Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Feridun Hamdullahpur leads a group of four Waterloo Engineering faculty members named today to a prestigious national organization for scholars, artists and scientists.

A mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor who has served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo since 2010, Hamdullahpur joins the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) as a specially elected fellow.

Feridun HamdullahpurZhou Wang

Feridun Hamdullahpur (left) and Zhou Wang.

Also made a fellow of the society was Zhou Wang, an electrical and computer engineering professor who is one of the world’s most cited authors in visual perception-based image quality, assessment, processing and compression.

Named as members of the society’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists for top mid-career leaders were Carolyn Ren, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and Alexander Wong, a systems design engineering professor.

In all, the society named 89 new fellows and 52 new college members for 2018.

"These exceptionally talented scholars, artists and scientists have made an outstanding mark in their fields, advancing knowledge and creating a positive impact on the world," RSC president Chad Gaffield said in a news release. "We are thrilled to welcome them, knowing they will continue to work towards a better future for all of us based on deep knowledge and understanding of the past and present."

Hamdullahpur was cited by the society, which has over 2,000 Canadian fellows elected by their peers as the best in their fields, for promoting its objectives in ways that significantly contribute to society.

Specifically highlighted were his work to advance equity in higher education around the world through the United Nations HeForShe Impact campaign, and with co-operative education and entrepreneurial programs that have made him a sought-after advisor in Europe and the Middle East.

Carolyn RenAlexander Wong

Alexander Wong (left) and Carolyn Ren.

Before focusing on administrative work, the society noted, Hamdullahpur was an active researcher in thermo-fluids and energy engingeering who authored hundreds of publications, supervised more than 50 graduate students and brought fluidized bed gasification technology to developing countries including Sierra Leone and India.

Wang, who won an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in 2014 and an Engineering Emmy Award in 2015, was recognized for innovative work that “has been used for video quality assurance throughout the global media delivery industry, directly affecting millions of viewers daily.”

Ren, a Canada Research Chair in Droplet Microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip Technology and director of the Waterloo Microfluidics Laboratory, was described by the society as one of the country’s foremost microfluidics researchers for work that promises “broad and profound impacts for the global biomedical, pharmaceutical and environmental sectors.” 

'Pioneering contributions'

Wong, a Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Medical Imaging and co-director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Research Group, was cited for "pioneering contributions to operational artificial intelligence and computational medical imaging." Also highlighted were his work on scalable and explainable deep learning, a new form of MRI for cancer detection and a blood-flow imaging system.

Founded in 1882, the society promotes Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment, mentors young scholars and artists, recognizes academic and artistic excellence, and serves as an advisory body. 

Its college was launched in 2014 to recognize scholars, artists and scientists identified as emerging intellectual leaders. College members are named to seven-years terms.

The new fellows and members will be formally welcomed into the RSC at an event in Halifax in November.

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