Online Profiles

McMaster University - 2016

print entire profile


Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Chemical Engineering

Polymer science and engineering: The Department has a longstanding and strong reputation in the area of polymers, mainly on the development of methods to create novel polymers, mathematical modelling of these processes. A particular focus area is polymer reaction engineering

Biomaterials and bioprocessing: Chemical Engineering and Biology are combined to generate new biomaterials that can be used in safely in blood contacting applications such as stents, valves implants and ophthalmic applications. The Department also has a focus on the production and purification of therapeutic biomolecules (antibodies, enzymes, etc.), an area closely related to the pharmaceutical industry.

Process Systems Engineering: The Department has one of the largest research groups in the world in this area, where mathematics and engineering concepts are combined to create better ways to control complex industrial scale production process, ranging from refineries to water purification plants. The group also works on optimization problems and scheduling.

Water/Energy: Clean water and reliable energy supply are cornerstones of our society. Our department is working towards ways of cleaning water in an efficient manner and to decouple a current trend where energy is obtained at the expense of large quantities of water (fracking and oil sands).

Civil Engineering

Computational mechanics/finite element analysis: Deal with numerical simulation and computer modelling of different scales for complex engineering systems, including structural engineering, environmental engineering and geotechnical engineering.

Bridge engineering: steel structures, composite material structures,

Building systems/building science: durability/service life modeling of engineering materials, modeling heat and mass transfer in porous media, concrete technology, stone masonry, energy efficiency of buildings

Earthquake engineering/structural dynamics: structural dynamics, nonlinear dynamic modelling techniques, seismic isolation, passive and semi-active structural control, performance-based earthquake engineering, design codes, large-scale testing,

Environmental hydraulics/water resources: water resources engineering, statistical hydrology, environmental data analysis, contaminant hydrogeology; uncertainty analysis in environmental hydrology and water resources engineering, watershed planning and stormwater management; water/wastewater treatment processes, ion-exchange membrane systems, and microbial fuel cells; Great Lakes research, public policy implications for engineering infrastructure; hydraulics, hydrodynamics of water bodies, air‐water interaction, diffusion and dispersion of pollutants, environmental information systems

Geotechnical engineering/geomechanics/pavement engineering: finite element modelling of complex geotechnical structures, soil-structure interaction, constitutive modeling of engineering materials, highway materials and green-pavement technology, hydraulic fracturing

GIS applications/urban systems and sustainability: sensing, automation, and information technology for construction, infrastructure management, transportation

Masonry/concrete/composite materials: masonry structures, seismic design, performance under blast loads, performance-based design, composite structures

Structural retrofit/rehabilitation: structural health monitoring, techniques and modelling of retrofit/rehabilitation
Material durability/service life modelling: concrete materials, concrete infrastructure durability, decision support systems for design of sustainable communities

Computing and Software

Algorithm Design and Analysis: The study of the design, analysis, and implementation of algorithms.

Concurrent and Distributed Computing: The study of computing systems that utilize concurrent or distributed techniques.

Cyberphysical Systems: The study of computer-controlled physical systems that interact with the external world.

Data Management and Big Data: The study of how to manage data repositories, particularly data repositories that are so large that traditional techniques are ineffective.

Formal Methods in Software Development: The study of the application of rigorous mathematical methods to the various aspects of software development.

Logic in Computing: The study of the application of logical methods to problems in computing.

Mechanized Mathematics: The study of how to use computers to support the mathematics process.

Optimization: The study of techniques for maximizing or minimizing real-valued functions.

Programming Languages: The study of the design, implementation, and application of programming languages.

Safety-Critical Software: The study of the design, implementation, and verification of software that may harm people if it fails or malfunctions.

Scientific Computing: The study of how to use computers to implement mathematical techniques to solve scientific problems.

Wireless Networking and Mobile Computing: The study of computer networks in which communication is performed with wireless technologies and in which the computers do not necessarily have fixed locations.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electromagnetics: The department has substantial expertise in computational schemes for the analysis of electromagnetic structures and, more importantly, it has been a pioneer in the integration of computational methods into the optimization components of the design process. These techniques are being extended to microwave imaging for biomedical applications and to the area of plasmonics.

Multi-media, machine vision and robotics: Members of the department have made prominent contributions to compression schemes for image and video, source coding schemes, including multiple description coding, and novel display technologies based on high-frequency displays. On the robotics side, we have significant expertise in the areas of teleoperation, mobile robotics, and applications in biomedicine.

Communications and networking: The department has a long history of leadership in the communications field through the former Communications Research laboratory. Current activities are directed towards interference management in wireless networks, vehicular networks, and other aspects of developments for the fifth generation; free-space optical communication systems, and fiber optic communications.

Electronics and photonics: The Department has a leading program in the design of low-noise optical detectors, surface activated bonding of dissimilar materials, computational modeling and design of optical devices, and on design-and-test methods for systems-on-a-chip.

Signal processing: Members of the department are leaders in the fields of tracking and information fusion, and in the application of signal processing techniques in communication systems and networks, and in radar. In addition, we have prominent work in the application of signal processing techniques in biomedicine, an in particular machine learning techniques.

Electrical engineering in biomedicine: The department has prominent research in medical imaging technologies, and especially MRI; both in hardware and in the signal processing aspects. We also have prominent research in the cognition of hearing and hearing-aid design, microwave imaging, EEG processing and machine learning in mental health, and myoelectric devices.

Electrical power systems and hybrid powertrain: The department has a globally-admired research program in the area of hybrid powertrain technologies for vehicular electrification. This program has attracted substantial industry co-sponsorship, and is expanding into areas of control and integration of microgrids into the envisioned smart-grid transmission and distribution systems of the future.

Engineering Physics

Semiconductor nanostructures for photovoltaics and photodetectors: Our current work principally focuses on the growth and characterization of semiconductor materials, and their application in solar cells (photovoltaics), photodetectors, light sources, sensors, quantum information processing, and other optoelectronic devices. Recently, our focus has been on the growth, characterization, and device applications of semiconductor nanowires. We have a large effort to develop third generation solar cells.
Development of Photonic Devices: Our current research is focusing on development of lasers and optical sensors for applications including laser display, environment monitoring, water treatment, and remote medicine. Students involved in the group will learn design, fabrication, characterization, and probably field test of the developed devices.
Evaluation of proliferation resistance in CANDU nuclear fuel cycle: This is a research on the desk. The proliferation resistance in once through uranium, once through thorium-uranium, once through thorium-plutonium, recycled thorium-uranium and recycled thorium-plutonium CANDU nuclear fuel cycle is investigated. Especially, the proliferation resistance in reprocessing process and waste management process is evaluated, and will be integrated into the safety and security assessment of waste management.
Speciation and sorption of neptunium in brine: Speciation and sorption behavior of tetra-valent and penta-valent neptunium in brine are studied. In order to discuss the sorption mechanism, pH, ionic strength, Na/Ca ratio and Npconcentration dependence of sorption will be investigated, and the sorption model will be developed. Furthermore, sorption of several elements such as palladium which are key fission products in safety assessment of used nuclear fuel management is also studied. In the collaboration with Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the speciation and sorption of thorium, uranium or plutonium are studied. In the collaboration with Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the sortion modeling with DFT theory is discussed.
Fabrication and Characterization of Nanostructures: (a) Silicon Nano-crystals - a major focus of the thin film group has been the exploration and description of the formation of silicon nano-crystals in silicon-based matrices, produced by post-deposition annealing of thin films grown by ECR-PECVD or inductively coupled plasma (ICP) CVD. Nano-structured silicon shows substantial promise as quantum confinement effects make luminescence possible, which serves as the foundation of the rapidly emerging field of silicon photonics.
(b) Rare-earth-doped structures - we have demonstrated very high, optically active concentrations of Tb and Ce by using in-situ doping processes, leading to strong emission in the green and blue, respectively. We have also shown that co-doped structures allow tunability of the emission wavelength, which is exciting from a practical perspective as it provides the potential for the generation of white light. A detailed discussion of the application of this technology to the generation of white light was published as Chapter 17 of Silicon Nanocrystals: Fundamentals, Synthesis and Applications, L. Pavesi and R. Turan (eds.), Wiley-VCH 2010.
(c) Luminescent down-shifting layers " work in collaboration with Kleiman’s and Preston’s groups at McMaster has focussed on the utilization of rare earth doped silicon nano structures as down shifting layers in solar cell architectures. Early results demonstrate the viability of the concept both, for silicon-based and CdTe-based solar cells.
(d) X-ray absorption studies at the CLS synchrotron facility - a more and more important aspect of our work is the application of synchrotron-based techniques to the investigation of the luminescence mechanisms in rare earth doped, silicon-based structures. Work at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron facility has provided critical information on the luminescence mechanisms and the incorporation characteristics of rare earths in various Si-based matrices and has provided evidence that luminescence from these materials is correlated with the excitation of O-related energy states. In order to optimize the luminescence from such materials it is, therefore, necessary to consider the local bonding environment of the RE-ions and specific details of electronic states associated with the host matrix.

Defect Characterization by Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy (PAS): The McMaster Positron Laboratory is one of only three of its kind in Canada and very few in all of North America. Our work is concerned with the characterization of defect structures " principally through positron lifetime and Doppler-broadening spectroscopy - in materials utilized in the development and fabrication of electronic and photonic devices. In an international, NATO-funded collaboration, my group demonstrated the sensitivity of PAS to grain boundaries and phase segregation in complex, Ba-based columbite and perovskite structures. Such defects are critical to the performance of these materials as low-loss dielectrics for microwave applications.
In 2009, we were awarded funding through the Canada Foundation of Innovation (CFI) and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) to establish the McMaster Intense Positron Beam Facility (MIPBF), including the design and construction of one of the world’s most intense sources of positrons. The MIPBF will be unique in Canada, one of only a few operating worldwide, and is made possible through a partnership between the internationally recognized, Ontario-based positron teams at McMaster, Western, and York, and the researchers and staff of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR). The MIPBF infrastructure will include two experimental stations dedicated to materials research and thus, serve as a unique tool to meet the current and future demands for research in and characterization of advanced materials. The estimated completion date of MIPBF is late 2015.
Organic Light Emitting Structures and Devices: Over the past three years, we have been collaborating with W.Y. Kim’s group at Hoseo University in South Korea to work on the development and characterization of novel organic materials architectures for blue and white OLEDs. R. Wood, one of my former PhD students contributed substantially to a spectroscopic study of white OLEDs and B.M. Lee, one of my current PhD students, designed and fabricated blue OLEDs with double emitting layers which are doped with individual fluorescent and phosphorescent emitters. By controlling the phosphorescent doping profile, we improved the color coordinates, one of the most important parameters for practical applications.
Development of fully integrated micro/nanosystems for point-of-care diagnostic: In order to bring disease diagnostics, treatment selection, and treatment monitoring to the point-of-need, there is a need for easy-to-use and inexpensive handheld platforms for analysing patient samples. For this purpose, we are developing new functional materials for releasing, extracting, concentrating, and detecting cellular materials. Our research group is focused on developing an all electrical chip with integrated hierarchical electrodes and nanostructured electromagnets for addressing the requirement of these diagnostic systems such as ultra-sensitivity, specificity, low power operation, rapid sample-to-answer time, automation, miniaturization, and low cost. The following specific projects are designed under this research program:
• Development of rapid prototyping methods for creating multi-scale electrodes
• Development of multi-scale electrodes for on-chip bacterial lysis
• Development of on-chip microelectromagnets for DNA capture and concentration
• Development of mutli-scale surfaces for concentrating DNA within microfluidic systems

In-situ electron microscopy study of electrodeposition processes: Electrodeposition is a method commonly used for inexpensive fabrication of nanomaterials. Materials tunability can be achieved through controlling parameters such as the applied potential, solution chemistry, and substrate properties. The majority of methods, used to date, for observing electrodeposited films have been ex-situ, which rely on observing the fabricated materials after they are created. Here we will use an in-situ method, where an electrically-biased liquid cell is used inside a transmission electron microscope to observe " in real-time, with nanoscale resolution, and in liquid solutions " the growth of nanoparticles on electrode surfaces.

Organic optoelectronic materials and devices: Organic optoelectronic (OLED/OPV) electrode functionalization with reverse micelle deposited nanoparticles; light management and electrical modification for OLEDs/OPVs using nanoparticles; interfacial degradation of organic optoelectronic devices; morphological control of organic thin films; modelling of organic molecule morphology using spatial statistics and hard core Monte Carlo simulations; and interfacial adhesion measurement techniques for organic devices

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials for energy applications " The MSE department is involved in several research topics involving energy related materials including the characterization and fabrication of organic fuel cells, solar cells, supercapacitors, solid oxide fuel cells, batteries, Pt catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells, and nuclear materials.

Materials Processing and Recycling " Our department has ongoing activities in the area of improved techniques for steel making and the remelting and recycling of steel.

Nano-technology and Nano-scale Materials Science " Research projects include the characterization of defects and morphology of nanoparticles, and the theory and simulation of phase equilibria in nano scale materials.

Electronic Materials " Members of our department perform research in the area of materials for improved monitors and displays.

Structural Materials " The department features several research programs in the characterization and properties of structural materials. Steels, light weight Al alloys for automotive applications and Mg alloys are all being investigated.

Computational Materials Science " Computational techniques such as classical molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo and density functional theory are currently being used to simulate materials properties and processes.

Environmental Degradation and Corrosion " The MSE department features research in the corrosion of automotive alloys and new Mg alloys.

Biomaterials " Our biomaterials effort focuses on the characterization of the bone-implant interface, with the goal of developing improved implant materials.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanics of biological tissues and muscles
Mechanics of the circulator and respiratory system.

Experimental and numerical modeling techniques
Movement and Skeletal biomechanics

Computer aided manufacturing (CAM)
Electrical Discharge Machining
Machining f advanced materials
Machining processes and systems
Materials processing and systems
Manufacturing automation
Manufacturing processes and systems
Metal forming, cutting and removal
Metallic and non-metallic coatings for advanced steels
Plasticity and formability
Process modelling and simulation
Steel research
Ultra precision machining

Mechanics & Design
Automotive applications
Computer aided design (CAD)
Control systems
Dynamics and vibrations
Finite element analysis
Flow induced vibrations and noise
Fluid Power
Hybrid vehicles including engine testing and fault detection
Materials and microstructural engineering
Mechanics of Engineering Materials and Composites
Microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices
Product design and manufacturing
Solid Mechanics
Theoretical Mechanics

Thermal Fluid Sciences
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
Flow control
Fluid mechanics and turbulence
Heat transfer
Micro-fluidics and micro-fabrication
Modeling in thermo-fluid systems
Multi-phase flow
Reactor thermal-hydraulics
Renewable and sustainable energy systems
Solidification processes
Thermal processing of materials
Wind Turbines

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research

The BIMR is an interdisciplinary research organization with the mandate to develop, support and co-ordinate all materials research-related activities at McMaster. The facilities of the Institute and its pool of expertise are also available to industry and organizations that require assistance with materials research and development or material analysis. Its membership of 123 faculty members is drawn from 13 departments in the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Health Sciences and several Canadian and International Universities.

Founded by Howard Petch in the 1960's, the IMR is the foundation on which McMaster's internationally recognized, comprehensive programme in Materials Research has been built.

Centre for Advanced Polymer Processing & Design

Rotational Molding:

- Sintering
- Role of Rheology
- Bubble Formation and removal
- Material Characterization
- Foaming
- Micropellets
- Metal Metallocene and Polyethylenes
- Recycling


- Modeling of Solids Conveying
- Melting
- Metering
- Barrier Screws
- Extrusion Dies

Twin Screw Extrusion:

- Kneading Disk Simulation
- Flow Visualization

Film Blowing:

- Modeling of Bubble Formation
- Property Prediction

Rheology of Metallocenes:

- Viscosity
- Elasticity
- Processing Behavior

Coating Flows:

- Multilayer Slot Coating Visualization and Simulation
- Air Knife Coating


- Degradation Studies
- Compounding for Property Improvement

Reactive Extrusion:

- Experiments and Modeling of Molecular Weight Distribution Modification


- Polymer Blends
- Additives
- Filler

Centre for Automotive Materials and Corrosion

The Centre’s research focuses on materials science including themes like strip casting of sheet metal, lightweight material systems, material degradation and protection, and joining issues as they apply to automotive material innovations. The Centre is also investigating opportunities for developing magnesium-based components for lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Centre for Emerging Device Technologies

The Centre for Emerging Device Technologies (CEDT) is an organization that facilitates study of the optical, electrical, mechanical, and biological properties of semiconductors and related materials and promotes the development of technology based on these materials.

Centre for Mechatronics and Hybrid Technologies

Green auto powertrain technology
Hybrid technology research
State and parameter estimation
Fault detection and diagnosis
Variable structure systems theory
Intelligent and multivariate control
Actuation systems
Design optimization
Fluid power and hydraulics

Centre for the Effective Design of Structures

Masonry: Materials, Design and Construction.
This long standing area of strength and of extensive industrial collaboration is being expanded to provide leadership and a unique ability to assist the masonry industry. Targeted educational efforts and practical application of the results of research are progressing.

Earthquake Engineering.
McMaster's historical strength in this area, which was reduced through recent retirements, is being re-established. The increased importance of earthquake loading in design signifies the continuing importance of research and education in this area.

Investigation and Remediation of Structures.
Canada's built infrastructure is aging and has reached the point that repair or replacement is a growing requirement. Methods to investigate the condition of structures and to analyze current conditions and retrofitted conditions are required. This includes upgrade and / or repair of the building envelope. In addition, retrofit techniques need to be developed and refined for effective strengthening and development of effective resistance to seismic forces.

Enhanced Use of New and Under-Utilized Materials
Construction is a very traditional area making it difficult for new materials to gain market acceptance. Plastics, fibre reinforcement, and new composites are examples of emerging new materials. In addition, some materials that have existed for some time have potential that has only been partially developed. Over the long term, this focus area is likely to become the largest area of collaboration with industry.

McMaster Centre for Software Certification (McSCert)

The Centre for Software Certification was established at McMaster University in 2008. Its objective is to improve the practice of software engineering applied to critical systems involving software. Its research is into what kinds of evidence, based on scientific notions of measurement, can be obtained from software, and how different kinds of evidence may be combined. This research is partly theoretical, but also practical: the Centre works with industries involved in developing critical, software-intensive systems on their practical problems.

McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO)

he University’s numerous automotive-related research institutes and centres work with industry, government and academic partners in developing and commercializing new technologies and materials that will ensure the global competitiveness of Canada’s auto industry. MacAUTO is also educating a new generation of professionals ideally suited to understanding real-world issues and implementing innovative solutions.

McMaster Institute for Energy Studies (MIES)

Conservation and Energy Modeling: Currently MIES is involved in energy demand analysis and policy evaluation work with three major research themes: energy market behaviour; social and economic/demographic issues; and energy production in a sustainable environment.

Fuel Cells: The Fuel Cell research forms an integrating bridge between the solar and wind energy technologies because these energy sources are inherently intermittent and require either energy storage or back-up systems in order to function as reliable providers of electricity to the grid.

Nuclear Energy: As a result of recent decisions, Nuclear Power will play an important role in electricity generation in Canada for decades into the future.

Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) energy, the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity, can potentially supply a significant portion of Canada’s rapidly growing demand for electricity with minimal environmental consequences.

Supercapacitors: Electrochemical supercapacitors (ES) are urgently needed as components in many advanced power systems requiring high power density. A new wave of interest in electrochemical supercapacitors is related to the development of electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Wind Energy: Wind Energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source in Canada. In 2006, installed wind capacity exceeded 1,000 MW making Canada the 12th largest country in wind energy.

McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute

Machining Systems:

- Intelligent machining systems
- Modeling and computer simulation of machining processes
- Machinablility of materials (including high speed machining, and technologies for machining difficult-to-cut materials)
- Machine tool design, monitoring and controls
- Grinding and Non-conventional-cutting processes (e.g. EDM)

Polymer Processing:

- Injection molding
- Precision extrusion
- Rotomolding
- Material characterization
- Compounding and blending
- Advanced part design
- Coating

Robotics and Automation:

- Fixtureless assembly
- Robotic deburring and grinding
- Vision based registration
- Fixturing

Metal Forming

- Sheet metal forming
- Hydro forming
- Process Modeling
- Material evaluation

Thermal Processing:

- Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer
- Experimental and computational modeling of thermal processing of materials
- Algorithms for moving boundary problems in flow systems
- Convection heat transfer in rotating and inclined enclosures
- Boiling heat transfer
- Modeling with Neural Networks in thermo-fluid systems

Micro Manufacturing Laboratory

- Modelling of micro cutting
- Surface engineering
- Simulation and optimization
- Micro-Machine Accuracy
- Micro-Machine tool design
- Micro metrology


- Geometric modeling
- 5 axes tool path planning
- Advanced CMM systems
- Tool simulation

McMaster Steel Research Centre

- Process Metallurgy

- Process Automations and Control

- Steel Development and Application

- Coating Technology

McMaster/Hy-Power Nano Centre of Excellence

Hy-Power Nano has focused its initial research on: 1) advancing the formulation and manufacture of nano particles; 2) liquid-based dispersion solutions; and 3) nanocoatings application technologies. Hy-Powers' goal is to distribute liquid-based nano solutions for industry advantage while creating a line of nanocoatings that offer significant thermo benefits. Our current focus is Thermal Liquid Glass™ - a product innovation with the objective of reducing heat transfer through existing windows; the main source of energy loss in buildings.

SENTINEL Bioactive Paper Network

The mission of the McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Research is to produce highly trained graduates, and world class pulp and paper science and technology. Industry-funded consortia provide a framework for scientists with strengths in colloid and surface science, polymer synthesis and characterization, modelling and transport phenomena to work together on strategic problems. World-class laboratory and pilot plant facilities support these research activities