The 2nd annual Engineering World Health Symposium took place on February 22nd 2016 at the William Doo Auditorium, located on the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus. The theme of this year’s event was “Engineers as Global Health Interdisciplinary Team Players”, and had a strong focus on the role of engineers and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration for tackling global health problems. The Symposium attracted over 100 attendees from a variety of fields including engineering, global affairs, pharmacy, public health, and nursing.
The Symposium featured a lineup of fantastic speakers, lively panel discussions, and a poster session. Multiple speakers placed a particular emphasis on the importance of identifying genuine needs and building sustainable solutions based on awareness of context and environmental constraints. It was an enlightening experience to witness the breadth of research being conducted in the global health sphere. Regardless of our scientific backgrounds, we are all united in the belief that we can and must improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For highlights on the topics that were discussed by the speakers during the Symposium, please see a summary of the live tweets that were posted by all our attendees using the #2016EWHS hashtag – http://sfy.co/f1IYs.
The poster session gave students an opportunity to showcase their research and interact with attendees from differing backgrounds. It was wonderful to see the genuine interest in global health work and to observe the innovative research being performed at the University of Toronto. Congratulations to this year’s poster winner, Calvin Ngan, for his presentation on “Design and Evaluation of a Prosthetic Knee Joint based on Automatic Stance-Phase Lock (ASPL) Technology for Children with Transfemoral Amputations”!
We were fortunate to have the support of multiple organizations and student groups, who were on hand to inform students about other potential opportunities to participate in global health related activities. We are immensely grateful to our sponsors, as well as the speakers, moderators, and poster judges that made this thought-provoking day of discovery and discussion a reality. We’d also like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the Symposium Organizing Committee, who volunteered their time (and sanity) to make this event a success.
At the conclusion of this year’s Symposium, we’ve grown to appreciate the immense support for global health initiatives within the University of Toronto community. We hope to expand the outreach of this event to more departments at U of T, but also to encourage collaboration with neighbouring universities and organizations. Next year, we will return, armed with new knowledge and ready to take on the world once again. We hope to see you there!