Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering

Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
USASK    CO L L E G E O F E N G I N EERI N G M AG A Z I N E   2021

    Rebuilding from the ground up.
        How the first-year program has been
        completely redesigned for the future.
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
COLLEGE                      Keeping the C.J. Mackenzie           USask Engineering is delighted that

                           tradition alive
                                                                  Myron Stadnyk (BE’85) will be the
                                                                  45th C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished
                                                                  Lecturer. Stadnyk, selected by the
                                                                  Department of Mechanical Engi-
                                                                  neering, retired in 2020 as president
                                                                  and CEO of Calgary’s ARC Resources.
                                                                  As vaccines have allowed easing of
                                                                  public health restrictions, we look
                                                                  forward to celebrating our lecturer
                                                                  and our engineering community in
                                                                  early 2022.

                                                                  2020: Brad Polischuk
                                                                  (BE’88, MSc’90, PhD’93)
                                                                  Polischuk, selected by the Department
                                                                  of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
                                                                  is vice president, detector technologies,
                                                                  at Hologic, a U.S.-based medical tech-
                                                                  nology company where he has made a
                                                                  transformational impact on breast cancer

                                                                  2019: Joe Deutscher (BE’85)
                                                                  Deutscher’s successful career at Dow
                                                                  Chemical had him working in various
                                                                  posts around the globe before his 2019
                                                                  retirement. The Department of Chemical
                                                                  and Biological Engineering selected him
                                                                  as the 2019 Distinguished Lecturer.

                                                                  2018: Mike Marsh (BE’79)
                                                                  Marsh has been president and CEO of
                                                                  SaskPower since 2015 and before that he
                                                                  was its chief operations officer. Marsh,
                                                                  who also holds an MBA from Queen’s, was
                                                                  chosen by the Department of Mechanical
                                                                  Engineering as its Distinguished Lecturer.

                                                                  Distinguished Lecturer Brad Polischuk speak-
                                                                  ing at the 2020 C.J. Mackenzie Gala, where
                                                                  he touched on 10 lessons from his career that
                                                                  have defined him.

                                                                  Photo by Bob Holtsman

1   THOROUGH   JULY 2021                                  USASK   COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                      2
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
COLLEGE                                                                                                                                                                             CONTENTS
                           In memoriam                                                                                              USASK           COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                     THOROUGH

                           The College of
                           Engineering remembers
                                                                                                                   FEATURES                         DEPARTMENTS
                           with respect and fondness                    Editor
                           these distinguished                          Donella Hoffman, Communications
                                                                                                                                                    Around the college:
                                                                        Officer, College of Engineering            COVER STORY:                                                    Faculty and staff
                           members of our USask                         Art direction/design                       RE-ENGINEERED for                                               highlights:
                                                                        Roger Denis, Denis Design Works            student success 37               Keeping the
                           Engineering community                        Printer                                                                     C.J. Mackenzie                 Faculty and staff
                           – college leadership,                        Mister Print                                                                tradition alive           1    awards and
                                                                        Publication Date                                                                                           achievements            43
                           faculty and longtime alumni                  July 2021                                                                   In memoriam               3
                                                                                                                                                                                   New faculty
                           volunteers – who passed                      Published by the College of Engineering,
                                                                        USask                                                                       8 things to know               appointments            47
                           away in recent years.                        Use of the University of Saskatchewan
                                                                                                                                                    about the new
                                                                                                                                                    co-op program             49
                                                                        logo is regulated by the University of     The College of Engineering
                           Arthur Dumont, October 7, 2019:
                                                                        Saskatchewan Board of Governors and        is seeking to create the         Inclusion, support,
                           C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished Lecturer;
                                                                        is protected under section IX of the       most effective first-year
                                                                                                                                                    engagement:                    Donor and alumni
                           Trustee, Engineering Advancement Trust;
                                                                        Canadian Copyright Act.                    engineering program in
                                                                                                                                                    USask Engineering              focus:
                                                                                                                   Canada, starting in fall 2021.
                           USask Honourary Doctor of Science            The College of Engineering and the                                          Indigenous Initiatives    53
                                                                        University of Saskatchewan make no                                                                         Alumni awards and
                                                                        expressed or implied warranties of
                                                                                                                   USask Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                   achievements            9
                           Ronald Fleming, October 25, 2019:            merchantability or fitness for a partic-
                           Professor                                    ular purpose or otherwise, concerning
                                                                                                                   answers the call 13
                                                                                                                                                    Dean’s office:                 Majchers make
                                                                        the use of any product, statement, and                                                                     an impact in
                           Robert (Blair) Hockley, March 5, 2021:
                                                                        advice provided, and assumes no liabil-                                                                    the mech lab            31
                                                                        ity for any injury or damage, direct or                                     A few minutes
                           Trustee, Engineering Advancement Trust       consequential, which may be incurred                                        with the dean             5    Honouring
                                                                        from the use of such products or ser-                                                                      the journey
                                                                        vices herein.                                                               Connection and                 from struggle
                           David Male, September 16, 2020: Professor
                                                                                                                                                    collaboration with             to success              33
                                                                        Contact                                                                     the Dean’s
                                                                        College of Engineering                     Engineering alum and
                           Peter Nikiforuk, July 19, 2018: Dean         57 Campus Drive                                                             Advisory Board            7    A learning experience   35
                                                                        Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9
                                                                                                                   his team designed and
                                                                        Phone: 306-966-5273                        manufactured a rugged            Cultivating innovation:
                           John (Jack) Postlethwaite, April 21, 2020:                                              emergency-use ventilator.                                       Paying it forward       51
                                                                                                                                                    strategic plan update     8
                           Department Head
                                                                                                                   Building success         27      Collaborate with us       21
                           Dennis Pufahl, September 13, 2019:
                                                                        Communications: donella.hoffman@                                                                           Student spotlight:
                           Department Head
                                                                                                                                                    Research:                      Cube satellite
                           Byron (BJ) Seaman, April 24, 2021:                                                                                                                      mission reaches
                           C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished Lecturer;
                                                                                                                                                    Research with impact      23   key milestones          54
                           Trustee, Engineering Advancement Trust;
                           USask Honourary Doctor of Laws                                                                                                                          Student awards and
                                                                                                                                                    New research and
                                                                                                                   Yufeng Wang hadn’t con-          teaching chair                 achievements            55
                                                                                     sidered being an entre-          appointments              25
                           Colin Sargent, February 24, 2021:
                                                                                                                   preneur, until Saskatoon
                                                                                                                   changed his mind.

3   THOROUGH   JULY 2021                                                                                                                               USASK          COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                4
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
DEAN’S OFFICE                                                                                                                  The COVID-19 pandemic has had an
                                                                                                                               immense impact on our lives since
                                                                                                                                                                                have also stepped up to contribute to the
                                                                                                                                                                                COVID response in very meaningful ways.
                                                                                                                               March 2020. As you’ve led USask                  One of the most exciting for me has been

                                                     A few minutes
                                                                                                                               Engineering’s response, what has been            the multi-faceted collaborative support we
                                                                                Dean Suzanne Kresta                            most meaningful to you as a leader?              were able to provide to RMD Engineering

                                                 with the
                                                                                                                                                                                as they worked to innovate and transcend
                                                                                reflects on some key                           This year has given me a renewed appre-
                                                                                                                                                                                many obstacles to deliver a remarkable
                                                                                                                               ciation for the privilege and excitement of
                                                                                accomplishments within                         our campus learning community. Being
                                                                                                                                                                                ventilator prototype, ready for validation
                                                                                                                                                                                in six very intense weeks. Five profession-
                                                                                the college since her arrival                  surrounded by bright minds of all ages,
                                                                                                                                                                                al colleges were connected to the project,

                                                                                                                               never knowing what surprise will delight us
                                                                                in 2018 and looks ahead to                     in a conversation in The Bowl or on the way
                                                                                                                                                                                with the College of Engineering making key
                                                                                                                                                                                contributions that you can read more about
                                                                                what’s next.                                   to our next class or meeting . . . these are
                                                                                                                                                                                on page 13. I could not be more proud of
                                                                                                                               some of our fondest images of campus.
                                                                                                                                                                                our alumni, our staff, our students, and our
                                                                                                                               The things we have missed the most are           provincial government. The project really
                                                                                Of all the work that’s been
                                                                                                                               working shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-        exemplifies what I love the most about
                                                                                accomplished since you arrived in
                                                                                                                               face, mentoring students, building peer-to-      Saskatchewan – deep commitment to com-
                                                                                2018, what are you most proud of?
                                                                                                                               peer discussions and teams, and bringing         munity, innovation that makes sense, and
                                                                                I’m most proud of the renewal and sense        theory to life in our labs. We’ve come a long    the ability to transcend disciplinary bound-
                                                                                of hope in the college. We’ve had incredi-     way and learned a lot about the advantag-        aries to find solutions. While we worked first
                                                                                ble support from the community and the         es of recorded lectures and remote delivery      to serve our rural and remote communities,
                                                                                university as we’ve tackled some important     and collaborations. We want to capture           the result is outstanding technology that
                                                                                tasks – rebuilding core functional roles in    those lessons for some of our courses as         stands with the world’s best. It is truly engi-
                                                                                the college, building endowed chairs, and      we build the future in new ways. We love         neering the world needs.
                                                                                implementing our vision for the future.        having access to all of our alumni for online
                                                                                Our leadership teams have really delivered
                                                                                                                                                                                Where are you leading the college
                                                                                                                               events, and seeing some faces that could
                                                                                – and I am inspired every day by the way
                                                                                                                               not otherwise join us. These moments have
                                                                                everyone is aligned and working together       provided special joys, with a kind of inti-      We have a great team and we need to keep
                                                                                to achieve great things.                       macy that makes up for some of what we           our focus laser sharp as we move through
                                                                                                                               have lost.                                       this decade. Our building requires renova-
                                                                                What is the biggest thing on the
                                                                                                                                                                                tion and modernization and we are con-
                                                                                horizon this year?                             A year ago, I don’t think any of us anticipat-
                                                                                                                                                                                tinuing to build momentum and visibility
                                                                                We’re preparing to launch our complete-        ed that our campus would remain closed
                                                                                                                                                                                for this project, which will encompass crit-
                                                                                ly renewed first-year program this fall; we    for a full year. The rapid pivot and adap-
                                                                                                                                                                                ical renovations and strategic renewal as
                                                                                call it RE-ENGINEERED. Our Engineering         tation of our entire operation proved the
                                                                                                                                                                                we look towards bigger and better things
                                                                                Advancement Trust alumni and longtime          incredible commitment our faculty have to
                                                                                                                                                                                in the future. Our faculty complement
                                                                                supporters of the college, Ron and Jane        learning. In a very literal sense, even a pan-
                                                                                                                                                                                and undergraduate programs are contin-
                                                                                Graham, have been unwavering in their          demic could not stop the drive to teach our
                                                                                                                                                                                ually being renewed and we are enter-
                                                                                support of the vision for this program. As     young engineers – nor could it stop their
                                                                                                                                                                                ing an accreditation review this fall after a
                                                                                a result, we have something very exciting      drive to learn. Our 2020 grads completed
                                                                                                                                                                                one-year delay due to the pandemic. Our
                                                                                to share – and based on our enrolment          the final weeks of their degrees and the
                                                                                                                                                                                strategic plan will deliver on our economic
                                                                                numbers, others are excited about it, too.     class of 2021 continued with their studies
                                                                                                                                                                                promise to this province and our students.
                                                                                You can read more about RE-ENGINEERED          online for a full academic year. Faculty
                                                                                                                                                                                The steady growth of our new co-op pro-
                                                                                in this issue of Thorough on page 37. I am     continued their research throughout the
                                                                                                                                                                                gram demonstrates a strong partnership
                                                                                inspired by our first-year design team’s       shutdown, with labs reopening in June
                                                                                                                                                                                with industry in creating economic oppor-
                                                                                                                               2020, and our staff pivoted their support
    We have a great team and we need to keep our focus laser sharp as we        rigour and creativity – and excited to
                                                                                                                               of the college in some really remarkable
                                                                                                                                                                                tunity for the future.
                                                                                welcome our first cohort of students to
    move through this decade. Our strategic plan will deliver on our economic   this new way of learning. It won’t be less     ways. Throughout the entire year, the            Throughout this issue you’ll read about
                                                                                                                               cheerfulness, resilience, and energy of our      many incredible accomplishments over the
                                                                                demanding or less transformative. It is
    promise to this province and our students.                                  focused and efficient like a great engineer-   staff, faculty and students have buoyed our      last three years, from public engagement to
                                                                                                                               entire community.                                more than doubling our research funding in
                                                                                ing design.
                                    SUZANNE KRESTA                                                                                                                              key areas to recruiting outstanding young
                                                                                                                               In spite of the dramatically increased work-
                                                                                                                                                                                faculty and recognizing the stellar careers
                                                                                                                               loads people have shouldered to shift to
                                                                                                                                                                                of other faculty members. You can expect
                                                                                                                               remote operation, people in the college
                                                                                                                                                                                much more activity over the next two years.
    Photo by Matt Ramage                                                                                                                                                        Stay tuned!

5   THOROUGH           JULY 2021                                                                                                                                   USASK        COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                       6
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
DEAN’S OFFICE                                      Connection and collaboration with                                                               Cultivating                                   2018-2021 USask Engineering

When was the board created?
                                                the Dean’s Advisory Board
                                                                   Terry Bergan, P.Eng.                            Lisa Mueller, P.Eng.
                                                                                                                                                innovation                                       strategic plan update

Terms and membership of the board were                             Bergan, a civil engi-                           Mueller, who earned her
finalized in 2019.                                                 neer who earned his                             mechanical engineer-
What is the board’s role?
                                                                   degree from USask,                              ing degree at USask,         Strengthening                                                Embracing Our
Though final decisions remain with the col-
                                                                   was President and CEO
                                                                   of International Road
                                                                                                                   has more than 20 years
                                                                                                                   technical and business
                                                                                                                                                Our Strategic Pillars:                                       Guiding Principles:
lege, the board provides insight and guid-                         Dynamics before his                             development experience.
ance in several strategic areas, including                         retirement in 2018.                             She is dual-hatting these
curriculum, accreditation, research, com-                                                       days as Vice President, New Ventures with       Teaching and Learning                                        Inspiring Success
                                                                   Aaron Genest

mercialization of technology, fundraising                                                       Razor Energy and President of FutEra Power,
                                                                                                                                                • Redesigned first-year program –                            • 22 faculty, including emeriti and joint
and strategic outreach.                                            Genest is an Applications    a wholly owned subsidiary, with all work
                                                                                                                                                  RE-ENGINEERED – scheduled to launch                          appointments, identified among the top 2
                                                                   Engineer Manager with        headquartered in Calgary.
Board members are especially attuned to                                                                                                           September 2021                                               percent of scientists worldwide in Stanford
                                                                   Siemens, after the 2018
the college’s ongoing efforts to better pre-                                                                       Rob Norris                                                                                  University analysis
                                                                   acquisition of start-                                                        • Engineering Co-op Internship Program
pare engineering students for their careers.
                                                                   up Solido Design. He                            Norris was a                   introduced September 2020.                                 • Two PhD students awarded high-profile
“The Dean’s Advisory Board ensures that                            holds a BSc and PhD in                          Saskatchewan Party                                                                          Vanier Canada Scholarships
our college is responding effectively to                           Computer Science, both                          MLA for nearly a decade
Saskatchewan’s needs,” says Suzanne Kresta,                        from USask.                                     and held several cabinet     Research and Discovery
Dean of the College of Engineering.                                                                                portfolios in that time,                                                                  Cultivating Innovation
                                                                   Tom Kishchuk, P.Eng.                                                         • Outstanding candidates recruited for seven
                                                                                                                   including Advanced
Who sits on the board?                                                                                                                            externally funded faculty chair positions                  • Development of a framework for engineer-
                                                                  Kishchuk, who recent-                            Education, Innovation
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ing research that is multi-disciplinary, rele-
Alumni, professionals and community                               ly founded TPK                and SaskPower. He is currently Senior           • Carey Simonson appointed Associate Dean
                                                                                                                                                                                                               vant and returns value for our province:
leaders – nine in all – bring their knowledge                     Management Consulting         Government Relations Officer at the               Graduate Studies and Special Projects to
and expertise to the table. They also                             Inc., was previously          Canadian Light Source synchrotron. He             prioritize and expand graduate programs                      ° Themes: Agriculture, Environment, Health,
highlight on-campus activities at the                             President and CEO of          holds a Master’s degree in political science                                                                     Mining and Minerals, Sustainable Energy
college and USask to the wider world,                             Mitsubishi Hitachi Power      from the University of Alberta.
serving as brand ambassadors.                                     Systems Canada, Ltd.                                                          Indigenization and Inclusion                                   ° Fundamental Areas: Imaging;
                                                                                                                   June Verhelst, P.Eng.                                                                         Information and Computer Technologies;
                                                He has a BSc and MSc (Mechanical) from
“We are all honoured to have the oppor-                                                                                                         • Sustainable funding secured for Indigenous                     Transportation and Infrastructure
                                                USask Engineering and completed the                                Verhelst earned her civil
tunity to give back to our community as                                                                                                           student supports
                                                Ivey Executive Program at the Richard Ivey                         engineering degree                                                                        • Terry Fonstad appointed Associate Dean
members of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and
                                                School of Business.                                                at USask and is Senior       • Indigenous Resource Centre established in                    Research and Partnerships, guiding the
to contribute insight, perspective and guid-
                                                                                                                   Vice President, Mining         Engineering Building                                         strategic direction of the research portfolio
ance at an intersection of USask and the                           Larry Long
                                                                                                                   and Energy, at Graham                                                                       and promoting the college as a collabora-
broader stakeholder community,” says chair                                                                                                      • Number of female faculty doubled, just sur-
                                                                   Long is Senior Vice                             Industrial.                                                                                 tive partner
Tom Kishchuk.                                                                                                                                     passing the national average for engineer-
                                                                   President Operations,
                                                                   Potash at Nutrien.
                                                                                                                   Suzanne Kresta, P.Eng.
BOARD MEMBERS                                                      He earned his BSc
                                                                   in Geology from the
                                                                                                                   (Ex Officio Member)
                                                                                                                                                • Calculus removed as an admission require-
                                                                                                                                                  ment, eliminating an obstacle for students
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Building Respect
                                                                                                                                                                                                             • In honouring the strengths of diverse
                                                                   University of New                                Kresta became dean            from rural and remote communities
                  Daphne Arnason                                                                                                                                                                               perspectives, an Indigenous Cultural
                                                                   Brunswick.                                       of the College of
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Contextualization unit is part of the
                 Arnason was with                                                                                   Engineering on
                                                                   Mike Marsh, P.Eng.                                                           Community Engagement
                                                                                                                                                                                                               RE-ENGINEERED first-year program redesign
                 PotashCorp for 26 years,                                                                           Jan. 1, 2018. Before
                 working in taxation and                          Marsh is President and                            that, she was a professor   • Dean’s Advisory Board created for strategic
                 audit; she held the posi-                        CEO of SaskPower.                                 of chemical engineering       insight and guidance                                       Delivering Value
                 tion of Vice President,                          He holds a degree in          at the University of Alberta for 26
                                                                  mechanical engineering        years. Kresta, a chemical engineer, is          • Revitalized marketing highlighting the col-                • Relevant and timely COVID-19 research
                 Global Risk Management
                                                                  from USask and an MBA         editor of the Handbook of Industrial              lege’s mission #EngineersTheWorldNeeds
                 when she retired. She has                                                                                                                                                                   • Collaboration with Saskatoon’s RMD
a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from                          from Queen’s. He was the      Mixing and Fellow of the Canadian               • Shifted our student recruitment messaging                    Engineering on development of
USask.                                                            Distinguished Lecturer at     Academy of Engineering.                           from "Engineers can do anything" to "There's                 made-in-Saskatchewan emergency-use
                                                USask Engineering’s 2018 C.J. Mackenzie Gala.                                                     a place for everyone in engineering"                         ventilator

7        THOROUGH             JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                            USASK   COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                      8
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
ALUMNI                     The achievements of USask Engineering alumni between                               Joe Deutscher (BE’85 Chemical and
                                                                                                              Biological) was one of the featured panelists
                           2018 and 2020 illustrate that they are among the most                              at The Plastics Puzzle, a panel conversation
                                                                                                              hosted by the college in 2020 to discuss
                           accomplished engineers in Canada and around the world.                             single-use plastics, the circular econo-
                                                                                                              my and the role we play as consumers.
                           Congratulations to all!                                                            Deutscher, who recently retired after a long
                                                                                                              career with Dow Chemical, brought indus-

                           Alumni awards and
                                                                                                                                            try perspective
                                                                                                                                            to the discus-
                                                                                                                                            sion. He was

                                                                                                                                            also the 2019
                                                                                                                                            C.J. Mackenzie
                                                                                                                                            lecturer. Scan
                                                                                                                                            the code to
                                                                                                                                            learn more
                                                                                                                                            about the event.

                                                                                                                                                               Indigenous Peoples Initiatives Coordinator      Science at the 2019 USask spring convo-
                           Angie Bugg (BE’85 Mechanical) was                                                                                                   with USask Engineering.                         cation. Jayas, Vice-President (Research and
                           nominated for a YWCA Women of                                                                                                                                                       International) at the University of Manitoba,
                           Distinction Award in the Research and                                                                                                                                               is recognized around the world as the lead-
                           Technology category in 2019. She has                                                                                                Lisa Franks (BE’07 Mechanical), a three-        ing expert on grain storage and handling,
                           developed a specialization in energy                                                                                                time Paralympian, was named an honou-           helping Canada maintain its global reputa-
                           management and is currently an                                                                                                      rary colonel with Canadian Forces Base          tion for marketing high-quality agricultural
                           Energy Conservation Engineer with the                                                                                               Moose Jaw, a position awarded to distin-        commodities.
                           Saskatchewan Environmental Society.                                                                                                 guished Canadians to serve as ambassadors
                                                                                                                                                               to the public and help foster esprit de corps
                                                                                                                                                               for the troops.                                 Nicholas Kaminski (BE’13, ME’19 Civil)
                                                                                                                                                                                                               earned the APEGS Promising Member
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Award in 2019. Kaminski, a structural
                                                                                                                                                               Ron Graham (BE’62, DCL’13 Civil) with part-     engineer, was recognized for his commit-
                                                                                                                                                               ner Jane (BEd’62) celebrated the opening        ment to volunteerism and governance. He
                                                                     Cherry                                                                    Desjarlais      of the Ron and Jane Graham Sport Science        has volunteered with several engineering
                                                                                                                                                               and Health Centre at Merlis Belsher Place in    organizations and was on the board of the
                                                                                                                                                               May 2019. It was funded in part with their      Saskatoon Public Library. He also has gov-
                                                                   John Cherry (BE’62 Geological), a world-   John Desjarlais (BE’11 Mechanical) is            $2.068 million gift. In October 2019, the       ernance designations from the Johnson
                                                                   renowned hydrogeologist was named          the president-elect of the Association of        Grahams announced a $1 million donation         Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
                                                                   the 2020 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate    Professional Engineers and Geoscientists         to USask’s College of Education to create       and the Institute of Corporate Directors
                                                                   for discoveries that have revolutionized   of Saskatchewan (APEGS), after serv-             the School for the Scholarship of Teaching      and Rotman School of Management at the
                                                                   understanding of groundwater               ing a one-year term as vice-president.           and Learning.                                   University of Toronto.
                                                                   vulnerability.                             Desjarlais, a Cree-Métis man from Northern
                                                                                                              Saskatchewan, was also co-chair for the
                                                                                                              Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council             Kevin Hudson (BE’91 Electrical) received        Kai Li (BE’13 Civil) earned the Promising
                                                                                                              to the American Indian Science and               the 2019 McCannel Award from APEGS in           Member Award from APEGS in 2020. After
                                                                                                              Engineering Society (AISES).                     recognition of his commitment for helping       arriving in Saskatchewan from China in
                                                                                                                                                               to build a sustainable energy future, includ-   2008, Li was involved in several extracur-
                                                                                                                                                               ing providing professional development          ricular activities at USask and continued to
                                                                                                              Matthew Dunn (BE’04, MSc’10 Mechanical)          in environment and sustainability, collab-      volunteer in several roles within Saskatoon’s
                                                                                                              was awarded the 2020 McCannel Award              orating on innovative energy projects, and      engineering community.
                                                                                                              from APEGS, recognizing his service to           volunteering with students and teachers on
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Li was also the recipient of the 2020
                                                                                                              engineering in public education. Before          sustainability issues.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Association of Consulting Engineering
                                                                                                              returning to his roots as a practising engi-                                                     Companies – Saskatchewan (ACEC-SK)
                                                                                                              neer in 2021, Dunn was the Indigenization                                                        Young Professional Award, recognizing his
                                                                                                              and Reconciliation Coordinator in the Office     Digvir Jayas (PhD’87 Agricultural) was
                                                                                                                                                                                                               career progress as a structural engineer.
                                                                                                              of the Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement        recognized with an Earned Doctor of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  continued on next page
                                                                                                              at USask and prior to that he was the

9   THOROUGH   JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                          USASK        COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                      10
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
Kenneth Linnen (BE’72 Civil) was honoured     STEP (Science Technology Engineering and         David Manz (BE’72, MSc’74 Agricultural)
with the Brian Eckel Distinguished Service    Production) Award from the Manufacturing         was named a fellow of the Canadian
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Created in 2019, the EAT Alumni
Award from the APEGS in 2019, after a         Institute. In 2019 she was a L’Oreal Paris       Academy of Engineering. Manz invent-
career that spanned both the public sector    Women of Worth Canada Honouree and               ed a filter that brings safe, clean water to                                                                  Service Awards recognize the
and the consulting field. He was in charge    also received the Influential Women in           millions of people and freely shared the
of the consulting team for several Regina
subdivisions, infrastructure improvements
                                              Manufacturing Award from Putnam Media.           technology. He was inducted to the Alberta
                                                                                               Order of Excellence in 2018.                   Advancement Trust                                              selfless volunteerism, long-
                                                                                                                                                                                                             term dedication and passion
on 15 First Nations communities, and the
Global Transportation Hub.                    Harold Orr (BE’59, MSc’63 Mechanical) was                                                             (EAT) Alumni                                             for engineering education of

                                                                                                                                                  Service Awards
                                              invested into the Order of Canada in 2019,
                                              in recognition of his integral role in improv-
                                                                                                                                                                                                             each honouree. Because of their
                                              ing energy efficiency and conservation in                                                                                                                      dedication, the EAT continues to
                                              Canadian homes. He was a key driver of the
                                              Saskatchewan Conservation House project,                                                                                                                       flourish today.
                                              which led to new national energy conserva-
                                              tion protocols for Canadian buildings.
                                              Dennis Paddock (BE’68 Civil) was awarded
                                              the Brian Eckel Distinguished Service Award                                                     Dean Peter Nikiforuk: Though not a USask Engineering           Art Dumont (BE’67 Mechanical, DSc’92 Hon.): Dumont
                                              from APEGS in 2020 after a career manag-                                                        alum, the EAT felt Dean Nikiforuk was certainly deserving      earned a reputation as one of USask’s most influential
                                              ing transportation and municipal infra-                                                         of recognition, as it was his 1978 fundraising campaign        fundraisers and ambassadors in Alberta. He helped estab-
                                              structure projects with the Saskatchewan                                                        that was the precursor to the EAT. In that campaign, he        lish the Calgary Engineers Fundraising Committee and
                                              government. He also spent 23 years as                                                           encouraged graduating students to help fund updated            served as an EAT trustee for more than 20 years. He was
                                              Executive Director and Registrar of APEGS,                                                      equipment for the Engineering Building’s new addition.         also a welcoming presence for many young alumni in
                                              overseeing the revision of The Engineering                                                      Nikiforuk passed away in 2018.                                 Calgary. Dumont passed away in October 2019.
                                              Act to The Engineering and Geoscience Act
                                              and growing membership from 3,600 to                                                                                                                           Al Schreiner (BE’63 Mechanical): For decades, Schreiner
                                              more than 13,000 during his tenure.                                                                                                                            has been a continuous pillar in the friend raising and
                                                                                                                                              B.J. Seaman (BE’45 Mechanical, LLD’12 Hon.): Seaman
                                                                                                                                                                                                             fundraising efforts of the EAT, Calgary Engineers and
                                                                                                                                              supported Dean Nikiforuk’s inaugural fundraising cam-
                                                                                                                                                                                                             FOCUS (Friends of the College of Engineering at the
                                                                                                                                              paign and joined the EAT’s first board of trustees in 1986.
                                              Harpreet Panesar (MSc’05 Civil) received                                                                                                                       University of Saskatchewan). He recently became the EAT’s
                                                                                                                                              He served on the board for more than 25 years. Seaman
                                              the Exceptional Engineering/Geoscience                                                                                                                         first lifetime honourary trustee.
                                                                                               Don Seaman (BE’47 Mechanical, LLD’19           passed away in April 2021.
                                              Project Award in 2020 from the Association
  Nemeth                                                                                       Hon.) was honoured with a Doctor of Laws
                                              of Consulting Engineering Companies –
                                                                                               at USask’s 2019 spring convocation. With
Michael Nemeth (BE’08 Mechanical)
                                              Saskatchewan (ACEC-SK). He has pro-
                                              vided technical input for major projects         his brothers, Seaman was a key player in
                                                                                               the development of the oil industry in
received the 2020 Environmental Excellence    including the Regina Bypass, Warman and
                                              Martensville Interchanges, Estevan Bypass        Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Seaman
Award from APEGS. A mechanical engi-
                                              and Saskatoon Freeway.                           Engineering and Drilling Company became         Wayne Clifton (BE’63 MSc’66 Civil, DSc’96 Hon.): Clifton      John Niedermaier (BE’63 Agricultural): Niedermaier con-
neering consultant, Nemeth is an expert in
                                                                                               Bow Valley Industries, a major energy           was a founding trustee of the EAT and its first chair, a      tributed more than 30 years of continued service as an
building to the Passive House standard, an
                                                                                               company that eventually had 15 subsidiar-       position he held for more than 20 years. His gifts of time,   engaged alum, from leading the Friends of the College of
international low-energy building standard.
                                              Don Poon (BE’79 Civil) received the              ies. After retiring from Bow Valley in 1988,    talent and treasure were an important source of strength      Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan (FOCUS),
In Saskatoon, he founded an eight-unit
                                              Association of Consulting Engineering            Seaman formed DRS Resource Investments,         for the college. His long-term involvement with the EAT       to chairing the Fundraising Committee. He ensured many
housing development designed to these
                                              Companies – Saskatchewan (ACEC-SK)               pursuing interests in the nurturing of oil      provided an opportunity for a wide network of people to       young alumni had a positive volunteer experience and
                                              Mentor Award in 2019 for his dedicated           and gas service companies and in land           maintain their connection to the college.                     still continues to make campaign calls.
                                              mentorship at Saskatoon’s SAL Engineering        development.
Adeola Olubamiji (PhD’17 Biomedical)          Ltd., showing a genuine interest in the                                                                                                                        Got something to celebrate?
has received several recent awards and        intellectual and personal growth of his                                                          Lindsay Milne (BE’59 Geological): Milne was an inau-
                                                                                                                                               gural member of the Calgary Engineers Friend Raising
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Let us know!
accolades. She was named one of Canada’s      mentees.
                                                                                                                                               group, which turned its attention to fundraising after a      We’d love to let the USask Engineering community know
100 Most Powerful Women in 2020 by the
                                                                                                                                               series of successful alumni events. In 1990, Milne became     about your recent awards or achievements. Drop us a line
Women’s Executive Network. She was also
                                                                                                                                               the first chair of the Fundraising Committee, and for         at
recognized as one of RBC’s Top Canadian
                                                                                                                                               years this group contributed greatly to the success of the
Immigrants in 2020 and received the 2020
                                                                                                                                               Engineering Advancement Trust.

11       THOROUGH            JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                                 USASK        COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING               12
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
                                                  USask Engineering   College of Engineering shows it’s ready

                                                                      to step up and collaborate – at every
                                                                      level – with an industry partner.
                                                                          BY DONELLA HOFFMAN

                                                                      As the COVID-19 pandemic started overwhelming health-

                                                 the call
                                                                      care systems around the world in March 2020, University of
                                                                      Saskatchewan (USask) College of Engineering alum Jim Boire
                                                                      (BE’96) decided that designing and manufacturing an emergency-
                                                                      use ventilator (EUV) was simply the right thing to do.

                                                                      And that’s what he and his team did. Within nine months, their
                                                                      ventilator was developed and had received COVID-19 Medical
                                                                      Device Authorization from Health Canada. Along the way, Boire’s
                                                                      company became Saskatchewan’s first licensed medical device
                                                                      manufacturer – an accomplishment he’s now building on.

                                                                      “What do you need?”                        The first prototype was built in less
                                                                                                                 than a week and put RMD on the
                                                                      In mid-March 2020, shortly after the
                                                                                                                 path to becoming Saskatchewan’s
                                                                      World Health Organization declared
                                                                                                                 first medical device manufacturer,
                                                                      that COVID-19 was a global pandem-
                                                                                                                 via its subsidiary, One Health Medical
                                                                      ic, Boire received a phone call from
                                                                      his daughter, an ICU nurse at Royal
                                                                      University Hospital in Saskatoon.          Though Boire knew what his team
                                                                                                                 was capable of, he recognized that
                                                                      There may not be enough ventila-
                                                                                                                 it wouldn’t be enough to get his
                                                                      tors, she told him. At that time, North
                                                                                                                 foot in the door with USask and the
                                                                      Americans had been hearing about
                                                                                                                 College of Medicine – home to the
                                                                      doctors in Italy who were rationing
                                                                                                                 end users he needed to consult.
                                                                      life-saving health-care and equip-
                                                                      ment, including mechanical venti-          “If you’re going to start knocking on
                                                                      lators, which take over the work of        doors, asking people to trust you,
                                                                      breathing for a patient and get more       you have to have some credibility.”
                                                                      oxygen into their lungs. (Please see
                                                                                                                 In late March, he called Suzanne
                                                                      graphic on page 15.)
                                                                                                                 Kresta, Dean of the College of
                                                                      Boire, president of Saskatoon-based        Engineering, and invited her out to
                                                                      RMD Engineering Inc., felt he had          see RMD’s ventilator project.
                                                                      to do something. He and his team
                                                                                                                 It wasn’t their first meeting.
                                                                      began developing a ventilator, which
                                                                                                                 Boire was one of the industry
                                                                      ultimately became the EUV-SK1.
                                                                                                                 representatives invited to sit in
                                                                      It was a decision that not only            on candidate presentations in
Jim Boire with one of the EUV-SK1 ventilators                         impacted his company, but his career.      2017 during USask’s search for a
this spring at RMD Engineering in Saskatoon.                                                                     new engineering dean. “She was
                                                                      “It was the right thing to do,” he says.
                                                                                                                 very forward-thinking and very
Photo by Gord Waldner                                                 “If you know you have a team of peo-
                                                                                                                 progressive,” he recalls.
                                                                      ple that can pull a rabbit out of a hat,
                                                                      you can’t not act.”                                   continued on next page

13       THOROUGH              JULY 2021                                                      USASK         COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                     14
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
In addition to her work as an academic,                                                                                Micah Fenez says          nents. He specifically had in mind a 1970s-
                                                                          Kresta is a chemical engineer who is rec-                                                                    working on critical aspects         era Hardinge-brand lathe, highly sought
                                                                          ognized internationally for her expertise in                                                                  of the ventilator has been         after because of its precision, accuracy and
                                                                          industrial mixing. It was this knowledge of                                                                                   humbling.          versatility.
                                                                          manufacturing processes that Boire wanted
                                                                                                                                                                                           Photo by Gord Waldner           Though Boire had tracked down and pur-
                                                                          to capitalize on, ultimately seeking to have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           chased his own Hardinge machine for
                                                                          Kresta validate RMD’s capacity to develop a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           RMD, it wouldn’t be delivered until May. He
                                                                          medical device.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           also knew that the Engineering Shops at
                                                                          “I approached Suzanne, one engineer to                                                                                                           the College of Engineering had two of the
                                                                          another, and asked if she would afford us a                                                                                                      lathes in question, purchased new back in
                                                                          visit to talk about what we were doing. And                                                                                                      the 1970s for about $60,000 apiece.
                                                                          that's the way she is, she just said, ‘OK, you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           “No one makes a lathe that’s comparable,”
                                                                          have my attention. What do you need from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           says Blair Cole, Engineering Shops manager,
                                                                          me?’ ”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           of the prized equipment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           With his machining background, Boire
     I approached Suzanne,                                                                                                                                                                                                 understood their capabilities as well. “Those
         one engineer to                                                                                                                                                                                                   lathes are an icon in the industry. You can
      another, and asked if           What is a mechanical                                                                                                                                                                 do things on them that you can’t do with

      she would afford us a           ventilator?                                                                                                                                                                          modern lathes,” he says, referring to their
                                                                                 Timelines are                                                                                                                             ability to produce very small items to very
     visit to talk about what         A mechanical ventilator                 important in business                                                                                                                        precise specifications.
          we were doing.              comprises a computerised box
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           With the lathes sitting idle after the college
                                      that sits on top of a mobile             and we understood                                                                                                                           had ceased in-person operations in March,
         And that's the               trolley in a hospital (though
                                                                             this was critical to keep                                                                                                                     Boire struck a deal to borrow them until his
       way she is, she just           the EUV-SK1 is contained in
                                      a Pelican-brand equipment                the project moving.                                                                                                                         own arrived.
       said, ‘OK, you have            case). Modern mechanical                                                                                                                                                             In lieu of paying a rental fee for the seven
          my attention.               ventilators have one or more                        SUZANNE KRESTA                                                                                                                   weeks it used the lathes, RMD donated
       What do you need               screens, dials, data cables,                                                                                                                                                         equipment back to the Engineering Shops:
                                      power cords and gas tubes.                                                                                                                                                           lathe tools and accessories that staff had
            from me?’                 They are highly complex and                                                                                                                                                          had on their wish lists for years.
                                      sophisticated pieces of equip-
              JIM BOIRE                                                                                                                                                                                                    While lending out the college’s equipment
                                      ment, allowing adjustments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           is not an everyday practice, Kresta says
                                      such as:
                                                                          On a Sunday night in late March, Kresta                                                                                                          the timing made sense and considers it an
                                      • how long inhalation for a         spent three hours at RMD, touring the facil-                                                                                                     important part of the college’s collabora-
                                        patient lasts                     ity and learning about the ventilator from                                                                                                       tion with RMD.
                                                                          Boire. She was impressed enough to con-          out her, and I know she says she didn't do      RMD quickly adapted and simplified the
                                      • how much air is received                                                           anything but she did. It's being that person,   design of the EUV-SK1. Rather than using        “Timelines are important in business and
                                                                          clude that the project was feasible and saw
                                                                                                                           in that role, that makes her own decision       turbines to control flow, they use propor-      we understood this was critical to keep the
                                      • how often air is received         there was a role for USask expertise. That
                                                                                                                           and trusts you. That was very, very appre-      tional solenoids instead. There are only four   project moving,” she says.
                                                                          night, she called Preston Smith, Dean of the
                                      • the concentration of oxygen
                                                                          College of Medicine, putting in motion a         ciated.”                                        moving parts in the ventilator.                 The solenoids are just one example of
                                        within the air (air is about
                                                                          collaboration that would reach into several      “We just build things and design things         While the first prototypes used outsourced      RMD’s resourceful approach to sourc-
                                        21% oxygen, but in some
                                                                          corners of the university.                       that work”                                      solenoids, there was no guarantee RMD           ing components for the initial EUV-SK1:
                                        cases the percentage of
                                                                                                                                                                           could secure ongoing supply at a reason-        everything from flow metre valves to the
                                        oxygen is increased)              “This project has been so aligned with            Along with the urgency that arose as the
                                                                                                                                                                           able price.                                     electrical circuit boards were made in
                                                                          Saskatchewan values,” Kresta says. “There        COVID-19 pandemic intensified, there was
                                      • how much pressure the                                                                                                                                                              Saskatchewan.
                                                                          was such a high level of partnership and         another complication: with Chinese digital      So, as many generations of Saskatchewan
                                        patient’s lungs are inflated to
                                                                          innovation – because each of the players         component supply chains severely disrupt-       farmers and entrepreneurs have done when        "It's important to have this capacity here,"
                                      • the temperature and               saw that there was a problem to solve and                                                                                                        Boire says. "This is where you've got all the
                                                                                                                           ed, Boire and his team found that many          confronted with a problem, Boire came up
                                        humidity of the air               we believed we had the resources right                                                                                                           ingenuity of every farmer in every corner of
                                                                                                                           of the parts they needed were suddenly          with his own solution: RMD would design
                                                                          here to solve it.”                               unavailable.                                    and manufacture its own solenoids.              this province, so there's things that we can
                                      -Berto Pandolfo, Senior Lecturer,
                                      Product Design, University of                                                                                                                                                        do here because for some reason we don't
                                                                          Boire says Kresta’s support provided the         In the course of solving this immediate         Boire was a journeyman machinist before
                                      Technology Sydney                                                                                                                                                                    believe in those boundaries and we just
                                                                          credibility needed to open more doors at         problem, Boire took the initial steps that      going back to school to get his engineer-       build things and design things that work.”
                                                                          USask.                                           have ultimately had a huge impact on            ing degree and knew the equipment he
                                                                                                                           RMD’s strategic direction.                      needed to start producing solenoid compo-                             continued on next page
                                                                          “None of this would have happened with-

15      THOROUGH          JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                            USASK       COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                     16
Rebuilding from the ground up - How the first-year program has been completely redesigned for the future - College of Engineering
into. It was a big confidence boost for        gram put out the call, Boire interviewed six
                                                                                                                                                                                     them.”                                         students, hired all of them, and then kept
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    them extremely busy.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Boire has since purchased equipment that
                                                                                                                                                                                     allows RMD to build the circuit boards         Among other things, they put together new
                                                                                                                                                                                     in-house and which he hopes will facilitate    vertical mills that would manufacture ven-
                                                                                                                                                                                     more collaboration between the college         tilator parts and constructed the ventila-
                                                                                                                                                                                     and RMD.                                       tor assembly room. Because the ventilator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    was still in development, they had to sign
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    non-disclosure agreements.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Boire says he impressed on the students
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the fact that they were working on a brand-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    new medical device was something special,
                                                                                                                                                                                             We were clear                          for RMD and for Saskatchewan.
                                                                                                                                                                                          with them that this                       “We were clear with them that this was
  Because of the pace                                                                                                                                                                        was different.                         different,” he says. “This is a never-happen-
of the project, we got                                                                                                                                                                  This is a never-happen-                     again-in-your-life moment. They had to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    grow up instantly. They were rock stars.”
 to see the design get                                                                                                                                                                     again-in-your-life
all the way through to                                                                                                                                                                          moment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After the assembly room was built within a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    couple of weeks, the quick pace continued,
      completion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   says Mitchell Theriau, one of the six sum-
                                                                                                                                                                                          They had to grow up                       mer students.
 It was neat seeing it                                                                                                                                                                    instantly. They were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Then we had to figure out how the pro-
happen in such a short                                                                                                                                                                         rock stars.                          cess flows from the shop to that room,
    amount of time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and how the inventory would work. So we
                                          Boire consults with two team members                                                                                                                         JIM BOIRE                    really started with nothing in the room and
      CHANDLER JANZEN                     tasked with assembling ventilators.                                                                                                                                                       ended up with ventilators there in a very
                                          Photo by Gord Waldner                                                                                                                                                                     short time,” he says.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By the time Theriau returns to school in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    September 2021 for his fourth year of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mechanical engineering, he will have spent
                                                                                                                                                                                     Janzen says that the secondment made his       16 months at RMD - a four-month summer
                                    “This experience has made us better at           lab remotely, Janzen and his colleagues          Given the tight timelines that RMD had         summer busier than it normally would have      job and a 12-month co-op work placement.
                                    what we do”                                      planned to spend the coming months               given itself, work on the project was          been, but it was worth it.                     Over the past year, he has been involved in
                                                                                     converting in-person labs for online             intense, but enjoyable, Janzen says.                                                          writing the work instructions and checklists
                                    The halls of the College of Engineering are                                                                                                      “It was a bit of a sacrifice but at the same
                                                                                     delivery.                                                                                                                                      for assembling the ventilators, which can be
                                    usually buzzing during March as students                                                          “It was a good experience. I was always        time, it was really impressive to see how
                                    push to finish quizzes, assignments and          Then a former student, now working at            thinking about it, even when I got home. It    RMD, and Jim Boire particularly, was put-      up to 44 pages long. “I feel I’ve gotten a lot
                                    labs before finals hit.                          RMD, reached out for help with the electri-      was like, ‘OK, what’s the next step.’          ting his neck out there to get this thing      more involved than an intern usually would.
                                                                                     cal circuit boards they were designing for                                                      done and put together. That sense of com-      I’m really excited to have had this opportu-
                                    But in March 2020, in-person activity                                                             “And it was really nice, because of the pace                                                  nity,” says Theriau, who is from Calgary.
                                                                                     the new project the company was working                                                         munity was very strong and it was a really
                                    screeched to a halt when USask closed its                                                         of the project, we got to see the design
                                                                                     on – a made-in-Saskatchewan ventilator.                                                         good thing to participate in.”                 A second mechanical engineering student,
                                    campus.                                                                                           get all the way through to completion. It
                                                                                     “Working on a ground-up design is a very         was neat seeing it happen in such a short      Though he and Gowen and Pourhaj already        Micah Fenez, also spent 16 months at RMD.
                                    Employees like Chandler Janzen, a support                                                                                                                                                       As someone who went into engineering
                                                                                     different process and they were feeling          amount of time.”                               bring industry experience to their roles,
                                    engineer in the Department of Electrical                                                                                                                                                        with the goal “to learn how to build any-
                                                                                     like they had hit the wall,” says Janzen. “So,                                                  the time at RMD has given them additional
                                    and Computer Engineering (ECE), suddenly                                                          The ECE engineers, along with RMD’s team,                                                     thing” he says working at RMD has been
                                                                                     they were looking for some mentorship                                                           insight into the connection between theory
                                    found themselves at home.                                                                         developed the circuit board layout that                                                       the perfect opportunity. “What I like about
                                                                                     and technical advice, and some manpower                                                         and practice, which they can bring back to
                                                                                                                                      controls the ventilator’s functionality.                                                      RMD is that it fits with what I want to do,”
                                    He is one of five professional engineers         to help them get through what they were                                                         the college to share with students.
                                    who works in the electrical and computer         stuck on.”                                       “They were very engaged and they were                                                         he says. “They can build anything: they
                                    engineering labs. Each runs the undergrad-                                                        very good at what they did,” says Boire,       “This experience, of course, has made us       have the equipment and the people that
                                                                                     With the college labs at a standstill, three                                                    better at what we do,” he says.                are capable of doing it.”
                                    uate lab class in their area of specialization                                                    describing the work of Janzen, Gowen
                                                                                     ECE support engineers were seconded to
                                    and supports students when needed, in                                                             and Pourhaj, who worked in partnership         “They’ve been rock stars”                      Along with Theriau, he’s had a hand in
                                                                                     RMD: Janzen, who specializes in computer
                                    addition to providing technical advice for                                                        with his own employees.                                                                       developing the stringent process needed to
                                                                                     engineering; Rory Gowen, whose speciali-                                                        At the beginning of May, as the project was
                                    grad students and researchers.                                                                                                                                                                  document each component of the ventila-
                                                                                     ty is digital signal processing, and Peyman      “I’m very proud that my team took this on,     ramping up, Boire needed more people.
                                    After helping students complete their final      Pourhaj, who specializes in analog and digi-     even though it was a little scary to jump      After the college’s Co-op Internship pro-                            continued on next page
                                                                                     tal microwave sensors.

17   THOROUGH           JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                                        USASK      COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                      18
tor, a necessity for medical certification. He                                                    Smith’s conversations with Boire then led to    USask Engineering is committed to helping        “If I want to be a partner with the univer-     “It is a year later now, so with vaccines com-
also spent a significant amount of time last                                                      Dr. Mateen Razzi, who is also the provincial    drive innovation in the province, Kresta         sity, I better put my right foot forward and    ing out, what we’re focusing on now is not
summer researching the flow meter, which                                                          department head of anesthesiology for the       says, beyond the manufacture of medical          show that I'm dedicated to this and that        more sales, but getting these certified to
controls the volume of oxygen delivered to                                                        medical college and the SHA, checking out       devices. It already has close partnerships       our company can do the research, and the        full-service, full-use ventilators. That’s a big
the patient.                                                                                      the ventilator and bringing in respiratory      with SaskPower and with the province’s           manufacturing and the interaction with the      job,” Boire says.
                                                      It was a very, very cool                    therapists and clinicians to test the machine   mining industry.                                 different departments and colleges at the
“Because we made the part ourselves, we                                                                                                                                                                                                            “We’re going to be positioning ourselves for
had to determine every variable that affects
                                                         story to be part of,                     and provide their feedback.
                                                                                                                                                  “When there are local problems, we can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   rural and remote areas, air ambulances and
that meter. It’s very humbling to know                                                            “At the end of the day, it’s a manufacturing    find local solutions. And these help us com-     “We should be ready to show that we want        ambulances, so they have something more
                                                   to connect these people
that you’re working on something that’s                                                           process and the engineers are going to take     pete in a global economy that values these       to partner because we want to grow tech-        rugged and portable that they can take
extremely critical,” says Fenez, a graduate of     and get the right experts                      the lead on that, but you can’t sell anything   innovations as much as we do,” she says.         nology inside Saskatchewan.”                    out and use. They don’t have that capabili-
Saskatoon’s Legacy Christian Academy who          in the right place, advising                    to anybody if the end user doesn’t like the
                                                                                                                                                  Boire definitely supports nurturing closer       “A product that will be used world
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ty right now with an acute ventilator. Ours
will be working on third- and fourth-year                                                         product,” says Smith.                                                                                                                            is an acute respiratory ventilator and it will
classes when he returns to school this fall.
                                                       the right people.                                                                          integration between industry and aca-            wide”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   have that ability.”
                                                                                                  “It was a very, very cool story to be part      demia, rather than writing a cheque and
                                                                                                                                                                                                   By the end of 2020, Saskatchewan’s pro-
Both students feel their undergrad experi-                        PRESTON SMITH                   of, to connect these people and get the         waiting for the results.                                                                         The journey will not be without hur-
                                                                                                                                                                                                   vincial government had taken delivery of
ence in the college has given them a basic                                                        right experts in the right place, advising                                                                                                       dles. Companies like Boire’s must have
                                                                                                                                                  “We need to truly set ourselves up to be         the first EUV-SK1 ventilators, after striking
foundation for their work at RMD.                                                                 the right people.”                                                                                                                               an MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit
                                                                                                                                                  partners with the university and be collab-      a deal to buy 100 units, to bring the total
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Program) certification, which is accepted
“One thing post-secondary has really                                                              In addition to the College of Medicine, con-    orative, finding ways to hire students and       number of ventilators in the province to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   by Health Canada and the Federal Drug
taught me is that you need to be able to                                                          tributions were made by other colleges as       find ways to do other research projects with     650.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Administration (FDA) in the United States.
work under pressure, to work under fair-                                                          well. (Please see graphic on page 20.)          each other.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                   This spring, RMD was manufacturing train-       This requires third-party reviews of the
ly large workloads,” says Theriau. “I think       Kresta is proud to see USask Engineering’s      “The university’s expertise was critical to     For his part, Boire has started a master’s       ing units – units that aren’t certified for     device, which are paid for by the product
Engineering really shows you how to han-          students step up and thrive in the RMD          pulling this off,” says Kresta.                 degree that he is scheduled to complete in       hospital use – so staff can be trained on the   developer.
dle it.”                                          environment. “Well-trained engineers are                                                        September 2022, unless it turns into a PhD       EUV-SK1.
                                                  critical thinkers who can work on complex       Both she and Boire believe the project                                                                                                           The process is expensive, but doable, says
Fenez says he is particularly gratified to be                                                                                                     project.
                                                  problems, on teams where people have a          could be a template for future collaboration                                                     To this point, the company has kept the         Boire, who says the company has added at
working on a unique project, Saskatchewan’s
                                                  range of experience and training,” she says.    between USask and industry.                     One supervisor is from the College of            project low-key within the health-care          least a dozen employees since the ventila-
only certified medical device. “As Jim puts it,
                                                  “In our program, we strive to give students                                                     Medicine and the other is from the College       industry and is instead looking more long-      tor project has ramped up.
nobody wants to design a pipe cleaner. We                                                         “The university has to take a look at this
                                                  a deep understanding of how ideas move                                                          of Engineering.                                  term.
already have those. This is making a differ-                                                      and go, ‘Wow, this was very high profile,                                                                                                        “What we’re trying to do is follow through
ence. It’s something that we need. It’s going     from concepts to the marketplace. And we        very fast-moving, and it worked. There was                                                                                                       on our ability to keep medical device man-
to help people.”                                  add hands-on experience so they are ready       a very good result,’ ” says Boire. “How do we                                                                                                    ufacturing in the province with a product
                                                  for the workplace.”                             leverage that? How do we now make a pat-                                                                                                         that will be used world-wide.”
                                                  Boire says the workload and the responsi-
                                                  bility at RMD was a challenging combina-
                                                  tion that all of the students met. Reflecting
                                                                                                  tern for something like this, so that we can
                                                                                                  have a set of criteria for industry partners
                                                                                                  that truly want to be a partner?”
                                                                                                                                                         Boundless Collaboration                                                                   The goal is to be more self-sufficient the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   next time manufacture of an innovative,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   high-level product is needed.
                                                  on Theriau and Fenez in particular, he says
                                                                                                                                                          USask collaborated with RMD in several ways during
                                                  they made incredible gains in their atten-                                                              the course of the ventilator project.                                                    “Do you remember that feeling that you
                                                  tion to detail, thinking through tasks, and                                                                                                                                                      had in your stomach when they said the
                                                  most importantly, recognizing if something                                                                                                                                                       world is short of ventilators and then they
                                                  was going wrong and reaching out for                                                                                                                                                             showed all those people dying and then
                                                  more information. “It’s kind of fun watching                                                                                                                                                     you found out that none of this stuff is
                                                                                                                                                         • The Western College of                • USask Respiratory Research
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   made here?” Boire says.
                                                  them grow up of over the course of a year.         What we’re trying to                                  Veterinary Medicine’s Dr.               Centre members (director Donna
                                                  It’ll be neat to see how they do after this.”                                                            Julia Montgomery, who is a              Goodridge and an ICU nursing
                                                                                                   do is follow through on                                                                                                                         “That's a terrible feeling and we want to
                                                  “We can find local solutions”                                                                            respiratory subject matter              graduate student Rebecca Erker)                 bring quality manufacturing on high-end
                                                                                                  our ability to keep medical                              expert, helped with writing the         wrote the ventilator training manual.           things back to Saskatchewan, in a way
                                                  After she visited RMD in March 2020 to
                                                                                                   device manufacturing in                                 operation manual, testing of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                 • RMD team members had taken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   that's meaningful so the next time it isn't a
                                                  learn about its plans to manufacture a ven-                                                              machine function, the training                                                          big panic.”
                                                  tilator in Saskatchewa, Kresta knew what               the province                                      video and the usability study.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Edwards School of Business
                                                  had to happen next. Subject matter experts                                                                                                       executive education courses on                  In the year since Boire began developing
                                                  needed to be consulted, to ensure the final        with a product that will                            • College of Law professor Patricia       project management and executive                the ventilator, the project has changed to
                                                  product would meet the needs of the medi-           be used world-wide.                                  Farnese helped with regulatory          leadership that were invaluable in              set a new standard for USask collaboration
                                                  cal professionals who would use it.                                                                      work on standards for medical           carrying out the project efficiently            with industry, inspired young engineers
                                                                                                                     JIM BOIRE
                                                                                                                                                           devices related to the Health           and effectively under tight timelines.          and changed the course of Boire’s company
                                                  She’d already been on the phone with                                                                     Canada submission.                                                                      as well as his own career. And it began with
The Saskatchewan Health Authority purchased                                                                                                                                                      - USask Communications
                                                  Preston Smith, dean of USask’s College of                                                                                                                                                        one engineer reaching out to another.
100 EUV-SK1 ventilators.
                                                  Medicine, to tell him about the project and
Photo by Gord Waldner                             secure his help in getting the right experts                                                                                                                                                     “None of this would have happened if
                                                  out to the RMD facility.                                                                                                                                                                         Suzanne hadn’t taken my call.”

19        THOROUGH             JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                USASK      COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                       20
                                                            Collaborate with us                                                                                                                                                 Learn

There are many ways you                                     HOW YOU CAN ENGAGE
can build – or continue –

                                     WHERE YOU CAN ENGAGE
your relationship with the                                                                               Engagement,
                                                                              Technical                                                  Corporate Engagement                             Who to contact                          How they can help
                                                                                                         Mentorship, Research
college: from lending your
time or making a donation,                                        Strategic   • Support major            • Become part of the            • Co-create new knowledge and drive inno-        Suzanne Kresta                          • Explore partnerships with transfor-
to supporting our alumni                                            Impact      research initiative of     Dean’s Advisory Board           vation to the forefront of Saskatchewan’s      Dean                                      mative potential
                                                                                joint strategic impor-                                     economic future                      
                                                                                                         • Serve on the Engineering                                                                                               • Learn about our plan and how
or student events. Or                                                           tance; establish
                                                                                                           Advancement Trust Board       • Ensure that the workforce of the future is                                               we are advancing innovation in
                                                                                research chair
you may choose to make                                                        • Co-create strategic
                                                                                                           of Trustees                     well-positioned to meet the challenges
                                                                                                                                           your company expects to face
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Saskatchewan and beyond

a strategic investment                                                          initiatives or aca-
                                                                                demic programming
to drive innovation in
Saskatchewan and beyond.
                                                                Partnership   • Fee-for-service          Research Contracts              Research Grants                                  Terry Fonstad,                          • Explore collaborative opportuni-
                                                             for Innovation     research                                                                                                  Associate Dean Research and               ties
                                                                                                         • Specialized research for      • Support graduate students and publica-
                                                                              • Defined short-term         specific initiative             tion of outcomes, as these are tomorrow’s                                              • Understand which research ave-
                                                                                initiatives                                                core technical experts                                                                   nue could best meet your needs
                                                                                                         • Opportunity for govern-
Levels of engagement                                                          • Data outputs owned         ment-matched funding          • Opportunity for government-matched
                                                                                                                                                                                          Heidi Smithson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Learn about our areas of research
                                                                                                                                                                                          Research Facilitator
                                                                                by funder                                                  funds                                                                                    focus and excellence
                                                                                                         • IP negotiable; flexible for                                          
                                                                              • 25% overhead               funder                        • IP negotiable; funder has full and free
                                                                                                                                           access to use results of work, including
                                                                                                         • Fee-for-service research
                Strategic                                                                                                                  right to patent
                                                                                                         • Defined short-term
                Impact                                                                                                                   • 25% overhead • Multi-year time frame

                Partnership for
                Innovation                                          Co-op     • Hire a student           • Supervise a co-op             • Build a pipeline of well-qualified potential   Kristen Cutting,                        • Learn how to hire a co-op student
                                                               Program for      for a paid work            student in your place of        employees                                      Co-op Coordinator
                Research Grants                                                                                                                                                                                                   • Discover how we can support your
                                                                                placement of               employment                                                           
                Research Contracts                              Employers       4, 8, 12 or 16 months
                                                                                                                                         • Former co-op students arrive fully trained                                               recruitment needs with student
                Fee for Service                                                                          • Mentor a co-op student          and have higher retention rates                Tracy McArthur,                           information sessions, career fairs
                                                                                                           during their work term                                                         Co-op Coordinator                         and speaking opportunities
                Co-op Program
                for Employers

                                                                  Student     • Be an industry           • Join an alumni chapter        • Sponsor an event: Safety Days, Hard Hat        Carlene Deutscher,                      • Get connected as a client or men-
                                                               Community        client and/or men-                                         Ceremony, Capstone Design Showcase             Alumni Relations and Events               tor to capstone design courses
                                                                                                         • Volunteer with the
                                                                                tor for a capstone                                                                              
                                                                 Building       design project
                                                                                                           Engineering Advancement       • Support student design teams and clubs                                                 • Identify volunteer opportunities
                Student                                                                                    Trust (EAT)                                                                    Richelle Kenn,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Learn about event sponsorship
                Community                                                                                                                                                                 Development Officer
                Building                                                                                                                                                                          • Discover donation opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and student areas of need

21   THOROUGH       JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                                           USASK   COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                    22
RESEARCH                                                   Research Themes

                                                           Engineering for Agriculture
                                                           Agriculture remains a mainstay of the
                                                           Prairie economy. USask Engineering has his-
                                                           torically played a significant role in develop-

       with impact
                                                           ing and supporting this sector, which faces
                                                           diverse challenges: from responding to and
                                                           harnessing new information technologies,
                                                           to getting more and healthier food to the
                                                           world’s growing population while achiev-
                                                           ing a sustainable environmental footprint.
                                                           The college recognizes that interdisciplin-
                                                           ary approaches are needed to address
                           We spoke with internal and      these complex challenges and opportuni-
                           external stakeholders as we     ties; members from every department are
                                                           engaged in Engineering for Agriculture.
                           sought to identify our most
                                                           Engineering for the Environment
                         impactful and highest priority
                                                           This broad category encompasses every-
                              research areas. This input   thing from air, water, and soil quality to
                                                                                                             to apply knowledge and principles of engi-     Minerals right here in Saskatchewan. USask      identifying and characterizing materials,
                                                                                                             neering to provide solutions to complex        Engineering is committed to providing and       and more. Nearly every discipline pres-
                             helped us build our 2018-     sustainable energy and infrastructure. It
                                                                                                             problems and capitalize on life-changing       expanding access to that expertise.             ents an opportunity to learn from and be
                                                           includes modernizing and updating build-
                            2025 strategic direction for   ing and infrastructure standards, respond-
                                                                                                             opportunities. Research in this theme also
                                                                                                                                                            Engineering for Sustainable Energy
                                                                                                                                                                                                            advanced by imaging research.
                                                                                                             extends to animal health and welfare, and
                        research at USask Engineering.     ing to a changing climate, developing new
                                                                                                             to One Health – the interface of human,        USask has a long tradition of excellence
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Information and Computer
                                                           and more sustainable materials and energy                                                                                                        Technologies
                          Our work focuses on five key     sources, and better managing our natural
                                                                                                             animal, and environmental health.              in power engineering, recently shifting to
                                                                                                                                                            focus to grid modernization. We are poised      Information and computing technologies
                            research Themes and three      resources. Research in this theme seeks to        Engineering for Mining and Minerals
                                                                                                                                                            to take on new challenges in Engineering        are essential to advancement in every other
                                                           provide solutions for both individuals and
                           Fundamental Areas that are      industries to reduce environmental foot-
                                                                                                             Whether it’s potash for fertilizer, uranium    for Sustainable Energy. Partnerships            discipline.
                                                                                                             for clean energy and medicine, or precious     with industry tackle the challenges of
                       instrumental in several themes.     prints and adopt sustainable practices.
                                                                                                             metals used in so many of our technol-         energy transition both globally and
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Machine learning helps with automation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              and big data processing.
                                                                                                                                                            locally. Saskatchewan's geographical
                                                                                                                                                            challenges include: a small population          • Materials research produces better, more
                                                                                                                                                            spread over a large land area with limited        efficient sensors and electronic devices.
                                                                                                                                                            water resources; massive demand for
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Wireless sensors and networks improve
                                                                                                                                                            transportation of commodities; significant
                                                                                                                                                                                                              communications and help capture enor-
                                                                                                                                                            annual climate extremes (-40˚ C to +40˚ C);
                                                                                                                                                                                                              mous amounts of data. They can improve
                                                                                                                                                            and a high reliance on fossil fuels. We
                                                                                                                                                                                                              safety and efficiency in many fields, from
                                                                                                                                                            are exploring clean energy technologies,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              agriculture and mining to transportation
                                                                                                                                                            smart power grids, biofuels and improving
                                                                                                                                                                                                              and medicine.
                                                                                                                                                            the energy efficiency of our buildings,
                                                                                                                                                            industries, transportation, and technologies.   Transportation and Infrastructure
                                                                                                                                                            Fundamental Research Areas                      Transportation and infrastructure research
                                                                                                                                                                                                            impacts progress in multiple themes.
                                                                                                                                                            Within each theme there are Fundamental
                                                                                                                                                            Research Areas that support and enhance         • Agriculture and mining sectors rely on
                                                                                                                                                            more than one Research Theme or that              transportation research to ensure reliabil-
                                                           Engineering for Health                            ogies, USask Engineering is focused on         have synergies with most or all of the            ity, safety, and efficiency in transporting
                                                                                                             partnering with our mining sector to solve     themes. Fundamental Research Areas                goods to markets.
                                                           People in Saskatchewan, and many parts of                                                        include:
                                                                                                             challenges it faces in the production of                                                       • Infrastructure research impacts the design
                                                           the world, are living longer but not always
                                                                                                             several commodities. These range from          Imaging                                           of facilities, communications and energy
                                                           healthier. A healthy, prosperous society
                                                                                                             geotechnical issues to adopting new tech-                                                        systems, and roadways.
                                                           depends on engineers who can provide                                                             Imaging technologies are seeing ever-in-
                                                                                                             nologies for improving safety, efficiency,
                                                           technogies and knowledge to make health                                                          creasing application in multiple fields, from   • Traffic research ensures roadways remain
                                                                                                             and environmental stewardship. It’s critical
                                                           care more effective, affordable, personal-                                                       health studies and medical diagnostics to         safe for all roadway users while ensuring
                                                                                                             that Saskatchewan’s industry-leading min-
                                                           ized, and accessible. Working with partners                                                      understanding plant development and fun-          goods can get to market safely.
                                                                                                             eral producers have access to world-class
                                                           in medicine and health sciences, we strive                                                       damental processes like chemical reactions,
                                                                                                             expertise in Engineering for Mining and

23   THOROUGH   JULY 2021                                                                                                                                                                      USASK        COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING                      24
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