Professors win backing for ‘transformative research’

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Two researchers at Waterloo Engineering have been awarded more than $7 million in provincial funding to support their work.

Safieddin (Ali) Safavi-Naeini, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a director of the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS), is receiving $4 million through the Ontario Research Fund: Research Excellence program to help develop commercially viable millimeter-wave, intelligent radio technology.

Safieddin (Ali) Safavi-NaeiniSafieddin (Ali) Safavi-Naeini (left)

That work is considered key to the development of radio communication and satellite communication infrastructure required for the shift into a “truly digital society,” including disruptive technologies such as autonomous vehicles.

Hamid Tizhoosh, a systems design engineering professor who heads the Kimia Lab at Waterloo, has been awarded $3.14 million for a five-year project to build an image search engine enabling pathologists to find similar cases when examining the biopsy samples of new patients.

The innovative artificial intelligence tool is expected to act as “peer review” for pathologists to help them make faster and more accurate diagnoses. The project involves four Waterloo professors and collaboration with two other universities and three hospitals.

Hamid tizhoosh

Hamid Tizhoosh​ (right)

“We regard this as an exciting and historic opportunity to contribute to the improvement of the health-care system in such a sensitive and significant field as pathology, especially at this point in time when the research in artificial intelligence has started to yield practical results,” Tizhoosh said in a news release.

The funding program was created to support operational costs for “large-scale transformative research of strategic value to the province.”

Campus-wide at Waterloo, four researchers have been awarded more than $12 million in support.

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