MEng Projects

Not all projects available are listed, it may be a good idea to review the faculty list and contact professors whose research area matches your interest and inquire if projects are available.

For more information on how to enrol in a MEng Project, please review Enrolling in a MEng Project here.


  • Optimization of a catheter tip design to maximize visibility in the aorta
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Edgar Acosta

    A novel catheter-based imaging device has been developed to visualize the interior surface of blood vessels and to guide endovascular therapies. This device cannot see through blood and currently uses saline ejected from the catheter tip to displace the blood and increase the field of view of the probe.

    The objective of this project is to design and optimize the catheter tip and saline delivery system to maximize the field of field and allow the probe to better visualize the vessel walls. This project will be carried out using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models, benchtop flow loop testing, and ultimately in-vivo studies. The goal of this project is for the student to develop the CFD models for catheter tip design and optimization to maximize performance before prototypes are constructed and for iterative performance testing.

    Prerequisites: a) Previous course(s) in fluid mechanics, b) experience using ANSYS Fluent or related CFD package, c) proficiency in computer programming using MatLab and C/C++, and d) basic knowledge of vascular anatomy and physiology (optional).

    Research area: Computational Fluid Dynamics

  • Evaluating the impact of workflow communication tools on the Gamma Knife workflow at the Odette Cancer Centre (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Dionne Aleman

    Gamma Knife radiosurgery (RS) uses hundreds of narrow radiation beams to treat abnormalities in the brain with sub-millimeter accuracy. At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Odette Cancer Centre, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of radiation oncologists, therapists, nurses and physicists is involved in patient care and treatment plan generation, which is expected to have short turnover of 2-3 days to treatment. Currently, a combination of paper lists and electronic patient record ticketing are used to coordinate Gamma Knife task assignments. The reliance on manual documentation and uncoordinated records has led to inefficiencies such as miscommunications in task hand-off, uneven workload distribution and rushed assignments, which could lead to suboptimal plan quality, patient treatment delays or overall lower patient throughput. To address these issues, a real-time electronic dashboard and emailing system was implemented that retrieves electronic tickets from the record-and-verify system (Mosaiq) and consolidates the RS workflow from all scheduled patient plans into a single, intuitive real-time display. The dashboard software also initiates immediate email reminders to downstream staff when a task is due for completion. The goal of this work is study the impact of the dashboard using both human factors and operations research techniques to establish baseline usability and process performance metrics. It is also envisioned that long-term process improvements and promising additional ancillary technologies (e.g., task assignment apps) will be identified.
  •  Model Refinement and Validation in Simulation-based Design Optimization
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Cristina Amon

    The optimal design of complex systems in engineering requires the availability of mathematical models of system behavior as a function of a set of design variables; such models allow the designer to find the best solution to the design problem. However, system models (e.g. CFD analysis, physical prototypes) are usually time-consuming and expensive to evaluate, and thus unsuited for systematic use during design. Approximate models of system behavior based on a limited set of data allow significant savings by reducing the resources devoted to modeling during the design process.

    This project is part of our research into methods to support engineering design based on computer simulation models, in which we use model approximation and optimization techniques to assist decision making during the design process. The goal of this specific project is to develop strategies for the sequential exploration of multi-dimensional design spaces with approximation models (a.k.a. metamodels). These strategies have the potential to reduce the number of model analysis that are required to reach an optimal solution to the design problem, thus resulting in significant savings in both time and cost.

    Pre-requisites: (a) previous courses on numerical methods, statistics/design of experiments, optimization (optional); (b) Proficiency in computer programming (Matlab or C/C++).

    If you are interested in this project, consider taking the course MIE1299H “Special Topics in Fluid Mechanics – Methodological Tools for Simulation-based Design Optimization”.

  • Simulation of Wind Turbine Wakes using CFD Techniques
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Cristina Amon

    In this project, we model air flow in a wind farm to study wake behavior using CFD methods as implemented in the OpenFOAM code base. We will use the actuator disk model to represent the turbines, as we are interested more in the mid- to far-wake regions than in the detailed flow around the turbine blades. Based on the results of the simulations, we aim to formulate simplified yet accurate wake models to support optimization efforts.

    Pre-requisites: (a) Previous courses in fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, numerical methods. (b) Experience using ANSYS/Fluent/CFX software, either in fluids, thermal or solid analysis. (c) Proficiency in computer programming (Matlab or C/C++).

    If you are interested in this project, consider taking the course “MIE1240H: Wind Power”.

  • Transistor-Level Transient Modelling of Thermal Transport in Electronic Devices
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Cristina Amon

    Proper thermal transport modelling in an electronic device requires developing a hierarchical multi-scale model. The hierarchical methodology incorporates physics-based models at different length scales ranging from nanometers to a few millimetres. Appropriate modelling techniques for each level of the hierarchy are developed. Different levels of the hierarchy include atomistic-level (a few tens of nanometres), to transistor and logic-gate level (a few microns), to functional blocks level (a few hundreds of micrometres), and finally to the package level (a few millimetres). Simulations start at the smallest length scale (atomistic level), and information transfer to the next higher length level is through the definition of a compact model or an effective physical property.

    The first step of this hierarchical modelling is to simulate thermal transport in thin films and nanowires using atomistic-level techniques. Our group has done extensive work on this part of project and have developed atomistic-level techniques for thermal transport modelling in such systems. The results of the atomistic-level simulations are then transferred to the next level in the hierarchy of length scales (i.e., transistor and logic gate level) in the form of effective thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity for different parts of the transistor.

    The MEng student will work on the transistor and logic-gate level modelling, continuing our group’s work in 3D models of different basic logic gates based on FinFET and MOSFET technologies, performing transient simulations. A parametric study of the effect of geometrical parameters of the FinFET and MOSFET technologies on the predicted equivalent thermal conductivity will also be performed.

    Research area: Nano-Heat Transfer

  • A Machine Learning System to Optimize the Performance of Spray Nozzles (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Nasser Ashgriz

    Contact: Prof. Nasser Ashgriz ashgriz@mie.utoronto.ca
    Research Area: Fluid Thermal Science, Multiphase flows
  • Characterizing the Breakup of a Liquid Droplet (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Nasser Ashgriz

    Contact: Prof. Nasser Ashgriz ashgriz@mie.utoronto.ca
    Research Area: Fluid Thermal Science, Multiphase flows
  • Development of Pharmaceutical Aerosols (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Nasser Ashgriz

    Contact: Prof. Nasser Ashgriz ashgriz@mie.utoronto.ca
    Research Area: Fluid Thermal Science, Multiphase flows
  • Job Shop Scheduling Problems and Mixed Integer Programming Pre-solvers
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Christopher Beck

    In this project, the classical job shop scheduling problem will be studied. The student will work on a reformulation of a well known mixed integer programming model. The changes in the model will allow for development of a pre-solving algorithm which generates cuts to make finding optimal solutions easier. The student will have a chance to work on modelling of a scheduling problem as well as algorithmic development for optimization software solvers.

    Recommended pre-requisites: (a) Previous courses and/or experiences in scheduling, linear programming, constraint programming. (b) Proficiency in C/C++ and IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimizer.

  • Scheduling in Queueing Network Environments with Flexible Servers and Setup Times
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Christopher Beck

    In this project, we will create hybrid queueing theory and scheduling models to solve combinatorically complex problems in dynamic environments. This project is part of our research in combining the two research areas which have mostly been developed independently. By using tools provided by both research areas, we attempt to more accurately represent a queueing network with flexible servers. The goal will be to develop scheduling models which make use of queueing models which gather information from online realizations to guide future scheduling decisions.

    Recommended pre-requisites: (a) Previous courses and/or experiences in discrete event simulation, linear programming, stochastic modelling, and queueing theory. (b) Proficiency in C/C++ and IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimizer.

  • Robotic Vision, Mobile Robotics, 5-axis Milling Machine Design
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Beno Benhabib

  • Operations Research, Optimization, Radiation Therapy, Healthcare Operations
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Timothy Chan

  • Monte Carlo Simulation of the Impact of Distributional Properties on the Effectiveness of Cluster Boosted Regression
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Mark Chignell

    Clustering into patient types is a way of generating clinical predictions based on non-confidential summarized patient data (Chignell et al., 2013). Predictions made based on segmented patient types using Cluster-boosted regression can improve on predictions made using confidential raw patient data, with studies reported by Rouzbahman et al. (2017) showing around a 2 percent predication in the case of predicting length of stay and death status in an intensive care unit, and in predicting the likelihood of a visit to an emergency department within one month of assessment for late stage cancer patients.

    The purpose of this project is to use Monte Carlo Simulation experiments to determine which distributional properties of multivariate data influence the magnitude of the boosting effect in cluster boosted regression. It is anticipated that this research should lead to a scientific paper that provides key insights into why cluster boosting is beneficial as well as providing criteria that can be used to determine which types of data set will stand to benefit more from the cluster boosting approach.

    Required Skill: To carry out this project you should have some experience with statistical analysis and regression analysis in particular, and should be familiar with the R programming language and associated statistical and machine learning packages.

    References

    Rouzbahman, M., Jovicic, A., and Chignell, M. (2017). Can Cluster-Boosted Regression Improve Prediction?: Death and Length of Stay in the ICU. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 21(3), 851-858.

    Chignell, M., Rouzbahman, M., Kealey, M.R., Yu, E., Samavi, R. and Sieminowski, T. Development of Non-Confidential Patient Types for Use in Emergency Medicine Clinical Decision Support. (2013). IEEE Security & Privacy, November/December, 2-8.

    Contact: Mark Chignell chignel@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research Area: Clinical Decision Support, Health Data Mining

     

  • Data Management and the Web, Analytics, Information Retrieval and Visualization, Data Modeling and Business Process Engineering, Healthcare Data Management
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Mariano Consens

  • Large Scale Data Analytics and Visualization
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Mariano Consens

    The project objectives are to apply data analytics tools and techniques to large datasets to provide useful insights and to support decision making. Several projects are available in different application areas (in particular, social services, smart cities, mining industry). The sources of data include open data as well as data provide by collaborating organizations.
    The project activities include the extraction, combination, and cleaning of multiple data sources (leveraging a scalable data management environment such as Hadoop and Spark), followed by the application of data mining and machine learning analysis techniques, and culminated by the preparation of visualizations of the results obtained (using tools such as Tableau, and/or interactive notebook-based visualizations).
    Knowledge of SQL, as well as an interest in programming/scripting in notebook environments (e.g., Jupyter, Zeppelin), are required.
    Several projects are available.
  • Fabrication and Testing of Medical Microrobots (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Eric Diller

    The Microrobotics Laboratory is developing a new class of millimeter-size robotic devices powered by magnetic field for use inside the human body for remote surgery, diagnosis and therapy. Using new fabrication techniques, we are developing magnetically-driven mechanisms which are strong, fast, and dexterous. This project will focus on refining fabrication techniques, characterizing the device mechanical properties and performance under conditions seen in actual operation.
    For more details, see our lab website at http://microrobotics.mie.utoronto.ca

    Contact: ediller@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research Area: Robotics and Mechatronics, Biomedical Engineering

  • Survey to investigate voice-controlled system usage patterns (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Birsen Donmez

    Voice-controlled systems (VCS) have the potential to reduce driver distraction by offering eyes-free and hands-free interactions, leading to an improvement in safety and the overall driving experience. In order to design effective VCS, it is important to identify and understand the factors that encourage and discourage the use and adoption of these systems. This project will dig deeper into the findings of a previously held focus group study to explore how attitudes towards technology, use of technology (including other voice UIs) and other factors influence the perception and acceptance of VCS. It will entail the design and implementation of a large survey followed by statistical analysis. The MEng student will work closely with a MASc student and will ideally have an understanding of statistical methodologies and tools (R, Python or SAS).

    Contact: donmez@mie.utoronto.ca

  • Micro-mechanical characterization of solid 3rd bodies created in dry lubricated contact within space mechanisms
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Tobin Filleter

    Lubricating space mechanisms is a great challenge as lubrication must be sustained in several environments during mechanism life (up to 15 years once in space). Lubricants must face humid air, dry nitrogen and simulated vacuum environments as well as gravity on Earth; high stress mechanical environment during launching; vacuum, radiations, weightlessness in space, etc. Dry lubricants are often used over oil or grease lubricants as they offer a wider range of temperature working conditions and a lower risk of contaminating surrounding instruments (especially optics). Furthermore they can be used at very low speed and are more flexible in term of accelerated testing. However, until now, no model can predict their behaviour reliably.

    Previous studies focusing on the dry lubrication efficiency of coatings and composite materials used for space applications showed that low friction and long wear life is reached only when a 3rd body layer is formed between the two bodies in contact. Elements comprising this 3rd body come from the material initially in contact (via detachments of particles mainly) and the surrounding environment. A complex physico-chemical rearrangement is then mechanically induced under friction to create the 3rd body layer with a specific rheology and with the ability to slide inside the contact. The rheology provides cohesion and ductility which enables plastic flow inside the contact to help the accommodation of relative velocities. The quantification of the rheology of the 3rd body and of the interaction between materials is a key to quantitative prediction.

    The project aims to develop experimental tools to measure the mechanical properties of the 3rd body to characterise its rheology and inform a numerical model developed in parallel. The MEng student will take part in the definition and testing of an experimental protocol to measure the interaction between the different bodies used and created inside a contact representative of the real application. The work will notably focus on:

    – defining a reliable protocol to measure those interaction in controlled environments,
    – perform the measurements and post treat the data to discuss them regarding the application and the history of the contact, and regarding the numerical model.

    Contact: filleter@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Mechanics and Materials

  • Ontologies for Representing and Measuring City Performance (multiple projects) (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Mark Fox

    Cities use a variety of metrics to evaluate themselves. With the introduction of ISO 37120, which contains over 100 indicators for measuring a city’s quality of life and sustainability, it is now possible to consistently measure and compare cities, assuming they adhere to the standard. The goal of this PolisGnosis Project is to automate the longitudinal analysis (i.e., how and why a city’s indicators change over time) and transversal analysis (i.e., how and why cities differ from each other at the same time), in order to discover the root causes of differences. But for PolisGnosis to analyse a city’s indicator, it first needs to understand the definition of the indicator. Hence we need to translate the ISO definition from English into a computer understandable representation – this requires an ontology. Second, the engine needs to understand a city’s specific indicator value and the data used to derive it. This information may be available in PDF files or spreadsheets but needs to be translated into a computer understandable representation – this too requires an ontology. Third, the engine needs to understand a certain amount of city “common sense” knowledge in order to analyse the data properly – this too requires an ontology. The project focuses on developing an ontology to represent an indicator theme knowledge, and the definitions of the theme’s indicators. There are several projects available. One for each of the following ISO 37120 themes: Urban Planning, Governance, Waste Water, Solid Waste, Water & Sanitation, and Economy.

  • An Ontology for Building Management and Evacuation (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Mark Fox

    The focus of this project is the design of smarter and greener environments, in particular buildings, using a sensor data driven approach. We bring a multi-disciplinary approach to addressing problems in data collection, representation, dissemination, monitoring and demand-response, with a common theme being a data-driven methodology – we seek to use data obtained from measurements to drive actuation/control, optimization or resource management to address problems for smart environments. At the core of this research is an ontology for representing various aspects of a building, including its logical built structure, sensors, controls, environment, people, etc. The MEng project will focus on the development of rules of deduction for the existing ontology.

  • Smart Cities: Intelligent Agents for the Urban Operating System (multiple projects) (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Mark Fox

    The Urban Operating System for future smart cities will not be a rigidly engineered, monolithic software architecture, or will it be just a sea of services interacting via APIs as specified by rigid business processes, instead it will be a network of Intelligent Agents dynamically interacting to flexibly and contextually achieve the goals of the city. The goal of this project will be to construct a generic intelligent agent shell for the future Urban Operating System. Projects will focus on: Role-based cybersecurity within an intelligent agent framework; Methods of coordination, including bid/propose, negotiation, constraint revelation; Explanation and accountability of agent decisions and actions.
    The software that plans, manages and controls the operations of the future smart city will be composed of intelligent agents that cooperate in making decisions and coordinate their actions.

  • Handheld bioprinter design for deposition of multilayered engineered skin grafts (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Axel Guenther

    At the Guenther laboratory, we have designed a handheld microfluidic cartridge-based 3D bioprinter that allows the formation of cell-embedded, multi-layered gels in a single, continuous process directly on a patient’s burn wound to facilitate wound healing [1]. This project will be focused on further developing the handheld bioprinter to include functions such as temperature control to enable a wider range of compatible bioinks, printhead designs to allow printing on non-flat surfaces, and wheel designs to permit printing on fragile wound surfaces. We are seeking two highly motivated MEng candidates with experience in product design and prototyping who are interested in designing a medical device in a collaborative setting, working with molecular biologists, surgeons, and other technical staff.

    Recommended prerequisites
    – Previous product design and prototyping experience, with interest in engineering design
    – Proficiency in design software, for example Solidworks, AutoCAD, or Labview
    – Strong communication and teamwork skills

    References
    [1] Hakimi N, Cheng R, Leng L, Sotoudehfar M, Ba P, Bakhtyar, N, Amini-Nik S, Jeschke M, and Gunther, A. Handheld skin printer: in situ formation of planar biomaterials and tissues. Lab on a Chip. doi: 10.1039/c7lc01236e.

    Contact
    Please contact Richard Cheng at richard.cheng@mail.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Product design, prototyping, development, and manufacturing. Biological materials, biomedical engineering, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, medical devices

  • Experimental and Numerical Studies of Fluid Properties and Measurements
    Faculty advisor: Prof. David James

    The following projects are available to interested M.Eng. students:

    Measuring the relaxation time of viscoelastic liquid, using a variety of techniques and instruments.

    Preparing and characterizing a water-based ideally elastic liquid having a high viscosity.

    Numerical simulation of a sphere in an unbounded creeping flow of a Newtonian fluid, to find the drag.

    Numerical simulation of an isolated circular cylinder in a creeping flow of a Newtonian fluid, to find the drag.

    Design of a miniature flow cell which simultaneously measures the density, viscosity and surface tension of a liquid sample.

  • Finding Yourself in Virtual Reality Navigation Task (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Greg A. Jamieson

    Understanding your current position and immediate surroundings is a crucial task in navigation. Automatically displaying and updating the user’s current position as they move through the environment is a relatively recent feature in the long history of map development. Further advances in display technology will directly present users with even greater information about their surroundings in real time, though may introduce new challenges about self positioning. This project will investigate the presentation of a user’s current position and immediate surroundings in a novel display format. Experiments will be conducted in a virtual environment and presented using a virtual reality headset. The project will entail working with a PhD student and industry partner on the design and execution of an experiment with human participants to test different navigation display presentations, followed by statistical analysis of the collected data.

  • Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Olivera Kesler

    Various projects dealing with materials-processing-microstructure-property relationships for component designs to be used in clean energy applications.
  • Solid oxide fuel cells, high-efficiency electrolysis, oxygen separation membranes, clean energy
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Olivera Kesler

  • Matching shippers and carriers with constraints
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chi-Guhn Lee

    Heuristic algorithm is to be developed to optimally match shippers and carriers over time considering service requirements.
  • Resource sharing in healthcare system
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chi-Guhn Lee

    Quantitative analysis of the benefits from shared resources in healthcare system when the demands are uncertain.
  • Nonparametric methods for reinforcement learning 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chi-Guhn Lee

    In the reinforcement learning and Markov decision process, the value function approximation is a very important question. This approximation problem becomes much more complicated when dealing with a high-dimensional scenario. This project focus on developing and implementing nonparametric methods for reinforcement learning, especially on the value function approximation.

    Contact: Peng Liu pliu@mie.utoronto.ca, Chi-Guhn Lee cglee@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Mathematical finance in high dimensional setting; Copula methods in financial econometrics; Dynamic correlations in pricing and hedging; Information asymmetry; Machine learning in finance.

  • Dynamic correlations in bond portfolios 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chi-Guhn Lee

    Bond portfolios are widely used in finance industry. However, a nicely behaved dynamic correlations structure are usually difficult to be obtained due to the term structure, the type of bonds, noise and etc. This project focus on developing empirical methods to model the dynamic structure of correlation for bond portfolios.

    Contact: Peng Liu pliu@mie.utoronto.ca, Chi-Guhn Lee cglee@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Mathematical finance in high dimensional setting; Copula methods in financial econometrics; Dynamic correlations in pricing and hedging; Information asymmetry; Machine learning in finance.

  • Artificial Neural networks for Israeli option valuation 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chi-Guhn Lee

    Explore deep learning techniques for the valuation of Game contingent claims.

    Contact: Aloagbaye Momodu aimomodu@mie.utoronto.ca, Chi-Guhn Lee cglee@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Machine learning, finance

  • Hedging Israeli options 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chi-Guhn Lee

    Analyse the greeks (Delta, Gamma, Vega) of Israeli options

    Contact: Aloagbaye Momodu aimomodu@mie.utoronto.ca, Chi-Guhn Lee cglee@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Finance

  • Polymer/Composite Coextrusion Foaming (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Patrick Lee

    Most new polymeric products contain two or more polymers and functional additives resulting in desired properties contributed from each component. The multilayer coextrusion process is a single-step process starting with two or more polymeric and hybrid materials simultaneously extruded and shaped in a single nozzle to form a multilayer structure. Recently, micro-/nano-layer (MNL) coextrusion has been used to manufacture unique optical, mechanical, and gas barrier films, such as brightness-enhancement filters for electronic screens, ultra-strong safety and security window films, and elastomeric barrier films for cushioning bladders in athletic shoes, consisting of hundreds of layers each less than 100-nm thick. Foams can be prepared from any type of plastic by introducing a gas or SCF within the polymer matrix. The applications of microcellular plastics containing billions of tiny bubbles less than 10 microns in size have broadened due to the lightweight characteristics, excellent strength-to-weight ratios, superior insulating abilities, energy absorbing performances, and the comfort features associated with plastic foams, as well as their cost-effectiveness and cost-to-performance ratios. This project will involve developing a novel MNL coextrusion foam manufacturing system for fabricating multiphase lightweight composites.

    Contact:
    Prof. Patrick Lee, patricklee@mie.utoronto.ca

  • Visualization of Plastic Crystallization and Foaming Behaviors under Stress (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Patrick Lee

    High-performance composite foams with well-engineered crystal microstructures and foam morphologies (i.e., cell population density, foam density, and porosity) are essential to tune the final material properties, such as the barrier, thermal, acoustic, and mechanical performances, and can have diverse applications in the automotive, aerospace, biomedical, and food and electronics packaging industries. In this context, the objective of this research is to achieve a thorough understanding on cell and crystal nucleation, growth, and deterioration phenomena that determine cell and crystal structures in plastic foaming processes. The core research strategy of this research is to develop and utilize innovative visualization systems to capture and study these phenomena. To be specific, three visualization systems have been developed to investigate foaming under both static and dynamic conditions. The dynamic systems are capable induce controllable extensional and shear strain to study the effects of stresses in plastic foaming to simulate conditions in industrial foaming processes, while the static system is key to establish baseline knowledge and to study critical processing parameters in an isolated manner. The wide range of future studies made possible by the visualization systems will be valuable to the development of innovative foaming technologies and foams.

    Contact:
    Prof. Patrick Lee, patricklee@mie.utoronto.ca

  • Nanofibers Enhanced Strain Hardening of Linear Polymer (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Patrick Lee

    Strain hardening has important roles in understanding material structures and polymer processing methods, such as foaming, film forming, and fiber extruding. A common method to improve strain hardening behavior is to chemically branch polymer structures, which is costly, thus preventing the users from controlling the degree of behavior. A smart nanofiber blending technology, however, would allow cost-efficient tuning of the degree of strain hardening. In our previous study, we hypothesized and proved that compounding polymers with heat-shrinking fibers enhances the strain hardening of a polymer. In this study, we want to explore nanofiber enhanced structures for various applications.

    Contact:
    Prof. Patrick Lee, patricklee@mie.utoronto.ca

  • Multiproject job scheduling 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    The objective is to develop an operations research model and a computational algorithm for a multi-project job scheduling considering given arrival times, due dates, available resources and project job requirements , including job precedence, parallel processing, and various resource requirements. A feasible schedule should be found minimizing a makespan, first for a given, finite horizon, then with a re-scheduling upon new project arrival and moving time horizon.

    Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.

  • Implementation of SPC and DE Techniques in Automotive Industry 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    The objective is to study to what extent the SPC techniques have been applied in the automotive industry for both the statistical process control as well as for the process improvement.
    In the first phase of the MEng project development, a thorough literature review will be done focusing mainly on the case studies dealing with the SPC implementation in the automotive industry.
    Two interesting case studies will be selected for a detailed study and analysis. Finally, selected SPC and DE tools will be applied to real data, focusing on achieving process stability and improving process capability.Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.
  • SPC and DE for Process Improvement with a Practical Application 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    SPC and DE methods are widely used to improve stability, capability, and reduce variability of industrial processes in all industrial sectors. The objective is to apply SPC and DE techniques to improve real manufacturing processes. Real data will be analyzed, root causes of defects will be investigated and control charts and DE will be applied to improve process stability and capability by determining and removing the main causes of process variation.

    Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.

  • Quality Control and Improvement Using Lean Six Sigma Approach 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    The objective is to study in depth lean six sigma approaches and methodologies for quality improvement in organizations. This would include the study from the books, analysis of two published case studies focusing on this area, which will include critical, detailed review of the published case studies, coding of examples whose results are summarized in the published papers, perform more numerical analysis including sensitivity analysis and provide detailed comments. It is expected that the required numerical work will be done using Matlab.

    Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.

  • Transmission Oil Data Modeling for Condition-Based Maintenance Decision-Making
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    Description:
    Real oil data obtained in the healthy state of a heavy-hauler truck transmission will be pre-processed and modeled using time series methodology. Residuals will be obtained using complete data histories. Several fault detection schemes will be designed, tested, and compared for fault detection using residuals. Matlab and MINITAB software will be used as well as C programming.Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.
  • Development of models for bus fleet maintenance and replacement
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    The objective is to develop stochastic models for group and opportunistic maintenance as well as replacement of a fleet of buses in large organizations such as TTC, considering service requirements, budgeting constraints and other regulations. Several case studies will be analyzed and an extensive sensitivity analysis will be performed to study the impact of various parameters on replacement decisions.

    Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.

  • Development of a Stochastic Dynamic Model for a Make-to-Order Production System
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    The problem is described as follows. A limited number of expensive, high quality parts is required in a given time period with a strict deadline. No rework of a nonconforming part is possible. To meet the demand, and to avoid the penalty, batch production is considered. Batch sizes as well as the maximum number of batches which can be produced are limited. Examples include make-to-order military and aerospace industry contracts as well as just-in-time manufacturing orders. The problem will be formulated and solved using stochastic dynamic programming. The optimal production policy will be found and a numerical analysis will be performed to get insight into the structure of the optimal policy.

    Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.

  • Optimal scheduling of repairs for several production facilities 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Viliam Makis

    The following problem will be considered. There are several production facilities at different locations and a single repair crew located at a repair depot. When the first failure occurs, the repair crew is sent to that facility to fix the problem. When the repair is completed, the repair requests from other facilities are updated and it is necessary to decide to which facility the repair crew should be sent. If there are no failures upon a repair completion, the repair crew travels back to the repair depot awaiting further requests. It is assumed that the times to failure as well as the repair times are random variables with given distributions. The costs include the travel costs (dependent on the distance travelled), repair costs (both fixed costs and cost rates per unit time), and the facility downtime costs due to lost production. The objective is to find the optimal repair schedule minimizing the total expected cost over a planning horizon.

    Note: In addition to the listed topics, topics in the area of process/quality improvement, maintenance, reliability, production and inventory control are possible, interested students should contact Prof. Makis, e-mail: makis@mie.utoronto.ca.

  • Biomedical Photoacoustics, Biosensors, Biothermophotonics and Imaging
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis

    Research in laser photoacoustic diagnostics of bone osteoporosis detection. For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.
  • Biomedical Photoacoustics, Biosensors, Biothermophotonics and Imaging 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis (with Sean Choi)

    Research in laser photoacoustic diagnostics of coronary disease detection. For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.

    Contact: Prof Mandelis (mandelis@mie.utoronto.ca), Sean Choi (ss.choi@mail.utoronto.ca)

  • Non-Destructive Diffusion-wave Techniques and Imaging for Solar Cells and Clean Energy Conversion Optoelectronic Devices 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis (with Dr. Alexander Melnikov)

    Development of novel diffusion-wave imaging and other diagnostic techniques for industrial quality control of optoelectronic materials and devices, primarily silicon, thin-film and quantum dot solar cells. For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.

    Contact: Prof Mandelis (mandelis@mie.utoronto.ca), Dr Melnikov (melnikov@mie.utoronto.ca)

  • Non-destructive Evaluation of Industrial Materials and Processes, Thermophysics Instruments and Measurements – I 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis (with Dr. Alexander Melnikov)

    A Technology for Non-Contact Hardness and Case-Depth Inspection of Industrial Steels using Laser infrared Photothermal Radiometry (PTR). For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.

    Contact: Prof Mandelis (mandelis@mie.utoronto.ca), Dr Melnikov (melnikov@mie.utoronto.ca)

  • Non-destructive Evaluation of Industrial Materials and Processes, Thermophysics Instruments and Measurements – II 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis (with Dr. Alexander Melnikov)

    Thermal-wave depth profilometry of mechanically and thermally inhomogeneous powder compact components for the automotive industry.

    Contact: Prof Mandelis (mandelis@mie.utoronto.ca), Dr Melnikov (melnikov@mie.utoronto.ca)

  • Biomedical Photoacoustics, Biosensors, Biothermophotonics and Imaging
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis

    Development of a Facility for Advanced Biophotoacoustics: The Photoacoustic Radar, a scanning tomographic technology for early detection of breast cancer. For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.
  • Dynamic Imaging of Solar Cell Optoelectronic Quality using a Near-Infrared Camera
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis

    We have developed a non-destructive imaging technique (solar cell carrierography) which monitors the optoelectronic quality of industrial silicon-based photovoltaic solar cells and aims to correlate the images with the electrical output and overall performance efficiency of the solar cell. A MEng student will be required to work with the research team in generating and analyzing carrieorgraphic images in order to build the statistics of these optical-electrical correlations and relate images to quantitative measurements of the parameters responsible for the solar cell efficiency.
  • Non-Destructive Diffusion-wave Techniques and Imaging for Solar Cells and Clean Energy Conversion Optoelectronic Devices
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis

    Development of novel diffusion-wave imaging and other diagnostic techniques for industrial quality control of optoelectronic materials and devices, primarily silicon, thin-film and quantum dot solar cells. For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.
  • Non-destructive Evaluation of Industrial Materials and Processes, Thermophysics Instruments and Measurements
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Andreas Mandelis

    A Technology for Non-Contact Hardness and Case-Depth Inspection of Industrial Steels using Laser infrared Photothermal Radiometry (PTR). For more information, consult www.cadift.mie.utoronto.ca.
  • Wearable Technologies for Digital Eye Glass (computerized seeing and memory aid) with health monitor.
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Steve Mann

    Wearable Technology is set to become the next multi-billion dollar industry, but more importantly, has tremendous potential to help people live longer and more healthy lives. S. Mann, widely regarded as the founder of this field (http://wearcam.org/nn.htm), defines Wearable Technologies as embodying Humanistic Intelligence (http://wearcam.org/hi.htm), capturing, processing, and presenting sensory data from the body of the wearer as well as from the surroundings. We’re building not just the next eyeglasses (soon all eyeglasses will be “Digital Eye Glass”) but a complete situational awareness system that provides health, wellness, safety, and longevity: http://www.eyetap.org

    The ideal student for this project is one who is imaginative and creative at making things and passionate about making and building electrical, computational, and mechanical devices. If you’re a “renaissance person” who have been building things for many years, you’ll fit right in with the rest of us here who are just like you. To demonstrate your aptitude at “making”, please bring something you’ve built on your own, outside of classroom or lab requirements.

    Research area: Wearable Computing, Human-Computer Interaction; fluid dynamics (e.g. hydraulophonics); energy systems and action/actergy systems; engineering design and education; veillance (surveillance and sousveillance); priveillance (privacy and veillance); health

  • Birdstrike and Novel Design of Fan Blades
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Shaker Meguid

    One major problem in aircraft safety is bird strike. The bird is digested in the engine during take-off or landing. This results in local and global damage to the aircraft and could lead to fatalities. The objective of this research is not only to evaluate that damage using finite element but also improve the fan design to accommodate birdstrikes. We have published numerous papers on this topic and we are interested in improving the material model for the striking birds as well as focus our attention to specific birds.
  • Design, Analysis and Development of Micro Gas Turbine for propulsion of Micro UAVs
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Shaker Meguid

    Micro gas turbines or simply micro turbines are very promising technology for propelling micro unmanned aerial vehicles. These micro turbines vary in size and power. They can be hand held producing a fraction of wattage to large ones producing 100s of kilowatts. Because of their numerous advantages over internal combustion engines with their higher power to weight ratio and low emissions, and reduced size and number of moving parts, they have replaced internal combustion engines in Rover electric motor car. They have also been used to generate electricity in commercial power grid. The objective of this project is to design, analyse and develop a model of micro turbine for the propulsion of micro UAV. Two cases may be considered for the flapping wing micro turbine: should the design employ micro gas turbine or use the micro turbine to power an electric motor to propel the UAV.
  • Design, Analysis and Optimisation of Novel Morphing Chevron Nozzle in Gas Turbine Engines
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Shaker Meguid

    This study is motivated by the need to advance the concept of using mixing enhancement devices, such as chevron, to reduce jet noise. In spite of its current use in some engines, the impact of the concept of mixing enhancement to reduce jet noise remains unclear. For example, it is not clear how these devices impact jet noise and aero-performance. Furthermore, what is the effect of the number of chevrons along the jet axis, their length and angle for a given nozzle diameter and flow characteristics, upon vortex strength and ultimately noise reduction. Three aspects of the work are accordingly examined: (i) design and develop novel modular morphing chevrons using SMAs not only to reduce noise but also heat signature, (ii) develop a unified physics-based aero-thermo-acoustic prediction model that takes into account the morphed chevron geometric parameters, flow and thermal characteristics, and far-field noise, and (iii) test and develop functional prototypes capable of demonstrating the proof of concept, its strength, challenges and the associated costs.
  • Morphing Wing Design for UAV
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Shaker Meguid

    The field of shape morphing aircraft has attracted the attention of hundreds of research groups during the past century. Although many interesting concepts have been synthesized, only a handful of such reconfigurable planes have been ever produced (all of them supersonic and consisted of pivoting wings). In the range of low speed, small aircraft no commercial product exists to our knowledge. Although several conceptual designs of small or low speed aircraft has made it to the wind tunnel testing stage, only very limited number of such shape morphing prototypes have ever been fabricated or flight tested.In this project, we are trying to copy birds in the design of unmanned aerial vehicles. This project involves design, prototyping using intelligent materials such as shape memory alloys, and proof on concept via testing.
  • Multifunctional Nanocomposites for Self Health Monitoring
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Shaker Meguid

    The objective of this research is to provide greater understanding of the complex phenomena that take place at the nanoscale level in multifunctional nano-tailored composites. Specifically, attention will be given to the research activities and achievements in my laboratory in developing multifunctional nano-tailored adhesive bonds for aerospace applications. In particular, we introduce this multifunctionality, and a certain level of intelligence, by homogeneously dispersing carbon nanotubes, and other nanofillers, into high strength thermoset epoxy adhesives. Application of molecular dynamics and atomistic based continuum techniques to treat this class of intelligent multifunctional materials will be discussed and their viability for in-situ diagnostics examined.
  • Smart Materials Based Environmental Sensing (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Hani Naguib

    Smart materials based sensors exists in research with the capability of detecting environmental changes locally in a relatively short period of time. However, utilizing these sensors over large areas poses challenges in electrical design. This project aims to develop an electrical sensor system that will be deployable within large areas such as plants with hydrocarbon response times of under an hour. Design for environmental conditions and abnormalities will be important in creating a system with high efficacy and robustness. Current designs feature the use of time domain reflectometry to detect and pinpoint damage points over the span of the sensor network. Our goal is to improve this reflectometry design and implement creative additions to improve efficacy and scalability. There is much room for innovation in this project, and the student will be working in a team to combine material science and electrical principles to construct a medium-scale prototype of the sensor system.
  • Investigation of the Processing Parameters of Functionally Graded Closed-Cell Bio-Compatible Cellular Materials
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Hani Naguib

    The project is focused on fabricating and SEM (Scanning ElectronMicroscope) imaging of functionally graded closed-cell cellular materials. Polylactic acid (PLA) which is a bio-polymeric material will be fabricated in plate-like structures. The solid PLA sample is placed in a pressure vessel (PV) with high pressure supercritical (Sc)
    CO2 at room temperature. The time duration should be enough for ScCO2 to diffuse and achieve a uniform concentration throughout the PLA sample. The ScCO2 tends to diffuse out of the PLA sample due to concentration gradient compared to the atmosphere (adsorption). The desorption time (td) decides the thickness of the skin layer where no
    ScCO2 left compared to the internal layers. The PLA sample is then placed between two platens of different temperatures at which the minimum is above glass transition temperature (Tg). Cells’ sizes will be grading smaller towards the lower temperature. The parameters to be optimized are the saturation pressure, td, and the annealing duration as they are the ones mostly affecting the resulted microstructure. The project is self-motivating once the SEM micrographs start linking process-parameters to the resulted microstructure guiding to a definite vision for macro-manufacturing scale.
  • Project 4: Investigation of the Processing Parameters of Biocomposites Materials
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Hani Naguib

    The proposed research aims to bridge sciences to technology by investigating the processing-structure-property relationships of multifunctional biobased polymeric composites. It aims to design and fabricate smart “green” materials that possess tailored multifunctional properties. In this context, the short-term objectives of this research project are two-folded: (i) designing novel processing and fabrication strategies to tailor the micro-and-nano-structures of biobased polymeric composites; and (ii) characterizing the structures and multifunctional properties of these composites.
    This research will improve the fundamental understanding of using various processing strategies and material sciences to control the dispersion and network formation of functional fillers in new biobased matrices. Hence, it will offer new insights to fabricate these composites with tailored multifunctional properties. This will result in the development of an innovative and new class of green electronic composites that can be used in lightweight functional materials with high performance.
  • Functionalized Porous-Carbon Composite with Attached Metal Nanoparticles for CO2/CO Capture and Utilization (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Hani Naguib

    CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases with high impact in the global warming. Although a natural cycle regulates CO2 concentration by photosynthetic organisms, the large-scale burning of fossil fuels has increased considerably the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The project here described presents a novel solution for CO2 sequestration from the atmosphere in ambient conditions and low CO2 concentrations. The double functionalized open-cell structure made of a polymer/activated carbon composite with metal oxide nanoparticles as a catalyst also presents high cyclability for regeneration. As a second stage, the CO2 is transformed into a reusable source of energy through electrochemical reduction. Therefore, a complete sustainable carbon cycle can be achieved. Furthermore, the manufacturing techniques and design of the system facilitate the scalability and adaptability of the project, which can be used in both conditions, flue gases produced by industry and direct CO2 sequestration from the air.
  • Development of thermoplastic composites for high pressure and temperature applications 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Hani Naguib

    This project involves the development and characterization of fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites targeting high strength and resistance to extreme operating conditions including high temperature and pressure. The grad student will be involved with the manufacturing and characterization of various composite systems including mechanical and thermal properties as well as analysis of the embedded fibers by scanning electron microscopy.

    Hani Naguib: naguib@mie.utoronto.ca

    Project duration 2 to 3 terms and it involves an industrial partner

    Research area: Composite materials development

  • Multifunctional Nano Porous Organic Aerogels with Enhanced Mechanical & Physical Properties
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Hani Naguib

    Increasing demand of technology for novel metamaterials with unique properties such as high service temperature, super insulation and ultra-lightweight flexible structure motivated the development of new porous materials to be used in many fields such as aerospace, apparel, naval, transportation and construction. In this context aerogels with super thermal and acoustic insulating properties along with ultra-light weight are presenting very high potential to be developed as the next generation of novel insulation materials. As 85% to 99% of aerogel volume is consist of gas, they can present very exceptional properties such as high porosity and extremely low density comparable to air, with reported density as low as 160 g/m³ of graphene aerogels. On the other hand porous structure of aerogel gives them the possibility to present very high thermal insulation properties, with reported thermal conductivity as low as 0.004 W/mK. Acoustic properties of aerogels are also highly dependent to their porous structure design as well as their material. Therefore by tailoring aerogel porous structure it is expected to highly enhance mechanical, thermal and acoustic properties of aerogels.

    Hani Naguib: naguib@mie.utoronto.ca

    Project duration 2 to 3 terms

  • Robots learning their behaviors
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Goldie Nejat

    In order for service robots to be used for numerous healthcare applications, they need to be able to learn their appropriate behaviors for each particular application and facility. In this project we will develop a learning system for a robot to learn behaviors for healthcare application scenarios. This system will improve the acceptance, adaptability, and ease of use of such systems for healthcare professionals and their patients. Students involved in this project will gain experience in applying machine learning algorithms and sensor-fusion techniques to robotic problems as well as learn to design for human-robot interaction scenarios.

    Recommended background: C++ programming

  • Service and Assistive Robotics, Social and Personal Robots, Robot Sensory Systems, AI and Control, and Human-Robot Interaction
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Goldie Nejat

  • CAD models and design reviews: survey data analysis (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Alison Olechowski

    In the product development process, the Design Review is an activity of intense collaboration. Here, not only are designers involved, but also project managers, quality engineers, manufacturing engineers, marketers, managers, and even customers. With design teams being more global, and an increase in cloud-based software solutions, we see the likelihood for change in the traditions of the Design Review. In theory, the CAD platform affects how remote teams share the models, how non-designers can visualize the design, and how new versions of files are disseminated.
    We surveyed over a hundred engineers in industry about their design review experience. The student working on this project will conduct data analysis, visualization and communicate the results back to our industry partners.Recommended background: Statistics and data processing. Strong communication skills.
  • Bead Foaming of Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Most recently, bead foams products are replacing traditional extruded foams used for packaging and cushioning applications, due to the ability to achieve very low densities and multi-directional, whereby the product orientation does not influence performance. Expandable polystyrene (EPS), expanded polyethylene (EPE), and expanded polypropylene (EPP) are three kinds of widely used modern moldable bead foams, which are produced by different methods. However, some specific applications require the material perform good thermal stability, high chemical resistance and excellent mechanical properties. As a result, high performance polymeric foams like PES, PEI, PPSU, PEEK etc. are attracting more attention. Compared to conventional polymeric foams, one of the main requirements in high-performance polymeric foams is the availability of being continuously used at high temperatures. Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) is regarded as one of the highest performing materials in the world, which has generated much interest and applications in numerous industries, such as electronics, automotives, health care, oil-well, marine, and aircraft. In order to get the end products by bead foaming technology, the following procedure should be taken. Firstly, the PEEK beads foam is produced by a batching foaming process. The unfoamed PEEK pellet is put into a chamber, heated up to a desired temperature and annealed for a fixed time under high pressure. By releasing the system pressure, phase separation between the dissolved gas and the polymer matrix occurs, the PEEK foam beads are consequently achieved. Secondly, these expanded beads are later molded or shaped into various geometries as required by the applications using a molding machine in which sintering of the foamed beads occurs to manufacture the final products with proper shape using steam or high temperature air.
  • Bead Foaming of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Expanded polymeric bead foams are widely used in many applications that require complicated shaping. Polyethylene terephtalate (PET) is a low cost engineering plastic with good mechanical and thermal properties. PET bead foaming holds great potential for many applications such as packaging, construction, transportation, and structural panels. This is due to its high heat deflection temperature and high crystallinity. The objective of this research work is to develop bead foaming technology for PET using batch autoclave and extrusion foaming process. The mechanical properties of expanded polymeric bead foams are greatly affected by interbead bonding during the steam chest molding process, which is highly dependent on the crystallization behaviour and the double peak structure of the polymer matrix during the foaming process. Therefore, the crystallization behavior of PET is investigated in this work to evaluate the double melting peaks structure, which would enable us to improve the sintering properties of PET beads in the steam chest molding process.
  • Bead Foaming of Polylactide
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Polylactide (PLA) is one of the polymers that have increased interests due to its renewable sources, biocompatibility, biodegradability, acceptable mechanical and thermal properties. One of the most challenging issues these days is the crystallization behavior of PLA, which takes place very slowly and has a significant effect on manufacturing PLA bead foams. This structural parameter is highly important for polymer foaming and consequently for expanded PLA properties. In order to achieve high property PLA beads, the crystal melting should be much broader than normal peak or have double melting peaks. The first crystal melting peak is the result of defective crystal melts at lower temperatures and in bead structures that behave as fusing of individual beads and adhesion during the processing. However, the second peak protects the shape of foamed beads. Therefore, it is highly important to improve the PLA crystallization and hence the foaming properties in order to achieve high quality beads with well cohesion.
  • Bead Foaming of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Bead foaming technology is the only known process that can manufacture ultra-low density polymeric foam products with complex three dimensional shapes. This technology is currently limited to only a few polymers such as expanded polypropylene (EPP), expanded polystyrene (EPS), and expanded polyethylene (EPE), which are inappropriate for high temperature applications. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with two phase microstructure of hard and soft segments arising from their thermodynamic incompatibility offer a very interesting potential for bead foam applications. In this research, the batch autoclave bead foaming technology is employed to investigate a new set of high temperature thermoplastic engineering polymers ETPU (Expanded thermoplastic polyurethane) with a significant potential to develop new products.
  • Extrusion Foaming of PLA Nanocomposites
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The project is concerned with development of advanced approaches to induce high degree of crystallization into PLA through foaming process by addition of nanoparticles in order to obtain high mechanical and thermal properties in this eco-friendly material. The long-term objective of this project is to utilize the synergistic effects of microcellular and nanocomposite technologies in the development of an industrially viable, cost-effective technology for manufacturing of microcellular PLA nanocomposites with superior properties as an eco-friendly material for packaging applications. This project focuses on: (i) A comprehensive study on rheological properties of PLA and PLA Nanocomposites in presence of supercritical CO2 in order to elucidate the rheological behavior of polymer/gas solution in relation with gas pressure, gas concentration and its plasticization effect and shear induced crystallization; (ii) Investigation of isothermal and non-isothermal crystallization behaviour of PLA in presence of nanoparticles and high pressure CO2. The results of these studies will be used in production of biodegradable microcellular foams with enhanced mechanical and thermal properties in cost-effective extrusion process.
  • Extrusion Foaming of Polypropylene
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Molecular weight of the material significantly affects the crystallization behaviour of the material. The hypothesis of this research is that the crystallization may also assist in cell nucleation. The main objective is to investigate the effect of molecular weight on polypropylene foaming with a goal of achieving largely expanded (more than 25 fold), high cell density (more than 10 billion cells/cm3), small cell sizes (10-30µm), and very soft non-crosslinked polypropylene foams. The long term goal is to make the 100% recyclable, non-crosslinked polypropylene foam sheets with high elasticity, high impact strength and high toughness.
  • Extrusion Foaming of Wood Fiber/PLA Biocomposites
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Biocomposites made of wood fibers and polylactic acid (PLA) are sustainable and environmentally friendly. They are derived from renewable resources and have low carbon footprint, compared to petroleum-based composites. Therefore, the biocomposites are expected to be used in various application areas. However, both biofibers and PLA can degrade easily during the processing. Microcellular foaming technology and processing aids can mitigate the degradation as well as improve energy efficiency of the process. In addition, microcellular foaming technology can reduce the weight of products and the use of expensive PLA. The objective of this research is to develop a cost-effective extrusion foaming technology for wood fiber/PLA biocomposites using processing aids.
  • Foaming of Crosslinked Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Although crosslinked polyolefin foaming technology has been well applied in industry, more fundamental and thorough studies are demanded to understand the mechanism, which can serve to improve the present technology. When the degree of crosslinking keeps increasing, the molecular mobility of the polymer chains is reduced, which will influence the thermal transitions of the polyolefins, such as glass transition temperature, melting temperature and crystallization. Further study is proposed on the effects of crosslinking on the thermal transition of EVA. This is important for analyzing the deformation of the crosslinked foams during the cooling stage, and especially for the high-expansion-ratio foaming of EVA with excessive amount of crosslinking degree.
  • Foaming of Microfibrillated Cellulose/Polymer Composites
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) includes cellulose fibers ranging in size from nano- to micro-scaled fibres. MFC is biodegradable and is derived from renewable resources. It has low density and high aspect ratio. The objective of this project is to develop the foaming technology to produce fine-celled MFC polymer composites. The composite foams will be obtained through the extrusion foaming process with different physical blowing agents. The effect of MFC content and processing parameters on the foaming behavior of composites will be investigated.
  • Foaming of Nano Cellulose/Polymer Composites
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Nano celluloses, derived from renewable resources, are nano-sized, lightweight, and biodegradable fibers. These fibers have high aspect ratios and excellent mechanical properties. Therefore, reinforcement of polymers, especially biodegradable polymers, with nano celluloses has been a hot topic in the last decade. Despite the huge potential of this new type of composites, studies reported on the foaming of nano cellulose/polymer composites are very limited. The objective of the research is to understand the fundamental aspects of the effect of nano celluloses on the foaming behaviors of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) polymer and develop an industrially viable cost-effective processing technology for manufacturing uniform fine-celled nano cellulose reinforced PLA biocomposites. The value-added nano cellulose/PLA biocomposite foams will have great potential in the packaging and automotive applications by reducing material cost and environmental impacts.
  • Foaming of Plastic Fibers
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Plastic fibers are used in a broad range of applications such as carpet fiber, fiber for blankets and cushion fillings, as well as lining material for fabrics. The most established technique to produce plastic fiber to date is the melt spinning process. As an effort to reduce production cost of plastic fibers, foaming process is to be integrated to an otherwise traditional melt spinning process to produce foamed fibers. The main challenge at hand is to produce low expansion high cell density foam while maintaining stretchability of the fibers in the manufacturing process.
  • Foaming of Polypropylene with Modified Polytetrafluoroethelene
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Polymeric materials with micro/nanoscale features have been of interest in a wide range of applications including scaffolds for tissue engineering, foams for building insulation, and membranes for filtration. This project aims to develop novel strategies to introduce micro/nanoscale morphologies into the most commonly used thermoplastic: polypropylene. By incorporating a small amount of a surface-treated polytetrafluoroethylene additive in polypropylene, we have succeeded in preparing microcellular close-celled foams, open-celled foams, and rigid bicontinuous macroporous monoliths using conventional foam processing techniques. Our current focus is to develop strategies to reduce the amount of the modified polytetrafluoroethylene needed for the composite to adapt the unique morphologies and to test these structures for their suitability in various applications such as sound insulation.
  • Injection Foam Molding of PLA
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The objective is to utilize the state-of-the-art microcellular injection technologies in an attempt to improve the properties and functionalities of bio-based and bio-degradable poly lactide acid (PLA) plastic foams and develop new viable applications for PLA in electronics, transportation and packaging industries. Different micro- and nano-composites of PLA along with different nucleating agents and injection techniques are examined. The work spans from the morphology investigation of produced foams to the evaluation of different properties such as mechanical, thermal, electrical, barrier and surface quality.
  • Injection Foam Molding of Polymer Nanocomposites
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Injection Moulding of polymers is one of the most interesting production methods which is capable to produce polymeric parts with complicated geometries. Nowadays, mechanical properties of polymers have been improved by adding nano particles; for instance, nano-clay, nano-crystalline cellulose, carbon nano-tube. Moreover, by the advent of microcellular polymers, so many defects of the final thermoplastic products such as warpage and sink marks have been disappeared. In addition, this method has decreased the amount of consuming materials significantly. This project focuses on the production of microcellular nanocomposites by injection moulding methods with higher cell density, higher expansion ratio, uniform cell distribution, and smaller cell size.
  • Melt Fracture of PLA in Extrusion
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    While processing polymers in continuous systems such as extrusion or injection molding, melt fracture or processing instabilities can lower the quality of the output. Instead of smooth surfaces and straight extrudates, fractured surfaces and chaotic extrudates are generated. With the integration of foaming process, processing instabilities can appear dramatically more severe or be more prone to occurring. The project investigates the melt fracture behaviour of PLA; a biobased, biodegradable polymer. For foaming processes, the blowing agent type or content; or the die geometry, can all play an effect in promoting or supressing the melt fracture behaviour. Guidelines for the manufacturing foaming dies are being developed.
  • Open-cell Foaming of Polymers using Extrusion Foaming System
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Open-cell foams refer to foams with interconnected cellular morphologies. Because of the unique morphologies, applications of open-cell foams are very versatile, including sound absorption, filtration, drug delivery, fluid absorption, etc. At present, majority of the open-cell foams are synthesized with thermosetting polymers that possess limited recyclability. The objectives of this project are to investigate cell opening mechanisms of recyclable thermoplastic polymers, and to develop novel strategies to promote cell interconnectivity and reticulation of these foam structures. Approaches such as the utilization of surfactants and polymer blends will be examined, and their influences on foaming behaviours and cell wall opening will be elucidated. Fundamental studies will be carried out with a lab-scale batch-foaming apparatus and will be transferred to an extrusion process. Cellular morphologies of the extruded foam structures will be optimized for sound and fluid absorption applications.
  • Open-cell Foaming of Polymers using Injection Foam Molding System
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The primary goal of this research project is to investigate the development of innovative technologies for the fabrication of open-celled plastics through injection molding. The process of injection molding is cost-effective and has low manufacturing cycle time. However, due to certain intrinsic limitations of the process hitherto, injection molded open-celled plastic products available in the market are very limited. In the present work, strategies such as template-leaching and gas-assisted injection foam molding will be examined systematically using a lab-scale injection foam molding system. The influences of processing parameters and material compositions on the cellular morphologies of the injection molded foam will be studied and optimized for acoustic applications.
  • PVT Measurement of Polymer/Gas Mixtures
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The pressure–volume–temperature (PVT) data for polymer/gas solutions is an important fundamental property of which accurate measurement has not been reported until recently. The diffusivity, solubility and surface tension are critical physical properties of polymer/gas systems for understanding and controlling polymer processing such as foaming, blending, extraction reaction and so on. However, the determination of these properties relies on accurate PVT data as a prerequisite. In this study, we will measure the PVT properties of various polymer melts saturated with high pressure gas at elevated temperatures.
  • Solubility Measurement of Polylactide (PLA)/Gas Mixtures
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The research revolves around the phenomenon of crystallization in Poly(Lactic acid) (PLA). PLA is biodegradable and biocompatible, PLA is used in many products including medical supplies. A high pressure DSC results illustrate the crystallization process occurring at certain conditions, the aim of the research is to identify crystallization process through the phenomenon of solubility with the use of a magnetic suspension balance (MSB). The results will then be compared to the data obtained through High pressure DSC. The findings from MSB will also be related to the visualization setup, to have a better understanding of the crystallization phenomenon.
  • Thin-Walled Injection Foam Molding of Polymers
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The topic for my research work is “Development of novel thermoplastic foams-based acoustic insulation materials for industrial and automotive applications”. There are two main reasons for this study. First we want to develop new recyclable high quality sound insulation thermoplastic materials that can replace the current non-recyclable materials. And the second reason is to improve the efficiency of currently available sound insulation devices.
  • Visual Observation of Plastic Foaming Process under Extensional/Shear Stress
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Traditional blowing agents (e.g., hydrochloroflorocarbons) in plastic foaming processes has been phasing out due to environmental regulations. Plastic foaming industry is forced to employ greener alternatives (e.g., carbon dioxide, nitrogen), but their foaming processes are technologically challenging. Moreover, to improve the competitiveness of the foaming industry, it is imperative to develop a new generation of value-added plastic foams with cell structures that can be tailored to different applications. In this context, the objective of this research is to achieve a thorough understanding on cell nucleation, growth, and deterioration phenomena that determine cell structures in plastic foaming processes. The core research strategy of this research is to develop and utilize innovative visualization systems to capture and study these phenomena. To be specific, three visualization systems have been developed to investigate foaming under both static and dynamic conditions. The dynamic systems are capable induce controllable extensional and shear strain to study the effects of stresses in plastic foaming to simulate conditions in industrial foaming processes, while the static system is key to establish baseline knowledge and to study critical processing parameters in an isolated manner. The wide range of future studies made possible by the visualization systems will be valuable to the development of innovative foaming technologies and foams.
  • Visualization of Plastic Foaming Process in Extrusion
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Extensive experimental studies have been conducted to optimize the processing parameters in extrusion to achieve either high cell density foam with uniform structure or large expansion ratio foams. Since flow induces many changes in the nucleation mechanism and physical properties, the fundamental mechanisms of cell nucleation and growth are difficult to be fully understood especially when semi crystalline polymers are under investigation. Beside theoretical methods, visualization techniques have been widely employed to explain these fundamentals. The purpose of this project is to give a better understanding of fundamental phenomena of foaming using visualization chamber installed before the extrusion die. For instance, the effect of crystalline structure on the cell nucleation and expansion ratio of semi crystalline polymers can be investigated.
  • Visualization of Plastic Foaming Process in Injection Foam Molding
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Cell nucleation and bubble growth are the most important steps governing the ultimate morphology and properties of foamed plastics. The goal of this research is to investigate fundamental mechanisms of cell nucleation and bubbles’ dynamics in foam injection molding by means of in situ visualization methods. Furthermore, foam microstructure formation and evolution will be mathematically modeled to simulate the phenomena during the mold filling stage in different foam injection molding techniques. A better understanding of aforementioned mechanisms will significantly help in determining the optimum processing conditions which will lead to the most appropriate microstructure for desired applications.
  • Polymer based silica aerogel production and optimization for thermal insulation applications 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    This research proposes to develop innovative solutions for manufacturing lightweight thermally insulative polymer-based silica aerogel with the presence of carbon body filler with improved mechanical properties such as toughness and stiffness. This study will scientifically investigate micro- and nano-scale-tailoring of carbon body influence on the material properties, optimizing their nano- micro-scale structure design (cross-link density, type, and location), and modeling/analysis of structure-property relationships of the final roduct. Successful completion of the proposed research program will give our industry partner preliminary guidelines by which to manufacture advanced and functional polymer/carbon-based silica aerogel. With their exceptional thermal insulation, and mechanical properties, these aerogels will broaden the spectrum for insulation material usage in numerous and varied industries.

    Contact: solmazkk@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research Area: Hybrid polymer based aerogel

  • Fundamental studies on cellular structure development in foam injection molding process 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The main purpose of this project is to identify mechanisms contributing in formation and development of the cellular structure in foam injection molding process (Opportunities: manufacturing engineering, materials processing, materials science, and materials characterization)

    Contact: Dr. Vahid Shaayegan <vahidsh@mie.utoronto.ca>

    Research Area: Advance Manufacturing, Foam injection molding process

  • Morphological Control of the Conductive Network in Conductive Polymer Composites 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    The main goal of this project is to develop the electrically conductive polymer composites using various processing techniques to optimize their electrical conductivities and dielectric properties for different applications such as charge storage, sensors and EMI shielding.

    Contact: Yasamin Kasemi <yasamin@mie.utoronto.ca>

    Research area: Advanced manufacturing; Functional polymers; Conductive polymer composites

  • Foam Structure Modeling for Finite Element Analysis of Heat Transfer in Thermal Insulation
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    This project aims to develop a computer program written in C and MATLAB as a tool for generating 3D geometric CAD models of foam structures. The 3D models will be further used in Finite Element Analysis simulation of heat conduction and radiation to study the structure and thermal properties relationships.

    Contact: Piyapong Buahom <piyapong@mie.utoronto.ca>

    Research Area: Thermal conductivity; functional polymers; Heat transfer; Modeling

  • Low-density extrusion foaming of engineering polymers
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chul Park

    Project description: Development of extrusion foaming technology for manufacturing of low-density foams for high temperature, high performance engineering application (e.g., aerospace industries etc)

    Contact: Dr. Abolfazl Mohebbi <mohebbi@mie.utoronto.ca>

    Research Area: Manufacturing Engineering, Foaming Process

  • Applying lead-user methods to identify and overcome obstacles to environmentally significant behavior.
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Li Shu

    Please visit: http://www.mie.utoronto.ca/labs/bidlab/publications.htm#environ
  • Nuclear power plant design and operations, materials evaluation, nondestructive testing, signal processing
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Anthony Sinclair

  • Artificial photosynthesis: Design materials to convert CO2 into hydrocarbons
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chandra Singh

    There is a great research interest in developing technologies that can replicate plant lead and convert CO2 into useful hydrocarbon fuels. In this multidisciplinary, multi-group project we will design novel materials that can help in improving efficiency of this process using a computational materials modeling techniques. The student will be trained in state-of-art techniques to simulate these processes. The developed models will be compared against experimental data obtained from collaborating researchers at UofT. Basic physics and engineering background is required for the project.
  • Damage and failure analysis of wind turbine composite blades
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chandra Singh

    Due to their lightweight, composites are widely used to manufacture wind turbine blades. However, accurately predicting progressive failure in composite materials under multiaxial and fatigue conditions has been a difficult task. In this project, the student will improve so called synergistic damage mechanics methodology, implement in commercial finite element codes, and apply to the case of wind turbine structures. The module developed from the project will be highly valuable in design of safe and long-serving wind turbines.
  • Nanomechanics of graphene-polymer nanocomposites
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chandra Singh

    Graphene nanocomposites show hold great promise as materials for superior energy storage, e.g. batteries; for building strong and light-weight structures, e.g. wind turbine blades and for biomedical applications. However, their thermomechanical properties have not been understood well. In this project we will investigate these material properties through computational materials engineering methodology. Towards this end, large scale 3D molecular dynamics (MD) simulations will be conducted in order to investigate the fundamental failure mechanisms in these systems. Our particular attention will be the polymer/graphene interaface properties. The student should have background in solid mechanics; they will be trained in molecular dynamics simulations.
  • Ultrastrong, ultralight nanocrystalline hybrid materials for future aerospace technologies
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chandra Singh

    While nanocrystalline metals and alloys have shown substantial enhancements in strength and hardness, improvements in ductility have been rather disappointing. Recently, Integran Technologies has developed novel nanolaminated materials with significantly improved strength and elongation to failure while maintaining light-weight advantage. However, to realize the full potential of the proposed material systems, their failure characteristics need to be properly established. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a fundamental understanding of failure mechanisms at the atomic-scale using molecular dynamics. Large-scale atomistic simulations will be conducted to evaluate material properties inaccessible to experiments and to derive cohesive laws that describe load-deformation characteristics of these nanomaterials.
  • Comparing flexible designs for the process of boarding patients from the emergency department to inpatient wards
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Vahid Sarhangian

    In this project we will build stochastic models to answer certain design and control issues that arise for elevator systems in residential (or commercial) high rise buildings. The goal is to reduce waiting times, especially during the before/after work rush hours. The project involves building and analyzing stochastic models, as well as developing simulation models of the system dynamics. Candidates are expected to be familiar with stochastic modeling, and be able to implement simulation models in a high-level programming language (e.g., R, Matlab or Python).

    Contact: Vahid Sarhangian (sarhangian@mie.utoronto.ca)

    Research Area: Operations Research (Stochastic Models)

  • Congestion control of elevator systems 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Vahid Sarhangian

    In this project we will build stochastic simulation models to compare the performance of various flexible designs of a certain queueing network. The problem is motivated by the process of boarding patients from the emergency department of a hospital to the inpatient wards and flexibility corresponds to admitting a patient to a non-specialized ward. Candidates are expected to be familiar with stochastic modeling and discrete-event simulation and be proficient in Python.

    Contact: Vahid Sarhangian (sarhangian@mie.utoronto.ca)

    Research Area: Operations Research (Stochastic Models)

  • Silicon on Insulator (SOI) for high temperature pressure measurements (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Pierre Sullivan

    There exists a need for pressure sensors that operate in high temperature environments such as melt plastics. In partnership with a local company, there is an interest in developing a pressure sensor that meets EU requirements for liquid free operation and can be used in environments up to 600oC. The work will combine computational modeling and initial experimental work. Experience with COMSOL is a benefit.

    Contact:
    Prof. Pierre Sullivan, sullivan@mie.utoronto.ca

  • Comparison of image processing options for microarrays (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Pierre Sullivan

    Microarrays require a number of steps including printing of biological and chemical materials on an optically-transparent substrate (this require dispensing, curing, putting down a protective coating that is then dried to create a plate). Tests are then run by loading a sample, onto the plate, performing mechanical rotation of the plate, washing and then drying the final plate. This is then followed by analysis using proprietary software analysis tools. If a new microarray is to be developed, design and construction of custom arrays requires a rigorous understanding of the printing, chemistry and physics. Printing requires the generation of a GAL (GenePix Associated List) file with spot coordinates and lampposts. Every new microarray layout requires
    coordination of all steps. To circumvent these issues, I am interested in benchmarking an open-source microarray suite that combines all of the steps from printing to analysis.

    It is useful to have a background in ImageJ and Python

    Contact:
    Prof. Pierre Sullivan, sullivan@mie.utoronto.ca

  • GPU based particle image velocimetry (*New – Fall 2018*)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Pierre Sullivan

    Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a powerful and widely used tool to for studying a multitude of fluid flows. However, despite the many advantages of PIV, the algorithm used is computationally expensive, often limiting the possible size of datasets. This can call into question the validity of the statistical convergence of the data, which is particularly important for resolving higher order statistics needed in turbulent flows. In prominent PIV studies, generally small datasets, or larger datasets with small fields of view are used. PIV has been shown to be massively accelerated buy GPU computing. However, some drawbacks still exist. Most of the software is not open source, therefore to use a GPU accelerated algorithm means either developing in house code, or purchasing a commercial license. Commercial software has the added drawback that the details of the algorithm are unknown to the user, making it impossible to know exactly how the data is being processed. Additionally, most PIV software is platform dependent, generally running only on Windows, which excludes the possibility of running high performance systems such as supercomputing clusters.
    To fully utilize the power of GPU acceleration, an open-source, cross-platform, GPU-accelerated PIV algorithm is needed. As a basis for development, OpenPIV is a popular, open-source PIV software package written in Python. Since it is written in Python, OpenPIV can run on essentially any platform and operating system, from small embedded systems using to large supercomputing clusters, and will likely be supported for the foreseeable future, making OpenPIV an excellent option to develop. This aim of this project is to extend the OpenPIV algorithm to utilized GPU acceleration, enabling the realistic collection of larger PIV datasets, and ultimately increasing the statistical accuracy of the measurements. The algorithm will be rigorously validated with standard methods using synthetically generated images as well as experimental data. The tools developed in this project will be included with the OpenPIV distribution, and freely available for anyone to use.

    It is useful to have a background in Multithreading and Python and benefit from a current code that is already implemented on the SOSCIP GPU cluster.

    Contact:
    Prof. Pierre Sullivan, sullivan@mie.utoronto.ca

  • Design and construction of a medical device (urethro-vesical stapler) 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Yu Sun

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males after skin cancer (Globocan). The radical prostatectomy is the gold standard of treatment and grossly it consists on taking the prostate and the seminal vesicles out, to do an anastomosis of the bladder directly to the urethra. Only in the U.S.A., more than 90 thousand of this procedure are carried out every year. The anastomosis takes 30-60 minutes depending on the technique and experience of the surgeon. If the anastomosis is not done correctly (the space or depth of the suture is inadequate, or not correctly tied) the patient can suffer from incontinence, bladder outlet obstruction, urinomas or fistulas. This project proposes the development of a mechanical device that can do the anastomosis safely and faster, and still respect the surgical principles that have been described for this procedure. The design will involve the use of malleable materials, development of mechanical components, analysis through finite element simulation, and consideration of factors such as organic tissues.

    Contact:
    Prof. Yu Sun (MIE), sun@mie.utoronto.ca
    Dr. Jaime Omar Herrera-Caceres (Princess Margaret Hospital), jaime.herreracaceres@uhn.ca

    Research area: Applied Mechanics and Design; Biomedical Engineering

  • Solar Chimney with Wind Catcher in High-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (*New – Winter 2019* Immediate start)
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Marianne Touchie

    Using natural ventilation techniques to improve occupant comfort in the built environment is increasingly important as GHG emissions are becoming more problematic. Further intensifying this issue is the movement of societies into dense living environments, such as high-rise condominiums, which do not have the same cross-ventilation opportunities as freestanding homes. One method to improve natural ventilation in buildings involves using a wind catcher, which uses an air intake to re-direct outdoor airflow into the interior space of a building. A second method involves using a solar chimney, which utilizes a solar collector to heat air that then rises due to buoyancy effects, and pulls air out from interior spaces. However, each of these systems have drawbacks when either wind or solar availability is limited. This project investigates combining these two systems, in the context high-rise residential buildings, to mitigate these availability issues and further improve the comfort of occupants within the building.

    This project will focus on model development and a parametric analysis of the combined system. First, the fundamental equations for both solar chimneys and wind catchers will be combined to determine overall system performance. Next, a software tool will be developed to carry out a parametric analysis of the system as a function of different wind speeds, wind directions, building heights, duct dimensions, and dwelling locations. These results will then be used to create basic design guidelines for the combined system, which will also be used to guide further research. Following the completion of these analyses, it is also anticipated that a journal article will be written to publish the findings.

    Required Skills: Ability to use MATLAB (or similar) to create analysis algorithms. Background in basic fluid mechanics. Understanding of HVAC fundamentals.

    Contact: Prof. Marianne Touchie touchie@mie.utoronto.ca

    Research area: Building Energy and Environmental Engineering

  • Bio-oil use in burners and engines
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Murray Thomson

    We are working with companies in Canada, Finland and Brazil to develop burners and engines that can operate on a bio-oil, a biofuel made from wood waste. The student will work closely with postdocs and graduate students to conduct experimental research.

    Murray Thomson murray.thomson@utoronto.ca

    Research area: Energy

  • Investigating First-year Engineering Student Resilience 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chirag Variawa

    In this study, we seek to systematically optimize the transition process for prospective first-year undergraduate students, easing their integration into the university educational system by concentrating on scaffolding resilience and intellectual grit-enhancing strategies, and measuring the effectiveness and persistence in practice as appropriate.

    Some commentators have described “learning shock” in shifting from a knowledge- and application-based learning paradigm to independent assessment and evaluation as the primary reason why so many promising students do not pursue engineering careers and subsequent advancement.

    We need to understand what resilience and grit means, their attributes from theory/practice, and how this understanding influences transition to and from an undergraduate program of technical instruction, specifically engineering education. Additional analyses can be performed on how the first-year undergraduate environment and program account for this; and how this transition needs to be managed. It is recognised that there is a balance to be struck between anxiety and effective student development, but unclear what that balance should be at each stage of the transition. Though engineering students may not experience physical stressors directly, the impact of intellectual and other stressful environments may play a role in performance and mental/physical health. Research would include working with Outreach and Recruitment, the First-year Office, and with stakeholders in the undergraduate engineering program at Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto.

    Contact: Prof Variawa chirag.variawa@utoronto.ca

    Research Area: Engineering Education

  • Data Analysis and Strategic Development: Engineering Student Workload 
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chirag Variawa

    The Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto takes student workload concerns very seriously. Understanding what assignments students are working on and when enables the Director of First Year Curriculum (the PI for this project) to better relay course assignment deadlines to all first-year engineering instructors. Furthermore, it enables more effective and efficient integration of campus resources (such as, but not limited to, tutorials, recitations, etc.) so that they can be deployed when students need them most.

    The first-year workload survey is an instrument deployed via an authenticated portal already used by the Office of Student Life, University of Toronto. Access to this system, called Campus Labs: Baseline, was granted to the First Year Office at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering by the Office of Student Life so that the workload survey could more safely, securely, and reliably handle the large volume of responses (900 students) that we have in our program here in engineering. Each week, only 25 students from each first-year engineering program will be asked to complete the survey. Every week, there will be a new batch of 25 students from each program completing the survey; the goal is to have each student in first-year engineering respond to at least one weekly workload survey.

    The research questions that this workload survey investigate include:
    1) What course-related activities are the students working on each week in first-year engineering?
    2) How much time are students spending on each of these assignments?
    3) How difficult are these assignments?
    4) How much of these assignments are review material?

    These research questions help frame a more broader study of workload in first year engineering as they are used in addition to the two surveys already deployed:
    1) All incoming first-year students were asked how much time they thought they’d be spending per first-year engineering course before they arrived to their first class.
    2) All Course Coordinators of first-year courses were asked to provide a list of all assignments they use in their class, this includes information about what those assignments were worth (%-weight) and how much time those instructors think students ought to be spending on each of those assignments.

    We hope to use the triangulation of data from instructor expectations // student expectations // student actual workload data (quant and qual) to investigate and mitigate barriers to learning in engineering education.

    Contact: Prof Variawa chirag.variawa@utoronto.ca

    Research Area: Engineering Education, Quantitative + Qualitative Data analysis

  • Design and Fabrication of a Microfluidic Device for Tissue Engineering
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Lidan You

    (co-supervised by Hani Naguib) The goal of this research project is to design and fabricate a microfluidic device to study the effect of fluid flow on the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cell (hMSCs). Microfluidics devices allow fluids to be handled and analyzed at the micrometer scale. It has found many applications in biology in the fields of macromolecular analysis and cellular analysis. Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are a population of multipotent stem cells primarily isolated from the bone marrow. They are also found in other organs such as adipose tissue, muscle, liver, and umbilical cord blood. MSCs is a popular candidate for bone tissue engineering due to their multilineage differentiation potential and immunomodulatory properties. The design entails to design and fabricate a microfluidic device that is suitable for investigating the effect of fluid flow on hMSCs.
  • Studying Wetting Properties of Different Coatings
    Faculty advisor: Prof. Chandra & Prof. Nejad

    Wetting is the first step in defining adhesion of coating to the substrate. To have a good adhesion performance, coatings should be able to completely wet the surface. Wettability is measured through analysis of contact angle formed between a droplet of liquid with the substrate at certain times. The lower the contact angle, the better is the wettability so its adhesion. However, when it comes to wood as a biological material with substantial variations among and between different species, many other parameters will come into play. Depending on the grain orientation, surface morphology, moisture contact and treatment, there are significant differences in density, pore size and other surface properties of the wood. This study is focused on finding correlation between coatings’ surface tensions, base (water-based vs solvent-based) and resin types (alkyd, acrylic and PU) with their wetting properties on chemically modified and unmodified wood samples. The student working on this project will have the opportunity to learn how to measure surface tensions of liquid coatings using Tensiometer and contact angles of a wide range of coatings using a high speed camera, and calculating dynamic and static contact angles of different coatings on wood using MATLAB software. Additionally, student will need to use advanced multivariate statistical analysis techniques to model correlation between coating properties with their wetting performances.

    Research area: Thermofluids

  • MEng project with specialty LED lighting manufacturer
    Faculty advisor: Professors J.K. Spelt and F. Azhari

    The project involves working with a manufacturer of LED lighting products to develop a finite element model of one of their circuit board assemblies.
    The objective is to model the stresses that are created in the circuit board by changes in the temperature of the assembly.
    Some experimental strain measurement may be part of the project as a means of verifying the model.

    Research area: Mechanics & Design