Connaught New Researcher Awards Go to 13 U of T Engineers

Forty-one researchers from across U of T have won Connaught New Researcher Awards to help them launch their academic careers. Among them are 13 U of T Engineering assistant professors.

The program is designed to foster excellence in research and innovation among researchers at the assistant professor level who are within the first five years of their first academic appointment.

“One of the goals of the New Researcher Award,” said Professor Paul Young (CivE), U of T’s Vice-President (Research and Innovation), “is to help new professors establish strong research programs, which in turn makes them more competitive for external funding.”

The award is part of a suite of programs administered by the Connaught Fund, and is rooted in the Connaught Fund philosophy of investing internally in U of T research. Created from the 1972 sale of Connaught Laboratories, which first mass-produced insulin, the Nobel award-winning discovery of U of T researchers Frederick Banting, Charles Best, J.J.R. Macleod and James Collip, the fund invests close to $4 million annually in emerging and established scholars.

“The Connaught New Researchers are part of a legacy of research excellence at the University of Toronto,” said Young. “Congratulations to them on these well-deserved awards. I look forward to seeing the results of their research in coming years.”

This year, the fund awarded a total of $674,614. The U of T Engineering winners are:

  • Aimy Bazylak (MIE), “Improving polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells for clean energy;”
  • Arthur Chan (ChemE), “Laboratory studies of semivolatile organic emissions and oxidation;”
  • Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin (ChemE), “Catalytic upgrading of biomass derived oxygenates into fuels and commodity chemicals: Chemistry at acid sites confined within microporous crystalline structures;”
  • Alis Ekmekci (UTIAS), “Experimental research on flow control: suppression of flow-induced vibration;”
  • Kamran Esmaeili (CivE), “Characterization of impact-induced damage of rock masses in ore pass systems;”
  • Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez (IBBME), “Mechanisms of cell coordination in epithelial morphogenesis analyzed by quantitative 3D imaging;”
  • Penney Gilbert (IBBME), “Methods to expand muscle stem cells ex vivo for localized transplantation therapies;”
  • Benjamin Hatton (MSE), “Antimicrobial surfaces for medical equipment and environments;”
  • Philippe Lavoie (UTIAS), “Flow control for reduction of drag and noise emission of blunt trailing edge airfoils.”
  • Josh Taylor (ECE), “Coordinated control of distributed energy resources;”
  • Piero Triverio (ECE), “Stochastic models of high-speed interconnects for time-domain analysis;”
  • Paul Yoo (IBBME, ECE), “The Neural Mechanisms of Treating Chronic Urinary Symptoms by Electrical Neuromodulation;” and,
  • Ding Yuan (ECE), “Making failures more diagnosable in the cloud.”

Learn more about some of the engineering winners by visiting our Academic Appointments page . Check out the full list of recipients at U of T News.