Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster Logo McMaster logo
Upcoming Events:

Applause & Accolades 2023

Date & Time:

McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton, ON

Event Contact:

Katie Barker

Event and Communications Specialist, Faculty of Engineering

Join us for an unforgettable evening of creativity, inspiration, and celebration as we mark 65 years of innovation in the McMaster Engineering community.

  • Dress code: Cocktail attire


At McMaster Engineering, innovation is a way of life. We’re excited to showcase #MadeAtMacEng inventions and products that were born in our classrooms and labs, and in industry where students, faculty, and alumni are making waves with a fresh approach and creative mindset. 

Applause & Accolades 2023 will feature networking, opportunities to meet some start-ups, and an awards ceremony recognizing the accomplishments of some of the best and brightest in our Fireball Family. We’re proud to partner with McMaster’s Industry Liaison Office and business incubator, The Forge, where many Mac Eng students and alumni get a head start on bringing their ideas to market.  

We are so looking forward to celebrating with you! 

Please note: Registration is by invitation only.




6:00 – 7:30 pm Cocktails and showcase
7:30 – 8:15 pm Awards
8:15 – 9:00 pm Dessert reception


Meet our Awardees

Headshot of Gina Succi

Gina Succi, P. Eng, FCAE

Faculty of Engineering Leadership Award

Chief Executive Officer • Westhill Innovation Inc

Gina Succi is a Professional Engineer, a member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and co – founder and Chief Executive Officer of Westhill Innovation.   For over 20 years, her career interests include leadership in engineering, product development and technology commercialization, in four vastly different market sectors including steelmaking, warehousing / logistics, mining and construction.  Westhill Innovation is a leading designer and manufacturer of SunShifter and SunRunner, solar electromobility power solutions and lightweight composites for commercial and recreational transportation.Gina is also a member of the Engineering Board of Directors at McMaster University, in addition to the SME representative of the Ontario Advanced Manufacturing Board of Directors.Gina enjoys spending time with her family and special interests outside of her family and career include cycling and the creative arts.


McMaster University (Hamilton Ontario)

  • Civil Engineering, BEng, 1989
  • Ivey Business School – Leadership Development
  • Ivey Business School – Operations Management
  • Queens University – Finance for Non-Financial Executives
 Headshot of John Bandler

John Bandler, OC

Faculty of Engineering Exceptional Service Award

John Bandler studied at Imperial College, London, England, and received the B.Sc.(Eng.), Ph.D., and D.Sc.(Eng.) degrees from the University of London, England, in 1963, 1967, and 1976, respectively.

After one year at Mullard Research Laboratories, Redhill, England, and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, he joined McMaster University, Canada, in 1969, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus. He founded Optimization Systems Associates Inc. in 1983 and sold it to Hewlett-Packard in 1997. He is President of Bandler Corporation, Dundas, Ontario, Canada. He pioneered space mapping in 1993.

Dr. Bandler is a Fellow of several societies, including the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. In 2004, he received the IEEE MTT-S Microwave Application Award. In 2012, he received the IEEE Canada McNaughton Gold Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013, he received the IEEE MTT-S Microwave Career Award. In 2014, he received McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering Research Achievement Award. In 2016 he was honored by appointment to Officer of the Order of Canada; and in 2018, he received both McMaster’s Lifetime Innovator Award and Professional Engineers Ontario’s Gold Medal. In 2023 he receives the IEEE Electromagnetics Award for “For contributions to electromagnetic optimization and the modeling of high-frequency structures, circuits, and devices.”Dr. Bandler has authored fiction and nonfiction, and has written, produced and directed plays and a short film. He has given workshops on entrepreneurship, ethics, awareness, creativity, and creative thinking, and, across all disciplines, he coaches and mentors students and young professionals in communicating their research to general audiences. In particular, he spearheaded and co-organized from 2017 to 2022 the IEEE International Microwave Symposium and Microwave Week Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competitions.

Headshot of Leyla Soleymani & Tohid Didar

Leyla Soleymani & Tohid Didar

Faculty of Engineering Entrepreneurship Award



Leyla Soleymani is an associate professor in the department of engineering physics at McMaster. She also holds the titles of Associate Vice-President, Research (Commercialization & Entrepreneurship), University Scholar and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Miniaturized Biomedical Devices. She received her M.Sc. from the University of Southern California, and her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.

Tohid Didar is an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering. He also holds a Canada Research Chair in Nano-Biomaterials. Before joining McMaster University in 2016, Dr. Tohid Didar was a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He obtained his PhD degree in 2013 from McGill University.

Dr. Soleymani’s research focuses on detecting, monitoring, treating, and minimizing the spread and effects of infectious disease through the development of biomedical technologies. Dr. Didar’s research focuses on the creation of miniaturized devices that are able to detect bacteria, viruses, cells, and pathogens.

Combining their areas of expertise together, Soleymani and Didar developed a pathogen-repellent wrap called RepelWrap. The clear plastic wrap has the ability to repel elements like water droplets, bacteria, and viruses. The invention, created in the very first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, took home the top prize in the 2020 Create the Future design contest and proved to be a gamechanger in reducing infectious disease transmission. RepelWrap is now moving towards scaled-up production through FendX Technologies, Inc.

Christopher Crozier, P.Eng. 

L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

Founder and CEO, CF Crozier & Associates Inc.

Christopher Crozier is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of C.F. Crozier & Associates Inc, a consulting engineering company which operates in Ontario. A natural leader with ambition and an entrepreneurial spirit, Chris established the firm in 2004 as a three-person boutique firm and has since molded the company into one of Ontario’s leading land development service consultancies. In 2023, the company was recognized as one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers, an accolade that recognizes the small and medium enterprises that offer the nation’s best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies. 

As CEO and Chairman of the Board, Chris leads the development of the company’s strategic direction and provides leadership to the company’s officers, executives, and shareholders. He promotes a strong work culture that enhances the employee experience and drives success both internally and externally.  

Chris has always been well respected for his leadership, community involvement, and business acumen. Throughout his career, he has epitomized the core value of entrepreneurship, investing in others so they may thrive and become entrepreneurs themselves. His desire to create an employee-owned company through its shareholder program is but one example of how he achieves this. Fostering meaningful relationships with his employees and customers has been the foundation of Chris’s vision for the firm and are what drive the company’s growth, innovation, and creativity. 

Chris holds a Civil Engineering and Management degree from McMaster University and has over 30 years of consulting experience in municipal site servicing and water resources engineering. In 2017, he was named one of McMaster University Faculty of Engineering’s Top 150 Alumni. He maintains his involvement with the university as a member of the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board and is an employer of numerous MacEng graduates and co-op students. He remains committed to supporting engineering students’ pursuit of education such that in 2021, the company launched its inaugural C.F. Crozier & Associates Inc. Bursary supporting a deserving upper year engineering student. 

An advocate for active community engagement, Chris is past president of the Georgian Triangle Development Institute, a not-for-profit which fosters relations between the development industry and all levels of the government and public. He has a keen interest in economic development and attainable housing and regularly contributes to committees and workshops with the Town of Collingwood. He also holds long-standing relationships with many local charitable organizations including Home Horizon, Georgian Bay Club Foundation, and Breaking Down Barriers. With a personal sentiment and deep appreciation towards Hospice Georgian Triangle and Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Foundation, Chris and his family continue to be proud supporters. 

Chris has been happily married for 32 years and is a proud father of five. 

Christine  Gabardo

Faculty of Engineering Young Alumni Leadership Award



Christine  Gabardo is the Co-Founder and CTO of CERT Systems Inc., a company on a mission to transform the way the world’s most important chemicals are made. She received her B.Eng (Electrical and Biomedical Engineering ’11) and PhD (Biomedical Engineering ’16) from McMaster University, then completed a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto focused on developing efficient and scalable electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction devices. In 2019, she co-founded CERT Systems Inc. and co-led the research team in the finals of the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition. Over the course of two years in the finals of the competition, she led the scale up of CERT’s electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion technology by over 10000x, from a laboratory prototype to CERT’s pilot demonstration. Christine has published over 30 scientific articles in high impact journals in the field of carbon dioxide electrocatalysis and has over 6500 citations. In 2022, she was selected as an Innovator Fellow in the Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Fellowship program and recognized as a Clean50 Emerging Leader. 


Learn More