Entrepreneurship and Makerspace update at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa

From Hanan Anis, Entrepreneurship Coordinator at the Faculty of Engineering:

  1. Creative Entrepreneurship and the Maker Movement

Entrepreneurship Bridges – February 10th – 5:00pm – 7:00pm –Throughout the world, millions of engineers, makers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs and innovators are fueling what has been dubbed as the next “Industrial Revolution.” With the opening of our very own Makerspace, uOttawa students have access to state-of-the-art and low-cost digital fabrication tools such as 3D printing. Through an interactive panel discussion, learn how this revolution is poised to unleash an unprecedented new wave ofcreative entrepreneurs and how you can take advantage. Register. This discussion will be followed by a hand-on workshop on 3D printing. You can register for that oneventbrite (http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/makerspace-panel-3d-printing-workshop-makerspace-uottawa-tickets-15293295659)

  1. Makerspace update:

Makerspace workshops: The Makerspace continues to offer free workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30p.m. All you need to do is register on Eventbrite (http://www.eventbrite.ca/o/uottawa-makerspace-6930970537). The 3D printing and Arduino workshops continue to be oversubscribed. There are spots still available in the 3D printing workshop on Feb10th as well as for the Arduino workshop on Feb.24th.

 Makerspace prosthetics challenge: The Makerspace had been approached by a local family, who needed a prosthetic hand to be printed for their 6 year old son, Sebastian, who had outgrown his 3d printed hand. So, we launched this challenge to give Sebastian an improved 3D printed hand. Many files can be found online at http://enablingthefuture.org/upper-limb-prosthetics/ to start you off. Design a hand using 3D software (Solidworks, Tinkercad) or edit the files that are available online. 3D Print your files at the uOttawa Makerspace and assemble the hand! The prosthetic hands must be submitted to the Makerspace Team by March 13th, 2015 at noon. The top 3 designs will be provided to Sebastian for his evaluation. No matter how sophisticated the technology or the design is, what matters is how comfortable the prosthetic hand is for Sebastian. He will try on the different hands and make his choice, and the winner will be announced on March 20th, 2015 and will receive a $1000. To help you further along your ideas, we will be holding design workshops:

Prosthetics Design Workshop: January 27th, 2015 (today)

Design Feedback Workshop: February 17th, 2015

  • Make your own 3D printer-March 29th, 2015: Spend a day in the Makerspace with step by step instructions and guidance on how to construct your very own 3d printer to take home. There is no technical knowledge or experience necessary. The cost of the workshop is $350 and for that price we will supply all the parts and tools necessary to assemble the 3d printers. The cost will also subsidize one 3D printer for at risk youth. Space is limited to 12 participants so register if you are interested on eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.ca/publish?crumb=d02680cb514d1a&eid=14739681785). Please note that once you register, we will e-mail you a link for payment.
  • Attention all car enthusiasts: An Alumni of the University has reached out to the Makerspace for some help. The team is building an open class rally to compete in regional and National event across eastern Canada.  The team has 3 cars and is currently preparing to compete in Maniwaki, QC in two weeks with a G2 VW Golf rally car (car #24) (http://www.rallyeperceneige.com/). The team is also building a new car that is  a highly modified 1990 VW Corrado with a modern 1.8T engine and AWD drive train.  The chassis is almost completed and they are at the point of assembling the car.  Assistance is required on the control side. The car will have 3 androids running various systems/apps. The team needs help to build and configure a Raspberry pi Wifi interface controlling a 12-relay board to control various equipment in the car (i.e. lights, fan, start/stop, washer etc.). Please contact Vincent directly if interested (vlandreville@sympatico.ca) or (Vincent.Landreville@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca).
  • Bragging rights-Project Codemakers: Actua, a national charity that supports STEM outreach program like Adventures in Engineering and Science from across the country, has just launched a newproject with Google called Codemakers and will be celebrating this partnership in our Makerspace. There will be over 60 delegates from 26+ universities at uOttawa for two keynote presentations (Steve Woods of Google and Pat Yongpradit of Code.Org) and the Makerspace team will be leading the delegates through the various technologies in the Makerspace.
  1. Entrepreneurship update:
  • Entrepreneurship Concepts PEI Student Competition (EC-PEI)- February 6th, 2015 (next Friday), 1-4 p.m in the faculty lounge (basement of CBY): Come and cheer our finalists for EC-PEI business plan competition. The winners will take home prizes and bragging rights ($5,000 first prize, $3,000 second prize and $2,000 third prize) and they need your support!

Entrepreneurial internships:  We have launched an internship program in the faculty. The intent is to enable students with an entrepreneurial spirit to advance their start-ups while getting paid through the University. Students start the internship with a business plan and drive to turn it into a real business. Each intern will be paid $6,000 per semester as well as mentorship and training. Please contact Dr. Anis if you have an entrepreneurial idea and want to be considered for this internship.

Drag Reduction on Airplanes using Laminar Flow Control – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6th!

Special Seminar!  Speaker: Professor Dan Henningson, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

DATE: Friday February 6th, 2015

Location:  University of Ottawa    
Colonel By Pavilion,  Room  D207,  161 Louis Pasteur    
2:30-­‐3:30 pm: Presentation
3:30-­‐4:00: Question and Answer Session

Abstract:  Recent work within a number of EU-­‐projects have shown that laminar flow can significantly reduce drag and fuel consumption of modern transport aircraft. Methods include the application of suction on the wing surface and the modification of the wing geometry in order to minimize growth of disturbances that causes laminar-­‐turbulent   transition. Efficient  optimization  of  suction  distributions  and  wing  shapes  can  be performed using so called adjoint methods from optimal control theory. It is shown that such suction distributions and wing shapes significantly increases the laminar regions of wings on transport aircraft. Such optimization tools are now used in the next generation of laminar flow projects, such as the EU Joint Technology Initiative Clean Sky. Showstoppers and an outlook for future work will also be presented.

Dr. Henningson’s research and professional activities include Research on linear and nonlinear hydrodynamic stability and numerical simulation of transitional and turbulent flow.  His academic background is Civ.Ing KTH 1983, M.Eng MIT 1985, PhD KTH 1988, Docent KTH 1992, while his professional history incudes Research Scientist FFA 1985-­‐. Ass. Prof. Appl. Math. MIT 1988-­‐1992. Adj. Prof. Mechanics (20%) KTH 1992-­‐1998. Lektor Mechanics (50%) 1998-­‐1999.

References: http://www.e-­‐science.se/, http://www.cleansky.eu/

This  event  is  being  organized  in  collaboration with the University of Ottawa and the Carleton Mechanical and Aerospace Society (CMAS).

Hafeth Bu Jldain presented his PhD seminar yesterday

Hafeth Bu Jldain presented his PhD seminar yesterday, unfortunately supervisor Dr Francois Robitaille was teaching and could not attend. The talk abstract is below.

Aerospace structural components made from polymer matrix composites (PMCs) offer numerous advantages. Their high stiffness and high strength combined with low densities enable lower fuel consumption coupled with higher payloads. As a result, PMCs provide an important economic advantage over typical metallic airframes. Textile reinforcements for PMCs are made by assembling reinforcement fibres, typically carbon. Then, the textile reinforcements are typically cut into smaller pieces, stacked, draped and assembled into a dry assembly called a preform, the shape of which generally approaches that of the PMC part to be made. This manufacturing process is labour intensive and expensive.

Novel thick, net-shape, drapable, high vf textile reinforcements used toward manufacturing aerospace PMCs are being developed at the University of Ottawa. The technology enables the manufacturing of flat, drapable multilayered near net-shape preforms. The bending and in-plane shear behaviours of such novel thick reinforcement textiles was investigated to understand and define the behaviour of such thick fabric reinforcements when formed into required shapes. A bending apparatus was developed for investigating the bending behaviour of these novel thick reinforcement fabrics and an articulated frame shear rig was used for investigating the in-plane shear behaviour. A non-destructive inspection method using infrared imaging was used for investigating and identifying flaws and defects in these thick, dry textile reinforcements, aiming at increasing the quality and reproducibility of the final PMC parts made from these reinforcements.



Free upcoming workshops for graduate students and PDFs

Below is a list of some upcoming Mitacs Step workshops on campus free for graduate students and PDF’s:


Practice Your Presentation Skills I – Ottawa, ON

When: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Registration starts at 8:45am SHARP)

Where: University of Ottawa, Vanier Building

Room: VNR 1026

Link to Register: https://step.mitacs.ca/en/workshop/2015/01/practice-your-presentation-skills-i-ottawa-january-21-2015


Foundations of Project Management I – Ottawa, ON

When: Monday, February 2 – Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Registration starts at 8:45am SHARP on Monday)

Where: University of Ottawa, Vanier Building

Room: VNR 1042

Link to Register: https://step.mitacs.ca/en/workshop/2015/02/foundations-project-management-i-ottawa-february-2-3-2015


Professionnalisme et compétences relationnelles – Ottawa, ON

Date: vendredi le 6 février 2015

Heure: 9h00 à 17h00 (Inscription commence à 8h45)

Où: Université d’Ottawa

Salle: Vanier 1042

Lien d’enregistrement: https://step.mitacs.ca/fr/workshop/2015/02/professionnalisme-et-comp%C3%A9tences-relationnelles-ottawa-le-6-f%C3%A9vrier-2015


Networking Skills – Ottawa, ON

When: Friday, February 20, 2015

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Registration starts at 8:45am SHARP)

Where: University of Ottawa, Vanier Building

Room: VNR 1042

Link to Register: https://step.mitacs.ca/en/workshop/2015/02/networking-skills-ottawa-february-20-2015

Jin Bai presented his MASc thesis seminar last Friday

Jin Bai presented his MASc thesis seminar last Friday on “Robot Navigation using Velocity Potential Fields and Particle Filters for Obstacle Avoidance”. Abstract of the talk is below along with photos of Jin and his supervisor, Dr. Dan Necsulescu.


Robot navigation using the Particle Filter based FastSLAM approach for obstacle avoidance derived from a modified Velocity Potential Field method was investigated and will be introduced. A switching controller was developed to deal with robot’s efficient turning direction when close to obstacles. The determination of the efficient turning direction is based on the local map robot derived from its on-board local sensing. The estimation of local map and robot path was implemented using the FastSLAM approach. A particle filter was utilized to obtain estimated robot path and obstacles (local map). When robot sensed only obstacles, the estimated robot positions was regarding to obstacles based the measurement between the robot and obstacles. When the robot detected the goal, estimation of robot path will switch to estimation with regard to the goal. Both simulation and experimental results illustrated that estimation with regard to the goal performs better than estimation regarding only to obstacles, because when robot travelled close to the goal, the residual error between estimated robot path and the ideal robot path becomes monotonously decreasing. When robot reached the goal, the estimated robot position and the ideal robot position converge. We investigated our proposed approach in two typical robot navigation scenarios. Simulations were accomplished using MATLAB, and experiments were conducted with the help of both MATLAB and LabVIEW. In simulations and experiments, the robot successfully chose efficiently turning direction to avoid obstacles and finally reached the goal.