Engineering student Emily Veinot wins the 2020 Montreal Women's Memorial Scholarship

  Engineering student Emily Veinot won the 2020 Montreal Women's Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Emily Veinot, the winner of the 2020 Montreal Women’s Memorial Scholarship at Saint Mary’s University. Awarded each year to a female Engineering student, the scholarship honours the memory of the 14 women who were killed on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique, the engineering school at the Université de Montréal. 

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Saint Mary's Engineering Team Victorious at Atlantic Engineering Competition

Congratulations to Amy Kehoe and Andrew Ollerhead for winning the Junior Design competition at the 2021 Atlantic Engineering Competition, hosted virtually by the University of Prince Edward Island last month. The pair were competing in a field of 11 Atlantic university teams. READ MORE

Commerce and engineering students shine at international competition in Montreal

Four Saint Mary's students, two from Engineering and two from the Sobey School of Busiess, formed a cross-faculty elite team to represent the university in Montreal at the ENGCOMM Case Competition in March, 2020. The competition was hosted by the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University and aims to collaboratively find solutions to real-world challenges faced by modern industries. 

Over four days, students completed and prepared case analyses on sponsor companies Global Medic, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and L3 Harris, finishing three points behind the leader in their pool. READ MORE

Dr. Sam Veres wins prestigious award in spinal research

Dr. Sam Veres, a biomedical engineer and Associate Dean of Science at Saint Mary’s University, has won the prestigious ISSLS Prize in Basic Science for 2020 from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.

The winning paper, co-written with student Tyler Herod, is titled “Beyond microstructure: Circumferential specialization within the lumbar intervertebral disc annulus extends to collagen nanostructure, with counterintuitive relationships to macroscale material properties.”

The work focuses on intervertebral discs, which are a component of the skeletal system that is not yet fully understood, despite being critically important to everyday living. READ MORE

PhD student to receive Research Nova Scotia Quest Award 

Brendan Grue, a Saint Mary’s University (SMU) PhD in Applied Science student, is the 2019 recipient of Research Nova Scotia’s (RNS) prestigious Quest Award. Grue is researching the development of a new class of orthopedic implants to hopefully reduce the use of metallic plates and alleviate the need for autograft surgery. An autograft is a procedure where bone or tissue is transferred from one spot to another on a patient’s body. He is working under the supervision of Dr. Samuel Veres, an associate professor for the Division of Engineering at Saint Mary’s University. READ MORE 


22nd May, 2019

SMU Engineering one of only ten sites in North America to win Typhoon HIL's 10 for 10 competition

Led by Dr. Adel Merabet, the Winter 2019 EGNE 2311 Circuit Analysis class together with the Laboratory of Control Systems and Mechatronics (LCSM) Research Lab has become one of only ten sites in North America to win Typhoon HIL's 10 for 10 competition. Typhoon HIL is the market and technology leader in the rapidly growing field of ultra-high-fidelity controller-hardware-in-the-Loop (C-HIL) simulation for power electronics, microgrids, and distribution networks. As one of the 10 for 10 competition winners, SMU Engineering will receive a free HIL402 hardware unit and lifetime Typhoon software license.

Congratulations to our students and Dr. Merabet!


SMU students bring home 2nd place finish at AEC!!

This past weekend the 2016 Atlantic Engineering Competition was held at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. This year over 200 engineering students from across the Atlantic Provinces were in attendance, testing their engineering prowess against one another in seven different competitions, including: reengineering, senior team design, junior team design, innovative design, consulting engineering, engineering communications, and debate.

Once again, SMU Engineering had a strong showing. Students Josh Armsworthy, Annika Benson, Jenny Huynh, and Nicholas Naugle brought home a 2nd place finish in the Junior Team Design competition! Congratulations! In the competition, the team was tasked with creating a prototype Mars rover using salvaged materials after a rough landing on the Red Planet. In testing, the prototype rover had a limited amount of time to navigate a variable-terrain obstacle course while carrying a sizeable payload to the target destination. In addition to designing, building, and testing their prototype, the team also had to prepare a presentation showcasing their design—all within the competition’s five hour time limit.

Congratulations again to Josh, Annika, Jenny, and Nicholas, who now move on to compete at the national level in the Canadian Engineering Competition. Good luck team!!

SMU Engineering Records Two 2nd Place Finishes at the 2015 Atlantic Engineering Competition!

The 31st Atlantic Engineering Competition (AEC) was held this past weekend at Dalhousie University. Saint Mary’s sent 14 students split into four teams: one team competed in the Re-engineering Competition, two teams competed in the Junior Design Competition, and one team competed in the Consulting Engineering Competition.

In the Re-engineering Competition, teams had to re-engineer an existing device to enhance its current functionality and/or add new functionality with the aim of making the device useful in a new or alternative way. This year, teams were asked to perform two tasks: modify a fishing rod to include a system that can keep the lure a fixed distance from the bottom, and modify a household fan to power two onboard coolers. Each team presented their work to a panel of judges, who evaluated the designs’ practicality, originality, feasibility, and marketability.

In the Junior Design Competition, teams had to design a solution to an engineering problem in just four hours. But that’s not all—within that time limit, the teams also had to produce a working prototype of their design using a limited variety of in-house materials. This year, teams were challenged with designing a water-wheel powered system to perform mechanical lifting work.

In the Consulting Engineering Competition, teams were asked to create an innovative solution to a real-world problem specified by a hypothetical client. This year, teams were required to design a system to treat excess sewage & wastewater in Halifax during intermittent periods when supply exceeds the current treatment system’s capacity. In addition to designing a technically feasible solution, each team was also required to assess the social and environmental impacts of their solution.

Our Saint Mary’s teams did exceptionally well this year. One of the Junior Design teams placed 2nd in their competition, and the Consulting team—competing against 3rd and 4th year students—also placed 2nd! Congratulations!! These two teams now advance to the national Canadian Engineering Competition (, hosted at Memorial University in Newfoundland this March.


16th July, 2014

Dr. Veres Awarded $110,595 to Study Mechanical Contributions to the Development of Chronic Low Back Pain

Dr. Sam Veres has been awarded a three-year grant totalling $110,595 from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation to study chronic low back pain. “Chronic low back pain is a major problem in Nova Scotia, and many, many studies show that mechanical factors play a role in it’s development.” says Dr. Veres. “Yet, we still haven’t been able to define what physical damage to the spine’s structural components starts the chain of events that ends with chronic pain.” Work under Dr. Veres new grant will focus on examining how excessive mechanical stress effects the nanostructure of spinal ligaments. “Spinal ligaments are the first structures to be damaged when the spine undergoes excessive bending deformations. It seems likely that the cascade of events that cause chronic low back pain in many cases might start here.” Congratulations Dr. Veres!

1st July, 2014

Engineering Welcomes Dr. Jason Rhinelander!

The Division of Engineering would like to extend a warm welcome to new faculty member Jason Rhinelander. Dr. Rhinelander, who completed his doctoral degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering at Carleton University, is an expert in the field of machine learning and optimization theory. “We live in a digital age.” says Dr. Rhinelander. “Efficient interpretation and analysis of digital information is critical to the success of businesses in every industry. Consequently, the real-world applications of my research are diverse in scope, having uses in control theory, game theory, system analysis, supply-chain management, project resource planning, and pattern recognition… just to name a few.”

Dr. Rhinelander also brings with him a passion for, and impressive record in, undergraduate teaching. “I get the most satisfaction when I inspire students to explore and extend their knowledge beyond the lecture notes, beyond the examples, and beyond the tutorials.” says Dr. Rhinelander. “It’s my goal to inspire each student to reach their potential while also helping to give guidance using my own experiences within industry and as a university professor.”

We’re very excited to have Jason join our team at Saint Mary’s. Welcome Dr. Rhinelander!

 2nd April, 2014

Dr. Veres Awarded $125,000 to Study the Origins of Toughness in Collagen Biomaterials

Dr. Sam Veres has received a five-year Discovery Grant of $125,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. With the funding received, Dr. Veres and his research group will work toward understanding the fundamental structural features that make biological tissues tough. “Toughness”, says Dr. Veres, “describes the among of mechanical energy that a material can withstand before rupturing. It’s a highly desirable material property—especially for biological tissues. Because of the severe consequences of tissue rupture, millions of years of evolutionary pressure have given us remarkably tough tissues. Yet, we don’t really understand how tissues absorb energy without rupturing.” Dr. Veres foresees potential applications of his research ranging from improving selection criteria for surgical allografts to creating new, mechanically robust biomaterial constructs for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Congratulations Dr. Veres!

 31st January, 2014

Dr. Veres Awarded $383,948 to Study the Response of White Blood Cells to Mechanically Damaged Tendons

Dr. Sam Veres and a team of collaborators has been awarded a four-year grant totalling $383,948 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Working with Drs. Kathy Gough (Manitoba), Laurent Kreplak (Dalhousie), and Michael Lee (Dalhousie), Dr. Veres will study how cells respond to mechanically damaged tendons. “When you sustain a soft tissue injury like a sprained ankle”, says Dr. Veres, “the cells within your body have to repair the damaged tissue. Before they conduct the repair, though, they first need to identify the tissue that’s been damaged. Currently, we don’t know how cells distinguish damaged tissue from normal, undamaged tissue, which is what we hope to discover in this work.” Dr. Veres hopes that the work will eventually lead to new therapies that can accelerate healing in a variety of different tissues. Congratulations Dr. Veres!

 3rd October, 2013

Engineering Bids Farewell to Dr. Vlodek Tarnawski

On Friday, October 3rd, the faculty from the Division of Engineering bid farewell to one of their own: Dr. Vlodek Tarnawski, who came to Saint Mary’s 30 years ago and has been a mainstay in the Division until his retirement this year. Dr. Tarnawski rose to the rank of Associate Professor carrying out research primarily in the field of thermodynamics, and most recently on subsurface heat sinks and the heat transfer of different soil structures.

Despite his love for research, his true passion lay in teaching, instilling the 3 Ps into his students: Passion, Pride, and Persistence. He taught not only thermodynamics but also developed the courses in Engineering Design, especially the Robot Competition, for which he will especially be remembered. He bridged his research and teaching by taking in undergraduate students for work in his laboratory and exposing them to research beyond the theory in the classroom.

From the left: Dr. Swingler, Mr. MacNeil, Dr. Merabet, Dr. Tarnawski, Dr. Veres.


Dr. Merabet Awarded $22,279 for New Wind Turbine!

Dr. Adel Merabet has been awarded an Engage Grant of $22,279 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to improve a laboratory-scale experimental wind turbine for education and research in renewable energy. In this project, a power electronic interface will be designed and integrated into the wind turbine in order to allow the implementation of control strategies for operation at all wind speed regimes. The upgraded wind turbine will be an open-architecture system, suitable for real-time multivariable control, design, and implementation, facilitating research & development in wind energy. The project will be in collaboration with Quanser Inc., the manufacturer of the experimental wind turbine. Congratulations Dr. Merabet!

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Division of Engineering
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Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3C3