Addressing the Structural and Social Barriers to Global Cancer Inequities through Biomedical Innovation

Presented by: Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam of Duke University
Date: Jan 25, 2021, 5-6pm (mountain time)
Register at:

The latter half of the 20th century witnessed major reductions in infant and childhood deaths in developing countries. The upshot is that many more people are living to adulthood and old age. Ironically, however, cancer is rapidly out pacing the incidence of infectious diseases. The cancer statistics are staggering. More than two-thirds of the 10 million annual cancer deaths occur in developing countries and this number is expected to double by 2040.Yet, the allocated cancer resources are less than one-third that in developed countries. With rapid advances in low cost, high performance health care innovations, we have the opportunity to leapfrog from entrenched models of cancer care that have been a mainstay in affluent settings to innovative modalities of care – analogous to the demise of landlines in favor of modern cell phones. This is an exciting and realistic prospect. In my talk I will provide examples of specific technologies we are developing to address global cancer inequities, a challenging task given the limited resources available to adopt models that are currently in place in high income countries.

2021 Industry Mixer

Date: 20 Jan 2021
Time: 4:00PM to 7:00PM
Register as an attendee
Register as an exhibitor (for companies)

Join us in welcoming companies from various engineering industries including power and energy, tech, construction, and consulting. We’ll host each company virtually in two slots from 4:00PM to 5:30PM and 5:30PM to 7:00PM.

Company representatives will have their own virtual meetings set up, using a platform of their choice. The links for each company meeting will be emailed out to all attendees closer to the event.

This is a great chance for students to network with industry professionals and ask them questions regarding their work, company, and industry. Companies can meet budding engineers who can make a difference in their workplace, and inspire them to work in their fields. There is no booth fee for this event.

This year’s event features representatives from IBM & Worley. More companies to be announced soon.

Small Modular Reactors

Presented by: Denys Elliot, Megan Moore and Metin Yetisir of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Date: Jan 20, 2021, 12-1pm (mountain time)
Register at: Registration closes Jan 18 or once full.

As a low-carbon source of energy, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are well-aligned with global desire to reduce our carbon footprint. Both smaller in size and in energy output, SMRs are considered ideal for deployment both on-grid and off-grid in remote locations such as mine sites or the oil sands, as well as willing communities in northern Canada reliant on diesel-fuelled generators for electricity. In addition, these technologies can also be utilized in other industrial applications such as production of hydrogen, local area heating, or other industrial heat applications. Currently, SMRs are an emerging technology. There are a wide variety of designs being developed by multiple prospective reactor vendors, each working hard to bring their technology to market

This webinar will provide participants with an introduction to SMRs, covering the fundamental features of the technology, and an overview of the most popular designs proposed to date. The webinar will also include a discussion on the economics of SMRs – how they are expected to compete in the global energy market, and what conditions could make them successful in the future. Join two renowned researchers from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) – Canada’s premier nuclear nuclear science and technology organization, for an engaging discussion on this exciting new set of technologies.

HackTogether: Alberta Virtual 2020 Hackathon

Register at: Registration closes Nov 15
Kickoff meeting: Dec 1, 2020
Implementation: Dec 1, 2020 – Feb 17, 2021
Submission deadline: Feb 17, 2021

This virtual event hopes to bring together post-secondary students who are passionate about science and technology to develop meaningful insights pertaining to one of the two themes of the event: (1) the COVID-19 pandemic related challenges, (2) issues surrounding diversity in STEM fields.

The W-net Deep Learning Model for Image Reconstruction

Presented by: Dr. Roberto Souza of the University of Calgary
Date: Nov 24, 2020, 12-1pm (mountain time)
Register at: Registration closes Nov 23 or once full.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic imaging modality that provides excellent image contrast that leads to diagnoses of several conditions, such as tumours and strokes. The major drawback of MRI exams is their long acquisition time. An MRI exam usually lasts between 30 to 60 minutes per patient. These long acquisition times, combined with the high costs (~$3,000,000) and space requirements to install a scanner and periodic maintenance, cause MRI exams to be expensive and create wait times that make it less accessible. An MRI exam’s average price is over $700, and nearly two million MRI exams are done in Canada yearly, making it a billion-dollar industry. In this talk, Dr. Souza will cover the basics of deep learning methods for image reconstruction. He will present a deep learning model called the W-net that can be used to make MRI exams up to 20 times faster. Dr. Souza will also briefly illustrate the use of the W-net to improve other imaging applications, such as JPEG image decompression and low-dose computed tomography reconstruction.

How being an IEEE volunteer can “transform” your career

Presented by: Ronnie Minhaz of Transformer Consulting Services Inc.
Date: Nov 18, 2020, 12-1pm (mountain time)
Register at: Registration closes Nov 17 or once full.

Ronnie Minhaz began his journey with IEEE as the GOLD (now Young Professionals) Chair. He then transitioned to Section Chair for the Southern Alberta section. This experience led him to join the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Transformers Committee, which has allowed him to give various technical presentations for PES Chapters around the world.

During this talk, Ronnie will discuss how his involvement in IEEE helped him to grow his transformer consulting business and allowed him to travel around the world for technical seminars, site inspections, and more.

Another Inconvenient Truth: Snails Are More Intelligent Than Us

Presented by: Dr. Thomas W. Williams, retired Synopsys Fellow at Synopsys
Date: Nov 12, 2020, 12-1pm (mountain time)
Register at: Registration closes Nov 11 or once full.

For decades there has been a new CMOS technology node approximately every two years. Until recently, thanks to scaling, the key feature of every new technology node has been a 100% integration capacity and 40% performance improvement… free-of-charge. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has been architected in such a way that this improvement became a self-fulfilling prophecy of the roadmap itself. Everything else has been bent in the attempt to make scaling happen… forever. That has changed as we approach the near end of Moore’s Law.

For eons snails have built the cells of their shell according to the Fibonacci’s numbers – where each cell has a volume that is the sum of the volume of the previous two cells. Snails understand, however, that at a certain point in time growth must stop to prevent the collapse of the shell by making it too big and therefore fragile. When this point is reached, snails do stop adding larger cells, and start improving the robustness of the shell.

Back to us: technology-wise, scaling has rapidly exhausted the resources of CMOS technology, which, by now, struggles to deliver any further improvement. A number of fundamental challenges have emerged, both technical and financial, which force a thorough rethinking of how scaling has been done, and whether scaling continues to be the most appropriate solution to provide the world with the silicon content that it needs.

Like Al Gore’s premise on energy consumption and global warming, there is an inconvenient truth to be acknowledged in our industry: scaling is like fossil fuels – the cheapest and easiest way to go. Unfortunately, also like fossil fuels, it is not sustainable indefinitely. And it becomes more costly and inefficient every day. New avenues, which are available today, are worth exploring and must be undertaken. That is, unless snails are more intelligent than us…

In this talk, Dr. Williams will describe the problems with scaling and a number of possible solutions, including the latest alternative paths and their relative merits.

2020 IEEE Southern Alberta Section Virtual AGM

Date: Nov 5, 2020, 12-1pm (mountain time)
Register at: Registration closes Nov 3 or once full.

This virtual meeting will provide an update on the activities of the Section, the Technical Chapters and the Affinity Groups over the past year, and recognize award recipients. Section Officers elected for the 2021-22 term will also be announced.

Webinar: Medium Voltage Synchronous Motors

Presented by: Chris Schartner of GE Power Conversion
Date: Oct 29, 2020, 12-1pm (mountain time)
Register at: Registration closes Oct 27 or once full.

This webinar will touch on multiple aspects pertaining to synchronous motors including basic theory, machine design considerations, application, construction, insulation, excitation, starting, operation, testing and maintenance.