University of Calgary

ASTech Awards

November 10, 2009

U of C innovators honoured by ASTech


“We’ve gone from Nature paper success to commercial success,” says Steve Larter of his spin-out company Gushor. / Photo: Ewan Nicholson
A University of Calgary spin-out company won the Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology award at this year’s Alberta Science and Technology (ASTech) Leadership Foundation awards reception.

Gushor, which develops technology to help oil companies decide where to drill, was one of two category winners from the University of Calgary at the Nov. 6 reception in Calgary, and one of five finalists associated with the U of C.

Elizabeth Cannon, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering, was the sole finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to the Alberta Science and Technology Community award. ASTech honoured her for being a champion of women in the scientific and engineering community, and working to create an environment that encourages young women to successfully pursue an engineering education.

“We’re very pleased that some of the science and engineering that’s being done at the University of Calgary is also seeing application in the real world,” said Steve Larter, Gushor’s CEO and a petroleum geologist with the Department of Geoscience in the Faculty of Science.

“We’re gone from Nature paper success to commercial success, which is a nice thing to be able to do.”

The ASTech awards celebrate innovative answers to society’s problems, and give public recognition to the award finalists’ ground-breaking work. In drawing up its list of 21 finalists from almost 80 nominations for 2009, ASTech looks for solutions that move out of the lab and into the marketplace. Gushor is doing just that.

“It’s the tip of the wedge. We’re committed to not just waving our arms saying green words, but actually helping the fossil fuel industry transition from where it is today to a zero carbon emission energy supply,” said Larter, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Petroleum Geology and is an Alberta Ingenuity Fund Scholar.   

Vice-President (Research) Rose Goldstein says she’s delighted with ASTech’s recognition. “I’m proud of all of our finalists and winners of this year’s ASTech Awards. Their work is outstanding and it’s an honour to be recognized by ASTech.”

Also finalists in their categories were the following U of C researchers.

  • Leaders of Tomorrow category: Chris Goodall holds a post-doctoral position in the Department of Geomatics Engineering, in the Schulich School of Engineering. Goodall specializes in multi-sensor navigation systems, and has developed a spin-off company related to his research called Trusted Positioning Inc.
  • Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Technology category: Fadhel Ghannouchi holds the iCORE/Canada Research Chair in Intelligent RF Radio Technology and is director of the iRadio Laboratory at the Schulich School of Engineering. He has made many contributions to the field of microwave theory and techniques including devices, circuits, signals and systems.

Of note for its championing of the University of Calgary is the sole finalist in the Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology category. Computer Modelling Group Ltd., a Calgary-based company, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of reservoir simulation technology, and funds several research projects and chairs at the University of Calgary and around the world. In 1978, the Computer Modeling Group was spun out from the U of C as a not-for-profit entity following the research of Khalid Aziz, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

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