CREATE-GRK Summer School July 2020

The annual bi-lateral workshop between the CREATE guided light and GRK 2101 training programs was originally scheduled to be hosted in Toronto for the 2020 Summer School session. With the public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Peter Herman, Director of the CREATE program and host of the Toronto session, pivoted the workshop activities to online training. Originally planned as a 4-day event in July, the workshop was broken out over 4 weeks to accommodate the differences in the Canada and German time zones.

Trainees joined the workshop from all 3 Canadian institutions participating in the NSERC CREATE Guided Light program (EMT-INRS, Université Laval and University of Toronto) as well international students from our German partner in the GRK2101 program at the Friedrich Schiller University‐Jena.

Some Highlights from the Workshop

Panel on Good Scientific Practices
– Hosted by Prof. Peter Herman, with panelists: Eric Bernier, Huawei Technologies Canada, Paul Corkum from National Research Council of Canada and University of Ottawa, Roberto Morandotti from INRS-EMT and Andreas Tünnermann from Fraunhofer-Institute of Applied Optics and Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
– Topics discussed include: managing a lab, overseeing a large research team and network of collaborators, funding, differences between research in academia, government and industry, challenges in the research landscape

Soft Skills Training
– Networking and Relationship Building Workshop presented by Teressa Didiano and Jordan Daniow from Troost ILead of University of Toronto, Faculty of Engineering.
– Survival Skills for Scientists Workshop presented by Prof. Patrizio Antici at INRS
– Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Workshop led by Dr. Cindy Rottman and Annie Simpson from Troost ILead, University of Toronto, Faculty of Engineering.
– Research Writing Seminar taught by Debby Repka, Toronto

Career Pathways Part 1: Who You Are Matters &
Part 2: Intentional Exploration

Presented by Mark Franklin from Career Cycles, Toronto.
– A two-part workshop on careers entailed highly interactive sessions and surveys to guiding trainees to clarify what they want more of, identify their “what’s next”, give and receive feedback and help others be their best as they explore academic and non-academic possibilities in engineering, research and beyond.

Entrepreneurship and Commercialization
– 2-Min Elevator Pitch Event: Students presented their 2-minute pitch on their research interests, current research activities and/or research ideas.
– Invited Talk: Patent vs. Publishing: A Comparative Introduction to Patents presented by Steve Leonard from Hill & Schumacher, Toronto.
– Invited Talk: Starting A Spin-Out Company: Fibos presented by Nicholas Burgwin, CEO of Fibos Inc., Toronto

Design and Prototyping Workshop Part 1, 2 & 3
– Trainees designed an automated solution for a task like coupling light into a fiber or automation of a laser beam. Trainees were taught how to conceptualize, design and print this 3D prototype.
– Part 1: Introduction into design thinking and prototyping. Introduction to design tools
– Part 2: In-depth session on CAD and Blender design, Arduino programming, 3D printing
– Part 3: Presenting proof of concept and demonstrating prototypes

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