Posted March 22nd, 2013 by Engineering

National Engineering Month 2013

March is National Engineering Month

National Engineering Month (NEM) is the biggest national celebration of engineering and technology.

Across Canada, engineering schools and volunteers stage more than 500 events and activities to bring more awareness to the exciting and rewarding world of engineering.

This year’s NEM theme is Design the Future – something U of T Engineering certainly knows a lot about. On this page, we share U of T Engineering’s successes, spotlighting our innovative faculty, students and alumni, as well as our forward-thinking educational programs and centres, along with our NEM activities. We hope you’ll join us in discovering Engineering at U of T – in all its wondrous facets.


Our Events

Purple CN Tower
  • Purple Power at the CN Tower: At dusk on March 26, U of T’s Engineering Society will flip the switch on an amazing Rube Goldberg machine to light the CN Tower purple – the colour traditionally associated with the engineering profession.
  • WISE National Conference: For the first time ever, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) chapter at U of T will be hosting the WISE National Conference. The two-day event will focus on women’s leadership, confidence and involvement in research and technology. Also, check out WISE’s 30 in 30 campaign, celebrating 30 influential female engineers for every day of NEM – that includes U of T Engineering innovators Dean Cristina Amon, Katherine Moshonas Cole (EngSci 8T6), Valerie Davidson (ChemE PhD), Louise Grondin (MechE 8T4), Beatriz Martin-Perez (CivE MASc 9T5, PhD 9T9), Anne Sado (IndE 7T7, HonDoc 1T1) and Beth Vary (IndE MASc 0T9).
  • Global Engineering Innovation Challenge & Symposium: Featuring several of our renowned faculty members, this event aims to inspire Canadians to solve problems that matter to all of us.
  • Skule Nite 1T3: This year marks the 92nd anniversary of U of T Engineering’s legendary Skule Nite production. From March 13-16, engineering students, as well as students across all disciplines, came together to put on a lively and hilarious comedy/musical variety show. Check out the photos below by photographer Mike Hawkins.


Our People

A 3-D printer to revolutionize burn care around the world

A 3-D printer to revolutionize burn care around the world

Imagine a future where inexpensive 3-D tissue printers are used to save lives, revolutionizing burn care around the world.

That’s how mechanical engineering PhD student Lian Leng  is designing the future. Under the supervision of Professor Axel Guenther (MIE, IBBME), she is developing a printing device that forms sheets of soft tissue.

The printer, which is still in prototype stage, can also build up the material – made mostly from living cells – to varying thicknesses, textures and densities.

If successful, Leng’s tissue printer could mark a huge advance in quality of life and survivability for severely burned patients, and dramatically reduce treatment costs. What’s more, it could morph into a machine for fabricating internal organs.


The world’s smallest space telescopes

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eh5cu5tys4]

Our University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) is shining BRITE, after designing the world’s smallest space telescopes.

Developed by U of T Engineering’s Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), the mini telescope satellites are now circling the Earth, prepared to find and study the brightest stars in the sky.

Measuring only 20 centimetres a side, and weighing less than seven kilograms, the nano-satellites are the smallest astronomical satellites ever built. They were launched February 25 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. Funded by Austria, they are the first two components in the planned six-satellite BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE) mission.


The most energy-effecient light bulb

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Three U of T Engineering graduates have invented the world’s most energy-efficient light bulb, the NanoLight.

According to Gimmy Chu (ElecE 0T6), Tom Rodinger (IBBME PhD 0T7) and Christian Yan (ElecE 0T6), it’s a breakthrough in LED lighting technology.

Made out of printed circuit-board material that’s folded into the shape of a light bulb, it has what Chu describes as a ‘funky’ shape, but for good reason. It uses only 12 watts of electricity to generate the equivalent output of a 100-watt incandescent bulb.


Reinventing the toilet

Engineers at U of T’s Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN) are working on a revolutionary project that could change millions of lives all over the world.

Led by Professor Yu-Ling Cheng (ChemE), Director of CGEN, a team of U of T engineers hope to reinvent the toilet to provide people in developing worlds with affordable, alternative, sanitation that does the impossible: works for only five cents per user, per day and doesn’t rely on running water, sewerage systems or supplied electricity.

Last summer, the team’s design garnered third place at the Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. And in November 2012, the Gates Foundation awarded them a grant worth $2.2 million for 15 months, to continue their inspiring work.

Learn more about our engineering community’s recent activities, discoveries and awards at: In the News


Our Programs

Our programs collage

At U of T Engineering, we’re constantly renewing our educational offerings to be at the leading edge, while also meeting the needs of students and industry.

Our undergraduate minors span an array of engineering areas, from engineering business, to robotics and mechatronics, to sustainable energy. We also offer a diverse selection of certificates that focus on entrepreneurship, nuclear engineering, mineral resources and global engineering, just to name a few.

We’re not just strengthening our undergraduate program, either. Graduate Studiescontinues to flourish here, with new and exciting offerings in our Master of Engineering (MEng) program. That includes new time offerings, the launch of an MEng in Cities Engineering and Managment (MEngCEM) in September 2013, and the development of an MEng in Advanced Water Technologies and Process Design.

What’s more, U of T Engineering is home to institutes and centres aimed on making a world of positive difference: the newly established Institute for Sustainable Energy,The Entrepreneurship Hatchery, the Centre for Global Engineering and the Institute for Leadership Education.


To learn more about National Engineering Month, visit the NEM Ontario  page or the national page .

U of T Engineering was recently featured in a special NEM supplement in theToronto Star. Make sure to pick up the February 28 issue to read about our impact – from Lian Leng’s 3-D skin grafts, to the creation of Bionym, a tech start-up founded by graduates Foteini Agrafioti (ElecE PhD 1T2) and Karl Martin (ElecE PhD 1T2).