Welcoming New Alumni
Chris Blake | ECE
Sara Dolcetti | MIE
Brandon Driscoll | MASC, IBBME
Jason Hicken | PhD graduate, UTIAS
Rohn Jackson | BASc, Mechanical, Skoll
Tomas Ronis | MSE 0T8+PEY
Marianne Touchie | CivE 0T9
Navodya Wickramasinghe | ChemE 0T9
Matthew Zeiler | EngSci 0T9

Chris Blake

Chris Blake | ECE 0T9

Chris chose to enroll in Engineering at U of T because he was convinced that its Electrical Engineering program was among the best in North America. "[It] ... lives up to my initial impression that it is one of the best Electrical Engineering programs in the world. In my experiences, University of Toronto has a reputation that holds up to the other top universities in the world, and for someone like me pursuing a PhD in the area, the University of Toronto gave me the opportunity to do well and get into MIT."

Chris, who did a PEY internship at Altera, enjoyed his time at Skule™, particularly Frosh Week. "I especially think that my particular leader was very skilled and entertaining," he said. His interests include skiing, eating, and traveling.

After convocation, Chris plans to travel Europe and Asia for three months, before pursuing a PhD at MIT.

Sara Dolcetti

Sara Dolcetti | MIE 0T9

For Sara, selecting a university program and major was an extremely difficult process as she had many varied interests that she wanted to pursue. "What set Engineering, and Industrial Engineering in particular, apart was that it integrated many different fields, be they related to medicine, business, law or even music!" she said. "And studying at U of T ensured that in addition to my core program, I would be able to select and contribute to an incredible array of electives, extra-curricular activities and organizations. The expansive horizon of choice and opportunity for growth that this presented was inspiring and ultimately led me here."

Sara participated in the PEY internship program, mentorship and Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow programs – all of which she found very rewarding "as they, in essence, promote the growth of creative leaders eager to spark social and global change."

The Iron Ring ceremony is just one of Sara's many favourite memories of Skule™. "It was a particularly defining moment as it culminated the entire undergraduate Engineering experience and brought to light the values and duties that we, as Engineers, have towards society."

Before starting at the Boston Consulting Group in the late fall, Sara is looking forward to studying French and Italian linguistics in Europe, attending an International Leadership Conference in Croatia and travelling to various other places in between. Her interests include traveling, teaching piano, coaching soccer, studying languages, the opera/theatre, the culinary arts and reading everything from Salinger to Dostoevsky. "But above all and perhaps permeating everything listed above, I love to learn and expand my fields of interest!"

Brandon Driscoll

Brandon Driscoll | MASc 0T9, IBBME

Brandon chose U of T Engineering, and specifically the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering for his master's degree based on the broad range of excellent research and world-renowned scientists from all areas of Biomedical Engineering.

Brandon did his undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo and participated in the co-op program there. Having the ability to enhance your skills in a real world environment was an invaluable experience, he said, and would recommend the PEY internship program to any undergraduate.

He will be graduating from his program in June and is currently working at Princess Margaret Hospital in the radiation physics department. "I hope to use the skills I've gained at Skule™ to continue to pursue a career in Biomedical Engineering in the clinical setting."

His favourite Skule™ memory involves "all the great people I met in class and in the lab as well as everyone on the 11th floor of the CCBR."

Brandon is an avid skier and mountain biker and enjoys camping and cottaging. He also enjoys traveling the world with wife Laura as often as possible, and has plans to explore British Columbia and Alaska this coming summer.

Jason Hicken

Jason Hicken | PhD 0T9, UTIAS

Jason recently completed his doctoral degree at the Institute for Aerospace Studies after completing his Bachelor of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, and Master of Applied Science at Dalhousie in Halifax.

Jason's initial reason for choosing UTIAS was to study and work with supervisor and Director of the Institute Dr. David Zingg. He said he did come to appreciate many additional benefits of the Institute, including its world-class faculty, excellent facilities, and terrific academic environment (created by his hard-working colleagues).

Jason will continue to work with Dr. Zingg as a postdoc after graduation, while looking for an academic position. When he finds the time, he enjoys sailing, windsurfing, ultimate frisbee and cooking.

Rohn Jackson

Rohn Jackson | MIE 0T9 + Skoll

Rohn admits he chose U of T Engineering partly because of the reputation and partly because of the city itself. "I knew from my high school guidance counsellors and some people I had talked to in industry that U of T was amongst the top Engineering schools in Canada (alongside Waterloo and Queens). But after touring all the schools and the surrounding area, I realized that Toronto was a much more exciting place to be," Rohn said. "Also, the full 16-month internship seemed like a better option, since it gave me a longer time to really get used to working in a company and be able to prove myself."

Rohn's favourite Skule™ memory was the first day of Frosh Week when he was a Second-Year student. "Frosh Week is even more fun when you know what’s coming and when you can help guide the Frosh through it. My Frosh remembered me all year long, and some even longer."

Rohn participated in PEY internship and was a member of the Formula SAE team for three years. Benefits of being involved in Skule™ activites are high, Rohn said, as it was a great way to gain experience that he could talk about in his PEY internship and full-time interviews, build up a solid portfolio of work to show employers, and build up some leadership skills amongst other driven individuals. "Also, the Formula SAE team is one of the strongest around, so it’s a great place to learn."

After graduation, Rohn plans to work in the Corporate Strategy office at Deloitte. In the meantime, he's working for an accounting start-up company run by his former PEY internship boss.

Rohn's interests include auto racing, ultimate frisbee and watching the Maple Leafs.

Tomas Ronis

Tomas Ronis | MSE 0T8 + PEY

Tomas says he's glad he attended Skule™ and not another university. Through participation in the MSE Club, U of T Mechatronics Design Association, PEY internship, and Skule™ Mentorship, Tomas has developed a wide network of Engineering contacts.

After graduation, Ronis will be joining Integran Technologies, an organization run by Gino Palumbo (MSE 8T3, MASc 8T5, PhD 8T9). Tomas's future goals include doing an MBA and owning his own company.

"The thing that motivates me to go the extra mile on a project or a job is innate to me. I love going big, and am not satisfied until the job is done to beyond expectations," he said.

Marianne Touchie

Marianne Touchie | CivE 0T9

Marianne returned to study Civil Engineering at U of T after completing a business degree and working for two years. At a time when she saw the world on a dangerous ecological path, the Engineering program at U of T seemed to offer a different way to solve some of the world's most challenging problems.

"As a Civil Engineer, my goal is to create a society where our individual environmental footprints on the earth are made smaller," she said. "I don't believe this necessarily means sacrificing much of the quality of life we are afforded here, but rather being more efficient about the way we use our resources."

Marianne quickly turned theory into practice, joining the Department's Academic Planning Committee and helping to usher in the Sustainability Initiative, a complete re-vamp of the curriculum that makes it a leader in sustainable Engineering. Working with other students, faculty and alumni, she also spearheaded the creation of the Promise to Future Generations, an initiative that challenges new Engineers to meet the needs of today without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own environmental, social and economic needs.

Marianne has held numerous leadership positions during her undergraduate work, and will continue to be involved when she returns to take on a Master of Applied Science degree in Green Buildings this fall.

Navodya Wickramasinghe

Navodya Wickramasinghe | ChemE 0T9

Navodya believes U of T offers the greatest Engineering program in the world and is thankful for the outstanding education and student experience he received from it.

A dedicated and motivated Engineer, Navodya was co-vice president sponsorship for the University of Toronto Engineering Kompetition this year and actively participated as a member of Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow between 2006-2008.

Upon graduation he has strong interest to continue his education in Engineering to conduct research in developing new efficient energy systems. Within five years, he plans to have complete both a MASc and PhD. “Skule™ has prepared me for the future by helping me understand my own strengths through courses and extra curricular activities,” says Navodya.

Matthew Zeiler

Matthew Zeiler | EngSci 0T9

Matthew accredits the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering for his expanded knowledge in the area of machine learning and neural networks. He plans to continue his interest in computer science through a PhD at NYU.

During his time at U of T, Matthew has been a member of many clubs including the Engineering Business Club, Blue Sky Solar Racing Team, Hart House Investment Club, and University of Toronto Consulting Association. He also founded a small business selling course review material which now includes 160 different course booklets and reaches 27 universities across North America.

In 10 years,Matthew would like to be running his own large-scale technology based business. He is clearly an Engineer with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. "The feeling of success is what drives me on a day to day basis. I live for it and I work for it," he said.


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