Award for Microsystems Innovation by Women


This award recognizes research conducted by women that is relevant to and advances the field of microsystems research in Canada. It has produced substantive results that are publishable, has commercial potential, or has been supported by an industrial collaborator. Interdisciplinary work or novel work carried out in university-based labs or cleanrooms are also eligible. 

The award is open to female 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. 

Judging Criteria

The judging panel will consist of three representatives from Canadian industry and academia and non-for-profit organizations. The judges assess each competitor and select the demonstration that best meets the following criteria: 

  • Success in demonstration of the technology. Did it work/is the technique practical? 
  • Originality of design or novelty of technique or novel application of CAD software or design techniques. 
  • 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; understanding of tradeoffs (cost, power size) and worst/best-case design considerations. 
  • Clear understanding of the importance of this project, i.e., why is this problem important? 
  • Was the microsystems project concept innovative?  Is it a significant or incremental solution? How does it compare to existing solutions?  
  • Would this attract an industrial sponsor? Is the commercial application practical in terms of manufacturing, form factor, and economics?  
  • Was the role of packaging and/or integration considered while designing the component?
    How will it impact/improve the manufacture or application of micro/nano-systems in Canada? (e.g., cost, reliability, time to market) 
  • If a university lab facility was used, were lab capabilities effectively used? Was consideration given to potential use of toolsets from multiple labs, or a combination of hands-on fabrication and lab services? Were the research objectives pursued by custom fabrication such that they could not have been readily achieved otherwise. 
  • 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. 
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