Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Energy Solution Challenge

Mars virtual reality background: Sharman Perera, Associate Teaching Professor and Laboratory Manager, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (FESNS, centre) presents an award in the FESNS Wind Chamber Lab to high school students from Jamaica's Hillel Academy for winning a 2019 FESNS design competition. The students were visiting Ontario Tech University as a part of the International Enrichment program conducted by Ontario Tech's Office of the Registrar.

The first settlers are on their way to Mars and they'll need energy to power their colony! Your challenge is to design the nuclear reactor they'll need to survive. On Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., join the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (FESNS) for the Energy Solution Challenge. Presented in collaboration with and sponsored by Moltex Energy, participants will work in teams to solve engineering challenges with the knowledge and support of mentors. Each team will be responsible for designing a specific component of the system, assigned on the day of the event. Develop your creative thinking and design skills to prepare a prototype solution that is literally out of this world.

In advance of the challenge, we're hosting a series of online lectures in May to help prepare competitors for the challenge. These lectures will be tailored for high school students and teachers, but anyone with an interest in the subject matter is welcome to join us! Up to 250 participants can log in to each lecture on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please browse the information below. To participate in the Energy Solution Challenge, please register at this link.

Energy Solution Challenge

  • Event Details

    WHEN: Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    OPEN TO: High school students in grades 10, 11 & 12 interested in learning more about nuclear energy and small modular reactors (SMRs).

    WHY: Participants will improve their creative thinking and engineering design skills, establish a new professional network, learn about the hundreds of jobs that support the energy and nuclear sectors, and identify how their ideas could shape and influence a greener, low-carbon-footprint future.

    WHO WILL BE THERE: Some of the industry’s largest organizations and stakeholders will be participating in this event to see what the next generation of leaders can create in terms of new ideas and solutions. You'll have an opportunity to see how technology is being used within industry to train, collaborate, learn, share, and problem solve.

    HOW TO REGISTER: Please visit this link to sign up today!

  • The Design Challenge

    Build the first nuclear reactor on Mars!

    The first colony of settlers is on their way to Mars, and they need power! You are the chosen design team, taken from the earth, to help build an entire colony with its primary energy source coming from a nuclear reactor. In this challenge, each team will design a component of the nuclear site using software and design solutions that are literally out of this world.

    Each team will be responsible for designing a specific component, and they will be assigned to a team on the day of the event.

    COMPONENTS TO BE DESIGNED:

    Nuclear Containment – design a structure that will house the nuclear reactor and protect your colony from radioactive materials (alpha, beta, gamma radiation) and thermal heat and protect the reactor from the Martian environment.

    Nuclear Security – design a solution to secure the nuclear site. Your solution will need to protect and detect responses to theft, sabotage, unauthorized access (e.g. by unknown lifeforms on Mars), and other potential threats.

    Back-up power – design a solution that will allow the reactor to keep operating in the event of loss of power (e.g. Martian Sandstorm).

    Waste Storage – design a solution for the safe storage of radioactive waste generated from the reactor given the slow decay of isotopes and constraints of the Martian environment.

    Excess energy Uses – design a solution to redirect and utilize excess power from the nuclear reactor – beyond powering the colony grid (e.g., powering electric Mars Rovers).

    DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

    Your design must take into account the weather elements on Mars: dust storms, harsh winters and snowfall, tornadoes, and even the possibility of an earthquake.

    The design must utilize current known technologies (sorry, no anti-gravity devices, or teleportation solutions).

    The design must account for the atmosphere of Mars (mostly carbon dioxide) - how will this affect the materials you chose to work with and will they last for the life of the reactor.

    The design must account for the small workforce (you are a small team and will not have others to help you build the solution).

    JUDGING CRITERIA

    Originality- Have you gone where no one else has gone before?

    Challenge- How well does the proposed solution address the challenge statement?

    Technical feasibility- Is the proposed design based on logical and sound engineering analysis and judgment? Has the team addressed the major technical challenges and constraints?

    Presentation- How well does the team describe and pitch their concept to the judges?

    The final product for the presentation must be visual: PowerPoint, conceptual model, or demonstration. We can’t wait to see your creations! Final presentations are to be 3 minutes, with 2 minutes for questions from the judges.

  • Register today!

    Please visit this link to sign up today!

    **Deadline for registration: 30 May 2020 at 11:59 P.M.**

    For more information, please email nuclear@ontariotechu.ca.


Energy Solution Challenge: Lecture Series

  • Introduction to VR Development with Unity
  • May 5: Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science Fundamentals

    Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

    Time: 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    Presenter: Dr. Filippo Genco, Associate Teaching Professor, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

    Title: Why is Nuclear Science so Important in the 21st century?

    Abstract: The 21st century dual challenge of reducing harmful GHG emissions, while still providing more and more energy to millions of people, positions the energy sector at the heart of achieving sustainable development. There is no technology that is fully without risk to people or the environment. Many countries in the world are working towards an electrical grid where both renewable and nuclear energy sources are the major players for achieving a more sustainable way of life. Nuclear science and nuclear engineering technologies will be briefly discussed at the light of the deep impact they have in our modern society.  From nuclear power plants to space exploration, from medical radiological therapies to food irradiation applications, nuclear science has become of critical importance and in need of more and more bright people to form as future professionals. With the electro-mobility revolution at hand, few key questions about “why should I become a nuclear engineer? “ will be answered providing ideas on how problems can be turned into opportunities thanks to nuclear science.

    Missed the lecture? That's okay, the presentation is available at this link!

  • May 12: Renewable Energy

    Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Presenter: Dr. Jennifer McKellar, Associate Professor, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

    Title: Renewable Energy Systems for a Sustainable Future

    Abstract: The need to improve the sustainability of our energy systems is a significant challenge facing all of us. We need to continue to supply large amounts of reliable energy to provide important services such as lighting, heating, transportation and communications. We also need to reduce the negative impacts of energy supply and use to help protect the environment and human health. Meeting this challenge is going to require creativity and skill, and a wide range of technologies. This includes renewable energy technologies. We can generate electricity from solar, wind, and hydro resources, among others. Heating can be supplied through solar and geothermal energy, for example, while transportation can make use of biofuels, for instance. As with all energy technologies, renewable energy systems have advantages and disadvantages that must be considered before the technologies are implemented. However, when included in our energy systems skillfully, and in increasingly creative ways, they can be used to help us move toward a more sustainable future.

    Missed the lecture? That's okay, the presentation is available at this link!

  • May 19: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

    Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Presenter: Dr. Kirk Atkinson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

    Title: Small Modular Reactors: Designs, Opportunities and Challenges

    Abstract: If we are going to be successful in the fight against climate change, we must end the burning of fossil fuels. Solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy technologies will play a vital role. However, the wind doesn’t always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine and, in colder regions of the world, snow and ice comes every winter. In many countries, nuclear power has been a safe, reliable technology, providing nearly zero carbon emissions as part of the energy mix for decades. But traditional large nuclear generating stations are expensive to build, have a big individual impact in the unlikely event of something going wrong and are often located far from where they are needed so residual heat is wasted. Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and Micro-Modular Reactor (MMR) designs are capable of being built in a factory with improved quality control and economies of scale, taking advantage of modern manufacturing techniques like 3D printing. Several dozen models have been proposed or are in various stages of development. Ten times smaller than existing nuclear plants in both size and power, appropriately-sized SMRs are capable of meeting grid-scale base load and surge electricity demands and could start replacing coal and gas plants within the next ten years. Ten times smaller than SMRs, MMRs can be transported to and from site using road, rail or water-based transport, thereby facilitating deployment in remote communities where energy supply is a limiting factor in quality of life and economic development, or to support energy-intensive industries such as mining. This presentation will make the case for SMRs and MMRs, describe several different designs and address some of the challenges in their deployment.

    Missed the lecture? That's okay, the presentation is available at this link!


  • May 26: Introduction to Virtual Reality (VR) Technology

    Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 (*NEW DATE)

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Presenter: Dr. Alvaro Quevedo, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Business and Information Technology

    Title: Introduction to Virtual Reality (VR) Technology

    Abstract: Virtual reality is currently gaining momentum as consumer-level devices become available at affordable prices. While traditionally employed in research and industry settings, current applications of virtual worlds have paved the way to enhance and complement education, training, health care, tourism experiences amongst others. This session will introduce attendees to virtual reality principles and considerations for developing consumer-level experiences with affordable tools. These same principles govern critical areas of development that will motivate participants to explore other areas of VR as higher-level devices become readily available. Similarly, software development tools are becoming more user friendly, welcoming non-programmers as potential developers and contributors within the VR development experience. At the end of this session, attendees will have a basic understanding of VR and developments tools associated to it.

    Join us for the lecture at this link: https://bit.ly/3cagwaK


Ontario Tech Open House