Meet the 2021 Summer Fellows.
Alan Powichrowski (PEY, Statistics and Mathematics)
Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), President
My change project is to transform our system of on-boarding and the transfer of knowledge with our organizations values in mind. Through reinforcing our organizations values through out all our systems of operation I would like achieve a new culture throughout our community. I would like to develop a new system of documentation and transition and a check-in system to track the progress of projects and initiatives.
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) – Policy,Director of Aerospace Policy
My change project is to highlight the importance of policy and law in the aerospace industry. Often times, when policy and law fail to match the speed at which technology advances, it leads to unsustainable progress. I hope to get fellow engineers to critically think about how their products directly intertwines with legal frameworks and technical policies. To do this, my goal is to first get people feeling comfortable in at UTAT Policy.
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT), Director of Space Systems Division
My change project aims to make UTAT more sustainable as a club by increasing the opportunities for general members to take on leadership roles and be involved in major decisions on the team – preparing the next generation of UTAT leaders. My main focuses within this are creating proposal structure to allow members to propose and lead initiatives outside their usual technical projects, and creating a team-wide decision making structure that makes decisions on the team more straightforward, transparent, and inclusive of more voices across the team. I’m hoping this will make the team more accessible, hierarchies less rigid, and help make knowledge about major decisions more widespread so that it can be better retained as leads turnover.
UTBiome Co-managing Director
My change project aims to streamline the framework for fabrication and prototyping of UT BIOME projects in order to have a real-world impact and to compete in engineering competitions. Due to the complexity of medical problems and undergraduate students’ insufficient medical understanding, it’s difficult to narrow down and identify human risk in biomedical initiatives which results in prolonged scoping and research periods. I hope to focus on bridging the knowledge/medial qualification gap and instigate sharing of internal knowledge systems of various interdisciplinary individuals across the team by introducing mentorship from an advisory board of medical/engineering professionals and redefining our training modules/group professional development sessions.
Engineers Without Borders, Co-President
My change project is to improve the success and efficacy of curriculum change projects executed by EWB members that advocate for systems-thinking, environmental, and social impact education in our engineering curriculum. There are some projects of this nature currently in progress, but there is a lack of support and resources from EWB leadership to improve the projects’ probability of success. Specifically, I will develop a project framework to reduce their entrance barrier and empower EWB members to pursue them, with the long-term goal of achieving concrete change in our engineering curriculum.
Engineers Without Borders, Co-President
My change project seeks to increase the intentional partnerships in the UofT Engineers Without Borders chapter. Currently, EWB initiatives are largely confined to the club, if not to a single portfolio. Collaborations with multidisciplinary groups would diversify perspectives in project teams and provide resources that further the initiatives. Our focus will be on establishing partnerships between portfolios, with other UofT clubs, and with external organizations in the GTA. We will work to expose EWB members to groups with different backgrounds in a way that prioritizes listening and learning from the experiences of others, to come up with new approaches and ideas to tackle systems change problems.
My change project is to develop and sustain a high-velocity (but healthy!) work environment within the Clove team. To do this, I will focus on ensuring that team members find their role rewarding and worthy of time commitment. More specifically, I will be working to build a culture of dependability, teamwork and achievement within our team. Our goal at Clove is that through our high-velocity work pace we will manage to have our product being used by businesses by the end of July to get investor funding by the end of summer.
Engineers Without Borders, Co-lead, Sustainability and Environmental Justice Portfolio
My change project looks to increase the positive environmental impact of the EWB Sustainability and Environmental Justice portfolio. Our past work was largely passive and insufficiently fulfilled the EWB Core Value of Addressing Root Causes. To shift this, I seek to emphasize advocacy and action in our 2021/2022 projects. One strategy which I will be pursuing for achieving this is partnerships to combine EWB’s unique strengths with the views and skills of other organizations, especially those with a strong history of action.
Spark Design Club, Co-President
My change project is to better define and record Sparks problem solving methodology to increase knowledge transfer between years. I will focus on improving the project management and work tracking so that when problems are solved or a creative solution is found it can more accurately be recorded and easily passed on to all current and future members. This tracking and knowledge transfer is meant to increase the mindfulness of how late project problems can be spotted at the ideation stage to promote more agile ideation and prevent early idea dismissal without a just cause.
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) – Space Systems, Systems Lead
My change project aims to increase collaboration between subsystems and establish a requirement-to-project pipeline, leading to a cohesive design and build for our satellite. We have spent a lot of time doing research with little communication, and I want to shift the team into design mode while ensuring we make well-informed decisions. I want to do this by encouraging inter-system projects, and getting members involved in systems-level work that exposes them to design across the whole satellite, with the long-term goal of cultivating a systems-engineering mindset on the team.
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) – Outreach, Director of Outreach
Through my change project, I hope to facilitate the expansion of UTAT’s partnerships, with the goal of growing the team’s external outreach and public engagement. As the team continues to seek new outreach opportunities, more resilient processes and practices are needed to support the success of these opportunities. By exploring internal collaborations between portfolios, introducing organized structures to document partnerships, and encouraging participation in outreach events, I hope to support our ability to explore new engagements that help us expand our presence and promote interest in the aerospace industry.
You’re Next Career Network (YNCN), President
My change project is to provide more meaningful professional development opportunities for the team members of YNCN. In addition to leveraging our alumni network to host more workshops for the team, I want to focus on creating safe spaces for the team to reflect and discuss with each other their personal and professional goals. My hope is that if YNCN members can identify areas where we they support one another in achieving their goals they will be more confident and capable of helping other students achieve theirs as well.
Engineering Society (EngSoc), Vice-President Finance
My change project is on improving the accessibility of funding to the different bodies affiliated with EngSoc including design teams, clubs, projector directorships, associated entities and the student body. There is significant carryover and rejected applicants each year in the many funds created to support the student expereince. I am focused on addressing this issue by updating the scope of financially-supported services, as well as streamlining and documenting unclear and complicated processes which may have led to underfunding and unsuccessful applications.