Posted June 24th, 2014 by Engineering

Four U of T engineers receive Ontario Professional Engineers Awards

Four Award winners

From left to right: Alumna Márta Ecsedi, Professor Natalie Enright Jerger,
Professor Frank Vecchio and alumnus Bin Wu.

Márta Ecsedi (CivE 7T6) knows a little something about being first. During her undergraduate degree at U of T Engineering, she was the first woman to lead the Engineering Society. Later, she served as the first woman president of the Engineering Alumni Association. She was also the founding chair of two different professional engineering advisory committees, the first chair of Women in Motion and a co-founder of the Go ENG Girl program.

This month, Ecsedi joins three other U of T engineers in receiving Ontario Professional Engineers Awards for engineering excellence and community service:

  • Professor Natalie Enright Jerger (ECE) has received the Young Engineer Award for her cutting-edge research in computer architecture.
  • Professor Frank Vecchio (CivE) has been awarded the Research and Development Medal for his extensive work in developing and understanding longer-lasting concrete.
  • Alumna Márta Ecsedi (CivE 7T6) received the Citizenship Award in recognition of her invaluable contributions to women in engineering.
  • Alumnus Bin Wu (ElecE MASc 8T9, PhD 9T3) garnered an Engineering Excellence Medal for his advances in more efficient motor technologies.

Given by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), these awards have recognized outstanding engineers across Ontario for over 65 years. Eleven awards in total will be given out this year.

“These prestigious awards recognize the significant contributions made by our faculty and alumni to engineering in Ontario, through both their accomplishments and their service to the profession,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “I am grateful to OSPE and PEO for recognizing these outstanding engineers and I congratulate the recipients on this richly-deserved recognition.”

About Natalie Enright Jerger:

Natalie Enright Jerger has made outstanding contributions to research in computer architecture in the critical areas of interconnection networks and parallel architectures. She is widely recognized as a leading expert in the area of on-chip networks, identifying high-impact problems and finding effective solutions for them. A dedicated educator, Enright Jerger has redesigned the Faculty’s undergraduate fourth-year computer architecture course and introduced a graduate course about on-chip networks. She is co-author of a widely used textbook, On-Chip Networks. Enright Jerger is program chair for the 2014 International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture – the youngest program chair in the conference’s history. She is a passionate advocate for increased gender diversity in STEM, dedicating a great deal of time and effort to the cause.

About Frank Vecchio:

Professor Frank Vecchio is a pioneer in the modeling and analysis of reinforced concrete and its response under extreme loads, such as blast, earthquake, impact and thermal effects. His foundational work in this area led to the development of the Modified Compression Field Theory (MCFT), a groundbreaking conceptual model for describing and understanding the behaviour of reinforced concrete under general load conditions. This model forms the basis for shear concrete design codes in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Vecchio has developed a suite of analysis programs (known as VecTor) for reinforced concrete structures, based on the MCFT, which are used worldwide by students, researchers and practising engineers. He works extensively with government and industry to analyse crucial infrastructure such as offshore platforms, bridges and nuclear containment structures.

About Márta Ecsedi:

Márta Ecsedi has always been a passionate volunteer within the engineering profession and the community. At U of T, she was the first woman president of the Engineering Society and the first woman president of the Engineering Alumni Association, and has also served as president of the U of T Alumni Association. Ecsedi left the telecommunications industry to serve as director of alumni relations for U of T Engineering from 2001 to 2006, and held the post of advisor to the dean on women’s issues during this time. The founding chair of both the PEO Women in Engineering Advisory Committee and the PEO Equity and Diversity Committee, she has been a leader in developing and implementing programs and policies to create equal opportunities for women in engineering. Ecsedi was the first chair of Women in Motion and one of the founders of the Go ENG Girl program.

About Bin Wu:

Bin Wu has made substantial contributions in developing medium-voltage (MV) drive technology, particularly in the creation of the world’s first transformerless MV drive – used to control and make more efficient electric motors. Over the past 20 years, many of his designs and innovations have had a lasting impact on MV drive technology, and he is currently working on developing the next generation MV drive. His work has resulted in 20 patents and an extensive publication record, including the book High Power Converters and AC Drives, which has been translated into Chinese and Persian. In addition to his significant technical contributions, Wu has provided exceptional service to his professional community, serving in leadership positions on technical committees and as an organizer for major international conferences and symposiums.

The Ontario Professional Engineers Awards recipients will be honoured at a gala at the International Centre in Mississauga on November 22, 2014. See the full list of 2014 winners.