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.

    Reserve your spot

    The event is open to all students, staff and faculty in U of T Engineering, as well as current and prospective industry partners and key stakeholders across the research ecosystem.

    This event will take place virtually on the SpatialChat platform. Read more about SpatialChat »

    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

    Poster Sessions

    We invite faculty members to submit a poster to display and present at the event. The goal is to provide a high-level overview of your lab’s work — with an emphasis on interdisciplinary linkages and opportunities for internal and external collaboration.

    More information about the poster sessions, including style, presentation and submission guidelines »

    We have developed an interactive Poster Session experience designed to increase presenter and attendee discussion at Engineering Research Days. All posters will be displayed in a virtual poster booth gallery view and will be searchable by name and topic category. Each virtual poster booth will have dedicated material that will include a poster as well as a room chat window displaying the chat dialog with which to engage directly with an audience.

    If you have any questions, please email the partnerships team:

    Adriano Vissa:

    Joanne Chou:


    “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
    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    

    Session Chairs: Lesley Warren & Tim Bender
    Details TBA
    10:45 – 11:45

    1C - Panel Session:  Electrification in Society 

    Session Chairs: Cristina Amon & Olivier Trescases
    Details TBA
    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

    Session Chairs: Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng & Tim Chan
    Details TBA
    1:45 – 2:45

    1F - Panel Session:  Robotics & Autonomy

    Session Chairs: Steven Waslander, Eric Diller & Animesh Gar
    Details TBA
    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 (details TBA)

    Day 2 – June 25

    Time Activity
    9:00 – 9:15Welcome & Opening remarks by Dean Chris Yip
    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

    Session Chairs: Glenn Hibbard & Hani Naguib
    Details TBA
    10:45 – 11:452C - Panel Session: Health & Bioengineering

    Session Chairs: Azadeh Yadollahi & Emma Master
    Details TBA
    11:45– 12:452D - Poster Session: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing, Health & Bioengineering and Engineering Education
    12:45 – 1:452E - Panel Session: Urban Engineering & Innovative Mobility

    Session Chairs: Eric Miller & Tamer El-Diraby
    Details TBA
    1:45 - 2:452F - Panel Session: Computation, Communications & Connectivity   

    Session Chairs: Ali Sheikholeslami & Jason Anderson
    Details TBA
    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 (details TBA)
    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 Session Chairs

    In programmatic order

    Tim Bender

    Timothy P. Bender

    Professor, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
    Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies


    Lesley Warren

    Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering
    Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Chair in Mineral Engineering


    Cristina H. Amon

    Professor, Mechanical Engineering
    Alumni Distinguished Professor in Bioengineering
    Dean Emerita, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (2006-2019)


    Timothy C.Y. Chan

    Professor, Industrial Engineering
    Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health
    Director, Centre for Healthcare Engineering (CHE)
    Director, Centre for Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Engineering (CARTE)


    Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng

    Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering


    Steven Waslander

    Associate Professor, Institute for Aerospace Studies
    Director, Toronto Robotics and AI Laboratory



    Eric Diller

    Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Dean’s Catalyst Professor


    Animesh Garg

    Assistant Professor (CSC)
    Mathematical and Computational Sciences
    Faculty Member at the Vector Institute


    Hani Naguib

    Professor and Director, Toronto Institute of Advanced Manufacturing (TIAM)


    Glenn Hibbard

    Glenn Hibbard

    Professor, Materials Science & Engineering, Chair & Canada Research Chair, Comparative Multi-Scale Dynamics (Tier II)



    Azadeh Yadollahi

    Adjunct Faculty Member, Biomedical Engineering



    Emma R. Master

    Professor, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
    Associate Chair, Research
    Principal Investigator, Bioproducts Research Lab and BioZone — Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering



    Eric J. Miller

    Professor, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
    Director, University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute
    Research Director, Data Management Group, University of Toronto
    Research Director, Travel Modelling Group, University of Toronto



    Tamer El-Diraby

    Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
    Director, Centre for Civil Informatics, University of Toronto



    Ali Sheikholeslami

    Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

    Jason Anderson

    Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
    Associate Chair, Research


    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 or Firefox browser without VPN and other browser extensions that may affect the performance of SpatialChat (for example, Adblock)

    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 or Firefox (latest version) – 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).

    © 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering