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Dean Carpenter (second from left), Manager, Product Technology Pratt & Whitney Canada, is presented the first UT-IMDI Recognition Award for his support of the Institute. The award was presented by Todd Young (far left), Vice-President, Customer Service & Support, Bombardier, and Chair of the UT-IMDI Advisory Board, and Professor Markus Bussmann, Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies and Professor Jean Zu, Chair of the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering.

From creating an R&D roadmap for aircraft interiors, to applying the Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology within a luxury brand retailer, 25 students had the opportunity to tackle diverse industry topics during the second year of project-based learning with the University of Toronto Institute for Multidisciplinary Design & Innovation (UT-IMDI).

October 28 marked an evening of celebration for the Institute which officially launched a year ago.

During UT-IMDI’s first year, nine undergraduate students landed exclusive aerospace projects, completing their design projects over the summer months, under the supervision of a senior engineer and a faculty member.

This year, UT-IMDI welcomed nine new industry partners, from automotive to retail, in addition to nearly tripling the number of student project offerings.

The opportunity to work within industry has been invaluable for many UT-IMDI students.

UT-IMDI alumna, Jaclyn Canton (EngSci 1T3) worked consecutive summer projects with Bombardier Aerospace, participating this year in projects related to the CSeries aircraft.

“I had the opportunity to work in a business environment where I was able to learn new skills and interact with other teams within the department,” said Canton. “The experience I gained, coupled with invaluable advice from my mentors, inspired me to pursue what I was most passionate about, push my boundaries and take advantage of every opportunity to challenge myself.”

Canton is now a full-time Bombardier employee in the Liaison Engineering Department, assigned to the Global Express Program.

“The exposure gained, even in the short duration of the summer months, is an exceptional opportunity for U of T Engineering students to interact with industry and deliver a completed design project,” said Professor Kamran Behdinan (MIE), the Institute’s Director. “With the support of the UT-IMDI advisory board, our projects are developed collaboratively, to benefit both our students and the real needs of industry today.”

Over the next five years, the Institute plans to expand to 70 summer projects annually. Students in all engineering disciplines can apply, based on the project needs, through a competitive interview process.

Applications for the forthcoming summer will open in early 2014. For more information, contact

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