Four IOS companies selected as finalists for OCE ELP Competition

2013 May 8 by smcauley

The Experiential Learning Competition, taking place at the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery 2013 conference on May 27 and 28, is an opportunity for 10 companies based at Experiential Leaning Program (ELP)-funded sites to showcase their innovative products and business models. Out of these 10 companies, 4 have been working with the IOS to accelerate the commercialization of their scientific discoveries: Chematria, Sonola Imaging, Lunanos, and Pathcore. Each of these teams will submit a business plan and present a 5-minute pitch to a panel of expert judges with up to three teams winning up to $25,000 to support their businesses.

OCE’s ELP program supports $4.55 million among nine programs, including the IOS, to manage and strengthen programs for young entrepreneurs that will accelerate and enhance the quality of the new companies and industry collaborations at Ontario universities and colleges.

More information on the competition and the competing companies are available on the competition webpage.

Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences and will deliver 3 lectures

2013 March 21 by hkim

Professor Mildred Dresselhaus, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences from April 22 to 24 as a Stoicheff Lecturer and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist (DVS). More information on the Stoicheff lecture is available here, and for the DVS lectures here.


DVS visit of Thomas Schmidt in February

2013 January 25 by hkim

We are thrilled to have Prof. Thomas Schmidt for Physics of Life Processes at the Leiden Institute of Physics at Leiden University, Netherlands visiting us in February as part of our Distinguished Visiting Scientist (DVS) series. While in Toronto, Prof. Schmidt will present lectures on February 11, 12, and 14th, as well as tour various labs at the University of Toronto and meet with both faculty and graduate students. Look out for more information at

The UofT Student as Inventor and Entrepreneur

2012 October 29 by hkim

Monday November 12, 2012

When Charles Best was a student at the University of Toronto, he worked on a project that was to change the world — insulin. Today and for the foreseeable future the discovery of insulin has a major impact in the lives of millions.

Our University’s strength in research and in teaching provides an excellent foundation for students to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship – to translate scientific discovery into societal benefits, to create their own jobs.

Join us in a celebration of the UofT student as inventor and entrepreneur, and the inauguration of TechnoLABS – a space dedicated to student technopreneurs. We will listen to six stories from former UofT students who have led technology companies that improved our quality of life, allowing our society to benefit from university discoveries. We will also learn about initiatives at the University for helping the current generation of students follow in the footsteps of the speakers. TechnoLABS is part of a growing ecosystem of support and training programs at the University of Toronto for student and recent alumni entrepreneurs building companies based on technological innovations in a  wide range of physical sciences. Students participating in TechnoLABS will present their companies at a poster session before the formal presentations and during the break.


University of Toronto – MacLeod Auditorium
1 Kings College Circle, Medical Sciences Bldg., Room 2158
Toronto,  ON  M5S 1A8

View Larger Map

Program of Presentations:


1:00 – 2:00 Meet TechnoLABS Entrepreneurs
2:00 -2:05 Welcome and introduction
2:05 – 2:20 Presentation about Charles Best, the student who discovered insulin
2:20 – 2:45 Tony Redpath — EcoPlastics Inc.
2:45 – 3:15 Graeme Ferguson — Imax Inc.
3:15 – 3:45 Break & Refreshment
Meet TechnoLABS Entrepreneurs
3:45 – 4:10 Vaughn Betz — Right Track CAD
4:10 – 4:35 Neil Reid — Sciex
4:35 – 5:00 Darren Anderson — Vive Crop Protection Inc.
5:00 – 5:15 Official Launch of TechnoLabs at the University of Toronto
5:15 – 6:00 Networking


In order to participate in the event, please RSVP at this link.
We would appreciate a response by Wedsnesday, October 31.


Science Rendezvous preview video

2012 May 3 by smcauley

Science Rendezvous is a grassroots non-profit organization that partners with Canada’s top research institutions to present an annual free science festival. Founded by former IOS Director Prof RJ Dwayne Miller this year’s festival takes place on May 12th on university campuses, research institutions and community sites across the country with hands-on activities, exciting demonstrations, and explosive experiments. Check out this short promotional video created by the University of Toronto.

LED Magazine covers SSLNet Workshop on Smart Sustainable Lighting

2012 April 4 by smcauley

As one of the leading publications on all things related to Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), LED Magazine recently published an article on the recent SSLNet workshop on Smart Sustainable Lighting. The SSLNet was founded by the IOS to bring together industry, government agencies, and academics to lead the Canadian lighting revolution, and the recent workshop was a significant step in seeing through with this goal. You can read about the workshop on the LED Magazine website or at

Promises and challenges in light-emitting diodes for lighting applications

2012 February 25 by smcauley

Lecture organized by the IOS, the SSLNet and the IEEE Electron Devices Society

Prof. E. Fred. Schubert, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Thursday, March 15 at 3 pm
University of Toronto, Bahen Building, Room 1180
40 St. George Street, Toronto

All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

This lecture has been certified to provide 1 LEU credit to individuals working towards NCQLP LC certification. If any participants require a certificate please contact smcauley [at]

Lighting technologies based on semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offer unprecedented promises that include three major benefits: (i) Gigantic energy savings enabled by efficient conversion of electrical energy to optical energy; (ii) Substantial positive contributions to sustainability through reduced emissions of global-warming gases, acid-rain gases, and toxic substances such as mercury; and (iii) The creation of new paradigms in lighting driven by the unique controllability of solid-state lighting sources. Due to the powerful nature of these benefits, the transition from conventional lighting sources to solid-state lighting is virtually assured. This presentation will illustrate the new world of lighting including the pervasive changes to be expected in lighting, displays, communications, and biotechnology. The presentation will also address the formidable challenges that must be addressed to further advance solid-state lighting technology. These challenges offer opportunities for research and innovation. Specific challenges include light management and carrier transport. We will discuss the hotly debated efficiency droop, that is, the decreasing efficiency of GaInN LEDs at high injection currents. Furthermore, we will discuss new optical thin-film materials with a tunable refractive index.

E. Fred Schubert received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Stuttgart (Germany) in 1986. From 1981 to 1985 he worked on compound semiconductor crystal growth at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart, as a Member of Scientific Staff. During 1985 to 1995, he was a Post-doctoral Fellow, Member of Technical Staff, Principal Investigator, and Member of Management at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel and Murray Hill, New Jersey. In 1995, he entered academia, Boston University as a Professor of Electrical Engineering. In 2002, he joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a distinguished Professor, the Wellfleet Senior Constellation Professor, with appointments in the Electrical Engineering Department and Physics Department. From 2008–2009, he served as the Director of the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center of the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Schubert has made pioneering contributions to the field of compound semiconductor materials and devices in particular to the fields of alloy broadening, delta-doping, resonant-cavity light-emitting diodes, enhanced spontaneous emission in Er-doped Si/SiO2 microcavities, elimination of unipolar heterojunction band discontinuities, p-type superlattice doping in AlGaN, photonic-crystal light-emitting diodes, crystallographic etching of GaN, polarization-enhanced ohmic contacts, omni-directional reflectors, low-refractive index materials, anti-reflection coatings, light-emitting diodes with remote phosphors, the efficiency droop in GaInN LEDs, and solid-state lighting.

He is co-inventor of more than 30 US patents and has co-authored more than 275 publications. He authored the books Doping in III–V Semiconductors (1993), Delta Doping in Semiconductors (1996), and the first and second edition of Light-Emitting Diodes (2003 and 2006); the latter book was translated into Russian, Japanese, and Korean. Awards include Senior Member IEEE (1993); Literature Prize of Verein Deutscher Elektrotechniker for book “Doping in III–V semiconductors” (1994); Fellow SPIE (1999); Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (1999); Fellow IEEE (1999); Fellow OSA (2000); Boston University Provost Innovation Award (2000); Discover Magazine Award for Technological Innovation (2000); R&D 100 Award for RCLED (2001); Fellow APS (2001); RPI Trustees Award for Faculty Achievement (2002 and 2008); Honorary membership in Eta Kappa Nu (2004); 25 Most Innovative Micro- and Nano-Products of the Year Award of R&D Magazine (2007); and the Scientific American 50 Award (2007).

DVS visit of Xiang Zhang in November

2011 October 17 by hkim

Quick off the heels of our September DVS series, we are thrilled to have Prof. Xiang Zhang from UC Berkely visiting us in November. His talks will cover a range of insights into creating new photonic metamaterials and will take place November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, at 2:00pm. Look out for more information at

Techno2011 Closes

2011 July 19 by smcauley

We would like to congratulate the 25 participants and 11 teams who took part in the Techno2011 workshop! Over the past month the teams have worked tirelessly on developing their ideas, conducting market research, creating go-to-market strategies, learning the fundamentals of IP, legals and corporate governance, and how to present their companies. The “Life is a Pitch” session took place on July 18th at MaRS where each team had 10 minutes to show off all the work they had done in the past four weeks. The new companies ranged from Sciventions, an online marketplace for unique scientific products, to Biostring, providing simple solutions for testing public water contamination, to BreqLabs, who provides customized hardware and software systems for high speed data processing. Following the pitch session, each team much provide an executive summary as well as a go-forward plan on how they will execute their ideas.

The IOS is very grateful for the support of our sponsors, including MaRS, the Office of the President (UofT), Department of Chemistry (UofT), Department of Physics (UofT), and Ryerson University. Also, we would like to thank all of the lecturers, workshop leaders, and mentors who took time out of their busy schedules to come and work with our teams.

More news about the different companies will be coming soon, so keep an eye out!

Techno2011 Opens

2011 July 4 by smcauley

The IOS is excited to host its second annual Techno entrepreneurship workshop. Designed to provide graduate students and post-docs in the physical sciences and engineering the tools necessary to transfer their technical knowledge into the core of a new company, the month long program includes lectures, work sessions, networking events, and a presentation session. Beginning on June 20th, 25 participants from the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, and Memorial University have been working on developing their ideas and technologies into viable products and businesses. So far, there have been discussions on general and project management from Keith Thomas, CEO of Vive Nano, university IP policy from Cyril Gibbons, Director of Commercialization at UofT’s Innovations and Partnership Office, the legal framework of corporations from Arshia Tabrizi, and many others . Over the final two weeks of the workshop there will be additional sessions on negotiations, financial forecasting, product development, and others, a banquet with representatives from government agencies and Toronto businesses, and the final presentation session at MaRS where the companies will present their ideas and plans.

More information on the new companies will be coming soon on the Techno website, our monthlynewsletter, and here!


Prof. Graham Fleming Concludes Visit to IOS

2011 June 1 by smcauley

The IOS was fortunate to host Prof. Graham Fleming from UC Berkely from May 23rd to 27th as part of the Distinguished Visiting Scientists (DVS) program. During his stay, Prof. Fleming gave a series of three lectures to a very captive audience on the challenges surrounding our future energy supply and the work being done to understand the physical and chemical mechanisms of photosynthesis. The IOS thanks Prof. Fleming for sharing insights and experience with our students and faculty.

Science Rendezvous: Close Encounters with Science!

2011 May 1 by smcauley

On May 7th Science Rendezvous will continue its mission to develop relationships between educational institutions, libraries, civic institutions, science-based associations, outreach programs, and business institutions to promote science awareness, culture, and literacy. Founded in 2008 by the IOS, last years event involved more than 2,000 volunteers at 300 events across Ontario in cities from Windsor to Kingston. This year we are excited that the fun and family oriented program has grown to include events from coast to coast, from St. John’s to Vancouver! To find events near you, check out

DVS Lectures of Prof. Lorne Whitehead

2011 January 27 by hkim

The next Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the University of Toronto will be Professor Lorne Whitehead, from the University of British Columbia. He will visit our Institute from February 14 to 18, 2011 and will give 3 lectures, including the 2011 Boris P. Stoicheff Lecture.

IOS Industry Day program announced

2010 November 19 by hkim

We are glad to announce the program for the IOS Industry Day : Emerging Technologies Forum.
Download IOS Industry day Agenda (pdf)

IOS Industry Day : Emerging Technologies Forum

2010 November 5 by hkim

We will upload the agenda shortly

Advanced Fusion Splicing of Optical Fibres

2010 November 1 by hkim

Advanced Fusion Splicing of Optical Fibre
Speaker: Doug Duke, AFL Telecommunications — Fujikura

The Institute for Optical Sciences will host a day-long workshop on advanced fusion splicing techniques for optical fibres. It will be offered in collaboration with Simbol Test Systems Inc. of Ottawa, Fujikura Inc. and the IEEE Photonics Society Toronto Chapter. The seminar is run by Doug Kuke from AFL Fujikura, an expert in the field. He will cover advanced techniques, such as holey fibres, fibre lenses, polarization maintaining fibres, etc.

Date: Monday, November 8, 2010
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: University of Toronto

Registration required: Please contact to register and to obtain location of seminar.
Cost: Free — all are welcome.

Topics to be covered:

General Splicing Techniques for Specialty Fiber
Power Meter Feedback
New Splicer Software Functions
Large Diameter Fiber Splicing and Cleaving
Methods for cleaving hex & octagon fibers
Photonic crystal (holey) fiber splicing- techniques & parameters
Photonics Crystal Fiber Splicing
Polarization Maintaining Fiber Splicing

For more details please consult attached program.

IEEE Seminar: Photonic Integration in Indium Phosphide

2010 October 20 by hkim

Lecture of the IEEE Photonics Society

Speaker: Dr. Valery Tolstikhin, OneChip Photonics, Ottawa

Date & Time: Friday, October 29, 2010 at 11 a.m.

Location: McLennan Physical Labs, Room MP203 University of Toronto, 60 St. George Street

All are welcome — refreshments will be served.

Photonic integration in indium phosphide (InP) is an extremely attractive option for manufacturing of multi-functional transmitter, receiver and transceiver components for optical communication over silica fibers. Also, it is a subject of an intensive research, and has been for the last 40 years. Still, the components operating in 1.3um-1.6um communication window deployed to date nearly universally are discrete rather than integrated InP components, whereas positive experience in commercialization of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in InP remains very minimal, practically limited to one or two companies worldwide. Why is it so and what is a solution to this paradox?

These questions will be discussed in the first part of the presentation, in which an argument will be made that core issue is not with technology per se but rather with its inadequacy to economics of the markets it is supposed to serve. Hence, a solution has to be sought in adjusting the photonic integration technologies to the needs of the markets that more often than not require high manufacturability at low cost, in addition to or even ahead of a high performance. OneChip’s response to the challenge is its original photonic integration platform termed Multi-Guide Vertical Integration (MGVI), which allows for multi-functional transmitter, receiver or transceiver PICs in InP to be fabricated in one epitaxial growth step, by using only standard processing techniques and clean room equipment offered by generic commercial foundries. A description of MGVI platform and building blocks will be provided.

In the second part of the presentation, specific MGVI building blocks for on-chip generation, detection and manipulation of optical signals will be presented, as well as exemplary PICs based on them and fully packaged optical transceivers using these PICs.

Valery Tolstikhin is a founder and CTO of OneChip Photonics Inc., a fabless developer and manufacturer of optical transceivers for access and interconnect networks, based on proprietary photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology in indium phosphide (InP). Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and funded by venture capital, this company now is at the leading edge of design and commercialization of the cost- efficient PICs for emerging markets of mass deployment.

Dr. Tolstikhin has been involved in the research and development of advanced semiconductor devices for micro- and optoelectronics for more than 30 years. An industry veteran with a solid academic background and international credentials acquired through his work in Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden and Russia, he has a long track of achievements as a researcher, innovator and R&D organizer. He has authored more than 80 research papers and 8 patents in the areas of semiconductor devices and photonics, and given numerous conference presentations in these areas. Dr. Tolstikhin earned his Ph.D. in radio physics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (1980) and D.Sc. in semiconductor physics from the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1993). He is an adjunct professor at university of Ottawa.

For more information please contact

Charles Towens to present Herzberg Lecture 2010

2010 June 7 by hkim

The laser, patented in 1960, has become a ubiquitous piece of modern technology. On the occasion of its 50th birthday, meet Charles Townes, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize for its invention. Still an active researcher in astronomy, he will discuss the history of the laser and its current application to the measurement of the shapes and sizes of stars.
Charles Townes is a professor of Physics at The University of California, Berkeley.

Monday June 7th, 2010 7:30pm
Medical Sciences Auditorium 1 King’s College Circle University of Toronto

To get a high resolution poster (pdf version) of the lecture announcement, please go to

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IOS announces Techno 2010

2010 May 11 by hkim

The Institute for Optical Sciences, University of Toronto presents a three-week intensive workshop for aspiring techopreneurs, targeted towards fresh science and engineering graduates, current student and faculty supervisors. The workshop will teach aspiring young entrepreneurs to successfully translate their scientific discoveries to commercializable products and services. For further information, follow

Professor Karl Leo to visit the IOS as a Distinguished Visiting Scientist

2010 April 9 by hkim

Professor Karl Leo, from the Technische Universitaet, Dresden, will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences as a Distinguished Visiting Scientist from April 12 to 16, 2010, and will give 3 lectures on organic light-emitting, lasing and photovoltaic devices. More information is available here.

Prof. Robert Boyd will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences as a Distinguished Visiting Scientist

2010 February 12 by hkim

Professor Robert Boyd, from the University of Rochester, will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences from March 5 to 10, 2010 as a Distinguished Visiting Scientist (DVS) and will give 3 lectures. More information is available here.

Prof. Alain Aspect will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences and will deliver 3 lectures

2009 November 2 by hkim

Professor Alain Aspect, from the Institut d’Optique, Palaiseau, France, will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences from December 1 to 6 as a Stoicheff Lecturer and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist (DVS). More information on the Stoicheff lecture is available here, and for the DVS lectures here.

Prof. Louis Brus visits the Institute for Optical Sciences

2009 February 10 by hkim

Prof. Louis Brus visits the University of Toronto Institute for Optical Science from March 16 to 19 2009. More information is available here.

Prof. Ignacio Cirac to visit Toronto from February 2 to 6, 2009

2009 January 10 by hkim

Professor Ignacio Cirac, from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences from February 2 to 6, 2009 and will give a series of three lectures. For more details please follow this link.

Prof. Alan Willner to give the 2008 RCI/IOS Stoicheff Lecture

2008 December 1 by hkim

Professor Alan Willner, from the University of Souther California in Los Angeles, will give this year’s Stoicheff Lecture, organized by the Institute for Optical Sciences in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Institute. The lecture will take place on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. in the J.J.R. McLeod Auditorium in the Medical Sciences Building. The title of this year’s lecture is: “Optical Communications: Innovations (and their Needs) Abound.” For more information click here.

Prof. Naomi J. Halas visits the IOS from Oct. 20 to 24, 2008

2008 September 10 by hkim

Prof. Naomi J. Halas, from Rice University in Texas, visited the IOS from Oct. 20 to 24, 2008 and gave a series of 3 lectures on Nanotechnology and Plasmonics.

IOS successfully launches Science Rendezvous

2008 May 10 by hkim

The Institute for Optical Sciences has successfully launched Science Rendezvous, a day-long celebration of science in the GTA. The inaugural event took place on May 10, 2008. Over 10,000 visitors attended events at various research institutions across the Greater Toronto Area, including U of T, York University, UOIT, and others. Science Rendezvous will take place again next year on May 9, 2009. For more information visit

Nobel Laureate Professor Roy Glauber to visit Toronto March 10 – 14

2007 December 12 by hkim

Professor Roy Glauber will visit the Institute for Optical Sciences from March 10 to 14, 2008 as part of the Institute’s Distinguished Visiting Scientists program. He will give 3 lectures, on Monday at 4:30, Tuesday at 3 and Thursday at 3. For more details follow this link.

Professor Wayne Knox delivers the 2007 Stoicheff Lecture

2007 December 2 by hkim

Sunday, December 2, 2007 — Toronto. Prof. Wayne Knox, Director of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester described the long and important history of optics, glass and lenses, and gave ideas about what we may expect optics to do for us in the future. He closed the lecture with a series of demonstrations, showing the different colours in white light. Every attendee received a diffraction grating, to investigate other light sources, and a few students also received holographic glasses. Approximately 400 science enthusiasts braved the early winter weather to attend the lectures. You can learn more about the lecture, and access a copy of the slides and a web-cast here.

Professor David Philips gives 2006 Stoicheff Lecture to capacity audience at MacLeod Auditorium

2006 December 10 by hkim

Summary: Sunday December 10, 2006, Toronto — Renowned for his entertaining lectures, exciting demonstrations, and penchant for popularizing science, Professor David Philips was the ideal 2006 Stoicheff Lecturer. Hosted by the Institute for Optical Sciences, the lecture was held December 10, 2006.

The diversity in both age and educational training of the capacity audience at the J. J. R. MacLeod Auditorium rivaled the diversity of coloured liquids, glass ware, and implements that decked the lecture bench before them. What would Professor Phillips do with the liquid nitrogen, the plasma globe, or the mysterious figure in the crib? These questions were answered in a series of explosions, fires, and bright flashes that typify his demonstrations. Through these demonstrations, he presented the history of light as a tool in medicine, starting with the basics of fast and slow chemical reactions, and building up to the state of the art in laser surgery and photodynamic therapy.

Highlights of his lecture include igniting hydrogen, burning wood under water, and lighting up a fluorescent light bulb with a toy plasma globe. Perhaps most illuminating was his demonstration of the principle of using light to treat neonatal jaundice.

If you missed the lecture, it can be experienced online as an archived webcast. IOS members can contact Emanuel Istrate for access.

The Stoicheff Lectures are presented by the Institute for Optical Sciences and the Royal Canadian Institute. The lecture series, named after honoured Canadian Physicist Boris P. Stoicheff, was founded by the IOS to bring science to the general public in an entertaining and accessible way. December 10th marked the second annual lecture in the series. The first lecture was given by Professor George I. A. Stegeman on December 7th 2005.

Professor David Philips is an Emeritus Professor, and Senior Dean at Imperial College, London, where he has also held the prestigious titles of Dean of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences, Hoffman Professor of Chemistry, and Head of the Department of Chemistry. Prof. Philips regularly gives 20-30 popular science lectures outside Imperial College per year. While in Canada, Prof. Phillips was interviewed by Daily Planet television host, Jay Ingram.

Professor Boris P. Stoicheff was a Founding Director of the Ontario Laser and Lightwave Research Center, a forerunner to the IOS. He was named the President of the Canadian Association of Physicists in 1983, and became an officer of the Order of Canada in 1982. Professor Stoicheff was named a University Professor in 1977, University of Toronto’s highest honour. His academic achievements include constructing the first ruby laser in Canada, and producing the first high resolution Raman spectra of molecular benzene and of methane. He retired from the University of Toronto in 1989.

David Phillips
Surrounded by his numerous demonstrations, Professor David Philips presents the 2006 Stoicheff lecture in front of a capacity crowd at the MacLeod Auditorim.
David Phillips Honoured Canadian Physicist Professor Boris P. Stoicheff, for whom the lecture series is named, addresses the crowd after Prof. Philip’s lecture.
David Phillips
Six Erlenmeyer flasks containing different fluorescent dyes, some of which are used in lasers.
David Phillips
A Fast Reaction: Inside the water bottle is explosive hydrogen gas. Prof. Philips prepares to detonate it to demonstrate a fast heat catalyzed chemical reaction.
David Phillips
The Figure In The Crib Prof. Philips demonstrates how light-therapy can be used to treat neonatal jaundice. He used blue light to convert fat-soluble bilirubin (yellow) into a water-soluble form that can be excreted.
David Phillips Plasma Globe: Prof. Philips touches the plasma globe with his finger (left), grounding the electrical discharge through his body. If the same discharge first passes though a fluorescent bulb, then through his hand and body (right), the fluorescent bulb lights up.

Dr. Cyril Gibbons of Innovations at U of T delivers the keynote presentation at the December IOS Lunch&Learn

2006 December 1 by hkim

Friday, Dec. 1, 2006, Toronto — Dr. Cyril Gibbons, Director of Commercialization, Physical Sciences and Engineering at Innovations at U of T was our distinguished guest and keynote speaker at the December IOS Faculty Lunch&Learn. Cyril’s presentation, Innovations at U of T — The Business of Ideas is available for download here.

IOS organizes first etiquette training session

2006 November 30 by hkim

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, Toronto — The IOS organizes the first etiquette training session for students and post-docs. The event took place at the Faculty Club and was lead by The Faculty Club general manager and certified etiquette and protocol consultant Ms. Leanne Pepper, receiving rave reviews from the students in attendance.

You may not know it, but your table manners could have a significant impact on your career advancement. For example, many interviews and networking opportunities occur over lunch or dinner, where your table manners and conduct might be put under the microscope. With this in mind, the IOS organized an etiquette training dinner-workshop for graduate students and post-docs designed to help them make good first impressions and conduct themselves with professionalism and confidence.

The business-attire event was held on November 30th 2006, and was lead by The Faculty Club general manager and certified etiquette and protocol consultant Ms. Leanne Pepper. Included was a networking reception, a three-course dinner at The Faculty Club, and Ms. Pepper’s entertaining instruction on proper posture and use of utensils. The evening was also dotted with useful anecdotes and clever pointers. Both the IOS and the U of T Chemistry Club largely subsidized the event.

Ms. Pepper received her training and certification at The Protocol School of Washington in Washington D.C. She also runs a similar seminar for the Rotman School of Business.

The brand of etiquette Ms. Pepper teaches is largely North American business-oriented, making her seminar particularly valuable for those with limited experience with North American business customs. This however, does not limit the value of the event for locals or academics.

Ms. Tieneke Dykstra, a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry, said of the experience, that it, “[It] brought to mind some of the details that you don’t practice when eating in front of the T.V.” As a student representative on a new-faculty hiring committee in her department, Ms. Dykstra acknowledges the value of silverware savvy, having attended a number of lunches and dinners with prospective faculty members recently.

Mr. Luke McKinney, Ph.D. candidate in Physics added, “The event taught a lot of things that take very little thought to realize, but to which scientists often give none at all – in the mistaken belief that the academic record is the only thing that matters. The IOS etiquette dinner definitely helped to fill in some of the gaps in the training of an aspiring scientist. Many science students realize that interpersonal skills and presentation can play a huge role in success, but avoid working on them. The more events and courses that address this stereotypical but real problem the better. I can guarantee that I’ll be remembering what I learned there at meetings and interviews as I move on in my career.”

A total of 34 IOS students and post docs attended the event. With clear benefits for those heading towards industry or academia, the dinner-seminar proved relevant for a large cross-section of the IOS students. The advantage of proper etiquette can easily extend beyond the purely professional. Ms. Dykstra perhaps put it best, “Now, I’m a Lady!”