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Two U of T Engineering researchers shared their world-leading innovations with the general public at this year’s Engineering Innovations Forum, held March 2 as part of National Engineering Month.

Professor Milica Radisic (IBBME, ChemE) shared several discoveries from her lab, including a new scaffold that supports the growth of realistic heart and liver tissues outside the body. Such tissues provide an ideal platform for testing new drugs for side effects, but the hope is that one day they will allow for the replacement of damaged human organs. “Organ regeneration is certainly something we will achieve in the future,” said Radisic.

Watch Radisic’s complete talk:

Victor Ragusila (EngSci 0T8, AeroE PhD candidate) talked about his experiences working with Aerovelo, a  company co-founded by U of T Engineering alumni Todd Reichert (EngSci 0T5, UTIAS PhD 1T1) and Cameron Robertson (EngSci 0T8, UTIAS MASc 0T9). Together the team has achieved a number of world firsts, including the first human-powered ornithopter (2010), the first human-powered helicopter to win the Igor Sikorsky Prize (2013) and most recently, breaking the land speed record for a human-powered vehicle (2015). “What we learned was how to do innovation that works,” said Ragusila. “We don’t want to re-invent the wheel.” He outlined three steps to success: learn from what has been done before, carefully select the aspects that require innovation, and fail early, so that there is time to go back to the drawing board.

Watch Ragusila’s complete talk:

The Engineering Innovations Forum was initiated in 1990 has been part of National Engineering Month ever since. It is organized by Professional Engineers Ontario and several partner organizations.

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