Nov. 5, 2018

University of Calgary wins five science and technology awards

ASTech awards recognize top talent in province

Author

University Relations Staff

UCalgary had a large presence at the 2018 AStech awards with nine nominations and five award winners.

UCalgary had a large presence at the 2018 AStech awards with nine nominations and five award winners

ASTech Foundations

The province’s highest achievers working in science and technology were recognized at the 2018 ASTech Awards in Edmonton last week. The University of Calgary had nine nominations and took home five awards.

The winners include Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn, MD, PhD, who has made medical advancements in treating chronic kidney disease; Emily Marasco, a PhD candidate who is an established leader in engineering education and social innovation; and Dr. Orly Yadid-Pecht, DSc, who developed sensor chip technology. 

Two teams at the university also won ASTech awards including the Automated Monitoring and Control System Group (Dr. Reza Maalek, PhD, Dr. Derek Lichti, PhD, and Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, PhD) who developed technology to provide a comprehensive and integrated framework to automate process monitoring of construction projects, and the university’s Space Physics group, in the Faculty of Science.  

“ASTech’s mission to inspire the next generation of innovation aligns with our institutional commitment to foster a culture of entrepreneurial, creative, and critical thinking for our students and scholars,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, vice-president (research). “We are proud to celebrate our leaders, who demonstrate the high-impact results that can emerge from an institution that’s rich in innovative spirit.”

Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Health Innovation

  • Brenda Hemmelgarn, professor, University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences

Hemmelgarn’s pioneering efforts into chronic kidney disease (CKD) have led to the development of the Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) and the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration. Through the AKDN, Hemmelgarn has built an innovative data platform to identify gaps in CKD care, develop strategies to overcome these gaps, and improve patient care and health outcomes.

Winner of Outstanding Leader of Tomorrow

  • Emily Marasco, University of Calgary, Schulich School of Engineering

Marasco is an established leader in engineering, educational and social innovation. Her research has had a significant impact on technical engineering education at the Schulich School of Engineering. Marasco’s community involvement extends to her work as an education specialist with EZ-Robot, as a board member for the University of Calgary Academic Women’s Association and as the chair of the Engineering Students Education Society.

 

The winners of the Outstanding Achievement in Applied Technology Innovation award, from left: Derek Lichti, Reza Maalek, and Janaka Ruwanpura.

The winners of the Outstanding Achievement in Applied Technology Innovation award.

ASTech Foundation

  • Above, from left: Derek Lichti, Reza Maalek, and Janaka Ruwanpura.

Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Technology

  • Orly Yadid-Pecht, professor, University of Calgary, Schulich School of Engineering

Yadid-Pecht’s Wide Dynamic Range (WiDR) sensing chip is the first technology of its kind that permits sensors to function effectively, with high sensitivity, in extreme variations in light intensity. Unlike traditional sensors, WiDR chips can consistently and rapidly obtain real-time, high-resolution images of both dimly and brightly lit elements in fast moving scenes.

Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Applied Technology Innovation

The Automated Monitoring and Control System Group developed technology to provide a comprehensive and integrated framework to automate process monitoring of construction projects. Using point clouds acquired from construction sites as input, the technology provides a robust, automated and integrated framework for a multitude of construction applications.

Winner ASTech Special Award

Space Physics Group, Dr. David Knudson, PhD. In the late 1990s, exploration of a radically new application of digital imaging technology, known as the Charge Couple Device (CCD), began at University of Calgary. Over 10 years, novel CCD-based charged particle imagers were developed and flown into space on a series of sub-orbital sounding rocket flights that led to numerous scientific discoveries. These CCD-based particle imagers became the basis for instruments on two scientific satellite missions currently in orbit with the European Space Agency.

See the complete list of ASTech winners.