EPICentre was pleased to welcome Karel Vredenburg, Director of IBM Design, who spent time with students and startups at the EPICentre on March 23rd and 24th.
Karel served as a judge on the panel, as well as keynote speaker for the EPIC Blue Sky Competition that took place on Thursday afternoon. Participants in the competition were very thrilled and excited to have their business ideas judged by Karel whom they described as a very renowned and prominent figure.
On Friday morning, Karel delivered his Design Thinking presentation to the 4th year Electrical and Computer Engineering students. Karel strongly believes that design thinking should be practiced by all disciplines, and that everyone can benefit from it.
Dr. Mohammed Khalid, Associate Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, explained that “for our engineering students, we focus on teaching technical aspects of design which emphasizes creation of optimized designs which meet all the design objectives and constraints such as minimizing cost and power consumption, maximizing performance, testability, maintainability, etc. Karel’s presentation on user-centered design provided a very valuable insight to our students into the design methodology used in real world engineering products.”
Karel’s visit to EPICentre ended with a casual lunch with EPICentre’s incubator members. EPICentre’s startups appreciated the opportunity to meet with Karel and to share their business ideas with him. “It was a great opportunity to meet with Karel and I believe that inviting upstanding individuals such as him to the EPICentre certainly gives the new founders the motivation they need to pursue their chosen career path,” said Navid Nazemi, a Postdoctoral Fellow who works for CAMufacturing Solutions Inc., an industry member at EPICentre.
Karel also commented on EPICentre’s students and activities. “I thought the energy, enthusiasm, and sheer talent at the EPICentre and the University of Windsor was awesome. A true hidden gem in our province. Keep up the great work.”