IEEE Toronto Section


Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Improving Communication Skills for Engineers

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. IEEE Toronto Section’s Industry Relations Committee and Young Professionals Affinity Group will be hosting a seminar on “Improving Communication Skills for Engineers” with distinguished speakers who will share their experiences and speak about the opportunities, possibilities, and challenges in an engineering workplace and the required communication skills. You will hear first-hand tips on how to become an excellent communicator to advance your career.

The focus of this seminar is on communication skills one requires to be successful in an engineering profession. This seminar could be of special interest to engineering students, new graduates, young engineers, and young professionals in general.

This seminar is free; light refreshments will be provided.

Please register at the link below:

Day & Time: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Room 202, Galbraith Building, 35 St. George Street

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Section’s Industry Relations Committee, Young Professionals Affinity Group

Event Details:

6:15 pm-6:40 pm: Registration and Welcoming
6:40 pm-7:00 pm: 1st Speech by Dr. Tom Murad
7:00 pm-7:20 pm: 2nd Speech by Mr. Hugo Sánchez-Reategui
7:20 pm-7:40 pm: 3rd Speech by Mr. Ted Lyberogiannis
7:40 pm-8:00 pm: Open Panel and Q&A with Speakers
8:00 pm-8:30 pm: Closing and Networking

Other topics that will be covered in this seminar include:
§ What university does not teach you: the minimum level of knowledge and skills an engineer requires to perform engineering work independently, including academic knowledge, sector specific technical knowledge, business specific knowledge, emerging technologies, supervisory, management, and communication skills.
§ How much you can benefit from mentors in achieving your career goals.
§ Why life-long learning is critical for your career and life success.

Biography of speakers:

Dr. Tom Murad
Dr. Tom Murad is the Head of Siemens Engineering and Technology Academy, in Siemens Canada, with over 35 years of experience in professional engineering and technical operations executive management including more than 10 years of academic and R&D work in industrial controls and automation. In the last four years, he worked within Siemens Canada as the Head of Expert House and Engineering Director in the Industry Sector. Prior to joining Siemens Canada, Tom was the Senior Vice President and COO of AZZ-Blenkhorn & Sawle, an engineering system integration and technical solutions provider in Ontario, specialized in power distribution and controls in various industrial and infrastructure applications. He has previously held various V.P. and Director positions in a number of engineering and industrial organizations internationally, and contributed to many large global industrial projects. Dr. Murad is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and a member of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), APEGA in Alberta, and NAPEG in the Northwest Territories, as well as a Senior Member of IEEE in various technical societies. Tom earned a Bachelor of Engineering and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Power Electronics and Industrial Controls from the Loughborough University of Technology in the UK. He also received a Leadership Program Certificate from Schulich Business School, York University. Currently, Dr. Murad serves on a number of advisory boards in the industry and academia. He has been an active member of the PEO Licensing “Engineering Experience Review” Committee for the last 12 Years.

Mr. Hugo Sánchez-Reategui
Hugo Sanchez-Reategui has been a consultant of PowerStream Inc. for the past 6 years confirming capacity for Embedded Distributed Generators dealing with stakeholders, developers, utilities and government agencies. Hugo is a current member of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO), active member of Toastmasters International (Public Speaking) for the past 7 years. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering at National University of Callao, Peru and IEEQB Program Certificate at Ryerson University in 2010. Currently, Hugo mentors undergrad students, international engineers and junior Toastmasters members. His technical interests include Smart Grid Technologies, Distribution Reliability, Substation Communications and Protection of Distribution Systems.

Mr. Ted Lyberogiannis
Ted is a Professional Engineer with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems from the University of Waterloo. He currently works as a manager at an electrical utility in Toronto. Upon graduating from his Bachelor’s degree in 2004, he realized that his technical abilities would be of little use if he was unable to communicate effectively. Shortly after graduating, he began practicing his public speaking by joining a local Toastmasters club at his work. He is now an experienced Toastmaster who has competed at the Semi-Finals of the World Championships of Public Speaking on two occasions – most recently placing 3rd in his Semi-Final this past August in Washington, DC. He has delivered talks to dozens of different audiences including the National Job Fair, students at the University of Toronto and the Water Environment Association of Ontario. He is a firm believer in the power of communication and that anyone can become a good public speaker if they practice enough – even those of us who studied engineering!

Innovative Radio Systems and Antennas for Space Telecommunication Applications

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Wednesday February 8, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Dr. Hervé Legay, Thales Alenia Space, will be presenting “Innovative Radio Systems and Antennas for Space Telecommunication Applications”.

Speaker: Dr. Hervé Legay
Thales Alenia Space, France

Day & Time: Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
4:00 pm

Location: BA 1230, Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Contact: Sean V. Hum

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Electromagnetics & Radiation Chapter

Abstract: We stand at the dawn of a new era for the space telecommunication ecosystem, marked by a consistent exponential growth in throughput as well as the irruption of new systems based on constellation of satellites. For these challenges, new models for disruptive innovation are imagined for the future generation of payloads:
• Developing new antennas and RF subsystems concepts inspired by optics, or based on metamaterials (composite media with an internal periodic structure that provides specific characteristics such as filtering, phase-shifting, absorbing, etc.)
• Integrating of smart and agile RF systems with signal processing capability that exploit mechanically actuated RF components, smart RF surfaces as well as innovative deployment schemes.
• Introducing into space cost efficient manufacturing techniques, based on additive and subtractive processes, metallised plastics, thin organic large area electronics, etc. Recent achievements in these innovative concepts developed at Thales Alenia Space will be presented, identifying their perspectives and their limitations.

Biography: Hervé Legay was born in 1965. He received the electrical engineering and Ph.D. degrees from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), Rennes, France, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. For two years, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, where he developed innovating planar antennas. He joined Alcatel Space, Toulouse, France, in 1994, which is now Thales Alenia Space. He initially conducted studies in the areas of telecommunication satellite antennas and antenna processing. He designed the architecture and the antijamming process of the Syracuse 3 active antenna. He is the author of 27 patents. He is currently responsible for the R&T studies on space antennas, director of the joint laboratory MERLIN involving Thales Alenia Space and IETR (Institut d’electronique et de Télécommunication de Rennes). He coordinates the collaborations with academic and research partners. He was appointed Antenna Expert in Thales. Dr. Legay is a co-prize-winner of the 2007 Schelkunoff prize paper award. He received the Gold Thales Awards in 2008, a reward for the best innovations in the group Thales.

Innovations in Communications

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Thursday January 26, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. the IEEE Toronto Communication Society is inviting all interested IEEE and other engineers, technologists and students to our FIRST technical/social event themed “Innovations in Communications”.

Speaker: Ahmed Alsohaily, Technology Strategy, Telus
Presenting “Low Power Wireless Access for Internet of Things Connectivity”

Alberto Leon-Garcia, Professor, University of Toronto
Presenting “Enabling Smart Infrastructures with Multitier Cloud Computing on Software-Defined Infrastructure”

Nebu Mathai, Director, Strategic Initiatives + Advanced Engineering Cognitive Systems Corp
Presenting “Cognitive Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations: Emerging Trends and Technologies”

Day & Time: Thursday, January 26th, 2017
5:00 pm – 7:00+ pm

Location: Room SF 2202, Sandford Fleming Building
10 King’s College Rd, Toronto, ON M5S 3G8

Contact: Eman Hammad

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Communication Society

Kindly RVSP for event and dinner here.

We are also extending the invitation to interested volunteers to join our team, and for interested speakers to contact us.

Schedule: 5:00 pm – 5:05 pm Opening Remarks
5:05 pm – 5:30 pm Talk #1: Low Power Wireless Access for Internet of Things Connectivity
5:30 pm – 5:40 pm Coffee Break
5:45 pm – 6:15 pm Talk #2: Enabling Smart Infrastructures with Multitier Cloud Computing on Software-Defined Infrastructures
6:15 pm – 6:45 pm Talk #3: Cognitive Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations: Emerging Trends and Technologies
6:45 pm – 8:00 pm Dinner and Networking

Talk #1: Low Power Wireless Access for Internet of Things Connectivity

Abstract: This talk will discuss the emergence of Low Power Wireless Access (LPWA) connectivity to cater to many Internet of Things (IoT) applications. After providing an overview of LPWA challenges, potential solutions and innovations, 3GPP Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) solution will be detailed as prime candidate technology for providing LPWA connectivity.

Biography: Ahmed Alsohaily (S’13–M’15) received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2015 and is currently the Assistant Director of the Wireless Lab at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in University of Toronto, where he holds a MITACS Elevate postdoctoral fellowship. He is also a member of the Technology Strategy team at Telus responsible for standardization at 3GPP RAN. He actively contributes to the IEEE ComSoc Standards Development and serves as an advisor to the NGMN Alliance

Talk #2: Enabling Smart Infrastructures with Multitier Cloud Computing on Software-Defined Infrastructure

Abstract: In this project we discuss the SAVI approach to integrate IoT, SDN, and cloud computing technologies into a platform that can support smart applications. From 2011 to 2016 the NSERC Strategic Network for Smart Applications on Virtual Infrastructures (SAVI) investigated the convergence of computing, networking, and sensing to create an agile platform for smart applications. We introduce SAVI’s multitier computing cloud that converges computing, SDN and sensing, and we describe the testbed that was deployed across Canada and federated with the U.S. We discuss use cases that are operational on SAVI including: service chaining, testbed-wide orchestration, intrusion-detection and protection using NFV, multilayer monitoring and modeling using machine learning, and a live intelligent transportation dashboard for the Greater Toronto Area

Biography: Professor Alberto Leon-Garcia is Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics an Electrical Engineering “For contributions to multiplexing and switching of integrated services traffic”. He is also a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received the 2006 Thomas Eadie Medal from the Royal Society of Canada and the 2010 IEEE Canada A. G. L. McNaughton Gold Medal for his contributions to the area of communications. Professor LeonGarcia is author of the leading textbooks: Probability and Random Processes for Electrical Engineering, and Communication Networks: Fundamental Concepts and Key Architecture. Leon-Garcia was Founder and CTO of AcceLight Networks in Ottawa from 1999 to 2002. He was Scientific Director of the NSERC Strategic Network for Smart Applications on Virtual Infrastructures, and Principal Investigator of the ORF Research Excellence project on Connected Vehicles and Smart Transportation.

Talk #3: Cognitive Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations: Emerging Trends and Technologies

Abstract: Electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO; a major component of CEMA, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities) are fundamental to a variety of defense and public security contexts. Forward-thinking roadmaps have highlighted the need to extend this to cognitive EMSO on dynamic land/water/air/space platforms.

Current solutions for CEMA — all based on COTS technologies — are lacking in several respects. Higher performance solutions have unfavorable size, weight and power (SWaP) characteristics, and low agility; the lower-end offers questionable quality of measurement with low flexibility. Additionally, the lack of sufficient edge computing to handle the high loads of radio signal processing often preclude aggressive real-time online sensing.

This talk will present a solution for RF situational awareness that disruptively surmounts these issues in all respects. Rather than employ COTS technologies with poor SWaP and mediocre performance, we present a custom integrated circuit (IC) that enables ultra-low SWaP with high-performance. Central to the solution is the integration of significant on-chip computing resources that enable processing of high-bandwidth RF data directly at the source. The lack of a hardened algorithmic processing chain enables flexible and rapid reconfiguration of the sensor-actuator personality. On-chip computation further facilitates a very agile loop from the high-level algorithmic processing to the low-level RF, analog and digital front ends.

We will also discuss how this uniquely Canadian technology aligns with and enables advanced defense applications.

Biography: Nebu John Mathai, PhD, PEng, is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Advanced Engineering at Cognitive Systems Corp, a Waterloo, Ontario company. In this dual-mandate role, he directs a team at the forefront of advanced radio and computer science/engineering, while engaging with industrial, government and defence partners who require the bleeding edge. His team produced the highperformance low-power multi-processor computing architecture that forms the foundation of the company’s cognitive-radio-on-chip offering. Beyond this, they have developed real-time RF propagation and data fusion tools, and software suites for advanced cognitive radio sensing and communications applications. He also leads a number of strategic initiatives to anticipate and execute on the RF situational awareness requirements posed by next-generation civilian and defence roadmaps pertaining to electromagnetic spectrum operations.

Intermodulation Distortion Mitigation in Microwave Amplifiers and Frequency Converters

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Monday January 30, 2017 at 2:10 p.m. Professor Carlos Saavedra, Queen’s University and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, will be presenting “Intermodulation Distortion Mitigation in Microwave Amplifiers and Frequency Converters”.

Event Slides: Intermodulation Distortion Mitigation in Microwave Amplifiers and Frequency Converters

Speaker: Professor Carlos Saavedra
Queen’s University, Kingston
Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques

Day & Time: Monday, January 30th, 2017
2:10 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: Room WB116, Wallberg Building
184 College St, Toronto, ON M5S 3E4

Contact: Dustin Dunwell

Organizer: Solid State Circuit Society

Cost: Free for everyone.  Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Abstract: Intermodulation distortion (IMD) refers to the phenomenon where the spectral lines of an information‐bearing signal interact with themselves to yield new, undesired, spectral lines as they pass through a circuit. While some of the spurious tones are easily eliminated through filtering, others are more difficult to deal with because they appear within the band of the information signal and interfere with it.  The study of IMD has a rich history and multiple techniques have been developed over time to mitigate it.  One such method is known as derivative superposition (DS), which reduces IMD distortion by using an auxiliary circuit to generate an out‐of‐phase replica of the IMD tones produced by the main circuit.  First introduced in the late 1990s, DS has attracted much attention due to its small footprint and low power consumption.  This talk will discuss work we have carried out at Queen’s that uses DS and digital assist to improve the output third‐order intercept point (OIP3) of gallium‐nitride (GaN) power amplifiers from by +40 dBm to +50 dBm over a 5 GHz span.  A stand‐alone distortion cancelling cell will also be presented which can improve the OIP3 of a generic off‐the‐shelf microwave amplifier by 7.5 dB. The talk will conclude with a discussion of mixer linearization using DS and digital assist techniques.

Biography: Carlos Saavedra obtained the Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1998. From 1998 to 2000 he was a Senior Engineer at Millitech Corporation (North Hampton, Massachusetts) and in 2000 he joined Queen’s University at Kingston where he currently holds the rank of Professor. He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, is a member of the Technical Program Review Committee of the IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) and of the Steering Committee of the IEEE NEWCAS conference.  He is Past Chair of the IEEE MTT‐S Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC‐22) on Signal Generation and Frequency Conversion and was Guest Editor of the September 2013 IEEE Microwave Magazine Focus Issue titled “100 Years of Mixer Technology”. He served on the Steering and Technical Program Committees of the 2012 IEEE IMS and was a member of the IEEE RFIC Symposium TPC from 2008 to 2011.  Prof. Saavedra is a three‐time recipient of the third‐year ECE undergraduate teaching award at Queen’s University.  

CMOS Bioelectronics

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Friday January 20, 2017 at 2:10 p.m. Professor Ken Shepard, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, will be presenting “CMOS Bioelectronics”.

Speaker: Prof. Ken Shepard
Electrical and Biomedical Engineering
Columbia University

Day & Time: Friday, January 20th, 2017
2:10 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: Room GB 248, 35 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 1A4

Contact: Junho Jeong

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Photonics Chapter

**Refreshments will be served**

Abstract: CMOS electronics, which has revolutionized communications and computation in the last 30 years, has the same transformative potential for life science applications with appropriate “more than Moore” augmentation. In this talk, we will outline work in my group over the last 10 years, which has applied augmented CMOS to problems in molecular diagnostics, microbiology, and neuroscience. We will discuss several on-going projects in my group in these areas include high-bandwidth CMOS-integrated nanopores, point-functionalized nanotube devices integrated on CMOS for genomic diagnostics, electrochemical imaging chips for understanding microbial communities, high-density electrophysiological arrays for in vivo and in vitro studies of neural systems, biologically powered solid-state electronics, and various wireless probes to studying neural and cellular systems.

Biography: Ken Shepard received the B.S.E. degree from Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, in 1987 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 1988 and 1992, respectively. From 1992 to 1997, he was a Research Staff Member and Manager with the VLSI Design Department, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, where he was responsible for the design methodology for IBM’s G4 S/390 microprocessors. Since 1997, he has been with Columbia University, New York, where he is now the Lau Familty Professor of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He also was Chief Technology Officer of CadMOS Design Technology, San Jose, CA, until its acquisition by Cadence Design Systems in 2001. He is current serving on the board of two other start-ups, Ferric, commercializing integrated voltage regulator technology, and Quicksilver, commercializing single-molecule electronic genomic diagnostics. His current research interests include power electronics, carbon-based devices and circuits, and CMOS bioelectronics.

Abstraction in Situation Calculus Action Theories

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Monday January 23, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. Bita Banihashemi, PhD Candidate in Computer Science at York University, will be presenting “Abstraction in Situation Calculus Action Theories”.

Speaker: Bita Banihashemi
PhD Candidate, Computer Science
York University

Day & Time: Monday, January 23, 2017
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Room TRS2164, 575 Bay Street (entrance at 55 Dundas Street West), Ryerson University

Contact: Maryam Davoudpour

Organizer: WIE, Magnetics, Measurement/Instrumentation-Robotics

Abstract: We develop a general framework for agent abstraction based on the situation calculus and the ConGolog agent programming language. We assume that we have a high-level specification and a low-level specification of the agent, both represented as basic action theories. A refinement mapping specifies how each high-level action is implemented by a low-level ConGolog program and how each high-level fluent can be translated into a low-level formula. We define a notion of sound abstraction between such action theories in terms of the existence of a suitable bisimulation between their respective models. Sound abstractions have many useful properties that ensure that we can reason about the agent’s actions (e.g., executability, projection, and planning) at the abstract level, and refine and concretely execute them at the low level. We also characterize the notion of complete abstraction where all actions (including exogenous ones) that the high level thinks can happen can in fact occur at the low level.

Biography: Bita Banihashemi is currently a PhD candidate in Computer Science at York University. Her research is primarily focused on agent supervision, which is a form of control/customization of an agent’s behavior. Her research interests include Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems, and AI and the Web.

Top 10 Ways to Design Safer Embedded Software

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Thursday January 26th, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. the IEEE Computer Society Toronto Chapter will be holding a Training Course: Top 10 Ways to Design Safer Embedded Software.

We are sorry to inform you that this event has been cancelled. We will attempt to reschedule the event later this year.

Abstract: Embedded systems are everywhere these days: from implantable medical devices to self-driving cars. The risks of human injury are also multiplying as more embedded systems connect to the Internet and become open to hacking as well as malfunction.

There are design techniques that can be applied to develop safer and more reliable embedded systems. As we consult with companies in a range of industries, we are continually surprised that such techniques–including the 10 techniques you will be exposed to in this course–are not more widely known and practiced.

Register today to join us at this important 1-day course where the focus is on minimizing the risk of injury or loss by firmware malfunction though a combination of lightweight, demonstrably-valuable design techniques.

RSVP is required. Visit

Agenda: 9:00am Coffee*
9:30am Morning Session
12:30pm Lunch*
1:30pm Afternoon Session
3:30pm End (approx.)

* Morning coffee and lunch are included in the registration fee.

Prerequisites: Attendees should be generally familiar with the terminology of embedded software or have first-hand experience doing embedded systems design.

Fees: IEEE Members: CDN $135 + 13% HST
Non-Members: CDN $160 + 13% HST

Day & Time: Thursday, January 26th, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Room CB 114, Best Institute (University of Toronto)
112 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1L6 Canada

Campus Map:

Public Parking (Toronto General Hospital Parking Garage):,-79.3865625,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd777822577805e72!8m2!3d43.6589808!4d-79.3865625

5G RAN – Standards Developments

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Wednesday December 14th, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Ivo Maljevic, senior member of TELUS technology strategy team, will be presenting “5G RAN – Standards Developments”.

Speaker: Dr. Ivo Maljevic
Senior Member, TELUS Technology Strategy Team, Chief Technology Office
Adjunct Lecturer, University of Toronto

Day & Time: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Location: Room BA1230
Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St. George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4
University of Toronto

Organizer: IEEE Communications Society

Contact: Eman Hammad

Abstract: The 3GPP is in the process of standardizing the next, 5th generation of mobile communications. This talk provides an up to date overview of the current standardization status and focuses on the Radio Access Network (RAN) part. Specifically, it addresses the completion timelines of each of the phases (there are 3 phases), use cases that are driving the design and architecture options. Additionally, 5G spectrum, key performance targets & requirements and air interface proposals and open areas for research are discussed. Finally, the talk privies an up to data information about the 5G trials conducted so far.

Biography: Dr. Ivo Maljevic is a senior member of TELUS technology strategy team within the Chief Technology Office, where he focuses on defining a long-term vision for the RAN, spectrum strategy and standardization. In terms of broader industry involvement, in the past he has participated in the Canadian Evaluation Group for the IMT-Advanced proposal, and now he is actively involved in NGMNs and ATIS 5G initiatives. He also participates in 3GPP RAN sessions. Additionally, Ivo is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto. Prior to TELUS, he was with Soma Networks, and before that, he worked at Motorola Canada. His areas of expertise include LTE/WiMAX/CDMA wireless systems, software defined radio, signal processing, and digital communications theory.

Developing Wearable Technologies for improved management of sleep-related breathing disorders

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Tuesday November 29th, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi, Scientist at SleepdB Laboratory and Assistant Professor at University of Toronto, will be presenting “Developing Wearable Technologies for improved management of sleep-related breathing disorders”.

Speaker: Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi
Scientist, SleepdB Laboratory, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Assistant Professor, Biomaterial & Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Manitoba

Day & Time: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Room ENG-460
245 Church Street, Toronto, ON
Ryerson University

Organizer: IEEE Signal Processing Chapter Toronto Section

Contact: Mehrnaz Shokrollahi

Abstract: Over four million Canadians live with a chronic respiratory disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—all of which are associated with high morbidity. In Canada, 6.5% of total health care costs are related to these disorders, amounting to $5.7B in direct and $6.72B in indirect costs per year. Moreover, the overlap between asthma, COPD, and OSA is common, is clinically important, worsens quality of life, and is associated with greater morbidity and mortality more than the sum of the contributing disorders. A feature common to chronic respiratory diseases is that their symptoms, eg. shortness of breath, worsen during sleep. Most emergency visits and deaths related to asthma and COPD occur during the night. However, our understanding of the mechanisms of respiratory disorders exacerbation at night is limited; which consequently challenges our ability to manage these disorders. One of the main barriers to determine the underlying pathophysiology of sleep-related respiratory disorders is that the available technologies to perform studies are expensive, invasive, and confound normal breathing and sleep patterns. Therefore, the results may not be applicable to a wide range of people or over a long period of time to evaluate treatments and interventions. Therefore, the mechanistic link between sleep and respiratory disease, particularly the role of night-time fluid redistribution, is not well understood. To address this gap, my team is developing novel technologies to monitor respiratory related physiological signals during sleep, as well and technologies to non-invasively assess tissue composition, and its role on the pathophysiology of sleep related breathing disorders.

Biography: Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi is a Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, where she leads the SleepdB laboratory. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Biomaterial and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto and Adjunct Faculty Member in the Graduate Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Her research aims to determine the pathophysiology of sleep-related breathing disorders and to develop novel technologies for improved management of these disorders. She is particularly interested in developing innovative technologies for monitoring of physiological signals at home and implementing personalized treatments for older populations with chronic sleep-related respiratory diseases. To date, Dr. Yadollahi has authored and co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, had more than 60 presentations at national and international conferences, and been invited 26 times to give presentations on her research at prominent national and international academic institutions. Her research is supported by grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Respiratory Research Network, and Ontario Centres of Excellence, among others. In the past 10 years, Dr. Yadollahi has been instrumental in developing new wearable technologies for improved diagnosis and treatment of breathing disorders during sleep. At Toronto Rehab, Dr. Yadollahi is leading SleepdB, a Sound-proof laboratory to examine sleep-disordered Breathing. SleepdB is the first laboratory in the world dedicated to understanding the mechanisms of airway narrowing during sleep and to developing acoustic technologies to improve sleep-related respiratory disorders. This laboratory will also serve as a hub for knowledge translation and exchange between researchers and clinicians to advance clinically relevant research and implement cutting-edge assessments and treatments for breathing disorders.

Women in Robotics Series: Erica Tiberia, Roboticist and Educator

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Thursday December 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Erica Tiberia, roboticist, creative technologist, educator and entrepreneur, will be presenting “Women in Robotics Series”.

Speaker: Erica Tiberia
Roboticist, Creative Technologist, Educator and Entrepreneur

Day & Time: Thursday, December 8, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Health Innovation Hub
263 McCaul Avenue, Toronto, ON

The meeting room is on the first floor. Note that the doors to H2I will lock at 6 but someone will be there to let you in. Please knock.

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Section, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) and the IEEE Women in Engineering Toronto Section (WIE)


Agenda: 6:00 pm – Networking
6:30 pm – Welcome
6:40 pm – Erica Tiberia – talk and Q&A
7:40 pm – Pitches from the community – Community members can ask for assistance on their projects
8:00 pm – Networking
9:00 pm – Close

Biography: Erica is a tech educator and creative technologist. She has a technical background in molecular biology and biotechnology and a passion for science communication, digital education, and emerging technology. She has designed and coordinated education programs involving electronics, robotics, digital fabrication and programming for kids and adults. She also designs, builds and programs robots and is a level 1 winner of the 2016 sample return robot NASA Centennial Challenge. Her work has been featured on Bloomberg Tech, Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet, and more.

A scientist by training, Erica has a B.Sc. In Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Waterloo. She completed M.Sc. work on research done at the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She has done molecular biology research at Cornell University, the University of Waterloo, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, and is an author of multiple peer reviewed scientific papers.