Engineering praise for achievements 

By Karen Herland

Not every department takes the time to formally acknowledge the efforts of their own. It was clear at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department reception on April 9 that students, faculty and staff genuinely share pride in the department’s success.

Staff, students and faculty celebrated accomplishments in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Magnifying glass

Staff, students and faculty celebrated accomplishments in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

The reception was held in the Norman D. Hébert Meeting Room, where students had set up their capstone projects. People squeezed through the crowded room, refreshments in hand, to find out more about them.

Students are required to take the capstone course in their final year. Teams either receive a problem as defined by their professors or industry, or identify one of their own. After that, they have two terms to collaborate on a solution that is both symbol and measure of everything they have learned in the program.

A team of Professor Mamoun Medraj’s students walked away with the Richard Cheng Design Award for Mechanical Engineering for their Arc-Melting Furnace.

Meanwhile, the Richard Cheng Capstone Design Award for Mechanical Engineering was scooped up by the brave team that presented their concrete toboggan design.

Both of those awards involve cash prizes, as did the Capstone Design Award for Industrial Engineering, which went to the team that addressed the needs of Pratt and Whitney with a redesign of their Plant 1 Engine Centre.

Finally, the department offers a Merit Award for Capstone Design in Mechanical Engineering. This year the award went to the team that successfully created a protective plastic netting cutting machine.

According to their supervisor, Henry Hong, the problem was identified by a student at his job. The company produces metal shafts, which they ship in protective netting that was hand-measured and cut. The student asked his employer if he could develop a better system, and the company underwrote the project. In fact, the machine had to be brought back from the factory, where it is currently in use, to display during the reception. “The man who did the job before has been reassigned,” Hong said.

The lunchtime event, organized by Leslie Hosein with help from Dominic Ng and emceed by Ali Akgunduz, recognized other contributions as well. The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineers (CSME) Gold Medal went to Imtiaz Ahmed, and the CSME Award for Teaching Excellence went to brand-new professor Lyes Kadem.

Ralph Koyess, president of the student chapter of the CSME, was awarded a certificate of merit for involvement in undergraduate activity. Jason Sobey won similar recognition as president of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) chapter. His award was presented by Nadia Bhuiyan. A few minutes later, he was able to return the favour, presenting Bhuiyan with a teaching excellence award for her ability to engage students week after week.

George Vatistas presented Keivan Fardad and Wenwei Yang with the Silas Katz Memorial Award. Vatistas recalled his own days as Katz’s student and acknowledged his former professor’s ability to build students’ knowledge almost randomly until a few weeks before the end of the term, when “all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.”

Graduate students Benedikt Roidl, Tohid Fatanat Didar and Shahrokh Shahriari were also recognized for their presentation achievements. In addition, fellowships and International Fee Remissions were awarded.

Department service was recognized in terms of years, and those who had hit the milestones of one and two decades were acknowledged.

Pugh pointed out how well the support staff “work as a combined team that make the department function. They can help you fix the wiring on your capstone project, date stamp an assignment, help you get into the right course and get you the refund you are owed.”

This year, the Recognition of Service to the Department Award was given collectively to the administrative support staff and the technical and machine shop staff.


Concordia University