Cool tech, hot research at UVic Tech Summit showcase

Education, Engineering

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta is one of the UVic researchers participating in the May 14-16 BC Tech Summit. Gupta uses infrared, ultrasound and other non-invasive methods to study the health of infrastructre. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Been a while since you had your brain waves analyzed? Curious about how you’d respond in the crucial period between an earthquake and a potentially deadly tsunami? 

Strike those concerns off your to-do list next week at the University of Victoria showcase at the BC Tech Summit, where UVic engineering and science researchers will be on hand to check your brain health, immerse you in a virtual-reality earthquake scenario in Port Alberni, and get you up close and personal with many more vital and innovative technologies with the potential to reshape the future. 

The three-day tech summit at the Vancouver Convention Centre, May 14-16, is the largest technology conference in Western Canada. This year’s event is an important opportunity to experience some of the university’s world-leading tech innovations in the areas of health, clean energy and environmental stewardship.

“The tech summit has evolved over the last three years to become the annual showcase event to celebrate success, develop new partnerships, and stimulate new initiatives that further BC’s innovation agenda,” says David Castle, UVic vice-president research.

“As a vital contributor to the thriving technology sector in BC, UVic will showcase some of our leading researchers and their cutting-edge technologies. This year’s summit importantly sets the stage for all of the great initiatives to come with our Cascadia-focused partnerships, and our participation in Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.”

UVic small-business incubator Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre will also be at the summit with four of the new tech businesses it has helped launch in the past year. Researchers at the summit will have interactive displays and demonstrations of leading-edge technologies. These include:

  • Neuroscientist Olav Krigolson’s mind-controlled robot car and new brain-health game that will be tested by NASA this summer for potential use on astronauts bound for Mars;
  • Civil engineer Rishi Gupta’s high-tech forensics capable of seeing beyond the surface of aging infrastructure to the cracks, rust and latent public dangers beneath;
  • Electrical and computer engineer Xiaodai Dong’s mobile electrocardiogram, which lets people do their own ECGs at home and transmits those results to a phone app and the cloud;
  • Computer scientists Yvonne Coady and Derek Jacoby’s virtual-reality game challenging players to prepare for an imminent tsunami in Port Alberni;
  • Mechanical engineer Brad Buckham’s wave-energy project, tapping into the abundant and green energy of ocean waves to produce electricity for the grid;
  • Biomedical engineer Stephanie Willerth’s work printing human neural tissue with a special 3D printer for use in personalized medicine;
  • Biology student Paige Whitehead’s glow-wand prototype, which uses bioluminescence for the glow and a seaweed casing that improves the soil once it’s thrown away;
  • Civil engineer Phalguni Mukhopadhyaya’s work with a volcanic mineral already being mined in BC to create vacuum insulation panels that’s five to 10 times more effective than the most commonly used insulations;
  • Entrepreneur and UVic mechanical engineering grad Devesh Bharadwaj’s salty solution to energy storage, which uses the mixing and remixing of salt and water to create a kind of “battery” for storing energy from intermittent sources such as wind, wave and sun;
  • Mechanical engineer Mohsen Akbari’s “smart” bandage, a high-tech solution to identifying and treating infection in wounds at the earliest stages.
  • Benoit Pirenne, director of user engagement at the UVic initiative Ocean Networks Canada, presenting May 16 on the role of ONC’s data analytics and real-time Internet-connected instruments and sensors in early-warning processes for earthquakes and tsunamis.

Follow the #BCTechSummit hashtag on UVic’s LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts from now through May 16 for additional details and photos of UVic researchers participating at the summit. Check out these one-minute videos for more on some of the individual researchers.

A press kit containing high-resolution photos is available on Dropbox.

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Jody Paterson (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-8746 or

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In this story

Keywords: technology, industry partnerships, biomedical, engineering, Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre

People: Benoit Pirenne, Mohsen Akbari, Derek Jacoby, Yvonne Coady, Olav Krigolson, Xiaodai Dong, Rishi Gupta, Stephanie Willerth, Phalguni Mukhopadhyaya, Brad Buckham

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