Engineering

Machine learning reveals unexpected genetic roots of cancers, autism and other disorders

Sub-title: 
Researchers from engineering, biology and medicine teach computers to ‘read the human genome’ and rate likelihood of mutations causing disease, opening vast new possibilities for medicine
Author: 
Marit Mitchell

In the decade since the genome was sequenced in 2003, scientists, engineers and doctors have struggled to answer an all-consuming question: Which DNA mutations cause disease? 

A new computational technique developed at the University of Toronto may now be able to tell us.

Tech wearables holiday gift roundup: U of T startups take on smart watches, biometrics and more

Sub-title: 
Bionym, Whirlscape among the companies with products already on the market
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

The holidays are upon us and as savvy shoppers search for gift ideas with a personal touch, wearable gadgets from U of T-developed companies are pret-a-porter for the fashionable tech lover on your list.

U of T, Harvard collaborate on substance to repel blood clots and bacteria

Sub-title: 
Engineering a surface so slippery a gecko couldn't climb it
Author: 
Luke Ng & Sydney Goodfellow

Engineering a surface that is so slippery even geckos can’t stick to it may sound like a fun science fair project.

But new surface-coating technology developed by materials science and engineering professor Ben Hatton, together with colleagues at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute, does just that – and its slick properties have the potential to save lives.

Solar power: researchers develop new technique for spraying solar cells onto products

Sub-title: 
Innovation brings efficient, low-cost manufacturing of solar cells closer
Author: 
Marit Mitchell

Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap.

That’s Illan Kramer’s hope. Kramer and colleagues have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) – a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.

New $5 million NSERC network uses enzymes for greener manufacturing

Author: 
Christina Heidorn & RJ Taylor

Instead of using fossil fuels to make plastics and industrial chemicals, what if we could harness eco-friendly enzymes – nature’s smallest helpers – to do the work?

Engineering a better healthcare system: placing defibrillators where they're needed most; redesigning clinic schedules to reduce wait times

Sub-title: 
Timothy Chan on how the Centre for Healthcare Engineering is making health care better, faster and less costly
Author: 
RJ Taylor

Mending broken bones or prescribing medication may seem like simple tasks but they're part of a hugely complex healthcare system of hospitals, clinics, ambulances, research centres, suppliers and governments.

And according to Professor Timothy Chan of mechanical and industrial engineering, that system needs re-engineering.

Convocation 2014 grads to watch: city builders

Author: 
Jelena Damjanovic

Universities play a key role in building and strengthening cities, helping them connect with the world and reinvent themselves in dynamic ways.

And this week, as the University of Toronto celebrates the achievements of its newest alumni, many of those graduates are already hard at work creating better buildings, safer streets and healthier communities.

Writer Jelena Damjanovic spoke with four U of T city builders about how their work is strengthening cities and communities across North America.

Convocation 2014 grads to watch: astronaut for hire Aaron Persad

Sub-title: 
Award-winning teacher, entrepreneur and controversial academic receives PhD
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

For Aaron Persad, ‘reach for the stars’ is far more than a clichéd phrase on a graduation card. 

“It may sound a bit wild, but I’m training as a commercial astronaut,” said Persad, who’s graduating this November with a PhD in mechanical and industrial engineering. (Read more about Persad)

Alumni John Tory, Bonnie Crombie, Linda Jeffrey take on mayoralties as U of T experts named to Tory transition team

Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

With half a million of them around the world, a few alumni were bound to lead political change in the heated GTA elections this week – and some claimed the top spots.

John Tory, a graduate of U of T’s Trinity College, and Bonnie Crombie, a graduate of St. Michael’s College, were voted mayors-elect for Toronto and Mississauga respectively, while City of Brampton voters elected University of Toronto Mississauga alumna Linda Jeffrey.

Icewire Makerspace: helping teens and adults create their own electronic inventions

Author: 
Liz Do

Electrical and computer engineering professor David Johns is taking a one-year leave of absence from teaching, but that doesn’t mean he’s taking a break from inspiring young people to become future engineers or scientists.

Johns will be focusing on Icewire Makerspace, a midtown Toronto facility that provides workshops and six-week courses for youth ages 12 and up interested in electronics, robotics, 3D printing and microcontrollers.

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