Engineering and Community Engagement

The webinar entitled ‘Engineering Justice: Transforming Engineering Education and Practice‘, presented by Jon Leydens and Juan Lucena from the Colorado School of Mines, took place on Wednesday, May 20th – and may be available for viewing at here! At this same site, you may also find another webinar of interest:  ‘Dean’s Panel on Scholarship in Engineering Service Learning and Humanitarian Engineering’ – featuring Dean Amr Elnashai (Penn State), Dean Leah Jamieson (Purdue), and Dean Stephen Silliman (Gonzaga).The ASEE Community Engagement Division’s Film Festival voting concludes at midnight, Saturday, May 30th.  You are urged to visit the website and vote for your favorite videos (  The top five vote getters will be named finalists.  In addition, a panel of ASEE CED committee members will also select five finalists.  These ten finalists will be announced on May 31st and will then compete for the a) Best Video Award ($1000) and the b) Community Impact Award ($1000).  Winners will be announced at the ASEE CED annual business meeting on Monday, June 15th.


Upcoming Events at McMaster University

1. SPRC & McMaster Colleagues Seeking Community Partners for Input to Community-Based Research Toolkit

Colleagues at McMaster and SPRC are putting together a list of 15-20 invitees to attend a workshop which willlead to the development of a community based research toolkit. If you have any names of people across various sectors in the community who have some experience working with academic researchers please pass these suggestions along to Erika Morton at SPRC at They’re seeking a range of voices/perspectives at this workshop.  Participants will be selected so that this range is assured:

  1. Range of roles in research projects (advisory board, collaborator, co-applicant, peer researcher)
  2. Range of types of communities (non-profit/social services sector; arts and culture sector; environment; health)
  3. Level of experience (from very experienced working with academic researchers to one-time experience)

Please note that peoples experience with academic research can include working with McMaster, as well as other other communities/cities. If you have any names of potential invitees during the next week that would be much appreciated. Feel free to send these directly to Erika.

2. 100in1 Day Hamilton | June 6

A dedicated team of Hamilton volunteers are working in collaboration to organize a city-wide event taking place on Saturday, June 6th called 100in1Day Hamilton. 100in1Day is a growing global movement that is changing how people interact with their cities. Originating in Bogotá, Colombia in 2012, it has encouraged hundreds of one-day community-based interventions in cities around the world. Interventions can include things like street art, urban gardens, beautification projects, social events, improvements in city infrastructure, or simply waving to strangers

All interventions are all being profiled on the same day in a city-wide festival which profiled on an interactive online map. This year, Hamilton will be joining cities around the world, along with Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax, to strive for 100+ community led projects all being profiled on Saturday, June 6th. Register your urban intervention at!

3. Trailhead Ontario Conference – The Benefit of Trails|June 7-10 2015 @ McMaster

Ontario Trails, McMaster University and Hamilton Burlington Trails Council are thrilled to be releasing the Trailhead Ontario Conference 2015 Official Program Package. You will find the Program Package here. Please feel free to contact if you have any questions.

Call for Presenters: Accelerating Change – Engagement for Impact

On March 21-23, 2016, Campus Compact will hold a 30th anniversary conference in Boston; the conference’s theme is Accelerating Change: Engagement for Impact. It aims to bring together the wide range of people and organizations making engagement happen across the country and beyond. Campus Compact’s thirtieth anniversary will be an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the achievements of the last three decades, learn more about what needs to be done and what resources already exist to enable that work, and commit to take the steps necessary to accelerate and deepen our efforts.

Call for presenters is now open! Deadline for proposals is June 19th, 2015. Please click here for more information

TN Global Conference in 2017

Although the 2014 Talloires Network Leaders Conference just ended, the Talloires Network Leaders Conference is looking for a host for the next TN Leaders Conference that will be held in June, July or August of 2017. All Talloires Network member institutions and partner organizations are welcome to apply. If you are interested, please submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to host the 2017 Talloires Network Leaders Conference (TNLC 2017), either individually or in collaboration with other institutions by July 10th, 2015. Please click here for more information.

Infographic on Online Content Consumption

To those who use social media to help with research, or involved with advertising and/or marketing, online content consumption varies depending on the audience. How much online content do we consume? This infographic breaks down online content consumption by generation: Millennials (people who born in between 1981-1997), Generation X (born 1965-1980), and Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964).

KM in the AM (Saskatoon) April 24, 2015 @ Station 20

On April 24th, Sheena Greer, Lisa Erickson, and Fleur Macqueen Smith lead discussion on three topics: Digital tools and methods, face-to-face tools and methods, and traditional tools and methods that make knowledge sharable, understandable, and accessible.

If you missed the discussion, fortunately these facilitators captured the resources and discussion into one document! Resources such as how to write in plain language, how to avoid using jargon in your writing, how to use storytelling as a Knowledge Mobilization technique, how to engage your audience, and more. If you missed the talk, you can download the notes and resources here.

Technique of the week #8: Video abstracts

What you need to know

  • Video abstracts tend to be 1-4 minutes, and allow the authors of an academic paper to personally explain their work to a broader audience.
  • Video abstracts maximize engagement and visibility by allowing authors to combine filming themselves with images, animations and laboratory experiments to explain their research paper.
  • Video abstracts should tell a story, rather than a regurgitation of facts. They should convey the researcher’s interest and excitement.
  • More journals are accepting video abstracts (e.g., New Journal of Physics, Cell, Elsevier).

Resources, time, and skill

  • A video abstract can be created with a simple laptop camera and have the researcher summarize their research.
  •  More complex video abstracts can use visuals or animations (free software such as Paint, Pant.NET, or Windows Movie Maker may be used). Use the best quality camera possible.
  •  Depending on the complexity of the video abstract, the amount of time, resources and skill will vary.

Key Considerations

Video abstracts are not meant to replace a text-based article, but rather to enhance the understanding (e.g., explanation of complex methods, or technical aspects) of the research. Just as text-based abstracts provide a preview of the article to allow the reader to determine to purchase or download the article, the same applies to a video abstract, except through images, animations, and sounds.

Incorporating webinars in your KMb

  • Video abstracts are a great way to reach other audiences that may not be directly involved in your research field.
  • Video abstracts can be a way for research to have an immediate impact on students, colleagues, and/or other researchers by streamlining, and increasing visibility and access to the research.
  • These informative and accessible communication products may be appreciated or required by funding agencies.

The take away

  • Video abstracts maximize engagement with viewers, allowing researchers to explain complex concepts, thereby reaching more diverse audiences.


How to make a video abstract (step by step guide with additional resources)

DovePress video abstract guidelines


Where temperate meets tropical: multi-factorial effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen enrichment, and competition on a mangrove-salt marsh community

Cell journal video abstract guidelines (examples are on the right pane)

Elsevier video abstracts

Video Editing Software

Windows Movie Maker (freeware, usually comes with your machine)

Adobe Premiere (Not free, but does offer a free trial)

Graphic Editing Software

Paint.NET (freeware)

Gimp (freeware)

Adobe Photoshop (Not free, but does offer a free trial)