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Research Excellence Speaker Series Past Winners

Each year, the Research Excellence Award (REA) recognizes excellence in research achieved by University of Ontario Institute of Technology faculty members. Each award winner is expected to give a public presentation to the university and the broader community to make the public aware of the groundbreaking research, together with its real-world applications and impact on society, being done every day at the university across various disciplines.

2017 winners

Our university prides itself on consistently producing cutting-edge, relevant, timely research. In 2017, the calibre of research at our university was such that it was necessary to award two Early Career Researcher awards.

  • Senior Researcher - Pierre Cote, PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Early Career Researcher - Hendrick de Haan, PhD, Faculty of Science
  • Early Career Researcher - Shahryar Rahnamayan, PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Check back in Spring 2018 for the date and time of our Research Excellence Award Speakers' Series to hear more about this year's winners and their innovative research.

Below are all of the previous winners of this prestigious award. Where possible, videos of the event or the PowerPoint presentations of the talks are included.

Past Research Excellence Award winners

  • 2016 Senior Researcher: Hossam Gaber, PhD

    In his talk, entitled Toward Resilient Energy and Transportation Infrastructures, 2016 Senior Researcher award winner Dr. Hossam Gaber spoke of his work in smart energy grid and sustainable transportation, among other areas.  Dr. Gaber's work has real-world potential for the reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    If you were unable to join us in person, watch this video replay of the event.

  • 2016 Early Career Researcher: Leigh Harkins, PhD

    In her talk, entitled Understanding Multiple Perpetrator Sexual Violence, 2016 Early Career Researcher Award winner Dr. Leigh Harkins discussed her research in this thought-provoking area, including context and theories of the behaviour. Dr. Harkins' work not only advances scholarly understanding of sex offending, but also informs practitioners who treat sex offenders.

    If you were unable to join us in person, watch this video replay of the event.

  • 2015 Senior Researcher: Christopher Collins, PhD

    Dr. Christopher Collins delivered an informative presentation entitled Understanding Culture and Society through Linguistic Information Visualization, which dealt with a timely topic that affects the majority of our population. He described his research as "the human side of computing" which, to paraphrase,  looks at the "kinds of data tracing we leave behind" every day as we use our computers, and how we handle the large amounts of data and text information generated daily.

    If you were unable to join us in person, watch this video replay of the event.

  • 2015 Early Career Researcher: Sheldon Williamson, PhD

    In his talk on Transportation Electrification Initiatives at UOIT: Charging Ahead to a Sustainable Future for Mobility, Dr. Sheldon Williamson discussed his  work and the future of transportation. He spoke about his research from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science's point of view, by drawing attention to the university's one-of-a-kind research centre, ACE. He also talked about how his research is relevant to the work being done by colleagues in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

    If you were unable to join us in person, watch this video replay of the event.

  • 2014 Senior Researcher: Bernadette Murphy, PhD

    Dr. Bernadette Murphy, Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, won the 2014 Research Excellence Award. A full audience listened as Dr. Murphy gave a public presentation entitled Understanding How to Shape Technology so It Doesn’t Shape Us.

    If you were unable to join us in person, watch the video replay of the event.

    The presentation provided an overview of current research at our university, including:

    • How researchers study neural plasticity in humans.
    • The importance of the neck in controlling arm movement.
    • How researchers are starting to use technology to help prevent musculoskeletal injuries, rather than cause them.

    "We now know that abnormal postures and muscle fatigue can lead to changes in the way the brain processes incoming sensory information and formulates outgoing commands to muscles - a process called neural plasticity," says Dr. Murphy. "If we are going to harness the power of technology to improve society and increase our efficiency, we need to better understand the human brain and how it responds, so we can ensure that technology use does not lead to maladaptive plasticity."

  • 2013 Senior Researcher: Ed Waller, PhD

    On March 31, 2014, the university hosted a successful Research Excellence Speaker Series. The 2013 Senior Researcher Award winner was Dr. Ed Waller, Professor, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science and NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Health Physics and Environmental Safety. He gave a public presentation at the 2014 event entitled Is it safe? Marathon Man to man at marathon: How safe and secure are we?

    His informative talk highlighted his work and explained how his research has the potential to positively impact society.

    Michael Owen, PhD, introduces Dr. Waller at the 35:29 mark.

  • 2013 Early Career Researcher: Bradley Easton, PhD

    On March 31, 2014, the university hosted a successful Research Excellence Speaker Series. The 2013 Early Career Researcher Award winner was Dr. Bradley Easton, Associate Professor, Chemistry, Faculty of Science. He gave a public presentation at the 2014 event entitled Electrochemical materials for clean energy and safe roads.

    His informative talk highlighted his work and explained how his research has the potential to positively impact society.

  • 2012 Senior Researcher: Douglas Holdway, PhD

    In his talk, entitled Aquatic Toxicology Research at UOIT, Dr. Douglas Holdway, Full Professor and Tier I Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Toxicology, discussed his lab's work over the past eight years.

    Michael Owen, PhD, introduces Dr. Holdway at the 35:20 mark.

  • 2012 Early Career Researcher: Janette Hughes, PhD

    In her talk, entitled From texts to social media…and how our kids are smarter than we think, Dr. Janette Hughes, who has since been named Canada Research Chair in Technology and Pedagogy, discussed the disconnect between what adolescents do outside and inside class with respect to technology.

  • 2011 Senior Researcher: Igor Pioro, PhD

    In his talk, entitled Nuclear Power Reactors: Current Status and Future Advancements, Dr. Igor Pioro, Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, discusses his work involving nuclear power reactors (his talk starts at the 28:24 mark).

  • 2011 Early Career Researcher: Shahram ShahbazPanahi, PhD

    In his talk, entitled New Paradigms in Wireless Communications, Dr. Shahram ShahbazPanahi, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, discusses his work in wireless communications.

  • 2010 Senior Researcher: Marc Rosen, PhD

    In his presentation, entitled Energy Sustainability: A Critical Quest, Dr. Marc Rosen, Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, discussed how sustainability is a critically important goal for human activity and development. Energy sustainability is a fundamental link with overall sustainability given the breadth, scope and frequency of energy use; its importance in economic development and living standards; and the significant impacts energy systems have on the environment. His presentation addressed a variety of factors related to energy sustainability from an engineering perspective including:

    • Appropriate selection of energy resources and carriers.
    • Efficiency enhancement.
    • Holistic approach to environmental stewardship.

    A special focus was placed on climate change, which poses one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and is greatly affected by energy utilization. The presentation was based on research conducted by Dr. Rosen's team, which tackles the broad objectives of sustainability and aims to identify sustainable energy solutions and their applications for developed and developing countries.

  • 2010 Early Career Researcher: Carolyn McGregor, PhD

    Critical-care units across the globe boast state-of-the art medical equipment that constantly monitors vital organs. However, these units have arrived at a critical crossroad because the ability of the equipment to gather information has outpaced the ability to aggregate and interpret the data in a clinically meaningful way.

    In her presentation, entitled Can and Will Clinical Judgment be Replaced by Technology?, Dr. Carolyn McGregor, Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics, discussed how new computing approaches may address this growing gap and potentially replace clinical judgment made with technology. With one out of every 14 Canadian mothers giving birth prematurely, many happening in the seventh and eighth month of pregnancy, these early births are responsible for three-quarters of all infant deaths in Canada. If the infant survives, he or she may develop lifelong problems in the crucial days and weeks after birth. Neonatal intensive-care units have state-of-the-art medical devices to monitor and support premature babies. However, neonatologists are increasingly weighed down by vast quantities of manually charted data. In addition, 86 per cent of the information is from false alarms from medical devices. Recent research shows the conditions these babies can develop tell the same subtle story through their progression, which is not detectable through the human eye until the impact is severe enough for manual detection. Early detection may result in reduced mortality, mobility, shorter recovery time and hospital stays. Dr. McGregor presented new research directions to detect earlier the onset of devastating events. In addition, there is a potential to provide rural and remote communities with greater options for advanced critical care within their own community health-care facilities.

  • 2009 Senior Researcher: Barbara Perry, PhD

    Dr. Perry, Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, discusses her research surrounding hate crime in her presentation entitled The Community Impacts of Hate Crime: Challenging Canadian Ideals.

  • 2009 Early Career Researcher: Dan Zhang, PhD

    Presentation title: Research Activities in Robotics and Automation Laboratory.

    No other information is currently available.

  • 2008 Senior Researcher: Ibrahim Dincer, PhD

    In his presentation, entitled Research Dimensions and Main Pillars in Sustainable Energy, Dr. Ibrahim Dincer, Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, discusses global warming, energy and sustainability.

    Dr. Ibrahim Dincer accepting his Research Excellence Award
  • 2008 Early Career Researcher: Shari Forbes, PhD (co-winner)

    Dr. Shari Forbes, founder of the university's Forensic Science program, discussed her work in decomposition chemistry in a presentation entitled Global Forensic Chemistry Perspectives.

    Dr. Shari Forbes accepting her Research Excellence Award
  • 2008 Early Career Researcher: Scott Nokleby, PhD (co-winner)

    In his presentation, entitled Research Activities of the Mechatronic and Robotic Systems Laboratory, Dr. Scott Nokleby, Associate Cameco Research Chair and Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, discussed his research in mechatronics and robotics.

    Dr. Scott Nokleby accepting his Research Excellence Award
  • 2007 Senior Researcher: Greg Naterer, PhD (co-winner)

    Dr. Naterer's talk was entitled Delivering on the Hydrogen Promise: UOIT and the Ontario Advantage.

    No other information is currently available.

  • 2007 Senior Researcher: Walter DeKeseredy, PhD ( co-winner)

    Dr. DeKeseredy's talk was entitled The Challenges of Studying Women Abuse.

    No other information is currently available.