University of British Columbia researchers in engineering, medicine, chemistry and physics and astronomy are being honoured this evening in Ottawa at a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) award ceremony in Rideau Hall.
Four UBC professors and one alumnus are among the 13 recipients of the NSERC national research prizes announced earlier today. The prizes will be presented by Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC.
“These awards are a reflection of both the research excellence and the enormous impact our researchers have on our society,” says Don Brooks, UBC Associate Vice President Research and International, who will also attend the award ceremony. “We are grateful that NSERC recognizes the talents of UBC scientists and for its continued support for innovation and research in Canada.”
Mark Ansermino, an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics in the Faculty of Medicine, and Guy Dumont, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be presented with the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering.
Dumont and Ansermino, who is also Associate Clinician Scientist with the Child & Family Research Institute and Director of Research for Pediatric Anesthesia at BC Children’s Hospital, are developing computer-based systems that assist anesthesiologists in the operating room. They have already designed numerous computer-assisted technologies that make operations safer for patients. The pair is now turning their attention to the developing world, where the implementation of their low-cost technologies will compensate for a lack of trained personnel and resources.
Rowan Barrett, who recently completed his PhD at UBC and is now conducting postdoctoral research at Harvard University, is the recipient of the 2010 NSERC Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize. Barrett studies the genetic basis by which populations adapt to their environments. His research will provide better predictions about the extinction risks for species forced to evolve in response to rapidly changing climate conditions.
Andrea Damascelli, an associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Ruth Signorell, a professor of chemistry, are recipients of the 2011 NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships. Damascelli studies quantum materials and is building a spectroscopy centre for the research and development of new electronic materials with never-before-seen properties. Signorell and her team are developing spectroscopic methods to study ultrafine aerosols for application in fields such as climate research and medicine.
UBC Civil Engineering Prof. Don Mavinic, who won the 2010 Synergy Award for Innovation from NSERC, will also be honoured at tonight’s ceremony. Mavinic was chosen for developing a technology that turns wastewater nutrients into valuable fertilizers.
For a complete list of the awards and for more information, please visit www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca.