Empowering Innovation 2021

June 24 & 25, 2021


    On June 24 and 25, 2021, the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering is launching Engineering Research Days, a new virtual event that will bring together our research community and create opportunities for collaboration. U of T Engineering continues to be Canada’s top-ranked engineering school and consistently ranks in the global top 20. Our faculty are international leaders in their fields, innovative educators and dedicated mentors. U of T Engineering’s research strengths draw students and faculty from all over the world.

    This year’s theme of ‘Empowering Innovation’ highlights U of T Engineering’s research accomplishments and spotlight opportunities for collaboration across  faculty, external partners, industry representatives and the broader U of T community. Both the program and platform, Spatial Chat, are designed to foster and encourage interaction in an engaging and collaborative environment.

    The program will feature:    

    • Interactive fireside chats with keynote speakers 
    • Panels on emerging research trends and themes 
    • Poster sessions 
    • Networking opportunities 

    This year’s research themes include:

    • Robotics & Autonomy
    • Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
    • Urban Engineering & Innovative Mobility
    • Engineering for Sustainability
    • Enabling Engineering through Artificial Intelligence
    • Health & Bioengineering
    • Electrification in Society
    • Computation, Communications & Connectivity

    “I am really excited for this opportunity for us to showcase our world-leading researchers and their projects, programs, platforms and initiatives underway in Engineering. Learning about the innovative, interdisciplinary and collaborative research led by our departments, institutes and centres will certainly be catalytic and inspiring. I know that we’ll all come away from this event armed with new ideas, approaches and perspectives that will help answer truly global challenges and questions across all domains.”

    — Chris Yip, Dean, U of T Engineering

    Schedule & program

    Day 1 – June 24

    9:00 – 9:15Welcome & Opening remarks by Dean Chris Yip - available for viewing in the welcome lobby
    9:15 – 9:45

    1A - Keynote Speaker

    Ajay Kochhar
    President & CEO, Li-Cycle
    (BASc ChemE)
    9:45 – 10:45

    1B - Panel Session:  Engineering for Sustainability    

    Panelists: Lesley Warren, Tim Bender, Claire Kennedy, Ian Pearce & Mpumi Zikalala
    10:45 – 11:45

    1C - Panel Session: Electrification in Society 

    Panelists: Cristina Amon, Olivier Trescases, Carmine Pizzurro & Martin Lord
    11:45 – 12:451D - Poster Session: Engineering for Sustainability, Electrification in Society and Engineering Education
    12:45 – 1:45

    1E - Panel Session:  Enabling Engineering through Artificial Intelligence

    Panelists: Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng, Tim Chan, Matthew Zeiler, Yohan Lee, Elias B. Khalil & Shurui Zhou
    1:45 – 2:45

    1F - Panel Session:  Robotics: Why Now? Why U of T?

    Panelists: Steven Waslander, Eric Diller, Animesh Garg & Angela Schoellig
    2:45 – 3:451G - Poster Session: Enabling Engineering through Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Autonomy and Engineering Education
    3:45 – 4:15

    1H - Keynote Speaker

    Matthew Zeiler
    Founder and CEO, Clarifai
    (BASc EngSci)
    4:15 – 5:00Open networking/draws

    Day 2 – June 25

    Time Activity
    9:00 – 9:15Welcome & Opening remarks by Dean Chris Yip - available for viewing in the welcome lobby
    9:15 – 9:452A - Keynote Speaker

    Irene Sterian, PEng
    Founder, President & CEO, REMAP
    Director, Technology & Innovation, Celestica
    (BASc IndE)
    9:45 – 10:452B - Panel Session: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing

    Part 1: Glenn Hibbard, Michael Helander, Keryn Lian & Harry Ruda

    Part 2: Hani Naguib, Goldie Nejat, Milad Alizadeh Meghrazi & Jon McCrea
    10:45 – 11:452C - Panel Session: Health & Bioengineering

    Part 1: Ervin Sejdić, José Zariffa, Krishna Mahadevan, Emma R. Master

    Part 2: Elizabeth Edwards, Azadeh Yadollahi
    11:45– 12:452D - Poster Session: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing, Health & Bioengineering and Engineering Education
    12:45 – 1:452E - Panel Session: Urban Engineering & Innovative Mobility: Equity, Environment, Engagement

    Panelists: Eric Miller, Tamer El-Diraby, Shoshanna Saxe, Marianne Hatzopoulou, Judy Farvolden
    1:45 - 2:452F - Panel Session: Lighting Up the World of Computing, Communication, and Connectivity

    Panelists: Ali Sheikholeslami, Jason Anderson, Joyce Poon, Tony Chan Carusone, Li Qian, Vaughn Betz, Christian Weedbrook
    2:45 - 3:452G - Poster Session: Urban Engineering & Innovative Mobility, Computation, Communications & Connectivity and Engineering Education
    3:45 – 4:152H - Keynote Speaker

    Kristina Menton
    Director of Operations, Opener
    (BASc MechE)
    4:15 – 5:00Open networking/draws
    Closing remarks available for viewing upon exit


    Ajay Kochhar

    President and CEO, Co-Founder, and Executive Director of Li-Cycle


    Irene Sterian, P.Eng

    Founder, President & CEO, REMAP Director, Technology & Innovation, Celestica


    Kristina Menton

    Director of Operations, Opener LLC

    Matthew Zeiler

    Founder and CEO, Clarifai

    Panel sessions

    Poster session guidelines

    Thank you for your interest in submitting a poster to Engineering Research Days. U of T Engineering is a dynamic, diverse collection of researchers and students at the forefront of discovery and innovation. Given the breadth and depth of research across the faculty, and the intent to engage prospective industry and ecosystem partners at the event, we suggest that a submitted poster capture your lab’s high-level research program(s) with an emphasis on innovative approaches, technologies and outcomes as well as interdisciplinary linkages and opportunities for internal and external collaboration.

    The Engineering Partnerships Team has created a template which can be used to create this poster.

    The academic programming of Engineering Research Days is categorized by theme, designed to bring together like-minded stakeholders and attract potential collaborators to the same virtual environment. We invite you to self-identify into one or more themes – you are welcome to present your poster in more than one themed session to benefit from multiple interactions.

    Submitted posters will be pinned to a virtual poster board in SpatialChat and accessible to all attendees for the entirety of the event on June 24-25. Posters will also be available for viewing online in advance of the event so that attendees can use their time to interact and connect with individuals directly during the event.

    Presenters will be expected to be live at their posters to present or discuss with attendees, in real time, during the allotted time for that particular theme. Please review the program and times for specific poster sessions.

    Presenters will have two opportunities to present research and communicate with attendees:

    • Provide a one-slide Poster PNG and short abstract.
    • Participate in real-time discussion and networking with attendees on SpatialChat

    Poster submission specifications

    Please create a one-slide poster that provides an overview of your lab or research program (see sample SOCAAR poster above). We invite you to refer to the poster template to align your design with the overall mission of the event.

    Poster recommendations:

    • Create in landscape orientation
    • File type: Save as PNG
    • File size: Under 3 MB (larger files can cause rendering issues in Spatial Chat)

    Abstract submission specifications

    Please submit an abstract that describes your poster/lab/research program in maximum 250 words. This will be used to promote your content in advance of the event.

    Poster submission deadline: Friday, June 11, 2021.

    Poster FAQ

    SpatialChat information

    Explore the SpatialChat demo site 

    • Use a computer or laptop, not a mobile device
    • Use the latest version of Google Chrome 

    Basic Mouse Control inside the Space

    • Click and drag your photo to move around the room.
    • Click and drag on an empty spot to move the area.
    • Use the mouse wheel or touchpad to zoom in and out.
    • When you join any room in SpatialChat, the rooms may be zoomed in at 100% by default and crop out some parts of the space. Please make sure to zoom out to see the entire space. You can also zoom in and out by clicking on the percentage shown at the bottom right of the space.

    Recommended system requirements for the best experience:

    • Google Chrome – Explorer is not supported.
    • 5 GHz WiFi or LAN-connected internet
    • 30 MBit/s internet speed
    • A client device (computer or laptop) not older than 3 years


    (please note that not all the functions of SpatialChat were introduced in the video).