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Testimonials

  • Headshot of Nathan Tell us who you are and what you do.
    • My name is Nathan Cox and I graduated from McMaster with a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering in 2011. I started at Hydro One immediately after graduation and I work in the Generation Connections Department (GCD.) I am responsible for performing technical assessments on renewable energy projects that wish to connect to the Hydro One grid.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • There are a number of factors that drew me to the McMaster Engineering department. First of all, McMaster has a common first year for all engineers. This really helped me to be confident in my decision to go into the ECE department as well as have a good understanding of what other streams of engineering are like. The ECE department was the most interesting to me because there are so many different kinds of jobs associated with the field and there are opportunities to be involved with cutting edge projects and companies. Another thing that drew me to McMaster was the support for extracurricular activities. Being a member of the varsity swimming team for 5 years really made my experience at McMaster complete. I feel like the McMaster community really supports its students both in and out of the classroom and allows them to develop in more ways that just academically.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • All of the engineering related jobs that I had throughout my undergrad, I was able to secure at least partially because of the reputation of McMaster Engineering. McMaster is known throughout Canada (and globally) as one of the top schools for engineering. Many companies in both the private and public sector recognize this and look specifically for McMaster graduates.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • The one professor that stands out to me in ECE is Dr. Nicolici. There is a tendency for engineering students to focus simply on knowledge during undergraduate studies. The problem with this approach is that knowledge is quickly forgotten. Dr. Nicolici works very hard at designing his courses to not only convey knowledge, but to ensure that students really understand the concepts they are learning. He accomplishes this by designing extremely interesting lab work that focuses on application and understanding. In addition to excellent labs, Dr. Nicolici engages students in stimulating conversation in the lecture hall. His passion for learning, teaching and innovation are undeniable and it makes his courses enjoyable, exciting, informative and motivating.
      The ECE department has a number of other great professors as well. Other professors that I learned a lot from are: Dr.Nikolova, Dr. Reilly, Dr. Szymanski, Dr. Todd, Dr. Bakr, Dr. Hranilovic, Dr. Shirani and Dr. Sirouspour.
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • In my time at McMaster I realized that being good at only one thing can only get you so far. There are so many different things to learn and so many skills and abilities that are important to develop. McMaster really helps to develop students that are about more than just purely academics. The environment not only encourages academics but also things like innovation, problem solving, leadership, and passion. At McMaster I learned the academic concepts that I need to succeed but also a skill-set that is valuable to all employers.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • McMaster is a forward thinking school that develops leaders and innovators. The faculty at McMaster is not afraid to adapt to new trends in education. McMaster also has a well established reputation for producing quality graduates. I think that it is one of the few schools in Canada that balances these two qualities so well. McMaster is a great place for students who are passionate about learning and want a quality degree.
  • Headshot of Arij Tell us who you are and what you do.
    • Hi there! My name is Arij Khan. I graduated from Electrical Eng & Management at McMaster in April 2011. I'm currently working as EVAL Support Specialist at Research In Motion. I am responsible for supporting the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) evaluation environment and internal and external product trial releases. The role involves working with many groups such as Product Management, Infrastructure, Carrier Technical Managers, External Test Systems, and Customer Support teams in order to achieve successful BIS product testing and evaluations and external carrier & partner acceptance.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • I've always had a love for technology and how things work and this naturally led me to electrical engineering. But what set McMaster apart from other universities was their Engineering & Management (E&M) program. This program combines all the aspects of the chosen engineering discipline (electrical in my case) with the core commerce courses as well as key E&M courses that integrate both sets of skills that you develop in engineering and business courses and give you a broader picture of how companies operate in today's world. In my first year, when I came to know about the E&M program, as well as seeing some of the fascinating and cool design projects of final year ECE students, I decided that Elec Eng & Mgt was THE option for me.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • Several aspects of my time at McMaster led me to where I am today. Some of the key courses that really helped me develop skills and concepts are Data Structures & Algorithms, Computer Communication Networks, Engineering & Management Capstone project, Electrical Engineering Design Project, and Electronic Business. Apart from the studies, my coop work terms are what really gave me the practical, hands-on experience of the workplace. Choosing the co-op option early on in my second year, I was able to utilize the ECCS (Engineering Career & Coop Services) and enhance my resume, tailor my cover letters to the specific needs of the employers, and apply to a variety of jobs at small to large companies. My first coop breakthrough was at Brantford General Hospital in the summer after 2nd year. This job created a huge impact in my experience and skills as well as on my resume, being the first "real-world" job experience. Another huge breakthrough was during my 3rd year, when I applied to several positions at RIM and eventually secured one. This paved the way for subsequent coop work terms (another 4-month term and a 12-month internship) at RIM, even though they were on different teams each time. Finally, the work history with RIM also helped me in securing a full-time position after grad.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • Just like all other positions where I worked, I applied to the EVAL Support Specialist position online on the RIM careers website in January at the start of my last semester. I had a phone interview with the HR department a few weeks after where I was asked about my skills/experiences and goals and how they made me the perfect candidate for the position. A week later, I had another phone interview, this time with the hiring manager, and I got a chance to talk to her and explain my knowledge and experiences in more detail. She was impressed by my previous experience and time at RIM and the additional skills I had learned throughout my final year and wanted to proceed with an in-person interview. During this time, they also contacted my references at RIM and I'm assuming they had positive feedback (otherwise I wouldn't be in the current job :)). A week or so later, I had the in-person interview with the manager and learned more about the job details and told a bit more about myself. The manager was really impressed and a few weeks later, I got the job offer. :)
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • I have learned a lot from many of my professors at Mac such as Drs. Reilly, Haddara, Nicolici, and Conochie. But the one professor who really stood out for me was Dr. Bakr. My final year design project was a smartphone-based surveillance system*, termed "MobilEyez" by my teammates and I. The project could not have been successful without the help of Dr. Bakr. From the concept to the finished product, we always had his support and encouragement and advice in all phases of the project. We ended up winning the 2nd prize for 4OI6 Final Year Electrical Engineering Design Projects for 2011 on ECE's Poster Day (http://www.ece.mcmaster.ca/4oi6_2010-11.html) and it would not have been possible without Dr. Bakr. I also want to mention Dr. Davidson who is an amazing professor and a great reference that helped me land my first coop job at Brantford General Hospital. :)
    • The MobilEyez project was designed as an inexpensive and reliable security solution for homes and small-businesses that provides instant remote monitoring of their facilities using a BlackBerry mobile handheld. The dedicated BlackBerry app allows instant video streaming from the IP camera (that is monitoring an area) from anywhere on the planet. Motion detection on the surveillance sends emails out when any intruder is detected. The BlackBerry app is also capable of controlling the basic motion of the camera. For more information, please visit the following links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUGZMsEeLbw , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQRDYyLyaKw&feature=related
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • I learned about the various stages of the Software Development Life Cycle and the work that goes into each of these stages in some of software courses at Mac. This cycle is the underlying backbone of everything that I do and did in my experiences at RIM. A strong knowledge of this cycle is extremely important in understanding the bigger picture at work. In majority of my work terms, I used the knowledge and concepts of the Java programming language (among other languages) that I had learnt in my Data Structures course. As well, knowledge and experience of computer networking and the different protocols used in each layer of the OSI networking model (all things I learned in Computer Communication Networks course) are what I use on a daily basis at work. Apart from the technical knowledge, the business aspects of organizations like project management, operations, marketing and the overall sense of working as a team and developing those communication and organizational skills are all what I learned through the numerous group projects in both business and engineering courses at McMaster. These are essential elements in a workplace.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • Engineering is hard, no matter what you take (Electrical, Physics, Biomedical) and where you take it (Mac, UofT, UW, etc). There are going to be plenty of times where you will want to give up from all the pressure of midterms and labs and assignments and exams. But if you're passionate about it or are one of those who would rather choose engineering over anything else, my advice to you is to stick with it and don't give up. Even if your results and grades aren't that great, just go through that struggle and learn what you can from it - because it is worth it and life isn't just about grades. And if you're up for a further challenge that will enhance your experience and give you whole new set of skills and open up a horizon of jobs and opportunities, go for the Engineering & Management program. Looking back, it was definitely a worthwhile decision to be in Elec Eng & Mgt at McMaster - I would certainly do it again. Thank you and good luck! :)
  • Headshot of CarolineTell us who you are and what you do.
    • My Name is Caroline Youssef, Class of 2011. I just started to work for Honeywell Aerospace as an Advanced Manufacturing Value Engineer. I graduated from the electrical stream, with a minor in French.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • I liked the fact that I can choose courses from both the electrical and computer stream and uniquely shape what I learn in my fourth year based on the electives of my choice. I also liked the co-op program which enabled me to choose how I can complete my co-op terms in any combination I wanted. I chose to complete my 12 months pre graduation experience in three different positions during my summer terms.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • The exposure to current technologies that are used in the industry gave me an edge over other applicants. My exposure was not limited to only one single field ie electrical or computer, but how the two fields interact together.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • I applied to the job, and was selected based on my communication skills gained in my previous co-op terms.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Dr Li impressed me so much in 2EI5 and 3EJ4. He came in without any notes, yet he drew the most complicated circuits’ components from memory and solved them. He showed all of us what it means to know the subject well and thoroughly. I also recall building a radio in 3TR4 with Dr Reilly and learned how to solder for the first time. It was quite memorable.
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • In McMaster, I have learned how to manage my time effectively, which is a necessary skill in my current job, where I have to meet deadlines.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it. The engineering ring is worth it.
  • Morgan working on a racing carSo who am I? My name is Morgan Cunningham and I am currently in my fourth year here at McMaster ECE. As I dive back into another semester of demanding, but rewarding electrical engineering studies, I still take time to reflect upon my most recent and most exciting work term. I found myself down in San Francisco, CA working for a small start-up electric vehicle company named Kleenspeed Technologies Inc. on the NASA Ames Research Centre. The main goal of this company is to develop proprietary electric vehicle propulsion and control systems. To some, this may sound like a couple a engineers locked in a laboratory, striving to produce cutting-edge technology for the rapidly-growing EV market (and there are some weeks where this can be true), but the other equally-rewarding reality of R&D involves testing your new products. We had two 'mobile-labs' which accomplished this for the company; a Mazda Miata which we had converted to have a fully-electric propulsion system, and a prize-winning completely electric racecar. Both of these vehicles allow the company to analyze the lower, middle, and absolute maximum workloads that EVs will have to endure for the mass-consumption market.
  • So where does ECE at McMaster fit into this? Well, it starts by providing a learning environment where excellence in education provides students with the upper-hand in the workplace. The courses that I have taken thus far at Mac have covered the basic and advanced knowledge that is required to solve complex electrical problems. Knowledgeable professors and well-structured courses have given me confidence when it comes to stepping outside of the box and challenging myself. I would not have felt comfortable working for a demanding company without having the proper preparation beforehand. Many of the professors at ECE encourage you to attack problems as if your future boss had just handed you a task and expected it to be complete by lunchtime. The style of their lectures mirror conference presentations and technical meetings. This is all done to train you to be insightful and productive; two traits which will help you to distinguish yourself in the workplace.
  • So why should you apply to ECE at McMaster? Electrical and computer engineering are two unique fields in that we are able to take our circuits and programs home with us and continue to learn and innovate long after classes have ended. A chemical engineer may not be able to bring home a distillation tower and run some after hours tests, but we have the advantage of working on assignments and then building the circuits in our own rooms as a proof of concept. We are a tightly-knit community of hard working students who still take some time to partake in the many social activities offered by the ECES and MacEng.
  • Headshot of LucasTell us who you are and what you do.
    • My name is Lucas Dobrowolski and I graduated from MAC ECE in 2010. I've been working for Research in Motion since I graduated in the WLAN Firmware group as a WLAN software validation developer. I am responsible for developing and managing validation processes and automated test systems to ensure software quality.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • When I saw the fireball presentation it got me interested in McMaster's Engineering program. I went on various campus tours but McMaster stood out the most. Talking to older students in my first year help me decide to go with computer engineering since it was something that I could see it as a hobby as well a career.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • Having a firm understanding of the concepts learned in class along with the co-op program helped me better understand where I wanted to go with my career. Courses helped with learning the basics of how electrical and computer systems work. Implementing something on your own is so much more involved and gave me the confidence to work with other projects. The final year project was another way for me to learn new things that I was always interested in. It gave me the opportunity to build something from scratch and to use the knowledge that I had learned from school and my co-op.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • Through my sixteen month internship, I gained an understanding of embedded systems development. Through networking, I understood what I courses I needed to take to be qualified for my current position. Before my internship it was difficult to pay attention in class since the application of the material wasn't clear or seemed irrelevant. In a co-op you are exposed to real life problems and solutions, and part of those solutions were things I had learned in class. Returning to my studies from co-op I paid more attention in class because I was interested in the material and knew what I wanted to learn. Aside from the knowledge required for the job, I also enjoyed working at my co-op. The environment was friendly and creativity was welcomed. This atmosphere gave me the opportunities to gain confidence and knowledge to get me to where I am now.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Dr. Nicolici set a rigorous pace which motivated and taught me how to learn effectively. Even though the workload is above norm, the knowledge acquired is invaluable. His courses revolved around learning by doing. The labs in his courses were very well put together and taught with clarity. They would gradually get difficult as time passed and there was never a dull moment or boring lab. I myself am more hands-on than writing exams, so for me Dr.Nicolici's style of teaching complemented my way of learning. From all the courses and labs that I had, his were very technical and challenging to the point where many students worked through most weekends in the term. The concepts I learned from his courses are what I keep in mind when I work.
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • My current position deals with both PC and embedded systems development. Learning about real time operating systems, software development cycle and telecommunications in school have made the concepts at work comprehensible. My current position consists of programming in C. I apply hardware optimizations and software tricks that I have learned from labs and in class lectures all the time at work.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • If you're not familiar with engineering, McMaster has a very good curriculum that will gradually expose you to what it has to offer as a career. When you're in the engineering program, you develop close working relationships with other students. This, coupled with the knowledge that engineering is a worthwhile pursuit pushes you to succeed, despite the heavier workload.
  • Tell us who you are and what you do. Headshot of Yaser
    • My name is Yaser Jafar, graduate of 2010 Electrical Engineering and Management program from McMaster University. In August, I started working for Texas Instruments (TI) at their headquarters in Dallas Texas as a “Technical Sales Associate”. After six months of training in two rotations, my role becomes a “Technical Sales Representative” in the GTA. My primary responsibility is to win and maintain business for TI.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • Primary reason for selecting McMaster is the Engineering and Management undergraduate program (E&M), the only University at the time offering it. Another reason for my choice is the program’s reputation; it was, and still is, known for their strong education/innovation/research program.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • The E&M program equipped me with a set of skills that is useful for the rest of my life. In addition to that, the ECE program pushed me to work beyond my comfort zone every year, and the combination is what helped me get to where I am today.

      Without the support of the faculty, staff and colleagues, my teams’ accomplishments in the final year project (3D camera), would not have been achievable and recognized.

      The ECE department strives in research and innovation, and I strongly believed it would lead into a future of success and growth, history can prove it.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • After graduating from a British educational system, I started University in 2004. Eager to get relevant work experience, I was offered a research assistant job with Dr. Bakr in summer 2007, who was working on analyzing the effect of electromagnetic waves radiating from cell phone antennas to the human eye. In summer 2008, after completing four out of five years of academia, I was offered 16-month internship positions from several companies and decided to go with Sigma Designs as a system engineer. After experiencing the industry force, more specifically in the semiconductor field, I enjoyed it and wanted to build my career in that.

      My final year of University in 2009-2010, is a major milestone, our design project was ranked 3rd in North America by Altera Design Competition, and without a solid foundation, it would not have been possible.
      During my final year, looking for a job position that would combine both engineering and business aspect was challenging but I was fortunate to have come across a TI flyer that offered what I wanted. Typically, they hire only one Technical Sales Associate in Canada every two years, and quoting from two managers at TI who interviewed me and graduated from McMaster E&M and ECE program - “We fish in the right pool” and I’m glad to have been in that pool.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Every staff and faculty member I came across in the department helped me in one-way or another, but what helped the most was my first job, the research position I was offered by Dr. Mohamed Bakr. Without that, I would not have been able to prove my capabilities and build my reputation and confidence level off. Coincidently, he was also one of my supervisors for the final year project and his support throughout the project is priceless.
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • In an academic year, there is more than one semester, a semester typically consists of more than one course, and each course has its own syllabus with concepts to learn from. After a certain period of time through academia, I started to realize each semester being a repetition of a “routine”. Some of the most valuable skills I learned from that “routine” is time management, collaboration, quality work, consistency, dedication, teamwork, confidence, initiation and use of resources effectively. Those skills are what I am able to apply in my current job.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • If you are looking for a program that would –
      • Encourage to go above and beyond one’s capabilities,
      • Give you the resources to help you build your career,
      • Establish a strong foundation,
      • Help in every way possible to see you succeed,
      • Make you shine in front of others through publicity,
      • Take into consideration your feedbacks,
      • Equip you with a skill set that is transferable to any field,
      • Offer friendly and helpful staff and faculty members around you,
      • Provide you with the opportunity to expand your network reach,
      • Lead you the way to success,
      Mac ECE is the right choice.

      If I go back in time and have to decide again for which University to pick, it would be Mac again.
  • Tell us who you are and what you do?
    • My name is Ali Qadirian. I am a recent graduate (May 2010) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering from McMaster University. I joined Hydro One Inc in June 2010. Currently I am a part of new grad program at Hydro One working in the Engineering and Construction Services. As part of the two year new grad program, I will have the opportunity to rotate through several jobs across Ontario. Upon completion of the new grad program, I will work as a protection and control engineering officer.
  • What made you choose the McMaster ECE program?
    • I always had a dream to become an engineer but selecting an engineering discipline was very challenging and demanding decision for me. When I started my first year at McMaster University, I attended all the info sessions for each engineering discipline, I found Electrical Engineering to be engaged in a wide range of activities, from designing and manufacturing computer and communication systems to planning and overseeing the operation of large electric power stations. In addition, I was told by the senior students that McMaster ECE department has very experienced and dedicated professors, not only in teaching but also supportive to their students. Therefore, by considering all these factors I chose ECE.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • McMaster ECE program provided me a dynamic engineering program that helped me build a successful and challenging career. The unique internship and coop program helped me better comprehend where I wanted to go with my career. All the great help from the ECE department, learning experiences and hands on industry skills enhanced my career further.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position?
    • When I took Power Devices and Systems during my third year at ECE, it acquired my interest towards power industry. I applied for an internship position at Hydro One Inc. and I got the offer. This hands-on experience further obtained my interest and acquired my attention to take more power courses in my final year at McMaster. The completion of these courses explored my knowledge further and brought me the opportunity to be a good candidate for my current position.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • There were many people in the ECE department that stood out for me especially in the last two years of my program. I want to thank Dr Field for being there all the time to answer all my questions. It was definitely a great learning and an enjoyable experience under his guidance. I was also fortunate enough to have Dr Bakr in some of my courses. The door of his office was always open for help. His advices, lectures and solutions to complex problems were presented in a convincing manner and were easily understood. Last but not least, I sincerely want to thank Dr Li for offering me the research course in my final year. I really appreciate for the fact that he actually gave me the opportunity to work on an actual, real and good/technical engineering research project that related to my career where I am today. He taught me how to logically think about problems and take initiatives in solving the issues as well as suggesting corrective course of actions.

      Overall McMaster ECE taught me how to grasp new concepts and quickly turn new found knowledge into usable skills. It taught me how to be professional, team player, receptive to input and how to improve individually as well as with the team collectively.
  • What learning/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • The power courses that I took at McMaster definitely help me understand some basic concepts of power system. These courses offered me a wide range of information about transmission and distribution systems in Ontario. In addition, in the past five years, McMaster taught me how to grasp problems and concepts easily and make effective decisions based on breaking down components of a problem in a logical and systematic manner and carefully evaluating consequences.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • If you are enthusiastic and energetic about engineering and if you want to seek out different experiences in the industry then Mac is one of the best universities to depend on. You can start with minimum knowledge in the Engineering field and by the end of the day, you will posses the education and competence to excel in this field and use these to tackle challenging problems. I am definitely proud to be McMaster Alumni but more importantly proud to be the Alumni of the ECE department.
  • Headshot of LarissaTell us who you are and what you do.
    • My name in Larissa Schudlo and I graduated from McMaster with a B.Eng in 2010, specializing in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering.  In September following graduation, I started my masters at the University of Toronto through the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. My research is in the area of rehabilitation engineering for paediatrics under the supervision of Dr. Tom Chau.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • I chose McMaster’s Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program because of the versatility the degree offered. This distinct degree program offered at McMaster is very well established and provides students a very unique opportunity to take a combination of electrical and computer engineering courses, medical science courses and biomedical engineering courses that intertwine these disciplines.  I chose to pursue this degree since it provides a wide variety of opportunities post graduation, allowing one to go into either biomedical or electrical engineering fields, as well as provides the necessary prerequisites for other professional programs such as medicine. 
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • The Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program at McMaster provides students with a very diverse bank of knowledge. The strong electrical engineering program has given me an excellent background in electronics and computer programming, while the science and anatomy courses provided me with a strong physiological background. Both these elements were important in allowing me to pursue research in the field of rehabilitation engineering, where medical devices are developed for people and interact with their biological systems.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • During the summer following my third year, I held an NSERC USRA student summership working for Dr. Hubert deBruin, participating in a clinically-oriented project in the area of rehabilitation engineering.  Through this experience, I was able to apply the skills I learned in the class room to a practical and meaningful application, and it sparked my interest in continuing in research in the future. Also, my fourth year design project was in the area of rehabilitation engineering with a specific concentration on paediatric rehabilitation. Not only did it allow me to learn a great deal and really strengthen my practical skills, it allowed me to personally explore this area of engineering I was interested in and solidified my desire in pursuing a masters in this area.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • The administrative staff in the department was always very welcoming and willing to assist students.  There were some exceptional teaching assistants that consistently went above and beyond to help their students by answering questions after class, explaining assignments, holding extra review sessions, or just chatting and providing advice and guidance.  There are also many professors in the department that constantly demonstrated that their top priority was the education of their students. Dr. Capson regularly dropped by the labs to make sure students understood the concepts from class they were applying in the lab activity.  Dr. Hranilovic’s effective teaching style combine with his quick wit made 8am programming class enjoyable to attend. Dr. Haddara knew his students by name and always held extra review sessions before tests and exams. Dr. deBruin was an excellent supervisor, and his door was always open to provide help or advice, or just for a friendly chat. Dr. Bruce was very approachable and easy to ask questions, and extremely organized with course material.  Dr. Noseworthy’s passion for his area of research was demonstrated in the enthusiasm he brought to every lecture and lab, and this motivation inspired an interest for the subject in many of his students.  There were many people in the ECE department who truly cared about the students and the education being provided.
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • The most important thing I took away from McMaster was the ability to learn and problem solve.  When faced with a new challenge, I was taught how to look at the problem, how to apply the situation to my background and how to explore possible solutions to expand my bank of knowledge and solve the problem. My four years at McMaster taught me how to learn on my own so I can face any challenges with confidence.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • Whichever stream of engineering you choose to study, whether it’s Electrical, Computer, or Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, it’s not going to be easy. These programs are challenging, but the amount you learn is well worth the time and effort.  The best thing to do is establish a good support network of friends and classmates in your program that you can turn to for help with work and assignments, share notes with, and study with. This will help make the workload more manageable and your time at McMaster more enjoyable.
  • Headshot of NanxiTell us who you are and what you do.
    • My name is Nanxi Zha, I graduated from the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program in 2010. I am currently working at Microsoft as a software developing engineer in test on the Windows Live Photo Gallery team.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • I chose the ECE program at Mac mostly because of the flexibility the program offered. After my first year of general engineering, I still wasn't too sure what I wanted to do. I found the ECE program gave me a broad insight into the different options in Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering, allowing me to test out the waters before deciding on what I should go into.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • I like the broad spectrum of courses offered in the program. It allowed me to explore my interests in Biomed, as well as giving me a solid background in Electrical Engineering.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • I did a summer internship with Microsoft after I finished third year. I enjoyed the work atmosphere, and it was cool to see the amount of impact I could make. After my internship, I was offered a full time position, and I couldn't be happier to return.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • There were a couple professors that really stood out for me. Dr. de Bruin was my 4th year Capstone supervisor, and a great help in guiding my partner and I with our project. Dr. Hranilovic made algorithms and data structures interesting. The course was hard, but really challenged me to think outside the box. This definitely helped in interview situations. Dr. Reilly's courses were also very enjoyable. The real-life applications he references in class allowed me to see the importance behind the concepts we were taught. Overall, I found the faculty to be very helpful and cared about the success of the students.
  • What learnings/concepts from Mac have you been able to apply to your current job?
    • I think the most important concept would be problem solving. As a new hire, I've come to realize there are many new concepts in the workplace that weren't taught in school. As Dr. Haddara often wrote on test papers, "Don't Panic!". Through my academic experience, it has taught me how to approach the challenge, be resourceful, and know who/when to ask for help.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • From my own experiences, the ECE program at McMaster really exposes students to an array of different engineering options. Take the time to explore different courses, and be proactive about summer research/industry opportunities.
  • Headshot of AlistairTell us who you are and what you currently do.
    • Alistair Johnson, currently working at McMaster for the summer and going to Oxford in about a month for a PhD.
  • What made you choose the McMaster ECE program?
    • Well, two reasons. The first is I heard McMaster was one of the top schools (not specifically the ECE department but the school itself, I chose McMaster before I chose biomed), and proximity to my home.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • Well, the fact that it was biomed I guess. I doubt I would have gotten into a biomedical PhD program with a physics degree.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • A really long application process with a phone interview and lots of begging to professors for recommendations.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Well most of the profs that stood out to me were in my 4th year. Particularly I liked the teaching styles of Dr. Jeremic and Dr. Noseworthy. Dr. Jeremic taught us a very strong problem solving approach that gave me the feeling that I could have thought up of anything he was teaching. It was also a very interactive course, with him constantly asking us what his next step should be - knowing that with our prior 3 years at Mac our intuition would lead us to the right answer.
    • Dr. Noseworthy's labs really made the course. Ask any mac biomed grad and they'll tell you without a doubt that one of the best parts of 4th year were the trips to St. Joseph's hospital. A lot of the material Dr. Noseworthy taught seemed so theoretical and removed until you stepped into that hospital and saw it all come together. You began to actually actually understand the purpose of all his anecdotes in class. Needless to say it's a very rewarding experience. I'm really happy that Dr. Noseworthy pushed for those lab trips, I'm pretty sure they were his brain child.
    • One professor who I feel deserves more than her share of the limelight is Dr. Nikolova. Dr. Nikolova first taught me Electromagnetics I in 3rd year and then in 4th year supervised my final project. Her lectures were so clear and succinct that, in the moment, I felt like I could have done them in my sleep. Her ability to simplify even the most complex of problems has always impressed me. But such intellect can be intimidating, and so no one expected that Dr. Nikolova was also the kindest professor at the entire university, fueled by her passion for teaching. How many professors would zealously teach you how to cross-reference in Microsoft word? And then make microwave theory seem just as simple? Honestly, me trying to express my true reverence has probably come out as cheesy and artificial, but she deserves every word. I had an amazing professor mentoring me. It's just that simple.
  • If you could give advice for a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • Well I can't speak for the quality of any other university, but I know you'll be hard pressed to find better profs than the ones at Mac. Hard to reflect on 4 years of schooling in a short paragraph, but I think suffice to say I have had no real regrets about being taught at Mac at all. I have never had a chance to doubt the quality and usefulness of the education, even though it covers the broad topic that is Biomedical and Electrical Engineering. The things I've learned here will do me wonders at Oxford, and beyond.
  • Headshot of BhavinTell us who you are and what you currently do.
    • My name is Bhavin Mehta and I am a recent graduate (Spring 2009) of Electrical Engineering from McMaster University. I am going to start my training for a Solution Architect/Design Consultant position in a telecommunication sector. I will be working as company's liaison and primary business interface (both internal and external) during the delivery of telecom technology solutions to customer sites.
  • What made you choose the McMaster ECE program?
    • I always wanted to pursue Engineering degree in the field of Electrical/Telecommunications/Electronics. McMaster ECE has one of the best program structures, diverse subject courses and top of the line field experts researching and serving as professor. It promises best knowledge and vast experienced technical guidance for the students in the department.
    • McMaster ECE program is well recognized, ranked both nationally and internationally as one of the best departments of electrical and computer engineering. The department has 33 full-time faculty members, 17 adjunct members and 8 associate members. Eleven full-time professors, five Canada Research Chair (CRC) holders, three occupy funded chairs and six fellows of the Royal Society of Canada. One of the faculty members of the department has been named University Professor (the highest honor conferred by the University).
    • Considering all these factors, I was convinced that I will have best engineering experience in ECE program of McMaster University.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • As per my expectations, ECE program helped and guided me a lot at every step my four years engineering career. I learned entire engineering process from brain storming of a topic to the final testing of it, even with proper documentation. Other than technical aspect, it also gave me an opportunity to learn how to work in a team environment, enhancing my communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Tell us how you ended up where you are now.
    • I liked a structure of the engineering program overall. I used to participate in projects other than academic coursework that helps me gain hands-on skills. I enjoyed working with people in a team environment. Graduating in worst economic situation with complete market melt-down made my dream job hunt an extremely challenging task. I was constantly in contact with some company officials but there was a hiring freeze almost everywhere. So I took an opportunity to sharpen my skill-set with SCJA by Sun Microsystems and CCNA by Cisco Certification. After a long and few rounds of interview process, I got this position of Design Consultant in telecom sector, which I was willing to build my career in.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • In fact there are many in the department that stood out for me. It happened almost every year. In second year, I liked Dr. Hranilovic's teaching style and his in-class presentation of slides. His rigorous projects with strict requirements helped me bring perfection in my work.
    • In third year, Dr Li's 50 minutes non-stop lecturing and painful long and never ending assignments helped me on how to survive under stressful work environment with positive results. His assignments were very helpful on covering all learning material with lot of brain storming on each question. I developed critical thinking approach in this class. Also, Dr. Bakr's labs and in-class instructions were very clear and concise on a fairly complicated material of Electromagnetic. He is one truly dedicated professor to his research subject and has passion to teach.
    • In fourth year, Dr Kumar's very friendly and flexible but result-oriented approach with perfection impressed me a lot. He was always calm and focused on student's project related issues. Knowing a technical difficulty in advance in a final year project, he never stopped me going through one particular solution of the requirement. In stead, he used to suggest alternative solution to a task and perform both to find out which solution gives better results. I really liked it as it guarantees a successful working project.
  • If you could give advice for a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • I highly recommend Mac ECE for prospective students from my learning experience, skills I gained, and diverse course culture in the department. Mac ECE enhances its program structure on regular basis and dedicated to keep their students on world-class engineering applications and practices. It provides lots of opportunities in terms of learning, social networking, industry networking and extra-curricular activities.
    • I am proud to be an alumni of the department and you will truly enjoy your time being at Mac ECE.
  • Headshot of ErikaWas there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • There are a few professors that stand out in the faculty as going above and beyond what's necessary and took an avid interest in how their students did in their classes.
    • Dr. Field went at a great pace and was extremely approachable with any questions.
    • Dr. DeBruin and Dr. Reilly are both available and happy to further explain concepts or take up questions with students
    • Dr. Noseworthy keeps lectures interesting with real-world applications and was up late enough to respond to our frantic 3AM email questions about assignments that were due in 6 hours.
    • Dr. Hranilovic was the best programming professor that I've had because of his clear explanations- which may sound simple but in programming is a lot harder to come across than you may think.
    • Although there were other outstanding professors, if you can change your schedules to be in class with any of the aforementioned people, then do it!
  • Headshot of KundanTell us who you are and what you currently do.
    • My name is Kundan Thind and I graduated from ECE, part of the biomed program in June 2009. I am currently working as a summer student at Robarts Research Institute, London where I start my masters in Medical Biophysics in September 2009. I am working with Dr. Giles Santyr and the research explores certain aspects of hyperpolarized Carbon-13 in lung imaging.
  • What made you choose the McMaster ECE program?
    • To be honest, I wanted to pursue medicine as a career (which a part of me still does). I was also passionate about engineering. The ECE biomed. program combines all the necessary prerequisites for applying to medical schools with a core of engineering courses. This was just the program that I was looking for and made perfect sense for me!
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • Chiefly the specialized biomedical courses, especially the medical imaging course with Dr.Noseworthy.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • After I received NSERC for pursuing my Masters, I was looking for a potential supervisor but was not quite sure what field to choose. I really enjoyed the medical imaging course with Dr. Noseworthy and felt like I had a good grasp on the subject matter. So I got inclined towards medical imaging and Dr. Noweworthy referred my name to Dr. Santyr at Robarts Research Institute.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • I would have to say Dr. Jim Reilly and Dr. Noseworthy. Dr. Reilly is a wonderful teacher and also being the supervisor for the fourth year project led my group very well and was always there when we needed any technical or administrative advice.
    • Dr. Noseworthy is just a phenomenal teacher! I always found his lectures to be interesting and well organized. Apart from that, he was always there when I needed help with course work or when I required advice about my career path.
  • If you could give advice for a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • The ECE biomed program is not easy. It is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, especially while trying to balance it with extracurricular activities and social life. But once done, the possibilities are endless!
  • Headshot of RyanTell us who you are and what you currently do.
    • Ryan Tirtariyadi, graduated from Electrical & Biomedical Engineering class of 2009. Recently offered to enter GE Healthcare's Technical Leadership Program.
  • What made you choose the McMaster ECE program?
    • I was looking for a program that blends Electrical Engineering and Health Sciences. Being a 'techie' with a strong interest for Medicine, I found McMaster's Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program to be the perfect balance. The common First Year was an eye-opening experience and allowed me the chance to know exactly what I wanted. The flexible exit option was a big draw. The idea that one program can either prep you for Medical school, Bachelor of Engineering or a Master's degree in Engineering was a no-brainer. The beautiful campus, welcoming environment and the school spirit drew me to Hamilton, despite my love for metropolis Toronto.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • The specialized Biomedical Engineering courses allowed proper blending of the two disciplines. Medical Imaging, Biological Modelling, Medical Robotics, Biomedical Instrumentation, among other cutting-edge classes. These hybrid classes showed us how Electrical Engineering principles are applied to the Medical field. They bridge the gaping chasm between Electrical Engineering and Health Sciences seamlessly.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • I was in communication with GE Healthcare 6 months prior to an invitation to their head office. Persistence and constant work always pays off in the end. I gave up a $70,000 job to pursue this position, but some things are more important than money.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Dr. Mike Noseworthy, Dr. Aleksandar Jeremic, Dr. Thomas Doyle, Dr. Hubert DeBruin, Dr. Ian Bruce and Dr. James Reilly popped instantly to mind, among many others I know I'm missing. They care enough to go the extra mile for students, whether it be through tough love or personal attention. They kept my interest and inspired me to explore a world of new subjects. They made me want to challenge myself and explore my limits.
  • If you could give advice for a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • The only thing I've learned after 16 years of education is that I know nothing. There's simply too much information in this world to claim myself an expert in anything. Having said that, McMaster will give you what you need to educate yourself for the rest of your life.
    • Nothing is un-learnable, never underestimate the human capacity and never suppress your curiosity.
    • "Don't let school interfere with your education." - Mark Twain
  • Headshot of BrendanTell us who you are and what you currently do.
    • My name is Brendan Boyd, and I received a B.Eng. from McMaster University in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering in 2008. Immediately following graduation I started studying my masters, also in Biomedical Engineering.  I have now been researching for one year, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Noseworthy at St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario. Our research is focused on using non-invasive MRI methods, mainly blood oxygen level-dependent, to assess kidney function.
  • What made you choose the McMaster ECE program?
    • Electronics is an industry that has been growing at a steady rate for decades now.  There are numerous jobs available in a wide variety of applications for this technology.  The ECE program at McMaster University seemed to be very aware of this and designed their curriculum to focus on practical knowledge that would increase a graduates chances of finding employment when finished.  This was apparent through the use of hands-on labs, a wide variety of available degrees (Biomedical, Management, Society, Computer, Electrical, etc.), and constant tweaking of the curriculum to include recent and applicable content.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • The diversity of the program in ECE really allowed me to choose any avenue I desired upon graduation.  Having taken science, math, engineering, physics courses, I was able to utilize my knowledge in a wide variety of applications. 
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • The fourth year project in particular, allowed me to experiment with different subjects I was interested in.  This elaborate but exciting project is what ultimately lead me to take a graduate student position with my supervisor, Dr. Noseworthy.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Everyone I encountered during my ECE experience was friendly, helpful, and extremely enthusiastic about their field.  This includes all faculty, administration, and other personnel.  Having chosen the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering discipline, many of my courses were taught by either Dr. Hubert Debruin, or Dr. Ian Bruce.  Both of these professors were incredibly kind and patient individuals, consistently leaving their doors open for any inquisitive students who might wander by. 
  • If you could give advice for a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • My advice to a prospective student would be to avoid having tunnel vision when it comes to choosing a discipline.  Although the programs have their own focuses and curriculum, the options upon graduation will be vast no matter which you graduate from.  Try to choose courses and directions in your undergraduate journey that are congruent with your interests.  Refrain from outside pressure, such as friends, family, or prestige in making these decisions. 

Headshot of David Being a recent McMaster University graduate, I can truly say my undergrad was one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life. Deciding to select McMaster’s ECE program gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual, meet incredible people, and share my passion for electronics and power related fields.

The first few years of the ECE program gave me a strong electrical foundation, while the last few years of the ECE program gave me the opportunity to apply this knowledge in practical design applications. All of which I was able to carry forward to my current employment as an Electrical Department Project Lead (DPE) at Praxair. The ECE program gave me the strength and confidence to design single lines, build motor control centres, negotiate with contractors and design the electrical layout to power a Praxair Plant.

My advice to all those undergrads in ECE is to get involved with extracurriculars, talk to your professors and meet as many people as you can, this will make your time as an undergraduate not only enjoyable, but more meaningful and memorable.

Headshot of AminMcMaster University is where I had my most enjoyable years of study. The university campus with the surrounding student houses forms a small lively town and a big international community where I found so many close friends. This university is among the top prestigious academic places in the world where students can have many useful hands-on experiences. In the ECE department I gained a lot of useful practical experience beside theoretical knowledge mainly in the field of robotics. Despite the current recession and job freezing, my graduate experience in McMaster facilitated my road to several job offers and my excellent job position where I put all my learnings in practice. Not only could I improve my academic skills in my favorite university but also I had the chance of working with famous scientists, attending many scientific and professional seminars, and doing many social/sport activities with wonderful people. The only sad part about McMaster is when the graduate studies are over and one is leaving this friendly academic environment to a new world. I still miss my professors, the kind and helpful academic staff, and even the classrooms and gym facilities in McMaster.
  • Tell us who you are and what you do.
    • My name is Huaiyu Guan. I graduated from MAC ECE at 2007. I have been working at Research In Motion since then. I am in the Hardware Quality Assurance department. My primary job responsibility is performing electrical tests to ensure the battery and handset charging circuitry meets the IEEE standard for cellular phones. I also develop automated test systems to perform those tests.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • When I was applying for University, I heard that McMaster is strong in its Engineering program. With an interest in electronics since I was young, I chose McMaster's ECE program without a doubt.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • The Co-op program. It gives me a unique experience which makes me stand out from other job applicants.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • Initially I thought I could get a job where I completed my co-op terms (not at RIM). But that company wasn't doing well at the time I graduated, and it was not hiring. Being disappointed, I started my job hunt like other new graduates. I tried all the methods I knew: checking the Internet regularly (job websites like Monster, and electronics companies website), ask people around me, career center consulting, career mentor, recruiting companies, business directory. I applied to every position that fit in my career direction (electronics). At the beginning, there was no result, I was very frustrated. But I knew there was hope, because I did get interviews.
    • At that time, I didn't know which company I would join. I tried my best and waited for my future to unfold. When I received the offer from RIM, I felt very happy and a bit surprised. I guess it is life's uncertainty that brings me to my current position.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Dr. James Chen
    • During the summer I worked for him, his research work gave me the opportunity to put my knowledge into practical use. Without this research experience, I probably could not have gotten my first co-op job.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • McMaster offers many traditional engineering programs and some unique engineering programs. (For example: Biomedical Engineering). By joining Mac, you will have broader choices. And with the Engineering Co-op Program, you have the opportunity to see how the knowledge learned in classroom is used in the real world.
  • Headshot of GauravTell us who you are and what you do.
    • Gaurav Bahl
      B.Eng. McMaster University, 2005
      PhD in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2010
      Now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor as of September 2010.
  • What made you choose McMaster's ECE program?
    • McMaster (and Hamilton) are well located near a big city (Toronto), and are yet in a distraction-free environment. Since I was an international student, it was important for me to consider the fact that I had family in the Mississauga area. Of course, it also helps that McMaster is one of top engineering schools in Canada.
  • What was it about the program that got you where you are today?
    • I made full use of the opportunities available to me through the ECE department, and the engineering school in general. To elaborate:

      I was one of the lead designers of the electrical systems on the McMaster Solar Car Project, and I got to work on Fireball II and on Pheonix (both solar cars) during my years there. This gave me much experience seeing how a large interdisciplinary project combining mechanical design, electronics, aerodynamics, and physics, comes together to form a finished product.

      I was also involved in undergraduate research, aside from coursework, with Professor Kleiman in Engineering Physics, which also got me interested in the merger of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and physics, that I work in today.

      The coursework within ECE supplemented this quite well, since we were introduced to a very wide variety of subject matter, ranging from communication systems to microelectronics, during our studies there.
  • Tell us how you ended up in your current position.
    • Since I specialized in micro-electromechanical resonators and oscillators during my PhD research at Stanford University, it was a natural extension of my work to step into micro-opto-mechanical systems. I was identified and invited to apply for the postdoc position by a professor from Cornell University even before I had set a defense or graduation date for my PhD degree.
  • Was there anyone in the department that particularly stood out for you, and if so, how?
    • Professor Haddara is an excellent instructor, and exhibited a lot care and concern for the students in his classes. I took a course on probability with him, as a first introduction to his style, and I completely loved it. Later, he went out of his way to provide me with undergraduate research funding to work on subject matter that I was very interested in, and he was always available for support when needed. Eventually, he mentored me through my application process to graduate degree programs in many of the major schools in North America, which led me to do my MS and PhD degrees at Stanford University. I really appreciate the personal attention that he gave towards my 3 year journey through Mac ECE.
  • If you could give advice to a prospective student deciding about coming to Mac, what would it be?
    • It's an excellent school, the sport facilities are awesome, and there are many opportunities to further your education aside from coursework. The area surrounding the town is beautiful (Dundas, Ancaster) and provides a lot of opportunity for outdoor activity in the warmer months. The size of the engineering school is not very big, as a result of which personal attention of the professors can often be obtained. I highly recommend going to Mac for an undergraduate degree.