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Brian Sutherland


Room 328, Health Sciences Complex


About Brian Sutherland

You might say science communication was a strongly formed interest from an early age: Brian Sutherland graduated from the Ontario Science Centre Science School museum, worked at Deep River Science Academy and spent three years in Engineering Science at U of T where he co-founded Science Outreach with Debbie Chachra in 1990. Brian also holds primary and elementary teacher's certifications in Montessori and a Master's Degree in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Currently, Brian teaches "HSC402H5: E-Learning Environments in Health Care", which he co-developed with Meaghan Brierley and Leila Lax. He also is co-instructor in the Media Design Field graduate course "MSC2006H Advanced Media Design Technologies" with Michael Corrin.

Brian has educated a great many teachers, new media students and web application developers in instructional design over the past 25 years. His multimedia development work in education was recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  Brian was an IT architect for the Province’s educational repository e-learning Ontario.

In addition to being a part/time lecturer in the Biomedical Communications program, Brian serves as Educational Technology Administrator for the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he is the system administrator for Blackboard, the UTSC intranet, the weboption lecturecast service, and other core teaching technologies.

Brian Sutherland holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in e-Learning and curriculum design.   He is currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Information with the Semaphore Group, studying critical making. This involves the application of small computers and sensors to constitute pervasive computer-assisted environments in healthcare, as well as research in sustainable system design.

Research Interests

  • E-Learning design, digital pedagogy tools and technologies
  • Data Visualization
  • Augmented Reality
  • Critical Making and Sustainable Design
  • Energy Harvesting Technologies (Thermal Electric Generation, Solar, Metabolic)
  • Emerging full stack standards, towards mobility (e.g. Redis, Mesh topologies, LoRA, 5G)


Brian authored a streaming-optimized digital archive of the original artwork drawings of Grant’s Atlas, a work of anatomy education created at the University of Toronto in the 1940s by artist-illustrators of the Biomedical Communications department and Physician-Instructors of the Faculty of Medicine.

He also authored an augmented reality system whereby smartphones recognize university signage and overlay wayfinding information (hashtag #uoftvision), and a mass-audience participation system for active learning known as U of T WebSurvey.

As a proof of concept of energy harvesting IT systems, Brian recently created a sustainable e-book library, a WiFi hot spot consisting of 30,000 public domain e-Books, powered by an ESP8266 postage stamp-sized computer, a solar panel and ultra capacitor “flywheel”.  Unlike batteries, ultracapacitors contain no heavy metals and they can typically recharge 1,000,000 times.


  • 2017        (in editing)  Sutherland, B.  Wayfinding Narratives.  In Elliot, C., Rose, M. and van Arnheim, J. (Eds)  Library Go: Augmented Reality in Libraries.  Maryland, USA: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
  • 2014        Riggs C.D. (presenter), Sutherland B, Irani A, Patterson J,  “Quizzical”: A student-authored, on-line, multiple choice question writing and learning assessment tool. Presented at “Educational Development in a Changing World”, International Consortium for Educational Development, (ICED) Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 2004        Wilson-Pauwels L, Bajcar J, Woolridge N, Sutherland B, Jenkinson J, Brierley M. Bridging the gap: A web-based visual database of medications to address the cognitive needs of patients and the information needs of patients and their health-care providers (The Journal of Biocommunication Volume 30, Number 3,  2004)


Brian serves on the City of Toronto’s Air Quality Roundtable, organized by the Clean Air Partnership Office.

Sutherland B. (invited panelist).  Are You Open? Making Open Science Work for You – Hart House Debates Room, University of Toronto, April 25, 2017.

Sutherland B. (presenter) Introduction to SQL – UofT Coders (Graduate Students): – University of Toronto, March 15, 2017.

Sutherland B. (presenter).  Sustainable Micro-Archives.  Canada Now – Faculty of Infomation, University of Toronto, March 11, 2017

Sutherland B. (keynote speaker).  Energy Harvesting Technologies: UTSC Sustainability Maker Challenge  “The Hub” – UTSC,  February 17, 2017

Sutherland B. (presenter) Raspberry Pi Applications – UTSC Library Makerspace.  January 20, 2017.

Sutherland B. (presenter) Arduino Open Development Platform – UTSC Library Makerspace.  October 28, 2016.

Sutherland B. (presenter) 3D printing with Autodesk 123Design – UTSC Library Makerspace.  October 14, 2016.

Sutherland B. (invited speaker) Community-Facing Learning and Digital Pedagogy – Guelph University, Friday, May 13, 2016.

Sutherland B. (presenter) Class Participation with U of T Web Survey ( – Ontario Universities Computing Conference; Laurier University, Monday, May 9, 2016.

Sutherland B. (co-presenter) Creating Engaging Activities Through Classroom Response Systems – UTM Library Teaching with Technology Showcase, January 21, 2016.

Sutherland B. (presenter) “Canadian Healthcare App”  Canada’s National E-Health Conference – Toronto, June 4, 2015.

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U of T Mississauga Campus (Administrative Office)

Room 308, Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON Canada L5L 1C6
Phone: 905-569-4849
Fax: 905-569-4847

U of T St George Campus

OA Building, Room 114
263 McCaul Street
Toronto ON Canada M5T 1W7

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