December 22, 2011 The Canadian Technion Society’s “Spotlight on Success”

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news_id109The Canadian Technion Society  is proud to present its monthly  “Spotlight on Success which looks at current and former Technion students.

December  focus is  Samuel Brill

1) Who are you and where were you born?

My name is Samuel Brill, I was born in Romania on September 25th 1946. I immigrated to Israel in 1960. My name prior to Bill was Samuel Fuchs.

2) What is your Educational Background?

In Romania I completed Elementary School (7th grade). Upon my arrival in Israel I was sent to Kfar Hanoar Benshemen. I was there until 1963 with the completion of 10th Grade. In February 1964, I started to study at the Air Force Technical School. I completed my studies in March 1965 as an electronic technician specializing in anti-aircraft radar control equipment. In 1967, I completed my matriculation exam (Bagruth) and it was a natural progression for me to continue my studies in Electrical Engineering.

3) Why did you choose to study at the Technion?

I was accepted to the TECHNION’s Faculty of Aeronautics in 1970. After the first year I transferred to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. I graduated from the program in 1974.
In 1975, my wife and family immigrated to Canada. My Technion degree allowed me to build a private practice and work in the field of my discipline until I took early retirement in 1993 due to an injury.

4)  What was your single most memorable experience during your studies there?

The most memorable time in the Technion was the studying itself. It presented serious challenges, but those challenges are what makes you yearn to succeed.

July’s focus is  Ying Zhao

Tell me a little about yourself where are you from, what is your educational background, why you chose Technion and what you are doing today.

My name is Ying Zhao and I graduated from Xidian University in Xian, People’s Republic of China, and received my Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1993. While working in an electronic manufacturing company in Nanjing, I was pondering on an idea of studying abroad to advance my career. After going through a foreign institute ranking book, Technion Israel Institute of Technology caught my eyes. I was drawn to the Technion for its broad-based strength in Science and Engineering, its top notch research achievements, and its world class Electrical Engineering faculties.

All of my academic degrees (BSc, MSc, PhD) were accomplished at the Technion in the field of Environmental Engineering.

Coupled with curiosity in Israel, I sent in my application and was extremely fortunate to be accepted and granted the Lady Davis fellowship. I spent four years in Haifa (1995-1999), and obtained my Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Under the supervision of Professor David Malah, I explored the technology forefront of Image Processing. Looking back, I feel blessed to have been able to pursue my Master’s at the Technion.

The fact that I studied in a world-renown University helped me launching my career in Information Technology. The research skills I gained in my graduate study benefits me in my career development.

I joined IBM Toronto Lab in 2000 as a software developer. There are tremendous applications of analytical, research, and troubleshooting skills at my work to solve complex technical challenges.

I have also recently joined the Canadian Technion Society’s Young Leadership Initiative, Generation  NEXT.

March’s focus is  Sivan Klas

1) Who are you and where are you from?

I am a post doctoral fellow at the department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. I am 38 years old and live with my spouse, Shani, and our 20 month old son Gev. We arrived in Toronto last December from Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet, Israel, where I was born and raised.

2) What is your Educational Background?

All of my academic degrees (BSc, MSc, PhD) were accomplished at the Technion in the field of Environmental Engineering.

3) Why did you choose Technion?

After the army I traveled for two years in the Americas and became aware of our planet’s amazing nature and the risks imposed to it by humans. I realized progress is not going to stop and the solution to this conflict will have to rely on science and engineering. I completed a pre-university year at the Technion in order to see if it suits me, and discovered a fascinating world. From then on, the Technion was a natural choice for me.

4) Are you enjoying your experience at the University of Toronto, please explain one or two highlights?

My experience here is short, but very enjoying. I get to do whatever I want, which I find very important in terms of conducting a research.
It is very interesting to meet people from all nationalities. I was especially impressed with the high level of student involvement regarding what is happening in the world. This was expressed most lively in many, almost competing, donation campaigns organized at the U of T to aid Japan after the earthquake. I was also very pleased with the warm hospitality of the Jewish community in Toronto


February’s
 focus is on Toronto’s  Gil Hadar.

1) Who are you and where are you from?

I was born in Rishon LeTzion on June 25th 1963. I was the second child of four. During my younger years, my family lived in Givaat More and Bat-Yam. When I was 10, my parents divorced and my mother moved us to Kibbutz Alonim where I lived up until I went to University. For a city boy who was used to living with my family, kibbutz life was very different and challenging. I was put into a class called Hatzav . There were 14 boys and girls in this class and we all lived, ate, and studied together. This kibbutz way of life is called Linna Meshutefet , meaning, that you are basically doing everything together 24/7. It was a happy time for me and I am still close friends with many of the kids from my class.

In November 1985, I worked for a year in a factory owned and operated by the kibbutz organization in Mifratz Haifa.  During this time I saved enough money to travel and went first to Europe for two months with two of my good friends. In this short period of time we explored most of Western Europe. When I came back to the kibbutz I was still thirsty for more traveling and decided to explore Australia and the Far East. I flew to Australia and bought myself a motorbike in Sydney and drove down to an apple & pear farm located in southern Australia in Victoria province. I spent 3 months living and working there until I had enough money to continue traveling. I spent 2 more months traveling along the Australian eastern coast and finally flew to Thailand through Singapore.

In the middle of 1986, I came back to Israel and decided it was time to go to university. I quickly realized that my basic Bagrut diploma was not enough to get accepted to an Engineering program. Therefore, in order to upgrade my marks, I started studying at a night school in Tel-Aviv. Soon after, I got my 5 points in Mathematics and Physics. The Technion was my first choice of Universities to attend since it had a very good reputation especially for Engineering, and it was in Haifa, not far from my friends on the kibbutz. In order to get accepted, I joined a 2 months summer Mathematic Mechina  at the Technion. This decision paid off and in the autumn of 1989 I was accepted into the Agricultural Engineering faculty, under the management of the late Dean Professor Dan Wolf.

I started my first engineering job right after my graduation in 1994. It was at the Technion research center where I was involved in many interesting projects for the private sector. In 1994, I got married to a Canadian who had been volunteering at Kibbutz Alonim. We lived in Tivon and a few years later our son was born. Two years later, we had a daughter.

In August 1999, we moved to Canada. Soon after arriving, I was offered an Analytical Engineering position at Linamar Corporation in Guelph, Ontario. For an Israeli who likes adventure and traveling, the move was an easy adjustment but for an Israeli who loves the sun and being outside most of the time, the first winter and sub-zero temperatures was most unwelcome! Despite cold winters, Canada is a beautiful country with a diverse population with many opportunities to develop my engineering skills and abilities and for 5 years, Linamar was an excellent place work and learn about the automotive industry.

With 10 years of Engineering experience and a sound knowledge of the automotive industry I decided to seek out other career opportunities and soon I was offered a position as the Design and Development Engineering Manager at STT Technologies which is a joint venture of Magna International and SHW Automotive (Germany.)

At this time, the STT’s Design and Development department was young and was mainly supporting build to print  programs. My R&D background assisted me in pushing more research and development activities. I spent more time innovating new technologies with my talented team and in my second year as the Engineering manager at STT, we had a breakthrough. In 2006 I submitted an application for a new patent which I named IEP , Integrated Electric Pump. This new technology is targeting the growing market of the Mild-Hybrid ,Hybrid  and Electric cars . It is a unique arrangement of 12V/300V BLDC motor and a rotor style oil pump. In most cases the controller is also integrated with the pump and all the components are fully submerged in oil. Since then I have submitted several other patent applications mainly for the electric oil pumps market.

In 2010 I was able to secure a production order using this technology for Allison Transmission for the hybrid application. Today STT has the knowledge and ability to design and develop a full system; pump-motor-controller for 12V and 300V systems. Managing 15 people from diverse backgrounds on such projects as the oil pump was been a career highlight for me. Moreover, I am now working towards my Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Toronto. The importance of professional development is very important for me and I am sure that the knowledge gained through this degree will help me in the future to continue to be creative in my design and development engineering projects.

Having a healthy work/life balance is also important. Since living in Guelph, I have started doing karate with my three children. My son and I are now Black Belts and we continue to train twice a week. We even have a small dojo in our basement. I still enjoy traveling, hiking, and having an adventure from time to time. Consequently, as a family, we try and travel as often as possible. We have been to Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica and of course back home to Israel.

2) What is your Educational Background?

Agricultural Engineering major in Mechanical Engineering 1989-1994 and a Masters in Engineering, University of Toronto, 2010-Present

3) Why did you choose Technion?

The Technion was my first choice for university education for two major reasons. First, for its national and international reputation for engineering programs, and second because it is only 30 minutes from my Kibbutz.

4) What did you enjoy most about your experience; please explain one or two highlights?

The Technion was found to be very challenging, but at the same time very interesting. I mainly enjoyed the company of many smart talented students and the family environment the Agricultural faculty had to offer.

January’s focus is on Toronto’s  Miriam Mozes.

1) Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Miriam Mozes. I was born in Hungary and was a child Holocaust survivor. I immigrated to Israel in 1950.

2) What is your Educational and Employment Background?

I applied to the Technion and was accepted with a scholarship in September 1950 to the Chemical engineering department. I worked in Israel at a few Research Institutions and in 1966, I received a scholarship at the University of London Queen Mary College’s Physical Chemistry Department, to complete my Ph.D. We moved to London in the fall of 1966 with two young children.

In 1970, my Husband, two children and I came to Canada. I was hired by Ontario Hydro Research Division to initiate Pollution Abatement program of the Research Division. The program was very successful. We built the first combustion research facility in Canada. My team developed a patent (SONOX Process) for controlling SOx and NOx from power plant flue gases. I traveled all over the world to give presentations on our work, and published many research studies.

After taking early retirement I started my own consulting Company: EN- En Tech Consulting, specializing in Environmental Engineering. I was also serving on many environmental committees in Canada and abroad.

3) Why did you choose Technion and what did you enjoy most about your experience?

I fell in love with Chemistry in Hungary when I was in High school. I had an excellent teacher and I became fascinated by it. I attended a girl’s school and at the age of 16 we had a Chemistry completion with the boy’s school. I won and I knew then that my professional life will be related to chemistry.

We arrived to a camp for new comers (Olim Hadashim) close to Haifa, so I applied for a scholarship at the Technion soon after our arrival. I made many friends and lived in a Beit Chalutzot (a girls home), My husband moved to a Kibbutz Yad Chana. We saw each other every two weeks My husband finally found a job in a Moshav close to Haifa, so I moved in with him. In 1954 I had my final exams. Before each exam I felt sick and was vomiting. But I finished with excellent results. My son was born at the end of December 1954. The rest is history….

December’s focus is on Toronto’s  Daniel Ostro.

1)  Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Daniel Ostro and I am from Toronto, Ontario. I am currently a 4th year student in the Technion American Medical School (TeAMS) program.

2)  What is your Educational Background?
In high school I went to the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT) and then continued my studies at York University, where I received a BSc, Spec Hons, in Psychology.

3)  Why did you choose Technion?
I always knew that I wanted to study medicine. After I spent a year in Israel at Yeshiva, I knew that I’d one day like to return to live there. Having this amazing opportunity to live in Israel and study medicine in a program that is 4 years, taught in English, and that allows students to return to do residency in North America, was something I couldn’t turn down.

4)  Are you enjoying your experience, please explain one or two highlights?

The TeAMS program is excellent and rigorous. A big bonus about the school is its location; being able to live on the beach in Israel is a great life experience. One of the best things about the program is its world renowned award-winning staff, which is composed of a great mixture of researchers and clinicians.

Another great feature about the program is the diversity among the patients that we see. During the clinical years, in particular, students are taught at many different hospitals in Northern Israel. The population diversity among hospitals gives us exposure to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds.
One of the highlights of my time spent in Israel is experiencing Yom HaAtzmaut. Being able to celebrate in Israel is unlike any celebration back home. I will always remember barbequing on the beach with friends and relaxing with the wind and waves.

November’s  focus is on Toronto’s  Oren Kraus

1)  Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Oren Kraus. I was born and raised in Thornhill, Ontario. However I grew up in an Israeli household, speaking Hebrew at home and visiting Israel almost every summer since the age of six. As a child I spent most of my time playing with Lego and watching action movies.

2)  What is your Educational Background?
I attended high school at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT Richmond Hill campus) where I excelled in math and sciences. My first interaction with the Technion and the Canadian Technion Society was in grade 11 when I participated in the SciTech 2005 summer research program. The program brought together exceptional high school students from across the world to participate in summer research internships at Technion research labs and to explore Israel and Haifa through organized group tours. Canadian participants were lucky enough to have the full program fees covered by scholarships from the Canadian Technion Society.

Upon graduating from CHAT I began my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in mechanical engineering. During my first two undergraduate years I excelled in my courses and actively participated in extracurricular activities, specifically through the New College residence council (NCRC). At New College I held a position in the student government and acted in, hosted and produced Mosaic, the NCRC annual multicultural show for two consecutive years.

In my third year of undergraduate studies I participated in an international student exchange with the Technion. I completed my full third year course load while studying there.

Upon graduating from the mechanical engineering program (with a minor in bioengineering) this past June (2010), I began pursuing a MSc degree in mechanical engineering in collaboration with the institute of biomaterials and biomedical engineering (IBBME). My research currently focuses on using microfluidic techniques to study the vasomotor response of functional blood vessels to various biochemical stimuli.

3)  Why did you choose Technion?
I chose to participate in the exchange program with the Technion for the following reasons.

My family is originally from Haifa and while growing up I was always curious to see what it would be like to live there. The exchange program gave me the opportunity to live in Haifa for a year while continuing my studies at Israel’s top engineering institution.

I was excited about attending the Technion based on my experiences in SciTech (2005). During that summer I was first exposed to research at the graduate level. I believe that my interactions with Technion students and faculty are what motivated me to pursue graduate studies in my own career. In addition to the high level of research taking place at the Technion I also found the student life to be unique and exciting. The atmospheres at the Technion and in Haifa in general enable close friendships to be formed among students and faculty from a wide range of backgrounds and with a variety of interests.

4)  Did you enjoy your experience, please explain one or two highlights!
At Technion I most enjoyed the friendships I formed with other Technion students. The Technion exchange program is unique relative to other exchange programs with Israeli institutions in that exchange students attend regular classes in Hebrew with primarily Israeli Technion students, as opposed to English classes with mostly other exchange students. Although this arrangement was slightly challenging initially (i.e. similar to switching schools in the middle of high school), it turned out to be the highlight of my exchange studies. Throughout the year I became much closer with other students in my classes and throughout my program. When I went back to visit Israel after graduation (a year after my exchange) I had the pleasure of catching up with almost everyone I connected with that year. These connections allowed me to feel much more like a resident of Israel rather than a visitor.

Another highlight was being able to see my family throughout my exchange year. My grandparents and nearly all my uncles, aunts and cousins live in Israel, mostly around Haifa. Studying at Technion for a full year allowed me to become much closer with them and celebrate all the holidays with them. Those experiences were very significant for me, since before that year I would see my family members once or twice a year at most. Now that I am back in Canada I make more of an effort to stay in touch with my family and hope to continue to visit Israel often.

Based on my exceptional experiences in Haifa and with the Technion I plan on entering the MD/PhD program at the Technion upon completion of my MSc requirements.