Introducing the 2020 co-op students of the year and future leaders – Faculty of Engineering

Introducing the 2020 co-op students of the year and future leaders

The Co-op Student of the Year Award is given annually to two McMaster Engineering students who make an exceptional contribution to co-operative education.

A person walks past the Fireball outside Hatch

McMaster Engineering students Kevin Perera and Ayesha Bhutto have been recognized for making an exceptional contribution to co-operative education. 

The Engineering Co-op Program provides students with the opportunity to apply academic knowledge outside the classroom and gives them a competitive edge for the workforce.

The Co-op Student of the Year Award is given annually to two McMaster Engineering students who make an exceptional contribution to co-operative education. The winners receive a plaque and $500 prize in recognition of their workplace and academic achievements, as well as contributions to McMaster and the greater community. 

“Our co-op students have pivoted professionally and responsibly during an unprecedented year and have shown remarkable resilience as McMaster Faculty of Engineering representatives within the global workforce,” said Kathryn Leistner, Manager, Career & Co-op Services.

Here are the Co-op Student of the Year Award winners for 2020, our Future Leaders and Co-op Supervisors of the Year:

Kevin Perera
Mechanical Engineering & Society V
Baylis Medical

Kevin Perera portrait

Perera worked on multiple teams at Baylis Medical, including the Ventilator Consortium for efforts to combat COVID-19. He assisted Baylis to produce 10,000 ventilators for pandemic relief.

“Kevin played an integral role on the team and was considered to be at the level of a full-time engineer given the high level of performance across his projects and the team – this in itself is a significant and exceptional contribution,” said Andrew Oldham, Perrera’s Supervisor at Baylis Medical.

“I had the privilege of working at Baylis Medical, one of my dream companies, where I was able to take on a variety of challenges and benefitted from an enriching hands-on experience within the medical devices industry for which I strive to work in one day,” said Perera.

As the Founder and Co-President of the McMaster Medical Engineering Design Team (Mac MED-T), Perera has encouraged the development of current McMaster students by teaching them skills through workshops, developing tutorial content, planning for yearly events, and managing the day-to-day activities of a 70+ person team.

With the experience he gained at Baylis Medical, he was able to share his knowledge with fellow students on MED-T.

Ayesha Bhutto
Electrical Engineering III
IBM Canada

Ayesha Bhutto portrait

Bhutto is a Software Analyst for IBM Canada, assisting high profile customers globally with the IBM Order Management System (OMS). She works with high profile clients solving complex technical issues and performs deep analysis on various cases.

“While many have said that I have scored an eminent and influential tech company on my resume, it is more than just a title to me. Every team member that I have gotten the pleasure to work with has taught me different skills and capabilities— but perhaps the most important of all, they have taught me to have confidence,” said Bhutto.

“We look forward to working more with Ayesha in 2021 to draw from her experience and help us design new client-centric processes we are planning on rolling out to our world-wide Support team this year as a prototype project,” said John Rawls Manager, IBM Sterling Order Management Support.

Ayesha has volunteered at various IBM employee and intern events and takes on leadership initiatives within her team. She volunteers for Future Blue, IBM’s intern club that hosts multiple events throughout the year and is always willing to connect with aspiring IBM interns on LinkedIn.

She is an active member in McMaster Engineering community, participating in multiple events such as the Big Co-op Return to Campus Event and IBM’s Workplace to School Event.

She hopes to share her knowledge of how engineering has helped in the workforce by becoming a TA for the Co-op Course as well as hosting other related events at school.

Future Leaders 2020 

Alessandra Guerinoni
Commercial Aircraft

Damien Sabljak
Electrical Engineering

Michelle Feng
Electrical and Biomedical Engineering
Precision Biomonitoring

Laura Yang
Mechatronics Engineering and Management
Bell Canada

Andrew Pavan
Civil Engineering
Bauer Foundations

Aurora Selim
Thermo Fisher 

Lu Ning Gan
Chemical and Bioengineering
Ontario Power Generation

Matthew Stringer
Software Engineering Technology
Royal Bank of Canada

Bilal Shaikh
Software Engineering and Management 
PULSE Lifesaving

Monica Banayoty
iBioMed, HESE Specialization
CleanSlate UV

Ryan Tyrrell
Mechatronics and Management 
McMaster University

Co-op Supervisors of the Year 2020

Gareth Barnett, National Bank of Canada
Kathryn Grandfield, Grandfield Research Group
Hatem Zurob, McMaster University
James Johnson, Shred-Tech Corp
Robert Monk, Linamar
Andrew Oldham, Baylis Medical
Ian Roy Sacbibit, Evertz Microsystems Ltd.
Adi Sharma, Royal Bank of Canada 
Jimmy Shin, Blackberry 
Gurpreet Singh, Esight Eyewear
Kuha Sivakumar, Sanofi
Kevin Truong, Cleanslate UV