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McMaster Engineering's Top 10 Stories of 2017 December 20, 2017

McMaster Engineering made a big impact in 2017. From improving diversity in engineering, to developing innovative technologies to improve society, to hosting engineering leaders from around the world, here are the top 10 stories of the year.

McMaster Engineering academic disciplines were rated among the best in the world by ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects in June. The Faculty’s civil engineering program ranked 29th in the world, and metallurgical engineering, computer science and engineering, and transportation science and technology programs all ranked within the top 75 around the globe.

Materials Science and Engineering undergraduate student Katherine Jarzecki competed in the Miss Universe Canada pageant from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7. Jarzecki said competing in the pageant offered her the opportunity to talk about the importance of attracting more women into science, engineering, technology and math fields.

Michael Takla, Rotimi Fadiya, Prateek Mathur and Shivad Bhavsar, all graduates of McMaster’s Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program received the prestigious James Dyson Award and $50K to support the development of The sKan, the team’s skin cancer detection device. The news travelled around the world and was featured in more than 150 publications, including The Guardian, CBC NationalToronto Star, and BBC News and went viral on social media with hundreds of posts. 


In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, we highlighted five of our top female student leaders. They are creative problem-solvers who are passionate about making a difference, breaking stereotypes, and bringing more diversity to engineering.


On Feb. 17, John Bandler, ECE Professor Emeritus, and a former Dean of Engineering at McMaster, was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.) by the Governor General. This appointment recognizes his scientific contributions that have helped position Canada at the forefront of microwave engineering. 

McMaster Engineering researchers, Jim Cotton and Ali Emadi were awarded more than $5M in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Ministry of Research and Innovation and Science (MRIS) to create innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

We put the spotlight on Vanessa Raponi, Materials Engineering and Management student, and champion in promoting diversity in engineering. She talked about her experience as advisor of the Conference on Diversity in Engineering Organizing Committee, hosted by McMaster University for the first time from Nov. 10 to 13. She also talked about her recent experience speaking at the international Gender Summit and how her student advocacy group, McMaster EngiQueers, has evolved into a national not-for-profit corporation.

In honour of Global Entrepreneurship Week, a celebration of innovators and job creators who are changing the world, we featured  7 McMaster Engineering startups to watch including HiNT, a W Booth startup that is developing a wearable point-of-care monitoring device for patients who are at high risk of having a stroke.

Natalia Nikolova Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at McMaster, and Canada Research Chair in High-frequency Electromagnetics is revolutionizing breast cancer detection with her radar scanner. 

In October, delegates from around the world shared inspiring ideas on how to improve higher education and prepare the next generation of engaged engineers at a high profile event held in Niagara Falls, Ont. Hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, the Global Engineering Deans Council Conference (GEDC) explored a range of issues from bio-innovation for social impact to teaching students about the Internet of Things to addressing climate change to inclusive engineering schools and workplaces in the future. This was the first time the event has been held in Canada.