Design Expo showcases innovative student projects and alumni excellence

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Design Expo 2017 - Expo Design 2017

On November 17, 2017, the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering hosted its second annual Design Expo.

Design Expo is an evening to recognize the faculty’s student engineering teams as well as to recognize and honour the recipients of the Alumni Awards of Excellence. The expo highlighted eight student-engineering teams from the Project Integration & Team Space (PITS). Each team displayed their designs and prototypes at the event. Engineering alumni, students, professors and staff as well as industry professionals had the opportunity to speak to the various teams about their projects and prototypes as well as network amongst the diverse crowd throughout the evening. The teams highlighted at the event, included Bionics, Formula uOttawa, Baja, GNCTR, UOE Racing, Supermileage Combustion, SAE Aerospace and Rocketry Team.

Dr. Jacques Beauvais, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, welcomed this year’s award recipients and guests. Honoured recipients included Alice Thomas, recipient of the Alumni Awards of Excellence.  Dr. Aali Alizadeh, Entrepreneur of the Year, and David George and Mano Kulasingham, recipients of the Young Alumni Awards of Excellence.

During the event, Dr. Beauvais shared an important gift announcement. Computer Engineering Alumni and 2005 recipient of the Alumni Award of Excellence Simon Nehme made a generous donation to the Faculty. Nehme’s donation will support a new Summer School in Engineering Entrepreneurship (scheduled to begin in 2018) and the Faculty of Engineering’s Launching Entrepreneurs Program, which will help students with the launch and growth of their start-up companies. In addition, his donation will also support the Simon Nehme Design Commons, a free collaborative space in the new STEM Complex where students can work on their ideas.

The 2017 Design Expo was an evening to remember shared with honoured guests, students, and staff and industry professionals. Congratulations to all 2017 award recipients.

Alice Thomas

(BSc 1984, Computer Science)
Chief Digital Technology Officer, Sun Life Financial

Alice Thomas is Chief Digital Technology Officer at Sun Life Financial, which she joined in 2007. She has over 30 years of experience in technology, with a focus over the past 20 years on digital strategies and solutions.

As part of her current role, she is responsible for implementing technologies that are part of the company's global digital strategies. In addition, she manages an international centre of excellence dedicated to the design and delivery of digital applications for Sun Life customers and employees.

Alice Thomas is also responsible for leading a technology innovation program for businesses, including the launch of several laboratories for co-creation and incubation of ideas to deliver world-class customer solutions that are enhanced through digital channels.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

As a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Alice Thomas is actively involved in the advancement of women and youth by leading mentoring programs.

Aali Alizadeh

(PhD 2010, Civil Engineering)
Co-founder and CEO, Giatec Scientific

Aali Alizadeh co-founded Giatec in 2010 after obtaining a PhD from the Department of Civil Engineering. With exports to more than 70 countries, Giatec is now a world leader in intelligent solutions for checking the state of concrete.

Giatec's new range of intelligent mobile sensors is designed to provide IdO environments allowing construction sites to be better connected, contractors to improve project efficiency, and pre-mixed concrete manufacturers to optimize their concrete mixes. Dr. Alizadeh is also the co-founder of Construction Materials Institute, a research centre in Iran that provides research and development services to the concrete industry.
Aali Alizadeh received his PhD in civil engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2009 and was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at Université Laval. His research has led to several patents, more than 80 scholarly and communications papers, and prestigious awards such as the Governor General's Academic Gold Medal and the OCRI Student Investigator of the Year.

In 2017, he was also named one of Ottawa's Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs, recognizing his accomplishments, professional expertise and community involvement.

David George

(B. Sc. 2003, Computer Science)
Senior Vice President, North America, Accedo

David George received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 2003. He is the co-founder of Toronto-based Digiflare, acquired in November 2016 by SEB Private Equity and merged with Accedo, based out of Stockholm.

Today, David George is the Senior Vice President of Accedo in North America. He works with a team of interactive video specialists to help video service providers and television networks explore new ways to generate consumer interest in emerging electronic devices. As a senior executive in the region's profit and loss sector, his role is to lead the engineering groups responsible for regional sales and solutions.

Every day, David George draws on his IT and software development experience to help Accedo's North American customers save time, operational savings, and protect and grow their profits.

He has a gift and passion for building relationships and leveraging the services of his technology partners, such as Amazon’s e-business, Apple’s consumer electronics and Google’s cloud computing, to foster research and development and promote rapid adoption in consumer and partner communities.

He considers himself very fortunate to be able to continue to learn and build things in his work in the fields of sports, television, films, peripheral devices and video technology.

Mano Kulasingam

(B. Sc. 2003, Computer Science)
Senior Vice President, Products and Solutions, Accedo

Mano Kulasingam is the Senior Vice President of Accedo's products and solutions sector, and a successful entrepreneur with more than 15 years of business and technical leadership experience.

Previously, Mano Kulasingam co-founded and co-led Digiflare, a leading provider of online video solutions. In 2016, Digiflare merged with Accedo and became a world leader in online video solutions. Subsequent success stories include identifying new market opportunities, developing business strategies and products, and providing innovative, market-driven solutions.

With his technology experience and passion for the field, he has earned a reputation as an outstanding technology manager. Mano Kulasingam was named one of North America's Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs in 2015 by Multichannel News. He sits on the Board of Directors of Accedo. Mano Kulasingam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa.

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