Grand River Chapter
Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00

Chair's Message

Kaoru YajimaWelcome to your spring edition of the newly designed PEO Grand River Chapter newsletter. My name is Kaoru Yajima, and I work as a water supply engineer for the Region of Waterloo. In the 2013 Chapter Annual General Meeting held this past February, I assumed the position of Chair for the next two years. Together with 24 other volunteers sworn in, we will be serving as your Chapter Board for the upcoming year.

The Chapter plans to form relationships with organizations that have similar interests as PEO. Did you know that PEO has formal relationships with OACETT, Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists as well as EWB, Engineers Without Borders? In today’s ever-integrated world, it makes sense to learn what those in related organizations do and where it makes sense, for the PEO to collaborate with them. With this mindset, the Grand River Chapter hopes it can learn from, as well as offer something to, the local chapters of both organizations. We have already begun to discuss joint events with OACETT and hopefully, EWB will follow.

You’ll notice that this newsletter edition is a bit shorter than usual. We hope to issue three editions this year, where each edition is briefer but hopefully timelier so that we can convey information to you. Speaking of information, we established a committee to set up a new Chapter website. With the new appearance, we hope to also implement a plan to keep the content updated so it will be relevant to you, the Chapter members.

Finally, I’d like to thank the past chair of the Chapter, Richard Pinder, P.Eng, for his great contribution over these past two years to make the Chapter relevant to members. I hope to continue the momentum in these next two years. Remember, communication is a two-way street so if you have any ideas for hosting an event, planning a seminar, or would like to be more involved with the Chapter, please let anyone on the Board know to discuss your ideas.

Kaoru Yajima, P.Eng.

Published in Chair’s message
Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00

2013-2014 Executive Board

by Suresh Neethirajan, PhD., P.Eng


Board 2013


    • Kaoru Yajima, M.Eng, P.Eng (Chair & Operations);
    • Matt Irvine, P.Eng (Vice – Chair);
    • Kellie Harrison, P.Eng, (Secretary);
    • Kent Percival, MSc, P.Eng (Treasurer);
    • Richard Pinder, MSc, P.Eng (Ex – Chair).

Executive Board:

    • Suresh Neethirajan, PhD., P.Eng ( Chair – Communications Committee);
    • Dave Buck, P.Eng (Chair – Events Committee);
    • Peter Chisholm, P.Eng (Chair – Education Committee);
    • Gabriel Tse, P.Eng (Chair – Government Liaison Program).

Committee Members:


    • Jack Baker, P.Eng;
    • Erica Garcia, P.Eng;
    • Shailesh Shah, P.Eng.


    • Jonathan Velasco, P.Eng;
    • Ryan Spencer, P.Eng;
    • Richard Zytner, PhD., P.Eng;
    • Wayne Ng, P.Eng;
    • Mohanad Oraibi Al-Ajaj, EIT.


    • Jeff Bueckert, P.Eng;
    • Terry Gomez, P.Eng.


    • Richard Pinderl, P.Eng;
    • Chris Maltby, P.Eng.

Government Liaison Program:

    • Shahriar Varkiani, P.Eng;
    • Harmail Basi, P.Eng;
    • Oscar Nespoli, P.Eng.
Published in Announcements
Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00

UW Engineering Hosts 2013 AGM

by Kaoru Yajima, P.Eng

On February 11, the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering played host to the PEO Grand River Chapter’s 2013 Annual General Meeting. Our keynote speaker was Professor Teertstra, P.Eng., of the University of Waterloo who gave a presentation on the new E5 engineering building on campus. The building’s purpose was to provide space to facilitate as many 4th year engineering projects as they could, for example the Midnight Sun, Mini-Baja and the Concrete Toboggan to name a few. It was also nice to hear that the design of the building had input from 4th year students. Some of the student teams were on hand to showcase their impressive projects and the Chapter wishes them good luck as they compete in Provincial and National Competitions.

While seeing the new building and the projects was great, the AGM also had its order of business to deal with.

We helped welcome the most recent newly licensed engineers to the profession by presenting them their certificates – turned out it was good incentive for those 4th year students watching. We also awarded two first year PEO engineering student scholarship prizes, both to students at the University of Guelph (see related article). On behalf of the PEO head office, we also presented a 10-year volunteer recognition award to Amanda Froese, P.Eng., for her volunteer contributions to the profession. Congratulations to all.

Last but not least, we swore in the new Chapter Board Executive. These volunteers will serve on the Board for the next year and they will be spending their personal time to help promote the profession of engineering within the chapter boundaries.

If you would more information on the proceedings please feel free to contact us through our website.

Published in Past events in review
Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00

Grand River PEO Student Scholarship

by Jonathan Velasco, P.Eng

Congratulations to the two successful PEO scholarship awardees of 2012, Ainsley Inglis and Silviu Agotici from the University of Guelph. They received their awards during the general membership meeting held in University of Waterloo Engineering 5 last Feb 11, 2013.

Ainsley Inglis of the UoG receiving the PEO scholarship award.

Published in Announcements
Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00

National Engineering Month 2013 Review

by Ala Bashatly, EIT

KNEXNational Engineering Month was celebrated with yet another exciting K’NEX event.

The bridge building contest took place at THE MUSEUM in Kitchener on March 23rd and 24th from 10am- 5pm. The K’NEX bridge building is one of the best ways to introduce the youth to the world of Engineering!

The event brought out the youth’s imagination and creativity. Children learned about the various fields of engineering from our volunteers. Parents, guardians and volunteers taught the children different techniques for building a strong bridge. Children built bridges using the K’NEX components which are then tested by the PEO-Grand River Chapter’s volunteers.

Pushing the envelope this year, the bridges were loaded with bricks. Structures that were able to withstand the maximum load of bricks entered a draw to win three prizes. First place prize was a K’NEX Roller Coaster set. Second place was a Ferris wheel set and the third place was multi- models Tub set.

As part of the National Engineering Month event held at The Museum, Conestoga College brought a Denso industrial robot that challenged participants to a game of tic-tac-toe. Participants learned various applications of industrial robots while gaining an appreciation for their versatility. Each participant was able to observe the robot functioning, the control system governing its motion, and the vision system used to inform the robot of real time events. The Denso Robot software was loaded to a PLC- programmable logic controller to play games in hard and easy mode. Children were thrilled to play tic-tac-toe with the robot.

Scoreboard: Draws: 47, Participants – 14, Robot – 30. A good weekend for the robot!

Greg Burns-VPO Engineering Society from Conestoga College controlled the robot on Saturday. Sonny Modi-VPI Engineering Society from Conestoga College did a great job setting up and demonstrating the Denso Robot on Sunday.

Sunday was highlighted by the First Robotics Frisbee Thrower Robot. REBotics team from Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, and Brad Morris from University of Waterloo demonstrated the robot’s various mobility skills and high precision in throwing Frisbee discs.

The event was a great success with the support of University of Waterloo students.

Special thanks to the fans of the K’NEX event that came for more fun at THE MUSEUM!

Click on an image to see full gallery.

Published in Events Held