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2023 Problem Award Recipients

Co-operative Education and Velocity are pleased to announce the 2023 co-op Problem Award recipients. The Co-op Problem Award is earned by providing the best analysis of an important problem relevant to a co-op employer or the employer’s industry with a First Prize Tuition Scholarship of $1,500 or Second Prize Tuition Scholarship of $750, applicable to the recipients next academic term.

Adrian Jendo

Engineering 4B

Employer: Carta


  1. Converted co-op experience into a full-time offer.
  2. Lead an end-to-end project to develop key client-feature for a new product under a tight timeline.
  3. Lead a successful design project to develop a mechatronics robot for navigating an obstacle course & locating a target.
  4. Recipient of first in class engineering scholarship.

    While working at Carta, Jendo helped facilitate a new web form upload tool to house financial documents. The change improved customer satisfaction while filing documents. 

Ashley Juraschka

Engineering 4B

Employer: Toronto Dominion Bank


  1. Recognized for multidisciplinary approach to investigating problems and ability to balance stakeholder needs in solution development.
  2. Innovated the loyalty experience pathway at Toronto Dominion Bank through the reimagining and design of a more human centric user experience journey.
  3. Spearheaded the integration of ESG initiatives into the revitalized loyalty ecosystem by adopting principles from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  4. Demonstrated leadership through continuous project management leading to projects being delivered in a timely manner and to a high standard of work.
  5. Driven by intrapreneurial spirit to continuously identify initiatives to innovate and advance an organization as demonstrated through solution to TD Coop Innovation Challenge.

    Juraschka worked at Toronto Dominion Bank to resolve issues related to fraud-induced cybercrime caused by deepfakes. While all industries are at risk of attack, Juraschka pinpointed how financial institutions must take precautionary measures

Luna Li

Engineering 3A

Employer: Aecon


  1. Involved in several structural design projects that will one day be added to the ever-diversifying Vancouver skyline.
  2. Accomplished musician with DipLCM from the London Conservatory of Music for Piano

    While working with Aecon, Li realized that the company was experiencing delays due to an inefficiency with the shipping and tracking of metals. Li aimed to turn this into an efficiency to improve organization.

Claire Thompson

Engineering 4A

Employer: University of Waterloo Orthotron Laboratory

At the Orthotron Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, Thompson researched spinal biomechanics. Thompson noticed an issue within the research process, specifically relating to recruitment and knowledge transfer.

Victoria Ventura

Arts 2B


Employer: Romano Law Office

  1. Drafted legal documents including Statements of Claim, Affidavits of Service, and Wills and Power of Attorneys
  2. Facilitated client meetings and provided support through distressing legal battles in many areas of civil law, including family, employment, and personal injury
  3. President & Founder of the University of Waterloo’s Mock Trial Team; trained and oversaw two competitive teams for a quarter-finalist finish
  4. Received Best Attorney award at the University of Guelph’s Mock Trial Tournament

    Ventura, the president and founder of the University of Waterloo’s Mock Trial team, worked at Romano Law Office. At the firm, she noticed inefficiencies in conducting court proceedings online. These inefficiencies compromise the integrity of justice systems.

JD Zhu

Engineering 2A

Employer: Grand River Hospital


  1. Eager to explore the intricacies of nature
  2. A dedicated Mechanical Engineering student with a passion for both Engineering and Applied Math.
  3. Joined Professor Zhao Pan’s team on my first co-op work term, I found interest in mathematical modelling and simulation.
  4. Research interests includes but not limited to Fluids, Advanced Manufacturing, and PDEs.

    At Grand River Hospital, Zhu strived to solve an issue related to personalized cancer treatments. He noticed how slower and costly simulations limit the development of these treatments. Utilizing CompuCell3D and TOPAS programs helped him improve operations for medical physicists in ensuring accuracy for patients.