Alumni profiles

Keith Hipel

Professor, Systems Design Engineering

Keith Hipel has some simple words of advice for anyone pursuing an education or career: always surround yourself with good people.

Prof. Marc Aucoin

Marc Aucoin

Academic Director, WatPD Engineering

Marc Aucoin is standing at an exciting crossroad, a place where chemical engineering and virology intersect.

The Waterloo chemical engineering professor’s interest in biology is specific to viruses because of their ability to take over the control of cells. He believes chemical engineers, with their background in design and process, are well suited to study viruses and their potential uses. Viruses and virus-like products, says Marc, often need to be mass-produced for use in vaccines.

Alumnus and Graduate student Matt Rendall

Matt Rendall

Alumnus, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and Graduate student, CBET

Many students dream of hopping a plane to backpack across Europe or relax on an exotic beach. Not Matt Rendall, a Waterloo mechanical and mechatronics engineering grad now an MBET student who packed his bags this summer and traveled to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Alumna Erin Bourke-Dunphy

Erin Bourke-Dunphy

Alumna, Electrical Engineering (’98)

You would think as a manager at Microsoft Corp. that Erin Bourke-Dunphy would have more than enough to keep her busy.

But the busy Waterloo electrical engineering graduate makes the time to work towards increasing the number of women entering engineering. Erin mentors young women, helped establish a scholarship for women choosing academic careers in math and engineering, and remains connected with Waterloo Engineering through her work with the faculty’s Women in Engineering committee.

Alumnus Dan Donovan

Dan Donovan

Alumnus, Computer Engineering (‘02) & MBET (‘07)

Dan Donovan graduated from Waterloo with a BASc in computer engineering and landed a job as a machine control and robotics specialist. He liked it – but something else was at the back of his mind.

“Starting a company really appealed to me. And I thought I should do it now, before children and a mortgage came along.”

Alumna Toni Carlisle

Toni Carlisle

Alumna, Mechatronics Engineering (BASc ‘08)

“I think you need a good balance of social life and academics or work,” muses Toni Carlisle. “You need outlets for energy, ways to take a break, meet people or give back to the community.”

Toni pursued a number of activities during her time at Waterloo – the Women in Engineering Committee (WIE), the Varsity Nordic Ski Team and intramural soccer. Toni learned of soccer through friends and joined varsity sports and WIE during orientation week. She credits each activity with helping her to “develop skills like leadership, organization, planning and stress management.”

Alumna Cat Coode

Cat Coode

Alumna, Electrical Engineering (BASc ‘01)

“When I was little, there were commercials with video phones, and I thought they were the coolest thing ever,” says Cat Coode.  “I wanted to make them.  I have to say, I’m surprised by how close to my dream I ended up.”

After studying electrical engineering at Waterloo, Cat went to work at Research In Motion – RIM – the company that makes the popular BlackBerry.  A hand-held phone, e-mail and web-browsing device, the BlackBerry is the 21st-century equivalent of the cool video phones of the 1980s.

Alumna Claire Tomlin

Claire Tomlin

Alumna, Electrical Engineering (BASc ’92)

Claire Tomlin is officially a genius.

A 1992 Waterloo alumna from electrical engineering, Claire is a bright young electrical engineer, specializing in aviation, with faculty appointments at both Stanford and Berkeley and more than 120 papers to her name.

Alumnus Alim Somani

Alim Somani

Alumnus, Electrical Engineering (BASc ’01)

Alim Somani started at Infusion Development as a Waterloo co-op student. Today, he’s the president.

Infusion Development is a consulting company specializing in software development for financial institutions. And while its client list is confidential, chances are that if you name a large investment bank, you’ll find Infusion behind it.

“In finance, the companies that do well are the ones that can efficiently trade on the markets,” says Alim. “They need IT to do that and they hire us to write it. Our systems are the guts of what happens on Wall Street.”

Alumnus Tom Chau

Tom Chau

Alumnus, Systems Design Engineering (PhD ‘98)

Deep in the heart of Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, Tom Chau is giving disabled children a hand.

Tom, who earned his PhD in Systems Design at Waterloo in 1998, leads a team of researchers at Bloorview Kids Rehab in developing creative devices to help improve the lives of injured or disabled kids, who often struggle with so-called adaptive technologies. “We want to move the onus from individuals adapting to technology to the technology adapting to individuals,” Tom says.

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