Grand River Chapter

Upcoming Events

UPDATE (March 2017): Event cancelled, due to low registration.

UPDATE (December 2016): No more speakers required.  Thanks for your interest

A Call for Speakers and Volunteers for PEO Symposium 2017


Building on the momentum from the success of Symposium 2016, planning has commenced for Symposium 2017. 

To all potential speakers: if you have an interesting research study or technical subject that you would like to share with your colleagues, please contact  

To all volunteers: If you would like to volunteer in any capacity to help organize Symposium 2017, please contact

The Symposium 2017 organizing team includes Garan Nalla, Amin Mali, Kevin Poirier, Jonathan Velasco and Samir Dhanvantari.

Thursday, 02 June 2016 22:08

Tour of REEP House for Sustainable Living

Thursday, June 23, 2016 -  6:00pm to 8:00 pm

REEP House for Sustainable Living - 20 Mill Street, Kitchener, ON, N2G 2Y3

Event is open to P.Eng and EIT only (no guests)

Registration is free, however spaces are limited.

Registration Cut-off is June 16, 2016

REEP House has been renovated to showcase energy and water innovations that any home can adopt. Deep retrofits have reduced energy used for space heating and water heating by 86%, reduced costs by 85%, and cut carbon emissions by 54%. You will find working demonstrations of household energy-efficient and water management technologies. Also, see how reclaimed materials and natural landscaping can create unique design features in and outside of the home.

As you walk around REEP House, you will have the chance to put your hands inside walls, analyse the competing data and quality of installed products, learn about the REEP House retrofit design strategy and ask plenty of questions. REEP House is all about helping you find solutions for improving your own home or building.

We explore the significance of insulating and sealing the envelope, look at options for improving the quality of your home's heat and water use, and have a free-flowing discussion of some things we learned during the retrofitting process.

The event will include a full tour of REEP House and its many features, including:

  • Water Management (outdoor) – including discussion of municipal stormwater credits
  • Wise Water Use (indoor)
  • Water Heating
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
  • Insulation, Draft-proofing, Windows, and Doors
  • Lighting and Appliances
  • Green Materials and Heritage

To register visit: 


Thursday, 14 April 2016 20:19

PEO Grand River Chapter Symposium 2016

We’re back and we made it even better! Spend your Saturday morning with other professional engineers in our local chapter while increasing your knowledge from the interesting talks we lined up for you.

Improve your leadership skills through a keynote presentation from one of the most fluent, humorous and animated speaker from our region. “Lead Right or Die!” is designed by Neil Dunsmore to convey his leadership message to engineers and project managers in a manner you have not seen before.  More details

Click here to Register

Back to back with Neil are two technical talks that will add to your knowledge power.

Learn about what’s blinding drivers, damaging cars and homes, or even burning people!  Ryan Danks, P.Eng explores a serious glaring problem--- controlling solar reflection from the built environment.  His expertise on this subject matter may just save you from becoming the next victim. More details

Click here to Register

What’s up with the depleting rare earth elements? Discover why they are vital in the manufacturing world as subject matter expert Alireza Shirazi, PhD, P.Eng, discusses rare earth elements and its impact to additive manufacturing. More details

Limited seats.  To avoid disappointments, register today. 

Click here to Register





Neil Dunsmore

Lead Right or Die! Essential Leadership Skills for Engineers and Project Managers

Neil will explore leadership skills and discuss why most people fail, how you can succeed where others have failed and what to do about those nasty weaknesses. He will provide useful leadership insights that engineers can use to improve their trade.

Neil is a business owner, an entrepreneur and a sales professional, and was also a Correctional Officer and Hostage/Crisis Negotiator for 10 years in a maximum security detention centre.   He is also a keynote speaker, speaking for various organizations and businesses on intriguing topics such as anti-bullying and leadership, and messages on making good personal choices and the impact of bad decisions.

  “I have learned that you take the stage as a speaker for a moment but your message should move the audience for a lifetime. After speaking to someone at a presentation or a meeting, then a year later they remember, not my name, but my message! ...That's cool!”

Neil is a very fluent speaker and a long time member of Toastmasters International. He won the 2015 District 86 Evaluation Contest, the 2011 District 86 Humorous Speech Contest, competed in the District 86 International Contest 3 times. His unique style and delivery, using real life events and craft them into humorous presentations, enables Neil to convey his message a fun and enjoyable experience for the listeners. Learning new leadership techniques in this "humorous way" is something you need to see and experience for yourself.




Ryan Danks, P.Eng

A Glaring Problem – Controlling Solar Reflections from the Built Environment

In recent years, uncontrolled solar reflections from buildings have been blamed for blinding drivers, damaging cars and homes and even burning people. Because of this, understanding how a building will reflect light has become an increasingly important aspect of design. This presentation explores the different ways reflections impact their surroundings, why these impacts occur and how to prevent and mitigate reflection related problems.

Ryan Danks is a senior engineer with RWDI who is focused on the research and development of tools and methodologies to better simulate the interaction between the built and natural environments.  His work helps architects, engineers and urban planners create climate aware designs that emphasize energy efficiency, outdoor comfort and walkability in urban settings across five continents.




Alireza Shirazi, Ph.D., P.Eng

Rare Earth Elements (REE) and its Impact to Additive Manufacturing

REE have been categorized by the government as being critical to Canada’s economy. REE contain unique qualities such as magnetic, catalytic and luminescent properties which make them vital for manufacturing clean energy products, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar cells and energy-efficient lighting. These high-value performance characteristics and forecasted global consumption combined with a lack of useful substitutes could risk major shortages of REE globally.

It is proposed that metal Additive Manufacturing (AM), offering superior characteristics over traditional manufacturing systems, minimizing waste, lowering manufacturing costs and more importantly serving to find new rare earth substitutes, would be one of the potential solutions for global and national REE concerns. Achieving these unique features and characteristics of AM technology however requires a better understanding of fundamentals of Additive Manufacturing of metal and structural materials processes. This situation creates high demands for advance research in AM and REE.

Dr. Alireza Shirazi, is a project engineer at Hitachi Truck Manufacturing Ltd., Guelph Canada with PhD, Master of Applied Science and Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and PEng since 2012.  He has over 14 years of experience acting as a senior engineer and advisor in research and development, design and manufacturing working with global companies such as IBM Canada, Celestica, Microsoft and Motorola. His specialities and expertise are in Fatigue Analysis, Stress Analysis, Finite Element Analysis, Elasticity and Plasticity of linear and non-linear materials including Composite Materials, Biomaterials, Artificial Tissues and Implants, advanced high alloy ferrous and non-ferrous metals and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Dr. Shirazi has over 30 technical publications in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings. His findings are being implemented and cited by many international research societies and industries. He is an advisor and reviewer of number of peer reviewed journals and conferences such as Journal of Composite Materials, Microelectronics Reliability, etc., Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conferences and organizations such as ASME, IEEE and SMTA in design and manufacturing.


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