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January 2019

Why Smart Cities are maybe so 2017

January 8, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario Canada
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There has been significant policy interest in Smart Cities as a means of harnessing the power of new IT solutions, urban sensors and Big Data to provide services more efficiently. But Smart Cities are part of a broader set of initiatives with a long history in urban technology and planning to try and generate innovation. Whilst data-driven service delivery initiatives are succeeding on their own, so-called living laboratories, knowledge precincts and other techno-utopian dreams that try to create a holistic…

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CHEME: Reaction Mechanisms and Structure Sensitivity for Heterogeneous Catalyst Discovery from First-Principles

January 16, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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MANOS MAVRIKAKIS, University of Wisconsin – Madison Reaction Mechanisms and Structure Sensitivity for Heterogeneous Catalyst Discovery from First-Principles First-principles calculations have emerged as a key contributor towards the fundamental understanding of heterogeneous catalysis and the educated discovery of improved catalytic materials. By choosing the example of formic acid (HCOOH) decomposition on transition metals and alloys, we demonstrate how a deep mechanistic understanding of selective versus unselective routes can help with designing more selective catalysts. HCOOH is a simple molecule that is…

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Addressing Root Causes: Power, Privilege and Injustice in Engineering Education and Practice

January 23, 2019 @ 11:10 am - 12:00 pm
Galbraith Building, 35 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario Canada
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After decades of research and educational innovation, engineering continues to struggle to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion by most measures. Why is this change so slow, despite numerous investments from governments, industries, and non-governmental organizations? Applying tools from humanities and social science disciplines, we can identify and examine the root causes of inequality in engineering disciplines, and reframe the project of diversity in order to make greater progress. Re-imagining diversity in a social justice frame generates numerous avenues of inquiry…

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CHEME: Thermodynamics and Transport in Desalination Systems Engineering

January 23, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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JOHN LIENHARD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Thermodynamics and transport in desalination systems engineering  The world’s renewable fresh water supply may be considered to be the difference between precipitation over land and evaporation; and this supply is essentially fixed while world population has risen sharply and the water demands of growing economies continue to rise. As a result, water scarcity is an increasing problem throughout the world, with water shortages impacting both rural and urban populations and with substantial environmental damage as…

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February 2019

ECE: Distributed protocols for cooperative multi-robot systems

February 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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JEFF SHAMMA, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) In cooperative multi-robot systems, there is a group of robots that seek to achieve a collective task as a team. Each individual robot makes decisions based on available local information as well as limited communications with neighboring robots. The challenge is to design local protocols that result in desired global outcomes. In contrast to a traditional centralized control paradigm, both measurements and decisions are distributed among multiple actors. This talk…

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March 2019

ECE: Decentralization in Energy Systems: Absorbing Solar and Storage into Grids

March 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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DUNCAN CALLAWAY, University of California, Berkeley As prices for solar photovoltaics and battery energy storage plummet, grids around the globe are undergoing tremendous changes.  How should we design and operate grids in the future in the presence of these technologies? This talk will cover some of my group’s recent efforts to answer this question.  First, I will focus on a new approach to decentralized network optimization – a variant of the primal-dual subgradient method – that can be used to…

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MIE: Bone Bioengineering: Microstructure, Mechanics, Mechanobiology, and Beyond

March 15, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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EDWARD GUO, Columbia University Bone Bioengineering Laboratory is developing innovative technology in microstructural assessments, biomechanical modeling, multiscale and mechanobiological approaches in skeletal research.  Bone Bioengineering has both basic science and clinical significances in many medical fields, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or intervertebral disc degenerations.  I will highlight our development of a three-dimensional imaging analysis and modeling technique for trabecular bone microstructure, its applications in basic science research of bone mechanics, and clinical applications in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.  In parallel to…

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CHEME: Metabolic Imaging at the Single-Cell Scale: Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Mass Spectrometry Imaging

March 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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IAN GILMORE, National Physical Laboratory, UK Metabolic Imaging at the Single-Cell Scale: Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Mass Spectrometry Imaging Super-resolution optical microscopy using fluorescent labels has been transformational in allowing the machinery of life, e.g. proteins, to be seen at the nanoscale. There is a great desire in the life-sciences to achieve this level of insight for metabolites. This will allow unprecedented ability to understand rewiring of metabolic networks involved in disease, understanding of the uptake of drugs in…

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ECE: Wireless Bioelectronics

March 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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ADA S. Y. POON, Stanford University Miniaturized electronics, when placed inside the body, can wirelessly monitor and modulate internal activity and thus hold promise as a new class of treatments for disorders. The development of such bioelectronic medicines requires wireless interfaces that are tiny and operate deep in a complex electromagnetic environment. In this talk, I will describe a new method for electromagnetic energy transfer that exploits near-field interactions with biological tissue to wirelessly power tiny devices anywhere in the…

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CHEME: Microbial Electrosynthesis for a Carbon-Neutral Energy and Chemicals Economy

March 27, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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ALFRED SPORMANN, Stanford University Microbial Electrosynthesis for a Carbon-Neutral Energy and Chemicals Economy

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April 2019

CHEME: Going Beyond the Fads and Jargon: What Does Research Tell Us about Teaching for High Quality Learning in Science and Engineering?

April 10, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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JENNIFER CASE, Virginia Tech Going beyond the fads and jargon: What does research tell us about teaching for high quality learning in science and engineering?  There is much contemporary talk on how university teaching is outdated, and how radical change is needed to accommodate the needs of current students and the expectations of the workplace. Many of these calls, whether for active or problem-based learning fall into a longer and broader tradition of progressivism in education. To interrogate their applicability, a…

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ECE: Nanocarbon Interconnects

April 11, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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CARY YANG, Santa Clara University Continuous downward scaling in silicon integrated circuit technology into the sub-20 nm regime has created critical challenges in chip manufacturing, among them, reliability and performance of on-chip interconnects. Current interconnect materials, Cu and W, face increased reliability challenges in the nanoscale as a result of electromigration failures at high current densities. Materials such as nanocarbons, metal silicides, cobalt, ruthenium, and metallic nanowires are being considered as potential replacements for Cu and W. In particular, due…

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MIE: Making Haptics and its Design Accessible

April 12, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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KARON MACLEAN, University of British Columbia Today’s advances in tactile sensing and wearable, IOT and context-aware computing are spurring new ideas about  how to configure touch-centered interactions in terms of roles and utility, which in turn expose new technical and social design questions. But while haptic actuation, sensing and control are improving, incorporating them into a real-world design process is extremely difficult and poses a major obstacle to adoption into everyday technology. In this talk I’ll overview highlights chosen from of…

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