Micro-nanosystems Design Award


This award, sponsored by Cadence, 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.