Posted November 28th, 2014 by Jamie Hunter

Better together: U of T Engineering celebrates its industry partnerships

  • Ted Maulucci, chief information officer at Tridel Corporation, speaks at a recent industry partner event at U of T’s Faculty Club (Photo: Jamie Hunter).

More than 250 current industry partners are helping to advance U of T Engineering’s research activities and create business solutions with global impact.

That’s 250 great reasons to celebrate.

On Nov. 19, industry representatives and researchers attended a reception held at the University of Toronto’s Faculty Club. The event was hosted by U of T Engineering to both thank its partners and welcome new industry collaborators. Attendees included large established companies (such as IBM and General Electric Digital Energy) and startups (such as Konectivity and Opalux) alike.

“In the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, we greatly value our interactions with industry,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “By partnering with industry, we have the opportunity to work together on the most challenging problems while advancing technology quickly and translating research innovations effectively into the market.”

Professor Ted Sargent (ECE), vice-dean, research, also spoke at the event, emphasizing how industry partnerships can develop into much more, including alliances and affiliated programs.

“U of T’s Pulp & Paper Centre is the gold standard for an industry research consortium,” Sargent said. “Founded in 1987 to stimulate research for pulp and paper products and to encourage collaborative research, the Centre now has more than 20 companies from seven countries and has celebrated 27 successful years.”

Sargent also highlighted the Centre for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Engineering. In operation for more than 20 years, it helps save companies millions of dollars through research in engineering asset management in the areas of condition-based maintenance, spares management, protective devices, maintenance and repair contracts, and failure-finding intervals.

Three reasons to partner with U of T Engineering

Alumnus Ted Maulucci (MechE 8T9) understands the kind of value a partnership with his alma mater can bring to his company. As chief information officer at Tridel Corporation, he has partnered with the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE) on fourth-year Capstone projects, serves on MIE’s Industry Advisory Board and often volunteers his time as a guest speaker. He shared three reasons why a partnership with U of T Engineering is invaluable for industry:

Research

“U of T Engineering was talking about big data and analytics five years ago before it became mainstream. Everything that they are talking about now is what you’re going to start to hear about in five years. It is an incredible resource to tap into.”

Fact: The Association of American Universities (AAU) index ranks U of T Engineering first in Canada and eighth in North America for publication counts between 2006-2010. The index measures research output, productivity and intensity based on publication counts over a five-year period. Among the U15 (Canada’s 15 research-intensive universities), U of T Engineering ranked first in citations per faculty member and first in citations per publication. Prevalent citations by other researchers demonstrates the relevance of U of T Engineering publications and research.

Inspiration

“I mentor a lot of students because they see the fire. They don’t care about limitations. They are the ones who show up, sometimes exhausted, and still try to reach that next goal. By being exposed to that, it encourages my colleagues and I to tirelessly pursue our goals. I’ve hired students from U of T Engineering and I’ve seen their work benefit Tridel.”

Fact: U of T Engineering’s Professional Experience Year (PEY) is one of the most recognized undergraduate paid internship programs in Canada. In 2013-14, 304 PEY employers hired U of T Engineering graduates.

Innovation

“One critical element in Canada’s success is the fact that we’ve stayed innovative. That’s why it’s fundamentally important that we create these partnerships, work together and do something great. I encourage you to actively pursue these partnerships before your competition does.”

Fact: More than 42 per cent of invention disclosures at U of T over the past five years originate with the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. 

“Being back here in a different capacity has been completely enriching,” said Maulucci, referencing the value of his industry partnership with U of T Engineering. “It has had a big impact on my life.”

 

Click here for five more great reasons to partner with U of T Engineering and further information on industry partnerships.