Micro-nanosystems Design Award


This award recognizes novel use or development of Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools or design methods leading to the improved manufacture and application of sophisticated micro-nanosystem prototypes relevant to Canadian industry. The award will be made to the competitor who demonstrates a novel design technology advancement with the most potential for substantive improvements to micro-nanosystems manufacture and deployment, including but not limited to:

  • New algorithms or techniques to improve tool/task quality of results or runtimes.
  • Design abstractions, languages or integration of design environments enabling multi-technology domain or multi-disciplinary development and prototyping.
  • Enhancements to “Design for …” methodologies such as manufacturability, security.
  • Novel use of cloud-based infrastructure to accelerate use of existing tools or flows.

The award is open to graduate students of a Canadian university.

Winners are strongly encouraged to use prize funds to support education or training related to micro-nanosystems R&D and may be applied to the cost of attending a conference or workshop or visiting a lab or other technical facility inside or outside of Canada.

Judges, Judging Criteria

The judging panel will consist of two representatives from Canadian industries and one faculty member from a Canadian university. Judges are asked to select the exhibit that best meets the following criteria:

Criterion 1: Technical Excellence (20 points)

  • Success in demonstration of the technology. Did it work/is the technique practical?
  • Novel application of CAD software or techniques relevant to products developed in Canada. Does it replace something or deliver a new product or capability?
  • Level of difficulty attempted; creativity/perseverance in overcoming problems during development.
  • Did it result in a manufactured prototype?
  • Exhibitor’s grasp of the technical aspects of the project.
  • Clear understanding of the importance of this project, i.e., why is this problem important?

Criterion 2: Application to Industry (20 points)

  • Is there a possibility of commercial viability? What kind of commercial organization might derive value from this technology?
  • Is the result potentially technically useful and economically viable, e.g. is assembly/packaging affordable?
  • How will it impact/improve the manufacture or application of micro/nano-systems in Canada? (e.g., cost, reliability, time to market)
  • Does the infrastructure exist to take it to a commercial scale?
  • Was interaction with other materials, components or the environment taken into consideration?
  • How easy would it be to use this from a user’s (compared to the developer’s) point of view?

Criterion 3: Presentation Excellence and Visual Effectiveness (10 Points)

  • Explanation of the background information or theory in a form understandable to one’s peers.
  • Clarity of explanation of key technical points.
  • Fluency in explanation, interplay between those making the presentation.
  • Humour, flair, originality.
  • Smooth recovery from an unexpected problem.
  • Quality and effectiveness of visual/written materials.

Note: Where projects have been undertaken by a team and over a period of time, the presenter must clearly differentiate what the current contribution is, including their own contribution.