Role of ECE in a World of Exponential Change 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Mr. Avanindra Utukuri (ECE)BA 1160

For the past few decades, technological innovation has been accelerating. Many things that we take for granted are undergoing dramatic and exponential change, which will fundamentally change everything we understand and how we live. Innovations in the field of ECE have driven this remarkable growth – after all this is called the Information Age. The talk will focus on Mr. Utukuri's experiences with Eng Sci, and the role and impact of the ECE option in his career.

Can Artificial Intelligence Win the Traffic Game? 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Prof. Baher Abdulhai (Infrastructure)BA 1130

Traffic congestion is the outcome of a complex system of engineering, social and economic systems in our ever growing metropolises. Time is not on our side. We are also cash strapped and out of space to build our way out of congestion. In the era of smart everything, can artificial intelligence save us, or at least help us? This talk will highlight how AI is explored in research at U of T to win the traffic game.

Machine Learning for Mobile Robots 11:00 AM - 12:30 AM
Prof. Angela Schoellig (Robotics)BA 1160

In the last decade, there has been a major shift in the perception, use and predicted applications of robots. In contrast to their early industrial counterparts, robots are envisioned to operate in increasingly complex and unpredictable environments, alongside humans, and over long periods of time. Examples range from self-driving cars to unmanned aerial vehicle applications.

Machine learning is indispensable in order for this new generation of robots to successfully execute their task. Based on various examples (and videos) ranging from aerial-vehicle dancing to ground-vehicle racing, Prof. Schoellig will demonstrate the effect of robot learning, and highlight how her team's learning algorithms intertwine traditional model-based control with machine learning. Finally, she will show her latest work, which provides safety guarantees for online robot learning. These algorithms represent an important step toward applying learning algorithms in real robot applications and products.

Innovation in Stationary Electricity Storage: the Liquid Metal Battery 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Prof. Donald Sadoway (Energy Systems)BA 1130

Massive electricity storage would offer huge benefits to today’s grid, reducing price volatility, improving stability against loss of power, increasing utilization of generation assets by enabling us to design towards average demand instead of peak demand, and deferring the costs of upgrading existing transmission lines. When it comes to tomorrow’s grid, storage is critical to widespread integration of renewables, i.e., solar and wind, which due to their inherent intermittency present challenges for contribution to base load.

Comprising two liquid metals and a molten salt electrolyte, the liquid metal battery has been invented to offer colossal current capability and long service lifetime at very low cost, i.e., the price point of the electricity market. There is much to be learned from the thought process that led to the discovery of disruptive battery technology. There is a lesson here for innovation in other fields. Prof. Sadoway's early exposure to Eng Sci was most formative and prepared him for what was to follow.

How the Raptors use EngSci: from the Class to the Court 1:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Mr. Eric Khoury (Math, Statistics & Finance)BA 1160

Introduction of positional tracking into NBA games has generated large data sets that help bring new understandings of the intricacies of the sport. With every player and ball movement on a basketball court being tracked, actions and events can be annotated on a scale that was previously not possible. The analysis of this data brings in a new set of statistics, far outside the traditional box score stats, that helps influence roster construction and coaching decisions.

As tools for acquiring and generating large and accurate data sets are getting more powerful, careers in analyzing "Big Data" are arising in numerous fields. The correct analysis of these data sets is imperative and may help generate insights that can lead to untapped potential within a wide array of disciplines.

X-ray imaging: A new ring1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Prof. Paul Johns (Physics)BA 1130

X rays are the workhorse of hospital radiology, dental radiology, industrial nondestructive testing, and are extensively used for security scanning. Although x rays have been used for over 120 years, in recent years their evolution has begun again. Historically x rays have been treated only as a beam of particles and used to make shadow picture images on a 2D image receptor, or line projections for computed tomography (CT). This traditional simple approach can now be augmented by new techniques based on the wave behaviour of x rays. It's possible to use scattered x rays to obtain information in addition to conventionally measuring the attenuation of primary photons. The overall goal is to obtain more information, and in human imaging, to do so while minimizing patient dose.

After a general introduction to the discipline of medical physics, Professor Johns' development work on x-ray scatter imaging will be described. Step-and-shoot scatter imaging using multiple pencil beams has been demonstrated at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron in Saskatoon. Collimation design options range from scanning a single pencil beam in tandem with a pixelated scatter detector over the object, which is prohibitively slow but which captures all scatter information unambiguously, to multibeam geometries which speed acquisition but because the diffraction ring patterns overlap are reliant on pattern untangling algorithms. In other work, the coherent scattering cross sections of tissues and phantom materials have been measured in Prof. Johns' lab at Carleton University. These innovations in radiography are applicable to medicine and to industrial nondestructive testing, security imaging, and other areas.

Introduction to Medtech Entrepreneurship3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Mr. Cameron Piron (Biomedical Systems)BA 1130

As a serial entrepreneur and the president of Synaptive Medical, a company dedicated to developing technologies with an impact to change the standard of care in neurosurgery, Mr. Piron has solid knowledge and expertise in understanding rules of the road for medtech-based entrepreneurship. In this lecture, he shares insights on key strategic trends and changing dynamics in the medical devices industry. The lecture gives an overview on the basic skills and knowledge needed to build new medical ventures and develop novel medical device ideas from concept to reality.

Trends and Opportunities for Young Engineers in the Aerospace Industry3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Dr. Brian Yutko (Aerospace)BA 1130

The aerospace industry is on the verge of change in many areas: environmentally efficient commercial aircraft, newly vibrant commercial space programs, high altitude long endurance aircraft serving as atmospheric satellites, and autonomous aircraft ranging from small quadcopters to electric VTOL personal transports, just to name a few. These emerging trends and new markets are enabled by technological advances both inside the aerospace industry and well outside of it. They also present new, complex, and exciting challenges for the aerospace engineer. These challenges will be overcome – and the potential of the industry will eventually be realized – through the hard work of young engineers currently in training.

In this talk, Prof. Yutko will describe a few examples of how technology is changing the aerospace industry and how you can best prepare to contribute. He will discuss lessons-learned while working on a global CO2 standard, an X-Plane, and the Space Shuttle. He will give perspective on what it is like to work in both the cutting edge academic research arena as well as in an aggressive industrial research and development environment. Finally, he’ll attempt to describe the battle between specialization and generalization that you will face throughout your career, and how you might approach some key decisions.

ESEC COUNTDOWN

(Friday January 20, 2017 @ 9am)

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