Design. Strategize. Commercialize.

Materials Science & Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow Working Group host the 1st Technology Feasibility Competition


Photo (from left): event organizer Amanda W. (MSE 1T3+PEY) with judges Professor Steven Thorpe and Associate Professor Nazir Kherani

February 13, 2012

Engineers lead the way when it comes to technology innovation, but how does creative design make its way into the market? To answer this question, students in the Materials Science & Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow (MSE LoT) Working Group embarked on a unique initiative and hosted the first MSE LoT Technology Feasibility Competition.

Held on February 1, 2012, and led by Jason Sukhram (MSE 1T1+PEY) and Amanda Wai (MSE 1T3+PEY), 18 materials engineering undergraduate students competed in a two-day design challenge that married leadership, teamwork, and technical skills to solve a real-life commercialization challenge. The objective: analyze technology, market and enabling factors, along with an intellectual property (IP) portfolio to create a viable business model for a set of novel materials.


Photo: 2012 winning team

This year’s winning team included Katherine L., Abrar M., Hans Z., and Jean-Michel G. (all MSE 1T3s) who together designed a commercialization strategy for a new class of mesoporous dielectric materials for next-generation silicon chips as pioneered by University Professor Geoffrey Ozin and his research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto.

“I was most impressed by the efforts and exceptional skills demonstrated by our students and their engagement in the process,” says Professor Steven J. Thorpe, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies. “It far exceeded my expectations and I am sure the students found it a most challenging, but rewarding and exciting opportunity.”

Event leaders Jason Sukhram (MSE 1T1+PEY) and Amanda Wai (MSE 1T3+PEY) thank the support of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Dr. Cyril Gibbons from the U of T Innovations & Partnerships Office for providing the opening lecture on technology commercialization, and competition judges Professors Nazir Kherani, Steven Thorpe, and Doug Perovic who also provided the competition case.