Did you know that alkaline batteries and touchscreens can trace their origins to U of T Engineering? The faculty is celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2023, marking a century and a half of innovation. Here we look back at some of the bold, compassionate thinkers who helped imagine a better future. Visit uofteng.ca/150 to learn more.
As an undergraduate, Edward S. Rogers creates the first all-electric radio station and is the first Canadian amateur radio operator to transmit a signal across the Atlantic.
Elsie MacGill (BASc 1927) is the first woman in Canada to graduate from electrical engineering. As the world’s first female aircraft designer, she earns the nickname “Queen of the Hurricanes,” after a plane she helped produce.
Frank Henry Ralph Pounsett (BASc 1928) designs the first car radio for General Motors Canada.
George Klein (BASc 1928) invents the first electric wheelchair.
Lewis Urry (BASc 1950) develops the first commercial alkaline battery, spurring a revolution in consumer electronics. Time magazine named it one of the 100 greatest gadgets ever.
Ursula Franklin becomes the faculty’s first female professor. In 1984, she is the first woman to receive the title of University Professor — U of T’s highest academic rank.
Prof. K.C. Smith, of electrical engineering, develops the origins of touchscreen technology.
William C. Shaw (BASc 1951) and his three co-inventors of the IMAX projector win an Oscar for Scientific and Technical Achievement.
Co-created by Dongjun Wang (BASc 1995), the Instant Pot debuts. With millions of units sold, the appliance quickly becomes a staple in kitchens around the world.
Prof. Brendan Frey of electrical and computer engineering co-launches Deep Genomics, the first company to combine deep learning and genome biology to study mutations linked to genetic diseases.
Inioluwa Deborah Raji (BASc 2019) is named a Top Innovator Under 35 by MIT Technology Review for her research on racial and gender bias in facial recognition technologies.
A portable solar-powered battery made by Reeddi, a startup headed by Olugbenga Olubanjo (MASc 2019), is named one of Time magazine’s 100 best inventions of the year.
A multidisciplinary team led by Milica Radisic, a professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, grows a small-scale model of a human left heart ventricle in the lab.