Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 12, 2007 15:35 ET

Canada's New Government Honours Canada's Top Young Researchers in Science and Engineering

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 12, 2007) - Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), today honoured six young Canadians who have won the Council's top prizes for research at the graduate student and postdoctoral levels.

"Today we are delivering on our commitment to support Canada's new science and technology strategy and excellence in research," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for NSERC.

"These outstanding young researchers are proof positive of the excellence, enthusiasm, and energy that we seek to harness in moving towards our goal of making Canada a country of discoverers and innovators," said Dr. Fortier.

The winners are:

- Constance Adsett, currently at Dalhousie University, has received an NSERC Andre Hamer Postgraduate Prize for her work at the University of New Brunswick. She is studying ways to improve systems that convert text to speech, a technology that improves access to information for people with certain disabilities.

- Dominic Deslandes, currently at the Universite de Sherbrooke, has received an NSERC Doctoral Prize for his research at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. He has helped develop technology that could lead to a new generation of wireless electronic devices with potential applications including radar units for automobiles and communication systems linking neighbouring buildings.

- Erin Johnson, currently working jointly at Queen's University and Dalhousie University, has received an NSERC Andre Hamer Postgraduate Prize for research done at the National Research Council to refine existing computer models for analyzing chemical reactions and to develop new models that are more accurate and efficient.

- Nicholas Mosey, currently a researcher at Princeton University, has won both the Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize and an NSERC Doctoral Prize for his work as a computational chemist at The University of Western Ontario. His efforts hold the promise of providing valuable clues that could lead to the development of improved, more environmentally friendly engine lubricants.

- Patrick Nosil, currently at The University of British Columbia, has received an NSERC Doctoral Prize for his research on walking-stick insects at Simon Fraser University, where he uncovered some of the first real evidence that cultivating the ability to avoid predators can cause new species to form.

- Dragan Tubic of Universite Laval, has won an NSERC Doctoral Prize for work done to develop a process that greatly improves the speed and quality of three-dimensional modeling, with a technology that uses "vector fields" to chart the surface of an object. Tubic also won the NSERC Innovation Challenge Award last year.

The Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize is awarded to the top Canadian postdoctoral student in the natural sciences or engineering. The prize was founded by Howard Alper, recipient of the 2000 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, and the winner receives $20,000.

The NSERC Andre Hamer Postgraduate Prizes are awarded to the most outstanding candidates in NSERC's master's and doctoral scholarship competitions. The prizes were founded by Arthur McDonald, recipient of the 2003 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, and are named in memory of a very promising young scientist who worked with Dr. McDonald. The two winners each receive $10,000.

NSERC Doctoral Prizes are awarded to up to four students completing their doctoral degrees at Canadian universities. Two awards are available in each of two categories: natural sciences, and engineering and computer sciences. Each recipient receives a framed citation, a silver medal, and $10,000.

All six winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony at the Montreal Science Centre this evening.

Johnson and Mosey were also among the five graduate student and postdoctoral researchers selected by NSERC to attend the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Germany last June. There, they joined 500 other leading young researchers from more than 50 countries and 23 Nobel Prize winners to discuss current scientific topics.

NSERC is a federal agency whose role is to make investments in people, discovery and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency invests in people by supporting some 23,000 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11,000 university professors every year and helps make innovation happen by encouraging about 1,300 Canadian companies to invest in university research and training. Over the past 10 years, NSERC has invested $6 billion in basic research, university-industry projects, and the training of Canada's next generation of scientists and engineers.

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