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Meet the 2019 co-op students of the year and future leadersMarch 31, 2020

McMaster Engineering students Areeba Aziz and Mitchell Wong have been recognized for making an exceptional contribution to co-operative education. 

Amid a challenging time for students we want to celebrate those who have earned success this past year. 

In 2018/2019, McMaster Engineering students participated in over 3,200 4-month co-op work terms across the globe. 

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. 

Here are the Co-op Student of the Year Award winners for 2019:

Areeba Aziz
Software Engineering III
Arcturus Networks Inc.

In her most recent co-op term, Aziz worked as a DevOps software developer at Arcturus Networks Inc. 

“I began my internship with little knowledge of embedded systems and computer networking,” said Aziz. “What my co-op experience has taught me is that if I put in enough effort into learning a subject I am passionate about, I can get through any obstacles.”

“What most impressed me about Areeba’s performance was her ability to handle, absorb and learn the enormous scope of things she needed to deal with,” said Daniel Wilk, director of engineering at Arcturus Networks. 

Aziz won the McMaster Image of an Engineer award in 2019 for her involvement within the engineering community. She has been involved with the McMaster Electrical & Computer Engineering Society, McMaster Hyperloop Team, and OSPE McMaster Exchange Hub.

While working as a teaching assistant for the Engineering Undergraduate 1EE0 Co-op Prep course, she mentored dozens of students, helping them to achieve their own professional goals. 

Aziz has also completed co-op terms at Checkout 51 and McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering. She will be continuing her co-op journey as a Software Development Engineer Intern at Amazon in Vancouver this summer.

Mitchell Wong
Engineering Physics and Management V
Shopify Inc

Wong’s co-op journey has been one of self-discovery. Having completed 28 months of co-op at 7 companies across the country, Wong was able to explore his passions in multiple industries.

His latest co-op term was with Shopify Inc., where he worked for 4 months as a data scientist, tracking the growth of the world’s largest and most complex brands.

“[Mitchell’s work] is usually reserved for more senior data scientists,” said Marc-Oliver Arsenault, the Data Science Manager at Shopify. “This is not a skill we see from interns normally. I would even argue, the average data scientist does not master this skill at all.”

“I am walking out of my co-op experience with a deeper understanding of the type of work that will get me out of bed each morning,” said Wong.

Wong is highly involved on campus, having been a first-year orientation rep, engineering physics ambassador, residence community advisor, off-campus community assistant, teaching assistant and member of the Artificial Intelligence Society. He is also a part of a startup company called Edible, which aims to solve the problem of food waste from grocery stores. 

He has completed co-op work terms at Tangerine Bank, Deloitte, PepsiCo Canada, Constellation Software Inc., McMaster University, and ME Engineers.

Congratulations to the other 15 nominees for the award. These students are recognized as Future Leaders and will receive a plaque for their contributions to McMaster Engineering Co-operative Education and the greater community.

The Co-op Supervisors of the Year for 2019 were also recognized for their continuous support of co-operative education at McMaster University. Their dedicated mentorship, support and guidance has helped our students succeed and develop into the qualified, young engineering leaders they will become in the future. Take a look at all of those recognized below. 

Future Leaders 2019:

Nominee's Name


Akil Hamilton

Software & Biomedical Engineering

Aly Khalifa

Electrical & Biomedical Engineering

Aras Siddiqui

Bachelor of Technology, Automation

Ayesha Bhutto

Electrical Engineering

Karan Sabharwal

Computer Engineering

Lianna Genovese

Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

Maaz Azam

Electrical Engineering

Maninderpreet Sidhu

Manufacturing Engineering- Grad

Nancy Ikladous

Electrical Engineering

Nicholas Mateus

Electrical Engineering

Nicole Smith

Electrical Engineering

Nimish Hegde

Mechanical Engineering

Shahbaaz Shakil

Electrical Engineering

Yunus Mollayev

Chemical Engineering

Zachary Lewis

Bachelor of Technology, Automotive

Co-op Supervisors of the of the Year for 2019:

Nominee's Name

Job Title


Jimmy Shin

Senior Technical Project/ Program Manager


Stephen Burns

Supervisor- Performance, Validation & Modeling


James Southwell

Manager- Quality Management

Investors Group

Sarang Kini

Quality and Manufacturing Engineering Manager

AXYZ Automation Group

Timothy Winterton

Systems Planning Project Manager

City of Hamilton

Steve Remilli

Project Manager

McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute

Bert Menhert



Bhatia Krishan


Energy Network Services Inc.

Faye Chen Naden

Manager - FSE

Greater Toronto Airports Authority

Andrew Houston

Stations Engineer

Alectra Utilities Corporation

Marc-Olivier Arsenault

Data Science Manager