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This is Lassonde: Podcast

This is Lassonde: Podcast Season 2

Want to get the inside scoop? Check out our ‘This is Lassonde’ Podcast, where each episode brings you fresh conversations talking to engineers, scientists and creators across the Lassonde community, including students, faculty, alumni and our industry partners.

Hosted by students, Denise and Connor, you can look forward to insightful conversations that you won’t want to miss. Tune in and hear all about how Lassonde is making an impact and finding solutions to complex problems.

Get inspired to make a positive change in the world and become a part of the Lassonde community.

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Episode 15:

Gaining Entrepreneurial Insights: Exploring the BEST Program

In this episode, we’re joined by Artem Solovey and Maedeh Sedaghat to explore Lassonde’s Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) program. Artem is a master’s student in Civil Engineering and Maedeh is the Manager for the BEST program. We talk to them all about what BEST offers, how students benefit from the program and the importance of an entrepreneurial STEM mindset! 

Episode 14:

Balancing University and Life: The Journey of Twin Scholars Kene & Kosi Oraka 

Twin sisters, Kene and Kosi Oraka, are second-year Lassonde students and recipients of the Lassonde Scholarship, who are highly engaged in the campus community. In this episode, the duo opens up about their journey as international students and the unique challenges they faced transitioning into university, from overcoming homesickness to adapting to online learning. Then, they share valuable advice on achieving a harmonious work-life balance, empowering listeners to conquer their academic pursuits while nurturing their personal well-being. 

Episode 13:

Preserving Privacy in a Digital Age: Insights from Prof. Yan Shvartzshnaider 

Yan Shvartzshnaider is a Software Engineering professor at the Lassonde School of Engineering who focuses on privacy and security in computer systems. In this episode, he takes us on a journey through the challenges of determining proper privacy measures amid an ever-evolving technological landscape. As online learning gains momentum, we uncover the pressing privacy concerns that arise with this shift toward virtual education. From data protection to online surveillance, Professor Shvartzshnaider provides valuable expertise and sheds light on how we can safeguard our digital experiences. 

Episode 12:

Driving Sustainable Change: Exploring Electric Vehicles and Zero-Waste Living with Adonai Garcia

Adonai Garcia, a Masters of Civil Engineering student at Lassonde, is dedicated to promoting safe, accessible and eco-friendly transportation. In this episode, he shares his involvement in research projects centred around electric vehicles, including electric cargo bikes and the SARIT. Adonai also recounts his impactful journey biking across the Dominican Republic to raise awareness about the environmental consequences of single-use plastics. Plus, hear his valuable advice on adopting a zero-waste lifestyle.

Episode 11:

Powering the Future: Exploring Grid Systems with Dr. Pirathayini Srikantha 

This week, we’re catching up with Dr. Pirathayini Srikantha, an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Lassonde. Her research focuses on power grid systems and the distribution of electricity. In this episode, you will learn about her career path, the work she does as a professor here at Lassonde.

Episode 10:

Breaking down systemic barriers in STEM with Lassonde’s k2i academy 

Lassonde’s k2i academy is on a mission to break down systemic barriers in STEM and create an innovative ecosystem by working together with partners to design creative solutions. In this episode, Lisa Cole and Michelle Tsui-Woods share how the k2i academy is fostering equitable access to quality education. Discover the academy’s origins and goals, and learn how students can get involved. 

Episode 9:

From Dreams to Virtual Reality: Dr. Gene Cheung’s Journey  

Dr. Gene Cheung is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the Lassonde School of Engineering. In this episode, he discusses his path to York University and the exciting work he does as a professor. Then, prepare to be inspired as we delve into Dr. Cheung’s fascinating research in Virtual Reality. Discover what motivated him to explore this cutting-edge field and the incredible possibilities it holds for education and medicine. 

Episode 8:

From Computer Engineering Student to Amazon Podcast Pioneer: Stephen Low’s Journey

In this episode, we are joined by Stephen Low, a Computer Engineering alumnus. We chat about his current position at Amazon and how he played a key role in the launch of Amazon Music’s podcast platform. We then go back and discuss his undergraduate experience at Lassonde, and he tells us about all the ways he got involved on campus, from extracurriculars to co-op, and the history behind the leather Lassonde engineering jackets you might see around campus.

Episode 7:

Earth Day with Dr. Marina Freire-Gormaly 

On this special Earth Day episode, we’re joined by Marina Freire-Gormaly, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Lassonde. Her research aims to make a positive impact on the environment, with a focus on UNSDG #6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. From solar-powered water treatment systems to energy recovery systems for remote communities without access to grid electricity, Professor Freire-Gormaly’s work is truly cutting-edge.   

Episode 6:

From Space Waste to Finding your Place  

In this episode, we chat with Franz Newland, an associate professor in the Earth and Space Science and Engineering department at Lassonde. Professor Newland discusses his journey and passion for the space sciences, including his international experience working at institutions like the European Space Agency, and how he found his way to Lassonde. He will also delve into his research on satellite technologies and his participation in the CubeSat team at York University. 

Episode 5:

World Water Day with Dr. Satinder Brar & Dr. Usman Khan 

Join us on this special episode as we celebrate World Water Day. This annual United Nations observance on March 22 brings attention to the importance of fresh water and the need for sustainable management of freshwater resources. Our guests today are Dr. Satinder Brar and Dr. Usman Khan, two Civil Engineering faculty members who are making a significant impact in water research while supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Clean Water and Sanitation and Climate Action. Listen in as we discuss the various contaminants affecting Canada’s water sources, the benefits of using value-added bioproducts for water treatment, and the effects of climate change on urban water systems and how sustainable urban planning can prevent flooding. 

Episode 4:

Building leadership skills and finding a community through BEST

Olga Klushina graduated from the Electrical Engineering program Lassonde School of Engineering in 2022. In this episode, we chat about her experience taking part in the BEST Certificate Program at Lassonde and how it led to her current role as a Systems Engineering Lead at KPM Power. We also hear about all the different ways she got involved as a student and how those experiences allowed her to make valuable connections that helped her on her career journey. 

Episode 3:

Shifting gears: Brandon Loy’s journey to becoming a software engineer at Tesla

In this episode, we are joined by Brandon Loy, an Electrical Engineering alumnus from Lassonde and a current software engineer at Tesla. He talks to us about his journey from an electrical engineering degree to a career in software engineering, as well as his experience working at one of the most innovative companies in the world. He also reminisces about his time at Lassonde and offers valuable advice to new grads.  

Episode 2:

Highlighting the accomplishments of Black Scientists and Engineers with Solomon Boakye-Yiadom

In this episode, we sit down with Solomon Boakye-Yiadom, an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Lassonde. He tells us all about his research into materials and structures before diving into a discussion about the equity, diversity and inclusion work being done at Lassonde and in his lab to highlight the contributions and accomplishments of Black scientists and engineers. He also tells us how he’s inspiring youth from underrepresented communities to pursue STEM. Finally, we learn all about his involvement in an exciting project with National Geographic. 

Episode 1:

From creative to Creator, combining performance arts with earth & space science

In today’s episode, we are joined by Chimira Andres, a PhD student in Lassonde’s Earth and Space Science program. Chimira has travelled all around the world throughout her educational journey and worked with various organizations such as the European, Canadian and Italian Space Agencies and NASA. In this episode, she reflects on her educational path and how she ended up here. She also discusses her upcoming travels to France as part of the Coutelle Program, where she will be exploring glacier formations on Mars through a doctoral scholarship. Finally, she describes the parallels between her two passions, professional dance and space, and gives advice on maintaining a work-life balance. 

Follow Chimira on Twitter: @RocksNRockets