University of Toronto, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Engineering Strategies & Practice (ESP)

Past Projects

In the Winter term, ESP students focus on tackling a design project from beginning to end.  They learn the basics of project management, how to approach a complex problem and break it down into solvable parts, and how to acquire and use information in the design process.  They learn by teaming up to work on a client's project.  Working with the client, they go through a complete design process to develop a workable solution to meet the client's need.  The end result is a portfolio of written and graphical work and an oral presentation.

ESP students can work on a wide variety of projects. Click here to see examples of past projects.

Below is feedback from some of our past clients:

The team was not only very organized and motivated, from the beginning I could see that they were personally invested in my project. They were professional, detail-oriented and I could tell worked very well with each other.

- Sayeh Dastgheib-Beheshti - - 2020

Overall, I was quite pleased with the students' enthusiasm with the project and professionalism in communication. I hope to potentially apply their proposed solution to our future outreach programs in order to expand education in STEM and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

- Mickole Mulano - U of T Engineering Outreach Office - 2020

The team was courteous and professional throughout the project. They have exceeded my expectations by deciding to produce a prototype of their concept despite their other course workload. They sometimes made me forget that I was dealing with a group of 1st-year students and not a team from an engineering consulting firm.

- Andy Sun - Individual - 2019

Overall very pleased with the program and student ideas. Well structured by U of T and excellent hands-on experience for these bright future engineers!

- Robert Barbarossa - Air Liquide Health Care - 2019

The students pleasantly surprised us with their creativity and "out-of-the-box" thinking. They presented well thought-out ideas on the implementation of their designs, as well as, total life cycle considerations. Their 3-D printed models were helpful envisioning the final results. We were impressed with their ability to create and deliver a presentation to us.

- Steve Tower - St. Michael's College - 2019

The team impressed me with their professionalism and their final product. It was a pleasure working with them throughout the semester. We're looking forward to constructing what they've designed for our campus gardens.

- Samantha Lucchetta - Dig In! Campus Agriculture - 2019

I have enjoyed my productive meetings with the students. They are all pleasant, professional and eager, thinking ‘outside the box’ to arrive at solutions. Your students do you credit, and I am looking forward to utilizing their final product to regain access to my community. Thank you for providing this inspiring and rewarding opportunity to interact with your future engineers.

- Julie Gibson - Individual - 2018

I just wanted to highlight that my experience with the ESP team that worked on my proposed challenge (to find best way(s) to make my house more energy efficient) was nothing short of excellent. The team worked in a very diligent and thoughtful manner, were very professional in their approaches, and very creative and persuasive in their ultimate solution proposal. I learned a whole lot form them during this process. Keep up the great work! I will be working with them to disseminate their results more broadly, perhaps through article(s) in major newspapers, etc. So others can similarly benefit.

- Rahim Rezaie - Centre for Global Engineering - 2018

Working with the ESP student team was a great bonus for our volunteer-run organization. The students undertook a thorough investigation of our marketing and outreach activities before coming up with recommendations to improve our reach. They were easy to work with and professional in their dealings and communication. Thanks to the team for the excellent work!

- Revathy Vattukkalathil - Society of Women Engineers Toronto - 2018

I just wanted to share how absolutely impressed I have been with the group I have been working with as part of the ESP class. Right from the beginning I have been blown away by their professionalism and commitment. They have been extremely friendly, diligent, thoughtful, creative and in tune with our project. They have been curious about learning as much as they can about our project and sincerely interested in providing meaningful suggestions and ideas to help us with our project. I got the following message from one of our staff connected to the project upon receiving the most recent update: "Oh my GOODNESS, look at all the work they put into this! And they GET IT.  Their language and objectives are accurate. I see they made many connections to our meeting..." This has been a truly wonderful experience so far -- these students have made an incredible impression and if this is the type of high-quality work folks can expect from this class -- I would not hesitate to recommend this to other partners on campus.

- Adam Kuhn - U of T Student & Campus Community Development - 2017

The project our team completed has the potential to grow our organisation's capacity and we are so pleased with the results.

- Jacqueline Hamilton - LEAF - 2017

The team did well in that they communicated well, managed expectations and over delivered by offering a number of viable solutions to the southbound Yonge Street to eastbound 401 via Lord Seaton Road left turn. Even the project manager from the City of Toronto's Transportation Infrastructure Management Group was impressed with their (split road) northbound Yonge Street underpass solution.

- Raymond Jean - West Lansing Homeowners Association - 2016

I was very impressed with the work that the group of students presented... It will be interesting to see which final design they favour from the 5 [that they designed]. Each one had certain merits and I will be able to extract ideas from all of them. It was a pleasure meeting the students and I particularly enjoyed the keen way in which they went about solving some of the issues that I had -- very refreshing indeed.

- Josephine Dasko - Individual - 2016

I was blown away with the thorough research and vision that went into both presentations [of my two ESP teams]. The reports and the students exceeded my expectations. I am especially impressed that in addition to making the intersection safer and more user friendly for all users, that both option reports would create about one acre of new green space by connecting currently stranded green space and by creating green space of current unnecessary roadway that contributes to the complexity and danger of the intersection. It is a rare event in Toronto where an extra acre of green space can be created.

- Jim Chisholm - West Bend Community Association - 2015

External Link to news article of this project in
Internal Link to news article of this project in
External Link to West Bend webpage with ESP teams' project documents

I wanted to say thank you again to the ESP teams for their outstanding work helping draft the designs for Bikechain's front space. Since last September, Bikechain has registered close to 4000 visits if you can believe it! Your various design options allowed us to make the space more functional, safer, and comfortable.

- Andrew Bacchus - Bikechain - 2015

Both teams assigned to me were great in finding innovative solutions to real life problems. This year one team helped me design a very cost effective and sustainable farming irrigation mechanism for Ethiopia while the other team came up with a very innovating design to solve the tedious ironing process.  The team members had diverse skills, were punctual, very organized and most important, showed clear potential for making an impact, for which they definitely deserve appreciation. Just like last year, I was very pleased to see them work together as a team to solve global problems. With the support of U of T's faculty and resources, they really showed what they are capable of. Thank you for the wonderful experience and I look forward to getting involved again next year.

- Mohammad Ismail - Individual - 2015

Both [of my ESP groups] were fantastic!!! Each group had unique challenges. Team 152 had less design constraints, Team 4 had more stringent constraints, so the projects were difficult in different ways. But I was very pleased with both groups throughout the entire semester. Both worked exceptionally hard and produced exemplary work and deserve "A"s across the board. I have told other entrepreneurs about ESP, so hopefully you will have even more interesting project ideas to choose from in the fall.

- Kelven Goodrige - verticiel Inc. - 2014

I did find it very interesting to work with the student teams, and their participation actually helped me improve my products.

- Hala Chaoui - Urban Farms Organic Inc. - 2014

I have been a client for several years in ESP and have immensely enjoyed working with the students to solve a variety of problems. These have included re-directing water from my eavestrough, solving an issue with our garage floor and investigating which fireplace would best meet our needs amongst other projects. The students were pleasant, polite, bright, eager to find solutions and they came up with some great ideas which were professionally presented. Overall, I can highly recommend this experience to anyone. It may be of interest to a family, an organization or an individual as it is possible to derive many benefits from taking part. The bonus is in helping in the educational experience of young, eager professionals. It's a win-win deal!

- Anne Ellis - Individual - 2013

I'd highly recommend this program. The students were quick to accommodate and orient to new ideas, sharp on the uptake and innovative in their solutions for my situation, with suggestions I would never have thought of myself. Wonderful program, keep up the good work!

- Merina Balten - Fright Free Group - 2013

The team's report is outstanding! The detail and research done is very clear and it is laid out for an easy understanding of how tightly the design is connected to all the requirements for a Living House Challenge.  It is clearly indicated which aspects are for demonstration purposes and how we can achieve each and every possible idea... right down to the prices and recommended contacts.  This is GOLD. The human, political, social, economic, and disposal factors are real selling points as well. Wow!!! I am so ready to start knocking on doors to get funding for this project.  It is going to be an example of a living house in Canada for people to learn about sustainable living. Thank you so very, very much for your passion, creativity, research and design skills, teamwork... the list can go on and on. We are most grateful for being involved with such a dedicated group of young engineers.

- Audrey O'Handley - Lemonville Living House Challenge - 2013

We were quite pleased with the results...Our participation as clients in these projects allowed our Clinic to do something new, and to meet new people with whom we hope we share some objectives, both for engineering education and for workplace health & safety. (source, p. 4-5 of the newsletter)

- Linda Vannucci - Toronto Workers' Health & Safety Clinic - 2013

Thank you for inviting me to the Presentation today. Just wanted to say that I was again impressed with the team’s enthusiasm, interest and presentation skills. The team represented AIS accurately, as well as, de-mystified the bed bug dilemma. The group came up with a unique design that addressed our requirements. The team obviously worked well as a group and honed their communication skills during the process. This will do everyone well as they continue studies in engineering. Thanks for an excellent job and I hope you all get favorable marks on this assignment!

- Marissa Bastidas - Accommodation, Information, and Support Inc. - 2012

I want to express my sincerest gratitude for all the work your department and the students did to analyze and propose some options to remedy our plight of corroding porch rails at our condo site, Barrington-on-the-Park, in Newmarket. We are now leagues ahead of the game in knowing what to do, and what not to do. I would like you to know the students were a pleasure to work with: very polite, highly intelligent, responsive to everything of concern to us, considerate, attentive to detail, extremely thorough, and HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL overall.

- Rose Boyko - Barrington-on-the-Park - 2012

I just wanted to let you know how impressed we were with the presentations. They were very professional and I can see us applying some of the suggested solutions this year in our TreesPlease project. It was a pleasure to work with both groups.

- Michael Low - Annex Residents' Association - 2012

On this occasion, I would like to commend all the students who participated in our project for the great design! I also like to extend our thanks to the ESP team administrators for giving us this opportunity.

- Safia Jowhar - Horn of Africa Sick Childrens Charity - 2012

ESP students worked on the Dog Park Digester project:

- Daniel Bida - ReGenerate Biogas Inc. - 2012

This was an excellent experience. The team's approach was professional and courteous, the information provided was extremely helpful. We will be asking the team back in the fall to make a presentation to our community. The experience was well beyond our expectations.

- Chris Hallett - Community Matters Toronto - 2011

The team that worked with me were extremely professional. The report that was produced by the group covered all of the concerns we had discussed and they developed an interesting and very feasible solution to the problem. It was a pleasure to work with the Engineering Strategies & Practice team.

- Carmen Victor - University of Toronto Art Centre - 2011

It was a very good experience for our first time and one of the Minerva sponsored teams have agreed to participate in an upcoming Minerva Canada event where they will talk about their project.

- Anthony Pasteris - Minerva Canada Safety Management Education Inc - 2011

On behalf of Leslie [Barcza] and myself, I would like to thank you for your project presentation on the ergonomic mail room. It is very easy to slip into habits and arrangements that we take for granted in the workplace. Your insight and fresh ideas have given us an opportunity to review our operation with a new set of eyes.

- Debbie Stewart - University of Toronto Campus Mail Services - 2011


- Diane Ward - Lemonville United Church - 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed working with your students on the project concerning a walker for a CP child. It was a learning experience for the students as well as myself. Especially, I would like to share with you how impressed I am with the dedication and deep thought put into this project by the team, it showed greatly in their results. As a "Client", I felt that they did their research about Cerebral Palsy and also learned a lot by observing the child and his needs. They came up with very good and constructive ideas that meet a lot of aspects of the child's everyday life, such as: Fear, stability, and motivation as well as all the other aspect as the environment, safety, regulations, convenience of  use and visual appearance.    

I thank you for the opportunity to work with the students, and I would be happy to continue the communication with the team as they move forward. I think a continued relationship and cooperation between the students of the engineering department and, us, the therapists, can be very interesting and can lead to new concepts and to new products that are in need for our young special-needs population. It will be very intriguing if we had the opportunity to actualize this concept and physically create it. I will be happy to cooperate with the program if such an opportunity presents itself.

Thank you again. It was inspiring.

- Rotem Shargall - Zareinu Education Centre - 2011

Engineering Strategies & Practice Office

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
35 St. George Street, Room 149
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4

Click here for full contact information.

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