Proteus 2015

We would like to thank all the teams that took part in 2015/16

2015/16 Winners

Congratulations to the following competition winners who received the cash prizes and the opportunity to license the technologies:

Winner: OtoInsight

10k Cash Prize

Bohan Li, Raphaelle Koerber, Gautam Swan, Matthew Lucas

Winner: Polysafe

3k Cash Prize

Adam Strub, Jordan Rostowsky, Adam Pope, Joshua Pope

Winner: Polysensimer Technologies

3k Cash Prize

Ester Kwok, Peter Spence, Anoop Gulati, Courtney Skene-Hamilton

2015/16 In Review

Individuals across 5 technologies

Teams registered

Teams passed Stage 1

Teams passed Stage 2


2015/16 Technologies

View details from each of the three technologies by clicking on the left menu below.

Interactive Ear Diagnosis Training Software

Otolaryngology is the study and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT). Currently, training for ENT disorders is largely done using textbooks and lectures. Practical training is limited to the particular cases that present during residency. This cutting-edge interactive software has been developed to enhance the user’s ability to accurately diagnose a broad spectrum of ear pathologies. Users will also obtain valuable experience navigating a virtual otoscope on 3D models of the ear in a variety of training modules.

How it Works

  1. Using 3D simulation software, the ear canal and eardrum are realistically modelled and accurate images of ear conditions are presented.
  2. The virtual anatomy is modified to represent a variety of patients with different shaped ear canals and eardrums.
  3. The system software tracks a number of metrics to measure both the trainees diagnosis and their procedural performance in reaching that conclusion.
  4. It also provides immediate feedback to the instructors about the trainees likelihood at causing a real patient discomfort or pain during an examination.

Potential Advantages

  • The visual experience closely resembles actual procedures
  • Users gain experience with a broad spectrum of conditions
  • The virtual anatomy can be modified to represent a variety of patients
  • The software allows for intelligent mentoring and standardized testing
  • The software enables practice at any time and location since it is web-based

Hanif M. Ladak

Hanif M. Ladak received his B.A.Sc. degree from the University of Toronto in 1991 and his M.Eng. degree from McGill University in 1994, both in Electrical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from McGill University in 1998. His doctoral research focused on measuring and modeling the mechanical behavior of the middle ear. Dr. Ladak joined the University of Western Ontario in 2000 and is currently an Associate Professor jointly appointed to the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Electrical & Computer Engineering. He is also a faculty member in Western’s Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program and is Co-Director of Research in Otolaryngology. He is affiliated with the Imaging Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute and Western’s National Centre for Audiology. Dr. Ladak is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Touch Point Finger Pad Digitizer

The Touch Point Finger Pad Digitizer (TPD) allows a user to quantify and map the shape and contour of any rigid or semi-rigid object. By touching it with one or more fingers, TPD can build a full 3D virtual surface map using positional and force data without obstructing the finger pads. It can also quantify grip pressures at the fingers, as well as the central pressure point location of surface features. This means that along with mapping an unknown surface or object, you can compare the fine motor operation of manual procedures between individuals, such as comparing a trainee surgeon with an expert one.

How it Works

  1. Compared with other technologies, the finger pads are exposed allowing full contact with the surface and maintain the users sense and touch.
  2. Lateral pressure gauges record finger pad compression data.
  3. Real-time data acquisition and image building technology enables the synthesis of a 3D virtual surface map.
  4. Users may confirm proficiency by comparing their fine motor performance with experts in the field.

Potential Advantages

  • The finger pads are unhindered so that the user’s natural tactile sensations and feedback are maintained
  • In testing, accuracy of the system is roughly ±0.2N pressure and less than ±2mm position
  • The system is very fast as the sensors are read simultaneously with no charge-discharge cycle necessary (as is the case with some other similar technologies)

Potential Applications

  • Medical, sports, manufacturing, coaching/training


Dr. Louis Ferreira

Dr. Louis Ferreira conducts research in the field of Surgical Mechatronics with specialization in computer-navigation and robotics for surgical applications, andbiomechanical transducer design for orthopaedic surgery. He also has a special interest in Biomechanics related to orthopaedic surgical outcomes. He co-directs the Surgical Mechatronics and Bioengineering Laboratories of the Hand and Upper Limb Centre of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, which are located in the Lawson Health Research Institute. He supervises research projects that are conducted for the Department of Surgery and the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Western University. Together with faculty and clinicians, he collaborates on research projects that are performed by teams of surgical residents and fellows, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, from Medicine and Engineering.

Intelligent Architectural Design Software

Developed by an engineering research group at Western, the Automatic Building Layout Generation Application is a real-time architectural design software that strategically and efficiently prepares interior layouts for any type of building. This innovative technology uses state-of-the-art algorithms to efficiently place and connect rooms while also minimizing the amount of wasted space typically found in corridor arrangements.

How it Works

  1. The unique algorithm will consider the outer walls of the building and any immovable areas within.
  2. Next, a specialized priority list will assign room placement and size based on functionality.
  3. In order to connect the rooms efficiently, the algorithm selects the shortest path to install a corridor, thereby reducing the wasted area in the house.
  4. To complete the design, windows and doors are added to the layout, along with any further augmented details to illustrate the rooms and their purpose.

Potential Advantages

  • Automated generation of floor plans
  • Optimal room placement
  • Corridor algorithm reduces wasted space
  • Opportunity to realize significant time and cost saving in basic layout procedures ahead of architectural expertise and code compliance work

Potential Applications

  • Architecture (commercial & residential), video games, design

Abdallah Shami

Abdallah Shami received a BESc. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon in 1997, and completed his M.S. (2001), and Ph.D. (2003) in Electrical Engineering from the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, New York, NY. Since July 2004, he has been with Western University where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His current research interests are in the area of wireless/optical networking. Dr. Shami is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Communications Letters and IEEE Communications Tutorials and Survey. Dr. Shami has chaired key symposia for IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE ICC, IEEE ICNC, and ICCIT. Dr. Shami is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Stimuli-Responsive Biodegradable Polymers

Biodegradable polymers, or bio-plastics, present an exciting opportunity to significantly reduce our impact on the environment. This innovative technology employs an end-cap/trigger that offers controllable breakdown of the bio-plastic in response to many different environmental conditions such as light, temperature, moisture or many other cues. As an added benefit, the degraded products are environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

How it Works

  1. Monomers, or single units of the polymer, are chain-linked together and associated with an end-cap/trigger.
  2. The end-cap/trigger can respond to different environmental conditions (acidity, light, moisture), causing the polymer to dissociate into monomers.

Potential Advantages

  • Degradation of the polymer can be triggered through external stimuli (i.e., light, redox, pH, enzymes)
  • The material properties (including degradation time) can be tuned for specific applications
  • The degraded by-products are non-toxic products including glyoxylic acid, which is readily processed by plants or bacteria

Potential Applications

  • Agriculture, manufacturing, packaging


Elizabeth Gillies

E Gillies In 2000 Elizabeth Gillies received her B.Sc. from Queen’s University, which lead her in pursuit of her Ph.D at the University of California, Berkely. In 2004 Dr.Gillies received her Ph.D and became a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Bordeaux in France. Today, Dr. Gillies focuses on her research alongside her research group made up of 17 individuals ranging from undergraduate students to postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Gillies research focuses on the design, synthesis, and application of functional molecules.

Selective Brain Cooling with Cooled Air

Brain cooling has been shown to prevent brain injury from stroke, brain trauma, and cardiac arrest in both animal and patient studies. Currently, there is no effective, non-invasive method to lower brain temperature. The methods currently being used also cool down the rest of the body and have some associated complications including abnormal blood clotting, heart attack, and other complications. The Selective Brain Cooling Technology is an innovative and compact device, which introduces cold air through the nostrils and selectively cools the brain while maintaining normal body temperature.

How it Works

  1. Using this technology, cold air introduced through the nostrils provides a significant reduction of brain temperature compared with alternative methods.
  2. Within 30 minutes, the brain can be cooled to 6oC below the normal body temperature while minimally affecting the core temperature.

Potential Advantages

  • The equipment is simple, robust, and compact making it suitable for use at the bedside of patients
  • Can be used for cardiac arrest, head trauma, stroke, and neurodegeneration


Dr. Ting-Yim Lee

Dr. Ting-Yim Lee is Director of PET/CT Imaging Research at Lawson Health Research Institute; a scientist with Robarts Research Institute; and a professor of Medical Imaging at the University of Western Ontario. He was recently awarded a CIHR Industry Partnered Chair in CT Functional and Molecular Imaging. He was trained in Nuclear Medicine Imaging and is experienced in tracer kinetics modeling for the derivation of tissue functional and physiological parameters from data on tissue uptake of contrast agent or radiopharmaceuticals.