Media Releases

New Engineering minor in robotics and mechatronics, and clinical engineering PhD concentration will launch in fall 2011

April 14, 2011

TORONTO, ON – The Academic Policy and Programs Committee of Governing Council has approved a new Engineering minor program in Robotics and Mechatronics, along with a PhD concentration in Clinical Engineering at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), for fall 2011.

The new Engineering Robotics and Mechatronics minor will allow students to explore fundamental enabling technologies that render robotic and mechatronic systems into viable consumer products. Coursework will cover mechatronics design and systems interfacing, advanced techniques for signal processing and systems control, and new system-level principles underlying embedded systems.

The minor is a collaborative effort between The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, The Department of Civil Engineering, the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, and the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering.

“We have a lot of strength in the Faculty in mechatronics and robotics,” said Professor Ridha Ben Mrad (MIE), Director of the university’s Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics, founded in 2010, and a chief proponents of the new minor. “This minor program will provide our students with the ability to pursue a structured program that provides in-depth studies in this area and takes advantage of extensive teaching facilities and resources from across the Faculty.”

A new Clinical Engineering concentration within IBBME’s PhD program will allow doctoral candidates holding an undergraduate engineering degree to pursue a unique concentration in biomedical engineering with an emphasis on enhancing patient safety, quality of care and quality of life, in order to be prepared to meet the increasing demand for clinical engineers as leaders in research and innovation.

In addition to completing the normal requirements of the existing PhD program, students in the concentration will require co-supervision by engineering and health science faculty, and must conduct research within a clinical healthcare environment.

Graduate students without a formal degree in clinical engineering are normally required to complete a specified half-course in Clinical Engineering. The new concentration includes an option to allow Clinical Engineering graduate students currently in the MHSc program to transfer into the PhD program’s concentration.

“This is a significant milestone for the field of clinical engineering in Canada and abroad,” said Professor Paul Santerre, Director, IBBME. “The Faculty has taken the lead in expanding what was traditionally a professional master’s program by enhancing the depth of its curriculum, and focusing on the translation of innovative technologies and tools into the healthcare sector, which generates approximately 11% of Canada’s gross domestic product in the form of services and products.

“The PhD concentration in Clinical Engineering aligns quite well with the University of Toronto’s deep roots as a leading research-intensive institution, and was developed in response to the strong interest of our graduate students.”


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