Faculty 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.

Professor John McPhee

John McPhee

Professor, Systems Design Engineering

What are the best new drivers for the 2012 golf season?

The best hybrids? Irons? Wedges? Putters? John McPhee, systems design engineering professor, can tell you.

Vanessa Bohns

Professor, Management Sciences

Vanessa Bohns was attracted to Waterloo Engineering by its unique management sciences department.          
“I thought it was amazing that there was a department in engineering that is so interdisciplinary and connected to the people-side of getting out your ideas,” says the new management sciences professor.

Lin Tan

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Google the words “program comments” and a paper written by Lin Tan appears first on the list of hits. It even beats out a “yourdictionary.com” definition.

Her ranking is a testament to the new electrical and computer engineering professor’s expertise. Program comments are written in natural language and used by programmers to explain what they’re trying to accomplish. Tan’s research looks at finding ways to use those comments to detect software bugs and make software more reliable.

Frank Gu

Professor, Chemical Engineering

For Canadian soldiers fighting in hot, arid conditions, a case of severe dry eye can mean the difference between life and death.

That’s why Frank Gu is working with Waterloo’s School of Optometry to develop new eye drops using non-irritating nanoparticles. Unlike today’s drops, Gu’s would be used only once a day.

Professor Catherine Burns

Catherine Burns

Systems Design Engineering Professor

When patients go to Credit Valley Hospital complaining of sore joints, there’s a chance their care will involve a rheumatology tool developed by Catherine Burns.

The systems design engineering professor, along with doctoral candidate Tom Robinson and three co-op students, began working on the software tool in May 2009. Its purpose is to eliminate extra paperwork so rheumatologists can spend their time treating arthritis patients. The tool also helps track how patients respond to treatment.

Dongqing Li

Dongqing Li

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Professor

The next time you offer an arm to give vials of blood for tests, think about Dongqing Li, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor.

Li develops various microfluidic devices, one of which requires only a tiny sample of blood to get results. How tiny? “Instead of millilitres, we’re using nanolitres,” he says.

Fatma Gzara

Management Sciences Professor

Whenever Fatma Gzara passes a “no trucks permitted” road sign, her own wheels start to turn.

The management sciences professor knows the sign is intended to keep trucks carrying dangerous goods, also known as HazMats, off the route and to keep people living and working in the surrounding area, safe. But how will the trucking company respond to the request?

Boxin Zhao

Chemical Engineering Professor

Here’s a head-scratcher for you: What do geckos and Post-it notes have in common?

Stumped? Boxin Zhao, a chemical engineering professor, isn’t. For over five years he has been researching the amazing adhesive properties of lizards’ tiny footpads to find out exactly why geckos’ feet can stick to any surface – rough, smooth, dry and wet – and detach in milliseconds.

Armed with an understanding of the footpads’ physical and chemical nature, he’s now moving on to material design, aiming to engineer a new reversible and responsive adhesive.

Professor Leonardo Simon

Leonardo Simon

Chemical Engineering Professor

Leonardo Simon, a lead investigator with Ontario’s BioCar Initiative, has invented a process that combines plastic with wheat stalks to create lighter car parts. Ford Motor Company was the first to make use of the new parts – its 2010 Ford Flex, made in the company’s Oakville plant, includes straw-reinforced plastic storage bins for third row passengers.

“The most satisfying thing was to see that we’re using something that is grown in Ontario in a product that is assembled in Ontario. This is sustainable innovation,” says Simon, a Waterloo chemical engineering professor.

Professor Ada Barlatt

Ada Barlatt

Management Sciences Professor

Work anytime, anywhere. That’s the promise technology has brought to workers who want to trade in office cubicles for home offices.

But how do you ensure that employees receive valuable office time with coworkers when everyone telecommutes on different days? That’s the question management sciences professor Ada Barlatt is attempting to answer.

Professor Dana Kulic

Dana Kulic

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor

For Dana Kulić developing algorithms that teach robots how to imitate humans is no longer science fiction – it’s reality.

If the robot has the ability to understand and learn from observing human motion, it can be taught by simply demonstrating the task to be learned, even by users who are not trained in robotics or robot programming. By using Dana’s algorithms, robots would actually improve their performance throughout their lifespan while learning how to adapt to changes in their environment.

Professor Carolyn Hansson

Carolyn Hansson

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Professor

Rusting steel structures are a problem. Rusting steel reinforcing bars inside concrete structures are an even bigger problem.

“The trick, of course, is that you can’t see the damage,” says mechanical and mechatronics engineering faculty member Carolyn Hansson. “So you don’t know which structure is in trouble until it’s too late.”

Photo of Bill Owen

Bill Owen

Associate Director of First-Year Engineering

Contact information

Location: CPH 1325H
Email: bowen@uwaterloo.ca


My first-year advisor/administrator duties include:

Photo of Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

Associate Director of First-Year Engineering

Contact information

Location: E2 1778A
Email: mary.robinson@uwaterloo.ca


I work closely with the Administrative Co-ordinator, Associate Director, and Director of First-Year Engineering. In this role, I am involved in:

Photo of Sandor Weinacht

Sandor Weinacht

Alumni Mentor Co-ordinator

Contact information

Email: sandor.weinacht@uwaterloo.ca

Photo of Christine Moresoli

Christine Moresoli

Associate Dean, Co-operative Education and Professional Affairs

Contact information

Location: E6 4010
Email: engadcepa@uwaterloo.ca

Profiles by type