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Faculty Profiles

Patrick Keenan

Patrick Keenan

Professor, School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology

Patrick Keenan’s formal training focused on mathematics – specifically real analysis, calculus, optimization, and differential geometry. He earned BMH and MSc degrees at the University of Windsor and McMaster University in this area.

After finishing his MSc, he became interested in CAD, manufacturing, computer programming and robotics, since these fields are essentially math in action – that is, math being applied dynamically to produce a useful result. He worked in a fabrication shop operating large automated machines, torches and welders. A computer can perform optimizations in a fraction of a second that would take a human being over a month to complete by hand with a pencil and paper. Examples of this can be found in CAM software finding an optimal tool path or in a robot distributing power to its servos.

Patrick was attracted to Sheridan College by its very large and well-established robotics and control labs. There are not many places in Ontario where a person can get their hands on such high-end technology to learn with. The staff and professors found in Sheridan’s labs have the kind of understanding of electronics and control that can only be earned through years of practice.

Patrick’s prime interests are currently the C++ and C programming languages and the many open-source libraries available for 3-D graphics and device control as well the libraries that provide high performance computation and optimization.

Patrick is pursuing a PhD in graphics and industrial robotics at Ryerson University as well as teaching programming and mathematics courses to the engineering students in the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology at Sheridan.

He is working on a CNC control and simulation application that leverages the capabilities of modern processors and GPUs, a project that has led him to investigate a wide array of topics from hardware accelerated 3-D rendering to real-time operating systems and writing custom device drivers for PCI cards on Linux.

Sheridan College stresses applications and project-based learning in its curriculum, and has some of the most capable students Patrick has encountered in universities or colleges. Many of Sheridan’s students are able to bring a project from a rough sketch on paper through the complete CAD, simulation, CAM, machining, assembly and control stages.