic crystals. His published research in leading journals such as Science and Nature illustrated groundbreaking discoveries that demonstrated the use of transistor devices. The rate of publications with Schön as lead author was very high: 100 articles in just three years. In some cases, Schön’s claims could not be duplicated by other scientists in the field. This started raising doubts regarding the validity of his research among the scientific community.
A Bell Labs committee in 2002 investigated claims that Schön’s data, published between 1998 and 2001, was fraudulent. The committee discovered problems of data substitution, unrealistic precision, and contradictory physics in nine of the published papers. Schön was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from Bell Labs. Thirty-six (36) publications were retracted or formally withdrawn, and his 1997 Ph.D. degree was revoked from the University of Konstanz in 2004. A timeline of events is summarized in Figure 1. The controversy sparked conversations within the scientific community about research misconduct and where responsibility lies among the lead researcher, corresponding authors, peer reviewers, and publishers.

Statistical Hypothesis Test of the Eventor App

It can be very difficult for people to maintain an up-to-date calendar. For a fourth year design team comprised of Management Engineering students, Dave Park, Jesse Singh, Subesh Sivanathan and Salim Nanji, this was no exception. Even though a range of software applications have made the process of scheduling and reminding people of these commitments a lot easier, the design team still felt overwhelmed with their schedules. Throughout each semester, they had employee information sessions, social gatherings, make-up lectures, intramural games, etc. They relied on common methods such as manually adding reminders to a calendar or using Google Voice to verbally input details of an event. The team saw a need for a simplified event scheduling process, and decided to develop a solution for their fourth year design project. Under the supervision of Olga Vechtomoza, they developed an app called Eventor. Eventor was designed to simplify the creation of events on mobile devices. A user selects or provides any raw text found within their mobile device and shares this to the Eventor app. It then parses the selected text and determines the title, date, time, location and description of the event. After the user confirms or edits the details, it is added to their calendar.
Dave, Jesse, Subesh and Salim wanted to confirm that Eventor was significantly different than the existing options in order to ensure their idea was novel. The design team collected data on usability and wanted to apply significance testing to this data to evaluate the improvement.

Chemical Engineering, E&CE Engineering, M&MTE Engineering, Nanotech Engineering

Near Miss Lab Incident: A Case Study Regarding Piranha Etch

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) has been named Research University of the Year among Canadian comprehensive universities for the seventh year in a row, according to the 2014 rankings by Research Infosource. This innovative culture requires laboratories that have high-end equipment and cutting-edge technology, but may also involve potentially dangerous chemicals. Although these labs continue to develop many modern advances, there are inherent risks with lab-based research. For this reason, laboratory safety is a vital component of research.
A shared research lab in the Faculty of Engineering faced a near miss incident involving Piranha solution. Piranha etch is a highly aggressive, off-gassing solution comprised of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, used to clean organic residue from substrates. The technologist for this research group, Lewis Tate , received an email at 1:15 pm on Friday, March 13th, 2015, which contained photos of a safety concern, see figure. Piranha solution had been found in a sealed glass container on the floor next to acetone. The bottles were discovered by two graduate students of a neighbouring lab. Lewis needed to quickly decide how best to resolve this problem.

Near Miss Lab Incident: A Case Study Regarding Piranha Etch

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) has been named Research University of the Year among Canadian comprehensive universities for the seventh year in a row, according to the 2014 rankings by Research Infosource. This innovative culture requires laboratories that have high-end equipment and cutting-edge technology, but may also involve potentially dangerous chemicals. Although these labs continue to develop many modern advances, there are inherent risks with lab-based research. For this reason, laboratory safety is a vital component of research.
A shared research lab in the Faculty of Engineering faced a near miss incident involving Piranha solution. Piranha etch is a highly aggressive, off-gassing solution comprised of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, used to clean organic residue from substrates. The technologist for this research group, Lewis Tate , received an email at 1:15 pm on Friday, March 13th, 2015, which contained photos of a safety concern, see figure. Piranha solution had been found in a sealed glass container on the floor next to acetone. The bottles were discovered by two graduate students of a neighbouring lab. Lewis needed to quickly decide how best to resolve this problem.

Near Miss Lab Incident: A Case Study Regarding Piranha Etch

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) has been named Research University of the Year among Canadian comprehensive universities for the seventh year in a row, according to the 2014 rankings by Research Infosource. This innovative culture requires laboratories that have high-end equipment and cutting-edge technology, but may also involve potentially dangerous chemicals. Although these labs continue to develop many modern advances, there are inherent risks with lab-based research. For this reason, laboratory safety is a vital component of research.
A shared research lab in the Faculty of Engineering faced a near miss incident involving Piranha solution. Piranha etch is a highly aggressive, off-gassing solution comprised of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, used to clean organic residue from substrates. The technologist for this research group, Lewis Tate , received an email at 1:15 pm on Friday, March 13th, 2015, which contained photos of a safety concern, see figure. Piranha solution had been found in a sealed glass container on the floor next to acetone. The bottles were discovered by two graduate students of a neighbouring lab. Lewis needed to quickly decide how best to resolve this problem.

Near Miss Lab Incident: A Case Study Regarding Piranha Etch

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) has been named Research University of the Year among Canadian comprehensive universities for the seventh year in a row, according to the 2014 rankings by Research Infosource. This innovative culture requires laboratories that have high-end equipment and cutting-edge technology, but may also involve potentially dangerous chemicals. Although these labs continue to develop many modern advances, there are inherent risks with lab-based research. For this reason, laboratory safety is a vital component of research.
A shared research lab in the Faculty of Engineering faced a near miss incident involving Piranha solution. Piranha etch is a highly aggressive, off-gassing solution comprised of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, used to clean organic residue from substrates. The technologist for this research group, Lewis Tate , received an email at 1:15 pm on Friday, March 13th, 2015, which contained photos of a safety concern, see figure. Piranha solution had been found in a sealed glass container on the floor next to acetone. The bottles were discovered by two graduate students of a neighbouring lab. Lewis needed to quickly decide how best to resolve this problem.

Chemical Engineering, Management Engineering

Post Foods Canada, Inc. Process Improvements

Canada produces a variety of cereal products such as Shreddies, Raisin Bran, Cranberry Almond Crunch and Shredded Wheat Big Biscuit. As part of the company’s production process, large amounts of hot water are required. A layout of the current hot water distribution can be seen in Error! Reference source not found.. City water is heated using natural gas, and is reheated periodically using steam. Though it is used for many of the company’s plant operations, a primary use is for the batch cooking process, where heated water and other raw ingredients are mixed together and cooked using large cookers (Lange Cookers). Occasionally, there is an insufficient capacity to adequately supply all hot water demands. This was a concern to the Sanitation Group since hot water is used as an initial cleaning step to remove residue from machinery. An additional issue was that the hot water used in the cookers was wasted by dumping it down the drain after each batch.
Post Foods Canada wanted to explore ways to improve its energy usage and environmental impact. Kumar Singh, a third year Chemical Engineering co-op student at the University of Waterloo worked under Post Foods Canada’s Engineering department, and was asked to develop a solution that addressed energy inefficiency and while ensuring that all hot water demands were met.

Post Foods Canada, Inc. Process Improvements

Canada produces a variety of cereal products such as Shreddies, Raisin Bran, Cranberry Almond Crunch and Shredded Wheat Big Biscuit. As part of the company’s production process, large amounts of hot water are required. A layout of the current hot water distribution can be seen in Error! Reference source not found.. City water is heated using natural gas, and is reheated periodically using steam. Though it is used for many of the company’s plant operations, a primary use is for the batch cooking process, where heated water and other raw ingredients are mixed together and cooked using large cookers (Lange Cookers). Occasionally, there is an insufficient capacity to adequately supply all hot water demands. This was a concern to the Sanitation Group since hot water is used as an initial cleaning step to remove residue from machinery. An additional issue was that the hot water used in the cookers was wasted by dumping it down the drain after each batch.
Post Foods Canada wanted to explore ways to improve its energy usage and environmental impact. Kumar Singh, a third year Chemical Engineering co-op student at the University of Waterloo worked under Post Foods Canada’s Engineering department, and was asked to develop a solution that addressed energy inefficiency and while ensuring that all hot water demands were met.

Chemical Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

Quality Function Deployment for Tracheal Stents

The evolution of medical devices has exploded over the last century. There is a wide diversity of products that have been developed to diagnose, prevent or treat diseases. Some of these are implanted into a patient’s body, such as the tracheal stent. This is used to reconstruct the trachea and prevent its collapse due to tracheal stenosis or other medical conditions. More commonly known as the windpipe, the trachea is a membranous D-shaped tube reinforced by rings of cartilage that conveys air to and from the lungs. The stent itself is a hollow tube that comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. Although physicians attempt to use standardized tracheal stents, there is a high demand for customized products to improve implantation effectiveness. However, customization is more expensive and it is difficult to maintain inventory compared to standardized stents.

Quality Function Deployment for Tracheal Stents

The evolution of medical devices has exploded over the last century. There is a wide diversity of products that have been developed to diagnose, prevent or treat diseases. Some of these are implanted into a patient’s body, such as the tracheal stent. This is used to reconstruct the trachea and prevent its collapse due to tracheal stenosis or other medical conditions. More commonly known as the windpipe, the trachea is a membranous D-shaped tube reinforced by rings of cartilage that conveys air to and from the lungs. The stent itself is a hollow tube that comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. Although physicians attempt to use standardized tracheal stents, there is a high demand for customized products to improve implantation effectiveness. However, customization is more expensive and it is difficult to maintain inventory compared to standardized stents.

Civil, Geo & Enviro Engineering, M&MTE Engineering

ArcelorMittal Press Structure Analysis

ArcelorMittal Dofasco is a steel making company that produces a variety of steel products, including cold rolled, galvanized and tin plated steel and steel tubing. The Dofasco facility in Hamilton, ON, is solely dedicated to the production of flat rolled steels, which are usually wrapped around in coils for delivery. There are many departments in Dofasco Hamilton facility, and each has their own main duties in the process of steel making. The Research department at Dofasco has the task of ensuring high quality production by testing samples of produced steel, and examining errors in the f products. In 2012, the department required its punch press to be upgraded to be able to punch stronger (thick) sheets of steel. Therefore, the current structure and bolts shown in Figure 1 had to be analyzed with the existing (25 ton) and proposed load, (50 ton) to verify if the original structure could withstand the load without its components yielding.

Mitchell Partnership Water Pump Selection

Mitchell Partnership Inc. (TMP), based in Toronto, Ontario, provides mechanical engineering building services throughout Canada and the world. TMP focuses on energy and water conservation within buildings, providing services for HVAC, plumbing, controls, and fire protection. TMP was required to design a water system and pump, which would provide water to a small residential home from an on-property well, as illustrated in Figure 1. The design of a water system involves analyzing water demand, pipe size and total pump head. TMP must also investigate and select an appropriate pump to handle the residential home’s water requirements.

Nuclear Waste Container Stress Analysis

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is Ontario-based Electricity Company responsible for generation and sale of electricity in Ontario, utilizing hydroelectric, thermal, and nuclear generating stations [1]. Safety is the number one priority for the nuclear power generation process including nuclear waste management. The Nuclear Waste Management Division (NWMD) at OPG is responsible for the short and long term handling and storage of low and intermediate level waste, as well as spent nuclear fuel. In order to store nuclear waste and consumed ion exchange resins, NWMD has designed special Stainless Steel Resin Liner Containers (SSRLs), Figure 1. For all lifting and stacking scenarios over the container’s service life, a factor of safety against yielding of 3 is required. NWMD desired to investigate the waste container components including container walls, square welds joining the container body, and the top ring fillet welds that currently do no meet the proposed safety requirement and determine the best cours of corrective action for any areas not having a sufficient factor of safety.

ArcelorMittal Press Structure Analysis

ArcelorMittal Dofasco is a steel making company that produces a variety of steel products, including cold rolled, galvanized and tin plated steel and steel tubing. The Dofasco facility in Hamilton, ON, is solely dedicated to the production of flat rolled steels, which are usually wrapped around in coils for delivery. There are many departments in Dofasco Hamilton facility, and each has their own main duties in the process of steel making. The Research department at Dofasco has the task of ensuring high quality production by testing samples of produced steel, and examining errors in the f products. In 2012, the department required its punch press to be upgraded to be able to punch stronger (thick) sheets of steel. Therefore, the current structure and bolts shown in Figure 1 had to be analyzed with the existing (25 ton) and proposed load, (50 ton) to verify if the original structure could withstand the load without its components yielding.

Mitchell Partnership Water Pump Selection

Mitchell Partnership Inc. (TMP), based in Toronto, Ontario, provides mechanical engineering building services throughout Canada and the world. TMP focuses on energy and water conservation within buildings, providing services for HVAC, plumbing, controls, and fire protection. TMP was required to design a water system and pump, which would provide water to a small residential home from an on-property well, as illustrated in Figure 1. The design of a water system involves analyzing water demand, pipe size and total pump head. TMP must also investigate and select an appropriate pump to handle the residential home’s water requirements.

Nuclear Waste Container Stress Analysis

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is Ontario-based Electricity Company responsible for generation and sale of electricity in Ontario, utilizing hydroelectric, thermal, and nuclear generating stations [1]. Safety is the number one priority for the nuclear power generation process including nuclear waste management. The Nuclear Waste Management Division (NWMD) at OPG is responsible for the short and long term handling and storage of low and intermediate level waste, as well as spent nuclear fuel. In order to store nuclear waste and consumed ion exchange resins, NWMD has designed special Stainless Steel Resin Liner Containers (SSRLs), Figure 1. For all lifting and stacking scenarios over the container’s service life, a factor of safety against yielding of 3 is required. NWMD desired to investigate the waste container components including container walls, square welds joining the container body, and the top ring fillet welds that currently do no meet the proposed safety requirement and determine the best cours of corrective action for any areas not having a sufficient factor of safety.

Civil, Geo & Enviro Engineering, E&CE Engineering

Bata Industries Environmental Impact

In 1989, Bata Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bata Shoe Company, was a global shoe-manufacturing company comprising approximately 80 subsidiaries headed by CEO Thomas Bata.  One of Bata Industries’ plants was located in Batawa, Ontario and produced leather footwear on a worldwide scale [1]. The manufacturing process for these products created hazardous liquid chemical waste such as volatile solvents [2]. These chemicals were stored in drums in an open, above-ground storage facility, as illustrated in Figure 1. There was a need to improve the storage facility in light of new regulations that were put into place in the 1980’s that indicated new procedures for properly storing and disposing chemicals.

Underground High Voltaage Cable Installation Analysis

Installation of underground high voltage transmission lines mainly occurs in urban and suburban areas; the limited space in these high-density areas makes overhead transmission lines a suboptimal solution. As installation of underground cables present issues separate from overhead transmission lines, analyses of underground cable pulling tensions and sidewall pressures on all installations are normally conducted in order to avoid hazards and ensure cable integrity is maintained. A contracting company that specializes in high voltage transmission services is currently in the process of evaluating a recently proposed underground cable installation at a Toronto, Ontario job site. Figure 1 illustrates the proposed underground cable path for this application, from Joint Bay to Manhole 5A.

Bata Industries Environmental Impact

In 1989, Bata Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bata Shoe Company, was a global shoe-manufacturing company comprising approximately 80 subsidiaries headed by CEO Thomas Bata.  One of Bata Industries’ plants was located in Batawa, Ontario and produced leather footwear on a worldwide scale [1]. The manufacturing process for these products created hazardous liquid chemical waste such as volatile solvents [2]. These chemicals were stored in drums in an open, above-ground storage facility, as illustrated in Figure 1. There was a need to improve the storage facility in light of new regulations that were put into place in the 1980’s that indicated new procedures for properly storing and disposing chemicals.

Underground High Voltaage Cable Installation Analysis

Installation of underground high voltage transmission lines mainly occurs in urban and suburban areas; the limited space in these high-density areas makes overhead transmission lines a suboptimal solution. As installation of underground cables present issues separate from overhead transmission lines, analyses of underground cable pulling tensions and sidewall pressures on all installations are normally conducted in order to avoid hazards and ensure cable integrity is maintained. A contracting company that specializes in high voltage transmission services is currently in the process of evaluating a recently proposed underground cable installation at a Toronto, Ontario job site. Figure 1 illustrates the proposed underground cable path for this application, from Joint Bay to Manhole 5A.

Civil, Geo & Enviro Engineering

Blue Mountain Traffic

RJ Burnside and Associates is an engineering consultation company offering services in broad range of areas, including: infrastructure, waste management, transportation, electrical and mechanical engineering, among others [1]. The Collingwood, Ontario, branch handles transportation infrastructure projects focusing on roads and intersection design. Recently, the group looked into an intersection at the Blue Mountain Resort entrance junction. The team sought to address an anticipated increase in traffic volume projected by the Blue Mountain Resort expansion proposal, which aims to significantly increase tourist admissions during peak seasons by 2015. If the expansion plan is successful, the traffic to and from the resort is expected to rise significantly. The existing stop sign-regulated intersection was deemed inefficient for managing the anticipated increase in vehicle volume, necessitating design and implementation of an alternative intersection type.

Sean Babulic, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to design a traffic intersection that could accommodate the increase in traffic volume expected by 2015.

City of Ottawa Culvert Renewal Cost Estimation

City of Ottawa is home to 883, 391 people and is the fourth largest city in Canada. Their Infrastructure Services Department is responsible for the management and maintenance of Ottawa’s roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids and other essential infrastructure. The department regularly performs infrastructure inspections to ensure public safety and confirm that the structures are in sufficient condition to perform their intended purpose. The inspections rank various structural elements on a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor using criteria provided in the Ontario Structural Inspection Manual (OSIM). These rankings are based on material defects that include deterioration, corrosion, cracking, rusting, scaling, etc. On July 15, 2008, the March Road culvert was ranked Poor, which indicated that it should be replaced or renewed, Figure 1. During the inspection, it was observed that there was insufficient water flow through the culvert and it had severe rust above the waterline. Existing perforations could cause a loss of backfill soil, potentially creating sinkholes. The Infrastructure Department required solutions for the culvert and a respective analysis in order to determine the best renewal decision. 

Dhaka Solid Waste Treatment

BRAC, founded in Bangladesh, is an international NGO (non-governmental organization) working to alleviate poverty in the developing world through the provision of financial access to the poor, entrepreneurship development, social enterprises and social services. In January 2011, BRAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the municipality of Tongi (a town some 20 km north of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh) to implement a pilot project that entails the collection of solid waste from Tongi municipality and digesting it in an anaerobic digester to be designed and constructed by BRAC. Figure 1 illustrates an overview of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant treating solid waste.

BRAC Bangladesh tasked Mashrur Chowdhury, an environmental engineering co-op student from the University of Waterloo, to conduct a literature review of conventional AD systems and establish a feasible option for treating the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) in Dhaka.

Engineers Without Borders – Rainwater Harvesting

In the Nilgiris District of Southern India, a majority of the rural population does not have access to an adequate supply of water for domestic use.  With the groundwater resources showing signs of depletion, the Government of Tamil Nadu has made it mandatory to install rooftop rainwater harvesting (RWH) units on all households within the state.  Unfortunately, most rural villages in the region have limited ability to financially support this initiative. Since the largest cost component of the rainwater harvesting structure is the storage unit, careful planning must go into sizing RWH units to ensure the people receive an adequate supply of water, at the lowest possible price.

Flood Management in the Grand River Watershed

The Grand River is located in southwestern Ontario; it stretches 280 km from its source in Wareham, Ontario to where it empties into the north shore of Lake Erie. The land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural but with some urban development, including the municipalities of Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge and Brantford. Flooding from the Grand River has a long standing history and continues to affect cities today. A reservoir network was built starting in 1942 to reduce issues from spring melt and high levels of precipitation which has been effective in reducing flood peaks by 50% or more. However, due to the large and continuous changes to the landscape such as paving over extensive areas, cutting down trees and draining wetlands, flooding continues to be a problem. One area that has had multiple floods and flood warnings is Water Street (Highway 24), located right next to the Grand River in Cambridge, Figure 1. Roads, walking trails and bridges in this area have been closed due to flooding as recently as April 2014. Dike systems were built to reduce the risk of flooding but there is always a need for improvement.
 
Gus Rungis, a Senior Water Resources Engineer at the Grand River Conservation Authority, suggested that an extension to the dikes near Water Street could provide a feasible solution to the flooding issues in Cambridge.

Hamilton Water Distribution System Design

The City of Hamilton’s Public Works department is responsible for managing Hamilton’s public services and infrastructure, with specific focus on: water and wastewater, traffic engineering, and public transit. The Environment and Sustainable Infrastructure (ESI) Department, within Public Works, is responsible for Hamilton’s water and wastewater distribution services. Following routine condition assessments conducted by ESI, a section of Hamilton’s water distribution system located along 100m of Green Road in Stoney Creek, shown in Figure 1, was scheduled for replacement. However, Public Works requires a new water distribution system design for this specific location prior to replacement.

Johnathan Nault, a civil engineering co-op student from the University of Waterloo working with the Public Works department, was tasked with providing the City of Hamilton with a sustainable and optimal design solution.

Highway Detour Design Analysis

Cameron Berko, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, worked as part of a team in the Transportation Department at a renowned engineering consulting firm. The Transportation Department was responsible for the design, drafting, review, and submittal of contract packages for various projects in the field of transportation engineering. The consulting firm was awarded a project to propose and design alternatives to replace two corrugated steel pipe arch (CSPA) culverts with a single concrete box culvert below a section of rural highway in Ontario. A field review indicated the pipes were rusted and decayed, warranting replacement in the immediate future; however, this activity presents a significant impact on the functionality of the highway over a short period of time. While this impact would be limited by the project’s relatively short duration, the issue of traffic movement and control during the project lifespan had to be addressed. The need for a traffic detour plan for the specific section of undivided highway in question was identified by the client1. An acceptable detour design must provide motorists with a safely traversable highway detour.

Cameron Berko was asked to evaluate existing detour plans and recommend an optimal approach based on specific detour design and performance criteria.

MMM Group Port Credit Mobility Hub Traffic Analysis

Metrolinx is the regional transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). As part of an initiative to improve transportation in the GTHA, Metrolinx formulated a Regional Transportation Plan entitled “The Big Move”. This plan includes the strategic development of Mobility Hubs, where multiple modes of transportation seamlessly connect to facilitate passenger travel. The Port Credit GO Station, shown in Figure 1, was identified as an important Mobility Hub. However, additional parking infrastructure is required to ensure increasing numbers of commuters have access to the range of sustainable transportation options offered at the hub. It was decided that 1000 new parking spaces could be created by modifying existing lots. MMM Group Ltd., a Canadian consulting company, was hired to help plan these developments.

Matthew Casswell, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was tasked with analyzing the effect various parking infrastructure options would have on traffic in the area.

MRC Yonge Street Slip Tunnel Design

McCormick Rankin Corporation (MRC) is an engineering consulting firm providing services in the fields of transportation, construction and environment. MRC was consulted by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) regarding the construction of a new streetcar tunnel under Queen’s Quay West. Upon investigation it was revealed that there is a timber crib structure under the Yonge Street slip along Queen’s Quay. The TTC was not aware of the crib structure’s existence and consequently their initial design work comprised of a straight tunnel passing along Queen’s Quay. As an alternative to rerouting the TTC would like to explore solutions such that a tunnel can pass straight through under Queen’s Quay as per their initial design.

Colin Ahola, a civil engineering co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to analyse three potential solutions that would enable the proposed tunnel to pass through the crib without having to change its horizontal alignment and recommend a solution. The three options were (1) jet grouting, (2) new bulkhead construction, and (3) permeation grouting.

Naturalization of Victoria Park Lake Tributaries

Storm water management is a major aspect of urban planning. With many impervious surfaces in a city, runoff easily travels to nearby creeks and lakes during a storm event. In the 1980s, one method of storm water management was to implement concrete riverbeds in an effort to move water out of residential areas quickly and to prevent erosion. Today, water resource engineers acknowledge that this creates a sediment-rich highway that negatively impacts water quality. In 2009, the City of Kitchener (the City) requested a Schedule B Class Environmental Assessment (EA) to address storm water management concerns for Victoria Park Lake, Kitchener. Stantec Consulting Ltd. was retained by the City to undertake the EA and they focused on the watershed and drainage channels that contribute to the lake. As a result of the EA, the City installed a forebay and armour stones as well as dredged the build-up of sediment in Victoria Park Lake. To protect this investment, the lake’s concrete-lined tributaries were identified as high priority. The City wanted to move towards naturalization of the tributaries, which meant converting them back as close as possible to their original state. This requires natural features like stream meanders and vegetation.

PCL Residential Buildings Analysis for Post-Disaster Requirements

PCL Constructors Canada Inc. is a group of independent construction companies that carry out diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial and building markets [1]. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $6 billion, making them the largest contracting organization in Canada. PCL Constructors Canada Inc. applies the appropriate building code for designing and civil construction. In the 2006 edition of the Ontario Building Code, a post-disaster building is defined as one that is essential to the provision of services in the event of a disaster. This includes buildings such as hospitals, power generating stations, communications facilities, and control centers for transportation [2]. Residential buildings do not fall under this category, and therefore are not required to maintain full functionality following a disaster. As such, designers and builders are only required to design and construct these buildings to withstand certain live, dead, wind, snow, and earthquake loads.

PCL Staircase Materials Selection

PCL Constructors Inc. is a group of independent construction companies which carry out full design-build, general contracting, and construction management services in three main sectors: buildings, civil infrastructure, and heavy industrial markets. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $6 billion, making them the largest contracting organization in Canada. One of PCL Constructors Inc. more recent projects was the design and construction of a spiral staircase for the Regina Research Park Building atrium. The PCL Regina team’s original staircase design included primarily structural steel materials, but they later decided to take concrete into consideration.

PCL Constructors Inc. requires a materials analysis in order to recommend which material to use given the selection criteria of cost, sustainability, safety, aesthetic design, and construction methods.

Regional Municipality of Niagara Road Expansion

The growth of Canada’s suburbs in recent years has turned many small, farming communities into large, busy commuter towns, with road networks that are quickly becoming inadequate to support the growing populations. The town of Grimsby, located at the Western boundary of the Niagara Peninsula in Southern Ontario, is no exception to this phenomenon. Grimsby’s current road network is dominated by the historic former Highway 8, now known as Regional Road 81 or Main Street, and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). As the town continues to grow, its existing road infrastructure system is quickly becoming unable to handle the amount of traffic being applied, making it necessary to construct a new East-West arterial roadway through the town. This procedure may be carried out using different designs. Each alternative varies in overall social impact on the town, monetary cost, and effect on traffic. Furthermore, each option creates an environmental effect on soils, wildlife, vegetation, and noise impacts on neighbouring communities. The alternatives are analyzed to select the optimum solution.

Trow Geomatics Survey Methods Comparison

Aaron Heerema was employed as a co-op student at Trow Geomatics in Fort Frances, Ontario. Trow Geomatics specializes in land surveying and mapping. Due to the location of this office, they also create topographies in remote locations. Aaron was asked to assist in various surveying locations during his co-op term. In some situations he was asked to choose between the two techniques, while in others, he was only provided with one alternative. The two main techniques discussed within the study are: Total Stations and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). They are widely used by survey firms across the world. Each method may be more suited to certain tasks. It is up to the firm in question to decide on which equipment is more effective for their particular jobs. Assessment factors for use may include cost, number of operating personnel, range limitations, accuracy, etc. It is important to be able to note the strengths and weaknesses of each and to understand how the equipment may be used. These systems are userfriendly and do not require intensive training. It is always important to select the more appropriate method for a specific application, such that the user is optimizing their time for the company.

USL Sanitary Sewer System Design

Urban Systems Ltd. (USL), established in 1975, specializes in civil engineering, community planning, and landscape architecture. In October 2009, USL completed a sanitary sewer analysis for the City of Surrey’s Newton Town Centre (NTC) area, which consists of western and eastern sanitary catchments. The Western Catchment drained south into the King George Highway sewer main, and the Eastern Catchment drained east towards the Newton Town Centre. It was known to the City of Surrey that there were capacity issues in the King George Highway sewer main. To alleviate this problem, the City of Surrey proposed to reroute flows from the Western Catchment towards the Eastern Catchment. The City of Surrey approached USL to conduct capacity analyses on the King George Highway sewer main under the existing as well as with the proposed diversion to determine if redirecting flow would solve the known capacity problems.

USL asked Alexa Baker, a civil engineering co-op student from the University of Waterloo, to investigate the capacity of the King George Highway sewer main under original and redirected flow conditions. Based on her results, USL intended to provide an appropriate recommendation to the City of Surrey.

 

Walter Fedy Heat Pump Acoustics Design

The Walter Fedy Partnership (TWFP) is a multi-disciplinary architectural, engineering, and construction management firm that has been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo region for over 60 years. The Building Engineering department, managed by Mr. Ed Fowler, designs the internal mechanical systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing within new and renovated buildings. During the design stage for these systems, the company uses the standards developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to assess sound levels within various types of building occupancies. In 2009, the company was under contract to design a heat pump to be installed directly above an office area located within Company A's retail space in Waterloo, Ontario. However, there was concern that the heat pump would generate excessive background noise along its path as shown in Figure 1, which would interfere with the business activities of employees working within the space below.

James Dyck, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was asked to perform an acoustical analysis of a proposed Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system for the retail space within Company A and recommend solutions for maintaining HVAC-generated sound within acceptable levels as per ASHRAE standards.

 

Walter Fedy Structural Analysis of Lang Tannery

The Walter Fedy Partnership (TWFP) is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm with two offices in Kitchener, Ontario, and provides architectural, engineering, and construction services. The firms building engineering department performs services for new and existing structures. TWFP has been asked by Cadan Inc. (Cadan) to determine the compatibility of an existing structure for renovations and additions. Cadan is a Toronto based developer that focuses on conversion projects that have a positive social, economic, and aesthetic impact. The existing structure is Lang Tannery, a 150 year old tannery located in Kitchener, Ontario. Cadan intends to convert the old tannery into office and commercial space while maintaining the historic look of the building. They intend to install new rooftop mechanical units and pour additional concrete at each floor. TWFP has been asked to analyse the existing structure and determine if it is adequate for these additions. If the building is determined to be inadequate to support these additions it will be necessary for TWFP to design additional reinforcing for the structure.

Civil, Geo & Enviro Engineering, E&CE Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Impact Assessment

In 2011, Ethiopia began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River in the Guba region, 40 km east of Sudan. The GERD is projected to have 74 billion cubic meters (BCM) of storage capacity and about 60 BCM live storage to generate 6000 MW. The project consists of a roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam, saddle dam, two powerhouses, a 500 kV switchyard and a spillway, Figure 1. There are also plans to sell electricity to surrounding countries; however, this requires major construction of transmission lines. As of October 2014, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 43% completed. Even though the GERD project is well underway, the potential impacts of the dam have been the source of severe regional controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt, which relies heavily on the waters of the Nile, has demanded that Ethiopia cease construction on the dam as a precondition to negotiations. Sudan has accused Egypt of inflaming the situation. To address these issues, the three countries assembled an international panel of experts and asked their opinion regarding sustainability of the GERD.

A key aspect of the requested analysis was to assess economic and environmental sustainability, as well as a risk analysis and mitigation strategies related to construction of the GERD.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Impact Assessment

In 2011, Ethiopia began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River in the Guba region, 40 km east of Sudan. The GERD is projected to have 74 billion cubic meters (BCM) of storage capacity and about 60 BCM live storage to generate 6000 MW. The project consists of a roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam, saddle dam, two powerhouses, a 500 kV switchyard and a spillway, Figure 1. There are also plans to sell electricity to surrounding countries; however, this requires major construction of transmission lines. As of October 2014, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 43% completed. Even though the GERD project is well underway, the potential impacts of the dam have been the source of severe regional controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt, which relies heavily on the waters of the Nile, has demanded that Ethiopia cease construction on the dam as a precondition to negotiations. Sudan has accused Egypt of inflaming the situation. To address these issues, the three countries assembled an international panel of experts and asked their opinion regarding sustainability of the GERD.

A key aspect of the requested analysis was to assess economic and environmental sustainability, as well as a risk analysis and mitigation strategies related to construction of the GERD.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Impact Assessment

In 2011, Ethiopia began building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River in the Guba region, 40 km east of Sudan. The GERD is projected to have 74 billion cubic meters (BCM) of storage capacity and about 60 BCM live storage to generate 6000 MW. The project consists of a roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam, saddle dam, two powerhouses, a 500 kV switchyard and a spillway, Figure 1. There are also plans to sell electricity to surrounding countries; however, this requires major construction of transmission lines. As of October 2014, the Ethiopian government announced that the dam was 43% completed. Even though the GERD project is well underway, the potential impacts of the dam have been the source of severe regional controversy, particularly between the governments of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt, which relies heavily on the waters of the Nile, has demanded that Ethiopia cease construction on the dam as a precondition to negotiations. Sudan has accused Egypt of inflaming the situation. To address these issues, the three countries assembled an international panel of experts and asked their opinion regarding sustainability of the GERD.

A key aspect of the requested analysis was to assess economic and environmental sustainability, as well as a risk analysis and mitigation strategies related to construction of the GERD.

E&CE Engineering, M&MTE Engineering, Nanotech Engineering

Analysis of Thermally-Induced Stress in Bonding Wire

In today’s advanced electrical technology, it has become a necessity to use compact semiconductor chips in a variety of applications including computers, electrical appliances, and automobiles. This creates a need for more sophisticated electrical packages. Wire bonding is used to make interconnections between integrated circuits (IC), other semiconductor devices, and their packages. Because of its wide applicability, reliability of wire bonding in power electronics is a subject of critical interest for many companies and laboratories. In the last decade, reliability problems of thick bonding wires have been studied and are considered critical for power modules. The current flow through the bonding wire induces Joule heating which results in thermomechanical stress. Research groups at the University of Waterloo, including the Centre for Advanced Materials Joining (CAMJ) and the Nano and Micro Systems Laboratory (NMSL), are currently studying failure mechanisms of bonding wire.

Analysis of Thermally-Induced Stress in Bonding Wire

In today’s advanced electrical technology, it has become a necessity to use compact semiconductor chips in a variety of applications including computers, electrical appliances, and automobiles. This creates a need for more sophisticated electrical packages. Wire bonding is used to make interconnections between integrated circuits (IC), other semiconductor devices, and their packages. Because of its wide applicability, reliability of wire bonding in power electronics is a subject of critical interest for many companies and laboratories. In the last decade, reliability problems of thick bonding wires have been studied and are considered critical for power modules. The current flow through the bonding wire induces Joule heating which results in thermomechanical stress. Research groups at the University of Waterloo, including the Centre for Advanced Materials Joining (CAMJ) and the Nano and Micro Systems Laboratory (NMSL), are currently studying failure mechanisms of bonding wire.

Analysis of Thermally-Induced Stress in Bonding Wire

In today’s advanced electrical technology, it has become a necessity to use compact semiconductor chips in a variety of applications including computers, electrical appliances, and automobiles. This creates a need for more sophisticated electrical packages. Wire bonding is used to make interconnections between integrated circuits (IC), other semiconductor devices, and their packages. Because of its wide applicability, reliability of wire bonding in power electronics is a subject of critical interest for many companies and laboratories. In the last decade, reliability problems of thick bonding wires have been studied and are considered critical for power modules. The current flow through the bonding wire induces Joule heating which results in thermomechanical stress. Research groups at the University of Waterloo, including the Centre for Advanced Materials Joining (CAMJ) and the Nano and Micro Systems Laboratory (NMSL), are currently studying failure mechanisms of bonding wire.

E&CE Engineering

Christie BCB Power Supply Circuit Design

Christie Digital Systems Inc. (Christie) has established a global reputation as the world’s single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and virtual reality. Christie’s broad range of technologies includes Digital Light Processing (DLP) Cinema™ projectors, networking solutions, and cutting edge projection technologies for 3D, virtual reality and simulation [1]. All Christie projectors utilize ballasts; their primary function is to control the power levels sent to the projector lamps while maintaining a safe operating environment. Ballast control boxes (BCB’s), like the one shown in Figure 1, are used internally by Christie employees for testing the ballasts and lamps before assembly, allowing accurate information gathering by eliminating possible complications encountered from projector circuitry. The existing BCB design is over 10 years old and has served its purpose. This original BCB design has a limited ability to integrate air flow and temperature sensors and luminosity measuring devices. Additionally, the microprocessor used in the original design has reached the end of its service life. These problems, coupled with the diminishing supply of serviceable BCB’s, have led to the need for a redesigned BCB system. The project involves designing and testing of mechanical parts, the development of electronic circuitry, and software development.

Christie Digital Motor Controller Selection

Christie Digital Systems Inc. (Christie) has established a global reputation as the world’s single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions for cinema, large audience environments, business presentations, simulation, 3D and virtual reality. The company has a wide global presence that includes manufacturing facilities in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The Kitchener branch houses the Business Products Sustaining Department. The teams in this department handle projects related to the company’s business products, such as projectors and integrated projection systems, and are responsible for maintaining current product lines as well as designing new business projection solutions. The Sustaining team is directly responsible for resolving problems related to products currently on the market, which includes dealing with components that are approaching obsolescence. For example is a projector component that restricts the amount of light used to project images according to specific brightness and contrast requirements. The Allegro A3936 motor controller used in Christie Digital products to control 3-phase brushless DC motors in dynamic iris applications is expected to become obsolete. Therefore, an alternate component must be selected and tested to suit this application.

 Tim Boyadjian, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate alternative components to replace this component.

 

Electrical Design of a Heat Rejection System

Smith + Andersen, located in Toronto, Ontario, is one of the leading Electrical/Mechanical consulting companies in Canada. As an electrical consulting group, the electrical group is mainly responsible for the design of electrical circuiting of projects for new buildings, based on the National and Ontario Electrical Safety Code. The company recently completed an electrical system design project for the heating rejection system of University of Toronto’s Robarts library. The project was intended to decrease the existing operating costs by replacing the old fan coil units with heat pump rejection, which includes two fluid coolers and one pump. All of the mechanical equipment of the old fan coil unit has been replaced with the new heat pump system. As a result, the electrical requirements for the system are different from the previous fan coil system.

Frequency Modulated Gyroscope Driving Circuit Design

The University of Waterloo (UW) has consistently been ranked as one of the top ten universities in Canada. UW operates and manages 41 research centres and institutes, including the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) and the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC). A number of research groups exist within WIN including the Nano and Micro Systems Lab (NMSL). The NMSL group conducts research in state-of-the-art micro- and nano-sensing and actuation technologies. This research addresses issues in global healthcare and energy as well as being of environmental importance and contributing to fundamental sciences. One of the NMSL’s recent research aims was to develop a novel cantilever beam Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscope with frequency modulated (FM) readout, Figure 1. In order to demonstrate the concept, a prototype MEMS gyroscope was designed and fabricated using the Teledyne Dalsa MEMS Integrated Design for Inertial Sensors (MIDIS™) Process. The gyroscopes undergo coupled flexural vibrations in two orthogonal directions when subjected to base rotation around the beam’s longitudinal axis.
The gyroscope detects angular rotations as the difference between the natural frequencies of two closely spaced drive and sense modes rather than the magnitude of displacement in the sense direction.

KEL Echosounders Transformer Design

Knudsen Engineering Ltd (KEL), located in Perth, Ontario, is an engineering firm specializing in the development and construction of a wide range of echosounding equipment. Echosounders are used to measure the depth of marine floors by sending out ultrasonic pulses through the water and measuring the time taken for the pulse to return to the echosounder, as illustrated in Figure 1. The transducers that send and receive the ultrasound pulses can be configured in different ways, each variation having possibly different impedance loads. If an echosounder with a different impedance load than the transducer is used, the output power of the pulses are either increased or decreased depending on the setup. If the power is too high, it can cause damage to the echosounder and the transducers, and if it is too low, the pulse won’t be able to reach the marine floor. One of KEL’s high-power echosounder products, the CHIRP 3260, is capable of reaching depths of 10,000 meters or more. To generate sufficient power, this product required to incorporate an external matching transformer.

Nathan Landsman, a Mechanical Engineering student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to design and build both the electrical and enclosure components of a transformer that will be used to handle the impedance load of the transducers.

Kenna File Format Conversion Improvement

The Kenna Group is a Toronto based corporation specializing in the delivery of sales and marketing solutions. Kenna provides services from the analysis and storage of client data to the creation of client websites. Kenna’s technology group provides programming and technology based services to in-house requests and its clients. Kenna sends out daily newsletters to subscribers. They receive the content of the newsletters as a Microsoft Publisher file.The information must be converted into HTML before sending out to subscribers. Kenna’s current solution for conversion involves copying and pasting text and tables manually from the Publisher file to the HTML editor. However, as there is incompatibility between Publisher and HTML, Kenna personnel must use a word processor to format the text before pasting into the HTML editor. This process is inconvenient, and Kenna wishes to find a more efficient conversion method.

MEMS Power Generation Design

The trend in technology today is decreasing the size of electronic devices while increasing their efficiency and performance. Inventing Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (CMOS) technology was one of the main headways to miniaturize integrated circuits. Nonetheless, it seems that this technology is saturating. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, on the other hand, is a newly developed technology that has many advantages, and in some cases, is a complementary method for CMOS technology. By combining MEMS with the transistor scaling predicted by Moore's Law, entirely new microsystems can be created which make it possible to squeeze more functionality into a smaller footprint. The advancement in electronic technologies have significantly reduced the power consumption of electronic devices[1, 2] This advancement has created a need for micro-generators because of their small size and long life time compared to batteries[3]. Motion-driven micro-generators are especially popular due to the abundance of vibrations as an ambient natural source [1]. There are two different transduction mechanisms that can bush to convert motion into electrical energy: electromagnetic, which induces current flow from a magnetic field, and electrostatic, which use a variable capacitor structure or piezoelectric materials.

National Instruments Over-Current Protection Circuit Design

National Instruments® is an Austin, Texas-based company that provides productivity tools for designing, prototyping and deploying systems for test, control and embedded design applications. With locations across the globe, including in Toronto, Canada, National Instruments® provides both students and professionals with world-class tools for circuit design. For marketing purposes, the NI branch in Toronto created a PID controlled H-bridge Brushed DC motor as a demonstrative design. This project utilizes the rapid development methodology of Circuit Design Suite, as well as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and real-time processor of the Single-board Reconfigurable Input/Output (sbRIO). However, situations like high current outrage may arise when switching the DC motor between different speeds and directions. In order to minimize the unexpected damage to the circuit and sustain the system with robustness and stability, an over-current protection (OCP) scheme was devised for the existing circuit design. After investigation, the OCP selection was narrowed down to the following choices: Fuses and breakers, resistor-based sensor, transistor-based sensor and Analog-to-digital converter (ADC).

Nuvation Power Supply Characterization System Design

Nuvation Research Corporation (Nuvation) is an Engineering Design Services firm specializing in the design of embedded systems with applications in industries such as telecommunications and consumer electronics. The company headquarters is located in San Jose, California, USA and has a branch design center in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. In May 2009, Nuvation was under contract to design a high speed video multiplexing system capable of compressing up to 24 channels of high definition video input into a single output stream. The design consists of several high performance devices withlow voltage requirements. The system was required to accept a 24V input voltage that would need to be converted to several voltages between 0.8V and 1.2V. The engineering design team at Nuvation responsible for this product development effort had tentatively selected the Texas Instruments TPS40055 Wide-Input Synchronous Buck Controller for use in the product’s power supply. The engineering design team required a power supply characterization system capable of testing the TPS40055 to determine the performance of the device under varying load conditions.

Nvidia Dynamic CPU Management

A long-time frontrunner in the desktop graphics market, Nvidia Corporation, located in Santa Clara, California, has recently expanded their product line to feature mobile devices. The Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip (SoC) integrates Nvidia’s latest central processing, graphics processing, and memory controller hardware into a single chip. Unlike typical desktop processors, mobile processors are limited by a device’s battery and the energy it is capable of delivering. Providing the right balance between processing capability and battery life requires the optimization of hardware-kernel interaction, as well as the processor’s reaction to the demands of software.

Sai Charan Gurrappadi, a fourth-year Mechatronics Engineering student, was asked to analyze the central processor usage and its impact on power consumption and battery life.

ON Semiconductor SNR Measurement

ON Semiconductor, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a supplier of high-performance, energy efficient silicon-based products for green (low power consumption) electronics. ON Semiconductor specializes in a variety of fields, including power and signal management, logic and discrete devices for automotive, aerospace, lighting, medical and power applications. The Applied Digital Signal Processing Group (ADSPG) under ON Semiconductor’s Medical Division, in Waterloo, Ontario, researches and designs digital signal processing algorithms for hearing health products, including hearing aids. ADSPG is developing a new test framework under a long-term project with the intention of supporting customers specializing in designing hearing aids. The testing system configuration is illustrated in Figure 1. The team investigated the development of an optimal Signal-to Noise Ratio (SNR) measurement method for mixed signals (sample by sample addition of two or more discrete signals) in their testing framework [1]. 

Protective Relays Replacement Project

Toronto Hydro Electric System Limited is a municipal electric distribution utility in Canada. The Stations Department is comprised of engineers and engineering technicians, and oversees the maintenance and development of substations in the Toronto area.  At present, the Stations Department is completing the Protective Relays Replacement Project, which will replace the current electromechanical relays, shown in Figure 1, in one of the power substations with newer relays. Protective relays are used to detect abnormal conditions within electrical systems; circuit breakers are automatically triggered protective electrical switches that activate when system malfunctions are detected. The current protective system is complicated and occupies large amounts of space. Many of the components are obsolete, and the cost of maintenance is extremely high, as some components are no longer in production. Additionally, the old relays have been used for over 20 years. As distribution systems span large areas and affect large groups of people, it is essential for methods of protection and security to exist within the system. 

PV Labs Power Supply Design

PV Labs is a world leader in image processing applications ranging from feature detection and analysis to airborne camera mount stabilization. The company, located in Hamilton, Ontario, developed a new airborne camera stabilization platform (the eclipse) for the entertainment industry. This platform is mounted to a helicopter for capturing aerial footage at various altitudes in many different climates around the world. There are many subsystems which require careful design, including the power supply for the stabilization motors. The eclipse receives high voltage (approximately 36 V) electrical power from the helicopter for use in its various subsystems. The Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) utilizes a power supply to convert this high voltage DC power to two (2) low voltage (<30 V) DC outputs which power the IMU components. After testing the prototype design, PV Labs discovered that the IMU’s power supply did not provide the maximum amount of current that its circuitry requires, specifically with regards to the so called inrush current upon startup. As a means of correcting the initial design, PV Labs needed a revised design that was highly efficient and compact.

XMG Style Studio Game Design

Christie Digital Systems Inc. (Christie) has established a global reputation as the world’s single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and virtual reality. Christie’s broad range of technologies includes Digital Light Processing (DLP) Cinema™ projectors, networking solutions, and cutting edge projection technologies for 3D, virtual reality and simulation [1]. All Christie projectors utilize ballasts; their primary function is to control the power levels sent to the projector lamps while maintaining a safe operating environment. Ballast control boxes (BCB’s), like the one shown in Figure 1, are used internally by Christie employees for testing the ballasts and lamps before assembly, allowing accurate information gathering by eliminating possible complications encountered from projector circuitry. The existing BCB design is over 10 years old and has served its purpose. This original BCB design has a limited ability to integrate air flow and temperature sensors and luminosity measuring devices. Additionally, the microprocessor used in the original design has reached the end of its service life. These problems, coupled with the diminishing supply of serviceable BCB’s, have led to the need for a redesigned BCB system. The project involves designing and testing of mechanical parts, the development of electronic circuitry, and software development.

Travis MacDonald, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate the electronic circuitry of the new BCB printed circuit board. The new design requires the consideration of space, cost, and technical limitations.

XMG Style Studio Game Design

XMG Studio Inc., located in Toronto, Canada, is a start-up mobile game development company that specializes in using agile game development methodologies to create the next generation of interactive mobile games. The company is developing a fashion genre game that allows users to create and design their own custom clothing (see Figure 1). The fashion genre game has a “design interface” where users are designing the clothing and a “wardrobe interface” for when users wish to use the clothing they have designed. The current design and wardrobe interfaces have memory management problems such as lagging and crashing, as well as complaints about the graphical user interface usability.

Whitney Mak, a coop student from the University of Waterloo, has been working on the development of this game with her team lead and supervisor, Adam Telfer. She is responsible for ensuring the problems mentioned above are solved in the final release.

E&CE Engineering, Software Engineering

Christie Digital Feedback Capacitor Design

Christie Digital Systems Inc. is a manufacturer of display technologies for cinema, business presentations, training facilities and other large audience environments. Christie is an international organization, with R&D and engineering teams located in Kitchener, Ontario. Christie’s Sirius team produces the next generation of high-performance, high brightness rear projection engines used in control rooms. Christie is currently developing the Christie® Entero™ HB, a next-generation rear projection engine for control rooms. Illustrated in Figure 1, the project uses ArraySync technology, which uses a colour matching algorithm to precisely, continuously and uniformly manage colour across large displays. Currently, the Christie® Entero™ HB is experiencing inconsistencies in measuring certain channels when different colour test patterns are applied. This is caused by conflicts that occur when different strobes of light are sent to the engine. The resistances in some channels are too high, causing errors. It has been determined that the capacitance must be adjusted to account for the differences.

Cisco Error Code Correction Analysis

Cisco Systems Canada is a large multinational corporation, which provides equipment, software, and support services that manage network traffic including data, voice, and video for a wide range of customers. The Silicon Engineering (SiE) team at Cisco Ottawa development centre design application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and other complex systems-on-a-chip (SoCs). As the ASICs and SoCs are so complex system, the development of the chip is broken into modules and assigned to smaller design teams. One of these block modules is the error code correction (ECC) element, which will be implemented as a sub-block in every memory to improve the reliability of the design. In 2013, the SiE team assigned to design a new ASIC routing processor and traffic manager that would be implemented in the next generation of Cisco routers. As a part of the design process, the team required to develop an efficient error correction code to ensure the reliability of the chip, minimize the resources used by ECC module, minimize power consumption and reduce delay. Generally, the SiE team uses single error correction/double error detection (SECDED) code method, Figure 1 [1].

Elsabé Coetzer, 4th year Electrical Engineering student from University of Waterloo, was asked to analyze, evaluate, and compare two possible single error correction/double error detection (SECDED) code solution alternatives to be used by SiE Canada team.

Digital Rapids Multimedia Software Analysis

Digital Rapids delivers software and hardware solutions in response to the problem of effective multimedia utilization. They provide content transformation in order to reach wider audiences by way of encoding and transcoding video formats, broadcasting live streams, and allowing consumers to create dynamic workflow graphs using products such as the Kayak Workflow Platform, as illustrated in Figure 1. The Kayak Workflow Platform enables systems integrators and software developers to design, deploy, and manage customized workflows in a multi-screen media environment. The company consists of a number of departments, including the Kayak component team, the focus of which is implementation, maintenance, and modification of modules for the Kayak Workflow Designer.

Christie Digital Feedback Capacitor Design

Christie Digital Systems Inc. is a manufacturer of display technologies for cinema, business presentations, training facilities and other large audience environments. Christie is an international organization, with R&D and engineering teams located in Kitchener, Ontario. Christie’s Sirius team produces the next generation of high-performance, high brightness rear projection engines used in control rooms. Christie is currently developing the Christie® Entero™ HB, a next-generation rear projection engine for control rooms. Illustrated in Figure 1, the project uses ArraySync technology, which uses a colour matching algorithm to precisely, continuously and uniformly manage colour across large displays. Currently, the Christie® Entero™ HB is experiencing inconsistencies in measuring certain channels when different colour test patterns are applied. This is caused by conflicts that occur when different strobes of light are sent to the engine. The resistances in some channels are too high, causing errors. It has been determined that the capacitance must be adjusted to account for the differences.

Cisco Error Code Correction Analysis

Cisco Systems Canada is a large multinational corporation, which provides equipment, software, and support services that manage network traffic including data, voice, and video for a wide range of customers. The Silicon Engineering (SiE) team at Cisco Ottawa development centre design application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and other complex systems-on-a-chip (SoCs). As the ASICs and SoCs are so complex system, the development of the chip is broken into modules and assigned to smaller design teams. One of these block modules is the error code correction (ECC) element, which will be implemented as a sub-block in every memory to improve the reliability of the design. In 2013, the SiE team assigned to design a new ASIC routing processor and traffic manager that would be implemented in the next generation of Cisco routers. As a part of the design process, the team required to develop an efficient error correction code to ensure the reliability of the chip, minimize the resources used by ECC module, minimize power consumption and reduce delay. Generally, the SiE team uses single error correction/double error detection (SECDED) code method, Figure 1 [1].

Elsabé Coetzer, 4th year Electrical Engineering student from University of Waterloo, was asked to analyze, evaluate, and compare two possible single error correction/double error detection (SECDED) code solution alternatives to be used by SiE Canada team.

Digital Rapids Multimedia Software Analysis

Digital Rapids delivers software and hardware solutions in response to the problem of effective multimedia utilization. They provide content transformation in order to reach wider audiences by way of encoding and transcoding video formats, broadcasting live streams, and allowing consumers to create dynamic workflow graphs using products such as the Kayak Workflow Platform, as illustrated in Figure 1. The Kayak Workflow Platform enables systems integrators and software developers to design, deploy, and manage customized workflows in a multi-screen media environment. The company consists of a number of departments, including the Kayak component team, the focus of which is implementation, maintenance, and modification of modules for the Kayak Workflow Designer.

E&CE Engineering, M&MTE Engineering

Christie Printed Circuit Board Power Distribution Network Analysis

Christie Digital is a global visual technologies company that manufactures a variety of display solutions for cinema, large audience environments, control rooms, and business presentations. Owing to the complex nature of the circuit boards used in Christie Digital products, the company is under constant pressure to improve cost and time efficiencies through design. Supplying a constant and stable voltage to power Integrated Circuit (IC) components at high frequencies is a common requirement, which carries the risk of unstable operation and/or component failure. Thus, Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) require a careful Power Distribution Network (PDN) design (Figure 1). Bypass selection and placement is critical to effective PDN design, and Christie Digital is investigating ways to apply these methods to improve the high frequency power network bypass strategies it uses in its complex PCB technologies.

Frequency Modulated Gyroscope Modal Analysis

The Nano and Micro Systems Lab (NMSL) at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo) conducts research in state-of-the-art micro and nano-sensing and actuation technologies. This research contributes to the fundamental sciences and addresses issues in global healthcare, energy and the environment. A recent focus of NMSL aims to develop a novel cantilever beam Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscope with frequency modulated (FM) readout. The gyroscopes undergo coupled flexural vibrations in two orthogonal directions (y and z axis) when they are subjected to base rotation around the beam’s longitudinal x-axis. The gyroscope detects angular rotations as the difference between the natural frequencies of two closely spaced drive and sense modes rather than the magnitude of displacement in the sense direction. In order to demonstrate the concept, a prototype MEMS gyroscope was designed and fabricated using the process for Teledyne Dalsa MEMS Integrated Design for Inertial Sensors (MIDIS™).

NCR Drivetrain and Tilt Control Design

NCR Canada Corporation is a computer and hardware electronics manufacturing company that provides products and services that enable businesses to connect, interact and transact with their customers [1]. NCR is known in particular for its automated teller machines (ATM), Figure 1. NCR Canada recently set out to design a new ATM, with improved performance over its previous models. The project focused primarily on enhancing the tiltenator device, which tilts up and down to mate with two different guide sections through which documents travel. The overall ATM design project involves a broad range of tasks; however, Mike Johnston’s particular assignment was to design a new drivetrain system that would improve the performance of most components of the new ATM, but would have particular impact on the tilting guide device (tiltenator). This device tilts up and down to mate with two different guide sections through which documents travel.

Christie Printed Circuit Board Power Distribution Network Analysis

Christie Digital is a global visual technologies company that manufactures a variety of display solutions for cinema, large audience environments, control rooms, and business presentations. Owing to the complex nature of the circuit boards used in Christie Digital products, the company is under constant pressure to improve cost and time efficiencies through design. Supplying a constant and stable voltage to power Integrated Circuit (IC) components at high frequencies is a common requirement, which carries the risk of unstable operation and/or component failure. Thus, Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) require a careful Power Distribution Network (PDN) design (Figure 1). Bypass selection and placement is critical to effective PDN design, and Christie Digital is investigating ways to apply these methods to improve the high frequency power network bypass strategies it uses in its complex PCB technologies.

Frequency Modulated Gyroscope Modal Analysis

The Nano and Micro Systems Lab (NMSL) at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo) conducts research in state-of-the-art micro and nano-sensing and actuation technologies. This research contributes to the fundamental sciences and addresses issues in global healthcare, energy and the environment. A recent focus of NMSL aims to develop a novel cantilever beam Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) gyroscope with frequency modulated (FM) readout. The gyroscopes undergo coupled flexural vibrations in two orthogonal directions (y and z axis) when they are subjected to base rotation around the beam’s longitudinal x-axis. The gyroscope detects angular rotations as the difference between the natural frequencies of two closely spaced drive and sense modes rather than the magnitude of displacement in the sense direction. In order to demonstrate the concept, a prototype MEMS gyroscope was designed and fabricated using the process for Teledyne Dalsa MEMS Integrated Design for Inertial Sensors (MIDIS™).

NCR Drivetrain and Tilt Control Design

NCR Canada Corporation is a computer and hardware electronics manufacturing company that provides products and services that enable businesses to connect, interact and transact with their customers [1]. NCR is known in particular for its automated teller machines (ATM), Figure 1. NCR Canada recently set out to design a new ATM, with improved performance over its previous models. The project focused primarily on enhancing the tiltenator device, which tilts up and down to mate with two different guide sections through which documents travel. The overall ATM design project involves a broad range of tasks; however, Mike Johnston’s particular assignment was to design a new drivetrain system that would improve the performance of most components of the new ATM, but would have particular impact on the tilting guide device (tiltenator). This device tilts up and down to mate with two different guide sections through which documents travel.

E&CE Engineering, M&MTE Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

Scaled Segway System Design

Air pollution, global warming and the need for sustainable energy has intensified the need for efficient, green-energy powered vehicles. There are a number of transportation solutions that have been developed to tackle this issue including the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), a one person dynamically self-balancing transportation vehicle. The Segway PT, designed by Dean Kamen, is a compact vehicle meant to revolutionize the way that short distance travel is conducted. A Segway is much more energy efficient than a traditional car and can transport a rider for a full day on a battery charge worth $ 0.50 of electricity. The Segway’s motion and speed are controlled by the rider shifting their weight forward and backward, and using the handlebar for turning. Although it has never been commercially successful on a large scale, the Segway has been embraced by several groups such as police departments, military bases, warehouses, corporate campuses and industrial sites who use Segway PT to patrol events or facilities. The Segway is also quite popular in the tourism industry as a means to take groups of tourists on guided tours around a city.  As a more environmentally friendly transportation method in metropolitan areas, some of the most important design considerations are flexibility, safety and performance.

Scaled Segway System Design

Air pollution, global warming and the need for sustainable energy has intensified the need for efficient, green-energy powered vehicles. There are a number of transportation solutions that have been developed to tackle this issue including the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), a one person dynamically self-balancing transportation vehicle. The Segway PT, designed by Dean Kamen, is a compact vehicle meant to revolutionize the way that short distance travel is conducted. A Segway is much more energy efficient than a traditional car and can transport a rider for a full day on a battery charge worth $ 0.50 of electricity. The Segway’s motion and speed are controlled by the rider shifting their weight forward and backward, and using the handlebar for turning. Although it has never been commercially successful on a large scale, the Segway has been embraced by several groups such as police departments, military bases, warehouses, corporate campuses and industrial sites who use Segway PT to patrol events or facilities. The Segway is also quite popular in the tourism industry as a means to take groups of tourists on guided tours around a city.  As a more environmentally friendly transportation method in metropolitan areas, some of the most important design considerations are flexibility, safety and performance.

Scaled Segway System Design

Air pollution, global warming and the need for sustainable energy has intensified the need for efficient, green-energy powered vehicles. There are a number of transportation solutions that have been developed to tackle this issue including the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), a one person dynamically self-balancing transportation vehicle. The Segway PT, designed by Dean Kamen, is a compact vehicle meant to revolutionize the way that short distance travel is conducted. A Segway is much more energy efficient than a traditional car and can transport a rider for a full day on a battery charge worth $ 0.50 of electricity. The Segway’s motion and speed are controlled by the rider shifting their weight forward and backward, and using the handlebar for turning. Although it has never been commercially successful on a large scale, the Segway has been embraced by several groups such as police departments, military bases, warehouses, corporate campuses and industrial sites who use Segway PT to patrol events or facilities. The Segway is also quite popular in the tourism industry as a means to take groups of tourists on guided tours around a city.  As a more environmentally friendly transportation method in metropolitan areas, some of the most important design considerations are flexibility, safety and performance.

M&MTE Engineering

Apex Longboard Deck Design

APEX Composites Inc., located in Burlington, Ontario, was founded in 2002 as a supplier and repair facility for race car body work. The company has evolved over the past few years, and now specializes in complex aerospace and defence parts manufacturing. While working alongside Apex engineers and technicians, Matthew Wiebenga, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, initiated and helped to develop a new light weight, but stiff longboard design using advanced composite materials. The project was taken as a product development process. Conventional longboards are designed to feel very "surfy", with lengths up to five feet and widths up to 16 inches. For downhill longboards, like the one shown in Figure 1, stiffness is important to maintain stability at high speeds. A flexible deck can de-weight the rider as he or she travels over bumps, resulting in a brief loss of control and potentially an accident.

The objective of this project was the creation of a stiff downhill skateboard with less than 1 kg in total weight. Matthew Wiebenga, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, worked alongside Apex engineers and technicians to investigate various options with regards to product shape, weight, material selection, manufacturing technique, and a layup schedule to achieve the desired weight and performance goals.

Autonomous Household Robot Design

Devices that support humans in their daily activities are slowly finding their way into our lives. One of the earliest visions of artificial intelligence is the realization of autonomous robots that can achieve a level of problem-solving competency comparable to humans. Recent developments in household robotics have spawned a promising field with the potential to yield many new labour-saving products, such as vacuum-cleaning robots. However, the dynamic and diverse nature of the household environment makes developing useful household robots quite challenging; consumer autonomous devices must be flexible enough to tolerate a wide range of operating conditions and cope with a time-varying environment. In this case study, an autonomous system design capable of finding misplaced objects and tidying variable household environments is proposed.

B&W Xist Software Evaluation

Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., the largest steam generation product manufacturer and service provider in North America [1]. As the leading global supplier of thermal utility boilers, B&W engineers and manufacturers use a range of engineering tools, including commercial software packages, to analyze and advance company projects. The company recently explored the applicability of HTRI’s Exchanger Suite (Xist) software for B&W heat exchanger applications, directly comparing Xist simulation results against measured data and analytical models. Since Xist is capable of analyzing various types of heat exchangers, B&W had the option of choosing a single-pass, counter flow, shell-and-tube heat exchanger, hereafter referred to as ECW-HX1, Figure 1, for analysis.

Babcock & Wilcox Water Loop Design

Babcock & Wilcox Canada Ltd. is located in Cambridge, Ontario. The company deals with many clients within the nuclear power industry including CANDU® reactor parts suppliers. The CANDU® reactor system contains feeder pipes which are part of the primary heat transport system (PHTS). This system encompasses the pipes and vessels that the heavy water passes through as it travels from the pressure tubes in the reactor, which contain the nuclear fuel, to the steam generators, where the energy in the heavy water is transferred to the light feed water, and back again. The energy entering the feed water causes it to increase in temperature, which in turn leads to the formation of steam. During the process of the heavy water travelling through the outlet feeder pipes, iron from the pipes corrodes into the heavy water, causing the pipe wall to thin over time. Therefore, it has become necessary to generate repair or inspection procedures for this type of degradation.

BMEIA Hydram Pump Design

Basic Metal and Engineering Industries Agency (BMEIA) is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agency aspires to be a center of excellence for the Basic Metals and Engineering Industries sub-sector with respect to research and development activities. BMEIA has developed a range of products including machinery, plastic moulds, and press tools as customized systems or research activities. In addition, the agency develops suitable technologies for rural communities, in particular, products related to water supply systems. One such product is the hydraulic ram (Hydram) pump. The Hydram is used to supply water for rural communities, mainly for livestock and irrigation purposes. After discovering and refurbishing a station of Hydram pumps in Ziway, BMEIA proposed to supply water for a small village (population of about 500 people) from a stream of water using a Hydram pump.  The Hydram pump components must be designed to specifications generated from from the results of a site survey and an environmental assessment.

Cenovus Energy Compressor Analysis

Cenovus Energy is an oil and gas producing company with operations throughout Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. The company’s primary focus is exploration and operation of oil wells.  The Oil & Natural Gas Business Unit in Brooks, Alberta supports operations of existing oil wells and an oil and gas processing plant. An oil and gas plant is located approximately 25 kilometers south of Brooks, Alberta, and is illustrated geographically using the Alberta Township system in Figure 1, outlined in red. Natural gas is entrained in the oil and is collected during oil processing. The gas contains hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and must be “sweetened” by removing the H2S; this requires an increase in gas pressure. The three current gas compressors were initially configured to handle large volumes of gas, significantly greater than the current production, although new wells have the potential to increase this gas volume. It was necessary to evaluate the existing gas compressors at the Cenovus oil and gas plant, based on collected data, maximum volume capacity and monetary operating costs, to recommend an optimal operating mode.

Dominic Toselli, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate the gas compressors at the Cenovus oil and gas plant to recommend the optimal compressor configuration for daily operation. 

Christie Heat Conductor Design

Christie Digital Systems Inc. (Christie) has established a global reputation as the world’s single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions for cinema, large audience environments, business presentations, simulation, 3D and virtual reality. The company has a wide global presence that includes manufacturing facilities in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The company needed to develop a 450 W projector which uses the same major components as an existing 350 W projector, without overheating the components. This required exploring ways to prevent temperature sensitive parts from overheating under the new power. One of the parts which has overheated in the new projector, is a hollow pipe made of glass, with a reflective coating on the inner surface. The reflective coating has a specified maximum operating temperature of 200 °C. Error! Reference source not found. shows the hollow pipe’s approximate location in the projector.

Jesse A. Dyck, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate alternative components to replace this component.

Christie Projector Lamp Alignment Design

Christie Digital Systems Inc. is a global visual technologies leader, and offers a wide variety of visual solutions and technologies for business, entertainment and industrial applications. The company products range from small table top projectors to large 3D Cinema projectors and LCD panels. The Kitchener branch houses the Business Products (BP) Department. The teams in the BP department handle projects related to the company’s business products, such as projectors and integrated projection systems. The department wants to replace the company current high power M-Series digital projector, EasyRider, with enhanced new high power projector, EasyWash. This new projector was developed and displayed lower than nominal brightness values during testing. The preliminary analysis indicated that this issue was directly related to the lamp alignment and arc position within the lamp module. For the projector to produce maximum brightness, the lamp arc must be coincident with the ellipsoid reflectors first focal point. Therefore, this required redesigning the three axis lamp alignment module, shown in Figure 1. This will allow the lamp arc to be adjusted back into the optimal position within the ellipsoid reflector, increasing its brightness output.

Tyler B. Cater, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to redesign the three axis lamp alignment module. The design need to allow the lamp arc to be adjusted back into the optimal position within the ellipsoid reflector, increasing its brightness output.

Conductix Adjustable Tool Trolley Design

The Conductix-Wampfler Group is a global company that designs and manufactures efficient energy and data transmission systems for all types of mobile equipment and machinery. The Ergonomic Handling Systems (EHS) department in Weil am Rhein, Germany is responsible for designing, producing and improving material and equipment handling systems for German industries. One of Conductix-Wampfler’s mobile workstation products, known as the Tool Carrier Trolley (TCT), functions as a mobile electrical and compressed air distribution system. These systems are sold to companies in various industries to provide assembly line workers with an ergonomic method of accessing tools and parts. Recently, it was brought to light that current TCT models provide poor ergonomics when user height and task type varies. TCTs are sold to industries that commonly have multiple employees using a single TCT on different shifts or for different tasks. Therefore, in order for the TCT to provide optimal ergonomics for employees of different heights, who perform a range of tasks, the height of the TCT should be adjustable.

Elise Fairholm, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate a new generation of tool trolley systems which are tailored to provide better ergonomics for factory workers.

Dana Automotive Power Electronics Analysis

Dana Power Technologies is a part of Dana Holding Corporation, which globally supplies to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for light vehicle, commercial, and off highway markets. The company products include axel and transmission, sealing, and thermal management parts. Dana thermal products group specializes in heat transfer components such as radiators, charge air coolers, oil coolers, battery coolers, and more. In 2011, a customer requested from Dana a power electronics system cooler product for hybrid electric and electric vehicles (EVs); a schematic of a hybrid electric vehicle powertrain is shown in the case study. Dana Corporation had not developed any such cooler system before and only had limited experience in the field of power electronics. Therefore, an investigation of the market for new products for power electronics cooling systems was needed. In order to develop a product concept, currently available power electronics cooling technologies were examined.

Eric Schouten, a co-op student from University of Waterloo, was asked to determine if it was worthwhile for the company to further invest in developing a better-quality cooler for a power electronics system used in EVs. He was specifically assigned to study, analyze, and estimate the value of a new cooling product.

Dana Long Notching Machine Design

Dana Canada Corporation, Thermal Products - Long Manufacturing Division (Dana Long), is a global leader in the design, engineering, and manufacture of value added thermal products and systems for automotive, commercial, and off highway vehicles. Dana Long’s Fuel Cell Products Group designs heat exchange solutions for use in the emerging fuel cell industry, and creates and tests prototypes of these designs to verify their function and manufacturability. Corey Asadoorian, a University of Waterloo engineering co-op student employed by Dana Long, was asked to design a faster and more accurate notching machine to assist in the manufacture of prototype heat exchangers.

Delta MRL Elevator Design

Delta Elevator Co. Ltd. is a privately-owned elevator servicing and manufacturing company with its headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario. The company designs and installs a wide range of elevating devices from small accessibility lifts to large freight elevators, and their business has been growing rapidly. The Mechanical Engineering Department, managed by Michael Tikal, is primarily responsible for the mechanical design, manufacturing, and processing of new elevator installations. For example, the company has developed their version of the innovative new traction elevator design known as the Machine Room Less (MRL) Elevator, partly shown in Figure 1. However, the installation of this particular elevator type remains more complex and time consuming than more traditional designs. In addition, the Delta sling structure design is not symmetrical and in some cab style configurations the car has been observed to lean more heavily on one side of the guide. This has the potential to create more wear on the roller guides and reduce their life span, if not counteracted with balancing weights. 

Design of a Leaning, Human-Powered Tricycle

The International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA) was formed in 1976 to promote the development of innovative vehicle designs for land, water and air. They organized an annual International Human Powered Speed Championships (IHPSC) to provide a venue for racing with minimal restrictions on vehicle design, to promote innovation in HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) design. The IHPSC saw the introduction of a diverse range of land vehicles, especially recumbent bicycles and tricycles with aerodynamic fairings. By 1980, the world record for the flying 200 m sprint was held by a recumbent tricycle, the Vector, with a top speed of 94.77 kph. In December 1983, human powered land vehicles were the cover story in Scientific American. Figure 1 shows a typical streamlined tricycle, Synchronicity, which competed at the 1983 IHPSCs in Indianapolis. In 1982, the author had just commenced his MSc degree at Queen’s University in Kingston and was looking for a suitable thesis topic in the area of vehicle dynamics. He was intrigued by these human powered tricycles, but was more interested in road race circuits, where cornering ability was more important than aerodynamics. He felt that a leaning human powered tricycle could combine some aerodynamic advantages of the low recumbent configuration with the cornering ability of a bicycle. In consultation with his MSc supervisor, Ron Anderson, they decided to investigate this vehicle as his thesis research.

The author’s research involved the development of a potential vehicle concept along with a suitable mathematical model to examine vehicle stability and control in typical maneuvers to establish feasibility. Computer simulations were necessary to examine the behavior over a range of design parameters. Further analyses were then required to specify vehicle geometry.

Design of a Pharmaceutical Tablet Crusher

Pill crushers are used extensively in Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) and retirement homes to crush medication before administering it to a resident. Most residents in care facilities receive medication, several times a day. Many residents have problems swallowing a tablet of any size and therefore require their medication to be crushed and mixed with another medium to ease ingestion.

Glenda Campbell (1), a consultant pharmacist for LTCFs with Medical Pharmacies Group Inc. (MPGI), contacted James Baleshta of Nordac Design Inc. to address problems experienced with existing pill crushers.  Although relatively simple devices, existing crushers required several loud and repetitive pounding actions to adequately crush a single tablet and were unable to apply sufficient force to efficiently crush some of the harder tablets. 

In fact, facility staff members were developing repetitive strain injuries induced by the numerous repetitions required to crush a pill completely. Furthermore, the crushing noise generated at mealtimes, in facility dining rooms, was particularly unpleasant and increased the agitation of some of the cognitively impaired residents (1). Similarly, nighttime medication preparation, undertaken in the hallways of the facilities, disturbed those who were already asleep.

The challenge was to design a pill crusher that operated silently, forcefully, and without numerous repetitions.

Design, Analysis and Construction of a Tensegrity Table

Tensegrity structures are constructed from an assembled system of cables and struts in a manner that is often innovative and visually interesting. These structures are designed so that each member is subjected to only pure tension, or pure compression. The cables members take the tension in the structure and the struts carry the compression. The concept of tensegrity structures originated from the works of Kenneth Snelson and Buckminster Fuller. Galen MacLusky, a 4th year student in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, decided to base his Mechanical Engineering Project Course (ME482) around the design of a tensegrity-style structure. He chose to design, construct and test a tensegrity structure that would serve as a coffee table base. The goals of his project were to create an attractive object, one that could support the expected loads for coffee tables, and to incorporate an innovative tensegrity system. Four design stages were examined during his project: needs analysis, conceptual design, embodiment design, and finally construction and testing. 

Dimplex Thermoelectric Generation in Solar Hot Water Heaters

Dimplex North America Ltd., located in Cambridge, Ontario, is a leading heating products manufacturer. Dimplex recently expanded its portfolio from electric heating products to address the new renewable energy products market. One such product is Dimplex’s Solar Thermal Hot Water System (STHWS) used to heat potable water in a residential setting using energy from the sun, as opposed to gas or electricity. Large collectors, Figure 1, are used to absorb solar heat which is transferred to a circulating heat transfer fluid. As such, the collectors sit at temperatures between 125 to 150°C, which makes them ideal sources of energy for generating electricity using thermoelectric generators (TEGs).

dotLab® System Industrial Design

Axela Inc. (Axela), located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, designs, manufactures and markets sophisticated research laboratory equipment for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. In 2006, Axela developed proprietary technology that reduced the time and effort associated with the characterization of biomolecular interactions, specifically, the analysis of proteins.  Axela developed a functional prototype based on their technology and made plans to commercialize the product.  Ray Cracauer, Director of Engineering, recognized the importance of addressing the industrial design aspects of the prototype and, not having a complete expertise in-house, decided to engage Kangaroo Design as a consultant.

Easy Storing Truck Ramp Design

Approximately two million trucks are sold in North America every year, with the primary customers being tradesmen, construction workers, and motor-cross and/or truck enthusiasts. While the load capacity of these vehicles is usually at least 1000 lbs (1/2 ton), loading large items in particular is a challenge due to the height of the truck bed and tailgate. These large items often have wheels (All-Terrain Vehicles, ATVs), or are transported on wheeled carts (fridges and other large appliances), so some kind of ramp is beneficial. Figure 1 shows improvised ramps being used to help load an ATV into the bed of a pick-up truck. The ramps need to be transported in the truck with the load so that they can also be used for unloading, but the wooden ramps in Figure 1 are too long to be conveniently carried. Folding ramps are available, which vary in performance, complexity and cost. A group of mechanical engineering students identified this as an opportunity for a lower cost solution.

EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge

The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team, UWAFT, has a mission to design, build, and market fuel efficient vehicles of the future. UWAFT is one of 16 university student teams participating in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge. The challenge was established by the USA Department of Energy and General Motors (GM), recognizing the need to devise solutions to reduce the environmental impact of gasoline-fueled vehicles. Students are challenged with re-engineering a GM-donated vehicle, a 2008 dual-mode hybrid Saturn VUE. The overall objective is to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions by exploring advanced technological solutions, while increasing energy efficiency and maintaining vehicle performance, safety and utility. Vehicle configurations considered by the various teams include electric drive, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell technologies. Alternate fuels range from ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen. All teams explored alternative lightweight materials. 

Elora Home Heating Retrofit

In August 1999, Steve Lambert, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, purchased a stone house in Elora, Ontario, Canada. The house was originally constructed in about 1860, and the structure had not been significantly updated. The house was heated using a forced-air natural gas furnace but there was no significant insulation in the walls. As a consequence, the house is drafty, cold and uncomfortable in the winters. However, the stone construction results in significant ‘thermal mass’, so that the house responds slowly to outside temperature changes, and remains relatively comfortable and cool, especially on the main floor, in the summers. The house was purchased with the intention of significantly updating the interior, especially the insulation and windows, to significantly improve both comfort levels and energy efficiency. Professor Lambert is in the process of upgrading this house, primarily the insulation, and implementing radiant in-floor heating based on hot water. It is necessary to choose a heating source for the hot water used to heat the house.

EPB Custom Cabinets

E.P.B. Cabinetry (EPB), located in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, designs, builds and installs custom kitchen cabinets for the local housing market.  Paul Burger, the sole proprietor of EPB, has developed a unique clamping fixture to assemble each cabinet from individual side pieces and is shown in Figure 1.  While this clamping fixture is more effective than simply assembling the cabinets on a work bench, Paul recognized that an opportunity existed for improvement.

Paul asked his son Jim, who was enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Waterloo, to design, build and test a device that would address the opportunities for improvement that Paul envisioned.

Foot Brace for Long Distance Running

The traditional solution for people suffering from foot drop is to wear a foot brace. The Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO), for example, is a foot brace that functions by supporting the limp foot with the top half of the ankle.  The AFO is designed, to be stiff enough to hold the foot at a 90° angle,or higher when it is off the ground.  Flexibility is also incorporated into the design to allow for the full range of ankle motion required for walking and running.

Formula SAE Cam Design

The University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports (UWFM) team competes annually in the Society of Automotive Engineer’s Formula SAE Michigan competition, wherein they must design, build and compete with an open-wheeled race car, Figure 1. The competition organizers annually publish a comprehensive set of rules [3] to ensure a competitive environment and the safety of all competitors. One key requirement is that the engine must be a 4-cycle internal combustion engine with not more than 610 cc’s of displacement. To limit the power produced by the engine, an additional requirement is that all air supplied to the gasoline-fueled engine must pass through a 20 mm diameter restrictor.

AUWFM and most other University teams start with a 600 cc motorcycle engine, which is modified in various ways. The Waterloo team used a Honda CBR 600 F4i engine from 2004 until 2009. For the 2010 competition, the team was contemplating upgrading to a newer engine, the Honda 600 CBR RR. This engine was expected to offer several advantages to the team, but was expected to suffer from the same problem as the F4i engine: a dip in the torque curve below 8000 rpm. This dip in the curve was thought to be attributed to the use of the stock cam profiles on this restricted engine; this dip makes it difficult for novice drivers to achieve maximum performance on the track.

Grant Unsworth, a fourth year mechanical engineering student, was the engine design leader for the UWFM team. He set out to investigate the most appropriate modifications for the new engine as his ME481 design project, supervised by Professor Lambert. His main goals were to improve fuel economy and to ‘flatten’ the torque curves, to maximize drivability.

Frito-Lay Potato Chip Pulverizing Design

Frito-Lay, located in Cambridge, Ontario, is Canada’s largest snack food manufacturer, producing a range of brands such as Lays, Ruffles, Miss Vickie’s, Sun Chips, Doritos, Tostitos, Cheetos, and Smartfood. One of the machines in the potato chip production line detects and separates defective potato chips and places them on a conveyer line, separate from the main chip line. The defective chips are subsequently conveyed into a large waste bin, as partly shown in Figure 1. The waste bin is replaced when it is full; in order to reduce the frequency of this process manual crushing is done with a tamper tool. Manual crushing of potato chips is repetitive, time consuming, and involves a straining motion, with potential for ergonomic injuries and decreased production efficiency. A potato chip pulverizing unit has the potential to increase potato chip production efficiency, resulting in significant cost savings. There is a clear need for a potato chip pulverizing unit at Frito-Lay to ensure workplace safety and increase potato chip processing efficiency.

Jeffrey Azzolin, a University of Waterloo co-op student working for the engineering department at Frito-Lay, was assigned to design, fabricate, test, and install a potato chip pulverizing unit.

Fuel Cell Car Chassis Analysis

A fuel cell car project was introduced in the Mechatronics Engineering program at the University of Waterloo in 2012 to increase student hands-on learning in first year courses. The students were asked to assemble the cars themselves from a commercial kit [1], Figure 1, and then complete labs on hydrogen fuel cells, electrical circuits and programming, with the ultimate goal of having the vehicle autonomously follow a test track. Although the project was generally successful in integrating learning between three different courses [2], there was a desire to improve these model cars. They had limited maneuverability, were not easily controllable by the students and did not run for sufficient periods of time using the hydrogen fuel cells. This caused frustration among the students who felt they did not have adequate control over their success in the project. A redesign of the vehicles was required. Additional sensors and a programmable microcontroller were desired to increase controllability. These new requirements necessitated a re-design of the chassis in order to properly manage static and dynamic loads, increase durability, improve handling and effectively package all components of the vehicle [3].

Glass Carving Assistive Device

Lois Scott is located in Elora, Ontario, Canada, and is one of Canada’s most renowned glass carving artists. Lois carves intricate patterns and shapes into glass vessels that are blown into carious spherical and cylindrical forms. Her pieces are often highly intricate and thus require a great deal of time and effort to create. Each glass piece is individually hand blown, carved and etched. An example of her work is shown in Figure 1. Lois contacted the University of Waterloo to seek help in developing a device to assist her in carrying out her glass carving.

Gumstix Quadrotor Control Algorithm Design

Gumstix Inc, based in San Jose, California, USA, designs, manufactures and distributes open-source products based on Texas Instruments and Marvell applications processors that are known for their small size, wide range of function, and low power requirements. The company designs a range of computer-on-module products (COM), which are a type of embedded single board computer (SBC). In 2012, the company investigated the feasibility of converting one of its daughterboard for their Overo series robotics microcontroller boards, RoboVero, to replace a quadrotor autopilot controller based on Gumstix technology, called Lisa/L, which recently went out of production. In this new application, the RoboVero device would be expected to perform intensive computations, such as mapping, localization, and planning. The RoboVero microcontroller would handle flight controls based on input from a Gumstix microprocessor, called Overo.

Danny Chan, a coop student from University of Waterloo, was asked to determine its viability of a Gumstix RoboVero expansion board as a controls board, or autopilot board, for a quadrotor.

Hand Orthotics Design

Arthritis is a medical condition affecting joints and connective tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder.  An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. Since it is an autoimmune disease, there is currently no cure, and treatment options are focused on pain management. Osteoarthritis has similar symptoms but is caused by simple wear and tear. People who have arthritis typically experience symptoms in both hands, preventing normal day to day functionality. The hands are still capable of some motion; however, pain increases with added stress on the joints or holding static positions for an extended period of time. Depending on the progression of the disease, the patient is either physically limited in range of motion and dexterity, or avoids tasks that cause pain. Orthotics, braces and other assistive aids are a common method to minimize the pain in daily life. Such devices limit and support the wrist joints, improving the quality of life for people who suffer with arthritis. However, these devices do not restore functionality.

Hitachi Truck Brake Design

Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Limited, located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, designs, manufactures and markets off-road dump trucks for the global mining industry.  These trucks are large vehicles having a gross operating weight ranging from about 158,000 lbs (71,600 kg) to 1,164,500 lbs (528,209 kg), and having a rated power ranging from about 525 hp (392 kW) to 2700 hp (2000 kW).  They are required to withstand very demanding operating conditions while remaining safe to operate and maintain. 

Mackie Pallet Rack Structural Analysis

Mackie Moving Systems Inc. is an international logistics solutions company that operates several warehouses across Canada. Mackie provides a very diverse range of logistic solutions to businesses and individuals. Some of these services include freight and vehicle transport, household moving, inventory management, warehousing, and storage. Mackie warehouses store customer products on large steel frame racking systems, called pallet racks. In most cases, rows of pallet racks are lined up back-to-back to maximize storage capacity. They are usually three to five bays tall, depending on the height of the warehouse. As customer requirements change, the warehouse configuration and rack assembly must change as well. This means pallet racks often contain a variety of components originating from different manufacturers, and irregular shelving arrangements. As a result, the actual storage capacity of each pallet rack in the warehouse is difficult to verify.

Andrew Katz, a co-op student from University of Waterloo, was asked to analyze and determine the storage capacities of Mackie pallet racks based on beam size.

Magna Automated Rotary Table Design

Polycon Industries, a subsidiary of Magna International, manufactures exterior auto-body plastic parts including GMX-350 fasciae. The GMX-350 fascia is a General Motors part referring to the Buick Regal vehicle. At the company facility in Guelph, Ontario, the fasciae are fabricated using injection moulding machines. Once the part is moulded, robots remove the fascia from the mould cavity and place that on a conveyor. Gates and runners are removed from the molded part and then painted before being shipped to their respective automotive manufacturer. The current automation process in place on the injection moulding machine to manufacture the fasciae can only place the molded fascia on the conveyor in a certain orientation which is not convenient for subsequent procedures. This orientation creates two major problems, one being that the fascia is too wide to be properly supported by the conveyor system and the other being that the part must be rotated 180° before the operators able to work on it. To address both of these concerns a rotary table was suggested on the conveyor system.

Steven Albert-Green, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to analyze existing design of an automated rotary table and highlight its functionality with respect to project objectives. 

Musical Instrument Design

Christopher Hoyle, a 4th year mechanical engineering student, plays many different musical instruments. He has recorded his music for several years, and began sharing his recordings on YouTube since June 2009. Within two years he had posted 37 musical videos, received over 220,000 views, and gained over 1880 subscribers. Christopher currently receives approximately 600 views per day on his YouTube channel. As a strategy to increase the uniqueness of his YouTube channel, Christopher would like to design and build a new and unique sounding musical instrument that he can share with his YouTube audience. Having broad experience with a range of musical instruments, Christopher understands which principles contribute to the design of a good musical instrument. For this application, the new instrument must be acoustic, create sound using natural energy, and be able to play standard notes, scales and songs.

Christopher set out to design and build a unique sounding musical instrument that will complement his own singing voice. He undertook this effort as a two-term design project, supervised by Oscar Nespoli at the University of Waterloo.

Nigeria Alternative Electricity Supply Analysis

Nigeria is a western African country with a population of around 170 million. The nation has significant reserves of oil and natural gas resources. However, due to poor maintenance and a shortage of experienced operators, the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) of Nigeria is not able to provide the nation with electric power continuously throughout the day. This means that citizens must make their own arrangements to deal with the unreliable power supply. The large demand for electricity requires the nation to take action to ease the current electricity shortage situation. Due to deficiencies in the electrical distribution infrastructure and other pressing needs; it will take a long time for the whole country to be supplied with sufficient electricity for every household. Therefore, the households need to consider alternative solutions to supply electricity to their own household during a power outage.

Yetian Wang, a co-op student from University of Waterloo, was interested in the Nigerian power crisis and was motivated to research possible solutions that could resolve the current issues. He wrote an independent studies work report based on this investigation and provide suggestions for individual home owners on how they can overcome the issue of power shortage.

Nuvation Automotive Surge Stopper Circuit Design

Nuvation Research Corporation (Nuvation) is an Engineering Design Services firm specializing in the design of a wide range of electronic and embedded systems for telecommunications, automotive, and consumer electronics applications, among others. In 2012, a client requested that the company develop a surge stopper circuit for an automotive application. Modern automotive circuits are complex and powered by the vehicle’s 12V battery, as shown in Figure 1. However, the battery also supports high power elements, including the starter motor, lights, and windshield wipers, producing significant transients, some of which may be large enough to permanently damage logic-level integrated circuits (ICs). Hence, effective circuit protection is necessary to minimize the effects of these high power, high voltage transients. In this particular case, Nuvation’s client required a surge stopper circuit design that can effectively protect logic level ICs and switch power from a primary battery to an auxiliary voltage source for specific vehicle requirements.

Eric Yam, a 2nd year Mechatronics Engineering co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to design an automotive surge stopper circuit to meet the client’s requirements.

Ocean Rider Drive Train Design

Don Magie is an ultra marathon cyclist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Figure 1.  He has a goal of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a boat that uses pedal power and setting the world record for fastest crossing of the Atlantic. Don’s plans include building the boat in 2010, and performing a trial length-wise crossing of Lake Ontario in the summer of 2011.  The Ocean crossing is planned for the spring of 2012, crossing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to the United Kingdom, or alternatively crossing from the Azores to the Caribbean.

While there are a number of commercially available pedal-powered boats, there are only a few designed specifically for ocean crossing and equipped with living quarters and navigation equipment.  Two existing craft are the WiTHiN boat by Greg Kolodziejzyk and a design by Mr. Kenichi Horie of Japan.

ODG Automation Puck Design for Gear Manufacturing

Ontario Drive & Gear (ODG) is a Canadian manufacturing company specializing in manufacturing high precision gears and couplings as well as assembly of various low volume transmission components. ODG uses manufacturing automation methods for many mid quantity gear cutting operations to increase production efficiency. To do this, automation pucks are used to transport gears in and out of machines which is depicted in Figure 1. The puck is a specially-shaped plastic tray that fits onto the gear cutting machine’s conveyor belt and it provides a stable fixture on which the gear rests. The current pucks are machine and part-specific and must be changed for each different part that is manufactured. This means that new pucks must be made for each different size of gear product and all the pucks on the conveyor belt must be replaced. This process is very time consuming and costly. The company is looking for a new automation puck system that can cut down on cost and retooling time.

Pharmaceutical Brush Cleaning Design

A pharmaceutical company packages solid-dose pharmaceuticals into various capacity bottles and blister pack formats. Several types of brushes are used in the blister pack production process. These brushes are used as part of the feeding system to insert tablets and capsules into the blister pockets. Upon completion of an order, product-specific brush kits are removed from the process equipment and cleaned according to regulatory requirements. The drying time for the brushes is significant, between two to four hours in a gravity convection dryer. Based on an examination of solid-dose production runs over a six month period, an average 41% of the total downtime consisted of setting up equipment for a production run or cleaning equipment from a previous production run. An alternative solution was desired to reduce downtime for cleaning, and for energy savings.

Pavan Mehta, a second year Chemical Engineering co-op student at the University of Waterloo, looked at the effectiveness of a brush spinner and corresponding jig design to hold flat brushes for drying at the pharmaceutical packaging facility.

Pontiac Solstice Deck Lid Hinge Benchmark Exercise

The Pontiac Solstice is a two-seater sports car introduced by General motors in 2006. General Motors of Canada supplied a pre-production model to several Canadian Universities for educational and research purposes. The unit delivered to the University of Waterloo has been used for a number of activities, including several benchmarking exercises. Benchmarking is the process of examining an existing product to better understand its design, operation, manufacturing and serviceability. In this case, the front deck lid (or hood, or bonnet) hinge will be examined. The front deck lid provides access to the automobile engine for inspection and maintenance. The Pontiac Solstice engine deck lid is shown in an open position in Figure 1.  Many design requirements were considered when the deck lid and hinge mechanism was designed, including the requirement to provide ready access to the engine, and to ensure that the implemented design was safe, durable and aesthetically pleasing.

The geometry and motion of this deck lid, and the forces acting on it will be examined to explore the design requirements used in its design, and to identify potential areas of improvement. For example, it is possible to replace the deck lids, currently made of steel, with carbon fiber product to reduce weight. This will require reconsideration of the opening mechanism.

ReTiSoft Robotic Arm Control Analysis

ReTiSoft is a software research and development enterprise based in Mississauga, Canada. The company is a provider of turnkey and custom automated systems for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and research industries. ReTiSoft software is used to control and schedule the movements of a robotic arm as it transports microplates and vials between pre-programmed stations (nests), in order to automate laboratory experiments.  A problem arose when attempting to integrate an industrial robotic arm, namely the Stäubli TX-40, as opposed to the typical laboratory arms with which ReTiSoft previously dealt. The Stäubli TX-40 robotic arm functions differently from the regular robotic arms designed for moving resources in a laboratory environment as shown in Figure 1. The industrial robotic arm had no firmware of its own and the programming environment supplied with the arm was very limited.

Maciej Makowski, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to develop a device driver for this new industrial robotic arm.

Ski-Hill Rescue Device

In the event that a skier or a snowboarder injures themselves on a trail, ski patrollers are trained to load the injured person onto a ski patrol toboggan to carry the person safely down the hill where medical treatment can be administered. Adam, Keegan, Jacob, Nick and Brittany, members of a capstone design team at University of Waterloo, went skiing on their winter 2014 co-op term and witnessed this rescue process in action. They watched a ski patroller transporting a rescue toboggan up the chairlift and down the hill to an injured person, and observed that the toboggan was bulky and difficult to maneuver. The challenges faced by the ski patroller in operating the rescue toboggan motivated the design team to investigate an alternative method of transporting an injured person down a ski hill. This problem became more significant after a discussion with Ski Patrol at Chicopee Ski Hill, Ontario, who noted concerns with the amount of effort required to control the descent of the toboggan while transporting an injured person, the lack of a fail-safe mechanism to prevent unintended motion, as well as the overall bulkiness of the device.

Sleeman Bearing & Gearbox Failure Analysis

Sleeman Brewery Ltd. is a beer producing company based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The company packages a range of beer products, including just-in-time products that are ready for consumption as soon as they are filled. Providing just-in-time products requires the company to schedule end-to-end production weeks in advance, starting from the brewhouse all the way to the packaging plant. Therefore, maintaining the production line is a critical part of the company’s production process. Sleeman’s Maintenance and Engineering Department supervises projects relating to preventative maintenance and system failure. In January 2012, the team noted a bearing failure on the bottle line located after the full bottle check unit. The bearing and gearbox, shown in Figure 1, were installed less than one year prior to the date of failure. This bearing failure was created by axial loadings induced by a bow or bend in the conveyor shaft. As a result, the bearing’s tracks were damaged and the retaining ring broke away. During the repair process, the gearbox was critically damaged. The conveyor and gearbox shafts seized together, producing enough force to cause a tear in the gear box housing as the gear box was being removed.

Andrew J. Goncalves, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate the gearbox and bearing failure and to determine methods to detect failure prior to critical failure for the future.

Thermal Analysis of a Flextronics LCD Vehicle Display and Heat Sink

Flextronics Automotive, formerly Invotronics Inc., develops and manufactures a myriad of electronics for vehicles, including automobiles, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. The company, located in Scarborough, Ontario, consists of several different departments including the Product Engineering Division, currently headed by Simon Chamuczynski, which is responsible for designing new products to customers’ specifications. One of the company products, developed by the Product Engineering Division, is a vehicle display, known as a cluster. The latest cluster design is to be used in snowmobiles and contains a color Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). To avoid overheating when exposed to direct sunlight, the cluster contains a passive heat sink, shown in Figure 1, to maximize heat dissipation from the LCD. As part of the design process, the thermal behaviour of the device was characterized under various operating conditions.

Carol Huang, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, worked with Flextronics to analyze the thermal characteristics of the heat sink and LCD assembly using analytical methods, Finite Element simulations and testing to verify the thermal performance.

Umbrella Design to Combat Wind Effects

As a fourth year mechanical engineering design project, Thomas Holbrook chose to take on an age-old problem and apply engineering analysis to design an umbrella that will not invert in the face of strong winds. Umbrella inversion is the tendency for the fabric canopy to blow inside out. When an umbrella inverts, the user gets wet, violating the primary function of the umbrella. An umbrella that failed due to a buckled rib component is shown in Figure 1. Inversion compromises the rigidity of the umbrella structure and after inversion the umbrella is prone to invert again because of the weakened structure.  To mitigate inversion the umbrella is turned and pointed back into the wind to correct the issue and may cause additional buckling and failure of structural components. To ensure that the resulting umbrella would be a significant improvement over existing designs, he chose a target wind speed of 70 mph, or about 31 m/s. He also wanted an umbrella that was aesthetically pleasing, light weight, collapsible, and easy to manufacture.

University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports Vehicle Aerodynamic Wing Design

The University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports (UWFM) team competes annually in the Society of Automotive Engineer’s Formula SAE Michigan competition. The competition goal is to design and build a single-seat open-wheeled race car to compete against other university students in a series of static and dynamic events which are arranged to test a broad range of engineering skills and vehicle performance. In 2013, the UWFM team aimed to increase its vehicle performance and competitiveness by adding an aerodynamic wing package in the car. Aerodynamic wings on race cars create down force and increased normal force on the tires so that the tires produce a greater lateral force, allowing the vehicle to corner at higher speeds and lateral accelerations. Figure 1 shows the 2012 Monash Motorsport vehicle with a well-developed aerodynamic wing package.

UW Baja Off-Road Vehicle Drivetrain Design Analysis

The University of Waterloo Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja student team designs, builds and competes with a single-seat off-road vehicle, Figure 1, in the international Baja SAE competition. Over three days at the competition, the vehicle is put through a series of challenges, including hill climb, rock crawl, and an endurance race, and is evaluated based on its performance. Each year, the team produces a new design to address shortcomings observed in previous iterations. For the last six years, the team has experienced poor reliability and performance from the chain drive connecting the continuously variable transmission (CVT) to the wheels. Issues include broken sprockets, chain skipping upon deceleration, and premature wear of tensioners. In an effort to address these issues in the 2013 vehicle design, the UW Baja team considered developing a new drivetrain. The objective was to eliminate the use of chains in the driveline without affecting the vehicle geometry or adding significant additional weight to the vehicle.

Eddy Ricciardi, a University of Waterloo Mechanical Engineering student and UW Baja SAE team member, took on the driveline redesign as his fourth year design project, which was supervised by Prof. HJ Kwon.

UWAFT EcoCAR 2 Trunk Hinge Redesign

The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) is a student team that has been participating in Advanced Vehicle Technical Competitions (AVTC) since 1996. As a part of the current competition (EcoCAR 2), UWAFT is required to modify a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu to improve fuel economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without compromising safety and consumer acceptability of the stock vehicle. During the first year of the competition, UWAFT selected the power train architecture and completed preliminary designs to integrate the architecture into the stock vehicle. The architecture UWAFT selected is an all-wheel drive series plug in hybrid electric vehicle that uses ethanol for range extension.

This architecture requires a large battery pack with a plug-in charger; an ethanol compatible engine coupled to a generator, along with a fuel tank and exhaust system to recharge the battery; and two electric motors coupled to transmissions to drive all 4 wheels. Due to volumetric constraints it was decided to mount most of these additional components such as the dc/dc converter in the trunk, near the wheel wells. However, the trunk hinges of the stock vehicle are rather large and restrict the space available to mount these components along the rear wheel wells. As a result, the team needed to redesign the trunk hinge system to maximize the space available to mount these additional components. Faris Zahid a 4th year Mechanical engineering student, took on the task of redesigning the hinge as his 4th year design project, supervised by Professor Roydon Fraser.

UWFM Design of a Tulip Housing Hub and CV Joint

The University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports (UWFM) team consists of over 40 student members. The team builds a small Formula-style racecar as an educational engineering project to obtain practical engineering skills and compete annually in the Formula SAE competition. During the testing process of the 2010 FSAE car, the team had multiple failures with the drivetrain system, particularly with the constant velocity (CV) joints. CV joints used in UW FSAE car are tripode type with rollers on a spider shaft that fit into a tulip housing with cylindrical tracks, and the joints connect the differential to the half shafts as well as connecting the outer ends. CV Joints are designed to transmit torque while accommodating both axial and angular misalignments. In this particular situation, the CV joints would fail after short service duration. After failure, plastic deformation of the tulip housing tracks was observed at the contact interface with the steel rollers.

Dominic Chomko, a Mechanical Engineering co-op student and a member of the University of Waterloo Formula Motorsports team, set out to redesign a CV joint/hub for the FSAE car which would be both light weight and sufficiently robust.

UWRT Rover Robotic Arm Design

The University of Waterloo Mars Rover Team consists of a group of voluntary undergraduate and graduate students who enjoy working in the field of robotics and space exploration. The team designs different robots for a variety of competitions across North America [1]. The team participates in the University Rover Challenge (URC) and NASA Sample Return Rover Challenge (NSRRC) held every year in Hanksvile, Utaha. The goal is to create a wirelessly controlled rover with the capability of fine object manipulation which can be operated on Mars-like terrains. Figure 1 shows Queen's University Engineering team mars rover design [2]. The arm manipulator mounted on the rover should perform a variety of different tasks and successfully complete different missions including a sample return task and equipment service tasks.

Hence, the UW Mars Rover Team needed to design a tele-operated robot with a precise robotic arm manipulator to perform various tasks based on precision in a Martian environment. The proposed robotic manipulator combines mechanical moving parts with motors and software to control the motors. This design requires a thorough kinematics analysis of the robotic arm.

Sirui Song, a fourth year Mechatronics engineering student, was tasked to design a low-cost (under $2500), accurate and mobile manipulator capable of object detection and delicate manipulation that can easily mount on an autonomous mobile robot. URC guidelines from 2014 were used as constraints and Sirui worked on this design challenge with the support of other members in the Mar Rover Team.

Viking Fire Warehouse Fire Suppression System Design

H. Paulin & Company Ltd. “a leading distributor and manufacturer of fasteners, fluid system products, automotive parts and screw machine components” – is planning to install storage racks in an area of its Vancouver warehouse adjacent to an existing
sprinkler-protected storage area. The client intends to store, in the new storage area of about 16400 ft² (116' - 11" X 140' - 9"), non-encapsulated, noncombustible parts, such as screws, fasteners and other non-operating machinery on 18'6" tall racks separated by 4' wide aisles. The local fire department requires the client to install a fire sprinkler system in the new storage area. The client has therefore retained a specialized contracting company, Viking Fire Protection Inc. (the “contractor”) – one of the oldest and largest firms in Canada in the area of fire detection and protection – to design, build and install an addition to its existing fire suppression system that will protect the new storage area in accordance with their requirements, local codes and applicable standards (NFPA-
13).

Samson Tam, a co-op student working for the contractor out of its Vancouver offices, was asked to design and validate, by calculation, an appropriate solution, under the immediate supervision of David Ho, Engineer-in-Training, and the direction of Alex Hoffman, Regional Manager and Engineering Department Head.

Virtual Button® MEMS Accelerometer Design

Virtual Button® technology has been developed by VBT Innovations Inc. a high tech company located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The company, established in 2008, developed a touch control interface called Virtual Buttons®. Virtual Buttons® are meant to augment or replace mechanical buttons and capacitive touch screens on consumer electronics devices such as smart phones. This technology enables buttons to be placed on flat and curved surfaces, edges, and locations where a mechanical button is not feasible. One of the enabling technologies of this system is the Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) accelerometer. MEMS accelerometers are used to measure the motion of a mechanical element or system. This accelerometer must be designed to meet the special requirements of the Virtual Button® technology.

Wall-Mounted Tire Rack Design

Housing is one of the basic needs for society to sustain and it is widely recognized that there is a critical need for construction of new real estate in most major city across the world. Efficient use of existing house is critical and one key feature of any real state is the square footage of the property. These include available storage system including home garage. People have a need to use their garage as storage space including tires beside the main intended functionally, shown in figure below. Most people in Canada has a set of all season and winter tries that need to be store in garage floor for 4-6 months in the year. Depending of the number of case in the household, this takes significant floor space. A need exists to store winter tires using minimal space. A group of mechanical engineering students identified this problem as an opportunity for efficient and a lower cost solution.

Waterloo Rocketry Team Fuel Tank Design

The Waterloo Rocketry Team (WRT) is a student team at the University of Waterloo founded in 2011 that competes annually in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). At the 2012 competition, WRT competed using a liquid bipropellant rocket in the 25000 foot apogee category, meaning that the target height above the ground is 25000 feet. WRT’s liquid bipropellant rocket is the only one of its kind in the category; see Figure 1 for an image of the 2012 rocket. For the 2013 competition, WRT is looking to use an evolutionary design to build a liquid bipropellant rocket using different fuels. WRT is considering using liquid oxygen and kerosene as fuels to get a higher thrust to weight ratio than the previous rocket design, which used ethane and nitrous oxide as fuels. In order to increase the overall efficiency of the rocket, the mass must also be reduced. Therefore, it is desirable to make the tank able to provide structure for the rocket as well as containing the pressurized fuel. Special considerations must also be made for the storage of liquid oxygen, as it is stored cryogenically.

Adam Klett a fourth year mechanical engineering student worked on the design of the fuel tanks as his fourth year design project.

M&MTE Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

Aquashine Carwash Pipe Freeze Protection

Aquashine carwash, a family-run business centered in Wyoming, Ontario is suffering the problems caused by “Weeping water” during winter times. One property of water is that it is one of the few known substances that expand when it freezes. When housed in any form of container, this expansion can generate enough force to break the container. In the case of hoses, the end result is a burst hose that is incapable of doing its duty. This is of great concern in the carwash industry. In self-serve carwashes, hoses extend from the ceiling to wands that customers use to wash their vehicles. These sections of hose are not in a heated environment and are prone to freezing during cold month, causing large amounts of damage and making the bay inoperable. To resolve this, carwashes continuously drain water through the hose when it is cold in a process called weeping. Just, like it is harder to freeze a flowing river, the moving water in the hose is harder to freeze. However, this method of freeze protection has a number of major problems.

Design of a Remotely Adjustable Seat Post for Mountain Bikes

Mountain biking has become increasingly popular over the past three decades. To date, this extreme sport has brought athletes to compete on Mount Everest and tackle demanding races through the Rockies. Mountain bikers ride over rough terrain; therefore, the user needs proper equipment to ride successfully and remain safe. One focus is the position of the seat. The rider benefits from a higher seat when ascending in order to achieve maximum power but needs a lower seat when descending to increase maneuverability.
Currently, most mountain bikes are equipped with manual seat adjustment systems in the form of a quick-release seat collar. The seat collar requires the user to dismount their bicycle to make a height adjustment, which is a tedious task on varying terrain. Mountain bikes with remotely adjustable seat posts, which do not require the user to dismount, are already available and are typically comprised of a hydraulic system, a pneumatic system or a spring-pin system. However, all three designs have several limitations. For example, the user needs to place a downwards force on the seat to adjust the height, which may result in a loss of a balance and increased safety risk. There is a need in today’s competitive mountain bike industry for an ergonomically-designed remotely adjustable seat post.

Design of a Unmanned Surface Vehicle for Monitoring Tailings Ponds

Mining corporations extract ore from the Earth and then separate its valuable products, such as iron, copper or gold, from the tailings. Tailings are an environmentally hazardous by-product of mineral processing. They initially take the form of slurry, a mix of various miniature particles (basically dirt and water), that settle out into tailings ponds. Tailings must be handled responsibly to prevent seepage of toxic chemicals into the environment. Currently, mining companies are responsible for monitoring the integrity of their tailings ponds in order to collect information and share it with environmental regulators. This is performed by the Tailings Management Facility (TMF). There are practical and economic drawbacks associated with surveillance of tailings ponds. For example, it requires an extensive amount of time due to the enormous size of a tailings pond. It is also an unpleasant and potentially hazardous ordeal for field workers. An opportunity exists to develop a better method of collecting data and overseeing the reclamation process. The province of Alberta defines reclamation as “the process of converting disturbed land to its former or other productive use”. With regards to tailings ponds, they are usually reclaimed into forests and wetlands.

Aquashine Carwash Pipe Freeze Protection

Aquashine carwash, a family-run business centered in Wyoming, Ontario is suffering the problems caused by “Weeping water” during winter times. One property of water is that it is one of the few known substances that expand when it freezes. When housed in any form of container, this expansion can generate enough force to break the container. In the case of hoses, the end result is a burst hose that is incapable of doing its duty. This is of great concern in the carwash industry. In self-serve carwashes, hoses extend from the ceiling to wands that customers use to wash their vehicles. These sections of hose are not in a heated environment and are prone to freezing during cold month, causing large amounts of damage and making the bay inoperable. To resolve this, carwashes continuously drain water through the hose when it is cold in a process called weeping. Just, like it is harder to freeze a flowing river, the moving water in the hose is harder to freeze. However, this method of freeze protection has a number of major problems.

Design of a Remotely Adjustable Seat Post for Mountain Bikes

Mountain biking has become increasingly popular over the past three decades. To date, this extreme sport has brought athletes to compete on Mount Everest and tackle demanding races through the Rockies. Mountain bikers ride over rough terrain; therefore, the user needs proper equipment to ride successfully and remain safe. One focus is the position of the seat. The rider benefits from a higher seat when ascending in order to achieve maximum power but needs a lower seat when descending to increase maneuverability.
Currently, most mountain bikes are equipped with manual seat adjustment systems in the form of a quick-release seat collar. The seat collar requires the user to dismount their bicycle to make a height adjustment, which is a tedious task on varying terrain. Mountain bikes with remotely adjustable seat posts, which do not require the user to dismount, are already available and are typically comprised of a hydraulic system, a pneumatic system or a spring-pin system. However, all three designs have several limitations. For example, the user needs to place a downwards force on the seat to adjust the height, which may result in a loss of a balance and increased safety risk. There is a need in today’s competitive mountain bike industry for an ergonomically-designed remotely adjustable seat post.

Design of a Unmanned Surface Vehicle for Monitoring Tailings Ponds

Mining corporations extract ore from the Earth and then separate its valuable products, such as iron, copper or gold, from the tailings. Tailings are an environmentally hazardous by-product of mineral processing. They initially take the form of slurry, a mix of various miniature particles (basically dirt and water), that settle out into tailings ponds. Tailings must be handled responsibly to prevent seepage of toxic chemicals into the environment. Currently, mining companies are responsible for monitoring the integrity of their tailings ponds in order to collect information and share it with environmental regulators. This is performed by the Tailings Management Facility (TMF). There are practical and economic drawbacks associated with surveillance of tailings ponds. For example, it requires an extensive amount of time due to the enormous size of a tailings pond. It is also an unpleasant and potentially hazardous ordeal for field workers. An opportunity exists to develop a better method of collecting data and overseeing the reclamation process. The province of Alberta defines reclamation as “the process of converting disturbed land to its former or other productive use”. With regards to tailings ponds, they are usually reclaimed into forests and wetlands.

M&MTE Engineering, Management Engineering

Dalsa Harmony Camera Design

Teledyne Dalsa, headquartered in Canada, is a world leading
high performance digital imaging and semiconductor business,
providing engineering machine vision for a broad range of
applications such as medical, industrial, aerospace, and defense
systems. The Teledyne Dalsa Engineering Division provides
complete engineering solutions for all camera and semiconductor
projects. The division’s projects are diversified in both
application and industry, and can be either custom or standard
depending on the customer’s requirements. Recently, the
engineering division planned to develop a new “Harmony”
camera for industrial image inspection applications. Harmony
design is based on Dalsa’s existing camera and specifically
targets reduced production costs with comparable performance,
scalable component architecture and lower BOM (bill of
materials) cost. The project design focuses on the camera
assembly, specifically reducing fabrication costs of the Harmony
camera body components (H-Section, shown in Figure 1), while
maintaining adequate heat transfer performance. The H-section
is the structural housing to which key electronic components are
attached, and which transfers heat away from these components
via an internal heat sink bridge.

GMCL Contingency Planning for TPMS

A 1977 study at Indiana University estimated that 260,000 automobile crashes occurred each year in the United States because of underinflated tires. In November 2000, the US Congress enacted the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD), shortly following more than 250 fatalities linked to the under inflation of Firestone tires on Ford Explorers. According to TREAD, all new passenger vehicles and light trucks produced in North America after September 2007 are required to have Tire Pressure Sensors (TPS).

Dalsa Harmony Camera Design

Teledyne Dalsa, headquartered in Canada, is a world leading
high performance digital imaging and semiconductor business,
providing engineering machine vision for a broad range of
applications such as medical, industrial, aerospace, and defense
systems. The Teledyne Dalsa Engineering Division provides
complete engineering solutions for all camera and semiconductor
projects. The division’s projects are diversified in both
application and industry, and can be either custom or standard
depending on the customer’s requirements. Recently, the
engineering division planned to develop a new “Harmony”
camera for industrial image inspection applications. Harmony
design is based on Dalsa’s existing camera and specifically
targets reduced production costs with comparable performance,
scalable component architecture and lower BOM (bill of
materials) cost. The project design focuses on the camera
assembly, specifically reducing fabrication costs of the Harmony
camera body components (H-Section, shown in Figure 1), while
maintaining adequate heat transfer performance. The H-section
is the structural housing to which key electronic components are
attached, and which transfers heat away from these components
via an internal heat sink bridge.

GMCL Contingency Planning for TPMS

A 1977 study at Indiana University estimated that 260,000 automobile crashes occurred each year in the United States because of underinflated tires. In November 2000, the US Congress enacted the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD), shortly following more than 250 fatalities linked to the under inflation of Firestone tires on Ford Explorers. According to TREAD, all new passenger vehicles and light trucks produced in North America after September 2007 are required to have Tire Pressure Sensors (TPS).

Management Engineering

Apple Supply Chain Managment

Although famous for design and innovation, many people are unaware that Apple Inc.’s inventory management is a large contributor to their success. When Steve jobs returned to Apple as CEO in 1996 after a leave of absence, he made several changes to the business: he allowed manufacturing to be outsourced instead of controlled in his facilities and he eliminated excess product lines. Jobs also focused on inventory. At that point in time, Apple had over 2 months of consumer product inventory in various warehouses worldwide, which resulted in $500 million in losses. He didn’t want Apple to keep many products in inventory because they could suddenly and easily drop in value. An announcement from a competitor or a new innovation could change everything. By 1998, Jobs had brought inventory down to one month but knew it still wasn’t good enough; so he asked his newly appointed Operations Manager, Tim Cook, to further improve Apple’s inventory management. By 2015, as Apple’s CEO, Cook was well known for his talent in running a lean and agile supply chain. Another focus for Cook was reducing the number of strategic suppliers by 75%. This forced companies to compete more aggressively for Apple's business. The number of suppliers continues to be minimized, which means it is now easier to manage and monitor the various companies. Concurrently, Apple is vigorously involved with each supplier to enforce a culture of quality.

B&B Product Development Business Planning

A group of five nanotechnology students (‘the clients’) have developed a portable self-cleaning water filtration device for their 4th year design project. The clients drafted a schematic for the creation of this device as shown in Figure 1. Due to the perceived novelty and broad range of potential applications of this technology, the group discussed carrying this idea beyond a 4th year project to bring their innovation from its current ‘idea’ stage through to commercialization. However, with a tight focus on the design aspects of their task, but little business knowledge, the nanotech group needed help to commercialize their product.

B&B Business Beginnings, a team of UW Environment and Business students, was approached to round out the business requirements and provide business consulting services. 

Decision Support System for Team Formation

Team formation is an important but complex process for project success. Many organizations experience difficulties creating effective teams to achieve specific tasks. Variations in skill-sets and personalities in teams can sometimes lead to suboptimal performance, conflict or even failure. For example, two or more team members may not cooperate, or a member may not be committed to the task and be indifferent to the project’s success. It is important that all team members perform well in their assigned tasks and effectively communicate within the whole team. Careful team formation can increase project success rates. This requires some form of personality assessment, such as the Big Five Model. Effectively automating this process can also reduce time requirements. An opportunity exists for the development of a decision support system that utilizes operations research and behavioral science to optimize the performance and cohesiveness of teams selected from a given set of individuals. Daniel Srabotnjak, Darryl Lobo, Eric Li and Hamza Mahmood, a group of fourth year Management Engineering students under the supervision of Dr. Vanessa Bohns, chose to develop a mathematical model that automates team formation for their final design project.

Dynaplas Manufacturing Optimal Inventory Level Analysis

Dynaplas Ltd, located in Scarborough, Ontario, is a plastics injection moulding company, which produces automotive components using engineered resins. The Engineering Department designs and builds injection moulds and tools for both internal use and commercial distribution. Dynaplas automotive products include pulleys, connectors, seals, fuel systems, brake parts, and insert bearings. Recently, as part of a continuous improvement effort, Dynaplas examined trends in its customer orders over the last couple of years. They found that, on some occasions, parts were shipped out late and/or in poor condition, resulting in unnecessary and unforeseen costs. Therefore, the Engineering Department launched a project to develop an optimal inventory level prediction model, to ensure that every Dynaplas product is available in sufficient stock to guarantee customers receive quality parts, on time. To begin, all factors involved in developing the prediction model and user interface had to be identified.

Megan Maguire, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was asked to develop an optimal inventory level prediction model. Her specific tasks include examining the steps required to develop a mathematical model and building a user interface to help implement the application.

Effective Arbitrage in Bitcoin Exchange

Josh Varty, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, through the entrepreneurial work term program with the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CBET) Centre, founded a company with the goal of developing an automated Bitcoin trading agent. He discovered an unexploited niche market in the form of the e-currency Bitcoin by analyzing the economic landscape with the technological versatility of the engineering discipline. Josh intends to develop autonomous trading software to capitalize on his opportunity. However, the discovered market opportunity is underdeveloped, with no prior analytics to provide insight into possible market instability or investment strategy. To gauge the viability of any possible investments and reduce risk, ample investigation of Bitcoin and associated markets is required.

Maximizing Throughput: The Value of Dispatching Rules

Manufacturing is an important part of Canada's economy, representing 11% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of August 2014. Due to globalization, many Canadian manufacturing industries face new challenges and, to remain globally competitive, they need to become more efficient. Industry Partner A was seeking efficiency gains by implementing Operations Research (OR) methods in their job-shops, particularly for their production scheduling. A job-shop is a type of manufacturing process in which small batches of a variety of custom products are made. As in many production models, it has a number of machines or resources on which the production work is processed. In job-shop scheduling, each job consist of several operations, each completed using a specific machine or resource for a set amount of time. The flow diagram in Figure 1 illustrates a hypothetical example of a job-shop. Each job has a due date by which time the job is ideally completed. At each machine, there are queued jobs waiting to be processed and a dispatching rule is implemented as a scheduling method to determine which queued job should be ‘dispatched’ for processing.
 
Andrew Brown, a graduate student at the University of Waterloo, was asked by Industry Partner A1 to analyze various dispatching rules and propose a method that reduced the number of late jobs as part of his Masters dissertation under the supervision of Dr. Stan Dimitrov. Hossein Abouee-Mehrizi, an Assistant Professor, ensured the content of this case complemented his course on scheduling theory.
Figure

Nahanni Steel Products Work Flow Design

Nahanni Steel Products (Nahanni), located in Brampton, Ontario, is a Tier 2 supplier that provides products and services to the automotive, mining and solar industries, as well as to both residential and commercial roofing businesses. Nahanni’s specialty, however, is automotive parts manufacturing. They offer a range of fabrication processes, including stamping, welding, assembly, press tool and injection mould builds. In the summer of 2014, Nahanni was awarded a contract to produce three automotive brackets, Figure 1, which serve as a cargo floor support to hold up a plastic floor in the back of a vehicle. The production of these steel brackets requires the use of 2 automated welding machines and a press, with production volumes of at least 80,000 parts per year. To proceed with production, Nahanni Steel Products requires a process flow and schedule that will efficiently produce all three parts.

National CPG Forecasting Methodology

A national Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company supplies snack foods to consumers all over Canada. With sales heavily based on consumer purchasing behaviour, being able to accurately forecast sales is a large part of their continued success. According to their protocol on product replacement, any product that sits on shelf for more than seven days is considered to be spoiled and must be discarded. If the forecasted sales are greater than the actual sales, then the extra product will be discarded. If a forecast is much lower than the actual sales, there is wasted money and resources from the items produced that weren’t sold. The Supply Chain and Operations teams send sales forecasts to the Canadian plants to predict the demand for the various products for each week. The in-house built forecasting model currently being used requires an intuitive estimate of the sales for that week based on experience from the previous three to four years. The CPG has been using this particular inventory model for many years and was open to any ideas for improvement. Jesse Singh, a third year Management Engineering co-op student from University of Waterloo, was asked to compare various types of forecasting models to the current model and determine if there was an alternative model that could be used to increase demand forecast accuracy.

 

Reducing Wait Times in an Acute Hospital's Emergency Department

A significant aspect of any service is wait time. For health care systems, particularly in an Emergency Department (ED), this can have a substantial impact on the quality of treatment and is an important service quality indicator. Unfortunately, as reported in 2015, Canada placed last in ED wait times compared to other countries that also have universal publicly funded health systems. There were approximately 27% of Canadians who reported waiting over 4 hours at an ED compared to 5% in the United Kingdom and 1% in the Netherlands. Improving wait times in EDs has been a challenge for many years and some the complications relate to the provision of emergency care. One problem originates from the age distribution of patients coming to the ED.

Renewable Energy Generation in Ontario

Non-renewable energy such as nuclear and coal has led to political, environmental and economic issues concerning its continued usage and development. By definition, non-renewable resources will only steadily satisfy world energy needs for a limited time period before their scarcity necessitates alternative sources. There are efforts to move away from non-renewables; however, regions that do not have renewable resources are currently at a disadvantage. Creating incentives to develop renewable energy sources can support developing areas that still rely heavily on unsustainable energy. In March 2009, the Government of Ontario announced a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program to encourage renewable energy development in the province. The model in the figure demonstrates the basic concept behind the FIT system. Exports from renewable energy sources are fed into the grid - Ontario’s energy supply. Whoever generates this energy is compensated by the FIT system because it is initially more expensive to generate renewable energy. Compensation is above retail and, as the percentage of adopters increases overtime, the FIT is reduced to the retail rate.

Sensory Technologies - eSHIFT

Sensory Technologies, headquartered in London, Ontario, provides medical technology products and services to both the private and public sectors. They identified an opportunity to focus on a software product that kept chronically ill patients out of hospitals. There is a concern that hospitals will not have sufficient resources to properly take care of the increased number of end-of-life ‘baby boomer’ patients. This will require an improvement to the health care system [1]. Sensory Technologies wanted to take this opportunity to develop a medical software system called eShift which allows Registered Nurses (RNs) and Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to communicate and collaborate in order to provide service to a larger number of home-care patients, Figure 1. This software system would better allocate health care resources and reduce the need for end-of-life patients to stay in hospitals.
 
Patrick Blanshard, Co-Founder, CEO and President of Sensory Technologies, needed to develop the eShift program in order to produce a high quality health care software solution to address this need.

SteriPro Operations Analysis

SteriPro Canada LP (SteriPro), located in Mississauga, Ontario, is the first and only company of its kind in Canada to offer hospitals an outsourcing alternative for the reprocessing and sterilization of reusable surgical instruments and medical devices. SteriPro offers services that encompass the entire supply chain of surgical instrument reprocessing, including the collection of soiled instruments from hospitals, cleaning, disinfection, sterilization, and delivery back to the hospital. The company has established a new facility in Mississauga in close proximity to the hospitals it will service. An overview of the processing functions is provided in Figure 1. Currently, (as of early 2012) three hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have agreed to outsource surgical instruments reprocessing services to SteriPro. While SteriPro’s facility can accommodate these hospitals, the company wanted to ensure that its processes, facilities and services to its customers were optimized. 

SteriPro must decide whether there is a need for facility and/or process improvements to best meet its goals. In anticipation of the quickly approaching ‘go-live’ date, SteriPro had to ensure they have could achieve optimal reprocessing volumes. A group of three University of Waterloo Management Engineering students were asked to develop a process to select an appropriate operations concept to address this need that is consistent with the design constraints and specifications given by SteriPro and will meet relevant health and safety regulations and standards.

Tiercon Work Cell Design

Tiercon Industries Inc., based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, is a supplier of exterior components and systems to the automotive industry, including General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda and Subaru. The company manufactures coatings and assembles quality exterior decorative trim such as running boards. In 2013, Tiercon acquired a contract to manufacture a running board for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). A running board is a vehicle accessory that is mounted beneath the doors on the side of a vehicle, as shown in Figure 1. Tiercon is required to supply 33 car sets of defect-free running boards per day. To efficiently manufacture the running boards, a standardized work process needed to be developed, including an analysis of the workflow, cell layout, and the design of easy to use and ergonomic worktables.
 
Francois-Johan Roy, a second year Management Engineering co-op students from the University of Waterloo, was asked to help design the work cell for this application.

Trench Group Lean Manufacturing

Trench Group manufactures high voltage products such as instrument transformers, bushings and coils for electrical and power supply industries. One of the Trench Group manufacturing plants, located in Scarborough, Ontario, specializes in coil products that are used for air coil reactors, line traps, power line carriers, dry type shunt reactors and test reactors. At this specific plant, the Cleaning Room is part of the Finishing Department. This room is one of the final processes before a coil is shipped to the customer. Tools and equipment do not have a designated place and the operator has to change tools many times. Trench Group decided to implement a project utilizing 5S concepts to improve overall cycle times, tool searching, cleanliness and orderliness. 5S stands for Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain, and is one of the pre-requisites for Lean Manufacturing. The purpose of Lean Manufacturing is to identify activities that do not directly contribute to high-quality products and to eliminate wasteful practices, such as time and space inefficiencies. The application of 5S in the Cleaning Room is part of Trench Group’s overall goal to fully integrate the 5S principles and improve efficiency throughout the company by having a clean working environment and increased employee satisfaction.

Management Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

WCDE Resource Management Database

Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering (WCDE) group, at the University of Waterloo (UW), was established to generate engineering case studies to bridge the gap between theory and practice through the engineering case method. WCDE develops engineering cases primarily derived from experiences described in co-op work term reports generated by UW students, offering a unique opportunity to pervasively implement a broad range of inherently motivating case material throughout the curriculum. For the past several years, WCDE has been steadfast in developing and delivery of engineering case studies. Example of case implementation road map is illustrated in Figure 1. However, the difficulty of managing a large collection of written documents stems mainly from the inability to conveniently catalogue and retrieve case study resources. In order to support WCDE program activities, which includes work report harvesting, case development and case implementation, a well-designed WCDE Data Base Management System (DBMS) is crucial.

WCDE Resource Management Database

Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering (WCDE) group, at the University of Waterloo (UW), was established to generate engineering case studies to bridge the gap between theory and practice through the engineering case method. WCDE develops engineering cases primarily derived from experiences described in co-op work term reports generated by UW students, offering a unique opportunity to pervasively implement a broad range of inherently motivating case material throughout the curriculum. For the past several years, WCDE has been steadfast in developing and delivery of engineering case studies. Example of case implementation road map is illustrated in Figure 1. However, the difficulty of managing a large collection of written documents stems mainly from the inability to conveniently catalogue and retrieve case study resources. In order to support WCDE program activities, which includes work report harvesting, case development and case implementation, a well-designed WCDE Data Base Management System (DBMS) is crucial.

WCDE Resource Management Database

Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering (WCDE) group, at the University of Waterloo (UW), was established to generate engineering case studies to bridge the gap between theory and practice through the engineering case method. WCDE develops engineering cases primarily derived from experiences described in co-op work term reports generated by UW students, offering a unique opportunity to pervasively implement a broad range of inherently motivating case material throughout the curriculum. For the past several years, WCDE has been steadfast in developing and delivery of engineering case studies. Example of case implementation road map is illustrated in Figure 1. However, the difficulty of managing a large collection of written documents stems mainly from the inability to conveniently catalogue and retrieve case study resources. In order to support WCDE program activities, which includes work report harvesting, case development and case implementation, a well-designed WCDE Data Base Management System (DBMS) is crucial.

Nanotech Engineering

Novel Cathode Material For Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

The National Research Council is the government of Canada’s main research and development organization [1]. Daniel Au spent his co-op term working there under the supervision of Dr. Gisele Amow (Defence R&D Canada), performing research on novel cathode materials for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Solid oxide fuel cells consist of a cathode, anode, and electrolyte. Originally, they operated at temperatures around 1000ºC, but these high temperatures led to thermal and chemical degradation. Current research focuses on intermediate temperature SOFCs, which operate in the range of 650ºC to 800ºC. Because of the decreased temperature range, there is an opportunity to increase the performance of the cathode material by utilizing materials different from those traditionally used at higher temperatures.

Dr. Amow’s goal was to discover a cathode material better suited to the temperature range of intermediate temperature solid-oxide fuel cells. Daniel’s job was to synthesize and characterize these novel cathode materials.

Thin Films Preparation Cost Analysis for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Dr. Aicheng Chen is an Associate Professor at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, conducting research in Electrochemistry, Bioelectrochemistry, Green Chemistry, Materials Science and Nanotechnology. Dr. Chen and his research team have been exploring the preparation methods and properties of nanostructures for green chemistry applications for many years. An example of these nanostructures is tin dioxide (SnO2) dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). These cells are a cheaper alternative to more traditional solar cells which use silicon (Si) or titanium dioxide (TiO2) to harvest solar energy.  For economically feasible research, it is desirable to know the cheapest method of preparing SnO2 cells.

Sean O’Neill, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was asked by Dr. Chen to investigate three different methods of SnO2 film preparation and recommend the best method. The methods to be reviewed were chemical vapour deposition, the solution based method and electrochemical deposition.

Virtual Button® Micro Electro Mechanical System Accelerometer Design

Virtual Button® technology has been developed by VBT Innovations Inc. a high tech company located and established in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2008. Virtual Buttons® are meant to augment or replace mechanical buttons and capacitive touch screens on consumer electronics devices such as cell phones. This technology enables buttons to be placed on flat and curved surfaces, edges, and locations where a mechanical button is not feasible. Figure 1 shows an example of a Virtual Button® application for a cell phone tapping user interface. Virtual Button® offers multiple advantages as it can endure harsh environments with high level of shock, vibration, and humidity. It can be also suitable for sensitive environments as the technology enables buttons to be placed on any existing surface, offering design flexibility. Since there is no direct connection between the sensor inside the device and its exterior; the Virtual Buttons® is safe for steam chambers and ethylene oxide cleaning as well. One of the enabling technologies of this system is the Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) accelerometer. This accelerometer must be designed and fabricated to meet the special requirements of VBT Innovations Inc.

Software Engineering

Cisco AS Lab Security Implementation

Cisco Systems Canada Inc., located in Toronto, Ontario, provides equipment, software, and support services that manage network traffic including data, voice, and video for a wide range of customers. A number of departments operate out of Cisco Systems Canada head office, including the Advanced Services Lab (AS). The AS Lab is responsible for providing high level networking support to major corporate networks across Canada. The AS Lab environment is designed with seven generic network topologies, integrated by a number of high performance devices to serve two primary purposes: (1) to provide a simulation lab-type environment for Network Consulting Engineer (NCE) training; and (2) to provide NCEs with the necessary resources to design and implement simulation networks for customer projects. During the design phase of the AS Lab, various Cisco security appliance models, including Cisco PIX 525 and ASA 5510 devices, were considered for integration within each topology. 

Sriram Sampath, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to develop a network performance and security analysis for each AS Lab network topology to assist NCEs with choosing the security appliance device that would best conform to all of the restrictions and constraints that might be specified by themselves, other NCEs, and/or their customers.

CSA Satellite Tracking Software Study

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is a government organization committed to promoting the development and application of space knowledge for the social and economic benefit of Canadians and humanity. The Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C) team within the CSA is responsible for ensuring clear and uninterrupted communication between satellites, both Canadian and European, and ground stations. The team also maintains and upgrades the communication equipment and software at Canadian ground stations. Until recently, TT&C used a commercially written Simplified General Perturbations Satellite Orbit Model 4 (SGP4) propagator to predict the position of satellites, as shown in Figure 1. This aspect of tracking allows for the proper orientation of the communications antenna, known as the antenna pointing angle. However, the SGP4 propagator program had several shortcomings in addition to being out of date with current satellite tracking software requirements.

Ilia B. Baranov, a University of Waterloo co-op student, was hired to develop an updated in-house version of the propagator software, based on existing source code.

eldoLED® Temperature Sensor Analysis

eldoLED, a privately-owned company, has its headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The company has branch offices in San Jose, California, and in Toronto, Canada. eldoLED develops and produces high-performance electronic drivers, as well as networking and control solutions for high-intensity solid-state lighting applications. Standard eldoLED products include: LedSync, DMX, and DALI compatible drivers and controllers, RF bridge interface cards and DMX dimmers. The eldoLAB prototype development team, located at the Toronto branch, designs and fabricates prototype products by reviewing internal specifications, developing circuit board layouts and fabricating physical prototypes.

Manulife analysis of enterprise service bus (ESB)

Manulife Financial (Manulife) is a leading financial services corporation operating in 22 countries and offering services to millions of people. It operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and as John Hancock in the Unites States. The company offers a variety of financial products including wealth management services, insurance, and group benefits. The company has approximately $500 billion in assets. As part of the “Less Paper Action” Manulife has attempted to eliminate paper forms for products where legislation permits; thus, the number of web applications that Manulife develops is growing rapidly to satisfy this goal. The Individual Wealth Management (IWM) eServices team is responsible for developing and consulting for all web applications created within the Canadian Division of Manulife starting in July 2010. The team has decided to complete this work by further developing and refining the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) which the team has been using. The team considered purchasing an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) from a third party. As part of this process, the current architecture, the needs of the company, and the benefits and deficiencies of an ESB, needed to be analyzed.

Timothy Worboys, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate the ESB effect on enterprise performance. 

Regional Power Document Management System Analysis

Regional Power, located in Toronto, has been in the business of developing and operating hydroelectric generating facilities since 1985. The engineering department, managed by Mike Hughes and Jean-Francois Martel, is responsible for not only the engineering design phase but also commercial aspects of all hydroelectric projects owned by Regional Power. They are also responsible for investigating potential locations within Canada for hydroelectric generation, then inviting specific contractors to provide proposals for establishing facilities. The department document control process is directly related to the efficiency and quality of Regional Power’s core operations since documents typically contain extremely important engineering and legal information. Throughout the life span of a project, the documents go through many changes, as shown in Figure 1, and for this reason the coordination of incoming and outgoing documents is crucial.

Tim Jijong, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to investigate Regional Power’s current document management process and develop core requirements for a new, more efficient document control system. This project also requires a preliminary analysis on how to implement a new document control system.

Systemgroup Validation Message Control Design

The Digital Rapids delivers software and hardware solutions in response to the problem of effective multimedia utilization. They provide content transformation in order to reach wider audiences by way of encoding and transcoding video formats, broadcasting live streams, and allowing consumers to create dynamic workflow graphs using products such as the Kayak Workflow Platform. The Kayak Workflow Platform enables systems integrators and software developers to design, deploy, and manage customized workflows in a multi-screen media landscape. The company consists of a number of departments, including the Kayak component team, the focus of which is implementation, maintenance, and modification of modules for the Kayak Workflow Designer. The programming language underlying the implementation of any software expresses itself in terms of overall software operation where performance, flexibility and functionality are concerned.

The Kayak component team develops their software with the C++ and Java languages and this commitment warrants the consideration of leveraging the full potential of available tools if the option has not yet been exhausted. Duncan Cheuk Kan Ma, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, investigated what properties of a programming language are considered for its use in a software environment dealing primarily with video and audio processing.

UW Student Life Office Software Development

On October 14th, 2010, the University of Waterloo established a new Student Success Office to lead and coordinate programs focused on student needs. It was envisioned that the new office would become well integrated across academic areas and incorporate best practices in student development at the University of Waterloo. In order to manage increased networking across academic areas, in addition to promotion of events and programs, and provision of resources to help students transition from high school to university, an initiative to design a web based Student Life Event & Resource Administration project was proposed. In order to initiate the project, development of an administrative application to handle human resource management was required.

Andre Bodo, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to identify the project requirements and appropriate organization and testing for development of the administrative application.

Software Engineering, Systems Design Engineering

Geosoft Software Automation Framework

Geosoft Incorporated is a Toronto, Ontario-based company that creates geological software for mining companies, the US Marines, geologists, and individuals with interests in earth exploration. They have software solutions for earth mapping and modelling, geographic information systems, and information mining and management. Automated testing of this software during the development process is critical to the company’s continued growth. Geosoft requires a robust, reusable, intuitive and modularly designed automated testing solution that will handle hundreds of test cases across different software applications. Automation allows drastic reductions of testing time, making it possible to reduce software development time and decrease the time between releases.  Geosoft’s previous attempts at integrating an automated testing method into their development processes have not been fully successful, and the system does not have a graphical user interface (GUI). The Automation team is a small group within the Research and Development (R&D) department responsible for automated software testing. They have recently chosen the Ranorex test automation tool, Figure 1, to implement their automated testing framework. Ranorex was selected due to its advantageous performance, GUI, and ability to support a wide range of modern technologies.

Sensory Technologies - eShift

Sensory Technologies, headquartered in London, Ontario, provides medical technology products and services to both the private and public sectors. They identified an opportunity to focus on a software product that kept chronically ill patients out of hospitals. There is a concern that hospitals will not have sufficient resources to properly take care of the increased number of end-of-life ‘baby boomer’ patients. This will require an improvement to the health care system [1]. Sensory Technologies wanted to take this opportunity to develop a medical software system called eShift which allows Registered Nurses (RNs) and Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to communicate and collaborate in order to provide service to a larger number of home-care patients, Figure 1. This software system would better allocate health care resources and reduce the need for end-of-life patients to stay in hospitals.

Geosoft Software Automation Framework

Geosoft Incorporated is a Toronto, Ontario-based company that creates geological software for mining companies, the US Marines, geologists, and individuals with interests in earth exploration. They have software solutions for earth mapping and modelling, geographic information systems, and information mining and management. Automated testing of this software during the development process is critical to the company’s continued growth. Geosoft requires a robust, reusable, intuitive and modularly designed automated testing solution that will handle hundreds of test cases across different software applications. Automation allows drastic reductions of testing time, making it possible to reduce software development time and decrease the time between releases.  Geosoft’s previous attempts at integrating an automated testing method into their development processes have not been fully successful, and the system does not have a graphical user interface (GUI). The Automation team is a small group within the Research and Development (R&D) department responsible for automated software testing. They have recently chosen the Ranorex test automation tool, Figure 1, to implement their automated testing framework. Ranorex was selected due to its advantageous performance, GUI, and ability to support a wide range of modern technologies.

Sensory Technologies - eShift

Sensory Technologies, headquartered in London, Ontario, provides medical technology products and services to both the private and public sectors. They identified an opportunity to focus on a software product that kept chronically ill patients out of hospitals. There is a concern that hospitals will not have sufficient resources to properly take care of the increased number of end-of-life ‘baby boomer’ patients. This will require an improvement to the health care system [1]. Sensory Technologies wanted to take this opportunity to develop a medical software system called eShift which allows Registered Nurses (RNs) and Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to communicate and collaborate in order to provide service to a larger number of home-care patients, Figure 1. This software system would better allocate health care resources and reduce the need for end-of-life patients to stay in hospitals.

Systems Design Engineering

Golf Club Cleaner Design

The Tiffany Terrier was a 4th year mechanical engineering student and varsity athlete at the University of Waterloo. Tiffany noticed that golf courses around the world have golf ball cleaners located on many of their tee boxes; however, golf club cleaners are rarely ever found. Her golf competition experience revealed a need for an effective on-course golf club cleaner that was as easy to use as existing golf ball cleaners. She noticed that currently available cleaners were ineffective or very expensive. The goal of Tiffany’s design project was to design a golf club cleaner that was effective, affordable and could be used at golf courses across the world.

Light Rail Transit: Public Sector Decision Making

In June 2003, the Waterloo Regional Council unanimously adopted the Regional Growth Management Strategy (RGMS), a long-term strategic plan for accommodating future residential and employment growth. The RGMS concluded that rapid transit was a necessity, as “continuing with road expansion alone was not a realistic or affordable option to manage growth” (see Figure 1). Light Rail Transit (LRT), as shown in Figure 2, was approved as the preferred solution by the Waterloo Regional Council in 2009. Public opinions surrounding implementation of the new transit system were collected from September 2010 until May 2011 and it was found that the main concerns included cost implications, health and environmental impacts, and the impact on the community. As a resident engineer of the Waterloo Region, you must decide whether you do or do not support the preferred LRT option using appropriate financial analysis to help evaluate the best option.

Northwest Passage Sea Ice Thickness Analysis

Sea ice poses a substantial treat to any vessel attempting to navigate the waters around the Canadian Arctic, and renders the region virtually inaccessible to the plethora of shipping companies and nations looking to establish a more direct transport route through the northwest. Prior to developing an effective trade route, it is critical to procure information on the state and thickness of the ice. Currently, sea ice charts and climatologies are produced by the Canadian Ice Service (CIS), the U.S. National Ice Centre (NIC), and other organizations with a similar mission. These charts are generated manually by assimilating data from multiple sensors such as remote synthetic aperture radars (SARs) and moored Upward-Looking Sonars. There is inconsistency in the quality of analyses derived from these methods, largely because data is amalgamated from a large variety of sources and image analyses conducted by ice operators are highly subjective. Therefore, an automated algorithm that can generate regional ice charts with accuracy comparable to or greater than their manually produced counterparts is highly sought-after. Dr. Katherine Andrea Scott, assistant professor at the University of Waterloo in the Systems Design Engineering Department, is working with an efficient model which calculates sea ice thickness on the Canadian East Coast. The calculated ice thickness can be combined with other data in an automatic data assimilation algorithm.

Kevin Pauley, a 3A Mechanical Engineering coop student from the University of Waterloo, worked with Dr. Scott investigating an algorithm that computed the East Coast of Canada sea ice thickness using optical satellite data acquired from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor aboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Aqua satellite for the month of January, 2007.

UW Door Lock Retrofit

Engineering Cases is a group within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo that produces engineering design case studies for use throughout the engineering curriculum. New offices have been created for the group in the Student Design Centre (SDC) of the recently built Engineering 5 (E5) building, shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 illustrates the layout of the WCDE suite of offices in the south east corner of the mezzanine of the SDC. The layout emphasizes the importance of design within the faculty. As is common in most large projects, it was not possible to obtain feedback on all the implementation details. The WCDE group was only able to view the nearly completed offices in early May, just two months prior to the scheduled move-in date in July. While the new offices would clearly provide the space and close proximity the team needs, there was an immediate concern regarding the practicality of the door locking arrangements.

UW Model Train System Design

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, has one of Canada’s largest Engineering faculties, with 6 Engineering Departments plus the School of Architecture. The Systems Design Engineering (SYDE) Department of the University of Waterloo is presently using an electric model train to demonstrate a basic concept of system control to the students, as well as an example of how circuit theories are applied in the real world. The model train was originally designed to be controlled by a simple power switch and had no other functions. A team of engineers in SYDE chose to design a circuit that would allow the model train to be controlled by a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) board due to its ease-of-use and versatility. This circuit would act as the interface between the FPGA board and the model train, as shown in Figure 1. The switches on the FPGA board were to be selected by the user to energize corresponding electric signals and control the speed of the model train.

VerifEye Image Quality Measurement

VerifEye Technologies Inc., located in Markham, Ontario, specializes in security solutions for the transportation industry. Their main product, Taxicam is a surveillance system within a taxi cab that records video of passengers that enter the taxi. The information gathered using this system can be used by authorities to locate and prosecute a criminal if a driver is harmed. VerifEye also offers surveillance systems for school buses and large transportation trucks. In any application, decisions must be made regarding the type and configuration of image sensors (video cameras) used. To assist in these decisions, the company wants to find a method to quantify image quality in order to compare the sensor configurations. With quantified measurements and data, the best configuration of image sensors can be chosen and result in higher quality images and better video evidence in case of a crime.

Ronak Shah, a student from the University of Waterloo, was asked to develop a method that would quantify the measurement of image quality.

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testimonial from Hannah Van Opstal

Hannah Van Opstal

Student, Systems Design Engineering

I think getting case study experience is the first step in really helping students see all the possibilities and everything they can accomplish.