Mitacs Elevate participants from Alberta, BC, and Manitoba came together recently for a three-day professional development workshop. Titled Leadership in Innovation, the unique and intensive retreat was designed for new Elevate PDFs as part of their Mitacs fellowship orientation. The event provided attendees with principles and concepts they can use to understand leading, mobilizing, and managing creativity and innovation.
The project started when Michael Gray was researching earthquake-proofing techniques as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto’s Department of Civil Engineering. Michael had developed a prototype connector device with one end that could grip part of a building’s frame between a pair of comb-like pincers, while the other end was welded to a brace.
As a PhD student in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Ottawa’s Carleton University, Hassan’s research focused on the efficiency of wireless systems — finding newer and better ways to control how cellular and Wi-Fi systems allocate network resources optimally.
As a research scientist in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Jacque-Lynne has devoted herself to studying cilia — tiny antennae found on the surface of cells, used for sensory processes, such as taste, touch, and smell. Understanding how cilia work is important because when they break down, a person can suffer a range of health problems, such as sterility, obesity, and neurological deficits.
Yet, in the midst of her research, Jacque-Lynne knew her career could benefit from other learning outside the lab.
Through his University’s Graduate Professional Skills program, Ali heard that Mitacs Step workshops provide business-ready skills to up-and-coming researchers. He participated in nine workshops that helped him develop skills in areas such as project management, team building and entrepreneurship. Specifically, Ali was able to add to his skill set in a substantial way: “The Step Project Management workshops enabled me to qualify for the Project Management Certification.”
Having completed a PhD in Electrical Engineering, Dr. Haleh Vahedi was excited to make new, local connections to advance her career. During her Mitacs Elevate fellowship, Haleh was supervised by Dr. Tony Chan Carusone of the University of Toronto’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to design an electrical circuit for data transmission at 28 gigabits per second without loss of signal quality or reception. The circuit she designed could easily be added to existing Snowbush hardware, improving signal integrity without adding complexity to the system.
In total, Junjie has taken nine Step workshops. Initially, it was the “the professional coaches and energetic peers” that persuaded him to sign up for more. However, he soon realized the workshops provided him with a broader perspective on his future career path, along with training to develop his soft skills.
“Certainly searching for a job is much more than sending resumes and waiting for an interview. The business skills I’ve learned through Mitacs Step have provided me with valuable communication and networking abilities, the know-how to create impactful resumes and business cards, as well as appropriate manners and etiquette during an interview or at a industry event, all of which I’ve applied to my present job hunt.”
Marcelo is currently working on a project where he analyzes short online documents, such as emails, to check the identity of the author. His research is integral to the field of computer security because there have only been a handful of studies on this topic. “Authorship verification of online documents can play a critical role in various criminal cases such as blackmailing and terrorist activities, says Marcelo.” “Sharing my research with others is integral to the field of computer security, and Mitacs Step has provided me with the necessary communication skills to do so.”
GABAE Industries, a subsidiary of GABAE Development, is a startup technology development company that must be on the cutting edge of research in order to supply their clients with novel technologies for their products. GABAE’s current focus is on a method of making novel nanoporous filtration media, which will perform better than any other purification product available in the filtration industry today. In order to pursue this complex scientific initiative, GABAE engaged with Mitacs-Accelerate intern Shanshan Bian at UWaterloo who has experience synthesizing and characterizing nanomateria