Fields Notes 17:3 - Page 24



Daniel Hambleton and Elissa Ross
Elissa Ross and Daniel Hambleton , the two person team behind MESH Consultants , may have never met if it wasn ’ t for the Fields Institute .
Ross was a postdoctoral fellow at the time , organizing a workshop at the Fields Institute on geometry and applications to 3D models , which Hambleton , who was just getting his fledgling consulting company off the ground , spontaneously decided to attend . And the rest was history . After working remotely on a contract basis , Ross soon became a full-time member of the team , applying her mathematical knowledge to problems in architecture , advanced manufacturing , geology , and even art .
MESH is a geometry consulting company , providing mathematical expertise to a variety of digital design problems .
“ A lot of the traditional construction approaches have patterns ,” explains Hambleton . “ If your building falls into the kind of pattern that the glazing manufacturer is used to , then you ’ re good to go . But what designers always try and do is push the limits , and as soon as they do that they come up against these manufacturing constraints .”
That ’ s where MESH comes in . Using custom-built software called IOGRAM ( iogram . ca ), their aim is to make the design and construction of more complicated objects cheaper and more efficient . If you ’ ve ever walked by the Lassonde Engineering building at York University with its cloud-like façade , you ’ ve seen the results of MESH ’ s work .
Hambleton started out working at large engineering firms , but found that he couldn ’ t explore as much as he wanted to .
“ I thought there could be a deeper role for applying math to the design industry .”
And being part of Fields incubation program has been crucial in making that happen . In order to offer mathematical development services , Ross and Hambleton have to stay on top of the research in their respective fields – something that is very difficult to do outside of academia .
“ Fields was the perfect blend between a space where I could run a business but also get access to journals , people and conferences ,” says Hambleton .
Recently , Ross was working on a novel method for applying thickness to a design surface , when she realized she was coming up to some challenges outside of her own mathematical expertise . So she walked down the hall and knocked on the door of someone who could help . This led to an 8-month NSERC Engage grant where Xiulei Cao , a postdoctoral fellow at York University co-supervised by Professors Huaxiong Huang and Michael Chen , worked with MESH to advance their techniques .
“ That ’ s the amazing thing about Fields – those sorts of moments .” �
— Malgosia Ip